Through the months of Juniper, Fire and Elephant, the team trained in Slateholm. Near the end of their stay, the potions master once again rolled his wagon into town for a drinking contest. They last saw in half a year before. Several of the party made attempts that ended quickly in vomit.
In Slateholm, they heard more details about the demon hunters. While in St. Orlan, the priests told of demon hunters from far away heading to the ancient city Tosasth. Travellers from from St. Orlan shared news that the demon hunters had returned to St. Orlan claiming victory and subsequently deposing the governor. A fever for witches inflamed the citizens there as the new holy government instituted an inquisition.
They concluded their business in Slateholm and made for St. Orlan by way of Lah who confessed his regret that Tienarth’s Raiders were not able to address the problems of Tosasth before the squad from the east arrived. Power within the church was tilting away from the kindly Lah and towards the iron hand of the demon hunting leader, Sezzar, who now ran the entire town. Lah warned them against the fervent mood of the crowd there before they set off again.
Upon approaching the town, guards demanded a statement of faith in the Anointed One. One by one, they carefully offered a testimony, but Azrak could not resist clarifying his belief in dwarven gods. Fortunately his words were not heard for the town was gripped in a mission of vengeance against all heretical ideas.
It took little time to discover the scope of the town’s takeover. Half the populace openly scanned for evil in the eyes of their fellow citizens. The rest kept a low profile lest they be next hung for witchcraft. The idea of the seemingly-corrupt Sezzar taking ownership of the town. The three younger adventurers now trailing the raiders everywhere (Darthorian, Mygnak and Pippen), expressed a naive solution of straightforward murder, about which the elder members explained the foolish impossibility of a frontal assault. Additionally, they had little first hand information.
To remedy this deficit, Tienarth rendered Ghevont invisible. The cleric took an opportunity to slip through the palace gates when men were leaving the compound. He crept around the gardens, eavesdropping. From these conversations he gathered that Sezzar has plans yet unfulfilled after which the troop might return to the east. Undetected entrance into the palace itself seemed too difficult even for one invisible. He did detect a glow of evil amongst the demon-hunting priests.
Ghevont consulted with the temple priests, those who took over after expelling the succubus, and he detected no evil. A visit to the grumpy sheriff of St. Orlan, Bremlai, who remembered the attempt to bring a goblin slave into town as well as the rescue of the temple. Sympathetic to the idea that Tosasth still posed a threat despite the claims of the new town leaders, he leaned on his experience as a crime fighter and suggested clue-finding. They took this advice and returned to the cave where they slew the vampire.
The cave was undisturbed. And the people in Muleshoe reported no new trouble with bats or wolves. After a confirmation of nothing newly interesting in the chamber where the vampire’s coffin remained, the party explored past the area where they found an ancient elf grave with glowing runes. Presently they encountered three giant caecilia who were quickly stuck with arrows and slashed with blades.
Detecting more glowing down a passage, Ferris held a mirror around a corner to reveal a 10-foot semi-sphere dominating a small room with pulsing green glow. Suddenly the intensity of light surged and a black mass of goo appeared before the orb. They sprung to action to destroy what they later concluded was a black pudding.
Arrows fired into the black blob did nothing. Azrak approached, chopping down with his ax only to divide the monster into two. Fortunately, they next tried fire, hurling flask after flask at the horror. Soon it was burned up.
Exploring further, they round two rooms with piles of iron blobs piled against walls. Some investigation revealed hidden chests under each pile. After busting off the locks, they distributed the loot. Tienarth acquired two scrolls and a wand. Azrak stuffed two sacks of gold totalling 1500gp in his backpack. Ferris grabbed a potion.
Next, they found a natural pool with more glowing runes that Tienarth read aloud to mean Draught of the Youth. Azrak bent over to place his face in the pool, swallowing several cool mouthfuls. He reported feeling invigorated. Likewise, Tienarth used a silver cup from his mess kit to take a taste and felt much more youthful. Mygnak also tried the magical pool and lost a number of years.
Beyond the the pool, they found giant scorpions, a tail strike from any one of them might cause sudden death. Despite three solid strikes, Azrak shrugged off the effects of the poison and soon the giant beasts were dispatched.
- Characters present: Tienarth/Tre, Ghevont/Jeff, Aderian/Jason, Ferris/Henry, Azrak/Nick, Darthorian/Michael, Pippen/Jared, Mygnak/Michael.