After the attack, the party was quite shaken. However it was decided they should carry on through the woods to Morrik Manor in search of their lost Sable.
As they came upon the south east wall, they found two mutilated bodies. Behind those was a wall with large overgrown leafy substances upon which the flowers looked rather odd, almost as if they were moving. Rabbit hopped down and went over to investigate the body parts and noted two black crystal type rocks lying beside them. Stumble, the ever loyal, searched further down for Sable. Gillian followed Stumble. Not too far off (but somewhat difficult to see due to the waning sunlight) they came across two more bodies. One was not so mutilated, but shriveled as if something had sucked the life right out of it. The other was the body of the strange creature that had initially attacked Sable, then disappeared into the trees with him. The monster had been torn in half by some thing that was obviously more vicious and powerful. Beside these bodies was another crystal-like rock but this one was red, and eerily glowing.
Stumble bravely flipped over one of the bodies and to everyone’s horror, the shriveled face of Stable stared back up at him. Gillian gave an affrighted girlish gasp and Stumble filled the rest of the party in on what was happening.
It was time to leave. They decided to bring Sable back with them so Stumble dragged his body over to the cart. Gillian had noted the eerie glow of the red crystal and decided to study it’s meaning. Obviously if it was laying next to Sable, it must give us some answers just as soon as she could figure out how it worked. (She secretly hoped it wasn’t what killed him in the first place.) She picked up the crystal and headed back to the cart to study for a while.
Esmire, filled with a roguish curiosity, came over to investigate the foliage. But as he turned his back he was suddenly struck with a sickening pain in the back of his neck. He began to run in terror of something no one could see. Trivillan, being quick on the uptake and having a keen understanding of terror, ran after him and was able to head him off at the path in the woods. Trivillan noticed a green wiggly thing at the back of Esmire’s neck and without thinking twice quickly grabbed the creature and plucked it from his friend’s skin. Esmire quieted and passed out. Sensing oncoming disaster, Gillian encouraged Rabbit to strike up the wagon and get ready to run. Gillian reached down and helped Stumble heave Sable’s body into the cart and then Stumble ran to help Trivillan with Esmire. Rabbit pulled the wagon around to get closer and Gillian reached down to grab Esmire, but her hands slipped and Esmire’s limp body fell back on Trivillan and Stumble leaving his pack in Gillian’s hand. She threw the pack into the cart (Notice how Hasingstoke was so influential in this particular scenario when everyone else is pulling their weight? Huh. I guess he’s with the horse…. Not to mention Lucien. What was Lucien even doing? Possibly watching the perimeter for any trouble. He has that elfy paranoia going for him.). Stumble and Trivillan man-handled Esmire’s body into the cart and Trivillan jumped in while Stumble hopped on the back of the horse with Hasingstoke.
Along down the path the road broke into two directions, but before the party had time to decide which way, Lucien noted a woman in a black cloak with long white hair. She was singing. None of the party could make sense of this, especially when she turned around and her face was ghostly pale, with white eyes. Suddenly, Trivillan had a disturbing notion that he could recall the tune. She was humming one line over and over again. It was a local children’s song that he had heard in this town. The line went “Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily…”
Everyone tensed up.
After Stumble determined her to be evil, Lucien shot an arrow into the woman. She wavered for a moment but stood up straight again, with an arrow sticking out of her.
Gillian jumped out of the cart and ran to the woman, trying to pull the cloak from her (it was glowing which told her it was magical). She nearly got a hand on the woman, but was knocked away and she ran back to the cart.
Trivillan took over the reigns as Rabbit decided he’d had enough of this and cast ‘sleep’ on the creepy woman.
The party decided that it was a good idea to bring the woman with us. So they loaded her in the wagon (Esmire had come to by now and was available to help).
The party all agreed that this woman had been taken by: the corruption.
The night was growing dim. Lucien suggested again that the party stop and make camp before anything else could come upon them. He was outnumbered by those who felt it would be safer back in town. So they headed down the road toward the town.
It was not long before they came upon a blue mist that the horses refused to pass through. Lucien fought not to give the ‘I TOLD you so’ face, in his gracefully smug way.
They noticed the blue mist was very farmiliar. Much like the blue mist in which dream creatures had escaped from the barrels back in Ashenport. This did not bode well.
Everyone tensed a little more.
Gillian grabbed the dreamfaring septer from her bag and grabbed a rock from the ground. She approached the blue mist and attempted to capture the essence into the rock. However she was met with merely an icy cold feeling. She put the septer away and scurried back to the wagon. When asked by Stumble what was wrong she replied “That’s not the way to go. It’s cold.”
Curious, Rabbit jumped from the cart and ran into the woods.
The party mulled over potential options. Lucian suggested setting camp. Esmire threw a rock.
From the other side we heard a tiny voice yell “Hey, that almost hit me!” And realized Rabbit was on the other side of the mist. The party questioned if it was safe and Rabbit assured them that it was, if not a little cold though. So Esmire tamed the horses with his magic wand, and then walked through the mist.
On the other side he began to flail around and act very funny.
Not thinking too much more than that, Gillian slapped the rear of the horse leading the wagon. At some point someone had decided to tie the second horse to the back of the wagon, so this meant an entire caravan and the rest of the party (except for Gillian and Lucien who had both jumped off of the wagon) were driven through the mist.
There was a battle between Stumble and Hasingstoke involving a war hammer and some very damaged armor. It was then that Gillian suggested that perhaps she and Lucien should wait until that had subsided before going through, so if they too were caught in this fit of rage that the mist was causing, they wouldn’t add to the chaos. So they waited until Stumble and Hasingstoke duked it out.
Eventually they did enter through the mist.
The party all reloaded onto the wagon and heaed back toward town. Gillian now handled the reins.
As they argued about the plan of action, Esmire suddenly noticed that Gillian’s fingernails were turning an unusual shade of black. He then looked down and noticed an unusually veiny texture on his own skin. In fact, in looking around, each of the party members seemed to be exhibiting unusual transmutive traits.
It seems the corruption has gotten us all.
Suddenly our plan options have slimmed out a little. Gillian suggests requesting help from the Vistani person that had been following her previously. Travillian remembers approximately where the Vistani camp was supposed to be located and offered his help in navigating there.
The party was torn again. Some didn’t want to separate, but the chances of staying together in their freakish state and getting through town without trouble were looking slim. Stumble suggested that we take Sable’s body back to the guardian temple. Gillian had figured out that the crystal was Sable’s heart. Apparently whatever attacked him sucked his life essence out and channeled it into his heart… presumably to be consumed in one tastey bite. However, something slashed it down before it could get to dinner. So Sable’s life essence was resting in Gillian’s small hands.
The party decided on a plan: They would sneak up the side of town directly between the two watch towers, so as not to be seen in the still cover of night, and Stumble would drop Sable’s body off with the guardians. Then they would head back out to the perimiter of town and search for the Vistani camp, who they hoped would help them. There was still the potential danger of the Vistani being a superstitious people.
We hoped they would help anyway…. We were running out of options.