Flashbacks ~ Rhode Telgoth
The following takes place between 1439 and 1441.
Rhode Telgoth spent the majority of his days after leaving his hometown living as a construction worker for a small nameless town near the border of Zoeniim and Antedyne. During this time, Rhode encountered a gang of orc brigands that tried to rob the town, and came close to killing them in defense of the town. Instead, he took the advice of a little girl he had met and gave them a second chance, telling them they could keep their lives if they worked for the town, as he had. Once they had completed this, they were reformed and continued to operate as carpenters, making Rhode’s position superfluous. Content with the results of this decision, Rhode vowed to live pacifistically and left the town.
As the party continued to Crytathos, Cyrus recieved a prophetic vision of the near-present. A man was murdered in the nearby town of Kimestal. As part of this vision, he also saw the silhouette of a man conjuring flames from his body.
The party took the detour and visited Kimestal out of intrigue, and encountered Ash Thatcher, the bounty hunter they had met previously. When Cyrus recognized his figure as the man in silhouette, he revealed, by displaying flames in his eyes, that he was actually a demon in the body of a man named Ash Thatcher, and that his real name was Mustakoira.
The party threatened to kill him unless he gave them any information he could on fighting demons, which he responded to by stabbing himself in the heart and falling, presumably dead. Less than a minute later, he stood back up and removed his blade from his chest, proving that demon-possessed individuals cannot be killed by mundane means.
He explained that he was not on the side of the demons which had taken control of the Antedynast government, and that he was attempting to atone for his own wrongdoings by protecting innocents in danger. He offered to provide them any information they needed if they would help him catch a Vampire that had been killing people in the town, to which they agreed.
The party discovered that the attacks were not of vampire origin, but of a lycanthrope in the town. After proving the innocence of a vampire named Frederick Maynard, Ash kept his promise and began to explain the details of the demon invasion.
Ash detailed his history as a demon who had encountered a dying man named Ash Thatcher while trying to find a host to possess, and made a deal to protect his family in exchange for giving up his soul so the demon could have a mortal-world body. The man agreed, and over a century later, the man’s family had all passed away and Ash took it on himself to protect “the rest” of the original Ash’s family, represented as the rest of humanity.
The demon occupying the body of King Arthur Feoburn was named Valokarsia Tenar’Ri, a demon which Ash had encountered many times previously, though he would not explain the full extent of their relationship. Valokarsia intended to establish a new demonic kingdom throughout the Anima continent, allowing him to create an eternal dominion free from the pain of Hell, which Ash described as “bad enough for demons to fear.” He further revealed that most of the key military officials were possessed. The queen was also possessed, by Valokarsia’s twisted lover, Hezrataos Baatezu.
Ash went on to explain that demons are immune to virtually all normal means of death. He taught Deriphem, Michael, and Cyrus a ritual to detain demons and another to banish them to Hell, where they would have to climb back into the mortal realm again. According to Ash, only two means of actually killing a demon were possible. Firstly, there were myths of a blade forged with the blessing of Destatus, the god of death, which could permanently kill any creature in any way alive (including demons and undead). Secondly, immortals are capable of killing other immortals.
When asked how that would help, since Ash admitted he would not be talented enough to slay Valokarsia, he explained that the woman that was with them when they first met, Rose, gave him a dangerous vibe, similar to that of a demon. He inferred that she must be an immortal as well, and could be of use.
The party asked Ash to meet them outside of Burnestre in two week’s time to prepare an assault against the demons. In the meantime, they would search for the legendary blade of death and gather more forces from Crytathos, planning to rescue Rose and use her to defeat Valokarsia in the event they cannot find the sword.