A Tryst with Darkness

Blood and Salt, Part 2

The Strangers fought a hard-won battle with a demon in the Blood Pit, sending the nabasu back to the black fires of Sheol. Lord Arlen Offen announced their victory to throngs of cheering spectators, and invited them to lunch at Brink Palace. The Strangers, after some deliberation, accepted his offer and joined him for a very, very boring luncheon. They noticed that Lord Offen, a human, seems to court elves quite frequently, and they briefly mused with the thoughts of any bastard children he might have…

Dirk, recalcitrant to the last, eschewed the invitation and perused Cutthroat, searching for the man known as the Mysterious Darts Player. His search led him to the docks, seeking a ship that the MDP may have boarded, the Avalanche, a seafaring vessel captained by “Piebald” Paultz Patches, a dwarf with two eyepatches who people say can navigate better with no eyes than most men can with two. In his search, Dirk found a man named Starg the Survivor, who offered him passage on his boat to Gouger Island for 100 shekels a person.

After spending time around town (with Deandra constantly wanting to leave), the Strangers left to find Starcradle in the miasma, while Coileach stayed in Cutthroat to craft bullets. They succeeded, and found it overrun with ghouls and swarms of rats. They swiftly cleared the vermin from the hold, but not before Olios and Coileach’s horse suffered massive amounts of bites and wounds from rats covering them.

Now they return to Daedra to retrieve the diaphonite dagger, and onward to Gouger Island.

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Blood and Salt, Part 1

The Billit Militia, having obtained the diaphonite statue, gets a room at an inn in Wharton and hunkers down for the night. Bedros has a dream in which the Endbringer slaughters them all, saving the cleric until last before relating to him:

“Listen well, oh Bastard Prince. I herald the doom of this blighted land. No empire of man shall stand for a thousand years, so it is written. Tell your wretches and kings that I come for them.”

Bedros awoke with a scar across his neck where the Endbringer cut him. He brought this possible prophecy up to his teammates, who responded with “huh okay well let’s go return our statue.”

They return the diaphonite statue to Daedra Endemen. He tells them that it’ll take him four days to carve the dagger, so they should find something to do. He informs them that they will need knowledge of the ritual, as he is not able to properly attune the diaphonite dagger to the correct rhythms. He tells them of his old friend Felnax, a wizard who started the Hemothurgic Order. Daedra believes that Felnax will be able to teach them the ritual for bleeding a half-elf, but unfortunately Felnax was imprisoned on an offshore colony with the rest of the hemothurges 30 years ago. The prior Hybrid King, Danton Miwannit, feared the strange and dark practices of the hemothurges, but instead of eradicating them he exiled them to Gouger Island in case he ever needed to use them as weapons of war.

Daedra told the Billit Militia that they needed to reach Felnax, but no boat is legally allowed to Gouger Island. He suggested bribing a captain out of Cutthroat for passage, or perhaps buying a boat of their own. In any case, he told them they needed to wait four days while he carved the dagger.

The Billit Militia headed straight for Cutthroat, riding hard through the vicious black miasma and reaching the city’s cold iron walls at nightfall. They were greeted by The Lord of Cutthroat Point himself, Arlen Offen. He proved quite polite, even when flanked by his two bodyguards Omara and Cassius, and showed the Billit Militia around town.

It was at this time that the “Billit Militia” unanimously renamed themselves as “The Strangers.”

In any case, Arlen Offen tricked The Strangers into being locked in a staging room and preparing them for a gladiator event. He claimed that the demons of Cutthroat needed sacrifice, and the citizens hadn’t had a good show in a while, and so The Strangers needed to fight to the death. Deandra objected heavily, saying she didn’t like being forced into fighting, and Edon suggested fighting Arlen Offen and his bodyguards rather than being subjected to the Blood Pit, but Dirk ended up persuading them both into just going along.

The cut down a wave of ghouls, felled a cyclops, outsmarted three ogres, and conquered the smoky belker. Now they stand on the bloody sand amidst a cheering crowd, awaiting the Lord of Cutthroat’s command for their final challenge before they win their freedom…

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The Story So Far

Billit, the fertile trade hub of the Plains of Kennermox, had the misfortune of being in the path of the demonic warlord known as the Endbringer. The Endbringer made short work of Billit’s local garrison and Hiram Roche, the Lord of Kennermox. The self-titled Billit Militia witnessed the horrible events and, at the suggestion of Rector Egan, left the small hamlet to warn the rest of the country of the Endbringer’s return.

The Billit Militia set out for the coastal city of Wharton, stopping at the Crossroads Inn and helping the Chesk Wilverton with a local problem before continuing on to the maritime city. Reaching Wharton, the adventurers were thrown out after being infected by an Akata plague that they had squelched, and they took refuge at the faraway Temple of Fidelity, where their wounds and curses were alleviated.

During their travels to and from the Temple, the heroes met a demon named Barbazul, whom they fought and then fled from. They also stopped in the town of Glenheart. There they met a ranger named d’Shidor who guided them to the Temple. They learned of a plan that local orcs had for the destruction of Glenheart, and the Billit Militia elected to kill all the orcs to save Glenheart.

Upon curing themselves and returning to Wharton, the adventurers set off after the hated Coastal Warlock for the prize that the city would pay for his head. Upon reaching the wizard’s tower, they found out that he was none other than Olios’s father, and that he had been researching the miasma wells ever since he left Olios in Billit. He explained to them his plan he had constructed to close the wells forever.

The heroes, should they choose to pursue this quest, need three things to succeed: a dagger sculpted from pure diaphonite, a half-elf to bleed on the alters to the Daemons of the Wells, and the practice of the ritual. They have just retrieved a diaphonite statue that they are planning on returning to Daedra for sculpting, but where are they going to find a half-elf to bleed, when only one is known to live in all of Taram? And what does the return of the Endbringer signify in light of these revelations?

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