What a good rest, I recommend this B&B to anyone who’s willing to pay the 15 gold a night.
So, setting out to continue our investigation, I notice that the Inn we stayed at in the past has changed. No external decor, save for a small sign emblazoned with a jawless skull. Curious, I knock, and a voice on the other side asks our business. Warryn, in an impressive display of wordcraft, convinces the doorman, and everyone else in the place that we are part of this apparently secret meeting among the higher echelon members of the half-skull gang, and a manifestation of their boss, accompanied by the same mysterious symbol that was on the burn victims. The people in the room are ordered to go back through the portal, retrieve the spectrograph, and kill the carrier. Deceiving one of the two groups of leaders on a wild goose chase, we run hot on the heels of the Elf and his coterie of Lizardfolk bodyguards.
After killing one of the lizardmen in the dark of night, we entered the same Inn. Spotting some young gang-members, Warryn and I form a plan to get info on the carrier from them. Laying an illusory half-skull tattoo on the gnome’s arm, while he trapped them in threats and deceit, the young men told him that a boy named Revin has the device. A visit to the boy’s house reveals an empty room, and a clueless grandmother, though she says that he frequents the courtyard barricade often. We found the boy impaled on the barricade, and after distracting the guards, we deduce that the Elf killed him, took the Spectrograph, and returned to the present. After a hectic chase through the market district, we lost him…
Returning to Orin’s home, we find the place empty.. I do find a secret door in the residue-stained wall, and stairs leading down to a hidden subterranean lab. I find a veritable hoard of alchemical supplies; I’ll sort through them later, and three Spectrographs!!! Curious at this new development, we all delve deeper in this tunnel complex. We find Phillip, vivisected on a slab, with some strange notes regarding a parasitic host experiment..? Further within, Lucious slices through a soft section of ceiling, and discovers a way to the courtyard in present-day. Interesting. Deeper in the tunnels, we enter a large cave, with a rune bedecked altar. It’s origin is unknown to me, but I can sense a power about it. We battle a trio of fiendish Hyenas, and a bizarre shapeshifting Hobgoblin. I sure hope we don’t have to encounter another one of those vicious and unpredictable creatures. It seems that our initial goal of finding this device is solved, but why did those people have to burn? What is the gang / cult really up to?
After the tense battle, we proceeded to investigate the strange pool of viscous gray muck taking up a large area of the cave. After summoning an Unseen Servant to dig through the slime, a host of bizarre alien Fell Taints emerged! Barely achieving victory with our minds intact, we drove on through the darkened corridor from whence the Hyenas came. Soon after, we arrived in Orin’s secret workshop, lit only by a brilliant blue light emanating from a teleportation circle flanked by two large brass tables. Investigating a large bookshelf on the left wall, we were nearly crushed as the Elf and his remaining Lizardfolk servant pushed the bookcase over. I received a nasty blow to the shoulder, and was scorched by that treacherous little Gnome bastard when he slipped out from under a table. Poor Warryn was nearly rent asunder by the Elf’s twin blades, yet we carried swift vengeance upon all, including Orin, as he made an attempt to escape from us.
Lucious heard scuffling and voices from the tunnel, and we quickly pursued them to the courtyard. After some searching, we ended up at the door of an out-of-breath Tiefling. With careful negotiation, he let us in his home, and admitted his spying on us. To complete the revelation, the Tiefling “Mercy”, told us that he was responsible for killing the Eye servants at the burned home, and him being the leader of the Half-Skulls. According to him, his gang has been trying to eradicate the Eyes from within, posing as innocent hired muscle for the nefarious cabal. He asked for our help in strengthening their numbers to take this cult down, however, it meant we would have to join him. I disagreed completely, joining a gang of savage cretins and lowly ragamoffins is a preposterous idea. With a lengthy debate, Warryn and Mercy convinced me to join, for the good of Thornhold. I’m still unhappy with this whole ordeal, Mercy has sent us to Rhythia to find recruits, seeing as how I spent 4 years there….