That Which Lies in the Hearts of Men

What's in a Name.

Second Day of the Second Week of Slumber

Intrigued by the offer that Inquisitor Taylek Vance proposed to them, our heroes decide to further better the relationship between the intimidating inquisitor by offering her a “gift.” The Outriders handed over their prisoner Jasna “The Red” to Taylek in hopes that Taylek would get more answers out of her. However, our heroes suddenly had grim thoughts as they saw Taylek’s assistants cart out the dead body of the prisoner Osborn Hilltople caught the previous night. Apparently Taylek had tortured the man to death, but the information she gathered was enough for her and a small tactical group of guards to find the crime boss Mr. Bigston AKA: The Notorious B.I.G., who now sits in a small cell in the dungeon under the fort. Taylek offers the Outriders to hold audience while she interrogates Jasna, and the heroes solemnly accept.

Using Truthseeker, Taylek’s magically attuned crossbow, Taylek tortures Jasna for a few minutes by shooting her with a quarrel if she lies or dodges the question. Allatrana Milner is able to see and hear the spirit of Truthseeker, a ghostly skull that shrieks when it hears a lie. Taylek learn’s what the Outriders already know, and she lets a short break while Dr. Jin Barber patches up Jasna and Taylek fetches more tools. Jasna continues to hold back the name of Lord of Lies. Taylek and the Outriders believe that the name could help them in defeating the Greater Demon

The heroes grow more and more uncomfortable as Jasna begs the Outriders to help her escape, but Osborn Hilltople convinces the other Outriders to ignore the war criminal who was responsible for the mass slaughter of the city of Greatshell.

Shortly into the second round of Torture, Jasna finally tells everyone the name of the Lord of Lies, Belial. Allatrana grows deeply disgusted at the torture and forces everyone to stop. Taylek frustratingly agrees and asks an assistant to go a warehouse in the fort where they keep records and search through books and tomes for the name Belial. After the assistant leaves, Jasna, through barely conscious words explains to everyone that just hearing the name Belial will make a deep lie become reality. The name holds immense power.

Afraid of the consequences, the heroes quickly rush to stop the assistant who may further spread the “plague” of a simple name. Obsorn promptly shoots the assistant across a courtyard to stop him in his tracks. Taylek commends Osborn for his quick thinking and pardons him of his brash actions explaining “There is no place for the weakwilled or hesitant. Only by firm action and resolute faith will mankind survive. No sacrifice is too great. No treachery too small.”

The heroes and Taylek have a short meeting after dealing with the assistant. The only people who have heard the name so far have been everyone in the cell and the assistant. Taylek forces the assistant into silence until further notice by Taylek herself. Taylek and Jin will take it upon themselves to research the greater demon while the other Outriders think it wise to begin preparations for building a market for the dwarves to sell their goods.

Osborn seeks the mayor of Willowsmar, who was found in the tavern up at the fort. Osborn asks mayor Garrett Guile to requisition a group of lumberjacks to start harvesting wood. Garret is confused, and says to Osborn to go find the real mayor, Jor Coplin. Osborn insists that Garret is the one confused and that Jor died six years ago and Garret was the mayor. Garret attempts to prove to Obsorn that Jor lives and goes to camp to find Jor. To Garret’s bewilderment, Jor is no where to be found, and that people in the camp do regard him as mayor, a tyrannical mayor who seems to be friends with Mikael Ashcroft, but a mayor none the less.

Garret quickly rounds up the other Outriders and tries to explain to them that he believes the name Belial has somehow affected all of them. Jin is there with them and explains that in his research with Taylek he was able to find an old journal entry of a Paladin of the Ninth Order who came into contact with the Demon, and in defeating the demon, he learned its name. The paladin over the years quickly descended into madness as all that he knew was somehow a lie or never existed. The tipping point was knowing that his beloved daughter never existed. The Paladin would end up ending his own life, the weight of a false reality to much to bear. Allatrana thinks that maybe Mar Ro’then could offer some insight since he himself is a member of the Order. This deeply disturbs Jin who lets out a scream of shock. Jin is equally bewildered as Mar himself walks into the tent, glares at Jin, and provides any help he can offer to the Outriders. The other Outriders seem unconcerned that Mar, who they all saw die, talks with them.

Belial’s name proves more powerful than they could have possible imagined, and the Outriders go back to the dungeon under the fort to speak with Jasna. Not surprisingly, the traitor Taylek Vance is in jail as well waiting for her execution tomorrow morning. She is frantic and begs for help from the Outriders, who only see the blabbering final words of a traitor. Jasna explains to the Outriders the only way to undo the curse of Belial is to either have Belial undo it himself, or for the afflicted victim to perform a ritual on themselves to remove the curse.

Still not giving up, Taylek tries to get the Outriders to fetch Truthseeker and attune with it. By using Truthseeker, they would be able to find out she was telling the truth. Allatrana also explains that she was able to hear and see the spirit of Truthseeker. Hopefully the curse does not affect the weapon. The Outriders go to find Travis Whitelion who is tasked with keeping Truthseeker while Taylek is in jail. Jin stays behind to further question Taylek.

Upstairs in Whitelion’s office, the Outriders ask if they acquire and attune with Truthseeker, whose spirit could be seen by Allatrana. Whitelion declines sternly explaining that weapons of power cannot be just “given” to anyone who asks for them. They are artifacts meant only for high ranking members of the Order of Light. Taylek’s Truthseeker will be kept in safe keeping until someone else proves themselves worthy of its power. Allatrana’s sword’s own spirit then suggests that maybe Allatrana could communicate with Truthseeker. It works. Truthseeker is intrigued that Allatrana can both see and hear him, but to Whitelion and everyone else, it appears as though Allatrana is speaking to herself. This disturbs Whitelion who claims Allatrana mad.

Meanwhile in the dungeon, Jin tries to make sense of the traitor Taylek’s words. Taylek pleads that she has been affected by Belial’s words. She is even begins to think that she actually is a traitor and that her being innocent is the real lie. Jin pieces all the events together and takes a gamble. If Taylek was or is a traitor, what mattered now was that she is not, or does not want to be a traitor, and that was enough for Jin. Jin decides in that moment that he must seek out Belial himself if he was to undo the curse. Using his previously new found powers, Jin uses his piercing vision to look for an escape for Taylek and himself. To his surprise, not even ten feet into the earth behind Taylek’s cell, Jin sees a corridor structure. He then reaches into the cell, grabs Taylek and promptly teleports Taylek and himself into the corridor.

The corridor is dark, and Taylek uses some innate magical ability to provide some light. The two escapees decide to follow the corridor which is turns upwards in an arch. The corridor is empty and several hundred feet long. At the end, Taylek and Jin find the entrance to a mine bright with torchlight and the sound of pick axes. Jin and Taylek have found themselves in a dwarven mine underneath Gun’thlgard.

Upstairs, Truthseeker, who is still attuned to Taylek at a distance, suddenly senses her presence is missing, and tells Allatrana of it. Allatrana alerts everyone else in the room of the traitor’s absence. It is only confirmed as everyone makes their way into the dungeon and finds Taylek missing. Whitelion furiously starts ordering everyone around to lock down the entire fort and camp. They cannot let Taylek escape back to The New Order.

Back in Gun’thlgard, Jin and Taylek attempt to sneak through the mines to find try and find an exit, but its not long before the dwarves spot them and send out an alert. Jin who wishes not to be captures casts a flight spell on himself, grabs Taylek and soars through the mine’s winding tunnels and out the exit into a large warm foundry. Soaring up higher and higher, Jin discovers the foundry is part of a much larger tiered dwarven city as he flies higher and higher. By now, the whole city is on alert. Jin and Taylek are shot at by dwarven guards and squadrons of dwarven griffon riders attempt to capture them. Jin uses all his powers to avoid capture and teleports himself in the alleyway between some dwarven structures. For now, they are safe, but they are intruders to an unfamiliar city, with no clue on how to get out.

Without even being there, the Demon Belial has wreaked havoc on the Outriders, and could possible tear down all their efforts thus far. Confusion spreads around camp, two escapees face new dangers in unfamiliar territory, and the New Order further tightens its grip on the world.

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Comments

Holy hot damn! eats popcorn

What's in a Name.
Kazmohdim

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