[Mazlor, Jorann + henchman, Dargellon, Tobias, Treen + bodyguards, Cesarii]
We arrived at the Monastery without interference and were gratified to not perceive new signs of unholy ceremony – chiefly the vile candles and symbols from our last visit. Regardless, I embarked upon the first tentative steps to reclaim the Monastery, once again. Tracing symbols of holiness into the walls of the Monastery, I transferred the Light’s power and granted the Monastery a rudimentary ability to repel unwanted visitors.
I held out hope that I could regain energy in the Fountain Room and spread this defensive power throughout the Monastery, and so we repaired there for a time. Alas, we wert too oft disturbed by agents of Chaos. A pack of grub-worms and a mud-demon met their ends in the Holy Font, and nearly Tobias as well. The final disruption came in the form of thudding sounds by the stairs. Upon approach, we found a crew of the Green Iron Fist descending into the Monastery. Their minds were clearly possessed, for they paid us no heed, and proceeded inwards with nary a sign of acknowledgement.
Knowing their plight and thinking they could lead us to The Master, we fell in line with them. Down the crevice, through the cave, up the rope, along the stream, over the river, to the docks they went, losing most of their number on the way – some accidentally and some not so accidentally…At the docks, we even rode with them, as our numbers were too great for one raft and we had no mind to leave any behind there again! They made land at the other dock, walked up to the garden aviary, and descended in the guardhouse. They proceeded left into uncharted – and most certainly unimagined – territory.
Another ‘garden’ of sorts housed twisted trees with giant glowing pods. The ensorcelled goblins strode under them and were swallowed by them, like a flytrap. Dargellon shot a pod, which responded only with a drizzle of green ooze. Treen’s bodyguard joined, and they pierced perhaps a score. Yet, this was but a fraction of the whole, and so we cautiously made to manually smash more. Various strains of mutated goblins fell out and lay unmoving. We still faced no direct resistance and thus destroyed the majority of the room. However, there was a painful and disturbing throbbing emanating from a corner of the garden. We endured as best we could with our will and godly assistance, but eventually we could manage no more, and were forced to retreat.
Riding the river back, we had the rafts to ourselves, but the same could not be said of the river. Eerie and troubling lights flitted and flickered about. A familiar foreboding and fear gripped a number of us, and in the panic, we became separated. The raft with myself, Cerassii and Jorann’s henchman (?) was left behind. We could not bear to approach the glimmering lights and there was equally unnerving consideration of where our trio might try to barricade ourselves and survive a night Below. Mercifully, we summoned enough divine magic for myself and (?) to shake our terror. The unbeliever Cerassii was more resistant, so I channeled the Light’s power to incapacitate him instead, and thus we finally traversed the river, hours behind our comrades.
Reunited, we made to the Monastery entrance, finding the corpses of the goblins who had fallen prey to the Light’s wards. I performed prayers in the Fountain Room and restored the wards as we left. We had no desire (and in the case of Tobias, no coin) to pay Reynauld’s burdensome Entrance Levee, so we made to sleep just outside city gates. The guards liked not our intentions and shooed us away perhaps a half of a mile, where we passed the night without incident.
We returned to the pod garden and resumed our vandalisation, noting gladly that previously assaulted stalks appeared to be withering and dying. Tobias soon wandered astray, discovering both the source of the throbbing and its guardians. We dispatched these goblins quickly and turned our attentions to the source – a giant pillar of woe. Twisted, agonizing faces swirled about whilst it pumped out its bloody thrumming. Bodies and objects tossed against it were tainted in a peculiar way. I attempted to divine whether turning the Light’s power against it would be wise – but even this the accursed object sensed, and lashed out against, rendering my mind nearly empty. Though my companions sought to question me, I knew naught – not even whom they might be or our reasons for being there!
Holy water seemed to weaken the pillar, but it also must have alerted more guardians, for they burst in soon after. I hid behind the most capable looking fellow and observed the carnage. Lacking sufficient water to wipe the pillar out and not having faith in other means of harming it, we elected to leave it be for the nonce.
Blessedly, my mind refilled with my life’s recollections on the way home.
Beacon of the Light