Trent and Zander halted their investigation of the tunnels that lay beneath the town, connecting the various temples of Loki to one another. They decided to radio for their companions and wait for them to arrive. There was no response from Rugar but James and Helldamn replied that they were on their way. James and Helldamn entered the temple, made a donation, and met up with Trent and Zander.
All of them except Zander noted the strange smell of incense coming from the sconces on the wall, but otherwise nothing unusual was found in the tunnels. They ran under the town, connecting to six other temples. James made a map of the tunnels looking for some pattern, but found nothing. Investigating in the tunnels appeared to be a dead end.
Back topside, the group talked again with a priest of Loki and heard again the tale of woe: Loki was missing, and at that same time Christianity moved into the town and began stealing followers from the Norse gods to follow this new God. The group decided to next check out the Christian churches and received directions to the three in the town. The went to the largest, most “central” one.
Near the entrance to the church a woman accosted the group, pleading for their help. She told them her baby had been taken by the Christians in order to have an exorcism performed. A burly man outside the church door interjected with his stern compassion that the babe would be okay once they finished their ceremony – but until that time, no-one could enter or leave.
This did not sit well with JFC.
James and Helldamn confronted the guard while Trent noticed and investigated mystical Wards inscribed upon the door. Zander took the opportunity to slip unnoticed around the building, to check out the possibility of entering that way. James and Helldamn began fighting the man who refused to allow them entry, and he was bodily thrown into the door – activating the wards that Trent had not yet been able to disarm. The door exploded and the man slumped to the ground, unconscious or dead from the fight and the wards.
Zander spied a potential entrance on a higher floor, and deftly made his way to it. Believing it unlikely this entrance was warded, he proceeded to disturb it and enter. The entrance was warded, and he triggered them as well but being slightly more prepared than a burly Medieval peasant, his new, fancy armor protected him from the brunt of the effect. Zander found himself in an attic full of shipping crates. He spied a small service elevator, like a dumbwaiter, and rode it down to its next stop – the basement.
Helldamn and James entered the church through the destroyed entrance. Helldamn drove his godslayer blade through the unconscious man as he walked by, drinking his soul and ensuring he was dead. Trent used one of his talisman to become intangible and walked through the nearby wall stealthily. There were some average/regular people in the church who were panicking and attempting to flee. Several armed Knights Templar moved to intercept the group, determined to prevent anyone from interfering with the exorcism ceremony being held elsewhere in the church. The Dragon’s Eye gem revealed all the knights and the panicking people to be human. The knights engaged James and Helldamn in combat and despite having magical talismen of their own, James and Helldamn were able to make short work of them.
Trent freely explored the small church and found no sign of a ritual being performed in the area. They all received a radio transmission from Zander that there was something going on below. Trent went down a set of stairs to meet with Zander, who had emerged from the elevator into a hallway lit by sconces which led to a brick wall. Light was spilling through the brick wall, revealing something was on the other side, and the sound of chanting could be heard.
Trent, still intangible, walked up to the wall and poked his head through in order to see what was on the other side. Zander used his own abilities to become ghostly as well and they both looked through the wall to see several Christian priests chanting a ritual of Exorcism. In the center of them, on an altar, was a baby. Both Zander and Trent noticed that two of the priests were actually Deevils metamorphed to appear human, and appeared to be leading the ritual. Trent and Zander went back to the main floor to meet up with James and Helldamn.
James and Helldamn had subdued the Knights, stripped them of valuables, interrogated them, and attempted to convert them to worshiping James and the Greek gods. They did not get much information out of them, however, nor did they change their faith. With no further use for them Helldamn prepared to kill each one in turn, but James interceded and the two got into a heated argument which Helldamn ultimately won due solely to the fact that he was faster than James in landing a killing blow. Before an out-and-out fight could erupt between the two, Trent and Zander interrupted them with the news of what they found below.
They discussed a few options but were quickly running out of time. They decided the direct approach would be best to deal with this and retrieve the baby. Zander offered to open a Mystic Portal from where they stood now to the room the ritual was occurring in. They all agreed, though both Helldamn and Trent noted the oddity with Zander casting magic like that, rather than copying it – but that query was set aside, to be dealt with at a later time.
With everyone buffed with magic as desired, Zander cast the spell, creating a portal from the floor of the main level to the wall of the basement, inside the sealed room. James and Helldamn leapt through, the change in angle disorienting them and requiring a moment for them to adjust. Their arrival caused a disruption in the ceremony, but it was a disruption the Priests were quite prepared for. Each Priest was armed with a talismen of Negate Magic and a talismen of Carpet of Adhesion, and they stopped participating in the ritual in order to use them to full effect against the invaders.
Zander stayed back and tried to use his lightning blasts to buy Helldamn and James some time to recover, while Trent focused his efforts on trying to retrieve the baby. Trent was able to invisibly grab and run away with the baby before one of the Deevils could finish casting an Exorcism invocation on him, but Trent got stuck in place by another Carpet of Adhesion. Trent’s attempts to escape to relative safety with a talismen of the spell Wink Out failed inexplicably.
James and Helldamn were able to use talismen of Dispel Magic Barriers and Negate Magic to finally free themselves from being “wrapped up” in Carpets of Adhesion, and began to attack the Deevils. Helldamn pulled out Grimoire and commanded it to cast the last spell remaining in it, placed there by its previous owner; the Realm of Chaos. The spell was unsuccessful as well, and this was when Trent noticed a crystal that looked similar to the legendary Eternity Crystal, on the other side of the altar.
Trent announced to Helldamn that the crystal was likely stopping their dimensional magic, and with a flourish Helldamn leapt over the alter and in mid-air slashed the crystal effortlessly, causing it to shatter into hundreds of pieces. With that, Zander decided to use his dimensional magic mimicry ability to emulate the Realm of Chaos spell effect – even though the previous one did not “work,” it had resolved and that was all Zander needed. Without the crystal to prevent the spell effect, several of the priests were sucked into the alternate Realm, as was the baby – at that, Trent deliberately did not resist the effects of the spell, allowing him to go as well to protect the infant.
James and Helldamn continued fighting those who remained while the rest were dealing with the manifestations of their most hated and feared enemies in the Realm of Chaos – including Trent and the baby. The baby’s fears manifested itself as a floating, milk-less breast, while Trent’s manifested as a shifting combination of Trent and the Deevil Boz. Trent activated his Talismen to Wink-Out, using its final charge, and was pleased that it successfully worked. However, his enemy was prepared and sent a Time Maelstrom after Trent. The chaotic storm of raging temporal energy swept Trent away from his destination. He traveled through the resulting vortex with a screaming baby that he did his best to comfort, while in his breast pocket was the Faerie Zelda, screaming and holding on for dear life.
When the Realm of Chaos spell ended Zander and the survivors returned to the sealed room. Zander, Helldamn and James made short work of the remaining priests. The Deevils, however, were able to get away. Helldamn and James disagreed aagain about the proper way to handle the priests, but in the end they were dispatched.
Trent was still missing but with the fighting over, Zander, Helldamn and James investigated the crates up in the attic that Zander had seen. The crates were labelled as if they had come from the middle east. Inside the crates were mixtures of dried plants to be burned as incense – the same incense burning everywhere throughout the town. James used his plant lore to try and identify the plants but the only thing he could really get out of it was that the main component of the incense was an unknown plant he’d only encountered once or twice before, that grew in the middle east region.
His curiousity piqued, and with nothing better to do at the moment, Zander took off his mask and prepared to smoke and inhale the incense directly. This was a nearly fatal mistake as Zander was almost immediately overcome with the symptoms of the black death. It hit him hard and fast and only the timely intervention of James’s psychic healing abilities prevented Zander from succumbing to the disease.
After the psychic purification the three realized that this incense was the cause of the Black Plague currently infecting the town – being burned everywhere, it was slowly building up in the systems of those in the area and eventually infecting them. James did a diagnosis and found Helldamn had traces in his system but wasn’t fully infected yet. Helldamn spent spent the night pondering this information and meditating. James took the opportunity to interrogate the surviving Knight Templar, but aside from learning more about the crusades, he was unable to provide any other information that the group didn’t already know. James then spent the remainder of the conversation trying to convince the Knight to renounce Christianity and believe in him as a god instead, but with no success. Zander took the opportunity to pull out Sherlock and use its divining ability (as well as it’s getting high ability) to try and get the answers to three questions:
1. Where was the lost child?
2. Are there evil spirits coming?
3. Is the man that James is interrogating telling the truth?
The answers he received were:
1. Alive in an unknown dimension.
After receiving that insight and completing his meditation, Zander passed the rest of the time by singing along to the song in his head, and beating away on astral bongos courtesy of Sherlock’s ability to cast the Drums of Protection.
Nine hours later, Trent and the baby re-appeared in a swirling vortex of wind and flashing lights, slightly dazed, drained and hurt but otherwise all right. The baby had been significantly hurt and Trent used Lytsong to heal him fully. He used his radio to reach out to the others and they met together. Trent was quickly brought up to speed on what he missed while he was away.
The four of them set to the task of trying to figuring out why this baby was so “special” that two Deevils would be interested in it. At that point, the child spoke to the group in Dragonese and told them that he was possessed by a fragment of the god Loki, and the rest of Loki is trapped on Wormwood. The child then implored the group to contact Odin and relay this message to him. The baby then repeated the message, as if it was pre-recorded or on a loop.
Helldamn knew what to do – at the place where they fought the Knights Templar, Helldamn performed the ritual he knew to contact his patron god, Odin. Upon Odin’s arrival they let the baby repeat its message. The message appeared to mean nothing to Odin. He was instead preoccupied with trying to get someone to impale themselves upon the World Tree, Yggdrasil, like he did, so that he might have a martyr similar to the Christain religion. In this way he hoped to combat the CHristain incursion. But, he dispared because the ritual to impale a chosen one on Yggdrasil could not be completed unless his spear was recovered from the middle east city of Jerusalem.
With that Odin departed, and the group was left to decide on their next course of action – leave the village and either follow the Christains in their Crusade to the middle east and Jerusalem, or dimensionally travel to Wormwood. If they went to the crusades, the Knight Templar outfits would make convenient disguises. But first, the townsfolk needed to know that the incense provided by the Christian church was causing the plague, and the child needed to be returned to his distraught and worried mother.