So if I don’t ever get to collect on my royalties for the publication of my earlier adventures, I think I have enough material for the sequel in addition to a sizable beginning on some sort of travel guide for any poor sap that finds themselves traveling the countryside in Ustalav, a land which in relation to the rest of Golarion resembles nothing so closely as an enormous boil on an otherwise gorgeous strumpet.
Our latest travels brought us to Carrion Hill, roughly the halfway point between Feldgrau and Caliphas.
As soon as we arrived in town, we were singled out by the town guard. I expected just another admirer looking for an autograph, but it turns out that Versex, the Mayor’s Head Clerk, is a member of the Palantine Eye. True to form, they want something from us in return for next to nothing. If the Professor were still alive, I’d kick him square in the balls for getting me mixed up in all of this. Maybe I’ll have to marry his daughter or something. Anyway, the Count and the Judge needed some sort of response about how things went in Feldgrau (like they didn’t already know… as if the rest of this order could even manage to lace their bodices without us), so I wrote a flowery letter back to our crew at the Schloss accurately depicting my epic contributions to the cause with some footnotes about the rest of the party. I included in the letter a request that the Order take a look into the disappearance of many Varisians in Caliphas; there were rumors of the royalty there kidnapping Varisians for some dark purpose, and I think there might be some justice to mete out in the near future for my mistreated countrymen.
With that completed, Otto and I went to get to the important business of ensuring that our bloodlines endure by virtue of a trip to the docks to meet with some saucy Varisian ladies. I think No Brows was looking for more alchemists or something. He took off in the other direction humming a song to himself and licking the cobblestones as he went along, and Endell was going to do something kinky and expensive sounding. I think that Harry was the only one that took advantage of Versex’s offer of free lodging at the local inn.
During the evening, some weird thing came out of the sewers and razed a few homes and killed a few people. Apparently it got everyone’s feathers ruffled, so the mayor hired us to take care of it. No Brows looked a little worse for wear in the morning; apparently there’s a bounty out on every alchemist in town thanks to some noble. If I thought No Brows was killable, I might try to collect on the reward, but I’ve seen rocks that could take less punishment. Plus, his ability to stay drug addled constantly is singularly entertaining. We’ll have to do something about the bounty before we go, methinks.
Digressions aside, we went to check out the closest demolished home as soon as everyone had been rounded up. Apparently they came for Harry bright and early, so he got considerably less sleep than the rest of us rapscallions. The house smelled like a rotting colon, and it was covered in a dark goo that seemed to rust and peel everything. I tried to see what had happened through a History spell, but that didn’t work out so well, so we settled on combing the place for clues. Tracking down the entry point of the goo, we determined that the dark beast had come from under the house somewhere, so we opened the door to the catacombs under the city and walked down. Apparently this place was built above an old half-collapsed crypt for some followers of Aroden, all of whom were still there except for one whose sarcophagus had been defiled. We poked around a little further and discovered some cowering muscle that had barricaded themselves in a side chamber, but they were pretty useless as far as details went, so we had no choice but to keep going deeper into the crypt through some rough cut doorway in the stone wall.
The stairway led to a weird magical chamber lit by luminescent fungi and dominated by an enormous altar flanked by petrified trees. No Brows tried to take a look at the altar, and something tried to eat him, but we pulled him out. Deciding there was strength in numbers, a few of us went up there to investigate, and I found a sweet book which I proceeded to read cover to cover. It was a pretty good read. Me and the book were tight for a little while, and it taught me some good things. In fact, I came to realize that the voices I hear sometime were just my friend the book talking to me, reaching out to let me know how things were going. I fell asleep after I finished reading the book and drinking a delicious beer, and suddenly it was gone. Luckily, I can still hear ol’ Book talking to me, so I think we’ll keep in touch.
One of the things I learned from Book was that the black thing was trying to establish itself by killing the people that summoned it to this plane (the book also told me who did this, and they rudely defaced Book, so he was more than willing to let us know who to grease), so if we killed them first, the beast would be considerably weaker. So, we set about to do some killing. We killed some fat drunk at his midden concrete shop, and then we dredged a church basement for some Priest of Aroden that had sewn his mouth shut, and we killed him, too. He was kind of a dick. While we were killing that guy, the monster thing from ANOTHER PLANE showed up, so we tried to kill it by crushing it when we collapsed the church, but that didn’t really work, so when we got up street-side, we noticed that it was still coming…
TO BE CONTINUED