Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Shrine of the Feathered Serpent

Everyone looks around, surveying the destruction they have reaped. 8 dead gargoyles, a gnome, a spirit naga, and a gigantic behir. They all realise they had gotten lucky. The fight may have been an easy one in the end, but Bodush had come closer to death than he would ever wish for and the battle may well have taken a horrendous turn for the worst had Thesis not the strength of character to resist the naga's diabolical gaze.

As Thesis wipes the behir's stinking stomach fluids from his armour and the clerics heal Durin and Bodush, Wer and Mendez set about clearing up the old temple. Wer respectfully buries the bodies of the nymphs and other forest dwellers and Mendez burns the corpses and animal skins which Lerrius had been curing. Between them, Hobliah the spirit naga and Lerrius the gnome ranger had not only separated the villagers from what wealth they had, but they had also reaped untold damage on the local wildlife - something that would take the eco-system ages to recover from.

Eventually, the party decide to return to the village. Thesis carries the statue of the Couatl, glinting in the late afternoon sunlight. Upon their return, they are greeted by Hettag - the remaining cleric of Pelor. Seeing the statue he almost breaks into tears of gratitude: Tears he cannot hold back once he also finds that the party have returned Kalina's armour, signifying that which he not yet brought himself to accept - that she was dead.

The party are welcomed as heroes by the villagers of Pearlglen and during their stay are put up in the most comfortable of the inn's rooms, are waited upon hand and foot by the village maidens, and eat and drink freely across the village. The statue is returned to the Shrine, but the party are not allowed to visit for the duration of their stay.

During this time, the party learn that - in the case of the old Warden's and Cleric's murders - Hettag has requested Pelor to send a new cleric. Eolar (of course) offers his and St Cuthbert's support but this is politely, yet firmly, declined. The village decide to elect a new council of village elders and experts - with this council rotating every two months so that any futher attempts to dominate their government will be much harder in future.

On the morning of their departure, Hettag asks the party to meet him at the shrine. Here they are met by the entire village, and a huge celebratory feast of a breakfast is unveiled. The party are ushered into the shrine to finally gaze upon the magnificence of the pearl-encrusted statue.

Set pride of place within the shrine, calmly lit only by sunlight reflected from cleverly placed skylights and mirrors, the statute of the Couatl glints like diamonds as the pearls reflect light around the domed room. It truly is a masterpiece, and makes the spirit naga's magically enhanced impersonation of Tlanextic seem all the more weak. The features on the old priest's tomb are also cunningly highlighted - showing him to have possessed great strength of mind and, however unlikely it may be, the party can easily see how the villagers would believe that it was he who originally brought the extra-planar couatl to rescue Pearlglen from the plague.

Once the initial awe has faded slightly, everyone is able to take in the rest of the room. Placed in such a way that their vigilant gaze never wavers from the tomb and statue, seven pearl-eyed stone-carven busts of Bodush, Wer, Eolar, Elogyn, Durin, Thesis, and Mendez stand atop simple and elegant pedestals in a circle around the edge of the shrine. Behind these around almost the entire circumference of the shrine a tapestried wall hanging recounts the story of the Saviours of the Shrine of the Feathered Serpent.

5 comments:

Joebroesel said...

Declined? DECLINED??? Pelor failed once and might do so again. But if they want to learn the hard way...
Elogyn looks at her bust and can't hide her satisfaction. She did good! She promises herself to train even harder as a paladin to make these moments more numerous.

ScottW said...

Well: they do still have one cleric of Pelor, the old priest seemingly caused Tlanextic to come to the village with his dying wish, and Kalina died in the name of the village. The villagers recognise the amount of sacrifice that Pelor has made for them. Indeed, such is the nature of belief, that the villagers might also feel that Pelor delivered you to them. The Gods work in mysterious ways...

Plus, they're more peaceful and not really the revenge seeking type. St Cuthbert wouldn't suit them.

Thes-hiss said...

Nice!

Thesis loves seeing his magnificent self immortalized in stone. He suggests also that they may want to use pearls to highlight his shining teeth ;)

Insanodag said...

Finally, somebody will remember Bodush for something that isn't (suitable, necessary and appropriate) genocide.

Mendez said...

... And the balance is restored.

This surely offsets our escorting that Duke of Hell into our world?

Enjoy your game on thursday. Failing that, I'll run one next week.