Grey was chosen to bear the Mask of KooBAHzhan the Froghemoth. They made it out alive and arrived at Fort Belurian after another 7 hours travel – their new companion – Click, the Kenku, Crow-man decides to accompany them on their quest.
The Fort is in a state of organised turmoil as the troops prepare to march south into the Jungle.
Ront meets up with a small group (7) albino dwarf “Spirit Warriors” – these are berserker warriors who enter Battlerage. He wants some advice about how to control the Rage, but they tell him not to – they seem to revel in the destruction, even if it turns them against their own allies. “It’s their fault if they can’t run fast enough to keep out of reach – they want the benefit of our Rage and must accept the dangers”
Commander Liara is interested in their stories about the Grung King, but has decided that they will have to march against Dungrunglung as soon as possible. The Grung have been ambushing and laying traps for the Morningstars and interfering in the Great Crusade. Either the Grung will make a peace treaty of they will be classed as “in league” with the Undead and will be wiped out.
Ariel is distraught about this (he was raised by Grung), but knows that the Grung will follow their insane king and that King Kroo-ak will not be satisfied until he receives his promised visit from the goddess NangNang!
Juma organises (pays for) an orgy for the camp followers to give the troops a good send off (this is really in order to satisfy the demands of the Staff of Moa – it seems the staff is a vessel for a Fertility Goddess. The energy allows him to commune with the staff in his dreams. She advises him to continue to the Monastery of Harmonious Order and do more research to locate the Masks of the other gods. She tells him they have a destiny to do battle with Ras Nsi (The Immortal One) but that they are not yet powerful enough. She offers him power [GM: in return for becoming a Warlock – just taking a level of Warlock] and gives a taste of the power by granting Juma the warlock ability to use Mask of Many Faces.
They leave before the army sets out. The Fort will be guarded by Inquisitor Dorias and a couple of dozen troops, and three Skeletal Warriors – worshippers of Mortus who volunteer to be sealed in special tombs in Tor Meliath, just before they die. This allows them to be summoned into service as magical skeletons. [GM:It’s a fifth-level spell and summons 3 of them to serve until they are destroyed]
Our heroes decide to head north to the Monastery but promise to head south and try to meet up with the army close to Dungrunglung and hopefully assist with the negotiations. Ariel wants to prevent his adopted family and many grung friends from being slaughtered.
At the Monastery, they meet the monks and discover that the Library was burned down 4 nights ago. The monks suspect a couple of Mortus Priests (part of the Morningstar Crusade). Tiberius and Lucretia had been here a few days, Tiberius had been studying the books and scrolls. The Library burned down and Tiberius vanished. They managed to imprison Lucretia but are not sure of her guilt. They sent one of the Monks – Brother Parmo, to run to the Fort and fetch an Inquisitor Priest who could interrogate her with Zone of Truth.
As our heroes had just come from there, they knew that Brother Parmo had not arrived and no Inquisitor was coming.
They spoke to Lucretia and believed her pleas of innocence. She seemed very concerned for her friend Tiberius. “He would never have left me here” but more importantly she had a secret she had refused to tell the Monks. In desperation she swore Juma to secrecy and told him. He then knew it was vital they got her out of jail and escorted her to the Fort. She told them that Tiberius had discovered something in the Library in Port Nyaranzu that made him think the source of the zombie hordes might be in the Tomb of the Nine Gods – a legendary place (unknown location). He was searching the Monastery Library for more info when the fire happened and he vanished.
They considered breaking her out and fighting their way clear – the monks were mostly human, with just one Albino Dwarf (caretaker/blacksmith). However, Juma spoke to the head monk and convinced them to release Lucretia into their custody so they could take her to the Fort for interrogation.
The leader was Master Mace [looks like Morgan Freeman with grey hair and beard) the head librarian was Brother Ge’Tembe (Looks like Idris Elba as Heimdall). He seemed very suspicious of the newcomers but was ordered to let them see the books and scrolls that had been saved from the fire.
Click noticed that all the books referring to the Nine Gods had been burned.[GM: despite not being anle to read the language – he got a nat 20] Juma used Comprehend Languages to read a couple of books about Moa – it seems she is a Trickster Goddess but is “cursed” to always speak the truth. She is probably the cleverest of the 9 gods. All 9 gods are believed to have been killed by Ras Nsi – they apparently were weakened by rivalry among themselves and lured to a location by Nsi, then entombed. This happened shortly before Ras Nsi became “The Immortal One” and raised zombie hordes to overthrow the ancient Cities of Kesh.
At some point, after the Fall of the Cities, he lost control of the zombie hordes and they began to spread across the land.
Click manages to distract Brother Ge’Tembe (who really does not like them rummaging about in the books and scrolls) and Juma steals a scroll about Moa and Ariel steals a huge book (at random).
Ront seems interested in learning the Monk skills of fast running and endurance, but might not have the time or patience for their strange ordeals.
They get Lucretia out of jail and travel south to the Fort on war-zebras, summoned by Ariel. On the way they are ambushed by a few skeletons and a small band of zombies, but defeat them fairly easily with the help of Lucretia (Mortus Priests are specialised in fighting undead). There is some excitement as Ront goes into Battlerage again and struggles to get out of it. Ariel changes into a black bear and kills most of the skeletons. Juma kills a few with spells. Click and Grey and Ront and Lucretia finish off the rest. Ront and Ariel (Bear) clash while the battlerage is still on him, but fortunately he snaps out of it before attacking Lucretia.