Paths of Vengeance

The Sanctum

The Knot had found their way to the top of the spire. This large domed chamber is baroquely decorated and everywhere adorned with jagged daemonic iconography and visions of spreading pestilence and mortal suffering. It is a grand chamber: eighty feet across at its widest, ninety feet long and rising at its apex to a dome fifty feet high. Low partition walls section off two ritual preparation chambers.

Dominating the chamber is the statue of Vetra-Kali himself carved from hard green alabaster. He holds three knives and three bowls and leers eyeless over the altar before him. He presents a figure of brutal alien malice. Here is where they found their goal.

Circling the dome in perpetual motion is a huge creature of living energy. This lightning elemental is a conglomeration of magical energy spontaneously achieving life. There is so much raw magic here that the elemental formed years ago and has been growing ever since.

After a short battle with the elemental, they inspected the room. Completely out of place are the heavy silver chains that bind the altar and connect to a heavy argent seal pressed with the holy sunburst of blessed Mitra — the Silver Seal.

Olar could feel the abysal hate within him. Seething with anger at what the Mitran traitors had done. He flexed his claws and struck out at the seal, but was hit back by a riotous explosion like nothing he had felt before. Thrown back against the floor, he knew that something more powerful is needed to break the seal.

The Knot decided to head back to the caverns. Nyra passed by an area the group had seen before, prior to her joining the Knot. A strange fracture in the wall that leads to a cave they likely had not yet explored. She knew just the trick to gain entrance. Casting gaseous form, she slipped herself and Olar into the cavern.

There, a lime encrusted human skeleton leans against the south wall clutching a heavy leather bound book. This is perhaps the last surviving copy of “The Dirges of Apollyon” upon this mortal plane. It details the long history of the “Sons of the Pale Horseman” and recounts their efforts to transform this world into a daemon’s playground.

This rarest of tomes is made utterly unique by the last page of text within. This book makes plain the ritual necessary to call Vetra-Kali back to the mortal realms (the ritual is detailed below). And besides that, still glittering amongst the muck, is the a large emerald, yet to be identified.

The Ritual

The gruesome ritual to break the Silver Seal and call forth Vetra-Kali is simple but exacting. Three times per day for 222 days, a prayer must be made. The first prayer is recited at midnight – The Supplication to Darkness. This prayer begs forgiveness that mortals have failed the daemon-prince and allowed his sanctum to be overthrown. The second prayer is recited at dawn – The Cursing of the Light. This prayer curses those who made the seal and begs for the dark powers to lessen its might. The third prayer is made at dusk – The Call Across the Void. This prayer calls to the daemon-prince and guides his spirit through the astral ever closer to the prime material plane. These three prayers are found as songs. When you strip away all the grim trappings, the “Dirges” is, at heart, a hymnal.

A prayer must be intoned carefully and precisely. This takes ten uninterrupted full-round actions. At the end of the prayer, the Silver Seal is doused in unholy water which sizzles and boils across the face of the divine artifact.

Each prayer must be repeated 222 times to break the seal and end Vetra-Kali’s banishment. If even a single prayer is missed, the entire ritual must be restarted. The prayers must be performed within the hour of the specified event and if interrupted may be tried again. For example, the midnight prayer must be done before one a.m.

Further, three humanoid sacrifices must be made during the course of the ritual. At the first Supplication to Darkness, one of death priests who failed Vetra-Kali (or one of their descendants) must be sacrificed upon the sealed altar. At the 111th Cursing of the Light a true follower of Mitra must die upon the altar. And finally at the last Call Across the Void one of the Victor’s blood must be sacrificed. Then and only then will the seal be shattered and will Vetra-Kali be once more manifest.

The Dirges specifies exactly how a sacrifice must be made to Vetra-Kali. The victim must be placed upon his altar and there have their heart cut out while still ALIVE. The heart is then placed in one of the three bowls that the statue of Vetra-Kali holds.

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