Toshiro. Kyras. Grllk. Even the other mercenaries from the adventuring company. Some were our former allies. It is with a heavy heart that I write that only Grllk of no vowels survived the last few days, and that was not an easy task.
On our return into Sandpoint we encountered a devastated caravan. The wagons were smashed, destroyed. No survivors save the horses, which had bolted for the town. The shipping manifest suggested nothing more than foodstuffs. However, the cavalier we’d encountered all those moons ago had apparently served as a guard for the caravan; his banner was tattered and bloodstained. The sheriff, Belor, did not think much of our involvement, and Conrad seemed to have other matters that demanded our attention.
The tome from the infernal chapel was identified as an old religious text, containing ritual details and curiously, maps of the world before it was broken. Landmarks are designated in the text, and I will be very interested to see how they correspond to the current landscapes. I have to wonder if my archivists had possessed something similar, something that might help unlock its mysteries. Of course, I was too interested in scaling the walls and sparring with Menethorn to attend my studies…but I cannot dwell on such things for too long.
A priest, a companion of the cavalier, seemed to fall next, as Iomedae’s followers brought a ravaged chain shirt to Bellum’s attention. Before we could scarcely do anything, Grllk interjected, claiming an attempt on his life the night before. He was able to slay one of his attackers. A ghoul. We ventured to the site of his attack and determined that the attackers had laid in wait for him to pass. And before we could very well decide how to proceed, a page burst into the city, claiming another caravan attack.
Without hesitation we set off, coming across another scene reminiscent of the first. The caravans were smashed, there were no survivors, and there was no shipping manifest.
There was an acid pitted helm in the wreckage, however, one that unmistakably belonged to Toshiro. Del and I detected a faint presence along the side of the road and set off in pursuit, but were unable to catch the disappearing prey.
We returned his helm to Ameiko, and it now rests above the bar. With purpose we set out for the Pauper’s Grave, fighting through a phase spider and a group of other foul arachnids. Cora’s masterful use of an entangle spell made the creatures easy prey for our group, and we continued on towards the graveyard.
The decrepit site reeked, and we pressed on to the mausoleum. From the graves sprang several ghouls, erupting from the earth, and Cora succumbed to their paralyzing attacks. Bugbears lurked in league with the undead, and after a moment their leader emerged.
Kyras. Kyras Redgrave, having fallen to the ghoul’s bite all those moons ago, had stalked us relentlessly. Innocents and former companions had died by his hand.
We set his soul to rest, finally, and discovered the bodies of those killed in his rampage. We gave them a proper rest, burning their mortal remains to prevent them the horror of rising anew.
The only notable sound, aside from our breathing, was the lapping of waves against the
cliff face below.
In the octagonal mausoleum, the Bugbears had clearly made their den.
Three ragged bedrolls lay on the floor, a pile of small, gnawed animal
bones thrown to one side. The two sarcophagi have been shattered open,
their inhabitants’ eternal rest disturbed by the loot-seeking brutes.
Peering over the land’s edge at the gulf below, we found a small trickle forming a
waterfall along the otherwise rocky and barren cliff face. Horrifyingly, in the low-tide
shoals below, we found bodies, crates, and barrels: what could only be
the caravans’ members and goods.
From the cliff’s edge, two of the notable features of the northern Lost Cost were clear. About a mile to the west, the Three Cormorants—small, wooded sea stacks—jutted from the water like the teeth of some great beast. And, about a mile to the east, the island of Thistletop lurked. Its sheer cliffs, and a stone tower long fallen to ruin, reached for the sky.
We returned to Sandpoint. Belor seems to have no issues with our presence, but the rumblings are growing impossible to ignore. In our footsteps, ruin soon follows. I fear the city may not be our sanctuary for much longer.