I arrived in the village of Gewidge without incident, shortly thereafter making the acquaintance of Iris, one of the undead to which I was ordered to offer my assistance. Iris led me to the group’s headquarters, a small tunnel complex beneath a general store. Prior to my arrival the group had driven off the proprietor and taken over the establishment, later finding its hidden underground rooms which they quickly commandeered for their own use.
When I first encountered them, the group had 3 major members: Owain, an ancient mummified being formerly (and perhaps still) pledged to the Rejk; Iris, a zombie of sorts, but one that can pass as human with respect to appearance (although that ability has changed somewhat of late); and Arganos, a stout vampire spawn with serious father issues. Edward (a ghoul?) and Pargh (a hobgoblin hunter and spy) act as servants.
The group was holding two captives: a human girl Julia, one of the townsfolk; and a mer creature named Linopé, apparently of royal lineage, captured during a recent underwater encounter. The mer prince carried a large blue gem – the Ocean’s Tear – and claimed to be on a desperate quest to halt the destruction of the world. But no matter how we attempted to bribe, coerce, or torture him, he would share no meaningful details save that he needed to reach a specific location – the ruins of Naramunz, within an island in the Tovein Sea – there to enact some important ritual.
Most of Gewidge’s citizens were preparing to leave, or had already fled, as they feared a coming invasion of orcs (the result of a rumor spawned by our own party, to deflect blame for numerous acts of murder and destruction. With the villagers fleeing, and the possibility that inquisitors were coming, we decided to take Linopé to Kai Ying, an old woman wise in arcane lore and magic, in hopes that she would have useful advice on what should be done with him. As it happened, she wished to purchase the mer prince. We sold him to her along with our temporary services for a reasonable price. But though she is clearly knowledgeable, she could not (or would not) tell us what Linopé’s appearance portended, nor for what dark purposes she had purchased him.
We traveled with Kai Ying, her elephant-sized Black Dog, Linopé, Julia, Julia’s brother Matthew (now a slave of Kai Ying), Edward, and Pargh to the hidden watery temple/shrine of Lamnuathwete. Within, we fought an aboleth and its minions, a crazed gobblish mutant, and several fire elementals. It seemed that all manner of vile things had converged at almost the same time to loot the shrine. Curious…
While in the shrine, the Ocean’s Tear magically fused with Linopé’s forehead causing him to become fevered and sick. While in this state, he spoke a prophesy, raving that “Phuralq awakens at long last”. I was later able to learn from Kai Ying that a rough translation of the word Phuralq is “Wretched Diseased Useless Dog”, but could gain no information as to the nature or purpose of this being. My guess is that he/she/it is a harbinger of death and destruction on a vast scale.
Before exiting the shrine of Lamnuathwete, we met and bargained with a Great Spirit – the Weeping Sea – receiving both boons and banes, though not much practical information. Shortly afterwards, we parted company with Kai Ying and are currently heading for the city of Brandortombe in hopes of selling some accumulated treasure and contacting potential allies. The party’s strength grows, though it’s true purpose and destiny remain unclear.