“A lion on the battlefield, a strident voice in council, the very distillation of power and control in human form, Kinkade Ghir’on was possessed with a singularity of purpose, a dedication which put him on a par with the most forceful Joshuans. I fought under him once, years after the Liberation. I never fought so hard in my life, and even my efforts were as nothing to Kinkade, who whipped his troops into an awesome fury even as he waded into the melee himself. He was magnificent.”

-- Ivorus Morth’on, Joanite Storyteller


Devotion’s Price takes the characters on a quest to retrieve the Liberation hero Kinkade Ghir’on from his retreat in the Outlands. Spurred by Joan’s new acceptance of Fallen into her Tribe, and remembering what it was to have a powerful, influential leader, the declining Clan Ghir’on promises the characters membership in their Clan and all the benefits of the power they hope to gain with Kinkade’s return. The trip into the dark Outlands holds horrors both physical and spiritual, however, horrors which Kinkade has defeated only by mastering them. The characters find Kinkade in the midst of a Squat village, the members of which worship him as a terrible god. Worse yet, Kinkade himself has fallen prey to disease and may be on the very brink of death.

The players are thrust into a situation where none of their preconceptions will assist them, where duty and temptation clash, and the darkest heart of human nature is laid bare. Kinkade’s corruption and barbarism is unthinkable, and the hero has sunk to depths than only great men can fall to. Unequipped to make the decision, the characters must determine whether Kinkade should be brought back to Vimary, or whether they should attempt to save him at all.

Overview Glory and Honor Crossed Paths River of Time Windfall Heart of Darkness Dreams of Madmen Things Fall Apart Appendix

For Glory and Honor

The Quest begins with an interview with the Ghir’on elders, who contact the characters through whatever means are plausible and appropriate to the characters’ backgrounds. Promising a very lucrative opportunity, they direct them to meet at their tower just north of Bazaar. Ideally, one or more characters in the group will be newly-accepted Joanites or interested in becoming Joanites. It may be difficult to involve some characters in the plot, as not all will be interested in Clan Ghir’on’s terms. If one member of a Cell is an aspiring Joanite, the others can be persuaded to join the quest for their friend’s sake; others might realize (or be led to realize by the Weaver) the advantage of having an ascendant Clan of the Warrior Tribe as allies.

The Ghir’on tower is stark, more impoverished than spartan, and there are not even enough of the well-worn chairs for everyone to sit. The Ghir’on make sure the characters are comfortable before sitting themselves, offering mead and sweetmeats before they begin. Asking if the characters are familiar with the hero Kinkade, the Clan leader Merle fills the characters in if they are not (see Kinkade in the Appendix, although the Ghir’on use more glowing terms). They then introduce Solenne, a venerable Joanite woman and Kinkade’s wife. The two still hold a bond of Devotion, and through this link Solenne knows Kinkade is still alive. The Ghir’on now grow serious, almost grave, and explain that they believe that, informed of Joan’s recent change in temperament, Kinkade will return to Vimary and accept Joan’s offer to rejoin Her Tribe. The Ghir’on will ascend to their rightful place at the fore of the Tribe, and would be more than happy to invite into their Clan those who have proven themselves by bringing Kinkade back. Joan’s current offer only accepts Fallen into Her Tribe; the Ghir’on offer brings the characters fully into the society.

The Ghir’on do not have much, but supply the characters as best they can. In many ways, the Ghir’on see this as their last chance to survive as a Clan. They have packs already prepared, which include all the necessities of travel as well as two weeks’ worth of rations. Merle gives one of the characters (the one most likely to accept the offer to join the Clan) her own shield, bearing the crest of Clan Ghir’on, both to assist them on their quest as well as to identify them when they find Kinkade. They have arranged for transport to Westholm and give the characters a letter to present to the Joanite boatman Ivorus, who will arrange transport further. The Ghir’on answer any questions to which they have answers; they are forthright, have nothing to hide and everything to gain.

Optional Sideplot: Treachery
If the Weaver wishes to complicate matters, she can include this scene sometime between the Ghir’on tower and Westholm. After making sure the Ghir’on escort is either asleep or away, a shadowy figure approaches one of the characters, but refrains from getting close enough to betray her disguised identity. Explaining that she is from Clan Luther’on and fears an ascendant Clan Ghir’on, she offers the character membership in her Clan if he will assassinate Kinkade once he is found. The real identity of the shadowy figure is up to the Weaver to determine; she may be who she says she is, from Clan Ben’on, a Dahlian or perhaps even a Z’bri.

Optional Sideplot: Trophies of a God
The characters might also be approached by one of the Guides of Hom, who explains that Kinkade has continued his Z’bri-hunting career in the Outlands, and has acquired three items he keeps as trophies. These items are touched by the Z’bri taint, however, and pose a significant risk to Kinkade’s very soul. While the Guide does not explain what a heartstone is, she gives the characters a description adequate enough to find them, and promises them rewards if they bring these trophies back to her. The reward should be tailored to the characters, and is an excellent way to involve a character who is uninterested in joining a Joanite Clan.

Overview Glory and Honor Crossed Paths River of Time Windfall Heart of Darkness Dreams of Madmen Things Fall Apart Appendix

Crossed Paths

The Ghir’on provide the characters with horses and a small escort as far as Westholm; on the path through Duskfall the escort’s leader draws them to a halt and quiets the party. The sound of battle and an inhuman roar filters through the woods. The escort tells the party it is undoubtedly Joanites fighting some Z’bri monstrosity, and she feels compelled to help. The characters are free to continue on to Westholm, but the Joanites must assist their sisters. The Weaver might want to remind any characters who desire to become Joanites themselves that running from a fight will not reflect favorably on them, but if the characters insist on heading for Westholm, simply skip this section.

Following the sound of battle brings the party to a small clearing, where a swarm of warriors are battling a pair of Gek’roh. The warriors are not Joanites, however, but Squats from the Luman Tribe which occupies Duskfall. The Joanites aren’t as eager to assist Squats as they are Tribe sisters, but reason that any opportunity to lessen the Gek’roh population and make Duskfall safer should be taken. The characters might help the Joanites come to this decision, as well. With the addition of the Joanites and Fallen, the Gek’roh should be dispatched shortly.

When the battle is over, Chief Lum (Vimary, page 114) approaches the party and offer his thanks, inviting them to a feast to celebrate the victory. The Joanites are hesitant at first, but Lum will argue that it is nearing nightfall and creating a second camp a click up the road is unnecessary, especially when they could be enjoying themselves with the Lumans. If the party accepts the offer, they become the guests of honor at a meal which, if lacking in culinary sophistication, makes up for its lack in quality with incredible quantity.

This encounter provides an excellent opportunity for the characters to interact with the Luman Squats before they are forced to deal with Outlands Squats later in the Quest. The Lumans are eager to please and impress the Tribals, and as the night grows long, mention their hopes of joining the Nation. Lum especially shows himself to be well-informed about current events, and sadly recognizes that Eva has become increasingly insular, which greatly lessens their chances. He jokes instead that the Lumans might take up Joan’s offer and take the tests to join Her Tribe. Any Joanites in earshot are not amused.

Overview Glory and Honor Crossed Paths River of Time Windfall Heart of Darkness Dreams of Madmen Things Fall Apart Appendix

The River of Time

The remainder of the trip to Westholm is uneventful, and the Ghir’on escort shows the characters to Ivorus’ door before returning home with the horses. Ivorus, an ancient Morth’on, welcomes the characters into his house and assures them that the preparations are complete -- he has used his Dream Travel Aspect to communicate with the Ghir’on and finds the letter that the characters bear a needless formality. The characters might be surprised, however, when Ivorus says “We can leave at first light tomorrow morning.” Despite his advancing age, he intends to accompany the party upriver, and will not be dissuaded.

In the morning Ivorus leads the characters out to the docks and the party pushes off into the Great River. He passes the time as he rows upriver by making conversation with the party, telling stories of the Liberation and of Kinkade, who he remembers as a young man (a sample of this can be found at the beginning of this Quest). When he decides that his audience is not paying enough attention or respect to his stories, he lets the conversation lapse and the slow motion of the river lull the party to sleep. When the last eyes drop closed, Ivorus moors the boat and collects the sleepers’ anima through Dream Travel, and takes them into his own memories and dreams of the Liberation.

The characters find themselves in the midst of a battlefield filled with Tribals and Serfs. The Serfs are slowly overpowering the Tribals, and the characters’ chances of survival are slimming. Just as they begin to despair, a giant of a man wades into the fray. His very presence seems to turn the tide of the battle, as Tribals all around him begin pushing the Serfs back. The Tribals and the characters hew their way through waves of Serfs to attain the hill atop which the Z’bri general directs the battle. The Tribals set to turning back the Serfs eager to defend their lord, allowing the characters the choice of joining the great warrior battling the Z’bri, or helping to keep the Serfs at bay.

Regardless of the eventual outcome, the characters wake to find Ivorus still rowing them upriver as night falls. Ivorus anchors the boat and “makes camp” in the middle of the river, stating that going to shore in the Outlands is foolhardy. If asked about their dreams, Ivorus simply says his stories must have inspired them. If the characters are adamant that their dreams were not natural, he grudgingly suggests that perhaps his own memories and dreams seeped into their slumbering consciousnesses.

Ivorus’ stories should inspire in the characters a deep interest in Kinkade, and they should expect a great warrior and leader at their journey’s end. Kinkade should sound larger than life, charismatic, skilled and powerful. The dream sequence should reinforce this image, as it is only with Kinkade’s decisive leadership that the Tribals are able to push back the Z’bri. The characters should be in awe of Kinkade, a man who they have not even met.

Overview Glory and Honor Crossed Paths River of Time Windfall Heart of Darkness Dreams of Madmen Things Fall Apart Appendix


After hours of rowing the next day, Ivorus takes over the oars again and directs the boat up a small tributary feeding into the Great River, explaining that the Dahlians have had some sparse contact with Kinkade, and he is reported to maintain a small encampment near the source of the tributary. The tributary is far smaller than the Great River, and more than once the boat must be portaged around rapids.

During one of these portages, catastrophe strikes: high winds set the trees to turbulent thrashing, and as the party launches the boat upriver of dangerous whitewater, a bough snaps off a tree and plummets directly onto the craft. The characters lose control of the boat, which floats downriver, directly into the rocks. The sickening crunch of timbers make it obvious that the boat is damaged, and once it is retrieved, Ivorus announces that the bottom has been torn out, and they will not be able to continue without two week’s repairs. The party’s supplies are not adequate, and Ivorus suggests with some trepidation that they will be able to hunt game to compensate.

On their first hunting trip, however, the characters are surprised to find a curious ramshackle building set a short distance into the woods. It appears to be a cabin built for temporary habitation; on the table inside is a note in Tribal reading, “Keep going, you are almost there. I hope the supplies help.” A cabinet in the corner is stocked with smoked meat, and a cistern next to it is filled with fresh water. Better yet, behind the building is a great stack of wood, more than sufficient to repair the ship.

The players would be justified in suspecting the unexpected windfall, but their benefactor has left no traps and the food and water is unpoisoned. Repairing the boat takes only two days with the gift supplies, and the characters should be on their way upriver after only a slight delay.

Overview Glory and Honor Crossed Paths River of Time Windfall Heart of Darkness Dreams of Madmen Things Fall Apart Appendix

The Heart of Darkness

A heavy fog lies thick across the river upstream, and Ivorus hands the oars over to one of the player characters so that he may sit at the bow and watch for dangers. Suddenly and without warning, the air is filled with arrows fired from both shores. The characters are in a difficult situation, since they cannot see their attackers, and even if they are armed with ranged weapons, firing into the fog is a futile proposition. The boat affords little protection, and unmanning the oars will let the boat drift back downriver.

Approximately thirty Squats line either side of the river. Their primary goal is not to kill the characters but to scare them off — the arrows they are firing are small, untipped and unpoisoned, and therefore largely ineffectual outside of scare tactics. The Squats are unsure of exactly what they are firing at, and are therefore easily frightened, and displays of power (including but not limited to obvious uses of Synthesis or firing a gun) sends them running home.

Half a click upriver is Kinkade’s encampment where two smaller rivers join to form the tributary that flows down to the Great River. The fog thins as they approach, slowly revealing select details to turn the characters’ stomachs: decapitated heads on pikes; a man suspended in the air by ropes tied to his extremities, his skin flayed off; and finally the towering and brooding structure of Kinkade’s temple itself. The shore is crowded with armed Squats, as well as a young woman standing on a dock shouting to the party in Tribal. This is Manimegalai, welcoming them in.

If the characters scared the Squats off before, Manimegalai urges them from the dock to do it again, at which point the Squats flee. Otherwise Ivorus docks the boat and the characters can disembark with the Squats still standing guard all across the bank. Manimegalai welcomes the characters enthusiastically, assuming that they are there to sit at Kinkade’s feet as she has. Her conversation is chaotic and hard to follow, making any attempt the characters make to get any information out of her problematic at best. The only topic she constantly reiterates is Kinkade’s great wisdom, and that he has “expanded my mind”.

Manimegalai is quite insane, and while her praise is much like the adulation that the characters have been hearing since the outset of the quest, hearing the same thing from someone evidently deranged is unsettling at best. The few interesting tidbits of her conversation are the following:

Manimegalai suggests that the characters “stay a while” and wait for Kinkade to recover from his sickness before seeing him. As she is unable to stop the characters from doing so, her only defense is intimations that Kinkade will be angered, that it is best that the characters wait, that the Squats will not allow it, or other stalling tactics. If the characters show no initiative to see Kinkade, Ivorus agitates to see him the next day.

Kinkade is huddled on a straw mat inside his temple, attended by a pair of frightened Squats who offer no resistance to the incoming characters. Kinkade tosses and turns, alternately mumbling and screaming, swearing “By Joan, I’ll kill them all” or whispering “I know what it is to be a Fatima.” Ivorus kneels beside Kinkade, a worried look across his face, checks Kinkade’s pulse and temperature and looks down the man’s throat. He then looks up at the characters and states that the disease is not physical, but spiritual and emotional.

Overview Glory and Honor Crossed Paths River of Time Windfall Heart of Darkness Dreams of Madmen Things Fall Apart Appendix

Dreams of Madmen

Kinkade’s soul is lost, Ivorus explains, and theorizes that in the absence of a Fatima’s grace and love, Kinkade has constructed a simulacrum with himself as the focal point. Kinkade is not, however, a Fatima, and such a disparity has created a rift between the real world and Kinkade’s fantasies. Ivorus is at least partially right; Kinkade’s soul is lost, but not because of its need of Fatimal love. Kinkade was and still is a very principled man, and has been forced to extreme measures. In his dedication to battle the Beasts, Kinkade has become all but a beast himself. His most recent raid has pushed him over the edge, and he was finally forced to confront the depravation he had sunk to. His will has become bound up in sick fascination and self-condemnation, unable to surmount his own sins.

Ivorus offers to use his Aspect of Dream Travel to take the characters into Kinkade’s delirious dream world. There they can search his fevered nightmares for his soul and attempt to free it from whatever inner demons keep it bound. Brewing a concoction to put the characters into a trance-like sleep, he then collects their anima one by one before entering Kinkade’s dreams. If any of the characters have Dream Travel themselves, they can either assist or take over Ivorus’ role.

Entering Kinkade’s dream world begins with the image of forested hills flying underfoot as the characters speed westward into the setting sun. Insidious whispers crowd into their ears, suggesting horrific acts and taunting them with accusations of guilt. The voices bring up their worst sins and crimes, especially those which have not been resolved. As the last light of day dies, the forest takes on a brooding and malicious aspect, and the characters can feel eyes peering at them from the darkness.

A great bonfire erupts before the characters, silhouetting a naked man wearing a horned headdress and screaming chants into the night sky. Other forms join him, dancing and chanting in the hellish firelight, and the characters feel a strong urge to join in the sinister ritual. A great throne rises out of the ground, upon which sits Kinkade, overlooking the proceedings with an expression of stern acceptance. The Squats and participating characters are dancing and chanting to him.

Any attempts to draw near to Kinkade necessitate wading through the dance, which only makes the dark ritual’s pull stronger. When the characters come near enough to touch Kinkade, their point of view abruptly changes, so that they look down from the throne on the proceedings in Kinkade’s place. The horned shaman draws one ecstatic dancer out of the ritual and brings him to the characters. He offers them a chiseled stone knife and, pulling back on a handful of the dancer’s hair, bares his throat to the characters. The expression on the young sacrifice’s face is a volatile mix of fanatical love, fear and awe. The characters should feel heady with power, as this young man’s life is given totally into their power, and they have but to act to claim a human sacrifice in their own honor. If the players do not act, narrate their hand raising of its own accord and slashing the sacrifice’s throat open.

The scene shifts and the slaughtered sacrifice turns into a Serf falling and clutching at his throat. Ecstatic cries turn to the shouts of battle, and the light of the bonfire is separated into torches and isolated fires scattered across a wide plain. All about the characters is the rage of battle, Tribals fighting Serfs and Z'bri. Characters should be reminded of the dream sequence they participated in before, but this time Kinkade’s entrance triggers a strange transformation in the combatants, turning the valiant Tribals into fanatical Squats. As Kinkade rallies the characters and other fighters to confront the Z’bri general, the Z’bri shimmers and contorts, turning into Joan. The battle surges forward nonetheless, and Kinkade deals a death blow to Joan, who topples to the ground.

The rest of the battle fades away into darkness, leaving Kinkade hunched over Joan’s crumpled body, sobbing. His own Tribal markings and armor melt and reform into Squat markings and battle gear. If the characters approach, Kinkade looks up with tear-filled eyes, his very body silently growing and shifting, transforming from flesh and blood to stone, leather and metal. Kinkade becomes a Fatima, eyes still wide with horror and terror. His form then convulses, turning back to flesh, but now twisted into the form of a Z’bri. Kinkade wails in agony and collapses to the ground next to Joan, his body still shifting between Tribal, Squat, Fatima and Z’bri as if confused.

Kinkade’s dreams are dark, intense and chaotic, and should be the climax of the Quest. The characters are presented with a procession of horrors both visceral as well as metaphysical, as Kinkade’s terrible acts infect his mind and lead him to delusions of being a Fatima or a Z'bri. Attention to detail is essential: make sure the characters are presented with more than enough to sicken them on many levels, and question not only if Kinkade’s soul is redeemable, but whether or not they should even try to bring such a man back to Vimary. Whenever possible, translate Kinkade’s horrific sins into experiences personalized to the characters, leaving them feeling as corrupted and culpable as Kinkade. The most terrible aspect of this sequence should be the character’s ability to identify with Kinkade, an unsettling realization at best.

Overview Glory and Honor Crossed Paths River of Time Windfall Heart of Darkness Dreams of Madmen Things Fall Apart Appendix

Things Fall Apart

The characters are left with the crumpled form of Kinkade at their feet and a multitude of questions on their minds. The final decision, however, remains in their hands. They have served as witnesses to the menagerie of Kinkade’s sins and must now decide if they will save him, kill him, or leave him to his Squats. If the players need prompting, Ivorus can turn to the characters and ask them what they will do, sidestepping responsibility by claiming that he is only a guide and not one of the questers. It is also at this point in the Quest where scripting the action becomes impossible. Potential outcomes have been described below, but what is presented is hardly a definitive list.

Saving Kinkade
This is by far the most difficult proposition, if it is possible at all. Healing Kinkade’s soul is not so easy as picking him up and dragging him out of his nightmares; he is horrified at what he himself has become and must overcome his own corruption. Marions or other characters forgiving him is not enough; Kinkade must forgive himself. Kinkade has become obsessed with his own absolute corruption, and any attempt to prompt him to self-forgiveness is met with a healthy dose of resistance. Characters might make pleas to Kinkade’s sense of duty, possibly the only part of his character unsullied by his crimes, and promise him the chance of redemption if he returns to Vimary and the Joanites. Other solutions might include reminding him of his wife who still waits for him, or telling him of Joan’s recent changes.

If the characters return to Vimary with Kinkade, they are hailed as heroes and quickly adopted into Clan Ghir’on. Kinkade ascends to lead the Clan, but still has many difficulties to overcome. The characters may be intrinsic to his healing process in later quests.

Killing Kinkade
Particularly vicious Weavers can inform one of the characters (the assassin, if the Weaver is making use of that sideplot) that the stone knife used in the human sacrifice is still in her hand as they stand over Kinkade. If his anima is slain within his dreams, Kinkade’s real-world body will cease functioning and die. Alternately, the characters might opt to wake and kill him in the real world. In either case, Kinkade offers no resistance, and after his throat is slit, he breathes, “Thank You.”

Leaving Kinkade
The characters may decide that Kinkade’s crimes are too horrific to forgive and while returning him to Vimary is unacceptable, killing him is either unnecessary or wrong. Ivorus points out that leaving Kinkade outside of Fatimal love is tantamount to taking that love away, and the characters should understand that they are elevating themselves to the authority of a Fatima in leaving him. Now the characters know what it is to be a Fatima , too.

Returning to Vimary without Kinkade
If the characters return to Vimary empty-handed, they have some explaining to do. Ivorus again sidesteps responsibility, promising to be the soul of discretion and leaving the characters to decide on a story. Even if they did not kill Kinkade, they are informed that Solenne felt him die a few days before the characters returned. The characters may simply report that he was afflicted with fever and died, or detail the entire story, which dismays and outrages the remaining Ghir’on. If the characters return with his body, he is given a hero’s burial, and while the Ghir’on are grateful for the service, membership within the Clan is not offered.

If the assassination sideplot was used, the shadowy contact is never seen again and Clan Luther’on denies he ever existed, a lesson to never engage in bargains one can not enforce.

Retrieving the Heartstones
Whatever the characters do to Kinkade, they may wish to retrieve his trophies. Without locks or latches in the Outlands, it is simple enough to find the heartstones among Kinkade’s personal items. If Kinkade is brought out of his delirium, he insists on keeping the trophies, and is sure to have them in his possession before leaving for Vimary, adding yet another complication to bringing him back. While the heartstones were never responsible for Kinkade’s malaise (removing them from his presence does not save him), they certainly exacerbated it, and should probably be kept away from him. If given the heartstones, the Guide gratefully rewards the characters as promised.

Overview Glory and Honor Crossed Paths River of Time Windfall Heart of Darkness Dreams of Madmen Things Fall Apart Appendix

Appendix: Weaver Resources

Kinkade, Liberation Hero and Terrible God

The step from hero to god is not as great as one might imagine. The victories of Kinkade’s youth made him a living legend, and he enjoyed such status for a time. The bond of duty, however, always compelled Kinkade to strike out against the enemies of mankind, and this indomitable duty created a gulf between Kinkade and his Fatima. When he could bear it no longer, he abandoned everything: his post, his Clan, the Nation and his wife, disappearing into the Outlands, where he found new allies in the Squats. Considerable use of Devotion has transformed them into a fanatical army and Kinkade into the subject of adulation once again.

Highlights: Charismatic, Larger-than-Life, Insane

Eminence: Devotion

Attributes: BLD+2, CRE+1, FIT+2, INF+2, PSY-2, WIL+3

Skills: Hand to Hand 2/0, Melee 2/0, Combat Sense 2/0, Dodge 2/0, Intimidate 1/+2, Leadership 2/+2, Tactics 2/+1, Synthesis 3

Ivorus Morth’on, Joanite Boatman

Ivorus has seen it all, the grand sweep of history and the eventual decay of the Nation. He has concluded that the current generation does not know or appreciate their history, and it is this rejection of their birthright which has produced today’s Nation. Rather than stand up against such corruption, though, he has retreated to Westholm to escape it.

Highlights: Arrogant, Wise, Cowardly

Attributes: BLD+1, FIT+1, INF-2, KNO+1, WIL+1

Skills: Melee 2/0, First Aid 1/+1, Dreaming 2/0, Boating 2/0, Mythology 2/+1, Ritual 1/+1, Synthesis 2

Manimegalai, Agnite Adventurer

A long time ago, Agnes sent Manimegalai out to find out what the horizon was like. What she found was Kinkade, who must be the wisest man of all time. She is completely infatuated with him, dotes on every word he speaks, and haunts his encampment, letting her quest for the horizon lapse for ‘just a little while’.

Highlights: Excited, Deluded, Fanatical

Attributes: CRE+2, KNO-2, PER+2, PSY-2, WIL-2

Skills: Athletics 2/0, Camouflage 2/+2, Dodge 2/0, Notice 2/+2, Sneak 2/0, Survival 2/+2

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