Anomander's Down Time Diversions
Anomander makes his way over to Muntburg's Temple of Typhon, seeking audience with one of the priests.
The Temple to Typhon is one of the largest structures in Muntburg and fortified with heavy blocks of stone. A short flight of stairs leads into the long main hall of Typhon, where a tall marble statue of Typhon and his scales of judgment stands. It's quiet here and two priests speak to visitors in hushed tones in far corners on benches or standing near bubbling fountains.
No one greets you and you are left to your own devices at first. You meander about the great hall until finally one of the acolytes approaches you. He has greasy black hair neatly trimmed and wears simple, grey robes embroidered with black thread.
"Can I assist you?"
Anomander blinks at the young questioner, a young man scarcely older than Anomander's own 18 Winters. Unless you are a sage wise beyond your years, young master, I believe not.
I seek..., he stops for a moment, giving the acolyte a brief bow. Please forgive my lack of manners. I am Anomander Rake of Crixos- a small village near Adamas -newly arrived in Muntburg and I come seeking counsel from the Adepts of Typhon, those versed in the deeper mysteries.
"Well met, Anomander. My name is Mathyeu of Typhon. You are indeed correct; I am but an acolyte. Let me get..."
A set of head wooden doors swing open on the far side of the great hall and two men come stomping through. One is outfitted in newly forged plate armor. His head is clean shaven and his face stern. The other is a bearded man wearing grey and blue robes embroidered with golden thread, though he looks as if he'd be just at home in a suit of plate armor. The holy symbol around his neck is gilded and gleams in the candle light.
"Actually, here is the master of this temple now."
The two priests walk past you, the armored one glancing your way briefly. The robed one speaks before the armored one kisses his ring-laden fingers and then departs the temple.
"I will take this under advisement, Jehan. May Typhon's scales balance in your favor on your future expeditions."
Mathyeu hails the priest.
"Master Herint, this man wishes your counsel."
The high priest approaches. He looks you up and down.
"I am very busy. What is it?"
Anomander nods a brief greeting to the passing Jehan before turning to Herint. Milord, I am Anomander Rake and I've come to you for guidance. I know you are a busy man, but I know of no other within a weeks' hard ride to turn to on this matter.
Anomander glances about the chapel, My apologies for being so cryptic, milord, but it is a dark matter, not fit to speak in such hallowed spaces... nor to set the locals of Muntburg's tongues' aflame. If you deem me a fool then send me on my way, but the matter I come to you for stems from my journeys into Dwimmermount. I'm certain our conversation will prove of utmost interest to the bespoken of Typhon.
The priest turns to Mathyeu.
"Prepare my private chambers for an audience."
Later you find yourself before the priest in his private chambers. It's darker in here, lit only by a score of candles.
"Tell me now what you have learned that is of such import to the Great Church and Typhon."
Anomander sits in a leather chair across a heavy oaken desk from Herint, conscious of the gloom of the priest's chamber.
Milord, now that we are alone I shall get straight to the point. There are demonic forces at work in Dwimmermount and we've run across a servant of one such fiend, a demon called Arach Nacha.
Anomander sets his hands firmly on the desk and leans forward. The Church of Typhon is world renowned for its expert knowledge of demonology and zeal in prosecuting such blasphemies. So now I come to you for guidance, for help defeating the enemy... for I know nothing of such matters. What I can tell you is that this servant can communicate wordlessly unseen and at some unknown distance, he taps a finger to his forehead, by placing words into men's minds. This man- or creature -also guards the entrance to its lair with enchanted webs, webs much thicker than a spiders.
Anomander pauses a moment. Will the church help us with what aid and assistance it can, Lord Herint?
"You are indeed correct that the followers of Typhon are experts are driving out Chaos. It was the leaders of Typhon who routed the Termaxians ages ago. But, I have not seen you here before, Anomander. Yet now you come calling for aid against this spider demon. Why should the church give aid to you when so much Chaos dwells within Dwimmermount? Why should we not divert our resources to those who give back to us? Our resources are not infinite."
Anomander coolly bites back an angry retort, his face betraying nothing.
I am a pious man, milord, and I honor and respect mighty Lord Typhon which is why I have come to you for aid. I come not as a beggar at your gate, but as a man offering to lend hand to a cause paramount to the church... to help rid the world of a demonic presence, one very near to our friends and loved ones.
If, in your wisdom, material aid would be better used elsewhere then I will not gainsay your decision, but surely what information and wisdom you can depart, both specifically about the cults of Arach Nacha and about demons in general would not be misspent? For my companions and myself, your words might prove the difference between triumph and disaster.
Herint seems as if he has seen a thousand faces and despite your attempt to hold back your anger, it's as if he senses it. And, you realize it. There's a strange pleasure he seems to get from your bottled anger.
"Yes... Yes. You are wise to come to the Halls of Typhon for this aid. However, I have some inquiries before I offer those who have shown no reverence or piety to Typhon and his holy followers the blessings of his church. There are several priests of Tyche amongst your party, are there not? Has Emelisse offered her support to eradicate this demon?"
Anomander leans back into the padded chair and eyes Herint carefully.
We do indeed number two clerics of Tyche amongst our members, Lord Herint. Both honorable men as far as I can tell, though I know neither very well. And if they have sought aid from the priestess Emelisse, I am unaware.
I'm neither foolish nor foolhardy enough to ever wish Dame Fortunes' favor to pass me by, milord, but I want more than Luck when fighting demonic powers... I want hardened steel. Typhon's steel.
The fighter smooths an imaginary wrinkle from his cloak before continuing. If there are more questions you would ask of me, I will answer them faithfully and to the best of my ability as long as they neither risk my honor nor cause me to betray my companions.
Herint squints his eyes at you for a moment, like he's trying to find something deep within you and pinpoint it.
"If demons are within Dwimmermount, it means more of the seals have been broken than originally thought. It is unlikely you encountered Arach Nacha. What is more likely is you encountered a Spawn of Arach Nacha; a minor demon sent to do the demon lord's bidding. It would have demonic powers, as you've described. Telepathy. But it would also be immune to weapons not enchanted and would suffer less damage from the elements than a mortal being. The spawn would have control over spiders of all types. And, would likely dwell with deadly black widows and use crab spiders as guardians, acting as a sort of royalty among the material spiders."
He leans back in his chair and folds his fingers into each other.
"A powerful enough cleric could drive it away."
Anomander's fingers tighten on Malgrist's hilt, his knuckles whitening with each word spoken.
It is as I feared then. Your words fill me with trepidation, but also give me hope that we now have an edge against this creature. My thanks, milord. This is what I had hoped the church could provide.
You say a powerful Cleric could drive the creature away... You, perhaps? Or do you speak of another?
"My responsibilities here preclude me. But, a sizable tithe to the church could lure the right cleric to do the job."
Anomander rises to leave and nods thanks to the priest.
You've provided much grist for the mill, milord. Alas, my companions and I have not the funds as of yet to procure the services of a powerful cleric, but I will think on what you have said. Now... if there is nothing else you wish to discuss I'll take my leave of you sir, but again, I am grateful and in your debt. May Typhon grant us the strength to slay this creature and its servants.
"May he indeed. And should you survive, it might behoove you to partake in our services here, Anomander."
Anomander turns to leave.... Should I survive, I will, and make an offering of thanks.