GLRP:EMs:Royal Spies:2009:The Cult of Styx

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The Cult of Styx

The undead Cult of Styx seek to raise an ancient evil which sleeps in the depths of the Abyss...

Mission 34, November 17, 2009 -
Minister Grey received a letter from Tess Midnight in Tokuno warning him about the theft of a powerful magical artifact, the third such recent theft. (The first item being the gargoyle tome stolen from the library in the Royal city, and an undisclosed artifact taken from Britannian hands.) Tess asked for Magnus to send the spies deep into the Fan Dancer Dojo to make their way to a hidden monastery investigate the theft.

Within the monastery, the spies discover that the artifact is called 'Iznami's Spite,' a skull that can predict the future of those who gaze into its eyes. A scrap of paper leads the spies to Donald Stitches on the docks in Vesper, and the spies learn that Runnin' Robert stole the skull and ran into the Abyss.

Izanami's Spite, by ...

Bill, by Donald Stitches

Note, by ...

When confronted, Robert was evasive about the skull but finally admitted to having it - unfortunately, he gazed into the skull's eyes are brought a piece of one possible future to the present: a Nightmare Echo. Once it was defeated, several clues were discovered that hinted at a rather unpleasant course of events.

Journal Page, by Tess Midnight

Letter, by Magnus Grey

Mission 35, November 24, 2009 - Harvest Festival
Queen Dawn had decided to treat the spies to a Harvest Festival feast at the Jollier Fairgrounds in Skara Brae in thanks for their hard work. However, before the festivities, Lord Grey wished to relay information from James regarding the 'future information' gathered during the last mission. A young spy named Dexter had perished infiltrating a dangerous cult, possibly the very cult destined to unleash a plague on Britannia. Magnus said he would supply the spies with Dexter's coded reports before the next mission.

When the spies arrived at the fairgrounds Queen Dawn asked the spies to help an old friend of hers called 'Granny' travel from Yew to the feast. Upon arriving in Yew, it was quickly discovered that Granny had been abducted by lizardmen while gathering the ingredients for her stuffing recipe. Eventually she was located and rescued from the lizardman fort in southern Ilshenar. Apparently, Granny was one of several abductees destined to be sold to a Cult as sacrifices...

Recipe, by Granny

IOUs, by Ronald

Note, by Wanda

Ordersss, by Sstout

Tradesss, by Sstout

Mission 36, December 1, 2009 -
Magnus informed the spies that he has a lead on the mysterious cult Dexter had infiltrated, and he sent them to the Isle of Fire to investigate. The spies found cultists preparing a spell by placing reagents on the ground in a secluded bay, and managed to extract information out of one of the liches. The cultists seek to reawaken a great evil which slumbers deep beneath the Abyss, their spells are both magical and coded messages. In return for his death, he told the spies to scour the Underworld and the Abyss for crystals which would help them decipher the code.

Orders, by ...

Spell, by ...

Cult of Styx Code Key, by Ra'Dian Fl'Gith

Spell Decrypted, by Ra'Dian Fl'Gith

Due to the decryption of the Cult's spell, and the implications it raised, Lord Grey revealed to the spies that the third artifact to go missing earlier was in fact the vile Skull of Mondain...

Message from Dexter:
Message from Magnus - Dexter's Code, by Magnus Grey

Dexter's Code Decrypted, by Ra'Dian Fl'Gith

Mission 37, December 8, 2009 - Building a better...
Minister Grey send the spies to the Lycaeum in Moonglow to speak to a mage names Kahler about helping them locate the Cult of Styx.

Once he was found, he agreed to help the spies by building a device to help them track the Cult's movements. The spies started gathering the required ingredients: First, was the power crystal from an Exodus Dark Core located in Exodus's remains in Ilshenar. Second, was Pixie-forged silver wire from the fey in Ilshenar. Third, was a special set of imbuing tools borrowed from Queen Zhah of the gargoyles in exchange for a contacting the Elder Wisp Broker for her the following month. Lastly, the bones of a power lich were required - and obtained from the Lord of Mold in the Abyss.

Returning to Magincia, Kahler created a magical divining sextant capable of locating Cultist activity. When the phrase "Vas Kal Ex Wis Corp" was uttered it gave the first location: 'There is something at 44o2'N 60o57'W Trammel.' The spies rushed to Yew and found more Cult Liches casting another spell "Disease."

The Spell, by Styx

Note: This event started this eve and continued to build each night for the next 6 days.
The spies tracked the Cultists each night and gained entrance into the tomb of Poxcrafter under the lost city of Millshire where they fought off their growing numbers.

Spell Notes, by Poxcrafter

Notes, by Bartholomew

...., by ....

On Elementals, by Jeram the Wise

Journal, by ...

Journal, by ...

My Dreams, by Poxcrafter

On Elementals II, by Jeram the Wise

Millshire, by John Lincoln

12-14: After a week of fighting the Cultists every night, the spies returned to the sextant and received an ominous message: "There is something in Moonglow at 26o23'N 133o49'W. We can find you too." Cultists suddenly swarmed the Magincia Library and Museum, but were quickly put down. Heading to the coordinates they rescued Kahler from a Cult attack.

Mission 38, December 15, 2009 - Spies: 1, Cult: 0
Magnus sent the spies to the sextant one last time to pursue the Cult of Styx, its message this eve was "There is something near Shame at 2o38'S 59o37'W." Entering a small cave near Shame, the spies were greeted by Imperus Noxum who told them the Cult had offered him great power; but he was willing to see if his spy 'friends' would match their offer. The spies refused his ludicrous request for possession of Trinsic, thus Noxum chose to ally with the Cult. Before he left he made vague threats against the sleeping meer in Ilshenar - the spies rushed to their tomb.

Orders, by Poxcrafter

After defeating the Cultists in the tomb, a book is found indicating a gate awaited in Yew on the isle the prison occupies. The spies fought the Cultists through several more gates to finally arrive at PoxCrafter's lair. There they defeated both PoxCrafter and the stunned Imperus Noxum who he betrayed. The plague which was ready to be released on Britannia is destroyed along with the lair.

Final Gate, by

Orders, by Poxcrafter

Mission 39, December 22, 2009 - Christmas Quest
Mission 40, December 29, 2009 - Geography Training

Mission 41, January 5, 2010 -
Magnus instructs the spies to barter with the Elder Wisp Broker to gather information on combating the Void surrounding Ter Mur. The wisp needs information from the Book of Truth and sends the spies to the Lycaeum to gather samples of its text. However, on arrival they discover that Kahler has been kidnapped by pirates and taken to Buccaneer's Den, and then to Cultists at a graveyard in Ilshenar.

Orders, by Captain F. Smith

Burned Letter, by Kahler

Orders, by Captain F. Smith

Orders, by Captain J. Smith

Orders, by Captain J. Smith

Once he is rescued, it is learned that the Cult of Styx has been trying to brainwash Kahler into working for them. Unfortunately, once he is brought to Britain he flees the care of healers and is lost to the Cult's control.

Notes, by Kahler

Mission 42, January 12, 2010 - Void Plague
The spies return to the Lycaeum to acquire exerts from the Book of Truth from Harriet the Scribe to give to the Elder Wisp Broker in Ter Mur. Once the wisp was given the book, it provided a tome detailing three solutions to the Void surrounding what little land remained of the gargoyle world.

Void Plague, by Wisp Lore Broker

The third solution, Stagnation, was the preferred option - to fight the Void. The wisp also informed the spies that there was a trade occurring in the Wisp Dungeon in Ilshenar between the Cult of Styx and the dark wisps. The spies fought their way to the statue of Zog deep in the dungeon where they slew the 'Cultist Endteller' and learned that there were dangerous spells being cast at three different locations in Ter Mur.

The Stars of Doom, by Cultist Endteller

The spies disrupted the Cultist’s spells and saved Ter Mur from immediate danger, earning the gratitude of Queen Zhah.

Mission 43, January 19, 2010 - The Skull
Magnus received a note from the semi-brainwashed Kahler saying that he had smashed the Skull of Mondain and scattered its pieces around the realm for the spies...or the find. The first clue given by the sextant pointed to the Cove Orc Fort, and once all 'guardian' monster had been slain a box there opened to reveal a book and a shard of the skull. Each book gave words of power that when spoken near the sextant would reveal a new location...

Sacrifice, by Kahler
Sextant: "Head to the orc fort near Cove with your greed."

Covetous, by Kahler's Shadow
Sextant: "The Lycaeum will grant you honest truths."

Shame, by Kahler's Shadow
Sextant: "Regain your honor by dealing with the brigands west of Britain."

Honor, by Kahler
Sextant: "The lying skeleton mages of Deceit will give you few truths."

Honesty, by Kahler
Sextant: "Go deep into Hythloth where the Balron Conclave meets and betrays."

Deceit, by Kahler's Shadow
Sextant: "The just warrior will escape Yew as a prison convict does."

Justice, by Kahler
Sextant: "The Shrine of Compassion will guide even the unloved."

Compassion, by Kahler
Sextant: "Ter Mur's Temple of Singularity will bring order to the mind."

Spirituality, by Kahler's Shadow
Sextant: "Dragons know the history of the Skull, visit them in Destard."

Destard, by Kahler's Shadow
Sextant: "There is a dungeon carved from Ice with a hidden library inside."

Wrong, by Kahler's Shadow
Sextant: "In the heart of the Abyss, in the tombstones at 84o23'N 56o19'W, is a fragment."

Pride, by Kahler
Sextant: "Go to the Temple near Hythloth and speak the word on the sword."

Humility, by Kahler's Shadow
Sextant: "Go to the home of the Royal Guard and defend or defile it."

Valor, by Kahler
Sextant: "Enter Ilshenar and head to the Dungeon of Blood to shed some."

Hythloth, by Kahler

The final destination, the Blood Dungeon in Ilshenar, was where the spies caught up to Kahler. 'Kahler's Shadow' appeared and attacked the spies, apparently a dark personality split from the mage. Unfortunately, once the shadow was slain Cultist Bonewalker arrived and slew the confused mage in a rain of fire.

The spies returned to Britain to ascertain how many shards of the Skull were in their possession. Fortunately, the spies had retrieved them all - the Cult had failed utterly. BIRDMAN, Malag-Aste & Neptune gathered 1 shard each; Winter gathered 3 shards; and Martyna Z'muir gathered 8 shards. They voted on where the reconstructed skull would rest... Due to vote diffusion, and a single majority shard holder, the skull was placed in the Tomb of the Eight in Ilshenar (Alternatively called The Void Shadow Dungeon), where it would be surrounded by Virtue.

Mission 44, January 26, 2010 - Leylines
This mission started with a report from James on several odd occurrences about the realm. Then Lord Grey directed the spies' attention to a message from Bartholomew the daemon regarding the Cult of Styx and a dangerous artifact that they had possession of.

The Cult was trying to gather corrupted mana from leylines which has been tainted or changed during the War of Shadows.

Security Report, by James

Message, by Bartholomew

The spies followed Commander Keel to Trinsic where they fought the first of the 'Cauldron Born'... Undead daemons of unusual strength. They acquired a book and a map which led them to another location.. and another.. and another.. Each time they slew the Cauldron Born.

The Spell, by Cultist Bonewaker

Northern Jhelom Isle
The Spell, by Cultist Bonewaker

The Spell, by Cultist Bonewaker

Notes, by Kahler

Empath Abbey
The Spell, by Cult of Styx

Burned Notes, by Michael of Moonglow

Mission 45, February 2, 2010 -
Following up on the previous mission's end - to speak with the Shrine of Spirituality - the spies learned that they faced a choice: They could gain aid from Bartholomew's Conclave, but it would cost them in the future; or they could face the future head on without any aid. The spies chose to forge their own path.

The spies were then tasked with investigating several curious locales in Ilshenar which might be attributable to the Cult's influence.

Ilshenar Report, by James

They first headed to Montor where an unusually cooperative daemon directed them to head west to the gypsy town. There, they met George who eventually took them to a small cyclops fort. A cyclops in the fort feared the undead which had been making raids on the nearby area, and warned the spies away from the Pass of Karnaugh.

After fighting through several cauldron born daemons they found a teleporter which led to the Cultist Bonewalker and the Cauldron of Rebirth. The cultist fell after a lengthy battle and the cauldron was secured in Virtuous hands.

Lies, by Cultist Bonewaker

My End, by Cultist Bonewaker

A brief trip to the Royal City in Ter Mur garnered the promise of information about "Xenve An-amo-lem" from Queen Zhah by their next mission.

Mission 46, February 9, 2010 - Singularity
Queen Zhah, a woman of her word, provided a book containing all the information that the gargoyle scholars could piece together regarding the three brothers who created Xenve An-amo-lem.

Xenve An-amo-lem, by Skrí-lem the Scribe

The spies found a hole near the entrance to the Underworld on Fire Isle which led to the foyer of the ruins. Once inside, however, an enchanted statue barred entry to all but those who possessed a 'Vid de Pri-tas' or Eye of Singularity. Those who attempted to barge in caused several statues to animate and attack the group.

The spies retuned to Queen Zhah and asked for the required item. She explained that only the most worthy of gargoyles earn that honor, and only after years of service. Fortunately, she chose to bend the rules for the group due to their continued aid to Ter Mur and its people. She explained that three components would be required - each relating to the Gargoyle Principles of Passion, Control and Diligence. The first requirement was a white crystal come from a 'Per-sa Lap-zen,' or diamond elemental, found in the Abyss. The second requirement was to aid the city's refugees by filling 20 crates full of food. The last requirement was to obtain eight Void Pearls from the mysterious manifestations called 'Void Whispers' - the spies fought strange versions of Melissa, Andrew, and Casca for their pearls.

Queen Zhah said that it would take a week to prepare the Vid de Pri-tas for the spies.

Mission 47, February 16, 2010 - No More Cultists
Lord Grey announced that he received word from Queen Zhah that the Vid de Pri-tas had been created, and she wished to present it to the spies personally. Each spy in attendance received a representation of the true Vid de Pri-tas they had helped to create, and this would allow them to access Xenve An-amo-lem.

The spies found the Cult of Styx attempting to gain access to the ruins when they arrived, and quickly disbatched them.

Orders, by Cult of Styx

Entering the ruins proper, the spies encountered the shades of each of the long-dead gargoyle brothers haunting their specially created rooms. Eventually entering a library they encountered the 'Shadow of Lithos,' a suspected form of the entity the Cult of Styx had been attempting to awaken. Several clues hinted that the Principia Daemonis may be located in the remaining parts of the dungeon had been blocked by debris over the years. Perhaps in time those areas will become accessible to the spies, hopefully before the daemon Bartholomew can enter and find the tome.

Life Link Spell, by Vasortlem

Principia Daemonis, by ...

Principia Daemonis, by Vasortlem

Repairs, by Vasagralem

Poetry, by Vasbeninlem

Notes, by Vasortlem

Heart of Earth, by Vasagralem

The Four, by ...

Minister Grey believes this encounter with the Cultists fatally crippled the group, essentially removing them as a threat.

The story continues in Blood Feud: Of Earth and Air.

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