Mazlor, Sally, Jorann, Beladur, Balto, Fergus, Raygar, Ja’Kar, Pyria
After a scant few day’s rest, an identical assemblage returned to the Monastery. Tis a great pity that Alana remains occupied tending to the ill and injured back in Enonia and Kee has been away for so long. More favorably, though, Sally has been freed of many of his Temple duties, allowing him greater freedom to accompany me. Also, Tangardorin persists in his recent wont of assigning Jorann to assist, rather than the burlier Grel. His motives intrigue, yet remain entirely opaque to me.
Upon descent, I ascertained that the vile entity occupying Eggyx’s font remained. Its presence is to me like a ceaseless blacksmith’s hammering in the skull of a wretch who has had far too much to drink. I informed it it’s time will come to an end soon, and I swear by the Light to make truth of my statement.
We espied in Melchrit’s chambers an ambulatory, headless body. The thing was compelled by the power of the Light and gave purchase. Still, I recollected all too well my experience with a like, yet (physically) defeated, body beneath the Inn, and was cautious. We declined to engage it and approached the door unopposed. I cannot evade the feeling that there is more truth to the story of Melchrit and Phalleum than we have thus far revealed.
I gave demonstration of the workings of the Great Sealed Door of Eggyx and we proceeded. Our familiar greeters arrived without fail. They were oddly gaunt, and dispatched with ease, however. They appeared not mutated, but rather malnourished. We have never provided them sustainable nourishment, so what source of feed might now be in dwindling supply? Goblyns? Chaos energy? I am uncertain, but cannot envision an explanation where this development bodes ill.
After traversing the stairs, I possessed strong suspicion that the Torture Room would still be in use and suggested a detour (Averin’s rebuke for once leaving goblyn prisoners there, while mild, still stings my ears). A covert assessment confirmed two of the frightening creature/object hybrid fliers. Balto and Beladur volunteered to snipe them, then led them into a waiting ambush, which unfolded with remarkable effectiveness. I became intrigued by the metallic portion of these hybrids, leading to Jorann ‘skinning’ them and setting them aside for transport to the surface. Efforts to aid the new prisoners were futile, and we had no choice but to terminate their sufferings.
We proceeded to the nightmarish garden, with its path, tunnels and brambles, at which time we found an unwelcome addition to the foliage – pod trees, cousin to those previously only seen deeper below. The familiar bloated bird-goblyns were also present. J’kar baited them, whilst our trio of bowmen (Fergus, Raygar, Beladur) felled them.
Beyond the stone watchhouse the fountain awaited. A repulsive black chaos sludge now filled the font and pod plant and trees seemed to be drinking it in. Jorann, Sally, and myself tested various remedies involving blessings, purifications, and holy water, the net effect of which was sufficient to eliminate some sludge and cause roots and tendrils to retreat, but far short of our desire to fully eradicate the sludge.
After descending via the guardhouse, we chose the opposite direction of the original pod garden. This brought us to a desecrated altar, now bearing a crude carving of Vanir’s name, undoubtedly the year’s old work of Kjeld.
A subsequent room sounded of odd babbling and yelping. I recalled an old tale from Tobias and Kallista about such a strange beast, living in dark and filth, which had driven them away with fearsome bites. I counseled avoidance, and such was done.
A third was wall to wall covered in what was perhaps putrefying flesh and bone. Again, none desired any dealings with this.
Another pair of pinging fliers (guardians mayhaps?) were defeated with startling ease, when compared to our first encounters with them. Beyond we found the living quarters of a humanoid. Could it be the dwelling of the enemy, Roe? All about was writing, writing, writing – some indecipherable, owing to an unknown tongue, and some incoherent, owing perhaps to madness? We treated his room as a grave robber would treat a newly discovered tomb, and returned home to try to make some sense of our findings.
Perhaps of even greater import than our Monastery incursions is a new development in town. Those who would follow paths other than the Light hath received rough treatment, of both a verbal and physical nature, at the hands of cloaked and hooded foreigners. Questioning recipients found the outsiders to be of a splinter faction of the Light, titling themselves “Light Bringers”. My understanding is such that they are a militant group, formed by Deneb, in the area of Skalfier, subsequent to a traumatic experience he did suffer.
Averin and I conversed upon this matter.
Beacon of the Light
Tina + Wendy – if you’d like a different “in-game” reason for your absences, I’m happy to edit.