Arodus 4714 AR
After saving Arueshalae, the Archangels use her information to finally take the offensive against the Ivory Templars. Xanthir Vang (the Worm That Walks), who has actually been sealed in this dimension by Baphomet for unknown reasons, conspires against Jeribeth to lure the Archangels into the Ivory Sanctum in order to defeat the mythic glabrezu and her horde of Ivory Templars and have the Archangels break the seals that bind his soul. In order to maintain the ruse, he sacrifices a contingent of his Blackfire Adepts for this trap. After being freed, Xanthir Vang would use his binding seal to trap Fynna and capture her soul.
The assault continues mostly as planned and Xanthir Vang is freed from his prison and ready to wreck destruction upon the Archangels. Unfortunately for the Worm, Vang underestimated how weak he would be after being freed from his magical prison and the tenacity of the Archangels. He is only able to temporarily bind Adlo in the ritual circle and is overwhelmed by the Archangels as they defeat him. Before dying from Fynna’s magic missile, Vang’s magical worms scream in pain and blow off the eardrums of both Kaluza and Adlo, knocking the former unconscious and killing the latter. The Archangels bring Adlo back to life thanks to the divine magics of Kaluza. They rejoice and take whatever they can inside the Sanctum before the plane collapses reuniting with the formerly kidnapped Ardoda family. Leon and the rest of his family embrace one another, Hakim and Praetoril discuss the next plan of attack, Fynna takes a moment to contemplate Xanthir’s revelations about her family, and Arueshalae tends to the wounds of Adlo and Kaluza.
Unbeknownst to most of the Archangels, Praetoril’s mythic powers reveals to him that the Worm That Walks still lives as he senses thousands (if not millions) of the necrotic worms still reeling about in the Golarion Plane. Not wanting to damper the mood, she holds her tongue for now. The Archangels call out for their white dragon and a contingent of crusaders to help bring the Ardoda family safely back to New Drezen. They fly back to their home to regroup and begin their next plan of attack against the Abyss.
XANTHIR VANG’S JOURNAL
- The Blackfire Adepts had been working on a project for many decades (with the Worldwound Architect Areelu Vorlesh) to locate a magical artifact that could open and close rifts between planes (specifically the main planar rift in the middle of the Worldwound commonly known as the Breach) in order to bring Deskari into this world. This led Xanthir Vang (the true name for the Worm That Walks) to acquire a powerful ancient Thassilonian artifact known as the Riftkey, a personal treasure of the Runelord of Sloth Krune, that could undo the planar locks that protect Golaria from the Abyssal Plane. Fortunately, a contingent of Riftwardens led by Arylia and Farandir Illamin were able to thwart Xanthir Vang’s plans and steal the Riftkey from underneath him. With the forces of the Abyss in hot pursuit of the Riftwardens, the couple bestowed the latent ancient magic of the Riftkey into their only child Fynna Illamin, and left her with one of their close friends before running for their lives through multiple planes in attempt to escape Xanthir Vang’s undeniable wrath and lead the Worm that Walks further away from the true location of the Riftkey.
- Many years later, one of Xanthir’s agents Nurah Dendiwhar revealed to him that the Riftkey had been found and it’s been embedded in the soul of the Illamin child Fynna. Xathir has been scheming ever since to take back the Riftkey.
- Xanthir Vang has been one of the key researchers in discovering the refinement of Nahyndrian crystals into things such as the elixirs used to grant demons mythic power and the chisel used the deliver the death blow to the Kenabres’s wardstone. He’s also been working on new uses for these crystals, including a joint effort with the Technic League to create a Nahyndrian golem of incredible power.
- Nahyndrian crystals, according to Xanthir’s journal, are the fossilized lifeblood of assassinated demon lords and they are currently being mined in the Abyssal realm of the Midnight Isles. The surprising news is that the demon lord Nocticula has not yet granted permission for Xanthir’s mining project. The journal records several attempts by the cult of Baphomet to bring Nocticula (one of the most powerful demon lords in the Abyss) into the alliance associated with the Worldwound, but so far, the Queen of Shadows has not agreed to join.
- The journal vaguely mentions a few new attempts to forge such an alliance that will soon be undertaken by the Templars stationed in the Abyss; these are the latent entries in the book, and mention three women in particular as his agents working to secure an alliance: the traitorous halfling Nurah Dendiwhar, the liltu demon Minagho (who is apparently trying to win back the good graces of Baphomet after failing to protect the remnants of the Kenabres’s wardstone) and Hepzamirah (the daughter of Baphomet and true leader of the Templars of the Ivory Labyrinth). The thought of one of the most powerful demon lords in the Abyss joining the fight against the crusaders should be worrisome to the Archangels.
- The notes also indicate that in order to prevent more agents from infiltrating her planar domain, the Queen of Shadows has planar locked the Midnight Isles from the outside until negotiations are complete. Undoing the planar lock seems impossible without the appropriate ritual, something that Xanthir has logically not revealed in his notes.
- Just in case he is unable to retrieve the Riftkey, Xanthir Vang is in the preliminary stages of reverse engineering the original Riftkey and creating another one from scratch. Such an artifact would require a tremendous amount of magical power and the Worm that Walks has a bunch of mathematical equations and diagrams hypothesizing the use of souls to empower such a device.
- In effort to thwart the rebuilding efforts of the crusader forces and weaken the city large enough to strike at the queen and the Archangels, Xanthir Vang engineered a demonplague using his own necrotic maggots and defiled human priestesses to create tiny locust demons that hatch small parasitic eggs that could inhabit any seed and flesh. Like the incubation period of a female human, these eggs would take 9 months to grow mature and hatch consuming the bodies of its host and birth more locust demons from the dead plagued bodies. Xanthir seems particularly pleased with his plague as it uses the crusader’s own people against them.
- Xanthir apparently has created an immunization to this plague though for his most faithful which requires a mixture of a plague victim’s blood, finely crushed elfroot, a pinch of wormwood moss, and the tears of an angel. There is no cure to the plague though. Those infected must seek magical means to remove the disease from them and immediately get immunized so they don’t receive the demonplague again.