After Hours

Returning to Littlebrook

Having completed their visit to what was once the village Trisk, the party set course towards Littlebrook once more, to report back on what they had found. On their way out, they saw more of the Inflicted, but left them alone. At night, they set up camp along the road, as before.

It wasn’t until they were well within sight of the wooden gates of Littlebrook, that they spotted what might have been a lookout. A scraggly figure, clearly looking in their direction, who took off in the direction of the docks, before the heroes arrived at the gates. In case this was a sign of bad things to come, the group decided to head straight for the Pelorian temple, to deliver their report.

At the temple, Lumi the wood elf discovered that the 5 vials of purple ink she had found in Trisk, by request from the Littlebrook scribe, had somehow gone missing. Thinking back, she remembered seeing the vials in her pack the night before, as she made herself comfortable in a tree, as she likes to do. However, though she tried retracing her steps, and went so far as to talk to other merchants in town, no trace of the vials was uncovered.

Mother Shael in the temple of Pelor, was deeply disturbed by the findings from Trisk, and asked the heroes to return the next day, leaving her to do more research about their findings.

Leaving the temple, it became clear that a group of street urchins were following the heroes from a distance, keeping an eye on their activities. Figuring that an ambush might in their future, the party convened at the inn. After a few drinks, the barkeep warned them that one of Igor Wachowski’s men had just left. Given their history with the Wachowski brothers, the party wasted no time.

The two elves immediately got in position on the rooftops across from the inn, hoping to ambush the would-be ambushers. Gorbash and Nova decided to head to the docks, toward the green warehouse known as the Wachowski gang’s hideout. Once there, they found the gang gathered inside the warehouse, getting a pep-talk from Igor himself. The gang leader wanted vengeance for his dead brother, despite what the local thieves guild would have to say about it.

Gorbash, thinking quickly, decided to tie the warehouse gate shut with rope, and proceeded to set the warehouse on fire. Though the flames were quickly discovered, the gang escaping by rolling a cart through the burning gate, the hangout was destroyed, and no ambush happened that night.

JD saw the flames from the rooftop, and hurried to the docks to see what was going on. Once there, he volunteered to help put it out, checking for any valuable trinkets among the gangs’ scorched belongings. Not finding any valuables, he instead decided to follow Igor, as he left the scene.

The gang leader walked alone to the Longshoreman’s Guild house, where he entered.

Excerpt from Milan's report to Mother Shael

Following our skirmish with the Inflicted, we surveyed our surroundings; while more of them were in the area, the fate of the two we killed seemed to deter them from engaging us further. Evidently, they have some sense of self-preservation. Subsequently, introductions were made between our group and the two newcomers. One is Gorbash, a dwarf (who rattled off a list of his lineage which I cannot remember), and the other a human named Nova; both are professional fighters, so their presence was welcome. Lumi having been wounded in the fight, I applied healing to her wounds.

While we were discussing our next course of action, Cirrus noticed what appeared to be a trail of blood on the ground leading through the tannery yard, entering from the west and departing to the north (or vice-versa). Upon closer inspection, however, the fluid proved to be purple ink. For reasons not clear to me, this excited Lumi, who hared off following the trail westwards. She was pursued initially by JD who was apparently remonstrating with her in Elvish. The rest of us set off towards the crater in the center of town, following the trail of ink spots along the way. By the time we reached and descended into the crater, JD rejoined us.

The lower half of the crater gave the impression of having been some kind of… arena, perhaps? From the bottom to halfway up the slopes, we found tiers of what appeared to have been holding cells, while at the bottom itself, we found the ruins of what had once been a domed, open-walled building, much like a large stone gazebo. This structure had what had once been warding glyphs carved into its pillars, and apparently, bars of energy had once blocked off the spaces between the pillars. Both Cirrus and Gorbash estimated that the entire complex might be as much as four thousand (!) years old, and Cirrus stated that the central structure emanated strong but dissipating traces of enchantment. But part of the reason I surmise the central structure was some sort of arena was that the floor of the complex was littered with hundreds, possibly thousands of corpses of humanoid creatures of demonic appearance, many up to three times the size of an adult male human. The bodies were of a wide range of antiquity, ranging from possibly thousands of years old—almost as old as the complex, in fact—to comparatively fresh, as in perhaps a week old. It’s worth remarking that no decomposition had occurred, and the older bodies were thoroughly desiccated. All the bodies I examined displayed claw and bite marks, similar to those that would have been inflicted by the creatures themselves, only generally larger. Similar claw marks were to be found on what had been the inside of the central structure, again, ranging from thousands of years old to comparatively fresh.

In the center of it all, we found one living soul: a studious looking human male, making notes in a book. Later examination found that he was either copying the glyphs from the pillars, or writing something in the same script (a script unknown to any in the party). We did also notice that he was writing with purple ink, and we gauged him to thus have been the source of the ink trail. Unfortunately, we were unable to gain much useful information from him directly. He appeared to be quite insane, stating that we were not “the cavalry” and accusing us of having caused the cataclysm (on the basis that I was carrying the obsidian tablet we acquired from the tanner). He then challenged Gorbash to a duel to the death, in which he intended only to use his quill. Gorbash hit him twice, once with the shield, once with the warhammer. The latter blow was a mortal wound, but I was ready to step in and managed to leave him unconscious but stable.

Feeling that we had completed our investigation of the crater, we collected various artifacts (including the head from one of the demonic corpses) for later examination, and while Gorbash, Nova, and I returned to where we had left the mule and cart, Cirrus, Diero, and JD made a quick foray to the temple of Lathander to search its small library. They returned empty-handed. At the cart, we found Lumi, who told us a rather incredible story of having been trapped in the local herbalist’s house by five Inflicted, but managing to escape. Presumably, the herbalist was the fellow whom Gorbash beat up and whose bacon I saved. When he recovers, he probably won’t be too pleased about Lumi burning down his house, even if (as she claims) there were five Inflicted inside.

Excerpt from the journal of an unknown elf:

…After the wreckage outside the Temple of Lathander, the peace within was welcome, despite the corpse of the Priest we had been sent to locate. Alas, I was hoping the Dawnpriest might help me shed some fresh light on my lost memories, but for now I have no choice but to keep looking for answers. The priest indicated in his journal that he suspected the local tanner of malfeasance. While he was short on specifics in his missive, it could be linked to the fate of the town, the priest’s murder, or both but there is no clear proof here. I will suggest our next stop be the tannery, to see what we can discover there…

… skirted the edge of the village to get to the river, successfully avoiding any direct encounters with the black creatures that used to be the residents of Trisk. As I suspected, the tannery turned out to be a point of interest after all. Most of the complex appears to have been consumed in whatever cataclysm claimed this town, but the Main structure stands. We have found our first survivor, who appears to be the tanner who the priest suspected to be a cult leader of some kind. After much shouting and flailing about, Diero caught him as he leapt out the window. While there was little of interest in the tannery building, I did come across a black robe and a bloody dagger secreted under the tanner’s bed. It looks like the priest was accurate in his suspicions, but whatever this man may have known, he seems to have become little more than a babbling idiot. I will leave the cause of his madness to speculation by the more scholarly in our group, but all he does is now is claim to be the chosen one while begging for the obsidian tablet we pried from his fingers. It seems rather special, and the Halfling says it’s magical, so I am disinclined to acquiesce to his requests.
I suggested we tie the tanner to a boat and let him float to Littlebrook, or beyond for all I care… Alas, the others insist on keeping him around for some reason. He’d better stop his babbling before my headache gets any worse though, or I may take things into my own hands…
…While interrogating the mad tanner, we were approached by a lone dwarf, drawn by the commotion. He claims to be a traveler investigating the village like we are, but I haven’t decided whether I can trust him. He looks pretty normal, for a dwarf, and seems to be handy with an axe, so having him around could be a good thing, especially as it seems our investigation is likely to take us underground in the near future…

A Letter from Diero


Against my better judgment, I have embarked on an increasingly perilous journey with a collection of drifters: two elves who are mysterious in everything except that they are lodestones for trouble; a cleric of Pelor who seems to know even less than we do, though he was sent along by “special order” of the Pelorian priestess; and finally that bumbling halfling Finder. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t even be in this mess, but Kael insisted that Cirrus is the one who will help us, so I am forced to suffer his penchant for ridiculous escapades in order to find what was taken from us.

Our camp was passed in the night by a group of soulless villagers, shells of human beings, and no sooner had the halfling pronounced them “harmlessly unfortunate” than we took off in the direction that these Inflicted had come from. JD ruefully intoned that we appeared to be heading into the danger rather than away, but Cirrus was singly-focused. Luckily, none of the Inflicted we encountered before the town seemed to be aware of our presence, let alone harmful. Perhaps JD is right, though, as he suffered a debilitating headache on the road.

Lumi has earned some of my regard, as her sense of her surroundings is keen and in-tune with the unnatural. Huge rocks appear to have fallen from somewhere and destroyed this town; the center of the village has erupted debris everywhere, and whatever the cause, it does not appear to be friendly. The poor villagers closest to the explosion appear to have changed, Ena. Their physical bodies are stretched, and their minds are demoralized. One Inflicted sat in the open, gnawing on a human arm.

When we finally reached the temple, it was in terrible shape and Shael will be disappointed to learn that her priest friend has been murdered. Perhaps his death will be of use to us, though, as we may be able to determine what has happened here. He appears to have been murdered for his knowledge of something called “Black Dawn”, which he wrote about in his journal just before he died.

Ena, you will not believe it: there is talk of a secret society. I hoped briefly that this would lead me to her, but the priest’s notes talk of demonic powers and forgotten lore. I am not afraid to battle dark powers to punish that woman, but what would become of our treasure if exposed to that? I shudder to think.

We are seeking out the local tanner, as the priest seemed to believe he was connected with this affair. If this reaches you, stand firm in the knowledge that I will retrieve what we have lost. I will rest at nothing.


A Trip to Trisk
As told by Cirrus

Day 1
In the future I believe it would be best if I refrained from participating in any games of chance with JD, especially ones involving alcohol as I have no recollection of the evening past.

Fortunately, the locals were kind enough to provide an account of our drunken exploits, and apparently my companions and I had the pleasure of sharing a near death experience, courtesy of the Wachowski brothers. However, I believe this dance with death may have been a little more intimate than we realize, despite the local’s delight with the evening’s itinerary.

Weary from our waltz, we headed to the temple of Pelor in hope of finding some medical attention. Though reluctant at first, the lovely Mother Shael was kind enough to aid each of us in return for a small favor.

Mother Shael has been unable to contact the temple of Trisk for many days now and has grown worried. In return for her hospitality, she asked only that we travel to the town of Trisk and return with report as she fears the worst of the mysterious noise.

We agreed to the cleric’s request and decided to head for Trisk in the morning. I invited my companions to reside with me for the remainder of the evening, but Lumi, hesitant of this invitation, required some assurance of my accommodations. I assured her that I could comfortably accommodate a lady and I have promised her Penelope’s room, which I always keep in pristine condition.

Day 2
I returned to the tavern this morning to inquire after our new found friends the Wachowski brothers. This proved to be a fruitless endeavor as most of the information I gathered was mere rumor. There were many claims that a Wachowski brother had been slain, but no Wachowski was among the bodies collected from the alley.

Not particularly fond of the idea of traveling to Trisk on foot, I set out to see if I could acquire some means of transport. Barry, a kind but simple man and common patron of Trinkets and Treasures, offered the use of his mule and flatbed if I delivered a letter to his brother in Trisk. His mule, also named Barry, is old but dependable, so long as one has carrots of course. I graciously accepted Barry’s offer, but the poor man can neither read nor write and so required my assistance in the production of his letter. Fortunately it was a short letter and did not take long to write. I then inquired of his brother’s name and he replied… “Barry”. I have no idea who I am delivering this letter to as I am beginning to think that he calls everyone Barry.

I returned home to find my companions awake and preparing for our trip to Trisk, so I invited them to help themselves to whatever they could find within my shop. Diero took liking to a bow, Lumi collected eight or so various arrows to add to her quiver, and JD found a healing potion. At least, I think it’s a healing potion.

Our trip has been uneventful so far, though the road appears less-traveled than I remember. We have stopped for the evening, the elves agreeing to keep watch, and will continue on to Trisk in the morning. I can sense the inklings of ancient magic. Perhaps I will finally find what I seek in Trisk.

Day 3 – morning
The strangest thing just occurred. JD spotted a group of Inflicted traveling from Trisk towards Littlebrook during his watch. While harmless, their existence was rather disconcerting. Destined to travel the familiar until they starve or are slain, there was unfortunately nothing we could do for them. I suggested we leave them be and continue on to Trisk.

A Night at the Siren's Call
The very first session

The story began in the port town of Littlebrook, in an inn called The Siren’s Call, where a strange group – three rogues and a wizard – recent friends, perhaps mostly due to not fitting in well with the regular townsfolk, sat tossing back a few tankards.

The rumor of the day, was that shortly before entering Littlebrook, a caravan of merchants heard a deep, low rumble from the east, out towards the neighboring village of Trisk. Speculations run wild at the inn, though all agree, that whatever caused the noise could only be bad.

As one of the rogues stepped out in the alley to relieve himself, he was surprised to find a gang of local ruffians waiting. Unhappy with the elven thief amongst them, the locals were set to jump the poor fellow. Six ruffians in all, two of them armed and seemingly talented with a blade, the rogue found himself hopelessly outnumbered. Through clever banter, he did manage to stall the attackers long enough for his fellow outsiders to get suspicious, and they burst into the alley just as the fighting began.

It turned out to be a bloody night. Bones were broken, guts were spilled. The rogues did their best to outmaneuver the attackers, but brute strength nearly got the best of them all. The wizard, not wanting to call attention to his spell casting abilities, utterly failed trying to negotiate a truce, and in the end it nearly meant the end of it for the gang of rogues.

When the last two ruffians finally ran off, carrying the wizard’s coin purse, the gravely wounded outsiders retreated back inside the inn, where everyone had all but forgotten the merchant’s rumors, after the fight had broken out.

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