After the Storm

Encounter Details

The party head inland following a road along a dried riverbed that climbs up into high arid hills that overlook the sea. As they travel it is clear that a large number of bare-footed slaves, including many children have come this way maybe the day before, they frequently disturb vultures squabbling over scraps of offal and there is blood but there are no bodies. That afternoon they come to the remains of a camp that must have held a hundred or more. Again there is evidence of bloodshed but no bodies, however a careful search reveals human bones boiled and picked clean of meat.

That evening the wind picks up and by nightfall a sandstorm engulfs the party. They can progress with magic but otherwise further travel is impossible. By midday the next day they climb up onto the high plains, a dry dusty environment in which the night's storm has erased any sign of a road. On the horizon the hamlet of Feli's Reach is visible though as they travel it becomes clear that it is further than they thought.

At the outskirts of the village the party come across a Thresholder - a human that has preserved at the threshold of death by necromancy - he has been tortured and crucified and it has driven him insane. Above him a sign reads Untouchable.

The village appears to be fairly prosperous, there are several stone buildings including what looks to be a tithe barn, a church, a smithy and an olive press. Depending on what time they arrive farmers may be seen working the fields but they will run towards the village at the sight of soldiers believing them to be Disciples.

Rather incongruously in the centre of the town someone has recently built a large barrow from stone and earth.

In the town of Feli's Reach it is possible to hear a little of what the locals must endure. Once per year each village must deliver three acolytes to the disciples. They must be of a specific age and must be 'innocent' what it means to be innocent is loosely defined by the disciples and if they decide that the novice is not innocent then they will take six as slaves - furthermore they will find out from the novice who is responsible for their lack of innocence and exact terrible punishments upon them. Three weeks ago, the disciples came to collect their novices and one was determined not to be innocent - the Untouchable Thresholder was the accused - the family that should have provided the novice were taken and their property was converted into a barrow as a lesson to the villagers. It is now haunted by the vengeful ghost of the impure novice.

Each night the ghost walks the streets causing the villagers to hide in their homes - its presences summons legions of wraiths that come through the walls and threaten them in their homes - the villagers must sleep with lights blazing and have consumed nearly all of their oil, they will do anything if they could be helped.

The Disciples are the strong arm of the theocracy that runs Hanoria, they dictate on matters of religious doctrine and on temporal law. The village had it's own disciple however he died last winter and since then the temple has remained closed. The novices are taken to The Silent City to the north which is a great seat of learning and holiness. Following years of training they emerge as holy men and travel back to guide and lead the citizens.

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