With only six days left before the scheduled meeting between the Lycanthropes and Mayor Wimbleby, the party begins to plan in earnest. A fact made all the more difficult by the mayor’s suicide the night before.
Tyr, Draevin and Tog stayed at the temple to try and work things out, while Erskin went in to town to speak with the villagers about other possible occurrences that may be linked to the werebears. While being social with the villagers, the blacksmith divulged to Erskin that a caravan was late in coming to Magosi, by almost a week. There were no critical supplies that the village as a whole needed, but there was iron and other materials the blacksmith needed to do his work. Theo asked if the blacksmith knew of any trackers or woodsman and the blacksmith gave him directions to the Rhys, the best tracker in Magosi. Erskin traveled to the temple to gather his companions and set out to the Woodsman’s hut.
Meanwhile, Tyr Draevin and Tog were at the temple discussing their options and concerns about the beast overtaking Father Paitr. In the midst of their discussion, Draevin smelled an awful scent of blood death and decay. When he turned he saw a man in a dark grey robe with a bastard sword on his side and a small sack tied to his belt. After some conversation, the man revealed his name to be Morgan, a paladin of Tersius, who’s mission was to seek out recover and destroy evil artifacts like the one in his possession now. Unsure about the effect this would have, Tyr asked that Morgan wait for Father Paitr.
While waiting for Father Paitr, Tog asked why the item needed to be destroyed. Wouldn’t it be more prudent for it to be put to serving good? Morgan and Draevin were both adamant about not using the vile thing and once the High Father arrived, Morgan strode to the alter and sundered the thing. Theo arrived shortly after, and seeing that he was underequiped to handle werebears, Morgan loaned him his Silvered Sun Sword while he recuperated from his journey.
Erskin presented options to fooling the Lycanthropes, such as disguising one of themselves as the mayor or using Rhys to try and locate them. Draevin went to speak to the mayor’s wife to see if he might borrow some clothes and his cologne to make the disguise more believable. The wife was happy to help Draevin bring the beasts that killed her husband to justice, but couldn’t seem to find his cologne anywhere in the house. Tyr managed to locate the cologne in the Air Shrine, where he had left it earlier as a gift. The air spirit was beginning to lose followers because of the werebears and was very eager to see them stopped. Soon after that the four set out to Rhys’s hut.
The journey wasn’t long and when they got there they met Rhys. He was very wary and standoffish at first, denying (badly) any knowledge of lycanthropes in the area. After speaking with his animal companion, he seemed to have a change of heart and agreed to help them track down the missing supplies.
They traveled the rest of the day and well into the night when Rhys caught the scent of a fire. It was easy to track and soon they found themselves in the woods seeing a large bonfire with a man just staring at the flames. The four sneaked closer, before finally revealing themselves. Draevin was snubbed by the stranger who wished no company and refused to name himself. Tog asked if he could meditate with the stranger and he grudgingly agreed. As he passed around a pond behind the stranger, he had a startling discovery. This man had no reflection. After a careless word, the stranger attacked, pinning Tog and biting into his neck.
The party quickly leaped into action to free Tog and quickly subdued their inferior foe. They followed it back to it’s coffin, blasting several long tunnels to be able to follow it’s descent. They uncovered an ancient burial chamber with symbols of Takhisis on the walls. Draevin directed Theo to destroy the sarcophagous while he beheaded the vampire and sprinkled holy water on it’s ashes. To Draevin’s surprise the vampire began to regenerate. When Draevin attempted to turn it, it began to regenerate faster. Finally it sat before them, naked and looking thoroughly confused.
The Vampire, Klaus, claimed repeatedly that he was not evil and that he had not awakened since he had been laid to rest here. He claimed that Takhisis was not an evil god, but a good one, much like Tersius or Eidon. After some discussion, Klaus told them how he was sustained by positive energy and was a good person in life, preserved so that he might one day bring prosperity back to Orlais and Takhisis. They realized that the amulet that Klaus was wearing was cursed and destroyed it, then going their separate ways from him.
The next day they came across the caravan. The guards and merchants were all dead, the food spoiled. Even the water had somehow been corrupted. There were several shoddy weapons of orc make left at the campsite, tracks leading southwest and a mass grave hastily covered with leaves. Draevin worked to give those in the mass grave a proper burial, while Tog gathered some of the water to have examined later. After that, the group followed the tracks coming to a clearing where the orcs appeared to have camped. There were no tracks leading away from it, just from the caravan to here.
They quickly gathered the salvageable supplies and fixed one of the wagons, and then began the trip back to Magosi. After they returned, they separated for their errands. Erskin began unloading the caravan, Draevin went to the temple and Tog and Tyr went to Ackbar’s Alchemy and Magic Supplies to see if Ackbar could determine what had caused the water to spoil. Quickly learning it was beyond his means, he suggested they go to the mage’s tower. Tog went while Tyr returned to the temple.
At the tower, Tog waited for an hour or two before a man named Koschei arrived and let him enter. He agreed to examine the water for Tog but it would take some time. Tog agreed to come back the next day. As he traveled back into town he and Draevin had a standoff about Tog’s sleeping arrangements, until finally Tog went to the temple for the night. Draevin asked Father Paitr to have someone speak with Tog as he had lost his way. Father Paitr said their newest acolyte should be up to the task and introduced him. Draevin was shocked to see that Joshua was the new Acolyte, but was quickly shushed by a smiling Joshua before he could reveal they had met.
Joshua went to speak with Tog about the path that they were on, and the one they had already traveled. He seemed genuinely sorry to be unable to reveal their past or why he had brought them here. After a back and forth discussion with Tog, he left Tog to his rest, saying that he would mature soon and understand the path better. He then went to Draevin’s room.
He acknowledged Draevin’s doubts about his companions. Two who regularly flaunt the law are odd traveling companions for one who studies Celestial Mysteries after all. Joshua attempted to show that their actions were on their own consciences and then revealed bits and pieces of their shared past, showing them taking hits over and over for their teammate. Draevin remained pessimistic of his patience with his companions, to which Joshua just smiled and stated his faith in Draevin.
The next morning, Joshua fled the temple, pursued by Draevin and Tyr. Joshua seemed genuinely frightened that a man was coming to the village who would be able to recognize him. The repercussions would be terrible for everyone, so Joshua fled, warning them to keep their distance from the stranger.
The two quickly located Erskin in the inn, watching the newcomer arrive in town. He seemed to dote on the children, earning their affection and the nickname grandfather, though he was at most 25. Before they could find Tog, he introduced himself to the stranger who seemed to recognize him. He asked several questions as would an old friend, referring to the three in the inn as well as Aureon. After Tog told the story of what had happened to this man who he could not remember, he pulled out a crystal and began to cast a break enchantment to clear the fog that had settled into their minds.