For the love of Nerezza
Nerezza Moonstone is greatly loved by her priests and all the people in the area.
If the party killed Nerezza, many priests will surround her body and wail with grief. They will treat her body with the utmost respect while they delicately carry it across the bridge towards the main tower. They will understand that the party was provoked but will not be able to hide the anger from their eyes. The party has permanently lost favor with the priesthood and the peoples they influence. It will be difficult to win back.
If the party did not kill Nerezza, she remains in an unresponsive state. Extended use of the Crown of Psychic Dissonance has seriously damaged her psyche. The priests will delicately carry her across the bridge towards the main tower. The priesthood can potentially heal her, but it will require a specific ritual performed with a rare ingredient that is almost impossible to obtain: a personal belonging from her tormentor and the Crown’s master Lilith Nightsong.
Joseph the Helpful Priest
Joseph Gemleaf is the only priest who seems to have any strength left to speak. He will freely provide useful information to the party if they wish. He can talk about:
The initial arrival of the stranger who gifted the Crown of Psychic Dissonance to Nerezza. The stranger claimed to belong to the Nihil family. Joseph, like everyone else, cannot remember his physical appearance even though he saw him up close.
His personal experience seeing the Crown appear in his dreams. What it felt like to slowly become more compelled and end up in a state of psychic paralysis as two halves of his inner mind warred with each other.
The recurring motif of orange lights and a strange song.
The fact that the bridge leads to the main tower. At the top is Nerezza’s Chamber where she communes with the goddess Sel and relays with her priesthood. This chamber is the reason the Crown’s twisted power was able to affect every priest.
Other information about the Citadel or the priesthood.
There are secrets Joseph does not know:
That the stranger was an agent of Lilith Nightsong.
The meaning of the orange light or the origin of the mysterious song.
What the symbol inscribed on the crown means.
The sickly orange light in the sky remains above the main tower across the bridge, though it starts to fade after the encounter with Nerezza. If the party heads in that direction they will discover a large private chamber where Nerezza performed her worship and communicated with her priesthood. This room enables a magical psychic connection between the person inside it and the entire priesthood. In this way, the Crown of Psychic Dissonance was able to corrupt every priest and not just Nerezza.
When the players locate this chamber, read the following out loud:
The chamber is expansive, with the considerable length of its walls entirely painted with intricate star charts. A hall of carved pillars leads down the center of the room, ending in a set of stairs ascending to a silver dias that sparkles in the light. A carefully placed sequence of eight windows on the ceiling ensure that moonlight can reach this dias during important moments in the lunar cycle.
Eight lines of glowing blue radiate outward from the center of the dias, like a collection of leylines heading off into the rest of the Citadel.
Though none of the priests will touch the Crown of Psychic Dissonance, the players may recover it. It will not begin its corrupting effect until someone places it on their head.
The Crown is a powerful magical artifact under the control of Lilith Nightsong. She can exert influence over its wearer, even from great distances. In addition to its corrupting effects, the crown provides some immediate magic powers which can be determined in the usual way. On its inside edge, the players will discover a symbol, the symbol of the 6th Dark Chord–a sigil of Lilith Nightsong.
Its true powers and connection to Lilith remain hidden, regardless of time spent or arcane investigation. There may be someone in the kingdom who would know more.
With Nerezza dead or incapacitated by her ordeal, the region remains in a state of turmoil. The priesthood will grieve their losses, and some may remain permanently scarred. In spite of their ordeal, they will try to reinstate order in the Citadel and the surrounding area.
If Nerezza is dead, a search for her successor will begin. If the players choose to stay in the region, they could become entangled in this political process, and discover more about the region as various candidates and their factions emerge. It’s possible a force outside the Citadel would see this as their opportunity to seize power.
If Nerezza is alive, the priesthood will beg the players to help them revive her. They will discover in their libraries the means to perform powerful rituals on the mind, but will learn that they lack a key ingredient: some personal effect of the Crown’s true master.