Gozran 22nd, 4711
After the deadly battle with the cultists of the Whispering Way in the ruined city of Feldgrau, and the revelations shown through Ulcris Sedmir’s ghostly seance about the machinations of Auren Vrood and his unknown “master,” the party prepared to follow the Dark Riders south to Thrushmoor and put an end once and for all, to their plans.
The mighty paladin of Iomedae, Ryzsard Saul, had fallen however. And Torquemada took on the responsibilities of his faith to the holy warrior, and led the group in a small ceremony to honor the life and sacrifice made by Ryzsard Saul on this day.
But time was not on their side, and the Dark Riders already had a head start, so the group quickly finished their ceremony and packed up to head south.
The journey from Feldgrau to Thrushmoor took them along the Furrows and through the Stonegroves, passing the town of Carrion Hill on their way into the county of Varno and the town of Redleaf. The manor houses of the noble families Adler, Boadely, Druanwiet, Millair, and Vanache circled forested Redleaf Lake, well known for its seclusion and waters that take on the color of fire every autumn.
Luckily a small settlement for servants and support staff had been set up alongside the Nicklecross River, and the party was able to purchase a small boat allowing them to navigate directly down the river.
Gozran 24th, 4711
A Lazy Day
Two days of river travel saw the group now working their way down the Detstach River, one of the major tributaries of Lake Encarthan, a massive freshwater lake on the southern border of Ustalav.
Having stopped for the day at a suitable clearing, the party set out their usual watch schedule and settled down for the evening. The night passed uneventfully, but come the morning, while Haza was getting ready to load the boats, he noticed that Lashmar and Torquemada were not packing up their gear as usual.
“It’s such a beautiful day,” began Torque. “We’ve been through a lot with the death of Ryzsard, we’ve been beaten up and running for days. Maybe we should just hang out here for a day and rest.”
Lashmar quickly agreed, and Haza shrugged his shoulders and acquiesced.
The day passed with Lashmar and Torquemada mostly sitting around, napping, or just watching the river water flow by the camp.
Another uneventful night followed, and the next day, Haza again was faced with companions who seemed even less interested in continuing their quest downriver. Now Haza was getting worried. He attempted to reason with the two, reminding them that the Dark Riders they were chasing were probably getting farther and farther ahead with every hour delay, but the two refused to continue onward. Haza then turned to his magic repertoire, going through an exhaustive series of spells in the hopes that if something was affecting his companions, that he could remove the curse or compunction from them. However, nothing seemed to affect the deep lassitude that had clearly settled on the group.
Another night passed, and in the morning Haza found himself in dire straits. Not only did he feel his willpower for leaving slip away and leave him stranded, but Torque and Lashmar were clearly suffering from something. They appeared drawn and haggard, their skin turning a greyish color and sinking into their flesh. Once again, Haza turned to the power of Sarenrae for help, but nothing he did seemed to break the shackles binding the party to this clearing.
It was that night that the being appeared, rising up out of the ground in a copse of trees nearby. An eerie radiance, a glow unlike anything else they had ever seen, suddenly suffused the area, bringing with it a stifling sense of latent malignancy – a Colour Out of Space. A create from the depths of the Dark Tapestry that hangs forever above the world of Golarion.
The weirdly manifested Colour slowly began to move forward, a pale ray of unearthly radiance suddenly lashing out from it’s radiance to strike Lashmar, who howled in pain as parts of his flesh began sloughing off and disintegrating. Roused to action now, the party began to assail the strange being, but their attacks and spells did not seem to harm the Colour much. It wasn’t until Haza was able to attack it using a Spiritual Weapon that the creature seemed to be greatly discomforted by their assault. Realizing that perhaps it’s unique structure was vulnerable to force affects, the party changed their tactics, and now the being seemed to be in trouble.
Suddenly, a large humanoid form came rushing into the fray. A burly half-orc, foaming at the mouth, it’s unusually long claws glowing with eldritch light, attacked the surging Colour, but to no effect.
Curious as to the identity of their “rescuer”, but still engaged in a tenuous battle, the party accepted his aid and pressed their attack on the Colour.
It gathered itself together in a roiling cloud of radiance and without a sound, streaked off up into the night sky, the faint unearthly glow of it’s passage stitching a line through the starry sky, slowly fading as the Colour retreated back into the Dark Tapestry.
The Barbarian and the Sorcerer
Having thrown off the yoke of the Colour’s lassitude effect, the party sat down to tend to their wounds and speak with the half-orc who had come to their aid – one Kastagir by name.
Originally from the forsaken land of Virlych, Kastagir’s tribe eked out a living in the wilds for generations. Bitten by a weretiger one day he felt infused with a desire to adventure and see what the real world held. He hooked up with an adventuring group for several months and heard about a ruin in these woods that was said to house some great treasure. While exploring the ruins, the Whispering Way slaughtered the group leaving Kastagir the lone survivor. Wounded and bleeding, he wandered the woods for two weeks until a goblin called Klix-Klix found him and healed him with Iomedae’s holy radiance.
At this point, the goblin called Klix-Klix appeared at the edge of the firelight. Looking much the same as the last time they saw him, he seemed greatly excited at being “reunited” with his old friends from Canterwall.
Klix-Klix went on to explain that after the party saved him many moons ago from the predations of Grubb-Grubb, he “converted” to Iomedae and she had blessed him with “mighty powers of good and fire” and had given him visions that led him to meet the party here. He asked where Ryzsard was, going on to say that it was his example that led him to follow in his footsteps, and he was crushed to hear that he had falled in battle with the Antipaladin werewolf Adimarus Ionacu.
Having heard their tale, the party shared what they knew of the Whispering Way and suggested that the two goblinoids accompany them to Thrushmoor, where they might find their chance to strike back at the Whispering Way themselves.
Gozran 27th, 4711
A Knife in the Back
Two days of river travel led the new group to the town of Thrushmoor. Whipped by frequent storms and rough seas, the old town looked worn and rugged, no amount of care or paint erasing the wear upon the spume-blasted docks and mossy quays. While the homes and structures upon the lake showed the damage of lashing waves and frequent flooding, those on the higher ground — the territory of the town’s “quality” — posture as the homes of wealthy landowners, with pristine picket fences, sharp gables, and columned facades.
The party stopped by the Sea Foam tavern, and were directed to the sole stable in town as a likely spot to inquire about any “riders” who may have come through town seeking care for their horses.
An old hay wain stood just inside the livery stable, its wooden side boards near bursting with the load of straw it bears. One of its wheels was missing, and the wagon leaned heavily to one side. A bent old man kneeled beside the wagon, struggling to fit a new
wheel on the empty axle.
“Can I help you folks?” the stablemaster asked.
Torquemada inquired about the Dark Riders, and the stablemaster stated that two horsemen in dark cloaks came to the livery the day before. The men were rude, he said, kicking mud all over the stablemaster, and “near-spooked my horses to death.” He says they paid in gold for fresh horses, and rode out again “in a powerful hurry.”
As he spoke, he continued to struggle with the wheel. Kastagir stepped forward and offered to help, and the rest of the party joined in to hoist the heavy wagon so the stablemaster could put the new wheel on.
As they were occupied holding up the heavy wagon, the stablemaster moved into position and struck with his poisoned daggers in a sneak attack! Simultaneous, two humanoid creatures with long, sharp teeth, and pallid flesh stretched tightly over its starved frame attacked with raking claws. Ghouls!
The assassin continued his attack as the ghouls jumped out of the hay wain, trying to flank the party as they pressed their advantage.
However, the party was able to rally after the surprise attack and soon the ghouls lay truly dead on the ground and the assassin turned to flee through the town. The chase was on, with Kastagir following on foot and Lashmar flying after him. He led a merry chase through the close alleys and streets, but soon was cornered once more and turned to fight. With the advantage of surprise however, the assassin was no match for the party and soon lay still on the cobblestones also.
A quick search of his body revealed:
- +1 mithral shirt
- +2 dagger
- masterwork daggers (2)
- disguise kit
- small ceramic egg
- thieves’ tools
- 20 pp
The party gathered up the assassin’s body and secreted it (along with the ghoul corpses) back to the stable.