Erenor

The Darkness in Solaris

The party decided to journey to the Kingdom of Solaris and attempt to gather support there. On the journey, Jamir befriended the young prince Gregory Draves and decided to train the young man as a paladin of Solaris with the aid of Glod. Gregory readily accepted the training and after two weeks was on his way to being a paladin like his brother Hendrix Draves. The party arrived in Solaris days before the feast of Sourey. Glod and Jamir brought Gregory to the Grand Cathedral in the Old City of Solaris. They explained that Gregory was the seventh son of Castelian Draves and wanted to join the church. The Knights told them to return on Sourey’s feastday to speak with Lord Virgil Croak regarding the young prince. While waiting, Jamir joined the festivities honoring Sourey taking place outside of the city.
The party returned to the Cathedral on Sourey’s feast day and were warmly greeted by the Grandmaster Virgil Croak. The Grandmaster gifted Gregory with his brother’s knight errant weapons. The party pleaded with Virgil to send aid to Castelon. Virgil recalled a terrible dream he had about the Coalition fighting the terrible monsters known as The Fallen during the war. He was concerned that Castelon may fall to darkness, literally or figuratively, and did not want the Knights of Solaris to be pulled into the fight for this reason. The party requested that the Knights aid Castelon’s noncombatants in the war. The Grandmaster requested some time to reflect on this.
High Priestess Oleena, of the sister church of Selene, interrupted the meeting to inform the Grandmaster that the diplomats from the Coalition had arrived. The Grandmaster allowed for a joint meeting with the party and General Lucas Reid of the Coalition. A tense meeting indeed, Reid requested the Grandmaster to deny all aid to Castelon and return aid to the Coalition States, citing the attack of Lady Prosek as the cause of the war and the Coalition’s belief that Castelon had been responsible for Lady Prosek’s death. The Grandmaster denied General Reid’s request, but the meeting was interrupted by report of an attack on the city! Knights and wounded citizens were flooding the cathedral with news that the Old City was surrounded by hordes of undead! The High Guard were positioned on the wall and would have to fight through hordes of zombies before they could be of any aid. Oleena responded that by closing the great doors of the cathedral, they could hold out against the hordes until aid arrived. The Grandmaster rebuked this plan because it would leave the citizens of the Old City at the mercy of the undead. The Grandmaster ordered all staff to protect the Catherdal while he alone faced the monsters on the steps of the church. He requested the party and the Coalition troops to race into the horde and find the necromancer leading it.
Fighting through the masses of zombies and skeletons, the party encountered evil, ghostly shades and foul undead monsters before meeting with the dread necromancer Arzak and his terrible blood golem. Glod identified Arzak as a cleric of Atarop. Accompanying the cleric was a band of humans disguised as zombies. With the party’s arrival, Arzak bid them to leave him and claim their prize. The band of assassins raced through the zombie crowd and the party realized that their target was Grandmaster Croak! The party quickly dispatched the cleric and Jamir, Gregory and Glod stayed behind to finish the golem while the others ran to save Grandmaster Croak before he fell. Egg Shen arrived first and bravely defended the Lord of the Knights but was incapacitated by the lead assassin Cassandra. Lord Croak defended Egg and defeated the cultists, leaving Cassandra helpless. Just when victory appeared certain, an invisible assailant struck the Grandmaster from behind with a powerful destruction spell. Virgil Croak crumbled into ash and Cassandra escaped with her sword covered in his blood.
The party reunited and with Oleena, secured the Cathedral. Ferrilad discovered that the invisible attacker retreated into the Cathedral and was likely still there. Oleena ordered all exits sealed and the Cathedral to be searched. She resurrected one of the assassins and questioned him as to his goals. The cultist confirmed that they were worshipers of the lost god Atarop and sought to return him to power by using the blood of the Grandmaster. Realizing that Cassandra had escaped with the Grandmaster’s blood. The party was able to discover where the hideout of the cult was and left to recover the blood of the Grandmaster, to foil the cult’s plans and hopefully return him to life.

The party quickly assembled and journeyed to the port of Solaris where Cassandra and her cultists had gathered at a hidden cavern at the mouth of the sea. After waiting for the entrance to appear during low tide, the party entered the lair of the cultists. Egg Shen used illusions to appear as Arzak and the party was able to ambush groups of horrible undead and demons of the forgotten god Atarop. The fighting was brutal at points and the party was nearly overcome by their foes, but were able to push through to Cassandra. The party discovered Cassandra attempting to complete the ghastly ritual with the Grandmaster’s blood to no avail! Cassandra announced to the party that she had been mislead and that they were there to “tie up loose ends” for her betrayer. Cassandra questioned the party as to how they found her lair and was enraged when they told her that one of her minions had confessed to the location. A fight erupted and the party faced Cassandra and her living shadow, defeating them both. The party recovered Lord Croak’s blood and left to return it to Solaris.

Upon returning to the city, the party discovered that Oleena had taken control of the Knights and was claiming the Grandmaster had gone on sabbatical. Realizing that there was treachery afoot, the party discretely summoned the High Priest Soto to aid in resurrecting the Grandmaster. The party succeeded in returning the Grandmaster to life, though he was weakened considerably the the attack that slew him. Needing a few days for him to recover, the party returned to the Cathedral and surrendered to Oleena. There, when confronted with the gruesome trophy of Cassandra’s head, she confessed her relationship with her to the party. Cassandra was Oleena’s daughter by an incubus who had disguised itself as the Grandmaster. Cassandra was given away to a village in the Western Kingdoms and Oleena kept the affair secret. Cassandra had returned years later, hopelessly evil and had developed a connection to the dead god Atarop. Oleena couldn’t bring herself to slay her daughter and decided that she was being tested by Selene. Cassandra would be her tool to shock the Grandmaster into action across the globe or she would fulfill her destiny as Scion of Atarop. Oleena aided Cassandra in the attack on Solaris and she would have succeeded if Egg Shen had not arrived on the steps. Enraged that she had been thwarted, and that her daughter was to die for no reason, Oleena cast a spell from the shadows and killed Virgil. She later recanted and aided the party in finding Cassandra so Virgil could be brought back. The party was shocked at this revelation and were preparing to fight when Cassandra’s wraith, aided by a foul demon, attacked her mother for her traitorous ways. She then turned her attacks on the party, who using quick thinking and holy magic, were able to defeat her once again.

The party was arrested and it appeared that Oleena was to blame them all for the affair. While waiting in the holding cell, General Reid visited the party to gloat at their apparent misfortune. He commended them on humiliating him in front of the Grandmaster but boasted that it cost them something to do so. Shortly after he departed, the Grandmaster returned to free them. He called a grand meeting of the Knights in the city and told them that if their hearts desired they could journey to Castelon to join the war. Oleena left the meeting and the Grandmaster told that party that he would deal with her when the time came. He bid them farewell and the aprty left the kingdom.

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