The Supernatural Emancipation of Minerva
Prelude: In which our heroes learned of the demise of their friend and companion, Min, and of the curse that would be unleashed should they attempt to return her to life.
“Upon the goddess not her own, Tal’s death curse was surely thrown. "
“Thus jotunblud jotunbrok, and their magicks now will make them choke.”
“Rob the grave of its due, and tenfold worse shall fall upon you.”
“Prepare instead to argue your case, before the last judge of the Most Gray Waste.”
Act 1: In which our heroes prepare to enter the Otherworld, realm of the afterlife and more beyond this Mortal Coil
|Shael (libraries)||Planar Keys||2 hrs||24||A planar key for the Waste would require iron rusted from the blood of a murder, set to the key of E.|
|Julian||Last Judge+Last Horseman||4 hrs||Religion 14||Julian turns up unrelated myths on death, most of which seem written from a Tal fearing perspective.|
|Julien (libraries)||Last Judge+Last Horseman||4 hrs||Religion 25||After hours of research, Julien turns up some solid evidence that the Last Judge and the Horseman Last are not the same being. The Horseman is sometimes called Charon, and it is he and his servants who takes the dead across the Styx. The Last Judge seems to be the name of a herald of a fallen god from the time of Kamalot.|
|Agoth (libraries)||followup: Last Judge/Herald||4 hrs||Religion 28 (nat 20)||The Final Judge was once Warden of the First Hall, the resting place of those who were wise and good of heart. They stood to the left of God’s throne, and advised the King of Souls on matters as varied as elven customs, legal loopholes, and contemporary marriage practices. They kept abreast of the mortal sphere, though they rarely traveled there on the back of their grey steed.
Having been centuries without a god to serve, the Last Judge roams through the realms of Otherworld, bringing a unique brand of justice and pronounced finality to them. The Last Judge has been called, since the time of their separation from God, the Archadian Dragon, Grim and Rider of the Pale Horse. It is said that the Last Judge will not rest until the great crime that separated herald from god is brought to justice.
|Julian (libraries)||followup: Last Judge/Herald||4 hrs||Religion 18||In a heretical text condemned by the Church of Tal, the heralds of the gods are described. Heralds are potent beings in their own right whose existences are dedicated to preparing the way for the gods’ arrival on Terra. Their duties include carrying out their god’s will in the mortal realm, as well as Beyond. They appear to large gatherings of followers or to the important priests of their patron deities. If a herald appears to mortals, it is usually on matters of great importance to the gods, usually delivering significant messages or quests. If a quest or task is important enough, the herald may accompany the mortals for a time and possibly use its powers to assist them. With few exceptions, every deity has its own herald, that favored minion that serves as a messenger and emissary throughout the realms of existence. Creatures of myth, the heralds’ interventions within the mortal world mark lives and are events of legend.|
|Julien (libraries)||followup: Last Judge/Herald||4 hrs||Religion 17||This query ends up down an unproductive path that somehow ties a spiteful former archdevil to the position of Last Judge. This being (The Last Judge) was cast out of Hell due to his venom and lies.|
|Julian (libraries)||the fallen god from the time of Kamalot, of whom the Last Judge was reportedly a herald||3 hrs||Religion 29||The Lord in Judgment|
|Julien (libraries)||the fallen god from the time of Kamalot, of whom the Last Judge was reportedly a herald||3 hrs||Religion 30 (nat 20)||The First Law|
|Shael (Libraries & Stronghold NPCs)||Geography of the Outer Planes||4 hrs||Arcana 32 (Nat 20)||The safest and most accurate travel through the Otherworld involves portals and gates, rather than spells of transport. While you can get into and out through spells, and some even can get around via magic, the ‘common chant’ as it is called, is that those who overly rely on their magic find themselves Between. There are not good places to ‘leave’ unless leaving is what you intend to do. Within the Otherworld, your thoughts, goals and dreams take actual shape, so if you waver upon a quest, you find your path turned away from it entirely.|
|Shael (Libraries & Stronghold NPCs)||Planar Key for the Prime||3 hrs||Arcana 33 (Nat 20)||A planar key for the mortal coil requires a steel tuning fork, inlaid with twisting silver and copper filigree, set to the key of Middle C. The Key of Coil.|
|Shael (Libraries & Stronghold NPCs)||the fallen god from the time of Kamalot, of whom the Last Judge was reportedly a herald||1 hr||History 30||The Courts of Justice (Shael strongly suspects these have been corrupted, either to allow Tal to take over the former deity’s mythologies, or to hide the lore from members of the church of Tal who would have destroyed it if they thought it belonged to a false god.)|
|Shael (Libraries & Stronghold NPCs)||Planar Key to Tartarus||1 hr||Arcana 34||There exists no planar key for Tartarus. A dangerous magical experimentation idea would be to take a key set to the Abyss and the Waste of equal size and volume, and strike them together as a joint focus for the spell.|
|Shael (Libraries & Stronghold NPCs)||Planar Key to The Underworld||4 hrs||Arcana 32 (Nat 20)||A key of platinum, with a bone core, wrapped in leather of the species belonging to the caster, set to the key of C.|
|Shael (Libraries & Stronghold NPCs)||Planar Key to The Abyss||1 hr||Arcana 23||The key should be forged of iron.|
|Julian (libraries)||Last Judge followup – the great crime that separated herald from god||2 hrs||Religion 27||The god and the entire pantheon vanished hundreds of years ago.|
|Julien (libraries)||Previous raids on Tartarus, especially entry + exit||4 hrs||Planes 23||There have been no such raids, for Tal’s prison of foul creatures is inviolate.|
|Julian (libraries)||Previous raids on Tartarus, especially entry + exit||1 hr||History 25||Julian finds a story about the twelve brothers of Thyrm, who raided the prison to steal the soul of a powerful seiðurs. There are not specifics, merely that they were pursued by nightwalkers across the plains until they reached Thrym’s hold. There are now only eleven brothers of Thrym.|
|Julian (libraries)||Last Judge followup – previous rulings and cases||1 hr||History (?) 17||Nothing|
|Julien (libraries)||Last Judge followup – previous rulings and cases||4 hrs||History (?) 21||Nothing|
|Shael (Divination)||What was the Second Law of the The Lord in Judgement?||1 action Once/Day||Magic||The laws were lost to antiquity
for mankind longed lives of iniquity.
You seeking out ancient laws, will have to trust us.
Though you see it not in your lifetime, there will be justice.
|Shael (Divination)||What was the Third Law of the The Lord in Judgement?||1 action Once/Day||Magic||Same response.|
|Shael and followers research||Where to go in the underworld||4 hrs||27 Arcana (planes)|
|Julian (libraries)||Where to go in the underworld||3 hrs||21 of most applicable knowledge (planes?)||The Styx, also known as the River of Blood is a river that linked the topmost layers of the Foul Realms. Those who touched or drank from the Styx risked completely forgetting their past lives temporarily or permanently. It is plied by Charon, the Horseman of Death, and his daemonic minions. They ferry those across who have had their proper rites granted, but refuse those who have not. One must pay the ferry what they ask, so it is beneficial to sort the details out before the skiff is underway.|
|Shael and followers research||Underworld planar pathways||3 hrs||27 arcana (planes)||The Gates of the Underworld are guarded by a three headed cerberi. Legends are split on whether or not the dog is composed of rotting bodies of the dead. Beyond these doors lie the halls of the gods of death. Only the greatest souls are judged personally by a god of death, by and large, most of them simply come before the deity as a matter of protocol, and their cases are handled by servitors who determine where the soul is sent. If there is a great dispute regarding the soul, there may well be angels and devils arguing the merits of their case before the very lord of the dead.|
|Shael and followers research||Vulnerabilities, Resistances, Strengths, and Immunities of Enemies we will Most Commonly Face on Our Journey||3 hrs||32 Arcana (nat 20)||This is a million part check, because it requires the knowledge of where you’re going before you know what you will most commonly face which you need to know before you find out stuff about its resistances. This result has been taken to assume two questions: what are the most common denizens of the Underworld and what are said denizen’s powers and weaknesses. The most common denizens of the underworld are undead spirits and skeletons, as well as the fiends known as daemons.|
|Shael and followers research||Strengths/Vulnerabilities/etc. of Undead And Daemons||2 hrs||26 Arcana||Incorporeal undead can be vulnerable to ghost touch weapons. Most undead are immune or resistant to necrotic and poison. Daemons are immune to poison and acid, and resistant to cold, fire and lightning. Certain powerful daemons are harmed by mithril and not steel.|
|Shael and followers (libraries)||Best path to Underworld||27||There exists a path to the Underworld in a cave deep in the woods outside of Shelgrad, where the lumber that was used to build Tormod’s Crypt was felled.|
|Julian (libraries)||the long dark tunnel made of bone, which we saw Min trudging down with many other spirits lacking the coin to purchase a ride on the ferryman’s boat||2 hrs||30 (nat 20)||The tunnel of bone leads to the pale beaches. Many take ship there, and few return to the sunlit lands. Those who cannot purchase a ferry ride are sometimes tempted into less savory activities to procure their required payment. However, few venues are open to spirits to affect their fates, and most of them are Lost.|
|Kryss (libraries)||ok im researching stories about people that have escaped/ been rescued/ arged for their release from Tartarus then||4 hours||30 History||The most obscure story that can be found of this sort involves a fire giant king known as Zursvaater, who led an army of ten thousand giants upon the gates of Tartarus. Not only did they capture fire giant souls for their master, but they took prisoners of others they came across in their attack, throwing chains of cold iron upon them and dragging them back to Hell.|
|Kryss (libraries)||Fire Wardens||1 hour||28 History||Fire Wardens are beings who serve fire. Unlike other types of Wizards, the powers of Fire Wardens manifest in very different ways when handled by Reavers as compared to humans.
Reaver Fire Wardens focus their power through crystalline staves and brand themselves with flaming runes of power. In general, they seem to be stronger than human Fire Wardens, possibly due to their ability to absorb the magical strength of dead Reavers by eating their brains and glands.
Many human Fire Wardens are uniformly bald, their hair being burned off by their power when they use strong spells, and particularly when they immolate—burst fully into flame. They use no instruments or tattooing as do Reaver mages, relying on fire itself as their talisman for summonings, divinations and spells. Some Fire Wardens refuse to immolate, limiting their power, because they believe it burns out their souls to give themselves over to Fire so fully.
Fire Wardens are able to feed on destruction, gathering power as they please Fire by acts of arson. Their spells focus around heat, fire, and divination. They are able to hurl fire, drain heat from a single living being, and are also the only wizards able to summon creatures from the netherworld. Some can use their power to sense other people’s souls, seeing the “spark” of life, and detect the presence of a locus feeding on and suppressing that spark.
|Kryss (libraries)||history of the judgment of souls||2 hours||19 History||Those who die are sorted into five categories.
Soul-sworn – warlocks, fiendish bargain, etc.
Dishonored – Those who died without proper rites.
Faithful – clerics, druids, true believers who died with proper rites
Honored – impressive lived individuals who died with proper rites
Unnotable – average lived individuals who died with proper rites
After they are judged, they are sorted into four categories.
Returned: raised, reincarnated
Divine Realm: soul sworn and faithful
Afterlife: honored appropriate
|Kryss (library)||history of Reaver Fire Wardens||3 hrs||23 history||Very little history on the reavers is available, fire warden or otherwise. They seemed to exist a thousand years ago and were at war with humanity (and all closely allied races) when the two crossed paths.|
|Kryss (libraries)||History of Fire warden tattoos (examples?)||3 hrs||16 history||No examples are given.|
|Shael + followers||Fire Warden Tattoos||3 hrs||34 arcana (nat 20)||Reaver fire wardens were known to brand themselves with actual runes of fire, which served as ‘tattoos’. Most creatures would not survive such; the rune would burn through them entirely or they lack flesh suitable to tattooing. There is very little on this topic.|
|Kryss (libraries)||routes between the gray waste and tartarus||4 hrs||19||Tartarus lies at the edge of the Waste.|
|Julian (libraries)||The pale beaches||4 hrs||24||If one travels the near (per Mortal reckoning) bank of the Styx far enough, they come to the Pale Beaches, via the Tunnels of Bone, or the Caverns of Peccancy. Here there are ships, waiting to take the Lost, but they are crewed by all manner of horrors.|
|Julien (libraries)||The pale beaches||3 hrs||17||Nothing|
|Julian (libraries)||the Lost||17||1 hr||Nothing|
|Julien||the Lost||3 hrs||24||The Lost are those who die but fail to come before the Courts for judgement. Instead their souls are…well, lost. They may be turned into bartering chips in the Otherworld, or slaves, or far worse fates.
The Lost are a tragedy.
|Kryss (libraries, Julien assist)||Dragon Knowledge where do they go when they die||3 hrs||27 specialty Dragon Knowledge||Draconic souls enter the underworld far from the paths of the human dead. They are ushered to the Eyrie by Nulgilean and given places of honor within the afterlife. Many of them serve the gods as guardians of their realms, and some become the yamaraj, or draconic death judges. A dragon is chiefly judged by the mass of its horde compared to its age.|
|Kryss (libraries)||how long it takes to beome “lost”||2 hrs||29 (nat 20)||Impossible to determine.|
|Julian (libraries)||Rules, taboos, dos and don’ts of safe travel in the Underworld||3 hrs||17||Don’t go there until you are dead.
Make sure you were given a proper burial and last rites.
Be polite and honest.
|Julien (libraries)||Rules, taboos, dos and don’ts of safe travel in the Underworld||1 hr||22||Don’t consume food or drink from the Underworld.
Avoid bringing too much light into dark places.
Make sure you have the ferryman’s price and do not haggle.
Give no gifts and take nothing which you have not earned.
An oath sworn in the Underworld carries weight beyond.
|Shael (legend lore)||The Last Judge||10 min||Magic||As a mortal, the Last Judge dared to question the decree of the Lord in Judgment. He deemed the question wise and made the Judge his counselor upon death. The Last Judge stands to the left of the Lord’s throne and advises him on varied matters. They hold the title of the Warden of the First Hall, the resting place of those who are wise and good of heart.|
|Shael (legend lore)||The Lord in Judgment||10 min||Magic||Tuch secrem lore you have in spades
Afore you visim atong dead shades
A lord who would rob a grave will hold blate.
Lem not a child’s riddle hide his nate.
|Shael (legend lore)||Tartarus||10 min||Magic||But what owe I to his commands above, Who hates me, and hath hither thrust me down
Into this gloom of Tartarus profound, To sit in hateful office here confined,
Inhabitant of Heaven and heavenly born— Here in perpetual agony and pain,
With terrors and with clamours compassed round, Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed?
The Talean truth of origin divine, Grows not beneath the shade of civil pow’r,
Riches or wealth accompanied with pride; Nor shall it bloom transplanted to that soil,
Where persecution, in malignant streams, Flows out to water it;
black streams and foul, Which from the lake of Tartarus break forth,
The sickly tide of Acheron which flows, With putrid waves through the infernal shades.
|Shael (legend lore)||Minerva||10 min||Magic||Pallas Minerva (The spell also brings up the fact that you should all be ashamed she has no page before now.)|
|Shael (divination)||What additional secrets or knowledge could we discover before we leave to increase our chance of success?||1 action||Magic||Too vague, too vague, for the loom of fate,
Can all threads and colors not anticipate,
Find your secret, know what you don’t know,
Then my oracle will answers bestow.
|Shael (divination)||What additional aid could we secure before we leave the mortal world to increase our chance of success?||1 action||Magic||Bring each and every ally you know
Into the depths of death below
Not a single soul returns unscathed
Spend as many as worth the one you save
|Shael (divination)||What things could we add to our planned gear before we leave the mortal world to increase our chances of success?||1 action||Magic||A silver sword to best the lord.
A golden coin to pay the toll.
A platinum key to unlock the door.
|Shael (divination – three days before planned entry of Underworld)||What part of the underworld should we visit first to increase our chances of success?||1 action||Magic||“Keep the grim faced moon ever to your left hand, but place it at your back ere you sleep.”|
|Shael (divination – two days before planned entry of Underworld)||After we leave this world, what allies or helpers should we seek out to increase our chances of success?||1 action||Magic||“The name Findula will gain an ally, but only once. Spend it cautiously.”|
|Shael (divination – one day before planned entry of the Underworld)||What enemies will we face after we reach the Underworld?||1 action||Magic||“Should you remain fixed upon your goal, not turning from the path, you will find the dead bar your way. But ware the daemons and those that even daemons fear.”|
Julian asks Osphala the Sage to assist the group in their preparatory research. The knight does not attempt to micromanage the research topics of a sage likely more learned, and certainly more experienced in research than he; rather, he keeps Osphala abreast of the research of the party and lets the sage determine whether to spend his efforts researching topics the Lords may not have considered or whether to drill deeper into subjects on which Osphala may suspect they missed something.
Act 2: In which our heroes contact their most powerful allies to gain any forthcoming aid that might be of use in their delve into the Otherworld.
The party may contact (or has been contacted by) the following:
|Sharwyn Hucrele||Kryss/Julien||Does not wish to go, gave some information on Underworld denizens, suggested Baba Llysaga for lore|
|Mithrexa||Kryss/Julien||Provided some information|
|Rollo the Hammer||Kryss||Offered a dwarven thrower to Kryss, presumably custom|
|Temple of Serra||Kryss/Julian||Contact with Gozer, information regarding ancient Kingdoms of Man|
|Prince Rugar||Julian/Kryss||Offers of +1 silver sword, mithral sword, or Elkaram (sword of sidhe kings), or Ecyamacil (mithral sword of sharpness). Aid of a wild hunt archer. (Shaylea)|
|Aesthyrondalaurai||Kryss via Owl||Willing to meet at Whitewood Estates at a time convenient to Kryss.|
|Devis Halfelven||Julian via messenger||Refuses to have dealings with Lidda and her allies.|
|Ember||Julian via messenger||Refuses to have dealings with Lidda and her allies.|
|Regdar||Julian via messenger||Willing to meet when possible|
|Mialee Goloriel||Julian via messenger||Following up on Alhandra|
|Vadania||Julian via messenger||Is investigating troubles within the flow of life energy|
|Soveliss||Julian via messenger||Willing to meet when possible|
|Jozan||Julian via messenger||Is aiding the Sun Dancers of Tal in Senet|
|Tordek||Julian via messenger||Is investigating rumors as to the reemergence of the Axe of Dwarvish Lords.|
|Astrid Svarhildasdottir||Sha’el in person||TBD|
|Madam Eva||Julien sought to arrange a meeting between her and the real party||Is available to meet with those who call upon her.|
|Trygalle Trade Guild||TBD||TBD|
|Sun’s Champion Marith||TBD||TBD|
|Ilya Murometz, Paladin of the North||TBD||TBD|
|Lady Emily Whitewood of Dragonfyre||TBD||TBD|