Character CreationJason – Brek Sternson (Male, Skivendia)
Jen – Fiona Scarlotti (Female, Naissan)
Keith – Elihas Ramathustra (Male, Aman’Brin)
Tom – Ragnar Smotson (Male, Skivendia)
Elihas’ uncle asks him and his friends to head to Augustine’s Herbs, an herbalist’s shop in southern Ceccana. The merchant there had contracted with the family for a shipment of Brinish herbs. While the plants themselves are well-preserved, there is a local beetle that can savage the shipment if it’s let sit too long.
Arriving at the shop, the place looks closed. Ragnar spots candlelight in the back of the shop and with deft hands, Elihas shows that he has a few skills best left unpublicized. The group investigates the shop. It is well kept. There is no dust or spiderwebs. It has been used recently. They follow the candlelight to the shop’s cellar.
Though they heard the crackling of a fire, only Ragnar had the ability to sneak down the stairs and while the others took squeaky step after squeaky step, the noise disappeared. Looking around the corner, they see a high-backed chair facing away from them lit by a single candle.
Brek and Fiona come round the chair and see a man they think to be Augustine. His flesh is taught against the bone. His hair is shocked white. His eyes are burned away to empty sockets. And his muscles are so rigid that his head stares straight forward at the door on the far wall. Brek takes the candle – discovering that it is black – and lights the wall sconces. The torches burn blue rather than red. This new light reveals black veins just beneath Augustine’s skin, making the corpse look even more horrible than before. Only Elihas has trouble keeping his wits about him in the sight of this horror.
Fiona and Elihas open the door on the far wall and see the Monster. A form that looks much like Augustine floats in the center of this new room. He hovers above a giant pentagram that burns with an eldritch fire. His body is wreathed in blue flame and his eyes are balls of fire. Both retreat from the door, letting their Skivendian friends take the front line. Ragnar and Brek come to the door, where the Monster attempts to consume Brek with a fire bolt. The large man is able to resist the magic. The group trades blows with no real advancement on either end.
Fiona, noticing that when Monster speaks Augustine’s lips quiver much like those of a ventriloquist, deduces that to destroy the merchant’s body may bring an end to that of the Monster. She attempts to negotiate at first despite Elihas’ efforts to force her blade into Augustine’s stomach. Then the Monster attempts to consume her with fire. Losing her temper, she skewers the merchant. Augustine’s body truly dead, the Monster explodes in a hail of viscera and fire. The group finds a few bobbles and occult items used to draw the pentagram as well as a book in a strange language none of them understood. Augustine had written in the margin, The Summoning of Aggoroth. Elhias kept the book.
The group decides to take the body to Elhias’ uncle, a pious man devote in his faith to the One True God. Seeing the emaciated corpse, he consults with a priest who declares that the entire party is tainted with evil. They must seek out a Brinish missionary south of Ceccana in the Dhome Jungle. There he has a spring blessed by God that can wash away a person’s sin. If they do not, none of them are welcome in the house again and they lose their patronage.