Hafwyn, Keribrar, Lady Anne Mowbry, and Thorne get back safely to the Veridian Vault with Quilate. His injuries have been poorly tended, but he still lives. Anne tends to his wounds while Keribrar tells him what has transpired the last days. Tending Quilate uses up the last of their supplies so Anne and Hafwyn go to the market to purchase more. Quilate, Keribrar, and Thorne go to the Temple District to visit Thaogut.
While in the market Anne begins asking around about who is in charge and how things are done. The only answers she can find is that multiple people claim to be in charge, but generally their authority extends only as long as they are nearby. There are the gangs of Waterdeep who are always after protection money. Each of them claim some territory in the market, but not enough control to hold it more than a few days. Janos holds sway in Crofterton through gangs of craftsmen. Finally King Merridan holds sway in the Temple District, but not anything beyond it.
Asking so many questions has drawn unwanted attention. Hafwyn notices that they have been shadowed for the past few stalls. In fact they must have reached a point because the thugs are surrounding them. It is too late to flee, so it will have to be settled with fists. They notice the large man from the Sword and Bones who was with Gabor. Anne tries to appeal to the man, but fails to get him to understand.
The beating is swift and not fatal. This was a message from someone to stay out of their business. Their only lead is Gabor’s man.
Thorne, Quilate, and Keribrar travel through Crofterton with the distinct feeling of not being welcomed. They spend no coin only hoping to pass through without a fight. They do reach the Temple District without difficulty, but those they passed would be unlikely to welcome them back. Keribrar and Quilate drew the worst stares. Given that nearly everyone they saw was human it was not surprising they stared at the least human-looking of their group.
Before they can find Thaogut the come across a preacher one a stool calling out the name of his god to save the people. He has a message of hope for some, but retribution for others. He rails against the elves for killing the people of this land and clouding the thoughts of the righteous. Her sermon is filled with references that the land and water has been poisoned against the free men. He brings forth a holy cup to offer blessed water for the faithful. The people line up to drink from the cup, which is suddenly filled with water. When they leave it is clear they are more aware of themselves and their surroundings, no longer wandering in a haze.
Quilte gets in line to sample some of the drink. When he gets to the front of the line Father Karl, the name of the priest, offers the blessings of Techiuan. No matter how many drank from the cup it never seems to empty. When Quilate reaches the front of the line he offers to trade the priest’s cup for a fine telescope. When the priest turns down the offer, Quilate wants this cup so much he steals it from the good Father and flies up in the air. The priest is maddened that someone would steal a holy artifact and calls for the guards to stop him from stealing it. Quilate is disappointed the cup empties once out of the priest’s hands so he flies down and returns it.
Three guardsmen in tabards tackle Quilate and pin him to the ground. Keribrar tries to intervene on his behalf, but is recognized as one of those elves Father Karl was just speaking against. Father Karl, praying to Techiuan, his cup overflowing approaches Quilate and tries to banish the darkness from him. Not wanting to be “cured” Quilate rolls and twists nearly twists free of his captors. Keribrar draws in his magic and using the wood of the stool Father Karl was standing on plugs up the cup. Seeing such evil magic one of the guards rushes Keribrar and throws him to the ground.
Father Karl finally touches Quilate and recoils in horror. He exclaims that the jundari works for The Outsider and will cloud the minds of the faithful. Fearing a riotous mob Thorne moves towards the guard and drives fear before him. One of the guards flees and the other are shaken enough to loosen their grip. Father Karl knocks off the wooden plug and raises his cup above himself – baptizing himself in the waters. Quilate squirms free and joins the priest in the waters. Quilate has a vision of a man on horseback approaching with a spear in his hand and sickle across his lap.
Keribrar feels the connection will Quilate weaken has the jundari levers the cup away from the priest. Father Karl falls back and drops to his knees crying as Quilate blasphemies the holy artifact. A mob gathers and as their anger overrides their fear. Thorne sees that they will tear his companions apart should they attack. Keribrar calls forth his magic as strong as he can and shatters the cup. Father Karl drops into a fetal position and the remaining guards flee.
Immediately after the cup is broken dark storm clouds rush over the city. Lightning flashing in sky and the temperature drops to a cold chill. Anne looks up and sees a face in the clouds – the same face that is shown on Thorn’s cameo. The face is surrounded by blackness as it descends from the sky and flows into the crevice along the southern edge of the city. The waters slow flowing.
The angry mob begins to rush Quilate and Keribrar when Throne casts an illusion as a guard. He pretends to strike Quilate only to show that his sword bursts into flames and melts. This further enrages the mob to kill the evil warlocks and they begin to rush them when large hailstones drop from the sky. The hail breaks up the crowd and drives everyone to seek cover. Quilate drags Father Karl under a shelter as the priest is unresponsive.
Anne rushes out several times during the storm trying to rescue people that could not find shelter. She needs Hafwyn’s help to carry in those already struck unconscious. The storm lasts for a few minutes before the clouds break up and the hail turns into heavy rain. Anne and Hafwyn return to the Veridian Vault where Anne helps with Hafwyn’s wounds.
Thorne uses his key to return to the Watchers’ House. Ollonni tells him that a dark and powerful spirit has entered this realm. He can feel its hunger in the darkness. He cannot guarantee the safety of the house of those within until the spirit is sated. Thorne thanks Ollonni for the advise and leaves the house for the Vault to meet up with the others. He sees the Ash Hunter return to the Blackhouse and drag the ash field inside.
Quilate and Keribrar return to the Vault as well, bringing Father Karl with them. Together everyone debates what to do with the priest. Keribrar and Quilate will stay behind to try and fix the chalice as well as repair the hail damage to the roof. The rest will take Father Karl back to the Temple District and see if they can find some of his followers.
After asking around they end up near the northern edge of the shelf before a red-brown stone building. Atop the building is a larger than life statue of a man on horseback holding a sickle stretched out in his right hand. It is the only building besides The Temple that is not gray stone. Benevenuta, Father Karl’s assistant, helps them bring the father to lay upon the alter. She inquires about the holy artifact, but everyone lies that they know nothing about it.
Benevenuta tells them about a people of the land who once lived there. They worshiped Techiuan who was the fertile soil and herd. The people thrived until the Marakii arrived and used their magic to enslaved them. Centuries past before an elven hero arrived and broke the bonds – together they rose up against their captors. The hero was slain in the last fight for their freedom. The people honored the elf and raised a bier in his honor.
Followers of the hero arrived and rather than joining with them to honor his passing, they accused The People of killing their leader. These elves killed the last of the Marakii, but then turned their bloody blades on The People. That was the last the written tablets said about them. They were all assumed to have been killed. As the last one died this large black stone rose up and lifted the bier and surrounding buildings into the sky. This black stone has driven from the earth and allowed dark spirits to poison his land.
Father Karl found these tablets and claims they awakened his minds. He had his followers fill the temple with loam from the nearby land. They have a fountain where the ever-flowing cup provides water for all. They harvest food that has never taken seed outside of consecrated ground and watered from the holy cup. This pure food is safe for all to eat.
Vitorii heard of the tragedy and stops by to collect the body. He argues with Benevenuta about the good fathers intention with his body after death. He still breathes so with Techiuan healing hand he will recover. The faithful chase the “brothel keeper” away. Vitorri leaves but tells them that Father Karl’s spirit has already left the body. Anne knows the man is a necromancer and may shed insight into his spirit.
Quilate and Keribrar have finished with the roof and go to watch one of the upwards flowing waterfalls. They decide the visit the territory of the toughest gang in Fountainhead. This turns out to be a very bad idea. Quilate flies ahead and waits for Keribrar to arrive. Keribrar runs into gang members who refuse to let him pass. It turns into a violent altercation and while Keribrar wins the fight he is far too injured to proceed.
Quilate sees a runner cross the bridge and then a magician and two gangers return to the north. With Keribrar a no-show Quilate flies along his path and eventually finds Keribrar limping for home.
Father Karl’s Soul
Anne, Hafwyn, and Thorne go to the Pestilence Pustule and ask Vitorii to aid them saving Father Karl. After some negotiation the necromancer agrees to help him, but is shocked to hear that Father Karl’s body still breathes. Fearing the worst Vitorii rushes into his office and down a hidden hatch. In the basement the room is unnaturally cold, so much so the walls are lined with frost. The sounds of a zombie horde can be heard.
They arrive in front of a wooden door to Vitorii’s storage room for bodies. They have come alive and are trying to break out. A few of them get out but everyone helps long enough for Vitorii to prepare a spell to banish the mindless undead. With his last spoken word the bodies fall to the floor and being to rapidly rot.
For their help Vitorii agrees to forego their previous agreement and pull back Father Karl’s soul for free. He uses the water of the River of Souls and puts at least a portion of his soul inside the waters. He could not get all of the priest’s soul because it is not on the river, but trapped in a lake of river water under the city. At least if they decant this water into the mouth of the body it will keep him alive – give him some semblance of life. It is not permanent, but will allow the body to live for a least a few days.
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