Tag: Emma

Emma, Session 23

6th day of the 1st  ride of Summer-Flame, 1262

The burial of Theodore Strickland was a dismal affair. He was interred in the garden of the Magistrate’s Residence of Allenham. The ritual was performed in the honour of Chauntea by a few of the villagers and Syldarael and her daughter. There were few in attendance. It was a deeply sad, but strangely fitting end to this horrific episode in the history of Allenham. More than a dozen dead, three permanently displaced … maybe three dozen remain. To be honest, I can’t wait to turn my back on this town. These wounds are unlikely to heal any time soon and there is little else I can do to improve the situation. By the Mistress, we did the best we could.

When I returned from the sad affair Luca and James stumbled in, while Emrys had just stumbled out of bed was starting to take his liberty with the larders. Astrid was loudly, but vast asleep. Luca and James looked haggard and were spattered in blood … not their own. They provided an explanation as queer as any. It seems that they had run into Martha Allen with some friends performing unmentionable acts under the influence of some … essence? Whatever it was, they followed it to a cave with cryptic markings and signs where they stumbled on a ‘beautiful’ creature. Luca suggested that it was some manner of wily daemonic creature. He also suggested that this creature may well have instigated the whole Allenham tragedy to begin with. At any rate, the two struggled with it and apparently slew it, or extinguished its earthly form.  James and Luca were sufficiently shaken to want to leave Allenham at the earliest convenience.

We wrapped up some loose ends and made some final preparations before departing from Allenham. We travelled a well-trodden path northwards keeping the river within a fraction of a mile on our right-hand side. At first we passed through farmland, but these quickly made way for wild forests. While we were dealing with the sad matters at Allenham, the dark forest enhanced my sense of dread, now the forest and all its life lifts my spirits. The monotony of travel also has a meditative, almost cathartic effect. Outside of Astrid, the others were not fully comfortable with travel in the wilderness, so I feigned some confidence and  set the pace. The pace was mostly dictated by whenever we would happen upon a pasture, so that we may relieve our fine mule Theo of its burdens for a short while.
We may be ill-prepared in many ways, but I enjoy the solitude of the forest and the great weather. Even that glorious thunderstorm! And don’t forget how blessed these lands are by the Mistress of Streams, this is a veritable heaven!

7th day of the 1st ride of Summer Flame, 1262

Our first leg passed without any significant events, and we camped in a fine pasture with what Luca identified as ranger-marks. The next day we came to a few farms, where we inquired about Lord Destan and bartered for some perishables with the elven blade we had taken from the bandits. Lord Destan and his guardsmen indeed had come by this hamlet called Shady Brook and we talked to the same Tom he had talked to. He gave us the same directions he had given to Lord Destan. The path wouldn’t continue for much longer. After that, we would have to go into the proper wilds, wilds not without danger or so it seems.
Tom explained that the wilderness is populated by ‘forest spirits’ that are very dangerous, and fiercely territorial. The forest-people placate the spirits with small offerings, but otherwise steer clear of their territories, which are marked by cairns and other cryptic markings. Also, murders of crows can appear at the boundary of a spirit’s territory. I get the impression that Tom is rather well attuned to the lands he dwells in. Perhaps he is like the Old Man of the Estuary, or the big man at the Seat of Friendship? Either way, we are very grateful for his help.

After our pause at Shady Brook we continued for as long as our feet would carry us and until it was sufficiently late in the day and we happened upon an appropriate pasture. There we pitched our tents and spent the night. Luca’s uncanny sense of direction and Theo’s stubborn resilience and Sedna’s guiding hand have put us well on our way.

8th day of the 1st ride of Summer Flame, 1262

During the night James became perturbed by gathering of crows at some distance from our pasture. He feared an imminent attack by a spirit. I noticed that the murder of crows was concentrating at a distance from us and not closing in. If a spirit is involved (and I personally like to believe it is) then it is simply making clear to us where the boundary to its territory is, and perhaps also to observe us through the eyes of these crows. There was nothing we could do than to rest and stay alert during our respective watches.

In the morning, we packed camp in a bit more of hurry than usual and continued on our way. The murder of crows appeared to keep shadowing us, always at a distance. We were clearly still outside of the territory of the spirit, and keeping clear of it. Luca hypothesised that these spirits may well be relics (or descendants?) from the Time of Fear: entities that became stuck in our world when the various planes of existence no longer intersected.

All things considered, our going was not too bad. We made plenty of little mistakes, and we had to double back on numerous occasions, but never for much. More importantly, we were well able to keep to the directions provided by Tom from Shady Brook.

After another crossing of a rivulet, we happened upon the mangled remains of a stag. More disturbingly, we found that a horrific monstrous creature appeared to have erupted from the stag’s torso. Luckily, this monster was without life. It appeared to have bat-like appendages, but to be of the size of a fully grown human. Not of this world.
We would discover this to be too true. We decided to track the stags final dash and found a small overhang with deposits of slag and crystal, much like we found underneath the Sheridan estate. A portal to a plane of existence with horrific monsters!? Now only the slag remains. Are new spirits coming into these woods?

We left the scene untouched (although Luca obviously tinkered with this and that, here and there) and continued on our path. A little weighed down by the revelations at the crossing I still managed to cheer up a little after some more travel from all this life around me. But then we came upon the Calvin Farm that Tom of Shady Brook had told us we should.
There were two farms and both farmhouses were clearly entered forcefully. We found the two families. All of them dead. It is unclear who or what exactly did this, but they set upon the residents with a great deal of brutal force. These people were very clearly murdered. James climbed up to the chimney where he kept watch, while Astrid and I laboured to provide modest burials for the victims. We procured some perishables for a meal and departed afterwards.
Here ends the lighthearted journey. Things become serious … dangerous again. I should probably warn Tom at Shady Brooks about these restless spirits, or new arrivals.

We continued until deciduous trees started to be replaced by pines and firs. We are getting onto high lands. At some point, from a high point, we noticed the shining armour of a knight slumped on his warhorse moving in a lumbering pace towards us. James and Emrys were immediately alarmed and expected the worst. James became taut like a bowstring, Emrys summoned a swarm of copies of himself, each one striking different flamboyant poses. Taking their lead I asked for Sedna’s protection for James.
We approached the knight and notice that he was severely injured, as was his steed. We approached with caution (I tied Theo to a sapling), while Emrys used his illusions to make Astrid appear larger and even more fierce than usual. But the knight was no threat … in fact he was dying. Luca recognised his sigil. This appeared to be Sir Florianus, a knight who had died a heroic death at the Crimson Tower, more than a thousand years ago!!! Dumbstruck we were unable to formulate anything really, and then we noticed that Sir Florianus was turning old rather quickly, right before our eyes. I summoned up the courage to perform my clerical duties and comforted the dying man and to guide his soul into the life beyond. He babbled about dying again and again, and I assured him that this would be the last time.
After Sir Florianus perished and turned to dust (as did his steed) I urged that we immediately trace the route the knight had taken and sure enough we found more remains of a portal: slag and crystals. Did Sir Florianus just wander out of his entrapment at the Crimson Tower and back into our plane of existence!? I sure hope so, for I shudder at the thought of the alternative. May the Lady of the Lakes keep us safe!

I hope Sir Florianus has finally found eternal rest. I can hardly imagine anyone who deserves it more.

Emma, Session 19

4th day of the 1st  ride of Summer-Flame, 1262

We left the Lord Magistrate Strickland, who was becoming visibly more weary by the minute, to join our comrade Emrys and to discuss our next moves. We agreed to start a mild deception for the townsfolk, so as to suggest that Luca is a man of great importance, which we might find useful to exploit once we will engage the townsfolk. James guided us to Syldarael’s cottage. A truly lovely place of peace and beauty, where all the troubles seemed a little further removed from the here and now than they actually were. We greeted each other briefly, after which Emrys and Luca joined the elves inside to discuss the Allenham troubles. I sat myself in the fragrant garden in the light of the sun, enjoying the peace, while keeping an ear on the conversation inside.

Emrys managed to retrieve a wealth of information. We learned that Willow and Rickard were not directly related to the Allens, and therefore not a useful inroad into that family. We also learned that Allenham is owned by the crown, but that Rickard’s family lives on lands owned by Lord Harwin. In addition we learned that Strickland is fairly new to Allenham, and that he replaced a respected man by the name of Crossley. This Crossley is now retired and most likely living in Fulcaster. It appears that Syldarael has modest aims in the whole ordeal: she merely wants the violence to stop. She would prefer the marriage between her daughter and Strickland to proceed, but would cancel it if that is what it takes.

I’m sure I’m missing out details here.

We extracted ourselves from the cottage and talked amongst ourselves for a while, in order to discuss how to proceed. Emrys made very clear that resolving the Allenham situation was dear to him, so I pledged my support, reiterating that my fate has been tethered to this group. Luca was somewhat reluctant, and James even more so. We agreed that removing Strickland from power would be our best option, since he created the crack that breeched the dam, so to speak. James suggested that we simply punish him by hanging him from the neck and be done with it. This was rejected outright by the rest of us. Punishing Strickland is only part of the equation (whether by hanging or no), the other, more important part is to have the punishment produce closure for the victims of his crimes. If we could unite the Elders and the Allens against Strickland, his punishment would heal the community he failed so miserably. There is even a strangely beautiful poetic justice in it.
After such a punishment we would have to find a temporary replacement for the lord magistrate, someone like Crossley or Lord Harwin, and inform the crown that a new magistrate is required at Allenham in the Riverlands.

So we set out to the Allen Farmstead, making sure to avoid the mob in town. At the farmstead we upheld the ruse that Luca was an inquisitor in her Majesty’s service investigating rumors about the foul brigands in the vicinity of Allenham. He specifically sought to speak with Herman Allen to see how the recent unrest at Allenham might be connected by the doings of these brigands. We found that Herman Allen is not too bothered with employing Elders, but bears some resentments about the allocation of new lands,, He is of the opinion that Strickland unduly favors Elders for new allotments over humans. From what I could gather, he was honest, direct, but held back some information. Well, who would want to confess having a hand in hanging six people? He seemed reasonable enough, so coming to an agreement between the Allens and the Elders at the expense of Strickland seemed feasible enough.

What happened next made all our machinations pointless.

We headed towards the town-hall to confront Strickland. Upon approaching the town-hall, we noticed a ruckus further into town: an angry mob! We hastened to the scene. We were glad to see that we were still in time to save the Elders that were being rounded up: a Halfling family. Luca and I commanded to group to stop, while Astrid and Emrys menacingly approached the group, Emrys employing an impressive illusion that made himself and Astrid appear frighteningly large! At that point I was even thinking that this might benefit our endeavor. Having rescued Elders and brought the rabble to a halt, we might have the sway to build whatever deal we might want to build! But then fate took a wicked turn.

As sense was dawning on the mob and  the halflings unhanded and whisked to safety, arrows started landing into the crowd with deadly precision. A panic ensued, and numerous townsfolk perished in the deadly hail. We turned our attention to the assailants and chased them away as fast as we could. In my rage I summoned a furious wave of water that washed them away. All the same, they murdered eight unarmed men women and children, Sedna only allowed me to save ninth, a young lady by the name of Tomeira. A pox on these murderous brigands! May their water ever taste of salt and bitter!

In the confusing aftermath we all vented our anger and dismay in varying ways. Strickland was summoned to the scene and forced to take control of it to some degree. We also forced him to convene the most important people in this town for an emergency meeting tonight. This horrific tragedy might yet mend fences in town, but against these murderous brigands, what good will that do?

Emma, Session 18

2nd day of the 1st  ride of Summer-Flame, 1262

After our battle on the Old Queen we came to Egremont for a brief pause. At the town we had a meal, while Emrys, being a curious lad, inquired about rumours. He learned that the region, and Egremont in particular had suffered a serious of unsolved murders. This hardly brightened our moods. We continued on to Blackbridge, where matters turned much worse at an alarming speed.
Initially we simply acquired sleeping arrangements at the local Inn and had a good meal and there seemed to be no bother. Then the local head of the guard rather loutishly inquired James about the foul dagger he had recently taken possession of. Supposedly, the blade might be connected to a series of recent murders, much like the ones in Egremont. James’s insolence and the guard’s brazen authoritarianism collided spectacularly and things got out of hand rather quickly. Eventual James simply escaped into the wilderness, later joined by Emrys and Luca who were uncertain of the guard’s opinion of them after the initial scuffle. I was too tired and worn to be bothered and remained.
After some more drama the matter was resolved thus: James would surrender the dagger to the town’s augur, who would investigate the history of the blade in detail. This should prove James’ innocence. As soon as James would be acquitted we would be free to leave.  Luca, overcome by his curiosity ‘demanded’ to bear witness to the augur’s divinations. Astrid and I joined him.

The local magistrate, a middle-aged woman, was rather annoyed by all of it and would not be mollified by my offers for assistance. Given the recent murders, this was hardly surprising. The augur turned out to be the magistrate’s husband, an elderly man with, judging from Luca’s keen interest, arcane skills. After a lengthy ritual the augur revealed the sinister history of the blade. The blade was fashioned by Melchior, a hidious follower of the Dark Queen, who used the powers of an enslaved dragon to create these warped foul blades. The dragon itself a follower of the Dark Queen who had grown too arrogant in its power and paid for its arrogance through enslavement. The blades were distibuted to devotees of the Dark Queen for the purpose of assassinating various people. The strange thing is that none of the victims appear to be of great importance beyond their closest family. No nobles or notables, just ‘common’people (a worry the magistrate expressed). This particular blade was also in the possession of an assassin, but one that had a mishap against a mark in Egremont. He injured himself in some way. He sought assistance from Alfred Barnaby in Bournemouth, who betrayed him. Barnaby killed him and used the blade for experimentation, probably creating the Pesta in the process. After the destruction of the Pesta, the blade came into the possession of James White, who, as the Augur confirmed, had no hand in the murders in either Egremont or Blackbridge.

We confirmed that the relevant information would find its way to authorities downstream and agreed that we would depart from Blackbridge at our earliest convenience. James would be free from any charges, so long as he wouldn’t burden the town with his presence for the forseeable future. Luca and I made an admittedly lame attempt to find Emrys and James before retiring to the Inn for rest after this very, very long day.

3rd day of the 1st  ride of Summer-Flame, 1262

After a proper night’s sleep Astrid, Luca and I woke later than most. This meant we were consigned to scraps for breakfast, but still found the innkeep willing to provide packed lunches for five. While we discussed the best way to depart from Blackbridge, the innkeep suggested that we might still be able to catch an elven boatsman by the name of Kethelon headed for Alanham. We didn’t hesitate and rushed to the waterfront. After some slight commotion we managed to stop Kethelon in the nick of time, so that we could embark, and by Sedna’s providence, both James and Emrys were there as well to join us. Kethelon was delighted to take us, and we found Willow and Rickon on the barge as well. I entertained Willow, Rickon and the boatsman in all manner of pleasantries so as to give Luca time to fill in our comrades about the augur’s findings.

Thus we departed from Blackbridge, leaving its magistrate with the dire information gleaned from the assassin’s blade and to resolve the bloody trail it and its brethren had carved in the community on her own. But that darkness is behind us, and we are heading up the stream, in what was to become a very pleasant day.

The dark history of the blade seems not to weigh on James in any way.

The trip was splendid. Apart from the brooding figure of James, and the sulking figure of Emrys, we were only disturbed by a passing shadow of a wyvern. A reminder that we are moving into wild country. The weather was nice, the scenery full of life, and no bother came our way. In the evening, while were camping out in a lovely shallow bend, I urged Emrys to join me and performed a cleansing ritual, hoping to remove the strange glow that emanates from him ever since the mishap in Barnaby’s basement. The ritual worked! Praise Sedna!

4th day of the 1st  ride of Summer-Flame, 1262

The next day started out lovely, but turned sour once we came to our destination: Alanham. After Willow and Rickon departed to the south we headed into town and quickly came upon the town’s Hanging Tree, which was bearing an upsetting amount of Strange Fruit. All of them Elder races. Our half-elven brothers departed with Kethelon, while the rest of us headed into town. It’s too bothersome to go through every detail of our actions, instead I will provide as detailed an overview of the situation I can give. Our initial aim was to acquire a beast of burden and carry on, but it seems that this is a problem we will have to resolve. Not only is it the right thing to do, it seems Toruviel is making Emrys stay until it is resolved.

The town is subject to a sudden and frightfully violent burst of racist sentiment against the Elder races. There appear to be three factions involved: the Lord Magistrate, the Alan-clan, and the Elder Races.

The Alan-clan is an influential family, and the most prominent local farmers. The town appears to be named after them, and many of its people are related to them in some way or shape. Possibly Willow is of this clan as well. The pater familias, Herman Alan, has a number of grievances that probably were the slow burning fuse to local tensions, which the Lord Magistrate set ablaze.
The first grievance is that he appears to have lost his lady wife in childbirth and blames Kethelon’s mother, the local healer, for failing to restoring her to health. Secondly, the Lord Magistrate cancelled a betrothal to Marge Alan, since she was simply too young to be wed and he had found a more suitable candidate. When this marriage also fell through, the insult to the Alans was aggravated by the Lord Magistrate when his eyes fell upon yet another candidate: Kethelon’s sister.
More recently the Lord Magistrate sentenced two young men to death by hanging. The young men had foolishly vandalised the smithy of a dwarf, for whom one of the young men had until recently been an apprentice. The dwarf had terminated the apprenticeship when the young man had failed to meet the required standards. When the young men rather brazenly admitted their crimes, the Lord Magistrate sentenced them to death. Naturally, the erstwhile apprentice was related to the Alan-clan.

My impression is that the Lord Magistrate is an arrogant and prideful man of little competence who has handled this community very poorly indeed. The Alans on their part have misguided their anger to the Elder races, starting a cycle of violence that can turn very grim indeed. In the meantime, a group of brigands led by an elven-marksman, originally a hireling in the service of the Daerlan Empire, is already seeking to inject themselves into the whole situation. I sympathize with the sentiment to protect others, but fail to see how injecting an unlawful band of armed thugs into the situation might improve it all.

Luca and I tried to convince the Lord Magistrate to elope with the love of his life and leave to town for another, but pride prevented him. It seems we will have to try and convince the relevant parties to place some trust in us and to help them resolve it all.

Sedna guide us.

Emma, Session 16

2nd day of the 1st  ride of Summer-Flame , 1262

We departed from Bournemouth after settling our accounts at the River Stone. We were accompanied by Falca who wanted to wish us a safe journey. We thanked her and boarded a fine Caravel named The Old Queen. We were welcomed on board by a boatman who explained the basic rules.
We picked a spot at near the prow of The Queen where a hooded and blindfolded Emrys perched himself over our chest of riches, playing doleful tunes on his lute. It is unclear what afflicts him, nor when and how it may come to an end. Luca, our resident arcanist appears at a loss.

When it became apparent that I am in fact a follower of Sedna, the boatman Nyman was eager to introduce me to Captain Lorne and to for me to bless the journey. Awkwardly I consented and hopefully satisfied Nyman’s spiritual needs.
During the journey I first admired the skill of the crew before settling myself for meditation and, hopefully, communications with Muirgheal. This proved rather difficult since a little lordling was misbehaving incessantly and being called after by his entitled, and very irritating, mother.
I begged Sedna for patience and called the lordly brat to a halt, perhaps a little too harshly, and then implored him with a calm voice to heed his mother as he would his father.
The knight that was guarding the lordling and his mother menaced over me but realized that I meant no real harm. For at least an hour or so the knight, myself, and the rest of the passengers of the ship enjoyed a blissful brat-free repose.
During this time I managed to engage as best as possible with Muirgheal, hoping to find out more about the person that imbued himself into this trident. Unfortunately our communications were unsuccessful. A veil of misunderstanding keeps us from properly communicating. Do I need to commit more to the weapon in order for that communication to be possible? Can I commit to that without harming my bond with the Mistress? I will probably need to talk to Luca about this.

A little later James, who had been clambering around in the Queen’s rigging, became intensely focused. An unnatural fog was forming ahead of the Queen. Most of the passengers were corralled below deck, while the able bodied prepared for the worst. The little lordling had resumed his misbehaivour and was being chased by the knight, but evading her deftly.

Several marsh-dwelling monsters boarded the Queen: Grypts by the look of it. I heard a loud splash near the aft, and heard gurgling cries of help from the little lordling. I reckoned that my companions, the crew, and the knight would be more than sufficient to handle the grypts, so I decided that I was probably the only one to be able to save the lordling.
I entrusted my safety to Muirgheal and jumped overboard. I quickly made my way to the struggling lordling, who was being pulled under by three grypts. Although they tried to prevent me, I focused on releasing the lordling from their grasp. I killed one in the struggle, and gravely injured the other two. I finally forced the last one to ignore the lordling, but in doing so I made myself vulnerable to attack and their fangs and claws overcame me.

I later learned that Astrid recovered the lordling and me from the water and killed the remaining grypts.
I also learned that another, much more dangerous creature nearly escaped with Muirgheal . Luckily, James finally managed to defeat that beast and recover Muirgheal. Even more disturbingly, a young woman cloaked in blue appears to have directed the attack on the Queen.

Who is this mysterious assailant?

Rhosyn? Surely not!?

The lordlings mother, a Lady of House Tolliver was very grateful for the … safe … recovery of Lord Simon and pledged that we would ever be welcome at House Tolliver.

Egremont is coming in sight.

Emma, Session 15

 1th day of the 1st  ride of Summer-Flame , 1262

While breaking fast at the River Stone we divided the remaining tasks. Emrys was still fast asleep from a late night at the Golden Cockatrice. Luca and I would return to the Bournemouth Academy library for further inquiries. Astrid would arrange for a river-barge to take us upstream and sell the horses and the cart. We will have to acquire a beast of burden at Blackbridge. James pledged himself to a day of debauchery.

At the library I took a few directions from Falka and in so doing was quite successful in my inquiries. I found a fair few things about Admiral Karadim and his legend. I had brought Muirgheal along to see how it … he … she … would respond, but nothing too exciting happened. He murmured the same melody from before. Well, at least I appear to have recovered the right legend, but some things don’t sit straight. How come an artifact so ancient is knowledgeable of a legend that is considerably more recent?
I had hoped to come to know Muirgheal better through my researches but I come away with more questions instead. Most of these seem to lead away from the common goal I share with my travelling companions: follow in the step of Lord Destan and find the now somewhat less mythical Crimson Tower.
I will have to try and learn more about Muirgheal in another way. I have difficulty understanding the nature of him … her … it. There is power there, but to what end, and at what cost?  Luca’s researches have shed only a little light on the matter, but what it revealed was troublesome enough.  It seems that Muirgheal was a person at some point whose essence was imbued into the weapon by some bizarre arcane ritual.

While I was wrapping up Luca entered my study-room. He wanted me to join him and talk to the Margravin. She appeared to be studying things of interest to us. It seemed Luca was a little worried that he might reveal too much. Or perhaps he preferred me to make the mistakes for him.
We ended up with a fairly interesting discussion. The Margravin was investigating the ‘Skaven’ but two other types of creatures as well: dog-headed ones and bull-headed ones. These were all sighted throughout the Dærlan Empire.
We revealed that we were in fact eye-witnesses of the gnomish rats and provided her with some imagery. We explained that there is a connection to the Time of Fear and that if she were to focus her inquiries into that direction that she was likely to be more successful. We also explained that there is a suit of armor at the Lansdowne auction-house that she might find interesting to examine.
The Margravin was grateful and wondered how she could repay us. Luca suggested that she might relay anything important she might discover to the librarian Falka, who could act as a mutual contact between our group and the Margravin while we are away. I urged her to use whatever influence she might have to have the Dærlan Empire and the Kingdom of Lyria mend fences, since they might well need each other in the time to come, a time in which the Elder Races are likely to abandon us humans for the second time.

Luca and I retired from the library to meet up with the rest. Despite having been less successful in his inquiries into Lyrium crystals, he was pleased enough to have built some rapport with the Margravin.

James was drunk, Astrid was drunk and battered, Emrys was nursing a headache. By their own metrics they appear to be having a great day.
After lunch we decided that we would need to make some purchases for the road ahead. A few tents and some basic supplies for camping. We also went by a shop owned by a certain Barnaby, where we might get healing potions. We had found them rather steeply priced, so were reluctant to purchase them so far, but we are still lugging around ungodly amount of gold and we need to spend some of it surely!
Master Barnaby initially declined to open the shop, but eventually appeared in the window, looking rather distressed.
When we entered it was quickly revealed that Barnaby was suffering from an unwanted ‘visitor’ in his laboratory in the cellar. A supernatural creature of sorts. We agreed to purge the creature from the laboratory in exchange for the potions. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but a ruse or deception of some kind seemed to be the most likely.

How wrong I was. The truth was much more grim and horrific.

An ethereal looking lady was examining books in the laboratory and paid us no heed. When James approached it seemed unconcerned until he came too close and it started to look at him menacingly with dead eyes.
Meanwhile I noticed the muffled sound of dripping water behind a newly, shoddily built wall. I asked Emrys to point Toruviel at the wall and to blast it away. Behind it lay the decaying body of a woman, crawling with rats and other vermin. I asked Luca to cleanse the corruption with flame, something that unfortunately was necessary.

The spirit did not take kindly to that and attacked. I’m not sure how it worked and what happened, but appeared that she was draining the life from us and was spreading a noxious corruption all around it. It managed to corrupt my body rather effectively. In a desperate move to allow James to move away I stepped into the fray and lunged at it with Muirgheal and ripped through it with great effect. In another desperate move Luca conjured fickle flames to disastrous effect. After a bright burst of flame, darkness descended upon me.

I came to a little later. Feeling badly corrupted. I begged Sedna to heal our group. Slightly dazed I got faint glimpses of what transpired next. James haggled angrily with Barnaby and seems to have pocketed a good supply of potions as well as two interesting items: a dagger and a pair of boots.
Emrys in the meantime had become … I don’t know really. There is light emanating from his orifices.  His hair has turned bright silver.

Luca covered up most of Emrys’ head and urged him to keep his eyes and mouth shut while they made their way back to the River Stone. Astrid and James accompanied me outside the city to a sheltered bend in the river where I performed a cleansing ritual to purge the corruption from my body.