The Devil’s Riddle: Session 57

“Yes, it is long past time for answers” Lisandra agrees. “But we cannot abandon our own. Rufus, find Fyn please, before he comes to harm.” Rufus does not look best pleased to be leaving Lisandra’s side, particularly with the grinning monstrosity present, but he complies.

“You will tell us of your plans. Speak.” Idril’s words are quiet and calm, and the Dark Jester is powerless to resist. It begins to speak in a voice as dry as tomb dust. “I serve the Fury, the Glory that is to come. I am the harbinger of Darkness, the bringer of pain, the…”

“She asked for your plans, foulspawn, not your resume.” Tomas snaps.

The creature hisses, but lowers its head in supplication. The fixed grin never wavers. Skeletal clawed fingers intertwine and flex continually, perhaps an indication of the frustration the creature feels.“We were summoned to this place by followers of the Dark. Their ritual weakened the bulwarks that stand between this world and the eternal Dark, and through that rupture we came. We took their forms that we could fulfill our purpose.”

Idril gazes steadily up at the creature, unflinching. “And that purpose is?”

The Jesters thrashes its head from side to side for a moment, clearly attempting to free itself from the gnome’s magical compulsion, but finds itself forced to continue.

“The rent through which we passed was minor. Now we are here we seek to tear it wider. We seek to conduct the ritual that will open this world to the Glory that is to come to all things, our Lord and Master, the Fury!”

“And yet thus far you have not.” Lisandra turns from Tomas, who she has been healing. Her voice is soft, as if speaking to a child. “Why is that?”

The Jester’s head snaps around to fix her with its mad, baleful gaze. “The bulwarks between worlds are sturdy. The ritual to disrupt them is complex. The… the ritual was recorded, but lost. We sought to recover it…”

“What do you mean lost? Lost how?” Lisandra interrupts.

“There was a book, the one used to summon us. It was taken from the ruins above by the host I now wear. Through this host we learned of its whereabouts, and set out to recover it but…”

“Where did you seek it?” Lisandra asks, some premonition sending a thrill of dread through her..

“The Inn. The Devil’s Riddle. We returned there. But the book was gone. We took the innkeeper to learn of its location, but he was useless to us.”

There is a sharp intake of breath from Tomas. “Jeden! You thrice-cursed fiend, if you have harmed him…”

Lisandra cuts in. “When we entered you said a new way to resolve your conundrum had presented itself. What did you mean?”

The creature leans forward, almost conspiratorially. “Let me tell you…”

Idril, who has not spoken for some time, turns to her companions, an anxious look on her face. “Something’s wrong. This creature has shared more than my spell would compel. I fear treachery…”

“If the book was removed from the inn, and the innkeeper did not take it, then clearly one of you did. Now we have you here we shall use one of you as a host for my , recover the book and Woman, your spell compelled me to approach you and speak of our plans.” the Jester hisses, its head cocked to one side. “This I have done, and more. And in so doing, I have achieved three things. I have ensnared my prey. I have gathered my forces. And I have freed myself of your spell!”

The Jester’s clawed hand lashes out towards Lisandra with inhuman speed, raking across her cheek. In the same instant the spectral form that had fled earlier reappears through the wall directly behind a distracted Tomas. It plunges its shadowy arms deep into the warrior’s back and he roars in pain as he feels his very life essence being drained from him.


One Response to “The Devil’s Riddle: Session 57”

  1. As far as I as I know at the start of this post, the Darkspawn plans are as follows:

    * Cultists including the Lord and Lady Cotely summoned the Darkspawn here using a ritual, and were taken over by the Jesters.

    * The Jesters are attempting to conduct a greater ritual to bring the Fury into this world. In order to do so they need a book that the bookseller recovered from the ruins of Cotely manor (see session 41).

    * The Darkspawn kidnapped Jeden (see session 44) in order to recover the book from the Inn, where the bookseller (now reanimated as a Jester) left it, but as we saw in Session 54 something went wrong with that plan, and the book is missing.

    * Now the Jesters intend to learn of the location of the book by capturing and torturing the party members, before converting them to into Darkpawn vessels, or undead vassals.

    Q: Is this an accurate account of the plans? EXCEPTIONAL YES

    I rule that this means the account is both accurate and complete (completeness was going to be my second question).

    Q: Can the Jester trick its way out? YES
    Q: Does the jester flee? NO
    Q: Does its ally return? YES

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