Adventure Date: November 15, 2008
Last Updated: November 28, 2008
(This is following the vicious assault by the rogue Red Wizard Bareris)
Even as the magical portal winked out of existence and the blessings of Kossuth belatedly permeated his companions’ bodies, Gideon stared disbelievingly at the space where the crazed man had once stood, the ropey black tentacles of the abomination still visible in the distance.
Gideon’s mind raced as party goers swirled around him and his companions, panic driving their movements away from the horror that everyone had witnessed short moments ago. “What had he meant by Cursed One?” Gideon wondered to himself. “Why had that mad man singled out he and poor Watchful Sister of the Earth – Aleena?” He breathed in sharply and grimaced as his mind’s eye replayed the fate of Neon’s lover in vivid detail.
At that moment, a muffled voice broke through the miasma caused by the shock from the vicious assault and the effects from that black ray. A pair of desperate hands gripped his shoulders and shook him. Gideon’s eyes focused on the tear streaked face of Neon, but his words were lost in the haze still clouding Gideon’s mind. But Gideon knew his friend was imploring him to help Aleena and though it was obvious to his experienced eye that no earthly intervention could help Aleena now, he stumbled forward to the relief of his friend, for he knew actions, however futile, rather than platitudes, would help Neon through his grief.
(This is following the conversation between Chathi Cathendum and Gideon Fireforged as the Seekers are directed to hunt down the rogue Red Wizard Bareris)
As Chathi Cathendum walked away, Kilzadi quipped “Sounds like she is trying to convert you Gideon or is she interested in something more from you?” and he lewdly gawked at her retreating form.
But Swan noted that Gideon’s smile seemed tight and there was a look of concern in his eyes.
“She couldn’t be trying to convert Gideon – she is a follower of Kossuth as well” Swan noted – applying her newly acquired knowledge of the local religious landscape to good use – “What’s wrong Gideon?”
Swan’s words drew the attention of the rest of the Seekers and all eyes considered Gideon curiously. Gideon shifted uncomfortably for a moment under their scrutiny before speaking.
“Of course you all know of my dislike for the Red Wizards – how I refuse to deal with them in any way. What may not have been clear to you all is the reason …”
Gideon paused then, seeming to choose his next words carefully. Suddenly, his shoulders seemed to sag a bit, as if he was resigning himself to something.
“The Red Wizards first took an interest in me following my ascension into the ranks of the Clerics of Kossuth …
The final rites before earning the mantle of Cleric of Kossuth involved a public ceremony where the people could bear witness to the glory of The Eternal Flame. On that auspicious day, as my brothers were completing the final rites of our sacred ceremony, a column of fire issued from the heavens, engulfing me. I remember not the column of flame, just the rapture of being in the presence of all mighty Kossuth! All who witnessed this divine phenomenon swear that the flame burned so bright that they had to avert their eyes or risk blindness – a blessed portent if ever there was one.
The elders of the Monastery declared that Kossuth had marked me as a Chosen One. And though I appeared to be unscathed by the flames, Kossuth had granted me certain powers … what I refer to and you know as Embers.
Once I began my work as a Cleric of Kossuth, I used all the powers granted to me to spread the gospel of Kossuth, but stories of my abilities piqued the interest of the Red Wizards. Though they were not threatening, their inquiries interfered with my good works and even the intervention of the Head Cleric could not dissuade the Red Wizards.
And thus, I decided to leave the Monastery and wander Faerun, spreading the word of Kossuth, all the while avoiding drawing the attention of the Red Wizards … until now … whether this is a good or bad omen, I can not say.”
Gideon’s voice petered out and for a moment, no one spoke.
Then Risca brashly barked out, “Superstitious nonsense! This is no omen – just good fortune – for if any meddling, gibberish spewing Red Wizards get in our way and our quest, my sword will separate their babbling heads from their bodies! Aaaahhhhh … No offense Kilzadi …“
Risca smirked at Kilzadi as he spoke these words and everyone had a chuckle at the expense of their magic using friend, who glared threateningly at their dwarven companion and mumbled something under this breath about removing the stench from his diminutive companion with a well placed firebolt or two.
(This occurs during Risca and Gideon’s visit with Watchful Sister of the Earth Jhanira Barasstan as Risca procures a potion of cure moderate wounds)
As Risca was securing the potion on his belt, Gideon spoke to Jhanira.
“I apologize for asking questions about your departed sister so soon following that heinous act, but I must find out what I can about why Red Wizard Bareris attacked both she and I. Did she know Bareis? How did she come to become one of your sisters? Was she acting strangely before the attack?”
The upheld hand of Jhanira stemmed the flow of questions from Gideon as he belatedly realized he was bombarding the poor woman with questions during her time of mourning.
However, Jhanira kindly just smiled and replied “Brother of Kossuth, Aleena’s life was not one filled with great mystery. As far as I know, she never had met Bareis and she was a local girl who heard the calling of Chauntea. And no, there was nothing odd or strange about her behaviour in the end. I am sorry that I have not been able to be more helpful.”
Gideon sighed and apologetically replied “It is I who should be sorry for badgering you in this time of grief. Thank you for your time.” And with that, Gideon spun on his heel and strode out of the temple, his dwarven companion trailing behind - wondering what had flustered his usually composed companion.