When You Dig My Grave Can You Make It Shallow So I Can Feel The Rain

Returning from the peek of the mountain, trekking slowly downward as a cool fog settles in, the party returns to the sanctuary grounds where U’resh begins to feel a strange sense of loss coming from his sword. As he begins to walk around the grounds, he discovers that the sensation becomes stronger or weaker depending on where he walks. After following the feeling, he finds himself in front of a simple plaque that bears only the symbol of Idon on it. After the group surmises that the plaque is a marker for the dead and U’resh realizing that the sensation could not possibly grow stronger, the group begins to dig, optimistic that they might find something.

It’s a shot in the dark but it’s the only clue they have.

While the acolytes are initially apprehensive, they do allow the group to dig, so long as to not disturb the remains. Fortunately, after days of dry bones and random digging, they find the old bones of a human body and with it, a bag containing a single book. As they thumb through the pages of the book, the group finds that none of them can recognize the language, let alone read it, and after approaching the High Priest, she confesses that she also doesn’t know the language.

Resolving to find a translator, the group departs from the Sanctuary of Idon and the continent of Vorsha, returning to Daxia. Upon arrival, they find a surprised Darwin, sporting a new very noticeable injury on his face, and after brief conversation, learn that his party has been split up. That Drava and Naella are both missing and that ChrenKrix Chren is dead. Vere is also nearby, hoping to learn more news and Darwin himself is still recovering and hiding. The group parts with Darwin, but not after Darwin suggests they visit a store called Books and Bobbles for a translator, U’resh walks off on his own, exploring the city, and everyone else follows Halen to see his mentor.

When they meet with Maggie, she tells Halen that she’s looked for his father like he had asked and heard that Mr. Glider had found a permanent residence in the dwarven city of Ostcliff. He thanks her and they trade tales while also inducting Racket into the Bardic arts.

After some time, they part ways with Maggie. The group then makes a quick stop at Books and Bobbles where they discover that the journal they hold is written entirely in Infernal, a language very few speak let alone write, and that a translation for the whole text could take months. Deciding to hold onto the book for now and shop around in hopes of a faster translator or a cheaper one, the group decides to rent rooms at an inn where they get some much needed rest.

"Ask Your Mom"

When the group awakens they approach the High Priest and ask her questions pertaining to their journey. The party had originally embarked on in the hopes of finding the source of the sickness that plagued Raneth’s family but the High Priestest admits that she doesn’t know much outside of the four walls of the temple. She does, however, reveal that the temple atrium contains a Gateway. She offers to help summon the Gateway guardian for them to question in relation to these rifts.

As the ritual begins, both Raneth and Halen, who have been through the gateways find themselves struck by a vision of the past. In the vision, they see an old white haired human man barely able to walk in the very atrium they are in, when he reaches the altar, a golden divine silhouette emerges from the statue of Idon and begins to extract a purple shadowy figure from the old man.

When both Raneth and Halen come to, they see that the same shadowy entity is now contained at the center of the gateway circle they stand on.

Asking it questions, they come to discover that the entity has no name, although he was once known as “Friend” and that it is a being that doesn’t quite understand the concept time. He is unable to answer the questions that the party asks and the connection is soon severed. Frustrated with their lack of new information, the party’s quest stalls as they attempt to find out what to do from here. That being said, the entire affair did lead to a single clue – the old man, whom both Raneth and Halen ascertain is probably their friend Ahl, from another world, based on the familiarity of the shadow entity. As they talk over the possibility of the old man being Ahl – a possibility that they find hard to be believe since the entity had claimed that the old man had died perhaps a thousand years ago- the High Priest hands them a journal in old elvish from the previous High Priest in hopes that they could perhaps find reference to the man.

Raneth combs through the journal but has a difficult time fully deciphering the writings. It’s in old Elvish and furthermore, the book itself is not in the best of shape. With old ink and the damage of age, Raneth is only able to glean a few references to a human man but cannot be completely sure that that man was Ahl.

Elsewhere, Halen returns to his room in meditation, where he is suddenly pulled in by a familiar voice. The voice had become more and more prominent in the last few weeks, especially since he had arrived at the foot of the temple. For awhile now, he has been trying to decipher the meaning of his strange dreams as well as a soft whisper in his head but had mostly dismissed it in favor of other more pressing matters. Now it seems the voice has finally reached him and Halen finds himself blinded by a brilliant flash of light and unable to move to the fullest extent of his body.

As the day wears on, the party comes to discover that Halen has gone missing. They look for him, investigating every nook and cranny and eventually going outside. As they search the sanctuary grounds, Raneth slips, falling twenty or so feet into the cliffs beneath her. After rescuing her from her near death, they return to the temple and back into the party quarters in hopes that perhaps Halen has returned.

Instead, they find themselves also blinded by a brilliant white light, and also unable to move their bodies to their fullest extent.

Eventually, they all right themselves, and find themselves in a vast green meadow, a nearby treeline that points to a grove and a collection of strange shimmery lights in the distance.

Upon approach, the lights become hostile, and a fierce battle engages as the lights seem to drain the energy of the party. As the situation becomes more and more dire, a sudden booming voice can be heard.

STAY YOUR HAND AGAINST MY HUSBAND” It shouts and almost immediately, the lights disperse.

Beneath them, the grass around them begins to point towards the grove.

Tentatively, they follow, where they are met face to face with what can only be described as a treewoman. She tells them that Halen is her husband and that she herself has lent him his power. Things become tricky when Halen attempts to leave and she refuses to allow them to. As tensions grow higher and a battle nears its head, Halen manages to diffuse the situation by promising to return once he is finished with his Kresly ties. She relents but warns that her powers have a limit and that it may be in Halen’s best interests to return as soon as possible.

The party is free to leave but when they return, both Racket and Raneth, are unable to remember the ordeal.

Tired, the party decides to rest before talking over their plans.

When they wake the next morning, Halen is hesitant to let his friends know the truth. Uresh, however, informs Halen that he does in fact remember the ordeal. After some fussing, Halen eventually relents and admits the truth.

With this matter mostly settled, the party sets their sights back onto the task at hand – the rifts, the gateways, and what they are doing to the world.

Once again, they ask questions about the old human man that they suspect is Ahl and once again they are given no answers, although someone does point them towards a figure they refer to as the loreseeker. Perhaps, they say, they will know as they have lived a very long time. The only problem? The loreseeker is a hermit and hasn’t been seen for at least a hundred years. The last place he was seen was on the Western mountain and unlike the mountain the sanctuary sits on, there is no floating stairs to take them up.

They are directed to the location of what used to be a bridge between the mountains, long since destroyed, in hopes of repairing it or at least finding another way over. Unfortunately, the bridges were located at the very top of the mountain and the group sets off on a lengthy and exhausting climb.

When they reach the top, they find nothing except a strange shimmer in the distance. As they go to investigate, they find that it is a barrier of some sort and on the otherside, a group of Treants urge the group to hush. Unsure, the group decides to backtrack out of the barrier where they find themselves face to face with a strange large apelike being that Uresh recognizes to be demonic in nature.

A fierce fight commences but the party eventually wins out and the Treants thank them before disappearing. Unsure now of what to do, they investigate the area, only to find nothing. After some time, they are suddenly approached by an old elven man. They ask him if he’s the loreseeker and he responds that it is a title he has not heard in quite awhile. They show him the journal and he reads it out to them, revealing that the old human visitor died shortly after his arrival at the sanctuary and is buried on its grounds. The elven man then disappears.

With this news, they resolve to return to the sanctuary and dig up the grave of this visitor but not until after a good night’s rest.

On To the Next One

The Stronghand Company are still engaged in battle when Darvon falls but Bartok picks up Darvon’s flaming sword and calls out to them, demanding that they abide by their agreement. The company, without its leader, is wrangled in by the group, releasing the prisoners they had on their ship as well. After a night spent packing and cleaning, Bartok makes it known to the rest of the party that he is leaving with the company, hoping to reform it. Morvan, despite not completing the purpose of his own trip decides to leave as well, unwilling to let Bartok go off on his own.

The group say their tearful goodbyes, during which Bartok encourages the party to continue with their trek and to return the sword that was tasked to them. Agreeing, the party set off to continue the adventure without their barbarian.

They manage to meet up with Anhall who tells the party that her tribesman are safe, in no small part due to the party. Thankful for their help in driving away the slavers, she guides the party to the mountain elves.

It takes several days travel upstream but eventually they reach the mistlands. Anhall explains that she is unable to venture further into the mist and that the rest of the journey on foot is up to them. She departs with the advice to look towards the mountain further up as their guide.

Tying a rope together, the party makes their way into the mist and after an hour or so of seemingly no progress, they are met with a heavily armored humanoid figure. The person greets them, explaining that the high priest has divined their arrival and proceeds to guide them towards the floating stones. He introduces himself as Uresh, a half-drow paladin.

They approach the mountains where they discover that they are in fact, a collection of mountainlike pillars floating in the air, obscured from the distance by the combination of mist and the thick jungle vegetation. Awed, they watch as Uresh begins to step upwards and a staircase forms a step in front of them, disappearing from behind.

It is a long journey up to the top but after several hours of climbing, they arrive at a dark temple carved into the stone of the mountain where statues of Idon, the God that reigns over Life and Death, flank the entrance.

When they enter, they discover that the atrium is incredibly spacious and empty, with only an alter and a single robed figure on the other side of the room. The only light comes from outside, shining into the stone floor of the Sanctuary of Idon.

The robed figure approaches them, revealing herself to be a visibly aged drow whom Uresh greets as High Priest. She introduces herself as Vaalyun Pamear and knows the name of the visitors.

The party presents her with the old relic sword, given to them by the satyrs when they ventured into the Daxian underground only to end up mysteriously crossing over to the pocketplane where they met the satyr guardians of that particular Gateway Crossing.

She takes the crumbling and damaged sword from them, thanking them, and makes her way to the alter where they restore the blade to its former glory. She then offers to let the party stay as long as they like and has her acolytes show them to their quarters where they discover that it is sparsely furnished.

As the party makes themselves at home, High Priest Pamear tells Uresh of his destiny. She says that the blade, revealed to be an elven moonblade, will be bestowed to him and that he must use it to lead the party in their path. Although he protests, Uresh eventually relents, and the ceremony to attune the weapon to him begins.

An hour later, he joins the party, not revealing to him that he intends to travel with them and converses with them, hoping to get to know his new companions a little better before they all head off to sleep.

With Strong Hands

The party sets off with their guide, Ka-Anhall to the site of the mountain elves. The journey is said to take several days floating upstream. Unfortunately, they are interrupted when, near the end of their first day, they spot a gravely injured dwarf. Deciding to stop, they find and manage to help him.

After conversing with them, they discover that the old dwarf’s name is Morvan Hunter, and that he is a treasure hunter from Cesmaria. He had sought voyage to Vorsha from Silkvann and paid the Stronghand Company in order to travel as they were also traveling towards Vorsha. For six months he spent time with them in close proximity with the crew of one of their two ships and befriended Darvon Stronghand. However, soon upon arrival, Morvan discovered the Stronghand’s true agenda and protested, leading to his capture and disposal in the jungle. His items are stripped away from him and after having been beaten, Morvan was left bound and abandoned in the jungle. Fortunately, Morvan is a resourceful and stout man, able to get the bindings off of himself and made his way to the river where our heroes find them.

Morvan explains to the party that Darvon, disappointed by the lack of progress, plans on smoking out the rest of the elves in the jungle, hoping that burning it to the ground would lead them out. Alarmed by this information, the party decides along with Ka-Anhall to return to the village of Ka-Vashel, putting their relic quest on hold and inform the elder.

It takes the rest of the day to return and by the time they arrive, the moon had already risen but after discussions, the Ka-Vashel tribe decides to evacuate further into the continent, sending word to other tribes to do the same while our party of heroes attempt to stop the Stronghand Company from smoking out the jungle.

Morvan directs them to the area where the Stronghands had told him they would be and there they encounter a small group having already begun a small fire. Together, they defeat the squad but not before the fire takes hold. Abandoning the plan to hunt the company, the party attempts to put the fire out.

Over time, villagers from the nearby settlements arrive to help. Doing their best to save Vorsha from the deadly blaze, they all work diligently until the last of the flames flicker away as the sun begins to rise.

When they’re done, our heroes, tired from the night, find a place to rest from a friendly settler’s home, a few miles away. There, they sleep the majority of the day away, smelling of wood fire and smoke.

When our heroes rise in the late afternoon, they find that both Halen and Morvan are gone, leaving behind a note for their friends explaining that they had gone to scout ahead, hoping to learn more and perhaps retrieve some of Morvan’s things.

Following in their friends’ footsteps and the directions of the settlers, they make their way to a tradepost where they find the Stronghand encampment. With the moon overhead, the group decides to rest once again, but not without keeping a careful eye on the company.

At some point in the night, the party retreats further into the jungle, fearful that they may have been spotted by the company. When they rise that morning, they once again spy on the encampment, searching for intel as well as any sign of their friends.

A little while later, Bartok notices a dim purple light behind him. It turns out to be both Halen and Morvan and together they rejoin the group and share what they know.

After much discussion, the group decides that the best way to defeat the Stronghands is to appeal to Darvon’s pride. They approach the company and demand a duel between Bartok and Darvon, hoping that the duel could serve as a distraction for Halen and Racket to slip onto the ships.

Darvon accepts.

Unfortunately, Bartok is unmatched fighting alone with Darvon and Morvan, seeing the danger, grabs Bartok and teleports him away when he notices the fight go to the wayside.

This causes chaos and Halen comes sprinting up, shooting bolts of magic at Darvon. At this point, with the duel dissolved, a fullscale fight begins between those of the Stronghand Company there and our heroes.

With Halen near death and the help of Morvan, the party is able to lay the finishing blow on Darvon but now find themselves with a dead company leader with the company still standing.

Into the New World
With Rough Hands and Sore Eyes

Upon return to Daxia, the party finds themselves conversing with Del who explains that there is one more task they must accomplish in order for her friend to be willing to help them with their travels. Her friend asks that the group gather three basilisk eggs from a nearby nest and return with them in tact. Accepting this task, the group finds themselves brainstorming for the safest options.

They pay a visit to Maggie who’s weary about this task and gives them a few things in hopes that they’ll help, including two salves that should help with petrification if the need arrises. She also advises that the group leave at night when the creatures are sleeping as that is the safest option.

Eventually, our heroes set out and sneak into the lair at night where they eventually find sleeping basilisks. Unfortunately, they are only able to steal a single egg before escaping in fear of total failure.

Upon return to Daxia, they find themselves in an inn and rest for the night, deciding to postpone any talks of progress until the next morning.

Later, they find themselves in Del’s shop where they explain their failure to retrieve the three eggs but offer their single one nonetheless. Del then tells them that her friend was convinced to drop the payment. The group deduces that it was likely Maggie who had convinced the Headmaster of the Lunar mage tower to go easy on them. Apparently, between Del and Maggie, our heroes have friends in high places.

They spend the rest of the day preparing for their journey and finding more information about the continent of Vorsha. When they feel they have sufficient information, the group summons the headmaster who teleports them to the new world and our heroes find themselves in a thick and unfamiliar jungle.

After traveling slightly aimlessly, they find themselves near a river where a figure eventually makes herself known to them. She is a native and speaks proficient enough common. After explaining that she has been watching them, they ask for the sword which Bartok presents and attempts to return. She tells them that the sword does not belong to her but that she is the guide that will take them to where they need to go.

She brings them to her village in the mountain top where the group rests for the evening after a conversation with the village elder. Most of the elven inhabitants speak no common but some do speak elvish enough for Raneth to converse. While they rest, they learn that a group of mercenaries have been causing trouble for the tribe, a group that Bartok recognizes from his past. The Stronghand Company, a group of slave traders seem to be antagonizing the locals and after a heartfelt conversation, the party decides to first complete their task of returning the relic sword before tackling Stronghand Company.

Through the Gateway

The battle with the large creature, which they later find out is a bulliete, nearly falls our companion but still they manage to succeed. Bartok finishes the beast in a truly gruesome and impressive blow. Unfortunately, even after killing it, the scuffle had destroyed the integrity of the tunnels and causes a dangerous cave-in. Rushing away, the group barely manages to escape with their lives only to immediately be attacked by cavern dwellers that attack their heads, constricting their breathing.

The battle is tough for our already tired adventuring party but they manage to kill all four creatures that attacked. With this, our party decides to move to a safer area to rest.

They sit for a little bit, trying to catch their breaths and mull over the two skirmishes.

When they feel ready, the group continues to adventure forward. For awhile, nothing happens, and they climb deeper and deeper into the underdark until they finally hear, hours later, the rushing sound of water.

Curious as to why there is running water so far underground, the group cautiously investigates, where they find what seems to be a running stream. Nearby, a group of dog-like animals watches them carefully.

They manage to avoid any confrontation with the animals and continue forward.

After a few more minutes, they begin to see the faint glow of green light, one that glows brighter and brighter as they approach. Eventually, they find the source of the light, a giant cavern opening with glowing blue and green crystals all around. Different, strange and unfamiliar but beautiful creatures dwell in this area but mostly pay them no mind.

Awestruck, they don’t notice that they are being surrounded, and are ambushed by a group of drow. The drow, to the credit, does not immediately attack, instead they demand an explanation for the group’s wandering on what they claim to be “sacred ground”

The group attempts to explain but it’s not until a satyr commands them to stand down that the drow allow our party to pass.

The satyr brings the party into a familiar looking runic circle, where three other satyrs meet them. There the heroes explain their plight and the satyrs agree to help in return for a favor – a delivery to the next continent in exchange for an amulet that should delay the sickness that has infected Raneth’s family members.

The party agrees, although not without hesitation.

The party questions the satyrs on the nature of these runic circles and their existence and manage to learn a bit more about the new world they live in. That being said, there is still much they don’t know.

The Road into Daxia

On the recommendation of the Speaker, our adventurers, after a brief supply trip to the bazaar pay for a trip to Daxia in hopes of finding someone to help transport them into the other continent as quickly as possible.

The trip is relatively mundane and except for a minor encounter with a pair of trolls, our heroes make it into Daxia without much fanfare.

Daxia, the mage capital of Cesmaria, can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. Luckily, the group has Halen to lead them around. As it turns out, Halen is a member of the local bard college and has spent a year or two in the city.

They visit the college and there meet Magdalena- Maggie, Halen’s mentor, who explains to them that a trip to the next continent is not as easy as it seems. The kind of magic needed is dangerous and difficult to accomplish. She suggests that a wizard may be able to help but unfortunately, there is very little she can do.

Our adventurers leave, finding themselves out of luck, when they remember that Darwin had suggested that if they ever end up Daxia, to visit his old mentor Del, an artificer of considerable repute.

Del owns a shop called Del’s Alley, where she sells magic items that she either procures or creates on her own. They request to meet with her and upon name dropping Darwin, she is more than happy to answer their questions.

They ask her about how possible it is for her to aid them and while she initially echoes Maggie’s sentiment about it being difficult and nearly impossible, offers them a possible solution. There is no guarantee it will work and she has to call in all her favors, but there may be someone she knows that can help. She explains that teleportation spells are only done by incredibly powerful magic users and even then, a chance of failure is still possible, especially if it’s someplace the spellcaster is not familiar with. Unfortunately, the next continent is not very well charted or visited and the spellcaster she knows has never been there but with enough information, may still be able to do it, however the chances of failure are still high. And there in lies another problem – if they get there, they will not be able to get back, she offers them a solution to this too. Del has the ability to create a spell stone, where a magic user can store a spell in the stone for other’s to use at any point. Unfortunately, for such a powerful spell, a powerful stone is needed. Luckily, Del knows where they may procure this stone – underneath the city itself far past the sewer system and into the caverns. The trek is dangerous, many experiments gone wrong and strange beasts lies underneath, but it is their best chance at quick travel.

Accepting these terms, our heroes venture off under the city, hopeful that they are able to succeed.

They travel for quite a long time, a day passes with no dangerous encounters other than a brief scuffle with troglodytes while they sleep, but the caverns are strangely empty for the majority of their trek.

That is until an incredibly large creature attacks them from underneath, nearly killing them all.

Rift Sickness

Venturing further out into the forest, our heroes run across another band of adventurers, lead by a woman named Naella. They find that the adventurers have been disrupting the business of a group of bandits called the Copper Raiders. It is likely that the Copper Raiders, who have been attempting to expand their territory into Tyrgaria, were the ones to break into the summer house.

Deciding that there is a mutual benefit to cooperating, our heroes group up with this party of adventurers in order to ambush and destroy the Copper Raider stronghold nearby. After some scuffles with a troll and some half ogres, our heroes manage to infiltrate and eventually free a set of prisoners the Copper Raiders were holding.

One of the prisoners, Racket, decides to tag along with our group of adventurers and together, the four of them part ways with the other party to return to Tyrgaria.

Unfortunately, upon arrival at Tyrgaria, Raneth finds that her father’s illness has progressed further and that her mother is now infected as well. Worried and unable to sit still, Raneth decides to venture off to Belebrought in order to gain the aid of Speaker who may have more information about this “Rift Sickness”.

On the way to Belebrought, our heroes stop in Cindervynn to run some errands as well as pay a visit to Halen‘s hometown, hoping to see his father. Unfortunately, Angel, Halen’s father was not in town and after gaining information about his whereabouts, the group decides to continue onward to Belebrought.

When they finally arrive at Belebrought a week later, having lost their horses along the way, Bartok stops by to visit the Twins, hoping to gather more information as Raneth and Halen manage to converse with a cleric in order to learn more.

Eventually, they gain an audience with the Speaker, who advises that divine communion may be the only way answer. He tells them that in order to commune with the Gods, they must go to places touched by the gods, most of which are on another continent. With this knowledge in mind, the group agrees to set off to Daxia, the mage capital of Cesmaria in hopes to find someone who may be able to get them to the other continent quickly.

You've been gone so long

It takes a week for Ahl to find our heroes a way home, during which our party gets to work on restoring the church they’ve taken shelter in. Eventually, Ahl explains that he can, in fact, complete a ritual with the help of his friend, Father Coleridge and Bisclavet.

The ritual must be done at the center of town in the summoning circle at the exact hour that the night reaches it’s halfway point between sunset and sunrise. Fighting off the nightly horrors, our heroes manage to complete the ritual and find themselves transported away from the demi-plane of dread. They then find themselves held at spear point by guards adorning the crest of the Free Monastery.

The Speaker of the Monastery, after telling the guards to lower their weapons reveals to our heroes that they have been gone for five years. Shocked, our heroes are unsure how to react but the Speaker leads them to the guest house and tells them to rest. They agree to it and fall into a restless slumber as Sparks runs off to talk to the Speaker. It’s then that they realize that Ahl had not, in fact, returned with them.

With the five year skip, our heroes separate in order to take care of things as well as reorient themselves into their new old world. Raneth returns home to Tyrgaria, Bartok finds himself working with Sparks and Halen finds himself a steady job at a nearby brothel as a musician.

Weeks later, Bartok hears tell from reliable sources that there’s trouble brewing in Tygaria. Alarmed, he seeks out Halen and together the two leave Belebrought behind to reunite with their friend.

It’s a few days travel to Tyrgaria by caravan but they find themselves at the center of town. After some misunderstandings the pair manages to find Raneth. Raneth invites them into her home where they have dinner with her family and the three catch up before embarking on a hunting trip the next day.

Traveling out into a nearby forest by horseback, they arrive in dense forested grove where Raneth’s family Summer house resides. After spending some time relaxing and attempting to hunt and fish, they enter the home only to find that it has been in use. Curious, they begin their investigation, hoping to get to the bottom of this strange circumstance.

A History of Man
The Major Lift

The party, engaged with the rabid beast, realizes that there is no way of calming it down. Deciding to book a hasty retreat, instead of slaying it, they attempt to run down the hall only for the beast to follow. With their attempt unsuccessful are forced, once again to fight it off.

Luckily, all the noise draws the attention of their friends whom they haven’t seen in quite awhile. Sparks appears at the staircase at the end of the hallway and tells them to flee, Ahl following close behind.

The young warlock casts suggestion successfully and magically influences Bisclavet to leave them be. The party retreats upstairs where Sparks and Ahl lead them to the study. They’ve explain that they’ve been held up in the study for the last few hours while everyone else explored the keep, learning as much as they can from the tomes there.

Barricading the study, both Ahl and Sparks explain that, like the old fortune teller had foretold, the pair were able to find information about the history of the town, the beast, and the mysterious cult that had constructed the summoning circle through Marie’s journals.

Halen, after perusing the journals himself, learns that Marie’s encounters with the beast suggest sentience. That Marie, upon hearing rumors of the beast that murdered the court of Tierkrieger, originally set off as a huntsmaster to slay it but learning of its docile nature, decided upon befriending and learning about it instead. Marie also had some reservations about a group she refers to as a “cult” that had arrived in the village the same time she did and managed to steal some of their research in an attempt to figure out what their goals were. Unfortunately, it seemed that she was unable to and also unable to stop what it was they planned on doing.

Ahl explains that, based on the research that Marie had gathered, that the cult had actually used the beast of Tierkrieger as a convenient excuse. There was a darkness in this town due to the massacre the beast had caused and the cult exploited that darkness in order to create a gateway to another realm. Marie’s death, her sacrifice, was likely the catalyst in the gate’s opening and allowing a great many spirits through. Ahl also postulates that the gate opening has shifted the town into another plane – the demiplane of dread.

The rest of the party, with this in mind, decide to head to bed as Ahl continues his research. When they wake, Ahl tells the group that he believes the beast is a man, a werewolf, cursed in his current form and that not only is the beast a man, but the beast is the original baron of the keep.

With this new information in mind, the group, even more hesitant than before to slay Bisclavet, decide to instead seek help from the cleric in town. Together, Raneth,Halen andBartok attempt to sneak out of the keep and return with the cleric in hopes of relieving the baron from his curse.

As they make their way down the hall, Sparks and Ahl barricading the room behind them, they hear a suspicious sound from nearby, deciding not to risk it, Bartok suggest the group go through a hole in the ceiling. After a few attempts, he makes a makeshift grappling hook that allows them to climb up. Unfortunately, the rope breaks part way up as Halen climbs, bringing a wooden banister crashing down on top of him. As the three heave the obstacle off of Halen, they realize that the sound of the crash has attracted a banshee.

Halen, having been freed from the rubble, unfortunately falls to the Banshee’s wail and an intense battle erupts. Partway through the battle, Halen decides to run back towards the study but as he rounds the corner, another Banshee had appeared and he, once again, falls victim to its scream.

As the battle continues, nearly felling all three heroes, Ahl and Sparks, joining the fray after hearing the commotion, the heroes return to the study in an attempt to reassess their plans.

Deciding on an even stealthier approach, Sparks and Bartok decide to trek off to retrieve the cleric themselves, leaving the rest behind. Ahl, who had been a heavy hitter in the battle with the banshees, and having been without sleep for the night, falls asleep, feeling very much unable to do any more without rest.

Bartok and Sparks manage to succeed in their stealth mission, climbing out of the hole in the ceiling successfully this time right as the morning light begins to crest. Together the two head into town, retrieve the cleric after explaining the situation to them and returns to the castle.

Unfortunately, when they return, they discover that Bisclavet has trapped their friends in the study, both sides stalemating as neither can leave nor enter despite their attempts. The cleric explains that he must have physical contact with the beast to attempt his restoration.
Bartok, handing the cleric the holy symbol they had found in the chapel, concocts a plan to draw the beast’s attention and creates a tripwire that they plan on using against the beast.

As he shouts at the beast to get its attention, Halen, having heard the voice of his friends, casts a spell through song that psychically instills fear within the beast, and in its state of fearful rabidness, ignores Bartok and attempts to flee. Bartok, sensing an opportunity, overtakes the beasts’ position and manages to activate his makeshift tripwire. The beast falls and the cleric, with the aid of the holy symbol and through a truly impressive display of diving magic manages to revert the beast into its wolf form. This change seems to calm the beast entirely, all aggression gone.

Bartok, realizing that the beast is now a wolf, attempts to cast a ritual learned from his youth to speak with the beast. In the ensuing ten minutes, the rest of the party joins them. When the ritual is complete, Bartok learns that the beast is indeed the Baron and that the baron had been afflicted with a terrible curse believed to be caused by his guilt of killing his entire court in a blind monstrous rage he does not remember. The guilt, he believes, forced him to remain in monstrous form, unable to shift to wolf or man. The party also learns that despite being unable to shift back into man, that the Baron did in fact, have control over his monstrous form after the night of the massacre and only loses himself in blind rage once again after the death of Marie and that centuries of madness had driven him to do some truly abhorrent things.

The entire party, to the surprise of the Baron, sympathizes with him and the Baron, grateful, vows to see them home and to save his countryman from the evil that started with him. He helps them pick out books and the party heads back into town in hopes of learning more and finding a way back home as well as a way to restore the Baron to his original body.


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