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an introductory glimpse of the logistics and schemes of the blood cultists

GM: Geo
Party: [Leader] Ou-Kan (Sorcerer 4); [Scout] Diego (Rogue 2); [Trailblazer] Xurt (Ranger 2); Tenfoll’at (warlock 1, wizard 2); Hillval (Cleric 3)
Objective: Cultist

The day opened with clear skies, and we traveled unimpeded to the plains north of White Moon Cove. In the middle of the night, a priest named Friar Misks ran into our camp, fearing for his life, crying from the pursuit of bandits. Several humans emerged from the dark woods, with blood lust for the friar. The adventuring party stirred awake and took up arms. Moments later, a silent figure in dark armor arrived with its sights also on the portly priest. Campfire light illuminated the carnage, and the situation grew dire as Ou-kan fell unconscious.

The dark armored blood construct

After the party slayed a couple of cutthroats and issued a warning to the remaining foes, it was apparent that these were no simple highwaymen. They seemed to be magically compelled by the demon in dark armor to kill or capture the friar. My intrepid fellows struck down the dark figure whereupon the armor clanked to the forest floor, its flesh turned to a large puddle of blood. Luckily my party all survived, if not a little shaken.

The last assassin alive also blinked in confusion and tossed down his weapon. He told us his name was McGriffon. Interrogating him we learned that he was a sailor aboard the Sailing Dove bound for Katashaka. After sailing for months, they finally caught sight of land, and a mysterious benefactor named Lurt (an older human who dressed in black with a veil; the crew referred to him as “the vampire”) emerged into the daylight to speak to the crew. That was the last thing McGriffon remembered. The dead ruffians were his comrades, and we solemnly buried them.

Friar Misks did not have amnesia and recalled more recent information: he is part of the Neathys Cultists Resistance Forces tracking the activity of these blood cultists. They located a formidable fort on an island north of the Neathys Woods where they believe the cultists are gathering supplies to ship to the Blood Citadel, located far west past the JubJubs, the Whispering Woods, and Forest of the Smallfolk. His troupe was ambushed while traveling to Gwendolyn’s grove. He was able to flee, but his other compatriots were taken prisoner. He believes they are still alive on the cultist island fort.

Blood Cultist fort

We invited both Misks and McGriffon to rest at our camp until morning, when we will head to Gwendolyn. The next day, we found two points of interest while traveling: an abandoned lead mine with its entrance coated in slimy mold, and an unoccupied campsite. We surmised that the mine was of dwarven constructure, but unworked in years. And the camp appeared to be inhabited that morning, with its boot-wearing woodsmen taking off to the east.

Misks assured us that he could safely make it to Gwendolyn from our present location, and we bid him and McGriffon safe travels. Our original intention was to reconnoiter the cultist fort, and now with the pressure of rescuing captives, we continued north.

With the sun setting, we established a camp. This night proved more fantastic than the last! An obsidian pyramid, 40′ by 40′ at its base, appeared out of nowhere not a few paces from our camp. A large horned beast also appeared from the darkness along with its handler: a humanoid with face and fur of a boar! Fortunately we were warned by Tenfoll’at as she had placed magical alarms around the camp. Nonetheless, these creatures were aggressive. The large beast had a potent poison that paralyzed poor Ou-kan, and the boarman was impervious by any mundane blows. The party eventually prevailed by the sorceries and wizardries of Tenfoll’at, Hillval, and the Amazing Gonzo.

Horned beast

As Ou-kan recovered, it was apparent that he was not himself. He described an unsurpressive rage bubbling from within, and we gleaned that he had been cursed by lycanthropy. With no magics to cure him, we deviated course yet again and sought out Gwendolyn to hopefully remedy the curse. We departed the following morning.

En route, a group of woodland creatures approached us and guided us to a magical veil that opened to the glen with the druid Gwendolyn and Friar Misks. She lifted the curse and told us the remnants of the blood cult as well as the captives are still at their island; the cultists have plans for bodies at the Blood Citadel in the west, and they plan to send the captives there in one week’s time. She asked us to recruit great martial power at White Moon Cove. The fort is very well guarded, magical devices that can strike at range, boats and other undead aquatic creatures patrol the waters. No other way onto the island other than boats: no magic will work to transport people.

We decided that our best chance to rescue the prisoners would be to gather a stronger force. Gwendolyn also told us of three other disturbances in the woods to the south/southwest: a group of kobolds harassing travelers; a large centipede is misbehaving; and someone is attempting to repair a Blood Cultists altar. We were given swift stags to hasten us through the woods back to White Moon.

Disturbances in South Neathys Wood

This Blood Cult has amassed quite a presence on the island. I believe they are in league with vampires or some other form of vampirism. They have strong magics to charm people and compel them against their wills. I believe that dark figure to be some kind of animated construct, powered by blood and sorcery. I’m sure there are other foul deeds and unspeakable horrors leading these lost souls.

The Famous Feline

Related:
https://sleeperisland.eu/the-boar-the-wise-woman-and-the-temple/
https://sleeperisland.eu/a-far-travelers-journal-pt-5/