(Ok I just accidentally deleted everything that I wrote for this including the clipboard in case something happened to my internet. FUCK.)
Our group leaves Chendl prepared and travels to the fortified garrison city of Redoubt. There they learn a bit more what to expect in Crocport. The rest of the day is spent traveling to the city on the shore of Whysetil Lake. They arrive as the sun is setting; steeping the sky and the mirrored lake behind the city in red. Though it is high summer, a cold breeze blows off the waters from the north. Within the walls of the city torches burn with greasy black smoke. The city is intact, but whole portions of it are dark and unoccupied. The central hub of the new city is a coarse collection of adventurers, soldiers, drunkards, tough locals, and those enterprising collections of people that tend to gather where there is money and testosterone. The inn is packed full of people, an abundance of rowdy and stinking bodies. The city has a curfew and this is where everyone comes that has made or is hoping to make money from the reclamation of Crocport.
Gunnar bumps into a grisly and muscled and very inebriated old dwarf who gives him a friendly punch in the head and tells him to piss off. Gunnar punches back and a fight breaks out at the 4 foot level between the two dwarves. It is brutal and money changes hands quickly all around. The old dwarf calls Gunnar a little donkey dick; Gunnar then hits him so hard his eyes cross and he falls to the floor on his ass and begins laughing. Silaka drags him out of there, and manages to get a room. It is hot, stuffy, cramped, and bare, but it has four walls and a door that locks.
The next day they have cold mutton and watery ale for breakfast and walk into the old city. Deux sends out her screech owl familiar to scout the part of the city they are heading towards. It feels fear and pain and then quiet. She has been eaten. In the city they are ambushed by hobgoblins in the street and later by goblins on the rooftops with tar covered nets and torches. Down one alley Silaka sees something that chills her blood, a squat bulbous creature, arms dragging at its sides with beady eyes, pointed ears, and a slack jaw filled with lots of tiny pointed teeth. She sneaks away and the group takes a wide detour around the creature.
The group reached a town square in the old west dock quarter. The buildings are stone and the architecture is ornate with many carvings and sculptures. In the center of the square is a platform, host to the public executions during Iuz’s temporary dominance of the city. The cobbles seem to be stained red. There are tiny feathers, brown and white striped listing around. Silaka’s sharp eyes espy something wrong on the rooftops, though she isn’t sure what. They proceed slowly through the square, and then down the north road. Again she sees something amiss, pointing to a gargoyle that seems out of place in size and style. Deux attacks with a spectral shocking grasp and the gargoyle leaps into the air try an avoid it. It is enraged at the attack and drops like a rock onto Deux. She avoids the raking claws and cruel mouth. Silaka unsheathes Brightsong her new sword, a bane to monsterous humanoids. It deals a punishing blow and rings out when it strikes the creature. Deux grabs it with another shocking grasp as it tries to fly away, and it crumbles to pieces of stone on the pavement.
A short while of searching later and they have located the home and store of Helreich, the wizard. Though the sun shines down on them it does not shine brightly along this road. The building is styled in the way of the ancient Oeridians. It’s third floor is an open colonnaded balcony, but it seems steeped in deep shadow. Yet again Silaka picks out clearly a creature nested there. She lets fly with an arrow striking true, and it falls. Another takes flight with a keening wail that makes the soul cringe, yet their resolve holds. The thing resembles a head with ropey tentacles for hair and leathery bat wings sprouting from the sides. It is a vargouille. Gunnar and Deux bring it down swiftly.
Inside the building is ruined. There was once finery but it has been stripped. A gaping hole yawns in the ceiling to the second floor. Most of the building is charred as if from an explosive blast. The second floor is mostly empty. There is some orcish graffiti in one room. The third floor is intact. behind one door is a rotting bed and a zombie which Gunnar casually destroys. The second door is trapped. Behind is a wardrobe of fine clothes, linens and shoes. A robe and a pair of boots radiates a magical aura. The balcony blows open and still has a lingering feeling of evil from the vargouille. The party descends to the basement.
Gunnar goes first and is seized by a horrible undead creature. A wight begins draining him of life (and levels), but the others quickly surround it and hack it just before it could kill Gunnar. He looks withered and weak, but he is alive. They begin to search the basement for the book. Silaka finds a hidden panel and receives a lightning bolt for opening it. As soon as she lifts the box out of it a 60’ drop spiked pit opens beneath her and she is reduced to -6hp. Deux featherfalls down to heal her with her wand and get her pulled out. Gunnar locates a stone vault in part of the basement wall. Not wanting to take changes this time, Deux uses mage hand to trigger the mechanism. A 10’ x 10’ stone section of the ceiling drops down, churning up a lot of dust but everyone is alive. Behind, in a little 2 foot square opening, perched atop a delicate golden stand is a 2” iridescent orb. Deux carefully levers the orb out with mage hand, and a fusillade of tiny poisoned darts strikes Silaka and her companion Nodelkir. They live through the poisoning effects, though they are weakened.
They’ve achieved their goal and are in sore need of rest and head back towards safety. But after all that they are intercepted by a fledgling cleric of Iuz and two monk guardians. Deux casts burning hands, catching one monk fatally and wounding the cleric. The battle is over quickly, and the tired group makes it back to the inn.