After the recent flood nothing was prospering but the murderous machinations of Namera Gaénrèn the mad priestess. As our mysterious benefactor(s?) have rewarded us I see a grand opportunity to help those affected. I am adventuring to acquire neither wealth nor power beyond what I can use to bring benefit to my fellow Toxites, so my reward has gone directly to the community along with a considerable degree of my time and effort in rebuilding what was lost.
Nèra Gomar has started along a dark path, but I see a ray of hope. The High-Priestess’ inquisition has degraded from an efficient engine of “heresy” extraction to a paranoid, delusional display of savagery, killing left and right for seemingly whatever slight real or imagined. Our party had long been investigating her in an attempt to remove her from influence, but even with a hand signed document in which she ordered her agents to disregard any moral reservations in pursuit of “heresy” we found ourselves without recourse. None but the upper echelons of the church and of the Imperial government had any power to reign her in and she could effortlessly discredit us a band of vagrant malcontents with a forged signature. I am reminded of a saying that I heard one peasant farmer say to another as he angrily decried his desire for recompense after the Inquisition appropriated his harvest, “The gods are in heaven and the Emperor is far away.”
Our situation had become rather pathetic until we were contacted with an urgent lead from our mysterious patron. The High Priestess was to storm the home of the Gelar family that very night. We finally had a chance to confront her out of the public arena and without having to attack the church itself. After rushing to the Gelar estate, we found ourselves witness to the surrender of Regic Gelar at the foot of the priestess. She looked him right in the eye and slit his throat as her guards followed suit and executed the rest of his family on the spot.
I felt a divine power guiding my morningstar as I set upon her as fast as I could run. As we came to blows her foul magicks belched forth a sonic barrage that hampered my efforts with nauseating effect. The combat bared down upon us but by the blessings of the divine my comrades and I surged. I finally managed to beat her down but something was amiss. The putrid stench of Infernal Evil burst forth from her cackling form as all of her warriors suddenly dissolved before our eyes. It is with bitter disgust that I recall seeing the liquefied men converge into her as she grew larger and more powerful.
We would have none of this. In seeing her true form I felt throughout my very being that every blow struck was for the good of the people and that every strike blocked was not just in defense of myself but in defense of all those living in fear and persecution at her hand. Although our efforts were valiant, we began to falter. The beast had become nearly too much to combat, but at the crucial moment, my weapon struck true. I could feel that I alone could not have delivered the strike, but rather some outside force granted its aid. It is hard to say whether that force came from the Two who are One or perhaps from the woman in crimson who disappeared as mysteriously as she was revealed to us, but not without leaving a note congratulated us and revealing the location of the Gelar family vault.
Although I regret my involvement in the emptying of the vault, I will make sure to guide some of that wealth towards the hands of those who were affected by Namera Gaénrèn’s reign of terror. I am certain the Gelar family would be happy to have helped the families of her other victims.
In the end I have learned a significant lesson in preventing the enthusiasm for a cause from corrupting one’s means of achieving said cause’s goals, but mostly I am curious to find out the identity and purpose of our benefactor. The woman in crimson brings only further questions…