Booker and associates are staging an intervention to try to reconcile the Tender with the Traitor. Surely nothing can go wrong!
The party travel up the Peak of the World weathering an intense storm that pours down the mountainside. Deciding that Simon's curse is too crippling to put up with, Francesco performs a slightly half-arsed wounding ritual to tear out his capacity to feel fear. Unfortunately as a result every time he would feel terror he now feel the agony of his body being carved up. They continue on their journey and slipping into a tight crevice in the mountainside they make their way to a fiery cavern within where Booker defeats the slumbering spirit of the flames and makes the fires his own.
Travelling down the main road towards the village of Solace the group encounters a party of Leader worshippers led by Hierarch Bastion, apparently sent by the god himself to kill the traitor priest Booker. However their target immediately vanishes and the remaining party members more or less manage to blather their way out of the fight (despite Senta and Simon's best efforts) thanks to Penelope's judicious use of the heart of Arcus Blackthorn. Worried that Booker means to visit some desecration upon the resting place of a founder the crusaders follow the party to Solace.
At the village the group is halted by mercenaries employed by councillor Hoskins to give the villagers some peace and quiet. Bit by bit many of the party manages to persuade the villagers to let them in, though without weapons and with assurances they're not going to cause any trouble. Penelope kicks off with the crusaders which creates enough of a distraction for Aria and Simon to slip inside. She is given a severe beating and tied up by the pious warriors who await the Hierarch's return to dispense judgement.
At Alyssa's gravesite Bartholomew takes root down into the body of his god and uses a miracle to invoke her presence. He speaks with her her privately for a time before Simon, under Booker's instruction, calls forth Abraxis from the bone dagger hidden in Booker's body. The two Founder's argue for a time, Abraxis seeking forgiveness and Alyssa wanting nothing to do with her murderous sister. Then Francesco notices a massive surge of mana in the forest bordering the village. Accompanied by Armand and Senta they look out and notice a darkness spreading through the trees. Not long after this a massive beast emerges from the forest Nice Lizard! Then another Nice Lizard. Then another, all flanked by dozens of agile clones of Darius and the bending loping forms of Tuireann's corn dolls. They smash through the village's defences and fall into battle with the mercenaries and crusaders, a small number of them making it through to attack the shrine. Taking advantage of the confusion Penelope wiggles out of her bonds and rolls through the gate, making her way back to her comrades.
Many of them bereft of their weapons, the party struggles to hold off the attack as the sisters continue to quarrel. Eventually some of Tuirrean's roots manage to get ahold of both Alyssa and Abraxis and with a surge of draconic power all are cast back into the Traitor's memory.
The party find themselves unwilling partipants in the murder of the Founders. Booker appears to have taken the place of Abraxis whilst the others find themselves as faceless associates aiding in her. They are provided with assistance by a number of other citizens who have been convinced of Abraxis' cause, gifting them disguises poisons and blades to commit the act. The party frets at the purpose of this vision and whether they should try to change what occured but all attempts to seek the Traitor's guidance urge them to continue along the path of history. Bartholomew can feel the Tender's horrified gaze upon events whilst Francesco is aware of Tuireann's malicious amusement.
First they travel to the barracks where Lyndiss is working out with her friends and fellow combatants. They persuade her to take poison claiming it to be a battle stimulant and then keep her fighting long enough for it to wreak terrible damage upon her body. Once she begins to succumb to fatigue they move off to their next target.
At Tarkus' foundry, Booker distracts the Builder whilst a ritual of Francesco allows Aria to slip around placing scribed tokens upon the chains holding Tarkus' latest great creation above the factory floor. The rest of the party encounter a young Terrence te Rek 'helping' his dad with the work; when Booker gives the signal they scoop child out of harms way and flee as the Builder's work comes crashing down upon him. They run off into the streets the pitiful wails of the child ringing in their ears.
Wasting no time they change into guard's uniforms and infiltrate the site of Darak's coronation. Even as an official approaches with the crown Abraxis/Booker slips up to the Leader's shoulder and draws a dagger across his throat. The treachery now unveiled Booker fights his way through the assembled royal guards and flees with many of the party. Bartholomew remains behind 'treating' the wound and ensuring that there is no chance of recovery for the stricken Leader, Senta briefly makes sure he is okay before running off to catch up with the others.
The rest of group sprints to the infirmary where Alyssa is tending to a mortally ill Lyndiss. In her last act of treachery the traitor drives her blade through her sister's breast and then staggers away assailed by the horrified wounded who pull themselves up to attempt to avenge their tender. Lyndis cries out for Abraxis to explain herself before finally collapsing and suffocating on the floor, lungs too weak to draw breath.
In the streets Booker bids the rest of the group leave him to his fate, death at the hands of Melinda Salic's justice. They melt away into the shadows, their fates becoming unknown to the memories, save for Aria who remains stalking behind. Alone in the street Booker invokes a miracle to heal Alyssa of her wounds, both physical and mental, and so the watchers see a firey form pour out of Abraxis' eyes coallescing into a mocking spirit that claims responsibility for the slaughter that has just occurred. They witness the the arrival of Melinda and her guardsmen who come upon the two fighting in the streets and put them both to the sword, spirit and Traitor alike falling under the weight of numbers. As they watch Abraxis die Penelope performs her own miracle, attempting to save the god who so recently rejected her; the others feel her drop dead even as the memory fades.
The party return to the present finding the minions of Tuireann still all about them. However the sister's now fight here with a far greater strength than they possessed before. Booker's form dissolves into a flicker of flame and then with a collosal boom the sky turns red as the Peak of the World begins to vomit flame into the sky. Penelope's body drops lifeless to the floor, where it twitches and quivers as if pierced again and again by invisible blades. Bereft of his own sword, Armand draws out a blade left impaled in a wooden statue of the Tender, wwhilst Bartholomew plucks up an ancient hoe in his branches and cuts down the dragon's servants. Eventually the ground beneath the tree splits open and Alyssa now whole in body pulls herself free of the earth. Before the spirited defense of the now incarnate gods and the party Tuireann's influence wanes and as the ritual allowing this incursion burns itself out the attackers collapse to the floor.
With the puppets of Tuirrean wilting into mulch the sisters have another heart-to-heart. Bartholomew's honesty threatens to blow things up when he confesses to the the Tender that he believes that Booker and the Traitor may have attempted to deceieve her; at this the rest of the party jump in to alternately shush him or try to convince the Tender to accept her doubt and let her sister back into her life. Armand begs the Traitor to offer Penelope forgiveness now that she has given her life for her, and with some reluctance Abraxis does so. Aria, still stuck with the effects of an earlier Alway the Correct Path, keeps trying to impress upon both parties the importance of Abraxis stabbing Alyssa again. Abraxis promises never to hurt Alyssa again; sanctified by Francesco's miracle. Alyssa says that she needs time to think about what she has seen and decide upon whether she is willing to trust again. She flinches away from Abraxis' hug but allows their hands to brush together for an instant and then both gods are gone.
This leaves the party in the middle of a wrecked village under a rain of volcanic bombs spewing forth from the blazing crater in the side of the Peak of the World. The warrior priests call upon their miracles to protect the surviving populace: Armand helps the villagers protect themselves from the flames and destruction, filling them with Lyndiss' strength and vigor, meanwhile Senta starts batting incoming boulders off into the distance with great swings of her spear.
Despite their assistance the villagers predictably blame the adventurers for the terrible misfortune that has (once again) befallen them, and chuck them out with all haste despite offers to stay and help rebuild. They make swift progress up the road to Acryn and soon everybody is reporting in to their various superiors/peers.
Senta brings up the appearance of Nice Lizard to the Warrior Church and they agree that she has first dibs at resolving the threat. It is pretty clear however that the rest of the church are beyond seeing Nice as 'in need of reform' and will expect a permanent solution. Their displeasure with Senta's leniency/lunacy however is much curtailed by the opportunity to watch her demonstrate some of Warrior's fighting techniques.
Armand talks to a civil service contact provided in a last letter from Booker. They make it clear that the cult intends to take possession of Penelope's body in the near future but will appreciate Armand's cooperation in making that happen. Later he speaks with Simon and makes it clear that he expects the Traitor priest's help in looking after his cousin's body in days to come.
He also uses his printing press to spread the story that Abraxis was manipulated by a sinister spirit of fire. This causes considerable excitement, particularly once the Leader Church starts churning out its own propoganda to suppress these 'pernicious lies'.
Discussing the dispostion of Booker's gear, Aria gets ahold of one dagger, but as soon as Armand asks for one to be gifted to him and explains its power Simon vanishes and runs off with the rest.
All party members should consider themselves to be particularly hated by Tuireann and should flag this to GMs should it be relevant.
Alyssa the Tender
Abraxis the Traitor