The party treck to Leithinis, ready to scourge the unfortunate town of the plague. Too many altruistic adventures in the past have left the group with minimal funds to invest in Saibhail, so this time our adventurers agree to focus on reward.
This declaration, however, had bad timing. Enter Daxenth, a kobold ranger from the far east, journeying long ways to reach the Blooded of Saibhail he had heard so much about. Maybe these were the people who could help defeat the evils of the Easterlings? But alas, just another money hungry troop, thugs who wreak havoc and destruction in any town they go. Interesting thugs, albeit; a veiny, pasty elf, a pregnant married woman wildy waving around her left hand, a paladin who looked just like Jason Statham, a horse and an innocuous looking human girl… perhaps.
After a brief chat –well as brief as our heroes know to how to do- the group manage to convince Dax not to judge them so quickly. Instead, they offer for him to come along on their journey to Leithinis, to kindly offer to tend to their sick and cure their wounds. They were off on the ‘morrow, and if Dax wanted to join he had best be there when their hangovers all wore off to a level of functionability.
And hours later, upon the horizon we see Leithinis. Once a grand town, multiple reoccursions of the mysterious plague had left over a third of the town burnt to the ground. Fire was the only way the townspeople knew to cope with the blight. What would have once been a bustling business district was now pathetically quiet, with the heroes estimating half of the population had perished. A fruit stall vendor quickly caught their attention. Pressing him for answers, and ignoring his rotting wares the group discover more about the plague and the history of the town. Cailin, the new mayor, had taken over the town council when the former mayor, had succumbed to the plague and his house went up in flames.
Deciding they really did need the money, the Blooded set out to find Calen and determine their reward. Jason veered from the group to investigate the burned buildings scattered around the town. ‘Hmm, just as I suspected.. Charcoal’ He thinks to himself.
The team suffer an initial social setback when meeting Cailin – ‘or was it Galen?’- but eventually determine both a reward of 3000 gold coins and a lead. A lead regarding Hamell’s Well, an old well in town where many families who required external water sources came. Families in need… and a family who had their own plumbing system, that family being of the former mayor. Establishing this fact, and having the Paladin confirm a magical element to the plague residing in the water, the troop set off for the charred remains of the Hamell mansion.
The team quickly discovered an ashy, but undamaged, cellar amongst the wreck. A precautionary knock on the door by Johannesz heeded nothing so our heroes bravely entered the darkness, with the sickness hanging in the air. The entry to the underground cellar opened to a square room, with one door barricaded from the other side and the other door, directly in front of the adventurers, smeared in red paint with a warning ‘Turn Back’. But did our adventurers turn back? Of course not! Pressing on stealthily, Laithina and Sigil discovered five beings, silently retching; five undead beings. Combat ensues, with our heroes prevailing! Fire and stabs and dissonant screams, the enemy decomposes.
Pressing on through the room a second barricaded door is discovered. Not to be disheartened, the team barge through the door. More undead! But wait – not undead, just terribly ill. Nine raggedy individuals regard the heroes warily. But never fear, weary comrades, our Paladin can heal you!
Except he can’t. Strong magical forces are at work in this town. Forces coming from the other side of that wall.
Pushing on through the network of rooms beneath the former mansion, the team scrabble down some stairs and up a ravine to find themselves finally in the location of the magical beast. Along the way Laithina’s primeval awareness senses elementals in the area. Laithina suggests they’re in the water, and perhaps that is what they are looking for, but the team brush her off. Maybe another day, elementals.
Finally the team work up the courage to enter the room, inside of which is a beast more powerful than many will face in their lives. Entering the room, they see corpses, so many corpses, and a disfigured lump. ‘I should set fire to the room/blob!’ vibes Johannesz, to no argument. But oh the adventurers should have argued. The magic awoke the room, and damaged everyone inside. Fortunately this was only Jason and Johannesz, but nevertheless the team were initiated into battle. Battle with a beholder. Quickly in the combat Sigil suffered a fall, and depended on Laithina to swiftly fetch her and carry her to safety. As the fighting quickly continued around them Laithina looked on helplessly from the corner where she comforted Sigil, maternally. Helplessly, as Jason fell to the disintegration ray of the Beholder, his admantium armour exploding from the interaction. ‘He must be dead,’ Laithina thinks to herself. ‘But…’
Unwillingly to sit idly by and accept the fates like some unblooded peasant, we see Laithina volley into the air to pour a healing potion down Jason’s throat. Quickly returning to her spot in the corner, knowing she couldn’t move the paladin and his enormousness she waits, hopeful. A twitch from Jason allows the team to exhale. But Johannesz quickly seizes the moment to incapacitate the Beholder, so that Jason may have his revenge. However, Johannesz has undermined his own strength, laying firey waste to the Beholder.
Ruin lay around them, the team can’t believe what they’ve done. Had they proved themselves mighty warriors to Daxenth? Certainly so. Had they shown compassion and camaraderie? Indeed.
Jason, stumbling to his feet, feeling naked without his mystical armour forces his fist into the remains of the Beholder in a moment of rage. As his hand exits, it is grasping something solid. A black orb; the heart of the Beholder.