Delenda Est

Delenda Est Gaiden: The Fall of Marcus Valerius, Part 1

(Advisory: This adventure represents a different group of players playing a “side story” within the Delenda Est campaign.)

Several months before Gaius Valerius, Wolverine, and comrades encountered Vrak Tiburkaern and defeated the fiendish dragon Szartharax in his lair, trouble brewed within the urban heart of the Turathi capital. Senator Marcus Valerius had recently uncovered the body of a trusted servant, clad in the ritual vestments of a sinister cult. With the steadfast cleverness that had brought him great success in the Senate, Marcus quickly learned of a new, strange cult from far to the east of Khaz Yeshwe. Knowing that his own people would not have betrayed him to some cult so easily, he assembled a small group of elite “problem-solvers” to discreetly investigate.

Lead by the noble Tiefling Warlord Derik Brutus Impervious, a small handful of legionaries and a few specialists set out to track the cult to its source and eliminate the threat. Joining Derik is Argyle Longhorn, a stalwart Minotaur Barbarian from the North, and Tichondrius Vorenus, a warrior in the Legion. Joining the group is a pair of former slaves, Aurelia and Enna, half-elf maidens who escaped a life of fighting in the Colosseum.

The group scoured the streets for clues, tracking down contacts, researching local history, and doing whatever they could to find the location of the cult within the city. Unfortunately, their efforts attract the attention of the cult; as they wander a back alley looking for information, a band of cultists attacks them! Luckily, the cultists were meager and fell quickly to the might of Derik and his group.

While searching through the aftermath of the battle, the mysterious elf maiden Enna finds a crude map showing the way to the center of the cults activities. After a brief discussion, the team decides that they would regroup with the rest of the legionaries assigned to them and head out for a direct assault on the cult’s base of operations.

The group quickly finds the small lodge that houses the fiendish cult that they sought. They quickly try to come up with a reasonable assault plan but Argyle Longhorn takes matters into his own hands and bashes through the front door. Inside, a group of robed cultists await them; Argyle lead the charge, yelling curses from his homeland as he mauls the nearest cultist. The battle goes quickly as the team and their legionary allies quickly best the cultists. As they near the leader, perched at the end of the room behind a pulpit, the situation gets out of hand.

The mysterious leader, a strange, dark-skinned half-elf, looked upon the group as they make quick work of the feeble cultists. As Argyle Longhorn and brave Tichondrius Vorenus surrounded the half-elf, he knows he must take drastic measures. “You fools! I will not be defeated so easily!”

The half-elf’s words become strange and muddled to all who hear him as he holds up a strange, crystal artifact. He looks across the room, his eyes darkening with magical power. Energy coursed through the room. NOTE “Remember me, warriors. It is I, your friend, Khaveen. You must aid me this day in vanquishing my foes.” Tichondrius, Enna, Derik, Argyle, and the Elven warrior maiden Aurelia looked, puzzled at his words. Before they could fathom the meaning of them, the soldiers that they had brought with them turned their weapons on the group!

The battle continued as the brave legionaries turned their weapons on their leader; Argyle and Tichondrius continued to press the attack, driving Khaveen the half-elf into a corner as the rest of the group fought off the very warriors that came with them. They fought and fought, finally subduing the legionaries and defeating Khaveen.

With Khaveen defeated, the heroes quickly searched about, trying to discover how this mere half-elf had such power to control the minds of men. Derik quickly destroyed the strange crystal that he held but not before noticing the strange flux of power leading off into the next room. The group, wary of what could be beyond the door, cautiously opened to see where the mysterious arcane energies flowed.

The room seemed to have been built as an office and personal space for the leader of the cult. The interesting part of the room was the man bound on the floor, a dark hood pulled over his head. They removed it only to discover a mysterious Deva, his eyes gazing deep into them.

“My friends. You have rescued me at least.”

“Friends?” asked Tichondrius. The heroes looked at each other, somewhat confused by his words.

“Yes, friends! You came to rescue me from this mad man. Obviously, you came here for that reason.”

Aurelia looked. “You mean Marcus Valerius, our lord? He sent us…” She paused. “… to find you?”

The strange Deva looked passionately at her. “Yes. Me. I am Ad Avis al Hasan. You came here to rescue me at the order of…”

“… Marcus Valerius,” finished Derik. “Yes. Your… our friend, Marcus, sent us to find you.”

“Wait!” Enna looked puzzled for a moment but then the understanding filled her. “Never mind that. I understand now. We came here…”

“… to rescue me, Ad Avis al Hasan,” the Deva finished. “And now, my friends, Ad Avis needs your help to recover something, an artifact of great power.”

Tichondrius looked puzzled. “But… I thought we were to bring you back to Lord Valerius?”

“Of course, my friend. However, we must first recover the artifact that he sent us all to get. This artifact will help me, help us, achieve our goals.” Ad Avis continued to stare at them, his mind slowly weaving its way through theirs. “First, we find the orb.”

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