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PotA Ep. 13: The Fall of Aerisi Kalinoth

Karmic Justice

Eternal Judicator of BT
Prev episode: https://ttt.playbtg.com/index.php?threads/pota-ep-12-a-daring-rescue-new-faces-and-a-burning-effigy.4678/

When Cinder regained consciousness, the first thing she noticed was how arid the room was. A crisp, metallic smell invaded her senses; the kind of smell that blacksmiths and armorers were all too familiar with. Off in the distance, the sounds of liquid metal pouring can be heard, echoing as if off large cavern walls.
Fighting a splitting headache, Cinder's vision refocused, and she finally noticed the sharp pain in her wrists. "Great", she mutters, "shackled again." Off in the corner of the room, Cinder's cape, staff and weapons sit neatly on a desk, her foci bracelet wrapped around the staff of charming. She's completely unarmed, and a cursory glance around the room and at her restraints didn't offer too much promise; the chains are solid iron and her chair is bolted to the floor. The room, while not lavish, appeared to be a living quarters with a four-poster bed with privacy screens, a couch, throw rugs, and matching comfy seats.

"Well, well, look who's finally came to?", mocked a voice in the back corner of the room.
Cinder sighed. Of course. "I missed you too, Lyzzie," she replied sardonically. "Is this your room? It's lacking the 'burnt to a crisp' aesthetic your magic brings. Or perhaps you realized controlling fire magic was too hard and you gave it up?" she chucked.
Cinder's head jerked back as Lyzandra yanked her hair. "You think you're clever, you traitorous whore!? Gimme one good reason why I shouldn't burn your eyelids off right now!"
"...because it isn't your call to make, Lyzzie," muttered a familiar voice at the doorway. "And who gave you permission to enter my private chambers?". Both Cinder and Lyzzie turned and faced the voice. Standing in the doorway was a tiefling woman, dressed in forest-green and white regal finery with golden trimmings.

The fire mage forcibly released her grip on Cinder's hair, scowls, and left the chamber. The tiefling, Vanifer, pulled one of the chairs around front of Cinder, flipped it around and sat down backwards facing her.
"Hey Cin", she said after a long while of staring.
"Hey Van", replied Cinder.
"You look like shit right now"
"You can blame your new friends for that."
"I really apologize for that, Cin, really I do; but you and I knew that you wouldn't return to me willingly."
"I didn't realize you had mystics in your ranks" remarked Cinder. "The eye really fears Cassus' power that much?"
"The eye fears nobody and nothing, silly", chuckled Vanifer. "But Blaze tells me that Aerisi Kalinoth has been killed by those meddlers you've been helping. And I want to know how."
"No dice, Van." Said Cinder, "I'm not saying anything."
Vanifer's face softened a little, appearedly hurt from that statement. "Pretty please, Cin, for old times' sake? I'll make it worth your while" she crooned sultry.
Cinder began to feel Vanifer's tail lightly wrapping around her leg. "No, Van, no, not like this. I've changed. You have too, but that doesnt change the past."
Vanifer's face immediately sours, her tail returning to its proper position. "Very well, Cinder. You've left me no choice." She pulls out an odd, ornate flint dagger with primordial accents in the hilt, holds it up to Cinder's face, and says "By the power of Imix, I demand you tell me what happened to the Cult of Howling Hatred."
The dagger glows red, and Cinder begins squirming in her seat. A wave of compulsion waves over her, as the cursed weapon she found long ago forced her to reveal the party's actions. She revealed that Glowy, the wild magic sorceror, had used a scroll of reincarnate to bring back his (alleged girlfriend?) Savra back from the dead. She mentioned how Savra's soul had been in the elemental plane of air for so long she reincarnated as an air genasi, and would occasionally be possessed by the evil prince of elemental air, Yan C Bin. Cinder revealed that Savra was placed in the protective custody of the passive lich Renwick Caradoon, while the party besieged the Air cult in their own temple. She detailed, painstakingly, how Bushbeard and Ivor mapped out half of the dungeon by wildshaping as spiders, and only returning when a particular cultist (Gradius, the howling white lily, aka the air cult's mystic) spotted them. She revealed how the party plowed through the southern half of the temple, freeing a bunch of prisoners, and defeating the wyvern guarding Aerisi's temple by use of effective Polymorphs. She recollected Cassus' duel with Gradius, an Awakened Mystic, who vowed to mentally murder a party member if anyone interfered in the duel. Then Cinder told Vanifer about how the party took down Aerisi Kalinoth, thr prophet of the cult of Howling Hatred, by sundering the horn that bound her captive Djinni, fighting against a slew of gale force winds, enduring her chain lightning bolts, and Sukkasa slaying her with her fists and claiming Windvane as her prize.
"So," said Vanifer, pondering carefully with the slew of new information, "Windvane is now in the possession of this Aaracockra? How marvelous. Seems as if history is doomed to repeat itself, eh Cin?". Cinder just glared back. "Im intrigued they didnt dare venture further," continues Vanifer, "When Aerisi died, many of her followers fled to the Howling Caves below, ran to join up with my followers, or fled off into the wilds. Now would have been the perfect time to strike further. Why the change?"
"The prisoners", Cinder confessed, compulsively. "Some wished to be returned to Westbridge, others left at Feathergale Spire, where the party has decided to establish as a base. In Westbridge, they learned about the Devastation Orb (that you made, and I stopped) being stolen from Triboar and they went to investigate."
Vanifer chuckled, "I knew that orb was going to get you out of hiding. Im glad SOME part of that plan went well."
"So what now, Vanifer?" Replied Cinder. "You gonna kill me? Let me go?"
Vanifer grinned "I'm going to keep you a little longer, Cin. I do miss your company, and maybe even one day, we can go back to the way it used to be, just you and me."
"Don't hold your breath."
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