After the night’s debacle, you feel less inclined to eat at the Bottoms Up. The party quickly leaves back to the The Turtle’ Parlor to turn in for the night, planning to feast on your own rations. Ysermil makes a comment upon his departure that all the locals tattooed by Lucrecia are marked for death and that they should make plans to have them removed. Upon your return, you quickly note that all of your clothing is wet, and your previous ones were already sent to launder. Some of you grumpily make due of blankets in the rooms to keep you from the winter chill through the night, while others only seem to happy at the turn of events. Before you all turn in, you discuss the night’s discoveries making mention of some of your theories:
- Com makes mention that perhaps you should be worried wearing the amulet, especially after having sleept with Xanesha recently.
- Calach quickly changes the subject. Perhaps this Lucrecia marked them only to kill in large quantities for whatever ritual in the sinking of the barge. Calach makes mention that maybe this sister was focusing on the quantity vs. quality.
- Perhaps this mass killing was done in anticipation of your arrival, so that it would not be stopped. Some quickly dismiss this as the barge sunk a month ago.
- Calach also makes mention that he believes these people were targeted for specific sins like greed and that these rituals may have something to do with powering something magical and ancient in nature like what may have been used in the Ancient Thassilionian empire. The symbols were ancient Thassilionian afterall.
*Ysermil seems concerned and asked about these sins. He seems grateful he does not have one of those symbols as he is often guilty of lust.
- There is much to investigate, but you all agree that it would be wise to investigate first what you were hired to do. You will all leave in the morning to Fort Rannnick.
9th of Kuthona of 4707
You all arise at different times, with different worries. Some of you pray, while others dress in what items you can to find out about your laundered clothing. You retrieve them from the inn keepers wife with apologies for their dampness, as it rained all night and there was not enough time for them to fully dry without the sun. Com goes to the Bottoms Up to break fast. He gets suspicious looks and a quiet atmosphere as he dines. The waitress quietly asks his opinion about the tattoos, “Do you really think people who have a tattoo are going to die?” The waitress, obviously not there last night, seemed to be making polite conversation. He asks, “Why? Do you have such a tattoo? Perhaps I should thoroughly check you?” She blushes and asks who he was to be invesigating such things. She has no tatto but knows people who might. He states that he has the authority as a priest of Milani to do such things. She seems impressed and says that perhaps when she is done he should pass by to look her over. He quickly says he is leaving town, but perhaps when he returns.
The party leaves on the old road that hugs the Skull River and traverse a brig a few miles north of town. Upon traversing the bridge, they hear the yowling of what appears to be a large cat in pain. After a few moments, som e members also hear the barking of dogs and an off-key tune about eating kittens. They cross the bridge and Bruiser goes to investigate. Aurellion follows, and they find a fire pelt moutain lion caught in a bear trap. It seems excited to see them and attempts to move toward their direction, but yowls in pain. When Shalelu arrives, she makes note that it is no ordinary mountain lion. She believes that perhaps it is the companion of a druid or ranger. After everyone crosses the wooden bridge, Bruiser makes not further in the forest of a horrific looking humanoid with a pack of 5 dogs.
He is approaching while singling a song about fried kitties and kitty stew. As he gets closer, Bruiser shouts that the lion caught in the trap is not his, and that he should leave. At this, the creature seems to become enraged screaming, “That is my kitty!” He yells, “Sick’em boys!” The pack of 5 dogs attacks and are quickly massacred at the hands of Bruiser. The creature quickly begins to cry and sobb. He sticks Bruiser with his spear and begins to run off. Everyone follows, and attacks. They knock the creature unconsious. Bruiser ties him uo with his rope. They review his items (some magic) and find a flea infested blanket with 5 patches of some sort of sigil sewn in. Com heals the party and the creature. As they begin to investigate, it is clear that the creature named Rukus Graul is simple-minded. Calach is able to gage some understanding through the detect thoughts spell that there are some prisoners some dead and some alive held captive in his home. Shalelu recognizes the sigils as those of the Black Arrows. The party leaves Shalelu behind with the horses and Rukus and follow the mountain lion down an overgrown path that leads deeper into the Kreegwoods.
They come across a clearing with a sickly farm. The woods around the land are decorated with several hanging cornhusk-and-leather humanoid shaped fetishes. A tangeled field of corn and other diseased plants grows in the eastern section of the land, while in the north slump 2 sagging buildings: a barn and a farmhouse. After some arguing as to tactics, Calach casts invisiblity on himself and begins to move forward. After some time a figure appears to be walking accross from the back of the barn to the home and stops as he notices something in the bushes the party seems to be hiding in. He yells, “Indruders!”
A battle ensues, and the party emerges victorious. They follow the moutain lion to the barn. Ysermil checks the doors for traps and finds none. Bruiser opens a barn door and the moutain lion quickly rushes in climbing up some catwalks.. The barn houses several mounds of molding hay, grain stores, and even a large but crude still. Two catwalks rise up along the walls, leading to doors near the ceiling in the east wall. Lower, a pair of massive doors, boarded over with thick timbers, allows ground access to the room beyond. Several dingy kennels are built into the walls under the catwalks. Witin the barn, they also find 3 more of these horrific creatures, each with their own deformations. One has a vestigial arm growing from an elbow, another everlarge, milky eyes, and the last has stunted legs. The party taunts these apparently simple-minded creatures, and a battle ensues as they rush to the barn doors. This makes quick work of the lot. Ysermil follows the lion to a door on the catwalk, checks it for traps.