The Doom that came to Karrnath

The Burning Man

Logan, Breela and Fargen (with Mistwalker as their silent companion) stepped out of the mists and back into Karrnath. They made their way to the monastery, where preparations for Tirasday (5th day of Terendor, beginning of spring and a holy day of the Silver Flame) were under way.

They found Sister Naileen, the abbot, in the kitchen, discussing preparations for the feast with Burdock, the dwarven head cook. The sister was happy to see the party back and in one piece, successfully returning with the book. They brought the book to the inner sanctum of the monastery’s chapel, and gave the sister a rundown of what had happened. Fargen then secured the sanctum with an Arcane Lock, combined with an alarm.

Back in the kitchen, the party learned that there would be only oatmeal to eat, as the nearby village (which the refugees from Cyre were building) refused to supply any more meat. The reason for that was that a cow, Lucy, had been stolen last night, with only a puddle of blood remaining.

The party investigated and found that there weren’t many footprints around the paddock, only the mark of a pair of talons which pushed deep into the ground. The party followed a trail of blood, which led back to the monastery.

There, they noticed a gargoyle perched on top of an old tower. It was no longer possible to reach the top of the tower, as the upper part of the wooden stairs had been destroyed over the years, but the cow bones at the bottom clearly marked the culprit.

After an afternoon nap, Breela took watch on a tree near the tower, with the rest of the party round, and indeed, she spotted the gargoyle taking flight to the village again. The party managed to surround him near a chicken coop. After Fargen’s hammer missed him and Breela’s arrow only grazed his cheek, Logan conjured an arrow of faith which cause some pain to the creature.

The gargoyle asked them to seize hostilities, and explained that he was a guardian of the castle, and just took from the “fleshlings” because he was hungry. Breela offered to broker a deal between the gargoyle and the monastery, exchanging food for ongoing protection. The gargoyle also told them that he saw an unnatural giant bat flying around the castle at night, and eerie light from a nearby stone quarry.

Fargen insisted that this should be investigated on the same night, so the group went on their way. At the quarry, they found a lonely guardsman, who told them that they had uncovered an entrance to an old cave, and that the Silver Flame had already sent a Silver Arrow in to investigate, but she had not returned for two days. The workers were getting anxious.

The cave entrance was up on the third excavation level. After “borrowing” lanterns and oil from a shed, the group went past the barrier set up by the Silver Flame and into the cave. The first area didn’t reveal much, and any footprints had been washed away by a natural stream running along the floor. However, Fargen found a small shrine in a niche, with a strange small elven figurine that had pusating veins, and a carved-in receptacle for blood sacrifices.

According to Logan, this shrine was connected to the worship of the Blood of Vol, but in an ancient form, possibly even predating her.

Further into the cave, the group found a passage which Fargen found to be man-made. A junction followed, where the group left a small passage with an old elven (?) inscription and a strong smell of bat guano aside and went straight ahead.

The next cavern featured four prayer niches, two filled with urns, one with a nest of some creatures, and the fourth filled with the belongings of a former humanoid owners. The only thing left of value was a silver book cover, which showed an ancient symbol of Vol with red rubies representing blood drops.

In the next cavern, the party found two sarcophagi, one open and one closed, as well as a statue of Vol, two arms-length high but with its head smashed in. The open sarcophagus only had a few smashed clay pots in it.

Fargen noticed that the heavy stone covers of the sarcophagi had small holes which could be used to drip in blood. He, however, used a thread, lamp oil and his lantern to put whatever was still in there on fire. Despite his attempt to hold the sarcophagus down with his own weight, it didn’t take long and the lid was pushed open by a burning creature, the melting skin making it impossible to tell race or gender. All that was noticable were armor and blade from a red metal.

Fierce combat ensued, and repeated smashes by Fargen’s hammer, well-placed arrows by Breela and holy might from Logan managed to put it down. Fargen took a hit with a sword to the chest, while Breela and Logan were weakened by its death scream. The creature also called some bats for help, but they were quickly taken care of by Logan.

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