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Guide to the Realm


The Story So Far

Chapter 19: The Fallcrest Showdown [Vid]
En route to Fallcrest, Belush, Grizelda and Q-Ten-Ga are met by Chandrapal’s ship, carrying Chandrapal and Selena (the spinster paladin). But as they approach Fallcrest, they see the city is under attack by a huge and terrible army of dragons and unnatural beasts.

They fight some trolls and decide to split up: Grizelda and Chandrapal enter the castle by a secret entrance; Selena and QTenGa seek the city guard headquarters, and Belush teleports himself to Nimozarin. Ch and G take a long route through the cellar, fighting some minotaurs and demons, and find their way to the throne room, meeting Andros on the way, whose militia has managed to kill a bunch of beasties and clear the way – though now all but Andros are dead.

The King is alone in there, in a state of strange hypnosis; but Nimozarin and Belush teleport in on time to explain. This looks like a terrible curse, which can only be resolved if one virgin enters the psychic realm where the King’s spirit is held captive by powerful infernal magic. Nim and Bel hold open the portal, Andros and Chand battle the beasts coming out of it, and Grizelda enters the portal (though she has had an encounter with Q-Ten-Ga, she is of the opinion it was not of the kind that would render her unsuitable for the role).

Passing a series of tests in the spirit realms, she meets the avatar of the infernal God Ashmodeus, who bids her to sell him her soul in exchange for the King’s return: instead, she barters and sells Ariya’s soul. The King is saved from hypnosis just in time for the party to board the Royal Griffin and try to escape. However, a giant beast pursues them and Nimozarin and Andros hold her back as the rest escape. Q-Ten-Ga and Selena are unaccounted for.

As our heroes (Belush, Grizelda, Chandrapal) escape on the griffin with the King, and wonder what happened to their friends in the fort, they realise they are carrying a fifth passanger – Ariya who hid herself in the griffin’s lush feathers.

*Chapter 20: You’re As Cold as Ice [Eric]
A strange storm besets our heroes as they make their escape on the Griffin. Trying to pilot the Griffon out of harm’s way, Chandrapal manages to make a safe landing with the King, but Belush, Ariya and Grizelda get swiped off the Griffon and fall through to what seems like another dimension – an ancient land of eternal snow. Battling evil troglodytes and braving the oncoming blizzards, they finally make their way to a castle, besieged by an army of vampires. However, a luminous figure destroy all the vampires and takes them into the castle. It is the Snow Witch Shaka, a beautiful ancient crazy elardrin lady. She reveals the legend that Belush had heard is true: she was an Eladrin follower of the Goddess Mora, the Goddess of Power and the Mother of Goddes Kord. However, Mora was destroyed by the other Gods, and Chaka was banished to this realm to eternally guard Mora’s essence and to lead an eternal fight with hordes of various evil creatures banished here. But now it seems that Belen has been trying to open a portal, which would bring all these creatures into the real world and aid his war. Luckily, Belush, Ariya and Grizelda trick a genie into opening a portal for them, and escape. Grizelda is perpetually haunted by dreams of Ashmodeus who is promising great punishment if she does not deliver Ariya to his clutches.

Chapter 21: A Little House in the Woods [Vid]
Our heroes are reunited as, luckily, the portal leads straight into the Royal Woods, outside of Diver City, the capital of Diversistan. Belush stays behind with King Henry, who is still in a state of a bumbling madman. Chandrapal, Ariya and Grizelda come across a very handsome young man, Billy Bob, who is being pursued by an owl bear. They go to his home and promise to protect him, his father, and his seven sisters from any danger for this night, and the next day they’ll make their way to Diver City. However, the whole family turn out to be werewolves – Grizelda and Chandrapal fight a tought fight (Belush saves the day last minute), whereas Ariya, who was sleeping in the house, kills the cubs who turned aggressive :’( . Billy Bob alone survives and the heroes spare him.

Chapter 22: Diver City, at last [Vid]
Billy Bob leads them as they make their way to the city. Sneaking past the guards involves Ariya getting into a tryst with the guards’ captain – and she is not seen again. Grizelda, Billy Bob and Chandrapal make it past them to one of the Gates, where the Gate Keeper is an old fellow with giant ears, called Nuncle Georgge, who is Billy Bob’s uncle. He updates them on the city rumours (see brief): Henry has gone missing; Belladora is supposedly gravely ill and apparently never left the city; the unpopular Prince Regent King Jonn Cudor rules the land. Fallcrest has been taken and the war is being fought – Diver City as a whole is in a terrible confusion: refugees, high prices, black market, grey economy, credit crunch, thievery is rife and movement is tightly controlled, with the city split into three parts (commoners, temple, government).

A new temple of Belethor, a god of silent victory worshipped by Belladora, was built some 4 years ago. Chandrapal and Grizelda venture into the city, while Billy Bob goes to fetch Belush and Henry, leaving the Griffon to roam free. In order to obtain a passport for the Upper City, Chandrapal and Grizelda first steal the shoe of Erathis from a local museum and fake an epileptic fit to gain the attention of a cleric, Tahini. She agrees to meet them in The Drunken Crow tavern, where they are promptly attacked by hooded priests of Belethor. They kill them but Tahini dies as well – she hands over a blood-stained passport to Grizelda. At that moment, guards burst into jail and accuse them of murdering the cleric.

Chapters 23-24: The Obligatory Prison Break [Eric, Vid]
Grizelda is thrown into a prison, where she finds her cellmate to be a suspicious-looking crone, revealed to be Belush in disguise. Using a shrinking spell, they escape their confines and discover an imprisoned goliath – a fearsome warrior known as Radegund. Radegund used to share her cell with a mysterious dragonborn lady, who had recently escaped, but also gave her a useful hair pin and a sun-shaped ring. They have to face a riddling German Naga and a lesbian medusa couple: before they meet their doom the medusas turn Belush to stone. Radegund and Grizelda encounter Chandrapal, who had whored his way out of the male prison. A maze follows, and finally point-and-click painting test, which obligates them identify the four high priestesses of Diver City. They emerge in the chapel of Erathis on the Middle Island and face an angry Adelaida The Cleric of Erathis. After some serious diplomacy and intimidation (also involving the passport and the shoe), Adelaida realises they are not behind the murder of Tahini, and everybody rubs Belush down with holy water to make him happy flesh again.

Chapter 25: Murder in the Cathedral [Vid]
Adelaida warns of Cuthbert, High Priest of Belethor: on the morrow, he will ascend to the position of High Satrap, since the previous Satrap stepped down and the likely contender, High Cleric of Kord has just been assassinated. Adelaida bids adventurers to enter the temple, using a secret map her secret agents obtained, and promises all charges against them will be dropped (she is a super-bureaucrat). They send Belush home to recover. Ch, Rad and Griz regroup at a tavern, where they run into Hanesh and Ganesh, sexy twin novices in the cult of Belethor; Hanesh has a thing for big girls and, snogging him, Radegund obtains a password, while Chandrapal steals a key from Ganesh. They also meet grieving clerics of Kord (one a leper, the other a half-leopard), who report that now either Cuthbert or Adelaida will rise to power. Inside the temple, the trio battle some skeletons and uncover a set of prophesying frescoes. They then confront Cuthbert, a silly fat priest, who reveals that Belethor, the God of Victory, will be always on the side of the victors, and the victor right now appears to be Belen. Challenged to fight, Cuthbert transforms himself into a dragon.
THE BACKSTORY THE FRESCOES REVEAL: 200 years ago, Crown Prince Belen invented a cure for mortality and rose above all others. The Gods (particularly Erathis, Pelor, the Raven Queen and Kord) assisted those who crushed him. But the prophesy says Belen will rise again, reincarnated as four evil children, all of whom have the potential of fulfilling Belen’s destiny. The New Belen will fight against four champions appointed by the Gods, who alone can defeat him. But Belen will be victorious, ushering a new era where humans will be immortal and will rival the Gods.

Chapter 26: The Enemy Within [Eric]
While in his petrified state and even while recuperating at home, Belush finds himself in a curious blank metaphysical space: his mind. He fights his inner demons, including his rapist uncle, to unlock a special mental plane, that he saw his Master try access before: a strange place, half within your mind and half in reality. There he defends a statue of tremendous power from attacks by Cuthbert. The statue turns out to be his own future self who warns him: if Grizelda does not honour her deal with Asmodeus, all the heroes will die eventually, and Belush won’t be able to prevent Belen’s victory. Belush also harvests a magical amulet of teleportation, from the testicles of his defeated spirit-enemies.

Chapter 27: In pursuit of the dragon [Eric]
Meanwhile, Grizelda is knocked back by the dragon and lies unconscious; when she comes to she realizes Chandrapal and Radegond are gone. Belush senses she is in danger and uses the amulet to teleport himself to her. They follow the dragon into his lair, but Cuthbert is not there. Fighting a flaming skull and mummy-producing clerics of Berethor, they finally save their friends. (They enlist the help of newly mummified Tahini; in meeting true death, the skull says it is Belush’s grandfather, but it’s probably a lie). Returning to the temple with a cleric as a hostage, the hostage sounds an alarm – they slit his throat, but it is too late: alarm has been sounded.

Chapter 28: Stolen King [Eric]
Fighting their way out of the temple, Radegund, Grizelda and Belush destroy a basilisk and three lieutenants of Berethor. The path leads them through the catacombs and finally they emerge outside of town. Returning to their hideout, the distraught Uncle Georgge tells them that agents of Berethor have kidnapped the King and killed Billy Bob. It is confirmed that Adelaida has become the High Satrap, facing no opposition. They bury Billy Bob, and then head back into town for the beer and pigeon festival.

Chapters 28-29: About town [Eric, Vid]
Grizelda and Chandrapal head to the beer and pigeon festival straight away, where they hear some commotion coming from the Smugglers’ Arms tavern. A girl is being attacked by thieves who want to pressure her into joining their guild – it turns out it is Ariya, who has in the meantime been active as a thief in the city (her corrupt guard lover having inducted her). They kill the thieves to the adulation of the populace. Ariya reveals the Berethor cult has been active in forming their own thieves’ guild.

Radegund and Belush go into town, where they meet the dragonborn lady Thava. The old blind seeress turns out to be a member of The League of Extraordinary Goodness, a secret organization that Belush is also a member of, and that is dedicated to preventing the prophecy of Belen’s rising. Belush’s back story as a member of this organization and the protector of the Chosen Ones is revealed (he was inducted by his old Master). Radegund is believed to be the chosen one of Pelor and has to perform a series of tests to prove herself.

She then heads for some much deserved pigeon and ale, while Belush goes to see Adelaida and chats to Thava a bit more.

Cuthbert’s Downfall [Vid]
Ariya, Radegund, Chandrapal and Grizelda follow Ariya’s knowledge of a secret outpost of the Berethor temple. First they have to pass two guards who have an eye on Ariya – her attractive girdle of Venus helps them to outsmart them for a while but then they have to escape a crushing wall, a library of traps, run into Hanesh and Ganesh burying some oblates, kill the remaining two lieutenants of Berethor and finally have a showdown battle with Cuthbert, transformed into a white dragon. They win. Dying, Cuthbert uses his high cleric powers to look into Grizelda’s soul and sees that she is pregnant with the Seed of Asmodeus. They find the King, as insane as ever. Outside they meet Belush and an envoy of the High Satrap Adelaida.

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Champions of the Gods Thorvaldr Meagoinc