The PCs landed in Graywall, and learned firsthand that monstrous beings are not necessarily evil. Graywall was an industrious and prosperous town, quite large for the mere 30 years it had been in place.
The majority of the town had been built by Ogre and Goblin work squads, although swathes of the city were composed of ancient Dahkaani ruins, painstakingly restored to their former glory through hard labor and magic.
There, they were met by a medusa emissary and 2 gnoll guards. These beings escorted them to a High Magus by the name of Vrik…a singularly unpleasant little bastard of a goblin. Through him, they were transported to the private Demense of Sora Katra.
Sora Katra was pleased to see Deman again, and was also pleased by the presence of the PCs, for she was able to strike a deal using them as a driving force: She would sign the Non-aggression pact…if they travelled to a town called Tinshire and determined what happened to scouts she had sent out that way.
Winston, not one to take such a request lightly, questioned her motives. She revealed that a dark power had been felt there…one she was not familiar with. And if she had no idea what it was, it must be strange indeed. The party decided that if they found whatever power was located there it would not be given to the Daughters of Sora Kell, no matter what the cost.
Requisitioning an airship would take time, but Sora Katra agreed to the request. It would, after all, speed things up substantially compared to horseback travel.
Before the PCs left, she gave each of them a Black Feather Charm of Recall to speed their return home, as well as letting her subjects known at a single glance that the PCs were under her protection and should not be harmed.
Once in Tinshire, the PCs felt a malign force as something whispered to their minds. It was not definable….something eating slowly at the back of their thoughts that vanished when focused on. But it was enough to make focusing harder (thus they took a -2 penalty to all Perception rolls while this force was still in effect).
They investigated the empty town and found:
1: A knife thrust through a map and note, showing the entire town. The church was circled in red, and the note stated that something evil was afoot with the church and it was responsible for whatever had caused the town to vanish.
2: A freaky scene was found in the provisioners’ shoppe. Tied to a chair within, a body of one of the orc scouts sat. It had been run through, vertically, with a large brass pipe with fluting punctured into it….something had changed this being into a sickening musical instrument. The rotting entrails and body had made the stench almost unbearable within. The blood on the floor was recognized as some form of cult symbol, likely one of the Dragon Below. They copied this symbol down. A cursory check of the corpse revealed that it had been relieved of its innards, filled with something else, and healed back up. When carved open, the body spilled Bloodworms all over the floor. , and used the scouts own black feather charm to return the terribly disfigured body to Sora Katra, along with the copied symbol on paper.
3: A second body was found partially hidden in refuse in an alley. It had been killed by a single well placed dagger strike. The knife itself was carved in the likeness of various unknowable monstrosities, and eyes carved into the handle appeared to follow wherever the watcher went. Beside this corpse was another cult symbol.
4: Tracks were scattered in the dirt in town, several back-heavy, indicating that whoever had placed the tracks had walked backwards…likely to misdirect others.
5: The church had been desecrated. The PCs fixed this by eradicating the altar. Winston then said a prayer to bless the church. Behind the church, the plants and hedge maze seemed to be warped and mutated, and a path was found leading to a higher plateau upon the mountains.
6: With his keen magical senses, Tank located a dragonmark upon a boulder in town. Making a rubbing of the symbol, they continued on. They will have to translate it later.
The Pcs followed the trail behind the church, and after some time came across a temple nestle into the mountain. It was made of a strange black rock, carved in bizarre geometric angles that constantly produced optical illusions of depth, making the building appear to move in subtle ways constantly. There, they were attacked by the guards outside the temple, and a small force of lesser cultists. These peons were hardly a threat for the experienced Breland soldiers!
However, once inside the temple, the greater muscle of the cult was seen in action: Terrible dark magics that nearly cost the party dearly. However, they triumphed and sent the cultists to an early grave.
Total cultists killed: 20 Giant Mutant Wolves killed: 3
next session: Deeper into the Temple