Holy fuck, Yagra was in a little girl’s bracelet!!
So we decided to move on and look for shelter and our trusty half-orc survivalist helped out again finding a series of caves in rock outcroppings. While setting up we noticed the little girl was looking at something in the back of the cave. Since she’s been so…odd…we’ve been keeping an eye on her. So the creepy kid and the monk went to see what she was looking at.
In the back of the cave there are several detailed, faded cave paintings depicting colossal being on fire with black skull shooting energy out of their eyes as they destroyed cities. The monk realizes it’s a depiction of the fire elemental lords summoned by the Malaval in the war which destroyed the Midian Empire. I didn’t catch what they spoke about but the little girl is definitely exhibiting strange behavior.
The monk and the creepy kid tried to convince me that sleeping next to the painting, which were dedicated to destroying Midians, would probably help me sleep. But I wasn’t having any of it and slept far, far away. And I slept great!
The next day we got hit by a sand storm which slowed us down, but didn’t stop us thankfully. Later we stumbled across a caravan that wasn’t already destroyed for once too. So we approached and joined them.
The caravan was being defended by the Border Legion which happened to be the half-orcs previous regiment. The caravan is a group of religious pilgrims that they came across on their patrol. It’s just a group of poor peasants but the Border Legion is spending time protecting them as long as their patrol route will allow. That’s mighty nice of them actually. Seems like the same values the half-orc has.
Though I will say that poor peasants are probably poor for a reason. Stupidity. They marveled at the pantheist monk asking for his blessing and they ended up giving him money too. Giving someone your money when you have almost none because they say, “Wooga wooga, insert god’s name, bless you wooga wooga.” is just nuts!!
At least they shared their food and I got to eat a decent meal instead of rations for once. I also wanted to note that the young boy seems to have potential. Before he went to sleep he tied a rope from his sister’s wrist to himself with a loaded crossbow at his side. Solid paranoia with problem solving skills.
After going to sleep I woke up, while standing and not laying down, being grappled by the monk. Apparently I sleep walked for some reason (fuck you Midia, leave my sleep alone you fuckers!). It was then that the monk and I saw there was a shadowy figure made of darkness with two glowing red eyes roughly in the direction I was walking. And when we blinked, the figure vanished without a trace. Before going back to sleep I tied a piece of rope from my ankle to the young boy’s. I figure if he’s already on “random walk away” duty for his sister he can cover me too.
However before falling asleep it hit me that I forgot about the box being warm to the girl when she touched it. The monk’s concerned about me wanting to touch the box right after the sleep walking and the shadowy figure but after I explain about the box changing he comes around. He sure as shit didn’t want to be the person to touch the box, lol. So, I touched the box and it was now warm and pulpy (soft) feeling with the faint sense of a pulsing heartbeat almost coming from it.
We immediately woke the group up and discussed the problem. Since everyone had already gotten enough sleep we decided to pack up and leave early in the morning. We didn’t want this box with us any longer than it had to be.
Later that day we came across a canyon that had statues carved into the sides, a good 60’ tall. They were statues of the Talathos gods and we got a seriously creepy vibe while passing beneath them. Something about them…I just don’t know. But the monk and I ended up getting very shaken by the experience. We were just off of our game after that.
That evening we found some rubble and rocks that must have been buildings at one time in the past. So we took shelter there to get some protection from the wind. It was later that night that the fuck up “wandered” by.
While on watch the monk and I heard singing in the distance and after a few moments we see a man walking our way. It’s an average looking man wearing travelling gear and playing a lute. He introduces himself as Zaradok, a wandering bard asking for a spot by our fire. After the monk says that he doesn’t think the bard is out to get us we let him join us.
I found the bard boring so I go back to sleep (making sure I was tied up the young boy of course); however, I found myself thinking of the strangest things and unable to go to sleep. Apparently this was some kind of Aura that was affecting all of us.
The warlock (getting tired of writing creepy kid, warlock is easier, and less confusing when there are other kids) was also feeling “disconnected from his bond”. Just so you know, I’m not using any of his weird as words for shit. Bond, pact, big fat donkey dick for all I care!
Anyways, he reached out to the mind of the Bard (keep in mind this is his recounting the details here) and went completely bat shit. Walking in random directions, talking about how butterflies tasted purple, and more. This lasted for about 5 minutes before he went back to normal. And by normal I mean creepy and asking the group whether we could kill the bard. Which apparently we should have done in hindsight.
While all of this is going on the young boy and I hid in the shadows of one of the wagons with our crossbows trained on the bard. Just in case. The monk isn’t for killing the bard but says that he won’t stand in the way if the group wants it. I keep my mouth shut and hide for the rest of the night. Just in case.
The monk later notices a tattoo on the bard’s hand signifying Tythis the Chaos God. In discussion later I suggest that maybe the odd things happening are just some side effect of being around someone who worships a god of chaos and he hasn’t done anything to us. So we end up letting him stay figuring we were less than a day away from Dustburn. Though again in hindsight we should have dumped him. It really bugged me that he survived alone in the desert.
The next morning I check the box again (no change in status) before we head off to Dustburn. About midday we see some smoke in the distance. So we head that way. It was at this time we found out that the young boy is sick. He’s cold and clammy with his eyes rolled back into his head and having a hard time breathing.
The sister seems concerned but there’s an odd distance and she doesn’t seem like herself. We discussed our options and decided upon having the bard go with the warlock and monk scouting while separating the girl from the boy. Just in case. I flat out told her I was worried she was causing the effect which didn’t go over well with the little girl or the party. Doesn’t bother me though. I wanted to make sure that she understood there might be evil inside of her.
The monk, warlock, and bard found a roughly assembled, shitty house by some rubble while scouting. The smoke was coming from the chimney. There’s 3 men outside praying with ash covering their faces. When the monk gets closer he figures out that they are worshipping Khestros the Unknown. He’s a god that none of the other religions have heard of and say doesn’t exist, but his clerics are being granted power. His priests are called the “beggar priests”. Nutjobs.
They leave the bard behind to scout out the men in case they come after us while the monk and warlock head back to camp. At this time we noticed a bracelet made of black beads with a silver holy symbol of Zhon on the little girls wrist. The half orc finds out that she found it days ago and that it will not come off of her wrist. So we have the cleric take a look and he says that it is a reliquary.
Now thanks to fuckwit the bard we get jumped by the ashen men (best guard duty ever). Seven of them come rushing us screaming “Death to The Heretic!!”. However we killed 3 of their numbers before they could even take an action so the last four fled.
After we looted the bodies and scouted to make sure they were gone we come back to the sounds of fighting at the camp. We find the bard is choking the little girl screaming about how she has to die for the benefit of everyone and there’s something in her head.
We managed to stop him and save the girl, so we questioned his crazy ass. While the guys arguing over whether to kill him and pumping him for info I examine the bracelet more closely. When I do so the young girls talks to me in hushed tones (sounded like a cultured male, not her) commanding me in the name of Zhon to put the bracelet on the boy’s wrist.
So I take off the bracelet (which came off easily now) and the bard tries to attack me. I moved away, hid, and listened to them interrogating him. Long story short he only seems to want to stop this bracelet from possessing someone because he hates Zhon. It’s got nothing to do with the safety of the children at all.
So I talk over the details with the cleric and he says we should put on the boy and see what happens. Once it’s on him the boy looks healthy again and sits up. He sounds like a cultured adult male (like with the girl) and thanks us. When he does the warlock asks for a reward. Oh yeah, they killed the bard at some point while all of this was going on. Stupid fuckwit.
The young boy walked over to the girl and tapped her on the cheek, saying she’ll be alright. It turns out the spirit possessing the boy is the legendary Lord Yagra the Necromancer, one of the Tower Lords from the City of Crypts. We get everything together and head towards Dustburn.
He told us that he will eventually get his own body and let the boy free later. Later the monk brings up the box and Yagra looking at it. I said it was a great idea! He told us that it was an undead relic inside seeking a host like Yagra was. And it had already started it’s work on me, but if we get rid of it I’ll be fine. The girl eventually comes around.
When we get to Dustburn you can tell that there was once one plateau that overlooked a valley. Some force in the past cracked it up and there are now fissures and canyons in it. And you could see a sizeable, walled town on top of one of the lower mesas.
There were also 4 windmills and the base of the road leading to the town had a lot of smoke coming up. Near the town there’s a half dozen more mesas with ruins all over the place and a few makeshift bridges over the canyons. Carved into the cliffs are also several large faces as well, but not sure of whom.
When we got to the road there was a huge pit about 30’s across and 15’ deep with a massive fire burning in it. Some men wearing protective leather were dragging 6’ bundles (read bodies) to the fire and throwing them in. That was when Yagra told us to call him Jack for now to avoid attention. He said that the fire may be big enough to destroy the box but when I brought up concerns over all of the dead bodies he said that it was probably a bad idea.
An old ugly guy walks up and welcomes us. Severin, head of the corpse burners guild. He told us to always burn the dead or they come back up. They also don’t kill crazy people here. They get turned over to the Order of the Circle. Severin tells us that there is a Pantheist Church here but Borelon (the cleric) is not usually not sober.
We noticed that the ruins are impressive engineering wise and the town was mostly built from the ruins as we ride up the road towards Dustburn. At the gate the guards stopped us and asked whether we’re visiting or want residency. When I found out that there were no rights to a trial if you’re not a citizen I told him that I was appyling. Visitors have to leave after 1 week of visiting the town.
We find an inn, The Virgin and the Lich, and go inside in order to buy some booze for the Borelon. It was fairly crowded and filled with adventurers. Once we’ve got the “bribe” we run down to the church (a ramshackle old thing) Yagra purifies the drunken, sleeping priest.
Borelon was freaked out about the box and how evil it was telling us he couldn’t do anything about it and to get it out of there. So we gave him the booze as hush money and left. The monk and the warlock discuss what to do with the box and end up agreeing to sell it for us. So we give it to the merchant we escorted to town to sell it for us.
It was around night time then and it turns out Dustburn locks their gates at night so we headed back to The Lich and the Virgin to get some rooms.
The next day we find out that Dustburn was run by a council of the guild masters from the guilds in the city. It was once run however by “Water Lords” who controlled the water supply. But they got killed years ago because they used slaves and some adventurer slaves they took were not pleased. Ashburn is run by the Tomb Robbers Guild (the thieves guild) and where the darker and evil things are dealt with.
Group Loot: 390.8g each after all items were sold from the past 3 adventures
Healing Salve 1d6 healing & Advantage on save vs disease next roll: 40g
Healing Potion 1d4: 20g