After a long, whole day march through an increasingly tangled and sweltering jungle, the adventurers arrive at the closely guarded underground Yuan-ti lair. Davhorn’s body is taken to Aleric, the abomination and leader of the Yuan-ti. After several hours he is reincarnated in the body of a yuan-ti pureblood. Why would someone with such a lowly upbringing and few connections be treated in such a way? That question filled his mind with wonder as Aleric questioned him. It seems he should know more. The Abomination expected he would be recognized by Davhorn, but seemed unsurprised that he was not.
The weak barbarian, in his new form, was reintroduced to Chathrin and Ich-ben, those faithful to him even in death. That evening they supped with Aleric and many of the Yuan-ti and non yuan-ti leaders of his army. Ich-ben was asked about and produced the Red Dagger. This was then given to Davhorn. As he picked up the blade and held it in his hand a torrent of memories suddenly flooded back to him. It was as if a wall had been removed in him mind and the flood it held raced into his consciousness. Seeing the change in his friend Ich-ben asked what it meant.
“Ich-ben, more has transpired in the ten years since we parted than you, or even I have realized. These events have been hidden in my own mind until just tonight, but I know them now and they are real and no trickery.” he says while giving you an earnest look.
“After being abandoned underground by your father, Hessian, I struggled. I drank heavy and fought and made a severe fool of myself. In time, out of a need for money and purpose, I reluctantly took work as a gladiator. I fought often, in the very arena you saw me just two weeks ago. I was a favorite there, a favorite of the Queen’s and much of her court. This is how I was known to her. One night I was called to council with her and given a new assignment.”
“I was to join a very secret society of warriors. These warriors, called ‘the Exilers’, included several of the dark races. They included the Drow, the Yuan-ti, the mind flayers, the Gith, some humans and several other dark and hideous races I still could not identify. We had one mission, to free a angel from his prison of stone. This angel was ”/campaign/the-bitter-fallen/wikis/kige" class=“wiki-page-link”>Kige, whom we have talked about this very night. Kige was a servant of Pelor, one of great power. Something, and I know not what, had caused animosity between them and Pelor had exiled Kige and imprisoned him. The dark powers, including the Drow Queen, had decided they could make an alliance with Kige by freeing him somehow and use his power and hate of Pelor to make themselves great"
“Of the Exilers I was one of the youngest. I was desperate to prove myself and saw in this a chance to make myself great. We fought hard and completed dangerous missions. We gathered the items of power the magicians said where needed to free Kige from his prison. I took a terrible chance, climbing a sheer 50’ cliff and retrieved a chest feather from a living Phoenix. I think my comrades choose me planning to collect the feather from my dead body. The beast ferociously attacked me immediately, but somehow I fought off the animal and sought refuge in a cave. They were all startled when I miraculously survived the event and returned with my prize.”
“Finally, the great day arrived, all the pieces where in place. A unicorn’s horn, the phoenix feather, blood of a Pegasus and many others I wasn’t a part of retrieving. The last and perhaps the most difficult was a live, unharmed nymph for the sacrifice.”
“We assembled in a dark, hot, underground cave. A great and beautiful statue of the seated angel was before us, chained to a large stone chair. We stood in anticipation and excitement for the ceremony to begin. We were freeing a monster, and he would love us for it. When he destroyed the powers of good in the world he would give our lords authority, and we, those who had fought for his return would receive great honor and power with them.”
“Powerful agents of the Archdevil Belial lead the ritual. The nymph was sacrificed, plunged through the heart with the horn of a unicorn. As her blood filled the basin before the great statue of Kige, he warmed and came to life. He stood, tearing off his bonds as we cheered with frantic excitement.”
“After Kige awoke, a lesser Angel, lesser than Kige, yet great in all our reckoning, greeted him and presented him with a relic. It was an amulet on a chain. He placed in on Kige, who appeared very pleased to see it. As he wore it, it appeared to cause him pain, but he didn’t take it off.”
“Kige gave a great speech to all those present, thanking us and sharing his vision for the future when Pelor would be destroyed and darkness would fill the land. As he welcomed us to join him everyone cheered in excitement. His charisma was amazing, though we were all devoted to the cause, he had each of us stirred and ready to die for him at that moment if necessary. He is great, and you may see that yourselves one day.”
“Then Kige asked the priests of news. He was very interested in how he was awoken. He asked questions about parts of our missions and in time the story of the Phoenix feather came out. It intrigued him and he asked who it was that took such a risk and survived it. All eyes and several fingers pointed to me as I timidly stood in the spotlight of attention. Kige beckoned me forward and thanked me personally. He declared me ‘a friend of Kige’ and touched my left shoulder, marking me with this”
As he says this Davhorn uncovers his shoulder reveling the tattoo of the angel rending Pelor’s sun in two.
“It is the Seal of Kige, it is a mark that view few mortals have, though I’ve seen it on many of the angels that follow him, including the one with the necklace I spoke of earlier.
“So, that brings us to this blade. You may wonder that after going through all of that why would we talk of killing Kige. Kige initially spoke of bringing us and our people to power, but it became clear to us in time that his intentions where different that his words. Kige hates Pelor, hates him with a burning fury that seems to shape him more than anything, as his symbol indicates. His plan is not to establish evil in the world, it is to destroy it all. When he destroys the followers of Pelor and everything good in the world that Pelor delights in, his fury still won’t be satisfied. He wants nothing less than to destroy the whole world. To wipe it clean and build it anew in his own fashion. He sees this as the ultimate insult he can deliver to Pelor, and I’ve heard him speak of myself. He will use our people until he has finished what he needs from us and then he will clear us from this world as well. That is his plan, and we cannot allow him to finish it.”
“Aleric, the Drow Queen and some of the other forces that formed ‘The Exilers’ met again to conspire against Kige and stop him from his plan of total destruction. Their goal is to assist Kige in his destruction, but stop him short before they are destroyed. After that they will fill the vacuum of power he leaves behind. Due to my unique relationship with Kige, I am a key part of that mission”
“And so is this sword. You will know it’s original owner. He and several champions attacked Maermydra some 20 years ago and he currently is trapped and being eaten alive in bubble on the public square. This was his blade, a blade blessed by Pelor himself with great power. Great power that was unwieldable by our people because it was a power of good. The queen and her magicians cursed it in every way they knew but could not turn it to evil. Finally two drops of Kige’s own blood, collected without his knowledge from a wound of battle were applied to it. Somehow the heart that holds such hate for Pelor had the power to defile it.”
Davhorn pulls out the blade, wincing a bit from the momentary pain it causes him and shows you a deep red burned line that appears to be a trickle down the blade ending in a solid red hard dot. He turns it over and shows you another on the other side.
“That is the blood of Kige. It’s the only thing keeping this blade from killing me just by holding it. It still holds it’s power though, and that power is from Pelor. The Red Knives believe that to be enough power to kill Kige if driven through his heart. I don’t know if it is or not. A part of me thinks of this as the phoenix errand, one my comrades don’t expect me to live through. But, either way, it must be done or I will not live, and neither will anything else. Of the Red Knives, I was the closest to him, and he never questioned my devotion. For some inexplicable reason, he enjoyed having me around him, perhaps as some keep animals as pets. I don’t know.”
“This was all revealed to me some time ago by the Drow queen. At the end of it I was hauled away with instructions to my captors that ‘he forget all this until the time he is needed.’ And that is the last I know of it. I woke up, drunk downtown in the place I was before ever fighting with honor before the Queen. I had no memory of this and no clue that I had ever accomplished these great things and known such power. I’m still having trouble stitching my memories back together into a seamless fabric, but I know it all is real. Tonight it all came back to me like a room in mind I had never been in that opened up into a new world.”
“This is my errand and these are my people now,” as he indicates his place with the nearby Yuan-ti and Aleric, “I understand if you two find your own way, and I am honored that you seek this druid on my behalf. Whatever you decide to do after, unless it is betrayal, you will have by support as it is needed.”