From the journal of Ravan Ilthir:
Ravengro behind us, we traveled until we got to the intersection that led off to Pleasant Hallow. It was foggy, similar to the few stories of the fog that precedes the disappearance of entire towns. Similar, according to Roan and Marten, to what happened to Pleasant Hallow.
Several Varisian covered wagons had stopped at the intersection, just off the road. A colorfully dressed albino, named Caleb, was in charge and told us that one of their own, a Pinhead he called her, was missing. Alise, the missing woman, had walked off into the fog and not returned. Caleb asked us to go find Alise; he offered us a prized dagger. We agreed.
Deep in the fog we heard what sounded like a little girl’s voice calling from multiple directions. We were sure this was a bad thing and Avriel getting backstabbed by a dark clad assassin confirmed it. A large spider appeared behind Liam a moment later, attacked him then simply vanished into the not so thin air. Marten managed to control the assassin’s movement with arcane webbing allowing me to pierce the masked assailant and infuse him with the elemental power of lightning. The spider was sinking it’s fangs into Tosticks at the same time my foe dropped then Roan laid into it with his massive blade and the arachnid dropped with a wide swath in its carapace.
The assassin turned out to be of the dark folk, it was covered from head to toe in wraps of clothing – only the lifeless eyes were visible. Among the assassin’s remains we found a handful of coins, a vial of potent poison and of all things, silverware that had Marten’s family crest etched into it. The possibility occurred to us that this creature had something to do with what happened to Pleasant Hallow.
A little searching led us to Alise’s body and a chest of various items; a potion (Fox’s Cunning), a magnifying glass with a golden handle, a wooden box with brass weights and a concealed bottom covering 3 silver ingots (100 sp/e), a walnut travel case with wax sealed locks and keys (superior) and a jar of pickled garlic cloves. Of all the things my memory manages not to recall, why do I still remember pickled garlic cloves?
We took the girl’s body back and the Varisian’s were grieved but thankful. Caleb solemnly handed over the dagger he had promised and, after finding out we had the same destination, suggested we travel together in the morning.
Given the silverware that was found and being a short distance away we decided to visit Pleasant Hallow before the day was out. The place was the proverbial ghost town, that is no real ghosts, and all we found was a bunch of mushrooms being kept in a cellar, like it was food for someone, and a journal from the Sarenrae temple. The journal mentioned that everyone was leaving because things were attacking at night. Oddly, there were no tracks anywhere in the town.
The rest of the journey was uneventful and we arrived in Lepidstadt to hear numerous rumors of ‘The Beast’ and his heinous crimes. His trial was to start the next day.
We dropped off Kendra and headed over to the University to talk with Montaigne Crowl. A wall of the university was recently crumbled and the room within destroyed. A man was looking over the mess when we arrived and brusque when we tried to speak with him. Turned out to be Montaigne Crowl, the man we needed to turn four of Lorrimor’s hidden tomes over to. He tells us that the Beast broke in, caused all the damage and stole a statue called the Sea Sage Effigy. The Beast was caught soon after but the statue is still missing. After a little discussion we agreed to try to find the statue and return it.
Next stop was Judge Embreth Daramid to deliver the most enticing of Lorrimor’s tomes, the Manual of the Order of the Palantine Eye. A puckered face greeted us when the door opened. Daramid had gray hair, pulled tightly back into a completely unattractive bun. She paid us the one hundred falcons (PP) each and moved right on to the case of the Beast and her belief that he would not get a fair trial. In the name of justice, not to aid the Beast in any way, she asked us to gather evidence for the Barrister of the Beast, named Gustav Kapel, but we were not to allow him to know she had hired us.
A busy first day in the new city, we headed over to see Gustav. The wealth of this town was displayed via a large clock on a large, squat building in the town square. Oddly a big man-shaped wooden figure stood in the square in stark contrast to the craftsmanship of the time piece. Once we met Gustav it became obvious he was desperate; he, apparently a man that preferred to be in control, quickly acquiesced when we offered to help. The Barrister barely questioned our motives.
Gustav Kapel laid out the three cases we needed to look into:
• The Swampers of Morast – 10 killed
• The Children of Herstag – 6 children killed
• The Arson at the Asylum of Sanctuary on Carb Isle – one witness, now blind, named Carl
With Kapel’s ok we were able to speak with the Beast himself. Tied down with chains, the Beast seemed to actually be a construct of flesh . When we entered the massive creature strained against his bonds and fortunately was unable to break free. Avriel and Liam started talking him down and had amazing results. The Beast, whom I renamed Frankie, began speaking. He said over and over that he did not do it. He then told us, with coaxing from the priestess, that there was a girl that had ghost friends that hurt her. The girl died and Frankie took her back to her father who, of course, blamed the Beast.
From there we went back to the University and looked around. There was a back door that had been kicked in from the outside, not something Frankie would have needed as he came through the wall. The door had a small bell, paraphernalia of an alarm spell, on it. We also found that the area where the statue was located was not destroyed like the section around the collapsed wall. A monster on a rampage that just took down a wall seemed unlikely to be able to move carefully a minute later. Another thing that was out of place was a window up high that was clean when all others were grimy. Tosticks used her enchanted rope, she picked up in Harrowstone, to go up and look at it closely. The window’s hinges had recently been oiled.
Once we were done poking around we spoke with Crowl again and a security guard that was with him. We learned little other than the guard doesn’t actually think much and that the Sea Sage is a tentacled creature.