It doesn't take you long to reach the farmstead by the path described. No uneasiness seems to come from the quaint farmhouse and surrounding fields-- a young man plowing in the middledistance looks up from under the brim of his straw hat, and then hurries into the house to annuonce the approach of important visitors. The trees are far off, but still surrounding the clearing the farm is in. This farmland, you think, must have been cleared manually over generations of young men with axe in hand.\n\n"Reminds me of home," Rorge scoffs. He's still sweating like a pig in the sun as it beats down on his shimmering metallic plates and the thousands of metal links underneath. He is well prepared against the blade, but not the sun.\n\n"Don't be so pessimistic," you chide. "At least these farmers look like they've got themselves a responsible son." He just scoffs again as you smirk. The rest of the walk up is uneventful.\n\nThe matron of the house explains with sad sorry eyes that the only man at home is her son-- the father is off fighting the war with the Khanate, which she asks about sweetly and lie comfortingly that you're unsure but have heard that negotions may be underway and he could be back within the season. \n\nIt hurts a little knowing the last time you saw the Khanate war in the newspaper it was an image of a scuttled steam tank wrek that the enemy blew up from the inside. You neglect to mention those details.\n\nOnce you ask about her daughters and make it clear you're not interested in hearing their lives' stories but interrogating them she leads you to the other side of the cottage, all white walls and wood floors, where you see two younger girls and a budding young lady who's clearly dressing to fill her dress.\n\n"Hello," you say pleasantly, "I was just having a word with your local Priestess, and wondered if you could be spared to answer some questions about your community for me?" You look to the mother for her hurried nodding and hand-waving consent, then back to the girl whose eyes have gone wide and scared. "Good then, if we could do this privately?" The room is vacated, Rorge standing out on the other side of the door.\n\nShe looks at you sheepishly and you roll your eyes. [[How coy|Farmgirl]].
You feel uneasy walking down the lazy country road; things seem just too quaint for the dark rumors you've been told.\n\nYou are a Priestess, sent here to address heresy against the Goddess. Your Paladin companion, Rorge, strides heavily by your side; the sun glints off his plate armor and you can't help but notice he's sweating up a storm.\n\n"We're almost here," Rorge says with a nod towards a billowing chimney through the trees up ahead. "Just 'round this [[bend|Village]], I suppose."
"I certainly hope that's what," you make meaningful eyes at the boy, who seems to raise his shoulders a bit sheepishly on instinct, "you were doing, sister." You proceed with your partner towards the altar where the other Priestess stands, your bootheels clicking and Rorge's clanking as you make the approach.\n\n"I would really hate to report any, unholy liasons during my trip here-- the cloister can be a very lonely place," your gaze is squarely on her now that you've walked up past the benches and your imperious gaze clearly pierces her soul. She looks at you wide eyed, scared. "Especially for anyone cavorting with those not of the Faith." \n\nThe boy makes a sound like a squeal. You don't need to look to know Rorge has given him the signal to get lost, and he takes it. The Priestess swallows nervously.\n\n<<set $mean_to_priestess = "yes">>\n\nNow, [[you begin your questioning|Temple Questioning]].
"The temple should be our starting point," you say plainly as you steal an icy gaze at Rorge. Really, he would need to keep a level head if half the rumors were true, and getting so easily distracted simply wouldn't do. Perhaps entering a holy place would set him straight.\n\n"Of course, Priestess," he coughs into his fist before restarting his metallic saunter alongside you.\n\nYour procession across the square, that round patch of dirt people austensibly congregated in, is uneventful; you see some children playing just outside one of the hovels, and a bush between some of the gaps rustles a bit with a howl of the wind. Nothing but a warm, blustery day in nowheresville Thorpton.\n\nThe temple is a dusty white-grey building, the window above its heavy oaken door a many-curved Iron Rose that would theoretically hit the altar with a beam of light once a day had someone bothered to align it with the sun. As it stands, it faces the south, and you push the door open.\n\nGreeted by a cold burst of air and a gasp, you see a Priestess-- of the more clerical variety, in her white robe and an emerald stole-- standing far too close to a dashing young man who looks like he was raised by wolves.\n\nThe man is wearing a fur pelt, his wild brambles of hair fall down to his shoulders and could house a small family of birds, and his face is stuck in a permanent smirk that slowly begins to fade into shock as he recognizes the two figures standing in the doorway for what you are.\n\nThe Priestess, having clearly just recoiled from him and looking flustered, reacts first.\n\n"Oh, why, it's you! I'd been told you'd arrive today, we were just... making preperations for your arrival." This remark brought a look to the young man's face halfway between embarrassement and relief.\n\nRorge doesn't say anything, but you know he's waiting for you to take the lead. You could [[respond harshly|Harsh to Priestess]] and put her in the unenviable position of trying to win your good graces lest you tattle, or [[cut the sister some slack|Nice to Priestess]]-- afterall, sometimes the carrot works better than the stick.
You and Rorge spend over an hour combing the shores of the local lake before he spots something strange in the water. He looks to you and you give a slight nod, and he slowly advances towards it.\n\nSuddenly a Naiad, all shimmering hues of blue naked beauty, splashes up into him and wraps her arms around him. The enchanted water flows into his armor and his movement slows to a trickle as she begins to drag him into the lake.\n\nYou must act fast; but will you try your [[whip|Whip Naiad]] or rely on [[Holy magicks|Shoot Naiad]]?
"Heh," you run a hand through your hair, but get your fingers caught up in the lillies so bring your locks down in front of you as if it was your intent all along. "Well, I'm glad you like this look better."\n\n"I was looking for you," you lie, "one of your kind. Human men just aren't enough for me I need to, to feel..." You gesticulate in what turns out to be a hilariously crude caricature of sex before blushing and covering your face with your hands.\n\nYou're vaguely aware of how rediculous you're acting, but the damn goatman has you under his spell.\n\n"Come," he says, and now his hand is on your naked shoulder and you feel a rush of energy jolt down your spine. You slowly remove your hands from your face and look at him all innocence and wide eyes. "Let me show you what you've been missing."\n\nYou open your mouth to say something but just tear up a little as his face meets yours, angled a bit to avoid headbutting you with his horns, and your lips interlock as your tongues meet. You've done this before, but he's the real expert.\n\nYou melt in his arms and as your knees give out he sweeps you off your feet before letting you down gingerly on the patch of soft grass. In a single fluid motion your dress is over your head and off, flung to the wind by this dashing yougn satyr and you're as naked as the day you were born.\n\nYou could call for Rorge, but his aphrodesiac secretions touches your lower stomach and the idea vanishes.\n\nYou want nothing now but... [[her...|Taken to Dianna]]?\n\n<<set $preggers = "yes">>
"Ignis!" you shout, both hands before you, and the satyr rolls to the side just in time to avoid both pillars of flame that leap from your palms to strike the tree behind him-- and he sweeps your legs out from under you, causing you to bite the dust. Hard. \n\nThe satyr grabs you by the legs and has sprinted halfway across the clearing with you bobbing up and down on his back before Rorge catches up to him.\n\nBoth you and the satyr go tumbling down, but Rorge manages to seperate the two of you and beat the satyr into submission with gauntleted fists.\n\n"Alright," you say, angry and wiping a bit of blood from your lip. You're positive its your own. "You, satyr, are going to answer some questions." The goat spits in defiance.\n\n"The hard way then?" Rorge asks casually.\n\n"While I go back and get dressed," you tell him, and he sets to it.\n\nBy the time you've returned, the far more agreeable satyr is all to happy to tell you about how to identify the secret paths on the [[grove's approach|Approach to Dianna]].
"Not too much for the big one," you doll out a few coppers from your pouch and slide them across the table, "he's liable to fall over on me if he drinks too much." You jab him in the ribs with an elbow good naturedly, and he grunts in a more amused than annoyed manner.\n\nYou observe the rauchous events of the tavern and the denizens of the town, despite one or two worried looks on the revelers who notice you's faces, seem somehow indifferent to your presence. They must know you by the attire of your office, but seem uncharacteristically at ease. \n\nIn most small towns, after you and Rorge had rolled in the place would've quieted down by now, if not seen half its patrons leave.\n\nSooner than later the tavern keeper arrives, and you knock Rorge as he reaches for enough to buy another drink. He scowls a little but refrains from anything more.\n\n"Well," the tavern keeper says to you, rubbing his large and bushy mustache. His hair is a sandy brown and his gut spans to rival your own width. "I think I'd like to talk to you about this in my counting room, if you wouldn't mind?" He indicating a door behind the bar and you shrug.\n\n"Wherever you feel most comfortable, mister...?"\n\n"Keeper Trawl, they call me," he shoots from up under his furry mustache. The two of you make your way [[behind the bar|Behind the Bar]].
<<if $drunk eq "yes">>Rorge stumbles along, rather hammered, and you really wish you could remember that spell for sobriety.<<endif>> \n\nThe Keeper Trawl gave good instructions, and you make it the hermitage-- a bit of a lean to grown over with grass and vines leading into a sort of hole in a hill with a draped cloth on a string for a door.\n\n"Ooo eeh," a voice comes from off the path and you whip your head to face it as <<if $drunk = "yes">>Rorge stumbles, reaches far past where the hilt of his blade is, and falls over.<<else>>Rorge slips his sword from its sheath rapidly and brings it to bare with the speaker.<<endif>>\n\n"Wooo there, whipersnapers; what brings yee to me forrest eh?" The old man is a head shorter than you, and would be even without your boots on. He has a hat that's literally growing mushrooms, loose and scragly dirty white hair that looks like it hosts birds, and a hooked nose. He wears what looks like a burlap sack meant for hauling oats or somesuch with a bit of tattered rope for a belt.\n\nIn short, the average druid after a good tenyear in the wilds. People like him aren't really a danger, and have their uses-- particularly when it came to herbal remedies for armies on the move. \n\nSo the Inquisition would rather not see him dead, in spite of his heresy, but that doesn't mean you can't [[lean on him a bit|Lean on Him]].
"INCENDIUM!" You shout.\n\nBeauty turns to digust and rage. The storm turns to a hurricane and threatens to split your skull in half. Dianna's eyes go a deep red as she throws back her head and shrieks, her hair thrashing out like a great tangle of snakes all tied together by their tails.\n\nExplosions sonud all around, and you can hear and feel it even though the fire is not visible from this grove. You pull yourself to your feet as Dianna brings forth a massive wave of water that nearly knocks you over-- but she's going to try and save the woods, so you manage to stumble out into another part of the grove.\n\nThere sits Rorge, disrobed below the waist and with a stupid smile on his face. It's clear that the Naiads and Dryads had just been attending to him before you loosed the flames, and everyone fled.\n\nYou manage to rouse him and grumbling you help him pull on his trousers. The two of you begin to flee, running along the lake.\n\nYou see Naiads desperately fling themselves into the banks where the fire is bursting over into the mud but to no avail. Eventually, one by one, even as you sprint by, they all begin to leave further up the river that feeds in to try and fortify and defend more of the forrest against the blaze: the grove is left like a limb severed to burn.\n\nRetracing your steps you return to the village, and by the time you're there it's too late to warn them-- the thatched roofs are ablaze, the smithy has collapsed, and the tavern leans forward and the entire second story cascades into the main square to shrieks of pain and horror.\n\nRorge and yourself escape, but so too do Dianna and her minions. The only real casualty was the village of Thorpton and those who called it home.\n<<if $preggers eq "yes">>\nEventually you give birth to a Naiad of your own, but in the secrecy of the cloister. There they train her in captivity to use her natual sense to help detect her kin so the Faithful can maintain a useful upperhand-- which is the only thing keeping you from being Excommunicated.\n<<endif>>\nYou are the Burning Priestess, not because you succumbed to the fire, but because everything you were meant to protect turned to ash and bone.\n\n
Rorge's sword shoots from side to side, laying about the satyrs and putting them low. His eyes glow with furry and he motions for you to take Dianna. Thinking fast, you motion to the base of the trees holding her.\n\n"Putro!" you cry, and suddenly the trunks of the trees grow boils and bend inward in odd wars, rotting all but instantly. Dianna shrieks and her eyes turn to glowing red lights as they topple and she leaps from the protection of their tall branches, hair thrashing about like a band of snakes.\n\nTaking the initiative, you take aim for where she will land and punch upwards.\n\n"Prodeo!" A heavy brown air crackles aroud your fist and you waiver a little from the exertion happening in such rapid succession, but it pays off when a huge rocks tears free of the earth and slams upwards into Dianna.\n\nNaiads and Dryads pour into the field of battle, now; some throw themselves at Rorge, you grants the unarmed opponents no quarter, while others rush to retrieve their fallen leader.\n\nYou draw your whip and crack it at the first ones, driving them off momentarily as you arrive at where Dianna lies, a massive gash in her side. You stand at the end of her feet and raise your hand and lash down at her throat.\n\nAs you knew it would, her skin simply splashes, returning to water, and her neck reforms the perfect image of a human woman's throat. The gap in her side is already healed, but she's still too weak to stand-- her minions will be all over you soon, though, to drown you in the lake as they carry Dianna away to safety.\n\nDo you [[finish her|Dianna Slain]] with fire, or try to [[take her alive|Dianna Captured]]?
The last thing you remember before losing conciousness is a sharp, sudden warm pain in your head you still feel as ice-cold water splashes over your face bringing you conciousness once again.\n\nYou splutter some water out of your mouth, lurching to a sitting position in an inch-deep pool surrounded by verdant green grass and walled by tall, magnificnent trees lined with flowering vines and wreathed in nests and burrows of birds and beasts. Looking up is like stairing through some halo of nature, and sitting up brings you eye to eye with your captor.\n\nHer skin is the palest of whites, and her dignity is covered only by massive locks of hair intertwined with roots and leaves. She is stunning, and to either side of her stand Satyr's wearing leather jerkins and grasping stone-tipped spears. Behind her green-skinned Dryads half-hidden by foliage run their fingers endlessly through her massive mane of hair.\n\nThe spirit before you is, you know, only taking the form of a woman. Perhaps it is beyond her power to do otherwise, but the shimmering in her white eyes tells you otherwise.\n\n"My name is Dianna," the words echo in your mind as you lock gazes with her shimmering eyes. Her lips move, but they're not forming words-- instead, thoughts. \n\n"You, Priestess, have transgressed my domain," the words, at first like a rustling of wind through reeds now rumbling at the edge of your psyche like a growing storm.\n\n"You have threatened my people and plans for their prosperity." Now the thoughts rush like water, and you cannot move your hands to clutch your head no matter how desperately you try to move them from your sides. \n\nYou are utterly soaked, leather clinging to your body, and suddenly your mind is a deluge as you feel the pool's level rising, Dianna's attendents stepping back as she stands to tower above you, the water rising to cover your shins where they meet your bent-double thighs.\n\n"I offer you redemption from your crimes, the innocents you have slain and the horrors you have visited on the innocent in attempts to cleanse a false evil in vain." Her hands extends towards you, offering an open palm. \n\n"Give yourself unto me, child," the storm rages in your mind as her lips and tongue sooth you with a song on the edge of perception. She moves closer to you, bending to one knee as everything else blurs from existance to merely the radiance on the edge of her sublime body. "Give yourself, and be free from your unholy concordant-- free, to serve me."\n\nYou feel the Iron Rose embossed over your heart on your leather bodice radiate warmth, for a moment reminding you of the years of training and dedication that have brought you to this moment. You remember those who have died or fallen to forces of corruption, tainted, as this Lady of the Lake proposes to you.\n\nWill you [[take her hand|Accept Offer]], or give your duties as Priestess-Inquisitor [[one last hurrah|Reject Offer]]?\n\n<<if $sigils eq "yes">>Suddenly you remember also the sigils you've planted all around this grove-- it'll probably take the village with it in the ensuing blaze, water guardians fleeing instead of quenching the flames lust for wood, but it should buy you enough time to Rorge and beat the retreat.\n\nThat, or die a hero. Or a fool.\n\nDo you [[take that risk?|Fire]]<<endif>>
It's only a matter of reflexes before your barbed whip snaps outwards and snakes around the fool's ankles. He waves his hands futily in the air and tries to tug his feet free, but only to his own downfall-- literally, as he plants his face in the dirt.\n\nRorge overtakes him with a quick sprint and slams his knee into the druid's back. He splutters and groans. You pull back sharply on your whip and snaguine blood splashes the grass as he cries from pain.\n\nYou roll up your tool of the trade and pace over to him slowly.\n\n"Turn him over," you call, and as you're arriving to stand just above his head Rorge has fully complied. He looks angry, terrified, and vengeful all at the same time.\n\n"Murderer!" He shouts up at you. "Nogood cityslicking kinslaying crooks the two of you!" You plant your feet wide as his shoulders above him, hands on hips and angle your face down to look at his between your bosom.\n\n"Now now," you chide, "is that anyway to treat an agent of the Faithful?" He tries to spit up at you but only manages to make a mess on his own face, and your accompanying laugh is cruel and biting.\n\n"I don't care what petty greivances you've mislabelled to my institution, knave; you're endangering this entire community by cavorting with these natural demons." You cock an eyebrow at him and take a mocking tone. "What do you think your satyr friends would do if the town let them take things over? Ask politely before they had their way with your Priestess?"\n\nHe squints, and now its your turn to spit-- landing squarely in his eye.\n\n"You're going to tell us everything you know," you state clearly.\n\n"Or what?" I step back, turn around and bend over just so slightly. I can tell he's taken aback and quite speechless-- he's probably never seen a lady outside of a skirt, much less in tight black leather.\n\n"There," I say suddenly standing up straight. "Get him against that tree," I tell Rorge, who hauls the boy to his feet. He's far too strong for the druid's jerking about to matter much.\n\n"What? No! Why? What are you going to do to me!?" He grows more frantic by the word.\n\n"You're going to tell us everything you know," you repeat. Rorge slams him into the trunk of the large oak tree and holds him to it. You step up and meet his eyes, gazing down into his soul from where you stand slightly above him, he on bent knee and you in tall boots.\n\n[[Tell you he did.|Lake Prep Inquisitor]]\n
"I am a Priestess of the Inquisition, of the Faithful to the Goddess." You puff out your chest a bit as you say this, filled with authoratative pride. The embossomed Iron Rose glimmers against your black leather bodice.\n\n"I seek knowledge of the nature spirits who have made their camp along this lake, in a grove," you wave your hand at the water a bit off the path the other way, behind you. "Tell me what I want to know and you'll be allowedd to remain here."\n\n"Ooo eh, now she's making threats?" He cackles, and dirt shakes off of him. You try to mask your open disgust with him until you've gotten what you need out of him. The man's postively filthy, atop of being a heretic.\n\n"Looksee here now, ya city tart," he slides down the hill with alarming grace and alacrity, then strides up to you, chest puffed. <<if $drunk eq "yes">>Rorge brings himself up, leaning on his now-drawn sword.<<else>>Rorge keeps on his guard, eyes darting briefly to you and then back to the druid.<<endif>>\n\n"Just cos yee've learned to sew shadows til yer tits pop out o'them and the sun shines em fer all to see, don't mean I've got to tell you diddly, sees?"\n\n"So hows about this," he snorts and laughs a little. "Priq Quod Bro-- a trade of information."\n\n"Prid pro quo," you correct, "and I will be the judge of whether this arrangement is suitable." You wait a moment, then ask, [["what do you propose?"|Quid Pro Quo]]
"No," you cry out with the last of your strength. You still cannot move your hands, but you kick out at Dianna and fall sideways into the pool. \n\nMirthful laughter fills your ears as the water slowly lapses over you. Your mouth is stuck open, and in your mind there is silence.\n\nThrough a copse of trees you see Rorge, head flung back in ecstasy as a Dryad likes his neck and meets your gaze while a Naiad's head bobs up and down between his legs.\n\nHow did it ever come to this?\n\nSomewhere you find the strength to whisper a final word of power.\n\n"Devotio," your lips say through the water as you gaze up at Dianna and her evil smile, and in your final moment you see her concieted victory turn to utter rage and terror as a scarlet Iron Rose erupts upon her forehead. With your final breath you curse her with your Goddess's mark, slowly draining the immortality and beauty from her across years until she is nothing but a shell of her former glory.\n\nYou are the Drowned Priestess, and vengeance is yours.
You hardly have to drop the words "inquisition" and "trial" before she's spilling her proverbial guts to spare her literal ones.\n\n"And Dianna, she's just so beautiful, and her hair is like locks of silver and gold and..." You gesticulate for her to get to the point already. This water Naiad, Dianna, is clearly a dangerous nature elemental who has perverted the minds of the local youth. \n\nThis girl has obscured the nature of her relations with the spirits, but she is too sloppy for it to not be obvious she's been bedding a satyr ever since she broke it off with the miller's son. You can't help but wonder if this isn't a case of mother-daughter tradition.\n\n"Well you just need to find one of the clearings, usually they'll have a ring of flowers or something else that isn't quite right here in the woods, and if you wear a white dress and tie lillies in your hair they'll come from out of the bushes, it's almost like there's some network of paths..."\n\nNetwork of paths. Bingo.\n\n"Can you take me to one of these places?"\n\n"Why, I suppose so," she murmurs non-commitally. "But if you go looking like that," she says somewhat passive aggressively, although her eyes are full of envy as the pass over the way your uniform hugs and supports all the right curves, "they'll never come for you. And you can't bring the man with you, either-- they only meet with druid men."\n\nYou're not so sure about that, but if you want to play bait you'd need to leave Rorge at least a ways off to be sure. You weigh your options...\n\n[[Play bait|Bait]], or use your newfound knowledge of the grove's general location near the lake to [[wing it|Lake Prep Unprepared]] instead?
"What's Dianna's plan?" You ask, and when he perks a brow you nod assertively. This is it, this is your question.\n\n"Alritey larse-- see here's t'ting..." So begins the druid's yarn. Essentially, Dianna is using the satyrs, Dryads and Naiads to seduce the local populace. They'd already had a history of getting frisky with them, but usually just the women and utilizing a contraceptive tea. However, Dianna keeps tight control over that herb now, and forces women to become woodwitches and bare more satyrs and nature spirits if they want to satiate their lusts.\n\nUnless, of course, they're working as a part of her greater scheme.\n\nRorge hauls some rocks while you discuss fine detail.\n\n"Thar's wun particular girl who can still get ta tee," he explains ultimately. "Seeh lives oope at t'one farmstead, wiff the mother and siblings. Father used to be a right good chap, carried some boulders fer me, but went oof`ta war a great time ago. Aven't'eard oo-im since."\n\n"She'll be able t'elp you lure a'satyr o'er to ya. After tat," he shrugs, "s'none o me concern."\n\nArmed with a [[plan|Farmstead]], you bid him goodbye and make for the farmstead.
"Grant me freedom," you pant up at her, and she cradles your face lovingly as you put your hand in hers, bending to kiss your forehead. She quickly puts your hand on her hip and bids you keep it there.\n\nA wave of ecstasy overcomes you as she picks up up, the water now reaching to your waist but your bottom lifted slighty above it as she holds you and breaths warmly down your neck.\n\n"Release me from this..." She puts a hand to your breast and the embossed Iron Rose melts, very hot at first but then cooled. Slowly, she works her watery hands over it, and the symbol turns into that of a green tree atop a lake-- and within you there is a sudden shift.\n\n"You are more than free," she smiles down at you, her eyes beaming like the sun and her smile the warmest embrace of all, "you are mine." \n\nThrough a copse of trees you see Rorge, head flung back in ecstasy as a Dryad likes his neck and meets your gaze while a Naiad's head bobs up and down between his legs.\n\nShe takes you by the shoulders and, putting her weight onto you, plunges you slowly beneath the tides. She lies down atop you. Her lips meet yours under the water, and you do not drown, but rather into you is breathed new life. \n\nEvery inch of you strains against the tight leather as it shrinks and crawls as it morphs, twisting. Parts rip open and others reform themselves. You feel your hair grow lighter and longer, and everything seems as if though a dream.\n\nYou wake up with the pool back to inch deep, and looking up at Dianna. She cradles your head in your lap, and as you look down you can see you've undergone a metamorphisis.\n\nYour leather has been died deep blue at the top and becomes turquoise around your hips and below. The sides and back are gone, and it seems to hold you now less like clothing and more like a second skin. \n\nYou think about everything you've just lost, but then the green treee emits a light emerald light and you're just so happy you giggle and look up at Dianna, who is smiling down at you.\n\nPlaying with her hair as she dotes on you and strokes your neck in that idyllic grove you forget all about interrogations and warcrimes and learn to obey your mistress's every thought, every word. Slowly you stop thinking about your past life altogether.\n\nOne of many pawns, you are still a prized piece on Dianna's board; you recieve inordinate amounts of Dianna's time and praise, but you must earn it through service. You indocrinate the locals and usurp the Faith in Thorpton, after some months of idyllic afternoons by the lakeside. \n\nRorge has changed, too; he doesn't seem to think nearly as much. Whenever he tries to speak the Dryads and Naiads shush him and put a finger to his lips, then before he can proest slowly slip their hands all over him in just the right places. Soon, he learns not to speak at all, until you forget what his voice sounded like-- if not his moans of delight.\n\nEventually you too become a woodswitch, giving birth to more soldiers for Dianna's growing army-- but always maintain a differntial position above the rest of her followers.\n\nYou are the Fallen Priestess, for you gave in when the Faithful needed you most-- and you've never felt better.
Into the Woods\n
You proceed behind the bar to see a lockbox on a small desk otherwise stacked with papers, some shelves stocked with emergency booze, and a bin filled with what seems to be bread rapped in cloth. He sits on his chair and composes himself a second before leaning back and meeting your eyes.\n\n<<if $drunk eq "yes">>"That drunken oaf of a Paladin out there yours?" He scoffs, shooting up his moustache a bit. "Excuse my saying so miss, but your cityfolk wonder why the Iron Rose doesn't command the respect it did in my day-- man can't help but look and find, well," he looks you up and down and lingers a bit longer on your bosom than elsewhere, "decency." \n\nHe speaks as if moralizing, but he's clearly masking hidden desire. It occurs to you just how best to [[capitalize on this|Seduce Trawl]].\n\n<<else>>Rorge just leans against a wall looking down and tumbing the pommel of his sword while you do the talking, per usual.<<endif>>\n\n"Anyway, what can I do for you, Priestess? Inquisition doesn't come roud asking questions least someone's head is on the line, and I aim to be [[sure it ain't mine|Extort Trawl]], believe-you-me."
"Here," you say with a slight grin as you bring a closed fist before the lady. You open it up to reveal three silver coins between your fingers and let them clink upon the table. You get the attention of several other men sitting at the bar this way. "All he can drink."\n\n"One man can't drink a small fortune's worth o'me father's ale!" A scrappy man down the bar called.\n\n"Oh-ho, can't I know?" Rorge called back good naturedly. "Hows about we see who can stomache more 'afore we fall over aye?"\n\nBefore you know it half the town is enraptured by the ensuing contest as man after man steps up to the challange. Silver is apparently unheard of out here, and the bewildered barkeep sees no real reason to keep the patrons from taking charge of the tap while she disappears to stow the money.\n\nAle after ale goes down, and the minstrels play even harder in the vain hopes of winning back the crowd before simply egging them on aswell.\n\nWhen all is said and done, Rorge and one man-- the blacksmith who'd seen you entering town-- are left sitting at the bar, the others having either given up or needing to answer nature's call.\n\n"Whaddaya shay?" Rorge asks the blacksmith. "One more dr'hink!`ah?" The blacksmith, too drunk to either answer or understand, just sort of rolls off his stool and Rorge celebrates by dumping the remaining flaggon over his own head before collapsing in lafter over the bar.\n\nIn the mean time, you've had some to drink yourself, and by the time the tavern owener returns you wish you remembered that one sobriety spell a fellow student taught you in cloister. Still you manage to compose yourself.\n\n"Well," the tavern keeper says to you, rubbing his large and bushy mustache. His hair is a sandy brown and his gut spans to rival your own width. "I think I'd like to talk to you about this in my counting room, if you wouldn't mind?" He indicating a door behind the bar and you shrug.\n\n"Wherever you feel most comfortable, mister...?"\n\n<<set $drunk = "yes">>\n\n"Keeper Trawl, they call me," he shoots from up under his furry mustache. The two of you make your way [[behind the bar|Behind the Bar]].
Before you know it the damn druid has you sitting on half a stump in his hovel-hole as he fondles his walking stick and shakes his head a bit at you.\n\nRorge is, per usual, slumped against the wall.\n\n"Now then," he declares, "tells me whott yew wahnt, and I'yle tells it what its worths to me."\n\n"The location of this," you wave your hand, "Naiad, the water spirit who leads them, her name is..." You think back. Have you learned her name?"\n\n"Dianna!" He exclaimes, then scowls, realizing he'd let something slip. "Fine, fine; that for free. An that for free!" He thrusts his finger at you. "Not a ting more."\n\n"Now, then," he rubs his chin and an acron falls from his bushy beard. "I could'ah tells you ah sah'pose, ne'er really liked the bitch much meself. Got all angryeyes when I told'er I'yde aff nuffin to-do with her plan with the locals."\n\n"Wait," you interject, "what plan with the locals?"\n\n"Ahk!" he replies, excited and smiling. "At'll cost yew more'n yew got lassie."\n\n"Either wae, I wonts yer mate here to haul me some rocks."\n\n"Rocks!?" Rorge exlcaims. "Come on, really?"\n\n"Aey! Big ole round uns, like yew!" The druid thumps Rorge's plate armor and cackles a rasping sort of haunting, druidic laughter. "Needs em fer me new mooshroom f'arm. But s'only good fer wun 'ting."\n\n"So what'll it be, syster? The [[location|Location]], or the [[plan|Plan]]?"
"Tavern's where all the local gossip'll be in a town like this. Fair enough," you say in an amiable tone. You can practically hear Rorge smirking. It'd been a long journey, not aided by the fact that they'd been unable to secure horses for this final leg. It truly was a remote provice, and if he didn't have something to lift his spirits soon Rorge was likely to get glum.\n\nYou both stroll casually into the tavern, a two story building that seemed to lean outwards a bit from the larger topmost story, its walls white plaster surrounded by beams of oak and its roof all red shimmering shingles.\n\nStepping inside reveals a bit of smoke floating around from the odd waterpipe, and music slopping off the stage from a local country troupe who were none too hand with their drum and lyre but were making up for it with enthusiasm none the less. You strategically select two seats at the bar in the corner of the room with a good view of everything.\n\nThe bartender looks nervous when she inquires about your business.\n\n"We're looking for the tavern keep," you reply casually.\n\n"Oh," she says, looking indecisive before replying. "I think he's out settling a dispute over some bad ale right now. He should be back within the hour. We've got plenty of good ale here in the meantime, though!" She smiles brightly, trying hard to compensate. She is hardly a budding saleswoman.\n\nRorge is licking his lips already like a mangy dog. You could [[bib him|Bib Him]] with a drink or two while you survey the room, or [[indulge him|Drinking Contest]] for a bit-- a country hour is said to last half a day, afterall..
Apparently, Thorpton had a bit of a history with satyrs. The women would go deep into the woods when they were bored of their husbands company, but use a local preventative herb to ensure they did not bare unnatural children of the union.\n\nFor the older women, it was a tool to keep their husbands in check; for the younger ones, if there wasn't a desirable lad to be had, they preferred not to have to settle for less. Afterall, the satyrs' natural aphrodesiac it excretes and regular bathing makes them a welcome alternative to the local country bumpkins.\n\nSome old druid on the edge of the lake near town was evidently the go-to source of information on such things, and was of an unnaturally old age.\n\n"I've had enough of the skullduggery and oddities, honestly," he huffs. "I'm glad you arrived when you did, Inquisitor; this really is a good little town..." He trailed off, the plea left unsaid.\n\n"Then it is a good thing you have aided me in its salvation," you reassure him. "With this information I believe my Paladin and I should be able to effect a purging of the hostile forces, before the populace succumbs to any lasting perversions that might need to be... eliminated."\n\n<<if $drunk eq "yes">>"Pfft, that drunken lout in the common room?" The tavern keeper huffed. "Good luck with that."<<else>>Thank you kindly, Inquisitor; Goddess lend you grace and suchforth."<<endif>>\n\nThe hermit's hovel must be your [[next stop|Hermitage]].
"Decency," you plant one hand on the front of his desk suddenly and he jerks back a hair, startled, "Keeper Trawl." You're looking at him up from under your bangs and piercing his soul with your gaze. Another hand planted on the desk closer to him brings his breathing quicker a hair.\n\nYou lean forward, and his eyes stop following your face as you do. Your head by his ear you remove your right hand, shifting yourself in your tight black leather right in front of him, and bring it to rest on his back.\n\n"Is not one of my specialities." his hairs stand on end. You hand there a moment, breathing heavily down his neck. "Expultrice," you whisper into the air, and a coursing band of purple light flickers down your wrist, through your hand, and into Keeper Trawl.\n\nHe jerks forward a bit more, and you hold him against yourself as you rub his shoulder blade gently. The power electrifies his skin.\n\n"Now then, Keeper Trawl; I think you know something that I want to know..."\n\nThen it all came out; the women from the farmsteads were spending some nights out in the woods at first. Not unheard of, a small local satyr population was too virulent for the men to compete with or drive out-- the best they could do was appease their wives as best they could.\n\nHe knew his own wife had gone to them a few times, but none of their children had been unnatural. He did not know the why of it, but he'd heard murmurs of a special tea they'd brew to avoid becoming with child. \n\nThe savage beastmen's natural aphrodesiacs were hard to resist, and it would explain a preexisting infestation without the populace having completely succumbed yet. Keeper Trawl identifies a hermit on the edge of a lake who's a well known druid.\n\nBy way of response you give him a swift kiss on the neck and then remove your hair suddenly.\n\nHis eyes roll back in his head and he leans back in his chair as his ecstasy comes to an abrupt close. You can't help but grin and remember the first time you figured that spell out.\n\n"I'll be [[going now|Hermitage]], Keeper Trawl; keep safe now." As you turn to leave you see Trawl's daughter, the barkeep, waiting in the doorway to come in-- you don't stop to wonder how much she heard, but she goes in after you leave.\n\n"Pa?" is all you hear.
"Ignis!" you shout, thrusting your right arm before you and unleashing a pillar of flame that bores into the Naiad's shoulder and sends her howling into the depths, slipping into a shimmering puddle and darting away to the heart of the lake.\n\nRorge has barely gotten to his knees before his eyes goes wide, he spits water from his mouth and offers some sort of warning as he draws his blade, clumsily and waterlogged, to confront something behind you.\n\nYou whirl about just in time to get thrown to your back by an avalanche of force; a satyr, half man and half goat, has just put his roud horns front edges into your chest and you fly to your back with the wind knocked out of you.\n\nFlat on your back you see Rorge's blade flash like a silver comet across your vision, accompanied by a swift ripping and horrible shrink as red droplets spray your vision.\n\nRorge offers you his free hand, and after you pull yourself up by it you survey the scene: the satyr came at you from behind, bursting from a concealed dirt path. His stomache was sliced wide open in the first blow, and you look away from the corpse quickly so the ghastly image doesn't addle your mind.\n\n"Always a fair trade," Rorge says and you turn your gaze to him long enough to catch his self-affirming nod. You've just saved eachother. Again.\n\n"Quite so," you concur, and then indicate the revealed path. "I think we should see where that leads, eh?" He steels himself and offers a grim, faint smile.\n\n"It'd be my pleasure." The two of you continue on your quest into the heart of this unholy incursion. Soon it becomes apparent just how these creatures are getting around-- a [[system of hidden paths|Approach to Dianna]].
Your whip flies through the watery wisp of a creature and her body reforms as it passes; she chortles wicked laughter as she thrusts Rorge's face into her bosom and falls back into the lack, darting off with him.\n\nYou don't even have time to react before your own face is slammed into the muddy beach.\n\nBased on the warmth and fur behind you, as well as the round horn-shaped bruises you already feel forming on your back, it was a satyr.\n\n"You've been nothing but problems," he snorted in his half-goat way, "ever since I saw you come into town." He spits in the water besides you. Your hands are pinned, your whip dropped somewhere here on the banks, you struggle but you cannot throw him off-- his animal strength is too much.\n\n"I'm [[taking you to Dianna|Taken to Dianna]]," he scratches out after baying.
You mark out the boundaries of the grove with grim determination. You know they're watching you as you lay your igni sigils with words and motions in the dirt, but by the time they're trying to dechiper them it'll be far too late.\n\nRorge is grim, but this isn't the first time the two of you have done this.\n\nYou've found the fifth and final point to lay a sigil. You mutter the words and make the pentagram in the dirt and it glows a deep orange and flickers a moment before dying down to thick, black lines in the ground. You feel it though, through your feet, with all the terrible possibilities it brings.\n\n"Watch out!" Rorge calls, and you spring to your feet whip in hand as half a dozen satyrs enter the copse with spears in hand. You barely dodge out of the way as one as thrown at you, and suddenly you're in the thick of combat.\n\nBlood splashes the leaves, mostly beastmen's, but ultimately you're outnumbered. Rorge is too much badass to be taken down by half-goats with spears but a sexy Dryad all green skinned and root-haired is suddenly at one side of him, holding his arm, and then another on his other side, and then a third springs up between his arms and goes for a deep kiss.\n\nYou try to pull a bitch off but get blind sided by a satyr, who keeps his knee in your gut. Unfortunately for the moment you have left, Rorge really seems to [[be enjoying it|Taken to Dianna]].\n\n<<set $sigils eq "yes">>
"Alright then, Keeper Trawl, let's keep this professional." You maintain steady eye contact. "There are druids in this neck of the woods, and something's driven them to it-- who, what, when, why." Your finger snaps up to point at him accusatoraly.\n\n"And don't go paving over anything you'd rather I didn't hear, lest I heard it elsewhere and we need to, renew, our dialogue here another time under less... favorable terms." You give him a look that lets him know you're serious.\n\n"Very well, Inquisitor," he raises his hands and shrugs. "Pull up that stool, though; it's going to be [[a long story|Long Story Short]]..."
"Ignis," you whisper mercilessly down at her as she grimaces upwards towards you.\n\nFire leaps from your arm and engulfs her to the mind-splitting shrieks of those all 'round and throws you flat on your back. You feel peopel scuffling and grabbing at you but you cannot see. Things fade in and out a little, images of being dragged and carnage and a bloody sword by your neck...\n\nWhen you awaken, Rorge is looking around nervously, then sees your eyes open and breaths a huge sigh of relief.\n\n"That was some mess," he said with sincerity. You look down and see your armor has been torn apart-- you're barely decent to present in polite society, as someone has clearly ripped the embossed Iron Rose and the underlying leather from your bodice. \n\nThere are scrapes and holes around your back and bottom as well as up and down your legs and stomach, as well, some with minor cuts and bruises.\n\n"They really did a number on you," Rorge says. "I just kept swinging but they'd pull themselves up from roots or drain the grass of water and just kept comig after you." He shakes his head.\n\n"Crazy nymphs. Anyway-- we should get going." He offers you a hand and you grimmace but take it. "You did too much too fast there-- that magic really did a number on you."\n\nLeaning on Rorge, you limp back into town. Some hail you as a hero, but most despise you for what you've done. Once you and Rorge are healed up you get out of town quickly, and are rewarded with a promotion for your noble efforts and a job well done.\n\nYou are the Red Priestess, for you brought death in the Goddess's name.
Rorge laughs, groans, and grunts and giggles throughout the entire explanation. You acquisition a loaner white dress two-sizes too-small from the buxom farm lass and insist she do the flower-gathering and tying herself. \n\nYou tell her Rorge will stay behind at the Farmstead but in truth he follows covertly at a distance.\n\nShe brings you to the edge of the clearing and bids you enter, insisting they won't come if you're together.\n\nSo, flowers tied in your hair and wearing a rediciously small white dress, you enter the clearing. You're not really sure what to do. You consider casting a spell to see heat through the foliage but think better of it, considering that it could give you away.\n\nYou barely hear the rustle of leaves and think to look over to your left before the half-goat, half-man is standing all of five feet away from you, blowing out his nose and stamping a hoof.\n\nYou admit a certain charm to him you cannot quite place; normally his large, winding horns and furry waist and legs would seem repulsive to you, but here and now they are somehow alluring.\n\nSubconciously, you realize the aphrodesiacal phermones they produce are already at work on you. He's smiling, and somehow it's utterly charming-- his hair is a light brown and his face glows with a joy of life like none you've ever seen.\n\nYou've almost forgotten Rorge, and possibly the girl, are watching from somewhere in the distance.\n\n"Priestess," he says in a melodic sing-song, "you're twice as beautiful as when you strode into town. Why don't you free yourself from that plantskin?"\n\nUh-oh. [[Play it cool|Tempt Satyr]], or [[blindside him|Shoot Satyr]] with some magic?
"So," you begin. "I take it you know why I'm here?\n\n"Y-y-yes, sister," she stammers out hurridly. "I understand the accusations you here, but they are all rumors most assuradly-- city dwellers don't understand these simple people and their ways. They're really one with nature, here, is all--"\n\n"One with the Goddess who art Above is how they aught to be, sister," you say sternly. Your years of training as an Inquisitor have primed you against the usual feeble excuses and poisonous reasoning that cover up heresy. \n\n"Of course!" She replies. "They are, it's just, well..."\n\n<<if $nice_to_priestess eq "yes">>"Oh, well I always warned them, but some of the local girls on the farms-- they went out too deep into the forrest one day, and, well, one of them came back... different."\n\nYou arch your brows, urging her on with your curiosty.\n\n"Satyrs," she blurts out, "I thought they'd just found some herbs on their own but, but... soon it was clear." She started crying a bit, and you hold her understandingly. "Dryads and Naiads have moved into a grove around Thorpton lake, and they pervert the populace daily. I've tried to combat it, honestly I have, but it's just those girls out in their country!" She scowled, now.\n\n"Their parents never did bring them to Temple after their First Ablution anyway." She sighed, and leaned back on the rough hewn stone slab stood on two great wooden supports and drapped with a clean white cloth.\n\n"Very well," you say, [["which way is this farmstead?"|Farmstead]]\n<<endif>>\n\n<<if $mean_to_priestess eq "yes">>"The lake! They're out by that damned lake, some nefarious things or other. Honestly, I tried to warn somebody but... but... they wouldn't listen! I honestly don't know who brought them here but those satyrs are always running around in the brush."\n\n"It wasn't what it looked like!" She blurted out before burrying her head in her hands and turning to to look over the altar. It occurs you could take this as an invitation to get a confession [[the old fashioned way|Spanking]] or just leave her be and go [[investigate the lake|Lake Prep Unprepared]].<<endif>>
Pressing one hand into the small of her back, the Priestess can do nothing but cry a little more and comply, awkwardly pressing herself over the flat surface and spreading her hands across the stone slab as you hike up her robe. You signal for Rorge to back up a little, and then look at your hand.\n\n"Lapis," you whisper to it, and bands of faint brown light flash around it for an instant. You feel your fringers grow stiff in your glove as you turn your attention back to the Priestess, bent over the altar.\n\nYou curve the magically firm hand into her backside without remorse, and she lets out a yelp.\n\n"You know resistance will do you know good." You leave the hand there for a second before drawing it back for another striek. "Tell us everything you know."\n\n"I swear--" she stops to wince as you strike again. "I'm not--" Again you hit, and again. Eventually, she conceeds.\n\n"I repent--!" She shrieks, and again you hit, shifting her up and down over the stone slab. "I was hav--ing an unholy lia--son with a--druid." You stop at the word.\n\n"There," you say, patting her in the small of her back. "Wasn't that easy? Now stay here; so long as you do not flee your post before I return, and you haven't mislead us, you need fear reproach from neither the Goddess nor the Faithful."\n\n"By the Iron Rose," she pants, standing up and pulling down her robe. "It's been a long time since anyone did that to me, Inquisitor."\n\n"Too long, clearly," you say with a dire grin, and with a jerk of your head to Rorge the two of you set out [[on the boy's trail|Catching the Druid]].
"It is good to hear it, sister," you call, faking a casual yawn. You take your time strolling up to the altar, running your hands over the wooden benches and looking at the carved stone etchings in the walls. \n\nSomething seems off about them to you-- they're certainly meant to look like depictions of the Goddess, but images of a wolf and a stag that are certainly not icons of the Faith keep appearing.\n\nDespite this you give her your winningest smile and clasp her warmly on the shoulder when you reach her. She smiles back, nervously.\n\nThe young man makes his unintelligibly excuses, stammering out some syllables and stealing a glance at the docile yet imposing Rorge-- a full two and a half feet taller than himself-- before darting out.\n\n<<set $nice_to_priestess = "yes">>\n\nNow, [[you begin your questioning|Temple Questioning]].
Dianna is a striking figure, all flowing hair full of flowers and vinery and roots that is the only thing covering her body-- which is perfectly proportionate, you can't help but think, and her ice blue eyes feel as if they look into your very soul.\n\n"So you have come," her lips move but emit rather than words a song on the edge of hearing, as if from everywhere and nowhere at once, while she speaks into your head. \n\n"It is a shame you have done so well-- I had hoped you would join me," she reflects, and her sadness seems beautiful and terrible at once in a way you cannot describe. \n\n"But this must be your undoing."\n\nSuddenly, the two trees that had made way for her arrival uprooted themselves and lifted her up between them. Satyrs poured in from all angles, and her finger raised accusatorially, Dianna communicated one final word:\n\n[["Destory."|Battle with Dianna]]
You step through the brambles and briars left in Rorge's wake as he clears the way. This hidden network of paths doesn't even resemble a single path unless you know the markings-- the forrest corrects itself as you pass, explaining how the satyrs can conceal their movements.\n\n<<if $drunk eq "yes">>Rorge is stumbling dumbly a bit, but you think he should be mostly fine by now. In fact, he is practically ramming into the trees that mark the way, and they shutter in a way you don't feel is quite right.\n\nThe last thing you remember hearing is a whistling through the trees and something warm and furry pressing into your backside with the faintest of laughs breathing down your neck before [[you black out|Taken to Dianna]].\n<<else>>\n<<endif>>\n<<if $drunk eq "no">>\nIt's not long before you finally arrive at Dianna's grove. There are beautiful Naiads and Dryads lounging about and playing with one anothers hair, one openly satiate her desire with one of the satyrs for all to see. When you appear, they all draw to attention and then scatter before you can even react.\n\nSuddenly, two trees bring their drooping branches apart, and [[out steps Dianna|Confronting Dianna]].<<else>>\n<<endif>>
"Oculus," you mutter under your breath as you step out into the square. The dirt is thickly packed, but as traces of movement appear in your eyes as ripples of light and nonexistant vaporous trails you easily see which way the druid headed. You instantly take off in pursuit.\n\n"Next time," Rorge huffs between breaths, "find out if someone's a druid before letting him go, would you?"\n\n"No time for sass, Rorge," you chastise him, then point at a break in foliage between some ferns where his trail went cold. He nods silently and draws his long shimmering bastard sword, leading the way quickly but quietly-- as could be given his metallic acutraments-- making way through the brush for you.\n\nYou see a clearing before you reach it, and the young man is there-- along with him a figure you can't quite make out through the foliage, but whose stature suggests he isn't entirely human. He leans forward too much at a stand to be anything but a satyr, you determine, and as you draw closer you see this to be so.\n\nThe lower half of his body is covered in brown fur and hooved, sporting the arched legs of a goat. He is also clearly horned.\n\nYou burst into the clearing, but by the time you do the satyr has already darted off. This leaves the boy, stunned a moment and looking at you, before he swears and turns to run.\n\nYou [[reach for your whip|Interrogating the Druid]].
As you round the bend, you come upon the sleepy village of Thorpton. The chimney was the local smithy, where a rotund man wipes his sweating dome and rubs his aproned stomach, taking a break from hammering an old horseshow into place to get a look at you. When he sees you notice, he casually returns to work.\n\nYou're something strange, to be sure, but enough interactions with the Faithful have taught the peasantry not to gawk.\n\nYour body is clad tight in your black leather, the Iron Rose of the Goddess embozzomed over your breast and your boots reaching nearly your thighs. As a member of the Inquisition, you dressed for a different kind of task-- one that involved using the serrated whip rolled up on your hip, as well.\n\nRorge sighs, taking in the village after a deep breath.\n\n"We could start at the [[temple|Temple]]," he indicates, with a wave of one gauntleted hand. There are a few thatched hovels, the smithy, the tavern and the temple around the main square, which is more of a circular patch of dirt than anything. Nobody seems to be milling about. These people clearly lead simple, secluded lives.\n\n"Or the [[tavern|Tavern]]," and now he was noticbly more enthusiastic. Rorge had probably spent most of his life in a tavern, before his family was blackmailed into giving him over to the church. They'd put his knack for brawling to good use, but hadn't made him happy for their lack of hooch.\n\n"Either way, we need to look into these mysterious reports of Druidic activity. Most locals will probably just look at you and bay ignorance like sheep, but a woman of the cloth or a man of business could be persuaded to divulge some leads."\n\n<<set $mean_to_priestess = "no">>\n<<set $nice_to_princess = "no">>\n<<set $drunk = "no">>\n
After an hour he's clearly exhausted everything useful he could have known. You motion for Rorge to give him a good thwack to the head and he goes out like a candle.\n\n"Nicely done," Rorge comments as he lets the druid's body slump unconcious to the ground. "Shall I tie him up?"\n\n"No need," you reply. "We're going to go and make sure these people never have to worry about these vile spirits, once and for all."\n\nApparently, Thorpton had a bit of a history with satyrs. The women would go deep into the woods when they were bored of their husbands company, but use a local preventative herb to ensure they did not bare unnatural children of the union.\n\nFor the older women, it was a tool to keep their husbands in check; for the younger ones, if there wasn't a desirable lad to be had, they preferred not to have to settle for less. Afterall, the satyrs' natural aphrodesiac it excretes and regular bathing makes them a welcome alternative to the local country bumpkins.\n\nUnfortunately Dryads and Naiads recently set up shop in a local grove by the lake it would seem; their leader, Dianna, was the charistmatic leader who had brought them all together. Suddenly as the satyrs fell under her spell they became more shrewd, and began to steal away the women of the village slowly over some years by way of romance and intrigue. So slowly was this done that nobody really took alarm to what was already an old practice-- sometimes a girl, especially when there was no lad to be had in the village, would go become a woodswitch, wife to the satyrs.\n\nBut now that these people were organized into a hiarchy and had a leader, they also gained an agenda. Dianna's grand plan was evidently to usurp the Temple in Thorpton through seduction by proxy; she'd win over the Priestess, and then have her as a mask for the Druidic cult of personality centered on herself that she'd install in Thorpton, doubtless meant to be the first of many.\n\n"Sounds like we've got our work cut out for us," Rorge said, cracking his knuckles and streching his back. "What's the next step of the plan?"\n\n"We burn them out," you suggest, "or make a more descreet entrance." Rorge just nods compliantly. He's used to this sort of thing from you by now. Either you've got some [[walking to do|Approach to Dianna]] or a [[fire to start|Burn them Out]].
"Cavea!" You shout. The effort drains you and you sink to your knees, dropping your whip, but the blue sparks that leap from your palm and buzz about Dianna, tying her up in bands of blue light, pay dividends.\n\nThe fighting stops, and Rorge is soon by your side, sword held aloft and ready to swing.\n\nDianna struggles against her bonds, but to no avail-- the Holy magicks keep her from springing free by merely dissolving and pouring out of them. She looks at you placidly.\n\n"Let them go," she thinks, and a great sadness fills the field. "No more must die this day in my name. Remember me in your hearts, little ones." It was almost as if you imagined it, but you're almost sure you see her lips move and think at the same time in your own voice "and someday soon, make them pay."\n\nYou're allowed to leave the battlefield with Dianna. Returning to the village with her in tow nearly incites a mob, but knowing you captured her alive strucks fear and awe into the hearts of the lusty peasant peoples. You're hailed as a true Agent of the Goddess, and clearly win some converts for the cause before heading home to a high commendation.\n\nLater, much later, Thorpton would be forcibly taken by a satyr milita and used as a raiding camp to strike out at some of the nearby trading routes. The Empress's Royal Army, however, soon saw to that, and there were no more rebels to put down after they left.\n\nYou are the Benificent Priestess, because you stayed your hand when your opponent's life hung in the balance.
"Tell me where this grotto of hers is," you say. "Exactly."\n\nThe druid obliges, and Rorge hauls rocks as he details to you the network of passages that the forrest covers up as they're used and thus leave no trail behind-- but can be followed with great ease by those who know where to look.\n\nIt's not long before you [[set off for Dianna|Approach to Dianna]].