The Illuminated Ones

Illuminated Journal 9

By Mathias Jurgen

The Search for the Infernal Cursed Relic

I wish first to reassure the Order that this Relic has been destroyed and the spirit of the Infernal linked to it has been cast back to the Pit.

With the assistance of Lord Fennick we were able to invite the antiquities merchant Maxwell Sadler to the esteemed Gryphon Club. Having secured, at least marginally, Sadler’s good will we discussed his contacts and whether he had the Dark Relic, knew anything of it or was aware of its location or persons looking for it. Mr Sadler was extremely cautious in discussing any aspect of proscribed artefacts and eventually it was established he had minimal support to add to our search.

Discouraged we returned to the Fraternal Order halls and gained audience with the High Magus Calster. Prior to this meeting we had a short discussion with Magus Wolf Scorli whence he discussed his planned ritual to destroy the Relic and that he was using his own abode as the base for the rite in order he stated to ensure no interruptions and better security. The meeting with the High Magus was confrontational and at numerous times he expressed his distrust of the Order in general and specific members in particular. It was eventually revealed that the Fraternal Order vaults did in fact hold the Relic but Calster was unwilling to release it for destruction without certain assurances. First he wanted to be certain we could destroy the Relic and we introduced him to Wolf Scorli and he discussed his planned ritual, this met with general approval. However discussions deteriorated and it was made apparent that our trust of Scorli’s abilities and motivations were not complete and that our team had a second possible plan for the Relic’s destruction. After recriminations and demands we eventually revealed the Magus Gabrial as another avenue for a ritual to shatter the Relic. Gabrial and Scorli each discussed their ritual requirements, it was not determined if one method had merit over another. It was identified that Gabrial was a Magus of much more limited experience and that her ritual would take many hours longer and required a much more open and vulnerable location.

The High Magus had determined that we at least had a chance to destroy the Relic through ritual. Initially he expressed discomfort that the handing over of the Relic and its destruction would nevertheless condemn the Fraternal Order in the minds of many Illuminated due to the fact that the Magus had held the item in secret. Calstar demanded that we discredit certain members of the Illuminated in order, he stated, to secure the Fraternal Order from accusation of Infernalism. We refused to discredit members, however fanatically zealous they may be, at the demand of the High Mage and this resulted in a vigorous discussion. Eventually we secured access to the Relic on the proviso’s that it was held by us alone, that we must destroy it and that we must acknowledge the Fraternal Orders assistance in its destruction.

After extended discussion in our group we decided to attempt the Scorli ritual first and then resort to Gabrial’s spell crafting should Scorli fail, there was some discomfort in Scorli’s motives at this time which later proved most valid. At Scorli’s request the ritual would be conducted in the basement of his home and we had to travel to an old foundry building to secure from a blacksmith the final requirement for his ritual. While travelling to this foundry we passed through a Market square and it is here we were ambushed by an Infernalist who had the power to possess the minds of good people and drive them to violence. The resulting clash was vicious but Diego Vela was able to deliver a mortal shot from his pistol which forever silenced this damned magicker. We collected the final ritual item from the foundry, it was a facility on the verge of ruin and the apparent smith was suspicious of demeanour and passed instruction to take the crafted piece to Scorli’s offices and not his home, this for reasons we never fully established. The spell component was a bell covered in dark writings and runes and with a bone, of at that time uncertain origin, clapper. Again some suspicion was voiced by members of the group but it was felt that unsubstantiated distrust could not be allowed to disrupt what would appear to be a genuine attempt to destroy the Relic.

In Scorli’s home he had prepared the basement for his ritual, this he stated involved each of us being chained by loose manacles for the duration of the spell. The group was extremely suspicious and extensive debate and questioning occurred over the content of the ritual and its progress and purpose. Eventually after great debate our team decided we would allow Scorli to proceed with his spell-crafting but keep the closest eye upon its progress. Scorli proceeded through his long ritual and everything appeared to be as he had stated until the very climax when he moved to grasp the Relic itself. Immediately Diego and Lucian, despite the chains, confronted him with pistols drawn and stated he had not mentioned touching the Relic and he must not continue. Scorli, it was now revealed, was near the end of a Infernal ritual to bind the demonic entity unto himself, both desperate and so near the conclusion of his dark desires he lunged for the Relic to complete his evil design. Reacting with alacrity of thought and action both Diego and Lucien fired and Scorli was struck several times and slain, his blasphemous spell dissipated without harm.

Gabrial who had been present throughout Scorli’s evil was understandably shaken and exhausted by both her involvement in the ritual as it progressed and the shock of its conclusion and Scorli’s death. In order to protect the Relic and prepare for her attempt at its destruction we calmed her with a tincture and stayed hidden and on watch in Scorli’s home intent on keeping the Relic hidden. Following a day’s rest we proceeded to the Cathedral of Morrow and met with the Vigilant’s of the Order to outline are plans to destroy the Relic with Gabrial’s ritual and the aid we would need, in particular in keeping the Morrowan cemetery clear as this was to be the site of the spell-craft. With the assistance of the Order and maintaining the closest watch we protected both Gabrial and the Relic throughout her marathon spell and were gratified to see its success and the apparent destruction of both the Relic and the Infernal spirit contained within. Gabrial was thanked by the entire order for her courage, determination and success.

Following the success of the Relic’s destruction we searched Scorli’s home and office for evidence of his Infernalism, however not much further information was discovered. The foundry at which the wicked bell was crafted was also visited but it had been clearly abandoned immediately and nothing could be found of who or where those beings had fled.

In summation the Relic was destroyed despite several dangers and an unfortunately near disaster.

Addendum: The Cult of Smoking Eye

Throughout the last days we have as a group been repeatedly targeted by persons seen in the presence of a particular woman who on occasion was found at the disreputable Hail of Bullets tavern. These attacks included the grey garbed Possession Magus mentioned earlier in this report; the woman was reported to be sour of demeanour, vicious and in possession of obvious meckanika. We had on several occasions travelled to the Hail of Bullets without locating her and had further offered rewards to local urchins for information of her whereabouts. Following the destruction of the Relic one of the urchins reported that she was visiting the tavern and we made haste to intercept her.
Caleb disguised himself in such a manner to appear a homeless vagabond and infiltrated the tavern to locate and confirm the presence of this particular nemesis, meanwhile the rest of our group surrounded the only exit. Unfortunately, and unknown to us, Caleb was spotted by the assassin, and it was later revealed cultist, before he sighted her. She ambushed him and in the ensuing skirmish Caleb was stabbed repeatedly and severely wounded and then thrown from the tavern. The assassin dashed from the exit and attempted to make good her escape from our trap. In the ensuing battle she was struck by blade, bullet and spell and slain; several members of our group were also wounded in the battle but no one was further seriously hurt and Caleb was fortunately stabilised and other than some very bad scarring we were unable to reduce emerged with no permanent harm. Upon inspection of the assassin and in the light of her words during the fight it was obvious that she was a member of the Black Tear cult and an Infernalist, sadly she was killed before any more information could be gathered.

Ongoing

It has come to the attention of our group that certain graves within the Morrowan cemetery had been desecrated; this included the graves of personal friends. We have decided that this heresy cannot be allowed to continue and are endeavouring to investigate, stop the damage and provide justice.

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Arasaka

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