Zadrian’s dinner date with Aurora occured at the Feast Hall of the Black Rock Company. Two jovial halflings, Whem & Wisslow were the hosts, laughing and singing while providing a full array of entertainment. Most of Tragidore was present including Zadrian’s companions who Aurora paid for along with Zadrian. It was noted that Sembian beauty paid with with a draconic coin of Sembian origin. Tragidore’s residents, weary from haunts and tragedy desperately needed a night of joy and the mood was a good one. Zadrian and Aurora, in between good food laughter discussed their mutual interests. Aurora explained she had arrived two months ago during the High Harvest Tide. The region is an important one due to Mistledale being such a good point of distribution, locations along the river are very valuable. It was during this discussion that she inquired if Zadrian had heard of a secret north flow which neither he nor the rest of his companions had heard of.
Cadthronn held discussions with a strange looking individual later revealed to be a magically disguised Yontryl who informed Cadthronn that our common enemy is The Cult of the Dragon. Other information that was picked up during the party was that Tarbash and Robeland Lukka, gnomes that weren't the only ones raiding the weeping war graves. Other recovery teams were out there doing the same and if the rumors were true those other teams held pacts with Demons. Due to our previous experiences some of us wondered if the other teams weren't actually in league with Daemons.
The next morning we left for Hope Hollow and the rest home/asylum. Along the way we ran into more of the Caliban monstrous humanoids, which we quickly defeated. Our travels were not done with danger however as we soon encountered a strange haunt, a woman who spoke of a ring and a love lost. The haunt drew Wendell and Zadrian over the cliff's edge falling into the river waters below where a camouflaged Shrieking Eel known to the locals as a Tizheruk grew to a giant size and attacked. Arne’s bloodrage took hold and drawing his great sword he charged over the cliff side biting his blade deep into the Eel while Zadrian was successful at stunning the creature with a Color Spray. Once stunned the giant eel was quickly dispatched. On the river bottom we recovered the bodies of the woman whose haunt had pulled us over the cliff along with the bodies of an unfortunate vagabond and some pilgrim. Utilizing detect magic we were able to recover the engagement ring the woman had spoke of in her haunting.
Travel to Hopes Hollow was roughly another hour after our encounter. As we approached the village we read the city sign that had been vandalized to read Hope is Hollow. A crying woman was approaching from the far side of the sign. Too many haunts had threatened us recently so the group was on guard. None of us was surprised when the woman was revealed to be an Ephemeral Echo, a haunting dead creature incredibly jealous of the living. Our battle was difficult but the Echo was finally destroyed when Zadrian’s Scorching Ray flared, his flames consuming the horrid haunt.
Hoping the worst of our trip was now behind us the party headed into Hopes Hollow but was dismayed to find an angry mob with an incarnate, Bethany Solerer in its clutches. The “Mayor” of Hopes Hollow, Lerral Armonde was trying to quell the crowd and save the incarnate, who was dragged towards a gallows pole. The party became involved and noticed that there was one voice that had the crowd riled up and charmed to do his bidding. Before the instigator could be captured, he used his magic to turn invisible and leave town. The Incarnate was saved and taken to the “Mayor”s house. As it turned out, Learal was newly returned to Hopes Hollow, and the title of Mayor was self-appointed, primarily for the purpose of residing in the mayor’s home. Agreeing that we would bring Bethany with us to Tragidore when we left we asked Learal to guard the incarnate while we investigated Mother’s Care rest home.
|Hope's Hollow Instigator|
Arne and Zadrian dispatch the two Darkfolk and the battle is turned against the Doctor and his minions. With the Doctor destroyed the group spreads out through the home finding evidence that the man in the wheelchair had been the fiance of the woman who had thrown herself over the cliff. It appeared the doctor had fallen sway to the great seducer that plagued Tragidore. Continuing their search the party finally found Dern Fosimuth, the reason for their journey. The former adventurer is in horrible shape, his legs amputated when he had been captured by the drow. He insanely explained away his torture, saying it was because clerics were made examples of by the drow.
Dern was crazed and seemingly near death, his words blurted in a rush as if the words themselves were painful to say, “ There's not time, Terrigan Flynn keeps him here, that sumbitch plans to murder the other two, we have to warn them, the house in the hollow in Verduran's Forrest, stronghold of many factions….Strongbox, his piece of the watch, find Flinn and make him confess, under the mayor's house...” His piece of the watch we understood, Zadrian’s mother’s group was called the goldenwatch, and they all had carried a piece of the Weirding Watch…we would return to the Mayor’s house before returning to Tragidore.