Legends of Thassilon

Bloodsuckers in Whistledown

A day of downriver barge travel offered the heroes a chance to recover from the recent ordeals. The next day some fantastic spellcasting by Tal’Vesha generated magical mounts with nearly endless stamina for the party. Well before dusk the group approached the constant eerie whistling of Whistledown. The whitewashed cottages rested at the western tip of the Fenwall Mountains where Lake Syrantula becomes the Yondabakari River once more. Despite a reputation as a peaceful, friendly trade stop, the heroes were met by timid and distant human and gnome inhabitants.

As the heroes prepared to pass through town in a hurry to reach Sandpoint before the impending stone giant invasion, the gnome magistrate Adagre Bagalom approached them.

He said, "I beseech you to listen to my tale, perhaps over a pint of ale and a warm meal our inn? "

Tal looked at the sun near the horizon and grumbled while Maggie and Albi immediately moved to follow the earnest magistrate.

Once inside the subdued taproom of Thagin’s Rest, Bagalom continued his tale. “Evil has come to eour town. A week ago the first of our neighbors vanished – fisherman who rose before dawn for the mornings catch out of the lake. Then the following night, old Margatha was taken from her cottage, her front door smashed to splinters. Every night since someone else is taken. Finally, last night, our militia had enough. They decided to guard the market. There were ten of them in all. I heard their screams but was too frightened to venture out. We don’t know what we are going to do. We have no more warriors among us. We are simple people. May be that Desna has merged out paths. Will you help?”

Tal objected to getting involved. After the tiefling and gnome refused to leave, he grudgingly agreed to investigate. For a few hours.

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The heroes searched the market for clues. They found the remains of Margatha’s doorframe suggesting a foe with monstrously inhuman strength. Malcanthet found four pairs of humanoid tracks that led back to the shoreline and signs of a shored boat.Mohrg 2 Tal and Albi examined the remains of the fallen and found necrotic, leaching wounds. it was also obvious that several other had been drug away alive.

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Expecting another night attack, the heroes decided to stay long enough to intervene. Like a beacon, Duncan held a lone flickering torch and paced along the shoreline. From the inky lake waters answered a band of hideous undead: a pair of skeletal abominations with writhing entrails and eellike tongues known as mohrg and two gaunt vampire spawn. Duncan managed to stand against their paralyzing attacks.  The rest of the party rushed to the fray the undead were rapidly defeated.

After the battle, the adventurers found a locally crafted boat that the undead had used. Albi roused the magistrate who identified the boat as being crafted by a human ranger named Sarian who lived alone along the shoreline to the north.

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Sarian’s cabin was a simple two-room structure on Lake Syrantula. Maggie and Duncan knocked at the door and found the grizzled ranger at home. They accused him of being in league with the undead to which he scoffed and demanded that they "bugger off!” Duncan tried to force his way in and the ranger yelled, “Tempest! Attack!”

As the door began to break free, the ranger cast entangle at the threshold. The heroes easily evaded the writhing branches. A timber wolf appeared from the woodline and shot toward the door. Tal’Vesha cast a sticky glue spell that bound it in place, snarling and frustrated.

Maggie and Duncan quickly overcame Sarian. Defeated, he slowly begin to explain himself. He admitted being a smuggler and using an island ruin has his base of operations. A week ago he found undead milling about the site and he fled without telling anyone.

The party “convinced” him to row them to the island at first light.

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One mile into the expansive and sinister lake, several adventurers spotted twin torpedo trails approaching the small boat. With a spray of water, the dawning light revealed two violet colored water serpents with heads the size of spades.

Mal blasted one with a series of staccato thrums from her magical bow. Maggie leapt from the shifting boat and drove her dagger into its neck. Slicing open a five foot rent in the creature, she slipped into the frigid water. The snake fell to the water thrashing.

Meanwhile, the other serpent wrapped its massive coils around Duncan and pulled the barbarian into the water. They both dropped below the surface. Tal’Vesha, who swam behind the boat, darted underwater and began his magical ranged assault. Duncan raged and grew wolverine claws that tore into the scaly hide. The serpent dropped its tenacious prey and retreated into the black water.

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Tall juniper trees lined the island’s shore. Huddled together, they filled the interior with a dense, gloomy vegetation. At one edge, the broken walls of an ancient ruin stood. The heroes docked and within the ruin they found a well that plunged into darkness.

Tal magically compelled the shaft’s walls to become like stepping stones. The heroes descended into a crypt like structure carved of glassy volcanic stone. The first chamber was full of crates, barrels and sacks containing the smuggler’s loot.

Above the tunnel to the next room was a narrow aperture that seemed to lead to a catwalk. Tal spider climbed to the passage and silently advanced to oversee a deep pit. Within a trio of vampire spawn waited to attack with short bows. Tal returned and helped Malcanthet move into a sniping position. Tal lit the pit’s floor with magical flames as Malcanthet rained arrows. The other heroes climbed the catwalk in time to see two mohrg closing on Tal and Mal. Tal suffered a paralyzing tongue lashing.

The vampire spawn in the pit were quickly destroyed followed by the skeletal mohrg.

Malcanthet crept along the catwalk to cover the next room. From within the gloomy darkness, a dripping voice bid, “Come in. It’s rude to lurk in doorways.”

When she made no move to do so, the voice seemed angered. “If you will not come to me, then we will come to you.”

Vampire lordShadows began forming from nearby braziers and moved with malevolent intent. Mal destroyed some with her arrows but others drifted forward. Duncan and Azrack rushed them. As the pair become surrounded by shadows, Tal’s magical lights illuminated a placid gothic vampire seated in an ornate throne with a huge sword across his lap.

The shadows were slowly defeated, but not before they leached the strength from the dwarf and Shoanti. Azrack was all but immobilized by the weight of his own armor.

Albi bravely strode forward and prepared to launch a bomb at the vampire. The undead’s gaze dominated the gnome’s mind. “Kill the archer,” Albi heard and moved to obey.

Albi bombed his friend without hesitation. After the second bomb, the ranger started shooting back. The gnome fell and Lilith kept him down.

The party concentrated their efforts against the vampire. Tal’Vesha recovered from his paralysis and kept the fighters standing. Nearly defeated, the vampire howled, “The Lord of Blood will rise again. He will blanket this land in eternal night and your tiny efforts will be meaningless.”

Then he faded to mist and drifted from the room.

Malcanthet cursed his escape. Then Tal’Vesha noted, “It’s daylight outside.”

They looked meaningfully at each other and Mal raced down the catwalk after the trapped vampire. As she prepared to jump into the antechamber she rolled away from a fireball’s blast. She quickly recovered and retaliated with a barrage of oak tipped arrows that shredded the vampire where it stood.

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Three days later the City of Monuments came into view. Everyone was excited to complete the grueling, round-the-clock travel that Tal’Vesha had allowed.  Even with the heroism in Whistledown, the party arrived only four days after leaving Turtleback Ferry.

Eager to spend their well-earned loot and to wash the road from themselves, the heroes entered the gates of the grandest city of Varisia: Magnimar.

April 13, 2013

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