Two weeks later, the group, sitting at the inn’s central table enjoying some of Otik’s
delicious spiced potatoes (ah!), they noticed a new bard trying his luck at the art of music. The room was lively with the young man’s skill, but, as Kay
decided, not quite lively enough. As the bard’s music reached a crescendo, Kay
leaped out onto the stage and began a dance, matching his movements perfectly with the bard’s melody. The two, whilst working together, made roughly twice their normal daily wage, and Kay invited the young bard to sit with his group.
The bard introduced himself as Jet Voidweller, a young adventurer like the group, who was looking to make a name for himself in Syntharis. Little did the young bard know, however, his speaking to the group would set in motion several events that would change his life forever. When Kay joined in on the merriment, the nightmares began to follow him as well.
Gagaso claimed to dislike the bard, but actually meant it in a benevolent and kind way. As the bard, ranger, and rogue were about to begin a second performance, this time with one of Gagaso’s impromptu stories, the door was slammed open by a tall, gaunt man wearing black clerical vestments. He roared in rage at the audience and stalked off down the street, drawing his hood up as he did so.
“Ah, Sam,” remarked one of the patrons, setting his ale on the table with a hearty belch. “That man, I swear to the gods, is touched in the head. He’s always been abnormally angry, but I reckon that the boy, ever since he find himself a god to worship, whate’er that god may be, has been nuthin’ but trouble. Why, once he broke into me shack at three o’ the mornin’ and yelled at me to repent my ‘sins’ or some other malarkey. I dunno, but that boy sure ain’t right in the head.”
The group, a bit disturbed by the malice in the man’s eyes, and, more importantly, the strange symbol that had been left on the door by the man’s mace. A sun with a crescent moon eclipsing it, like the one they had seen at the mausoleum, had been left, in perfect effigy, on the wooden doorframe.
Presently, the group was approached by the guards of the town, who, having heard of their exploits in saving the children and the family tomb, wanted to state a sentiment of their own. Over the course of the last few weeks, several people had been found dead in several districts throughout the city. These deaths did not seem to be linked, and they happened almost every night. One of the guards was reported saying “Ya better be gettin’ yer hands dirty with this. It’s like the guys just up and dropped dead. No sign of what killed em’ or why. It’s just the strangest thing we’ve seen in a while here.”
The group, spearheaded by Kay, agreed to assist in the ongoing investigation. The group’s first scene was a small group of four young sailor men along the wharf. The men, indeed, seemed to have just dropped dead, save only for the looks of utter terror stricken across their faces. While this in itself was strange, there seemed to be writing on one of the walls just to the left of the eldest man. Most of it was unintelligible, but held some kind of cohesive message. “I didn’t mean to… 1397…. We were just looking… please help us….” were some of the scrawlings along that one wall.
The group had barely any time to ponder these markings when Jet spotted several humanoid shapes appear out of the mist. These shapes held uncanny likeness to the recently dead men, and they rushed forward with nothing but a simple moan. Jesis noted that the creatures were not corporeal, and called out to the group as they charged: “They’re not in this plane! But something anchors them here!”
Indeed, Gagaso’s first arrow flew straight through the creature’s forehead and clattered harmlessly across the ground. The battle erupted, and [[;kay-3 | Kay]] was stuck apart from the group. The rest began to slowly kill the creatures, but Kay, isolated, was overwhelmed and the monster drained him of all his strength. The beast was about to deliver the killing blow, when Gagaso shot it through the forehead with his Skirmish attack. The beasts disappeared, and the group quickly searched the area before leaving. Duadexa swore that she saw another shape disappear within the mist as they left the scene. She felt a bone-chilling creep go up her spine, and she suddenly felt afraid for the friends she had made within the town as of so far.
Duadexa’s fears were realized the next night, when one of her friends did indeed turn up dead, along with three others. The group’s investigation turned up more scrawl on the walls. “I wasn’t in on it… Please help me… I’m sorry… I was only curious… It was on the wharf…”
As the group began to read these writings, they were again assaulted by wraiths. This time, however, the wraiths had a strange likeness to the recently dead. The group went home, scared and traumatized at these uncanny likenesses.
(To be continued…)