Daxis wasted no time in finding an abandoned shack, tied the bandit to a chair, and began questioning him. The bandit was tight lipped at first, but Daxis had a way with words, and knives. The bandit soon divulged that he was part of a group of thieves who were working in an abandoned copper mine to the north. Grall, an orc who had been one of Gluttony’s men before the fall, was the leader and was using the mine to enrich himself and gain power. Daxis had heard enough, and paid two thugs to stand “watch” over the tower while the bandit would be left inside, most likely forever. The party rested for the evening, planning to head to the forest to figure out Arin’s fate.
Daxis did not have a good evening. He spent it tossing and turning, his dreams going into dark places, his mind filled with hellish imagery. Daxis awoke, but received no benefit from his rest that evening. He immediately went to the inn and ordered a huge breakfast. The rest of the party awoke and began milling about, chatting with the peasantry. Dolvion soon received a carrier pigeon carrying a message. Dolvion read the note, and his face was filled with shock. Acedia asked him what was wrong. Dolvion said that his mother had sent him a note from Sloth. His father was imprisoned by Envy’s invading army, and that his mother needed Dolvion’s help to free him. Dolvion left immediately, harshly even saying goodbye.
After a few hours, a young man dressed in a dark cloak came walking up to the gates of Victoria. The guards immediately confronted him, but he simply walked up to a guard, and once he was nose to nose, cast misty step and appeared inside the city gates in a poof of magical smoke. Firinic Frostfire was a capable wizard, and soon set his things down. He checked his sundial, and said to himself “30 more minutes or so.” Firinic caught site of a cloaked man yelling at laborers while they were constructing wall. Firnic thought it strange that the man was yelling in the Envy dialect to a bunch of workers from Gluttony, and struck up a conversation. Anlon hadn’t spoken his native tongue in years and was excited to meet someone that spoke Envy. The rest of the party walked outside, and Firinic showed off his incredible linguistic skills and ability to speak all 7 dialects of the kingdom of Alterone. Firinic kept looking at his sundial. Aeros inquired what was he waiting for? Firinic replied matter of factly: “Oh, for the horde of zombies that headed straight for the city. I’ve never seen such a huge horde and I wanted to study their behavior.”
There was a short pause. There was a huge horde of zombies making its way towards the city. Anlon’s wall was the only thing keeping Victoria safe from the coming undead onslaught. The peasants ran to safety while the party met the zombie hordes in battle. Firinic summoned a wall of radiance, using his ability as a lore master to switch a wall of fire to a wall of light. Anlon turned the undead with the power of Khuldul, and the duo proved to be a powerful pair. Acedia noticed that whenever she tried to mind control an undead, she felt the presence of another, far more powerful mind getting in her way. When the party had repelled the zombies, one of the zombies moving off literally turned around, faced Daxis and telepathically said “I will have you, and you will sustain me for a long time.”
Daxis simply smirked in his normal arrogant manner. Firinic wanted to take one of the undead bodies and examine it. The party went back to the abandoned shack where the bandit was still locked up. Daxis walked in, said “We need to use this chair,” and lodged an axe right into the bandit’s skull. Firinic began to examine the zombie corpse. Acedia tried to use her mind powers to probe the zombie’s mind. She was more than successful, she got a glimpse into a kind of underground network. The network spread throughout Gluttony like a spider web, binding all of the undead together into a much larger super consciousness, with the heart of this consciousness in the Murtigen forest. She caught a glimpse of a deep cave, with hundreds of people stuck against the cave walls, their life force being drained out of them by strange tendril like masses. The zombie couldn’t provide any more clues, so Firinic easily dispatched it.
The forest was the next point of interest. Before going to the forest, Korg brought air biscuit to his wife Anna back at her cottage. Anna’s parents were at first happy to see Korg, until they saw the blood thirsty wyvern he had in tow. Korg was insistent that Anna take care of Air Biscuit in his absence. With little chance to refuse, the party left, and Anna and her parents were the proud owners of a new wyvern.
The party decided to get some rest after their hard fought battle to save the city. In the morning, the party ventured westward towards Murtigen forest. Arin’s journal mentioned that he was scouting out the forest. The loggers had reported strange, paranormal sightings. After some traveling, the party caught sight of some loggers who were being attacked by a group of undead. Combat quickly ensued. One of the loggers was ripped open alive by a horde of zombies, while the undead spirit wraiths tried to lock the party into their dark trance. The party made it through, and Anlon saved the life of the logger who would’ve otherwise died. The loggers ran off towards safety as quickly as possible, mystified that anyone would willingly enter the Murtigen forest.
The party trekked through the forest for maybe an hour, until they met a woman who was fastened to a tree with a strange, tendril like mass. Korg cut her down, and the party revived her. She introduced herself as Mirandra, and that she was in the forest looking for her sister. The party was very skeptical. Daxis grilled Mirandra, but she seemed insistent they keep going. She said that she had some idea of where her sister was going, and that they needed to get there quickly. As Mirandra and the party walked, Daxis noticed the confidence in her gait, and demanded to know where they were going before he step another foot. Mirandra pointed to the west towards a long abandoned castle. The wall around the castle was covered in moss and ivy, and the grounds were deserted, possibly for decades. “We need to start our search there,” Mirandra said, gravely.