Session Date: October 15, 2021
Party: Conno, Beralt, Damien, Koa, Yvalyn, Sina
The season is Autumn, rainy and cold once again. Despite our previous failure, once again a party was gathered to address the continued attacks on the farms to the East of Port Mirandia. I was pleased to see Beralt, the bugbear that had traveled with us on our first visit to the farms, however his little friend was not with him this time. It was fortunate that he had not only returned, but discovered that the fire skulls that had overwhelmed us on our last visit were vulnerable to holy water, which we were able to procure before heading out to escort another shipment of supplies. The half-elf that hired us seemed unusually attached to the Donkey provided to pull the cart, which ended up being quite the inconvenience. We had to save the beast from a band of Harpies on our way to the farm, and very nearly got caught in a patch of vines that I highly suspect may have been carnivorous. I’m still not sure we should have left that harpy tangled up in the vegetation…even if it did want to eat us.
I have sketched the vines for further research. If they are carnivorous, they may pose a threat to future travelers through this area.
We were able to reconnect with the farmer that we had helped the previous visit, Bertrand, and also met with his family. His daughter seemed rather displeased with our presence, however, and we discovered that she had somehow gotten involved with the creatures attacking the supply carts when we found her sneaking around an outcropping of rocks bearing runes that were very similar to the runes on the silver discs that we had discovered here last time. Upon further investigation, we managed to pry information from her little brother (younger siblings make the best spies) about a portal located within the rock formation. We were unable to enter the portal, however because we did not have the key, a pendant that the farmer’s daughter apparently wore.
Attempting to retrieve the pendent proved to be quite the task, as the daughter escaped and fled and we were met with a flame skull and its fire beetles once again. This time, we were able to apply the holy water to avoid it’s resurrection. When dealing with the creatures, holy water is a must! Bertrand had found the pendant, so we were able to investigate the portal, which led to a dusty, unoccupied room. We did, however find a journal, written in Elvish that described what the occupant had been doing. It spoke of necromancers, and using their remains to make fire skulls for the “Master”. It also spoke of different locations, one of which was a swamp. This, coupled with the experience of the scholar from our first visit when he tried to pass through a portal, indicates there may be more of these portals elsewhere. There were other concerning entries, including the use of a mirror to create the space, which we found and destroyed eventually, and the existence of “buds” for the ears to control the mind and to drain life. There were also three other books in Infernal, Primordial, and Abyssal that I could not decipher due to the text being written in code. Those were kept for further study. Perhaps the runes found around the farm are a key to deciphering the texts.
We found the farmer’s daughter further in the cave, in a feverish state and unresponsive in some kind of ritual space. Holy water also seemed to be useful for destroying the pillars that surrounded the space and the girl, however it did not improve her condition until we realized that the “buds” for draining life were in her ears and removed them. Concerningly, the “buds” for mind control were missing and never found.
Of course, the little brother went missing right as we recovered the daughter, so we returned to the cave, to discover him frantically searching for the books we had taken earlier at the command of a voice that we discovered belonged to some kind of half man, half metal abomination. Unfortunately (or fortunately, given the challenge we had with its minions), the metal man chose to leave through another portal, closing off any pursuit. It was at this point we destroyed the mirror, and with it the cave. We can only assume the farm is no longer under threat of attacks, however there is still no real explanation as to where these creatures came from, or why they were stealing the tools in the first place. More investigation is in order.