Posted below are bulletpoint recaps of each session of the "Sins of the Father" storyline! These are here for the purpose of keeping all interested participants in the loop, as well as to provide a central location of reference for relevant details germane to the overall story arc!
Session #1 (8/24)
• Corven Xzavier Steele appeared at the Campus Commissary on this evening, while the other faculty present were having casual social time together.
• He entered the Commissary clutching a letter that had been addressed to him; Written by Maureen, who entrusted Lady Isbeth Steele to deliver it.
- It's later revealed that Xzavier is Isbeth's son! He refers to her respectfully, admitting that she raised and treated him well despite how she treats others.
• It was established in passing that the more senior members of the SWU faculty - such as Cani, Elvae and Lu - know Xzavier Steele and even trust him.
• It was further established in passing that it's been just over two years since any of the faculty have seen or even heard from Xzavier.
• Xzavier's long and sudden departure (over two years ago!) is believed to have coincided with the departure of another former SWU faculty member. He doesn't address this, even when briefly mentioned.
• When asked directly by Cani, Xzavier doesn't elaborate much further on where he's been all this time. At first, he doesn't seem to know how much time has elapsed in Azerothian terms since he'd last seen her.
• Upon seeing Cynnus, Xzavier appeared mildly fascinated to observe that she is Ren'dorei. Furthermore, that several are part of the faculty!
• To bring various others present up to speed, as well as begin discussion of the contents of Maureen's letter, her pregnancy is once more revealed.
- There is brief mention of a rumored Scarlet resurgence, although Xzavier promptly states that it's a matter for his Clan and kin, not the University.
• The revelation of Maureen's pregnancy leads to a stated notion of potential danger; One called "The Master" may covet the child for a perceived power.
• "The Master" is revealed to have done this before, attempting to wrest control and influence over various other members of Clan Steele over time.
- The Master's true identity is revealed as Xzavier's uncle, Lachlainn Steele.
-- He is revealed to be a patient, cunning and intricate schemer in his plans.
• Many of the faculty ventured their own guesses as to what The Master would want with a newborn baby. Xzavier finally answers; He desires "a potential God-King who will one day domineer and conquer Azeroth toward The Master's designs".
• Xzavier further explains that the child of Sevastien and Maureen possesses a great potential, given Sev's entirely unique biochemical qualities and genetics.
• Direct confrontation of The Master was the immediate response for the majority of the faculty.
- Maureen, however, rebuffs this notion outright and states that she is against murder in general, even given these stakes. She further acknowledges that The Master is a supremely powerful warlock but he's still "family"/a Steele.
-- Xzavier, on the other hand, proclaims that if the faculty can manage to slay The Master, they should make the attempt by all means. But adds that the aim is to thwart The Master's plans; "Anything else, would be truly a sight to see."
• It is revealed that agents believed to be in service of The Master once attempted to establish contact with Sevastien in the interest of converting him. - These attempts were foiled inadvertently, due to certain special protections that Cani enjoys combined with her constant vigil over him when he'd returned.
• A realization was made (first discovered by Cynnus) that this situation was the true impetus behind Cani's decision to move Maureen all around Azeroth for her "Bardic Education" research trips abroad.
• Xzavier alludes to the notion that in their past struggles against The Master, when his aims are more antagonistic than aligned, the Priestess Ravenoak (Ysildwen/Wennie/Auntie) has been instrumental in his defeat.
- He refers to this specifcally as "a battle of wills" between them.
• Xzavier takes a slight, momentary exception to a remark made in passing about the Steele family; "The impression of my Clan and kin to be deceptively vague is an incorrect one. In all matters that necessitate it, this especially and included, the full truth and exposure are greatly significant."
• Maureen inquires on the notion that The Master has attempted something like this situation before.
- "Of our own bloodline, there have been four in all. First... your mentor, Evandre Steele. The Master predicted this through premonition and prophecy while he thrived in his mother's womb. Much like your child now."
-- "Second, when the Priestess Ravenoak denied him Evandre, he later took Mother under his... guidance. She became pregnant with me, which angered him beyond consolation. It forced Mother to quit her studies, as the Fel was actively killing her internally. Killing me. But... she stopped in time enough that I had only been infected by it."
--- "And so, upon my birth... I became the third. Clearly, I have long been free of his thrall and corruptive influence."
---- "And as for the fourth apparent God-King of Pandæmonia. He secretly endeavored to take Sevastien. He... fears him, I sense. Yet, I cannot discern why even now. Perhaps he sought to yoke this power, lest it be turned on him."
• When questioned as to what kept Sevastien so quietly yet well-protected from The Master's grasp, Xzavier responded that Sev had been always surrounded by those who cared for him. There were attempts, though none successful.
- Xzavier further elaborates that The Master "is especially repelled by Cani's presence. I theorize that it's her good, pure heart. She is incorruptible. At least, it seems that way."
-- "As I mentioned before, there seems to be a certain... fear, and I do use that word almost incredulously. But, a confrontation did once occur, and Sevastien turned him down. He... doesn't remember it, however."
--- "The Master's true presence manifested of his anger at the refusal. The exposure overloaded Sevastien with such an incredible amount of Demonic force and energies, that it was almost too much for the boy. He appears to possess some manner of essence absorption capability, is that so? The Legion's doing, naturally..." - Xzavier
• Conversation briefly focused on the notion that Sevastien possesses a great many talents, powers and abilities as a result of being kidnapped by the Legion and experimented on for their twisted ends. Many of these traits have yet to be fully assessed or with a suspicion of more to be discovered!
- Most prominently, knowledge of Sevastien's capability for ænima absorption from local sources (Void, Nature, Arcane, Elemental, Weatherwitchery, etc.) and the power to utilize/weaponize it to some degree.
-- Sev is also known to be capable of releasing an airborne pheromone which primarily possesses "highly aphrodisiac" qualities.
--- "Interesting! They wouldn't work on you (Caniell)! The Legion intended for them to be powerful enough to seduce and enthrall an Illidari to his will. Regardless of gender." - Xzavier
• The Master's ultimate plan is revealed:
- "Well, there is the aspiration for not destroying this world and annihilating it's inhabitants, but rather molding and domineering it into his image of what it should be. In his image, Azeroth would neither bend nor buckle to the immense cosmic forces that exist *out there*. Not even the Dark Titan and his Burning Legion. Although they were vaniquished in a much different way." - Xzavier
• Of The Master's power:
- "Fel is not the only power at his command. Shadow and flame bend to his will, and even the Void does not escape his influence if he so wills it." - Xzavier
• It is revealed that The Master has been a source of corruption influence to many, including some of his own kin. Isbeth Steele is chief among his victims.
- "She doesn't particularly enjoy speaking of him, or the time she spent under his corruptive influence. It takes her to a place that I believe even she does not want to tread."
-- "I know this may be difficult for you, for any of you, to believe. But Mother was once a promising acolyte at the Cathedral of the Light. A Priestess, virtuous and pure, who wanted nothing more than to make her mother and grandfather proud, even if she never received her Calling. Paladins of the Holy Light."
• The latter statement suddenly resonated with Alice, who pondered aloud as to whether this held significance to Isbeth's prior obsession with Jessica.
• A revelation was made in regard to the student attacks which took places months ago, as well as why they suddenly ceased without further incident. Few faculty were aware of the truth behind it, though many more were not.
• Despite the sudden (and understandable!) consternation stirred within the faculty, Xzavier reveals that Isbeth had been allowed back on campus only to serve in a clandestine guardianship capacity for Maureen's benefit.
- "The young half-elf citizen (Grinthey Skystrider), everything involved with her and Mother's sponsorship of her tuition. All of that. It's genuine. But it's a convenient cover which even your Dean could not so readily reveal." - Xzavier
-- "...The citizen? As I said, that was a sincere effort. She knows nothing, her family knows nothing. It is all legitimate, but also a part of the ruse. It had to be that way, else his agents could've easily gotten to them." - Xzavier
--- "She (Isbeth) was right here and able to intervene, should The Master have come himself to claim Maureen or her unborn child. Would any of you have suspected somebody otherwise so reviled to be part of such a plan?" - Xzavier
---- "No. The Master would've known, easily seen through the ruse, had you employed somebody such as Cani or Declain to this end. Or any of our other Clan and kin for that matter." - Xzavier
• The faculty spends a considerable amount of time discussing potential merits and drawbacks, when considering Isbeth's past misdeeds against what usefulness she may provide with a shared adversary (The Master).
- Xzavier remains stoically silent, even as talk of possibly killing Isbeth - his mother - out of a notion of retribution and protection.
-- "Mother likely deserves all of this and more. Even I, as her son, cannot deny this." - Xzavier
• Begrudgingly, Elvae voiced his tenuous support for trusting Lady Isbeth Steele. He admitted an initial mistrust for the Priestess Ravenoak as well (Ysildwen / Wennie / Auntie) but stated that he was wrong, and hopes his mind will also be similarly changed about Isbeth's motives in time.
- " I never said to like her (Isbeth), Vela. I said to have faith. The two are not mutually exclusive." - Elvae
• The meeting adjourns soon afterward, with some questions answered though even more questions having been raised. In an effort to help allay some of the faculty's concerns about Isbeth's presence on campus, Xzavier offers to Cani that he'll remain close at hand. She gladly agrees and accepts.
Last edited by Amaranthaea on 2020-09-27 3:05 pm; edited 2 times in total
Session #2 (9/13)
• The session opened with a brief explanation from Dean Crowelley, provided over the ChatStone. She explained that Professor Declain Steele and Head Librarian Silloria Seagray were being entrusted with providing further context.
• Declain and Silloria explained that the purpose behind the meeting was to examine further information regarding threat of a potential infiltration by agents from a cult called "Tenebras Dominium".
- Tenebras Dominium is a fairly new cult which is reputed to be a group dedicated solely to The Master's aims and goals.
• Declain reports that in the time since the faculty's congregation with Xzavier Steele, new information had come to light which needed to be shared.
- "Xzavier spent the last couple of weeks investigating our campus in phases. First, aside from all of us, he was here alone for the most part. Dean Crowelley granted him free reign and run of the mill of the entire campus. Any ordinarily restricted access areas still required permission and supervision, of course, but we wanted this job done thoroughly."
-- "Secondly, he was among the First-Year students when they moved one week ago. And third, this past week, when all of the returning upperclassmen were permitted to move back into campus residency."
--- "Xzavier scoured the entire campus from top to bottom. He inspected our wards and protections, many of which some of you present are responsible for."
---- "Xzavier's determination at the conclusion his weeks long investigation is that we haven't been compromised. Not yet." - Declain
• Declain then explained that all of the SWU faculty and staff have been thus far cleared, with the exception of an aforementioned x-factor introduced recently into the campus: The student body!
• Xzavier did the best he could to investigate as many of the incoming students as possible, but they were too numerous in the end. Declain, as a retired Detective First Class, and Silloria, as the Head Librarian also in charge of the Campus Bookstore were enlisted to make note of any irregularities.
• Declain and Silloria's efforts, combined with Xzavier's, allowed for them to narrow down the list of "suspects" to FIVE students. These students would be interviewed by the SWU faculty, in order to help deduce the culprit's identity.
• The students were told that they'd been selected at random to answer some survey questions about Campus Life, as a cover story. This was done so as not to possibly alert the infiltrator to their imminent discovery and capture.
• Before the student interviews began, Elvae inquired about The Master's true allegiances. Declain answers that The Master's allegiances are purely to himself and his desire to conquer and subjugate Azeroth to his own designs.
- Elvae follows up to discover that The Master is not, and has never been, in league with the Dark Titan Sargeras or his Burning Legion.
-- Declain elaborates further that The Master has historically always opposed the Legion, as their plans for annihilation and assimilation run counter to his own plans for the people of Azeroth.
• After some further deliberation among the faculty, it's finally agreed upon to begin interviewing the students!
- "We have reason to believe that among these painstakingly handpicked students, one... possibly even two of them may have either been compromised by the Tenebras Dominum. Or may in fact be agents themselves." - Declain
• The first student walks in; The following profile was provided through IC means:
Black Hair & Fur
Mister Nightblossom is a new student to the Fine Arts department. So far, he seems to largely keep to himself, not making much in the way of friends. He spends a significant part of his days in his dorm room, and his roommate, a fellow first year, this one from Fel Arts, has made comments to friends about his strange roommate and some of his odder behaviors. This roommate has also reported a few nights when Mr. Nightblossom did not return to their dorm room at all, not seeing him at all until the next morning. The young pandaren shrugged off any questions, claiming it was no one else’s business what he’d been doing.
Mister Nightblossom’s recent behaviors include frequent visits to the poetry section of the library, getting his food “to go” from the commissary to take to his dorm, and quiet people watching, when he does elect to leave his space. He’s usually carrying a solid black book with him, wherever he goes.
• Result: Despite a few questionable responses to the faculty's questions, they deduce that Sunghyon Nightblossom working for the cult is highly unlikely!
• The second student is then summoned forth:
Half Sin'dorei, Half Human
Miss Lightgale is a Law student in her final year at Stormwind University. Known largely in the department for being quite bitter about Miss Lionella Surgen’s success in their various courses together. In fact, though it is hard to trace such rumors back to the source, it is believed that Miss Lightgale was the source of many attempts to discredit Miss Surgen’s work. This all being said, her coursework is generally remarkable and she is rather studious overall. She volunteered to assist Silloria in the campus library for the term, although Silloria has expressed her concern over the girl’s continued interest in the library basement, despite being repeatedly told she was not allowed in over the last week.
Miss Lightgale’s recent behaviors include volunteering in the school library, starting a study group for upperclassmen, and making oddly frequent visits to the engineering department. She is not particularly disliked, but one could not say she’s very popular after several years of rumors and gossip. In addition to all this, she’s been seen slipping out to the campus docks after curfew, this last week.
• Result: After providing mostly curt, impolite and arrogant responses to the faculty's questions, they discover that Trisha Lightgale had been bribed into working for an agent of Tenebras Dominium.
- An insignia resembling a light moon being overtaken by a black moon was found in Trisha's purse. It was a communicator, meant to be used to aid the cultist infiltrator in gathering information and general espionage on campus!
-- Trisha was taken away by Campus Security to be detained for further questioning.
• The third student is then summoned forth:
Half Kaldorei, Half Gnome
Miss Skystrider is a freshman student, and a citizen of Steelhaven with intense loyalty to her nobility, as she has demonstrated countless times. As she returned from her weekend visit from Steelhaven a few weeks ago, now, one of the fel arts students reported a concern, for they had sensed fel energy coming from her direction. This was followed up on by a member of the Fel Arts department more discreetly, while the girl was practicing her archery. However, this staff member detected no such energies from the young half-elf, and the issue was dropped.
Her recent behaviors have included incredibly frequent visits to the campus commissary, daily archery practice, and spending ample time with Lady Isbeth Steele, her sponsor. In addition, Grinthey seems to be visiting Professor Goodwin’s office once or twice a week for some unknown reason. The girl seems well-liked among the majority of staff and students, and talks of home and her family often.
• Result: Much of the faculty felt rather incredulous; They know Grinthey and strongly doubt she would have anything to do with cultists or espionage! They still asked questions, counting on her loyalties to the Lordship of Steelehaven for honest answers.
- Grinthey spoke highly of Lady Isbeth Steele, her sponsor for becoming a student, and has indicated that she is being treated very well by her.
-- Grinthey has not been privy to anything suspect or out of the ordinary, and has not made any unusual friends to speak of.
--- Grinthey was shown the cult insignia; She had no idea what it was, but it was explained to her. She's vowed to report if she sees the sigil on campus.
• Following Grinthey's interview, it was agreed upon that the remaining two interviews would be conducted on another evening, as the hour had grown increasingly late.
Session #3 (9/15)
• This session began with a brief recap of the previous sessions, for the benefit of two new faculty [Athlis and Nerinth] who decided to attend this meeting.
• Elvae inquired about Trisha Lightgale; Declain reports that he's placed some of the Criminal Justice student interns on this investigation.
- The interns are going through Trisha's finances with a fine-tooth comb and investigating the various contacts she'd made since moving back to campus.
-- Nothing has turned up so far to indicate that Trisha Lightgale was anything more than a pawn in whatever scheme the Tenebras Dominium was attempting to put into action campus-wide.
--- Persistent monitoring of the communicator device found on Trisha Lightgale was fruitless; The alleged cultist infiltrator hadn't attempted any contact at all.
• Further covert monitoring of Sunghyon Nightblossom hasn't turned up any new information, although he still hasn't been entirely ruled out as a suspect.
• Grinthey Skystrider hadn't been under heavy suspicion. Cani confessed that she did suspect Grinthey, but "never suspected any malice behind it".
• The fourth student was then summoned forth:
Human (Kul’ Tiran)
Ashy Brown Hair
Miss Barclay is a new student, studying herbalism and alchemy, and also working towards a major in the Fel Arts. She’s signed up for classes with both Professor Voidstar and Professor Keshina. She’s become a bit of a shadow for Caniell Lyca, and even to Dean Crowelley, on occasion, wide eyed and curious about their knowledge on various plants due to their druidic inclinations. Her nose is constantly in a book, swapping one out practically every day for the last two weeks. Mostly quiet and reserved, she actually yelled at another student in the library for dog-earring their book’s pages. Embarrassed at her outburst, she quickly fled the area, and the stares of other students.
Miss Barclay’s recent activities include heavy reading, supervised practice in the herbalism & alchemy building, and late night strolls just before curfew. She always returns to her dorm in time, however. Silloria has noticed that, among her books on plants & potions, there’s a trend of horror stories being popular with this student.
• Result: Lyndsey Barclay was mostly pleasant and somewhat passive during her interview. She answered the faculty's questions patiently and cooperated fully. The faculty didn't express any particular suspicions about Miss Barclay.
• The fifth and final student was then summoned forth:
Mister Rockmore is a transfer Blacksmithing & Engineering student from Ironforge Tech. Thus, despite being in his sophomore year, this is his first semester at Stormwind University. He’s been a fairly approachable, friendly fellow, so far. Despite the semester having not truly begun, he’s made a habit of bringing rough blueprints and ideas to Professor Declain Steele and his apprentice, Miss Surgen. He’s got quite the appetite, seeming to visit the commissary fairly often. He’s still in the process of getting his things moved from Ironforge to his dorm in Marris Hall, much to his frustration.
Mister Rockmore’s recent behaviors include hanging out with his older cousin in the Fel Arts department and her friends, stocking up on snacks at the commissary, and semi-frequent trips to the library. However, it should be noted that despite these frequent trips, Silloria does not have a single record of Mister Rockmore checking any books out. He usually comes to the library, peruses the shelves, chats with the volunteer students, and leaves.
• Result: Thrain Rockmore held to an almost typical Dwarf's demeanor; gruff but jovial. He readily had an answer to every question the faculty posed, although suspicions had been raised greatly once Athlis dropped the false name of a professor at Ironforge Tech into one of his questions.
- Several of the faculty subtly moved into position to block the Commissary exit and the stairway leading up to the Faculty Residence Hall.
-- Declain offered to allow Thrain to leave once he'd answered one final question: He presented Thrain with the insignia/communicator and asked if he recognized it or knew what it was.
--- Thrain denied ever seeing the communicator before and claimed to not know what it's function is. He scoffed at the notion but dropped his audible glamour accidentally, making an agitated roar then an alarmed snarl upon realizing it!
• Thrain's eyes filled with a hellish orange flare which then permeated throughout his entire body, bathed and enrobed in the flames! He makes his escape by melding into the hearthfires nearby and gusting up through the Commissary's chimney!
• The alarmed shouts of the Security Detail posted outside is heard, followed instantly by a WHOOSH like a sonic boom overhead.
• Following the sound, the faculty rush from the Campus Commissary toward the Magical Arts & Sciences building.
• Upon entering the building, the faculty encounters Ysuria, the Quel'dorei portal magistrix, and ask if she's seen any suspicious entities come through.
- Ysuria responds that no such presence has entered through the building's front door or the portal room, but there was a sudden conflagration which struck the Mage Tower above.
• Without further delay, the faculty rushes all the way up through the building and into the Mage Tower!
- The faculty doesn't find any trace of the flame entity. At first they believe that it somehow phased through the windows in order to escape, but Silloria points out that they're all heavily warded against all manner of magic.
-- The faculty observes that one of the stained glass windows is scorched and practically melted within the pane! But it isn't blown through. Something extremely hot didn't fly THROUGH the window, but PAST it mid-flight!
• A passive transmission is heard over the ChatStone; It's Sevastien! From the sounds of it, he'd managed to pursue the flame entity and corner it near the Blacksmithing & Engineering department building, and identified it as a demon.
• The faculty then rushes to the next location, weapons at the ready! They first attempt communicating with the demon (Elvae; unsuccessful). Next, attempts are made (Elvae, Keshi; unsuccessful) to subdue/contain the demon.
• With no other alternative, the faculty decide to engage the demon in combat! Before a single blow can be struck, Athlis makes a last ditch effort to contain the demon (success, Natural 20 roll) within a pocket dimension typically reserved for his wolf companion, Catori.
• After some deliberation among the faculty, it's decided that the demon should be released into Elvae's custody. Arrangements are made to deposit the demon into a containment cell located in the basement of Elvae's home.
- Interrogation is the stated plan of action among the faculty, once the question of containment had been resolved.
Session #3.5 (9/23)
• The session began in the basement of Professor Elvae Windcrush's home in nearby Elwynn Forest. Only Professors Windcrush, Keshina and Athlis were in attendance, joined by Xzavier Steele, to carry out the demon's interrogation.
• Elvae sets the stage:
The cell was made of black metal, inscribed with bright green runes, that ebbed with energy. Each bar was as thick around as a small tree, and the cage was nearly twelve feet tall. It was a square cage, about six foot by six foot, and each side was accompanied by the same thick bars, save for the back, as the cage was set into the stone wall. The wall, as well, had the same runes littered across it, written meticulously. Chains ran from circular pegs fused into the stone wall, and ran down to the demon's ankles, wrists, and neck. These chains, too, were inscribed with runes, though they weren't glowing. Not yet. Several levers sat to the left of the door to the cell, each inscribed with other runes, though, they were more labels, for anyone that could read Eredun. The demon himself looked a little rough. Where the chains met his flesh was slightly raw, as if not only had he been pulling at them, but perhaps the chains themselves had been pulling at him, or the chains were otherwise used to hurt him. Next to the levers, is an old, wrinkled, dusty black bag, with several. . . "tools", poking out of it.
• Elvae and Keshina begin sizing up the demon, presumably planning their next step in the process. Xzavier and Athlis made introductions, having not formally met prior to this occasion.
- Elvae admits that he'd worked the demon over a little before the interrogation was due to begin. He "needed to see if the chains could still conduct".
• Just when the interrogation was about to be underway, Professor Maureen Goodwin sounded over a private ChatStone transmission to announce her presence.
• Maureen was outside Elvae's basement door and demanded to be allowed inside! She admits to picking the lock of Elvae's front door to gain entry to the house, but had been unable to bypass the basement door.
• Despite Elvae's warnings, Maureen is insistent upon being permitted to observe the interrogation process. She wants to know precisely what possible danger she and her baby might potentially face.
• The demon immediately set about snarling and posturing at Keshina, then Elvae. It delivered vicious taunts and questioned their stomachs for the torture they'd need to inflict for even a slim chance at forcing it to talk.
• Keshina began by drawing her blade and bathing the demon in a searing light! Maureen protested, stating that they'll be unable to get answers if Keshi slays the demon and sends it back to the Twisting Nether so quickly.
• Xzavier also expressed concern to Maureen for her presence, but defers to her stubbornness. He states that he is pledged to her service in this matter and will aid the others in protecting her, should the interrogation go south.
- Xzavier also reveals that he had been given access to each of the three incident sites (as referenced in #rumor-mill) for investigation. Such was the reason for the sudden student curfew last Thursday to Saturday evenings.
• Keshina stated that she has no intention to slay the demon so soon. Rather, she fully intends to make it suffer as much as necessary to force the demon to answer their questions.
• The demon had suddenly been drawn to Maureen's presence, calling her "the vessel". Maureen removed her gloves and called upon her Void in response.
• The demon laughed at their posturing once the excruciating pain of the Light summoned by Keshina had faded. It challenged them to release it from the bonds of imprisonment and engage in honorable, glorious combat.
- Naturally, this request is ignored and the demon remains bound and shackled.
• Keshina sends more surging bolts of Light through the demon's body! This time, Maureen unleashes her Void in whip-like tendrils through the bars of the containment cage. The demon withstands it, but seems to weaken a little.
• The demon resorts to taunts again, this time adding a foreboding threat:
- "While you fools waste your time on me, you leave your grounds defenseless. So many of those young souls, ripe for the harvest!"
-- "Oh, I know much of your.... security team, your faculty! All of those innocent lambs who trust in you, and you grant them false security. You are the liars!"
• Keshina seems to find a way to reach the demon, even if only somewhat:
- "The Pain ends sooner. And when we're done with you....we MIGHT kill you and send you back to whatever hell you came from...Or will bind you to a gem and throw you into the deepest, darkest part of the sea, never to be seen again."
• The demon expresses a strong preference for death over the betrayal of it's master. Sealing it away within a gemstone will prevent it from reforming in the Twisting Nether until it's fit to return once again!
• Keshi and Maureen decide to allow for Elvae to take over the interrogation at this point. He decides to enter the cage with the demon, with his bag of "tools". Keshi is reluctant at first to leave Elvae alone with the demon inside the cage.
• Elvae uses a spike from his toolbag to attempt intimidation of the demon. He asks the demon's name, which is immediately rebuffed. Names possess power, the demon tells Elvae, and revealing it would be unwise.
• While Elvae is interrogating the demon, Athlis had been attempting to discover any magical effects connected or related to the demon's presence. He sees that the demon isn't manifest of it's own volition; it's been summoned and bound!
• Based upon this information, Athlis then attempts to trace the source of the demonic energies used to summon the demon. He divines the presence of the demon's "owner", but there is countermagic at work, dulling Athlis' sense of this.
• Athlis then attempts (successfully) to imbue a pocket mirror with the signature of the magic he'd been detecting. However, the signature will eventually fade with time until it's dissipated completely.
• Upon further examination, Athlis discovers that the source of the demon's magic is pulsing northeast of their location. He sees Royal Blue and Gold, waving in a gentle breeze aloft a proud banner. The University!
• The demon continues to lie when questioned, claiming that it had been tasked with spying on and infiltrating the University after a student had hubris enough to summon it without the ability to bind it as well.
- The demon claimed this took place at the University's Fel Arts department and that it murdered the student that summoned it, as well as others who saw it.
-- The demon further claimed to have remained at the University to spy in case the professors held wisdom vital to "the Burning Remnants" or if the University's campus grounds held any strategic value. It stated that neither was the case!
• The group isn't buying the demon's lies, as several inconsistencies and contradictions are pointed out by Maureen over ChatStone.
• The demon attempted to appeal to Maureen's vanity. Once again referring to her as a "vessel" and promising to "see [her] made a bloody Baronet of this world" if she'd release it from Elvae's bonds.
• Athlis finally revealed his earlier determinations to the group via ChatStone; The true threat to the University, the faculty and students, and possibly even Maureen and her baby, is still somewhere on or around campus!
• Keshina once again passively remarks that since the demon is of no use to them, it must be bound and sealed away into a gemstone and cast into the bottom of the sea. The demon once again challenges Keshi, this time met with Elvae's fist being rammed into it's face.
• "Free me..." the demon once again appealed to Maureen. "Free me, vessel... Claim your ascent! Grant the coming God-King... or Queen, it's birthright."
• Keshina continues to press her psychological threats while Elvae continues to employ more physical means. Maureen alludes to Xzavier's high esteem as a tremendously powerful warlock who can easily carry out Keshi's plan.
• There is deliberation over ChatStone then; It's clear that the demon will do anything to not be bound and sealed away inside a gemstone.
- Maureen took exception to the notion of getting answers from the demon under promise of a swift, clean death (releasing it back to the Nether), but instead binding it anyway.
-- Elvae and Keshina both argue that as a demon, honoring one's word is meaningless and unnecessary. Both remember Argus in this moment.
• Ultimately, Maureen suggests that Keshi employ her Zone of Truth spell! It is unanimously agreed upon that this is the best course of action at this point.
• The demon nevertheless attempts lying by omission and vagueness. The Zone of Truth's magic still interprets this as lying; The demon is subject to debilitating and agonizing pain as a consequence!
• The demon seemed unwilling (or maybe unable) to withstand any further punishment from the Zone of Truth. It would no longer lie, although it seemed to be more out of compulsion than a genuine desire to finally speak in truths.
• The demon attempted once more to appeal to Maureen's mercy and compassion for even a wretched, vile creature such as this. She commanded it to provide the answers they seek, and she will see it released.
• The name of the demon's handler is revealed to be Gidrul Grimspine. He is a high-ranking lieutenant in the Tenebras Dominium cult and a warlock of some renown. Finally, the demon's true name is revealed to be Az'gomon.
• Maureen raises objections once again to the continued harsh treatment of Az'gomon, now that it has been rendered unable to lie to them. She feels that even a demon could be spared cruelty and malice. The others disagree.
• Az'gomon revealed that Gidrul Grimspine summoned it to the campus once he'd discovered the plan to interview several students under suspicion of being the infiltrator.
• Gidrul had already assimilated into campus life as Thrain Rockmore. In an effort to avoid any arousal of suspicion, Gidrul summoned Az'gomon then glamoured it to assume Thrain's identity and appear at the interview as a decoy.
• Az'gomon confirms that Gidrul Grimspine is still somewhere on the campus, still intent on carrying out the mission he'd been charged with by the Tenebras Dominium. Az'gomon adds (truthfully) that he wasn't made privy to it by Gidrul.
• After some continued deliberation, the group ultimately decides to honor their agreement with Az'gomon and grant him a clean death.
- Keshina opts to carry out the deed, vowing to Az'gomon that if they ever meet again, the demon will be bound and sealed away for all eternity.
-- Az'gomon looked to Keshi impassively. It flourished it's head slowly around as if to allude to her Zone of Truth spell. A vicious grin spread across it's disgusting maw. "That is a pact we cannot amend, Vindicator. I am compelled to truth right now. Remember?"
• Keshi responded with a restatement of her vow. She then summoned a colossal bolt of holy light to wholly incinerate Az'gomon and send his demonic soul screaming and hurtling back to the Twisting Nether.
- Az'gomon barely managed to bellow a malicious cackle before Keshi summarily vanquished it from Azeroth's Prime Material Plane. With a cloud of acrid smoke and a whiff of brimstone, Az'gomon dissipated into nothingness and was simply no longer there, blasted from existence. The cage was empty and the restraints which bound it clanked unceremoniously to the stone floor.
• Once all was said and done, Maureen remained mildly cross with the situation as a whole and how her colleagues handled it, to some degree. She urgently left Elvae's home, followed closely by Xzavier out of silent but evident concern for her.
- Through idle conversation outside, it's determined that rather than take Maureen home, he instead decided to accompany her into Duskwood. Specifically, to visit Twilight Grove and its perpetual Keeper!
Last edited by Amaranthaea on 2020-09-27 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
Session #4 (9/27 & 9/28)
• The session opens at the University Library, where the faculty are deliberating amongst themselves about recent relevant events while awaiting Xzavier.
• Upon Xzavier's arrival, he wastes no time in revealing to the faculty that he's managed to gather more information on the Tenebras Dominum's infiltrating cultist, Gidrul Grimspine.
- Xzavier has managed to not only discover Gidrul's location, but also the cultist's mission objective on the Stormwind University campus!
-- "And he is here on the University campus because he has reason to believe that you are all in possession of what he desires... That object is a fist-sized gemstome of priceless value. It is the final piece to a whole which the Tenebras Dominum is desperately seeking to complete." - Xzavier
• Xzavier offers that while Gidrul Grimspine has not been seen on or around the campus ever since the "student interviews", the cultist hasn't fled.
- Cani immediately deduces that Gidrul may have somehow discerned the Library Basement is a likely location for the University to store powerful relics and objects that are best left sealed away. She surmises that if this is the case, the basement may have eaten Gidrul by now.
• "When the Archaeology Department's find at Korladun were all unpacked and classified, this gemstone was among them. It seems that a 'Doctor Angelina Croft' had set it aside for further assessment and identification. But a colleague of hers, a 'Doctor Harrison Jones' proclaimed that it foretold of some horrific doom or another, then took it upon himself to cast it into the Basement down below. ...He wasn't wrong. Necessarily." - Xzavier
• Xzavier then reveals that in preparation for this, Dean Crowelley agreed to allow Silloria to deactivate the wards down below in the Library Basement.
• Destroying the gemstone had been suggested, primarily by Erica. It is revealed that doing so may not even be possible due to the tremendous concentration of power contained within. Furthermore, the gemstone contains a large portion of The Master's soul essence and power. The results of its destruction could be catastrophic!
• Silloria then began to describe the chaotic, erratic and sometimes even temperamental nature of the Library Basement to the other faculty.
- As Head Librarian, Silloria has been entrusted with certainly highly sensitive information regarding the Library Basement, how to properly navigate it to some degree and reduce the amount of random probability and chance involved in doing so.
-- "As some of you aware, and as it's been alluded to tonight, the library basement is... no ordinary place. For some reason, which has yet to be explained to me, the entire place in enchanted. Cursed, in my eyes, when you think on it. An example, if you will indulge me: Late last year, Caniell went down into the basement on her own and was gone for... was it a week, or so? Less? It is unimportant. What DOES matter, however is this: a fel arts professor of ours sent down their imps, one at a time on different days, to find Cani and potentially draw a map. And as each imp returned with their maps, this professor found out something they were not privy to: none of them were the same." - Silloria
--- " ...according to what Amara told me upon joining the staff, in here, specifically, the basement is a sort of perfect storm. It exists as a series of junction points spread throughout Time and Space. The level of residual magic and and spiritual essences left behind here after the Razing of Stormwind... it did something very peculiar, indeed. Apparently, Dwarven excavators that had been contracted to continue expansion of the basement to accomodate more space. But miners and tools vanished, out of nowhere, at random. ...you must all be aware that, when we go in tonight, this is no light task. Follow the paths the basement gives you, and do not try to stray, as you'll be risking becoming trapped in the extra-dimensional space... and if you do, we may not be able to recover you so easily. Even with an expert on Time and Space on our side, it is no easy feat." - Silloria
• Xzavier informs the faculty that due to prior experience and handling of the gemstone, he has been able to match the precise magical signature of the object and synchronize it with the unique Fel signature given off by Gidrul Grimspine.
- This effort will allow the group to significantly increase their chances of entering the same "phase" of the Library Basement as Gidrul and the gemstone's location!
-- It would similarly significantly reduce the group's chances of not finding their way back once their task was completed.
• Before the faculty enter the Library Basement, Xzavier offers everyone present the opportunity to back out if they feel unsure of the decision to enter the Library Basement. Everyone decides to press onward!
• Upon entering the Library Basement, there is some conjecture among the faculty about it's appearance and once again reminders from Cani and Silloria about what they are seeing versus what form the basement entrance is actually taking!
• The faculty decides to press onward, soon after coming to a terrace leading "outside" briefly and toward an ascending stairway.
- Before they can progress beyond the terrace, a magical barrier is erected before the stairway and an apparition appears before them and begins to speak.
-- The apparition is later identified (by Cani) to be none other than Stormwind University's founder and first ever Headmaster, Dean Alonis Marris!
--- Dean Marris comes across as rather jovial and amiable toward the faculty once he recognizes their association with the University. He explains to them "the rules" set forth by "the Powers That Be" which govern the Library Basement. He then strongly advises the faculty to remain ever mindful of the rules as they navigate further.
---- As per "the rules", Dean Marris further explains that he must bestow a riddle, puzzle or question upon the faculty before allowing them to proceed any further. This will be done at intervals throughout their travels, and he will not be the only one performing this duty!
----- This time, Cani has correctly answered Dean Alonis Marris' waygate question before he'd even managed to ask it! He expresses pleasant surprise at this and lifts the magical barrier, allowing the faculty passage to the next leg of their journey.
• During the faculty's exchange with Dean Marris, Vela was flung suddenly through the doorway, tumbling and huffing angrily! She joined the group for the remainder of their journey through the Library Basement.
• As the faculty proceed onward and pass through the ensuing hallways and corridors lain before them, many interesting marvels and finds of the past are observed and witnessed. Most notably of which was an enormous statue of Titanic design which looked largely unblemished by time or use.
• "Proceed now to the Hall of Wisdom!" - A resounding voice, echoing through the hall.
- As the faculty approached their next challenge, they noticed four statues - The Owls, symbols of wisdom and vigilance - open their eyes and acknowledge their presence.
-- "Trespassers...? No. No, you are University professors, are you not? VERY WELL! A challenge of intellectual proportions, then?" - The Owl Statues, in unison.
--- A colossal magical barrier materialized at the far end of the Hall of Wisdom; the same as the one erected earlier by Dean Alonis Marris. The Owls' eyes radiated brightly with a fel-green light; while never stated, it's implicit that the Owls possess the ability to incinerate offenders who choose to break the rules of the Library Basement.
---- The Owls then proceed to pose one riddle each to the faculty; they answer correctly each time and on the first attempt! The magical barrier dissipates, allowing the faculty to delve further and deeper into the Library Basement.
----- "Alonis has placed his faith in his incumbents. So too shall we. Go on, then. Proceed and continue your mission!" - The Owl Statues, in unison.
• "Welcome to the Clandestine Conclave! And who might you be, traversing this wing of the basement, hmmm...?" - A Voice, sounding throughout a grand library
• The voice's identity is that of a ghostly figure named Wravien. Wravien and his two fellow cohabitants of this wing, Gradav and Kamsis, reveal that they must each present a riddle to the faculty in observance of "the rules".
• Silloria appears to know all three of the magi apparitions and speaks in familiar tones with them. By context, it's revealed that Wravien, Gradav and Kamsis all at individual periods of time once held the title of Head Librarian; custodians of the University Library and all its mysteries and secrets, as Silloria is at present day.
• The faculty solves Wravien and Gradav's riddles with relative ease. Silloria manages to "call in a favor" to Persuade (successful skill check) Kamsis to allow the group to bypass her test. Kamsis raises the magical barrier and bids the faculty to proceed.
• The faculty once again encounters Dean Alonis Marris! This time, he entreats the group with a couple of questions pertaining to University lore and history.
- Once again, Cani pulls through for her colleagues, answering both questions correctly each time on the first attempt!
• In the midst of their exchange, Alonis Marris appears to be momentarily distracted and even mildly disturbed by something taking place elsewhere on this same "phase" of the Library Basement.
- He doesn't elaborate, but mentions in passing: "...Yes. I believe haste would be prudent. Those nasty troublemakers..."
• After the next magical barrier is lifted by Alonis Marris, the faculty is then able to proceed toward the inner sancti of the master libraries. The entire area is treacherous however, completely devoid of walls in places and surrounded by long, unfathomable drops and swirling pockets of shifting space and time.
• Heightened sensitivity to Fel energies and demonic presences (successful Intuition check, natural 20) allows Keshina to locate a false bookshelf which opens up to reveal a hidden corridor!
• "As you all enter this secret passageway, a rousing hum of ritual chanting can be heard. The clang of finger cymbals rhythmically follows the chanting as though setting a beat. A feminine, unearthly voice is heard. The language is recognizeable to those among the group who can comprehend Eredun!"
- "It appears that somehow, cultists - presumably those belonging to the Tenebras Dominum - have made their way inside of the University Library and nested themselves in this hidden corridor for a ritual or Black Mass."
-- Utilizing a fel crystal attuned to The Master's precious gemstone, Xzavier is able to determine for the group that cultists seem to have it in their possession!
• Presented with this information, the group decides that they have no choice but to engage the cultists and retrieve the gemstone by any means necessary!
- The group decides on a more stealthy approach at first, sending Sidda and Silloria to stealthily perform a reconnaissance.
-- Both successfully (skill checks for Stealth, passed!) edge around the corner of the corridor to spy on the cultists then manage to successfully (skill checks for Stealth, passed again!) return to the group and report their findings.
--- The contingent of cultists within number at twenty-one; twelve of which are unarmed celebrants, eight are armed forces to varying degrees, with one Man'ari priestess acting as lieutenant and leading the Black Mass ritual.
• After much deliberation among the group, it's decided that a more calculated "divide and conquer" strategy would be the wisest course of action for drawing the cultists out into the long corridor and handling them as they come.
- Sidda is sent to initiate the draw-in by tossing a bolas at the Man'ari priestess and luring any cultist aggressors into an ambush by her comrades.
-- Sidda draws the cultists' attentions as planned, but two Cultist Avengers (Paladin class, Plate wearers) who are closest make a grab for her!
--- Sid manages to evade the first Cultist Avenger (first Evade roll, success!), but is snatched up by the second (second Evade roll, natural 1, critical failure!) who then proceeds to throw Sidda to her knees in front of the ritual circle at the center of the room!
• The raid on the cultists now become a rescue mission, as the group has no choice but to rush in and rescue Sidda from being used as a sacrifice to power the Black Mass ritual circle!
• A fierce battle breaks out, with the faculty having a decisive advantage in readiness for combat. The cultists captured Sidda and mistakenly believed that she was alone! (The group is automatically granted a free combat turn!)
• The group handily carves a swath in the cultists' forces, but continues to have a fight on their hands. Keshina decided to engage the Man'ari priestess with Silloria close by; each with different objectives in mind!
- Keshina challenged the Man'ari priestess while Silloria scrambled to retrieve the gemstone! Both were ultimately successful in their endeavors.
• While the cultists do manage to ferociously retaliate, it isn't enough to win the day:
- "Keshi growled in frustration at the fact her blade was embedded in the ground. Though she refused to allow the Man'ari witch utter another foul word! She left her blade in the Earth, spinning around and her arm wrap around the Priestess' neck, squeezing tightly as to deny her chanting ability, while this occuered, her free hand reached up, grippning the Man'ari's horn and began to twist in the opposite direction. She hoped for one of two things... Breaking her neck, or if she can't do that, simply choke the witch out keeping her from finishing her work!"
• Keshina proved more successful in this act than anticipated, not only slaying the Man'ari Priestess, but in doing so demoralized the remaining cultists and forced the survivors into surrender.
- "The Man'ari Priestess barely chokes out an 'URK!' before her lifeless body hits the ground. When Keshi's adrenaline inevitably begins to wear, she realizes that one hand is clutching a large obsidian horn and the other... the head of the Man'ari Priestess. The gemstone clatters from the Priestess' hand onto the marble floor, just shy of the ritual circle."
-- Keshi's divine glow faded some as she looked to the her hand...Holding the head of the Demonic Man'ari...With a satisfied snort she held up the head in front of the remianing cultist, calling out to get their attention. "Your Mistress is dead by my bare hands. Surrender, and you MIGHT be given a fair trial by the Will of the King of Stormwind. Refuse, and you join her!"
• Interrogation of the two remaining cultists by the group prove fruitless; they don't know anything of value, outside of what the faculty have witnessed themselves.
- Looting does prove fruitful for Silloria, as she manages to pocket a cultist's communicator device and a blade formerly belonging to one of the fallen cultists.
• Gidrul Grimspine is determined by Xzavier to not be among the cultists encountered in this room where the battle took place. This means that Gidrul is still lurking somewhere within the University Library Basement.
- The faculty has managed to complete one of their two main objectives; they are now in possession of the gemstone, but cannot leave Gidrul Grimspine roaming freely throughout the Library Basement!
• A familiar apparition materializes above, in the center of the room. It's former Dean Alonis Marris! He looks around, bewildered and even troubled by the sight. "Oh... Oh, my. What happened here? This is merely a Repository for books and tomes intended to be sealed away."
- "One of the aforementioned troublemakers, their leader I believe... He has broken the rules once again and bypassed the final means to locae what he has come here for. Not much of a gamesman, I suppose!" Alonis chuckled, despite the tenor of the moment. "Alas! I have decided that I can no longer tolerate nor abide such a trespass. The spirits of this place agree. He will find himself in a very troublesome place, indeed."
-- Alonis frowned a little, shaking his head. "I must impose upon you all, I'm afraid. He has ascended the highest spire of a tower that exists within the Library's cycle of planes. He must be removed or otherwise expelled."
• Before he departed once again, Silloria asks of Dean Alonis Marris about "the rules" of the Library Basement and how Gidrul Grimspine and the Tenebras Dominum cultists were able to break them and somehow move about freely and unbound.
- Alonis stopped his hovering before disappearing through the ceiling. He moved to speak, yet suddenly stopped and glanced upward. "A conundrum for another time, perhaps. Your quarry is apprised of your... success, here. And so, his failure." Alonis gasped gently. "Oh, my." Former Dean Alonis Marris vanishes into the ceiling without further word... Gone, as quickly as he appeared.
• The group rushes headlong into a search for Gidrul Grimspine in a bid to confront and see him expelled from the Library Basement once and for all, one way or another! - As they approached the door to a room called "The Headmaster's Leisure", it appears that the group has finally been given a reprieve by Alonis Marris; an Ethereal guardian turns from it's work to regard the faculty.
-- Ythyar turns from it's idle book-keeping. It peers at the group searchingly before finally speaking. "I shall allow you to enter untested just this once, faculty! Dean Marris' orders!" The sound of a lock being turned is heard, the doors appear ready to open!
• The faculty approaches a room generated to resemble a colossal game of Chess! Alonis Marris' voice is heard somewhere above them; "To pass beyond my Hall, you must indulge me in a match of my favorite pastime! Control your king, when you are ready to begin!"
• After much weary consternation, the faculty play the Headmaster's game and win. They are then given final passage to the topmost spires of a makeshift tower inside this "phase" of the Library Basement!
- In a humorous turn of events, the faculty discover that former Dean Alonis Marris is prone to cheating at his own game! Sidda in particular takes umbrage to this.
• "As the group ascends to what appears to be the tower spire that Alonis Marris mentioned, there appears to be an immense, sprawling field of... nothingness, all around you."
- The group is equally awed and mildly unsettled by their surroundings. Enough so, that they hardly notice they're not alone on the tower's spire.
• A towering Eredar patrols the outer edge of the terrace, looking out into the netherspace. It turned suddenly, it's hoofbeats thudding as it approaches. "You have come in search of a warlock, have you not?" It seems to especially notice Elvae and Keshina, looking them over in quiet consternation.
- The Eredar regarded Elvae for a moment before turning to peer back out into the endless nothing. "There is no point to us matching strength, Brother. This is not my domain, as it certainly is not yours."
-- The Eredar nodded. "I arrived here through a curiosity. This warlock, this... rulebreaker, he sought to flee this place as quickly as possible. The magicks of this place, it did not agree with his efforts. What you see now is the consequence. Many rifts... So many, that it has torn this vast nothingness into existence."
--- The Eredar nodded grimly. "Fel Magic is destructive most of all. You know this well." (to Elvae and Keshina)
• Of Gidrul Grimspine's whereabouts; "The warlock has managed to make his escape. Whether it was by strength of will, or the unknown whims of this place, even I cannot divine. Gladly, I would have exterminated the vermin myself..." - The Eredar
• The Eredar looks at Silloria, as though looking directly through her. It nodded, as though some unspoken question had been answered. "You are in possession of an implement of great darkness and evil..." The Eredar canted it's head. "...Why?"
- Elvae and Silloria explained their mission to retrieve the gemstone in order to safeguard it, as well as their duty to see Gidrul Grimspine removed from the Library Basement and brought to justice.
-- The Eredar nodded plaintively in response to Elvae and Silloria. "These rifts will heal with time. You must leave now. Leave this place, else the remaining few threads in the fabric of this alternate reality will fray and tear asunder. You, along with it."
• The Eredar turned it's head to peer into the vast netherspace once again. It heaved a great sigh then looked back to the group, Elvae in particular. "I will use the last of my magic to expel you all from this place. If you so choose. And then myself, lest we are all doomed to oblivion."
- Vela seems especially displeased with the insistent urgency of The Eredar. She expresses the suggestion of searching the area for possible clues first before leaving.
-- The Eredar eyes Vela closely. It breathes forth a booming 'hmph'. "We may meet again. This is a curious junction of all Time and Space. There is a pain that exists in you," It looked to Elvae, then to Keshina. "And you, whom I recognize but am unfamiliar with. We did not fall from grace, as your people did."
• It becomes apparent to Elvae, Keshina and the rest of the group that The Eredar hails from an alternate universe (or possibly, a past timeline!) in which Argus remains pristine and uncorrupted by the Legion's invasion and influence.
- The Eredar looks to Keshina, blinking slowly. For the first time in this interaction, this being appears far less ominiscient. "The Legion?" It looks to Elvae.
• Becoming increasingly more intrigued, Elvae asks The Eredar it's name:
- The Eredar glanced quickly back at the netherspace then back to the group. It seemed to be feeling a palpable sense of urgency. With a heaving sigh, it answered. "You may call me... Elvæ." The Eredar raised it's hands up, surrounded by a radiant Light and began to focus a beam toward the group that enveloped them. "Dioniss aca..."
-- Instantly, the Stormwind University faculty are teleported outside of the University Library and safely back to the campus grounds!