Session Eight "Following a Trail"
The players resume their journeys in the town of Mirendel where they attend a ceremony held in honor of the protectorates son. Though greaving from his loss, Galen has agreed to take on the role of the settlements new acting mayor. The retired soldier is despondent during the proceedings and seems oblivious when a small group of assassins attacks the ceremony. The players are quick to respond and soon the sword flailing lunatics are dispatched. The groups leader is much harder to kill as he seems to be able to heal himself by siphoning the life force away from those around him. The group persists, though Mortull is nearly lost in the overall struggle. It is soon realized that this black eyed figure is an agent of the entity Dage, sent to stop the party and cause chaos. Before the ichor escapes the mans body the creature proclaims “You shall never obtain the orb, with it our lord Dage shall consume the world”
Returning to town, Mortull is taken into the local hospital where he remains in bed recovering, his only companion the troll Ooyuki. The Troll seems intent on teaching Mortull the ways of his culture as well as how to play some game or another but Mortull weaves in and out of consciousness barely retaining anything his companion says.
That evening as Dark Angel prays to her goddess for direction, Bloodbourne and Tamora decide to explore the nearby woods in hope of finding fresh meat they can bring back to town. What they find is an army of undead marching toward Mirendell. The army’s numbers are staggering and their intent seemingly clear. Bloodbourne and Tamora rush back to the settlement in time to raise the alarm and help prepare the area for evacuation.
While this is happening Dariet decides that the best way to help is to spend his time modifying a teleportation spell that will allow him to carry the wounded Mortull to safety.
Through the combined efforts of the group as a whole, the survivors of Mirendell are gathered and provisioned. Just as the Dark Army appears on the horizon the settlers are moving out of the town. Dariet finishes his task in the nick of time and he whisks the injured Mortull to safety.
Later that day the group struggles to keep the panicking civilians moving as the massive army sweeps around Mirendel behind them. It seems the great army well overtake them swiftly. Hours later the army, having split in two to go around Mirendel, passes to either side of the evacuation convoy… paying it no mind. Occasionally an armored wraith flying upon a skeletal drake flys over the screaming people but not one undead so much as strays toward the easy targets. Soon it is apparent that neither Mirendell or its evacuees are of any importance too the dead. Raed calls the procession to a halt as the undead sweep past and rejoin ahead, leaving the living as an island among the dead. This continues the rest of the day, leaving the convoy stalled and watching in awe as the seemingly endless tide of zombies and abominations sweeps by all around them.
Soon enough the Army has passed and disappeared on the horizon between the group and Asdelor. Many of the civilians begin to question traveling toward a destination that may be under seage when their own homes are closer and apparently safer.
The larger portion of the evacuation convoy decides to return to Mirendell while the adventurers and a few, more desperate survivors decide to carry on to the great city regardless. As they prepare to move once more a column of heavily armored troops appears from the south. The apparent knights carry the banners of Asdelor and are heading toward the group in a hurry. Upon arrival the columns leader reveals they have come to assist the evacuation. Dariet has apparently organized the rescue and leads the charge. The troops saw nothing of any army on the way. Apparently the undead have simply vanished. The leader of the column sends half his men to Mirendell to escort the stubborn survivors to Asdelor while he and the other half of his column escort the player group.
The trip is quick and uneventful. Soon enough the group finds itself in the fortress city of Asdelor. The military strength here is awesome lending the group a sense of security they have not known in a long time. They are given freedom within the city’s common district but locked out of its military quarter.
Dariet, a local of Asdelor, has a large home in the city. He brought Mortull here for recovery and remained with the injured man until he was sure of recovery. Once Mortull’s condition stabilized Dariet immediately took off to rejoin the group in Mirendell.
Mortull makes use of his free time by having Dariets house put in order for guests when he is not busy training and exercising. He feels an urge to regain his strength quickly. It seems this is the place to do it as well. Dariet and his servants both seem to be more than they first appear and well capable of defending their home.
Mortull meets the group at the front gate of Asdelor as they arrive and soon the entire group is resting at Dariets home.
That day Dark Angel and Raed decide to investigate rumor of a local scholar. They have heard that the man may have information pertaining to Wrythak Keep. The keep is said to be the place Jasper and his minions took the abducted golem Rictus. Without the golem’s knowledge of the plague all may be lost.
The scholar turns out to be a man of few spoken words. He answers Raeds questions with a blind stare and unvoiced words. A great book nearby instead seems to magically change its script to answer Raeds every inquiry. A miracle in itself as Raed cannot read. Below is Raeds line of Questioning and the tombs answers.
" Raed: Raed just continues to staer on as he watches the ‘things’ crawl on the page to form something. “Interesting book…”
Tomb: "The place you seek but dare not go .Lie beyond the forest Arthefell
In this place Hell wages a war with Pure evil and both seek that which cannot be found
Raed: “The orb…”
Tomb: only the stoneman can direct you to his mortal soul.
Raed: “Who’s mortal Soul?”
Tomb: The hero of old who saved the world from an evil so great the world once grew cold
Raed: "So he knows where the orb is, thus why they took him…On a less serious topic, is ther anything we can help you before we continue to take advantage of your hospitality? "
Tomb: The one who sacrifices himself to save the world has no debt to pay
Raed: “This is no dept, but kindness to help others that may be in need. Is there nothing I can do for you?”
Tomb: stay alive old soul, you have walked the future that is now false past… you have yet to experience a past come future
Raed: “Very well then. Now, what has awakened the ickor beast from it’s slumber?”
Tomb: the essence of the beast is not the sum of its nature. the parts you have seen hold no power beside the god of hatred
Raed: “Dage. What has broke him free from his slumber within Nature?”
Tomb: the greed of man has set free that which hungers most for mans suffering. Only the heroes soul and his arms forbidden to him can be used to stem the dark tide
Raed: “Ugh, I’ve always hated these prophetic types..” He sorta mutters this to himself.
“Is the stoneman in the keep, or kept somewhere else?”
Tomb: The being you seek is indeed inside but his being will be shattered once his secrets are forced from his granite heart. If the Orb is lost so is our world. Seek the orb, only Rictus knows where he has hidden itRaed: “Is there a known cure for the ones who have been tainted, or has it yet to be discovered? If there is one, where would I find it, or does the stoneman contain this information also?”
Tomb: What infests the damned is no illness that can be cured with herb or spell. The creatures growing within those who are infected are fingers of the dark god. those who become tainted are lost forever until the orb again secures the bindings of Dage. If he is released into this world fully, even the orb cannot save those who carry his children inside
Raed: “What has happened to the orb to cause this unbalance?”
Tomb: The orb has been lost and those who know how to use it have passed. Only The ancient hero can open its power to you. Only trust will inspire such honor.
Raed: “Will her goddess (Referring to Angel) have the power to bind Dage again, if you know of whom she speaks?”
Tomb: The Mother struggles to contain the beast. Without the sacrifice of a new hero to refresh the prisons seal…. the damage man has done cannot be repaired.
Raed: “How long do we have before the stoneman and the mother’s will broken?”
Tomb: The stoneman will pass before the next full moon… and with him will come the mothers own doom
Raed: “What can the dark god do with those tainted? What powers does he have over them, or can use through them?”
Tomb: The tainted ARE the dark one. The more hosts he finds the more of his physical form can enter into our world. Once he is released completely those who carry the taint will be absorbed as the evil lord again walks in his true form.
At this time the book warns that the line of questioning has drawn the gaze of dark intent. As it issues its warnings the words upon its pages begin to falter and lose shape as if something has begun to interfere with its magic.
Dark Angel (having decided the information Raed was getting was too sensitive, had removed herself from the shop in fear that The Darkness might learn the secrets of the tomb through her taint.)begins to feel a familiar darkness grazing her mind.
She loses control as she is compulsed to return to the shop and kill the scribe. It is obvious that something feels threatened by the knowledge the man might reveal to the group.
Striding into the shop Angel kills the old scholar with a single rap to his skull from her staff. Raeds attention is ripped from the book as he turns at the sound.
Without pause Raed moves to make the scene look like an accident or a suicide to protect his sister. He is aware she is tainted and knowing she is acting beyond her control means she is innocent. Angel, not seeing it this way begins shouting for the guards to turn herself in. Raed tries valiantly to catch hold of her and draw her away to safety but the woman draws attention and soon the towns guard surrounds them.
The scene ends with Dark Angel and Raed being held for questioning in the military district prison. Meanwhile Mortull continues to bond with a man named Osirus. The man, a servant in Dariets home… seems to be an experienced fighter who bares the marks of war.
Tamora spends her evening in a tavern trying to wash away the haunting memory of a bad dream away with ale. She is so distraught at the image of her husbands death in her dream that she is only barely aware of a young elfin woman in the tavern that seems to watch her with a mirth filled gaze.
Bloodbourne, feeling his wanderlust calling has begun to feel withdrawn from the group and has begun to have thoughts of moving on. Will his growing relationship with Tamora keep him centered or will the next scene see him ride into the sunset upon his great reptilian friend oscar?