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7Th Day Of The Month Of Feasthall In The Year 440

Posted by Mordryth , 22 April 2014 · 1,266 views

Once the battle is over, and Bryan has seen to Nagmar, we decide to rest for the night and regain our strength. When we rise in the morning, we investigate the battle area, now that we have light. The only things left of Haakon, besides a pile of dust, is a sword, a ring mail shirt, and a fur cloak. I identify the first two for Nagmar, and save the cloak for later. Once that business is completed, we return to the bandit encampment, to retrieve anything of value we may have left behind in our hast to take care of the girl. Nothing here is special, except for one bastard sword that definitely has a magic aura about it. Kern seems particularly pleased with the weapon. Now it is back to what Cham referred to as ‘Happy Valley’.
Once we have returned to our previous staging area, Kern volunteers to recon the area again. Once again we give him the assistance of both Rizzo, and Ragde. Besides being able to actually talk to Kern, I can sense Ragde’s emotions. It is not long before I do get a very odd mixture of intense hunger, and…um…something else. Let’s just say it involves female ravens, and leave it at that. Believing that this means to advance I inform the others, and we move toward the outer ridge of the valley. Suddenly I am feeling great fear from Ragde, so I yell for the others to hide. Good job Ragde! The one remaining eye has just shown up, searching the area. Once it has passed over our location Ragde sends his ..um.. go ahead signal, and we progress forward again. We do this pattern twice more, before the eye catches one of us. Apparently it is our newest companion Sir Tamerlin.
Opal spots the eye and relays it’s position to the rest of us. I stealthily move ahead and blast it with a lightning bolt. Nagmar follows up with a couple of bow shots, before I finish it off with a magic missile. Still smoldering it falls to the ground, maybe I should start marking my kills. Maybe that is what Nagmar wants. I have been training under him for almost a year now. I know I have grown as a swordsman, but has he ever said anything about it? NO! He only ever criticizes my technique of balancing magic and a sword. Not only that, he is still hung up on the fact that I use books. Doesn’t he know that there is more power in one book, than in all of his kinfolk combined! Sorry for the diversion there. I did not mean to go on a tangent. Anyway, once the eye is down, we progress to were Kern and the animals are waiting for us.
Here we are given our first actual view of the valley. Kern’s description seems to be dead on. We conduct a brief planning session, and decide our best bet is to head for the group of wagons by the entrance to the giant scar carved out of the ground. Seeing the massive amounts of smoke, we decide to take precautions and cover our mouths and noses with strips of cloth. We begin our decent to the center of the valley. As we move I begin to feel funny. Not like when I meet an elf, this is my head. My head feels cloudy. Difficult to think. We pass a lot of people cooking and camping. And a lot of smoke. Smoke, smoke, smoke. Where’s Ragde? I believe that Opal is also suffering from the smoke. Is this how normal people think all the time?
We arrive at the wagons and notice that there are several clay jugs. Just like the ones over every single fire here, you know, the ones that are smoking. They look like infusers of clay, not that they infuse clay, but that they are made of clay. It is harder to remember these events, that it was to think them at the time. So we are at the entrance to the huge gash in the ground, and see a number of empty jugs, and a few full ones. Someone dumps some out and I investigate the viscous ooze that seeps forth from its clay entombment. It looks like a mix of a common weed, and blood. I know of several people from school that would use the weed in a recreational manor to dull their minds. I value my great intellect too much to use such a thing. The blood appears to be human, like from people. While we are all each picking up an empty jug, two people walk by. They do not look to be dressed in the same manner as the village people we passed along the way. Plus they are moving with a sense of porpoise, not the mindless meandering of the masses. I sense Cham bristle, like he wants to go after them, but when we all begin to descend downward into the scare, he does not offer any complaints.
We go down, as I have previously stated. We encounter a largish room with a goopy pool of the blood and herb combo. There are several little spouts that appear to be dripping fresh blood into the mix. I know it is fresh, as old blood tends to be drier and a lot less drippy. Just then, the two people from outside return. This time they have brought someone else. It appears to be two of the villagers. The four of them walk right past us and begin to walk up a large ramp made of scaffolding. We follow them and once on the ramp, I prove my brilliance yet again. I cast color spray! It successfully takes out the two guards, plus two of the villagers. We give the two standing a couple of jugs and tell them they are on jug duty, or something like that. We confirm that the two guards are indeed working with the Raven brother by their tattoos on their skin. Cham quickly dispatches the sleeping guards. Once the other two villagers wake up and are no longer blind (cool spell huh) we send them off with some jugs as well. We then continue to go up the ramp. At the top of the scaffolding, we see the origin of the dripping blood. There is a large troth set up, with a few villagers hanging over it, bleeding into it.
From here there are two passages to follow. We chose one and go. We hear the sound of two approaching guards, and Cham puts them to sleep with sleep. After they fall the ground, unconscious, Nagmar drags them into a small room to the side, and hogties them with their own belts. It’s dark so I decide to help out and cast light onto Cham’s staff. This must have been a wonderful idea, because Bryan had to marvel at it. We continue on to the room at the end of the passage. We enter to a man in robes standing in front of a very large grill. He is holding a mace and chanting. I am not sure if he is chanting at the fire, or at us. I think he is some sort of acolyte casting a spell. He takes a few hits, before I finish him off with a force missile. An I don’t even have to memorize that one from a book, suck it Nagmar! With the acolyte dead, I investigate the grill. It has several body parts on their cooking. Cooking is not actually right, the fire is way too hot. Oh! I looks more like a giant pyre. Sir Tamerlane informs us that the robed attacker is, or was, an acolyte of Leptis. I take the man’s holy symbol and toss it into the fire. Not long after I do that my head begins to clear. The chimney in this room has kept the majority of the mind numbing smoke away.
We move through the room to another passage. We travel the corridor and come to another cavern like room, carved out of the very earth. This room is mostly empty, except for the array of stone slabs. On top of several of the slaps, are what appears to be dead bodies. Looking at them, we begin to see that they are not actually dead. They are breathing supernaturally slow. Besides the slowed breathing, they all look to be infected with something. As I study them more closely, I realize that they are actually just on the edge of death, being kept alive by some alternate form of gentle repose. By this time Bryen has determined that they are all dyeing of some sort of blood born disease. He warns us not to disrupt the actual flesh, as it would release the disease into the air. That is when we understand just how twisted the Raven is. He is cultivating this blood disease to create a plague. This is how he intends to exterminate all of the masses outside for his part of the ritual.

Mordryth Pendreic

March 2017

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