Saturday Jul 13, 2024

Fires of a dead Fenix – 3

We follow the events of Fires of a dead Fenix – 1 and Fires of a dead Fenix – 2. The Inquisitor banished a demon, that got Cardinal Tholos killed. They learned that the Demons are opening a rift through an interplanar fortress called Urya. Khalea indicated this place is associated to a physical place in the real world, right in the Mines of Creya, not far from where they are. To go there, they will have to cross the burned village of Creya.

Scene 5: Burned village of Creya

[What is going on in the village? → Exhaust, Physical, Merchant]
[What kind of scene will we have? (Third symbol) → Target]
[See? → Discarded Armor. Feel? → Shuddering beneath]

The Inquisitor and Khalea left behind the corpse of the Cardinal, to whom a proper but quick burial was given. Now, in the burned village of Creya, the smell of fear, pain and corpses, mixes up to give a terrible mood. Dried out and burned cottages, corpses and a dry feeling, make Khalea shiver and freeze.

“I am sorry to have brought you here. Do you wish to stop?” Asks Nfaethius
“No… it’s just. This place has been my whole life. I cannot believe this happened just yesterday…”
“What we humans, last generations to build, takes nothing to destroy. We are fragile.”
“What do your senses indicate, Inquisitor?”

[Careful (2) → Fail (0)]

“Not much, and that concerns me. It feels as if someone just wanted this place cleaned up for them, and they accomplished it, somehow.”
“I see. Can we take a detour to look for my brother now?”

[Careful (1d6=6) → Fail (4)]
[Does anything happen during their search? → Yes, Sneak Illness]
[Was Khalea sick from before? → No]
[What do they find during the search? (Action, Belongings) → Hide Wealth, Holy Symbol]

Both of them look around, through houses and farms, shops and taverns, but find nothing that resembles of Khalea’s brother. They enter the Mayor’s house, and find the corpse of the mayor, on his hands, a holy amulet that he was holding tight. Was he prepared for something? Either way, that didn’t work for him. Alongside, a chest with wealthy valuables.

“Khalea, take some of this. It will help you rebuild your life.”
“If they see me with these things, they will kill me.”
“Well, then don’t let them see you.”

Khalea acted surprised, as she didn’t expect this pragmatic attitude from the Lord Inquisitor. He isn’t the force of the law, nor the divine will of the Gods, as she thought he would be.

Khalea is exposed to some sort of sickness
[Forceful (2) → Fail (0). She takes Mild Consequence: ‘Some strange coughing’]

Khalea releases some coughing with blood from her mouth. The Inquisitor notices it, and can tell that’s not a normal cough.

[Careful (2) → Success (3). Used stunt ‘Demon Sense’]
[Is it demonic (Likely)? → Yes. Catalyst → Locked in with a beast]

“Did you just cough?” – Asked the Inquisitor
“I guess so. With blood…” – Responded Khalea, concerned
“Did you cough just after you grabbed the amulet?”
“Hm, I think so. Didn’t connect it myself…” – She drops the amulet immediately.
“No no, take it. Wear it. You are being possessed by a demon. The amulet is a warding amulet”
“A demon has locked you in. He will try to possess you. The amulet will slow him down”
“By the Gods. What should I do?”

[How can demon locking be dismissed? → Condemn, Repulsive, Team]

“Your puma, is he here?”
“Yes, he follows. Always”
“He will be your weakness. You’ll have to sacrifice him”
“Screw you. I am not sacrificing Nes. He’s part of me” – responded Khalea in anger
“Then you’ll be both dead, soon”
“You said Inquisitors could be wrong”
“Not with this”
“I think you are WRONG. Nes is part of me. How could that have anything to do with demon possession?”
“Demons work in different and mysterious ways. Usually, our emotional weaknesses are an entry point to our soul for demons”
“Why are YOU not locked in for possession?”
“We train for emotional detachment”
“Forget it. I am not doing that. Let the demon possess me, and then kill me. But don’t touch Nes”

A long stare of silence came up between the two. Khalea placed the Warding Amulet around her neck and turned around and left the mayor’s house. Outside, she encounters a survivor.

Scene 6: A Burning Merchant

[Is the man Khalea’s brother? (Unlikely) → NO!]
[Who is (s)he? → Bibiana. Merchant. Wielding a Knife. Compassion. Sloth]
[What is her motivation? → Trap Food]

“Help! It hurts. A lot… I am hungry, thirsty.” – Says a woman, dragging herself on the ground to the entrance of the mayor’s house. Khalea proceeds to help her. But she is hurting, fire burns on her skin.
“Inquisitor, can you cure her?”

[Do inquisitors have healing abilities? → NO!]

“I am sorry.” – He can only relieve it, he thought. But didn’t say that. “Take from my water bottle…”
“Do you have any food? I am starving” – Said the brown haired woman, all burned skin.
“Take here. We have some bread” – Gives Khalea. “What are you still doing here?”
“I… got unconscious. I don’t remember.
“What is the last thing you remember?”

[What was it? Injure Maniac Leader]

“The Mayor. He tried to trap everyone inside the village. We had to stop him”
“Well. That explains the amulet worked. He did not die of possession nor burning” – Said the Inquisitor
“He was accusing us for bringing the rain of death. The fire started small. With bullets of fire. By then, the Crematorium of Creya was already on fire. And the Mayor ordered the guards to take Old Vedras prisoner. The guards were to hold everyone in the Village. They locked us down”

Vedras was the prisoner in the Temple of Zayed. That explains why didn’t he have injuries of fire. He was removed before the big Fire Strike.

“Then, we all saw it… a huge bird, turned in fire, poured fire all over the Village. Just when we were attacking the Mayor, to make him let us go”
“So, the fire started small. It was harmless at the beginning. And the Mayor and his guards acted as if nothing was happening, and locked you all down in the village?”
“Yes” – Coughs the woman, she would not live much longer.
“Did you see the Lord Protector in the same morning?”

[Did she? Was Lord Supreme Protector there that morning? → Yes]

“Yes. When he came, he ordered the guards to take whoever was trying to escape the village as prisoners, and quarantine them”.
“I was among those who tried to escape for our lives” – Completed Khalea
“Those of us, who stayed here to suffer the actual burning of the village, as if it were a punishment. I promise you, M’Lord, the village was peaceful. We did nothing wrong.”
“Who are you?” – Asked the Inquisitor
“Name is Bibiana. I am the Mayor’s wife”
“Wait, so you struck against your husband?”
“He was no longer my Broderic. He was a lunatic” – Said the woman, and coughed further.
“There is no sign of possession in him, however.” – Argued the Inquisitor.
“I don’t know… but he was not the man I married.”

The woman took a final breath, of relief, and repeated “Not the man… I married”. Those were her last words. Khalea explained, that Bibiana was usually in charge of commerce and trade agreement in the village. But it was not very common to see her together with her husband, lately. Khalea confirmed, the Lord Supreme Protector, was visiting more often than usual, the village of Creya.

Khalea’s brother was not to be found. And the Inquisitor and Khalea, buried Bibiana and carried forward to the Mines of Creya. Both knew that Khalea was being targeted for demonic possession. Will the amulet buy enough time?

To be continued…

Fires of a dead Fenix – 4 (Finale)


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