The Plague of Issarea

Animus gets KO'ed

When we last left our heroes, Ajax and Tamar had left the party in search of food, when Ajax heard a scream in the distance. The two met up with Anthony and the group, and they all left in the direction of the noise to investigate. It appeared that some druids were in the process of what is known as “The Taking”, for a trapper and his family had failed to pay the requisite amount of tithes to Animus, and their children were being taken from them to be inducted into the Order of the Druids.

Needless to say, the party stopped them, with many of the druids and their spider conjurations slain, except one which disappeared into the forest. After a discussion with the trapper and his family, where the barbarians encouraged the family to follow them to the freedom of the barbarian lands, it was discovered that it was the day of a special festival in the Skyrtwood, one which dictated that all fires must be put out. The party quickly returned to Anthony, knowing that there would be trouble, because the requirements for the festival of Animus were in direct contradiction with the requirements for the festival of Logos, the Day of Mercy. No sooner did our heroes arrive when many druids, led by the Gatherer Xander Belchis, saw the fire and demanded that Anthony put it out. After a brief discussion, Xander decided to test the party with the Three Trials to see if Logos was stronger than Animus. For the first test, the Trial of Strength, Xander resurrected a small tree and made its wood supernaturally hard, and the party had three strokes to knock it down. Bakura first took a swing with her axe, but found little effect. Diarmand surprisingly then took a stab at the tree, having discerned a weak point in the magic protecting the tree, but his blade barely went in. Sven then aimed for the weak spot that Diarmand pointed out, and as he swung, his hammer magically turned into an axe and cut the tree like butter, to Xander’s shock. The second test, the Trial of Speed, involved the party being able to kill or incapacitate a hawk that would leave Xander’s hand before it could return to his hand, which Tamar did with jaw-dropping swiftness. The final Trial involved a riddle, which after some discussion, Seraph voiced the answer to: a Beholder. The scene ended with Xander’s faith being crushed, and the crowds clamoring for Logos.

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