February 18th, 2021
DM – Krforget93
Party – Amal, Gottlieb, Istasha, Jerime, Murdrum, Samael
I’ve been informed that we should be making logs of our jobs, and even I understand the importance of proper bookkeeping, so I’ll be sure to do so from now on, with an interest in being brief while giving important information.
We went westward from town. After around half a day, we came across the ruins of a tower. On the top of the ruins, there was a group of hooded individuals. While they weren’t initially hostile (in fact, they even took the time to talk to Jerime as we approached,) they did say we were interrupting something important. They seemed to want us to leave quickly.
When the rest of the group pressed further questioning as to what they were doing, the hooded man said they were worshiping their lord, mentioning the name Vongrimath. The name didn’t mean anything to me, but Gottlieb obviously got upset at the name. He started to attack, throwing a javeline at the cultists. As soon as the fight began, cultists from the top of the tower yelled that they would soon have help.
The fight seemed simple enough, though we had to mind a gap in the path to the top of the tower. The problem started when a summoning took place, a large sphere of darkness in the air above a stone slab on the tower, from which the rotting corpse of a giant ogre appeared.
We managed to deal with the ogre by pushing it from the tower several times, but we could hear the summoners coordinating further summoning. The cultists were simple enough to deal with, but the ogre, when killed, rose again. We managed to kill it and keep it down, and explored the ruins.
A book was found, among several other things, but none of us could determine what it was for, though it must have been related to their faith or the summoning in some way. The language was unlike anything I’ve ever seen, at the least.
We proceeded after resting, and came across Blackchasm Keep. The surrounding area seemed to be shrouded in darkness, and I don’t claim to understand how. Fog crept along the ground, and as we crossed a bridge that none of us quite trusted (though it seemed to be stable, in the end,) we were greeted at the door by a butler named Nigel.
The butler seemed to expect us, welcoming us into the keep and taking us to his lord, one sir Coel. It seems one of his hunters told sir Coel that people from Port Mirandia would appear, and sir Coel seemed to expect us to be interested in doing jobs for him. While talking, he mentioned the Keep having been around for centuries, and something about an ancient empire (Katashaka, perhaps?) causing issues in the past. He also mentioned the name Alexandra several times, but I didn’t quite understand the connection, and didn’t feel comfortable asking.
As far as sir Coel’s job offers, he mentioned a pack of beasts – the Ancient Stalkers – to the north. They have something Alexandra was searching for — two of the Ancient Stalkers in particular. Kortan, and Thorin possessed Blood Diamonds.
We were told that the second floor of the Keep was forbidden to guests, but were welcomed to stay the night. The basement as well was locked to us, unless we agreed to deal with spirits — something that I opposed, having neither the means or experience to deal with ghosts and the like.
At the request of our group, Jerime in particular, we were allowed to peruse sir Coel’s library in the Keep. Most books seemed to be about death, necromancy, and poison. Several books were locked in glass cases, inaccessible to me. In the back of the library, there was a pedestal with a scroll surrounded by several books, all of them mentioning or relating to the Ancient Stalkers, or more broadly, werewolves in some way.
We stayed the night in the Keep, and I was awoken by Samael’s panicking. He heard something from below, likely the spirits we were asked to deal with. Gottlieb, for his part, had some holy magic that I know little about. He said that there was great evil and also good below us. I’m at a loss as to what this could mean.
Gottlieb found a secret passage during our watch (having been still worried about the suspicious nature of the Keep,) and it lead into a side room behind a bookshelf. The room was terrible — liters of dried blood smeared on the floor, and more freshly placed bloodied hand prints. A long staircase leading downward, and a grate in the floor besides. We could hear movement below, but as we moved to leave, the secret door shut behind us.
I tried my best to open it with force, but if it weren’t for Amal finding the same secret switch to open the door, Gottlieb and I would have likely had to traverse whatever spirits were downstairs.
Come the morning, the butler Nigel told us to avoid touching the books on the bookshelf leading to the secret entrance, stating that they were old and fragile. Clearly, they didn’t want us knowing about that entrance…
We were served good food, and were freely allowed to leave when we told them that we weren’t prepared to deal with spirits or werewolves.