As the shadow disappeared above Garuuk’s body Kosef dropped to his knees, his face in his hands, trembling. He gripped the blade of his knife until blood dripped from his hand onto the ground. Loru mindlessly stabbed his dagger into the mutilated body of Garuuk until Adda limped over to him and gently pulled him off.
The bodies of the creatures quickly dissipated into faint mist, leaving the once green grass on ground blackened and withered. Only the body of Garuuk remained.
Kosef regained his senses after a few minutes and examined the runes which covered the walls of the inner courtyard of the keep, they were disturbingly familiar to Kosef and as he observed them they seemed to shift into the shadowy form that appeared above Garruk’s body. Kosef approached the wall and places his hand on one of the runes, it was crusty and cool to the touch and made of a dried substance, maybe something mixed with blood, that had been painted on the wall and was now dry. The runes stopped moving as he touched them.
Talia investigating the places were the bodies had just been gripped the crystal around her neck and dropped to a knee focusing on the crystal and reaching her other hand towards where the largest of the bodies had been. Suddenly she saw a vast broken landscape, four scattered spires protruded out of the ground at odd angles. The dimly lit air felt thick with a orange smog and the smell of death. There was no sun or other source of light in the sky. Across the vast broken plains she could see movement. She jumped back a bit shaken but quickly recovered her composure.
Rakham and Adda carefully lifted Murf and carried him to the shore of the island and placed him in the small boat. Talia complained, insisting that they should leave him on the island in his unconscious state but Rakham and Adda refused.
The rest of the party quickly loaded into the small boat and Rakham rowed them across the lake to the eastern shore. There they made landfall and followed the path back towards the three hills district of Tordan. As they followed the path the lake narrowed into a river leaving the island in the distance behind them. A inhuman cry echoed across the lake, Talia and Kosef glanced back and in the distance they could just make out what looked like a winged humanoid flying above the island. The party quickened their pace and after an hour or two managed to returned to the Helping Hand. There they rested for the afternoon and evening.
During the night Kosef snuck out the window of the Helping Hand. The streets were completely empty as he stealthily moved across the city. He noticed a creature watching the street from the second story of an abandoned building’s window. Its triangular face was just visible in the light from the lantern on the Weeping Hill wall. He continued to the Eastern Market and then to the district he had seen the symbol of the sun beneath the horizon. Proceeding down the ally he knocked on the wall and waited. After a few minutes one of the doors opened slightly and the face of a girl appeared. “Speak with the Fishmonger at noon tomorrow on the High Hill Circle” and the door shut. Kosef quickly returned to the Helping Hand.
The next morning Adda left at daybreak for the Temple of Nian. As the rest of the group ate breakfast a man dressed in simple but well kept clothes entered the Helping Hand and sat in the corner, Dagmar approached him and spoke with him for a few minutes, then he got up and left. Kosef approached Dagmar and asks if he had found out any information about someone to speak with about the arcane. Dagmar says he can arrange an appointment with Delina but she is expensive. Kosef agrees and awaits confirmation the following morning. Dagmar also mentions that the the Boar hunt has been canceled. A woman has butchered her family and is being hunted in the city.
After breakfast Kosef, Talia and Murf headed to the market. Talia listened to the rumors at the market and heard that the Boar Hunt would be rescheduled, perhaps in a week. The woman who is being hunted killed her husband and both their children, everyone was butchered, cut to pieces and no one knows why. Murf wandered to the east side of the market and found the bulletin board outside the east gate of the Weeping Hill. He saw a wanted poster with a picture of Talia on it and took. Then he grabbed a second poster of a man with a shaved head and a scar across the side of his head and face. He stopped when he heard a voice behind him. A women in her thirties, her sun bleached hair slicked back in a single braid stood behind him. She had a sword on her hip with a black grip and a hideous gargoyle face for a pommel. On her other hip was a curved ax for throwing. A dagger was strapped to each of her thighs. A thin chain with a piece of green jade carved in the shape of a falcon dangled from her neck. In a rough voice she asked “Do you plan on capturing him?” When Murf shook his head she reached out and Murf gave her the poster. She took it and tucked it into her vest. “I do” she said as she turned away and strolled down the street, a backpack on her shoulders and her cloak flowing behind her.
Kosef found the Fishmonger near the Eastern Weeping Hill gate. When he greeted the Fishmonger and he replied to Kosef like greeting an old friend. They discussed his family and agreed to meet an hour before nightfall to get a drink and catch up.
Kosef, Talia and Murf returned to the Helping Hand and reunited with Adda. Murf led them east through an abandoned part of the city. As they passed a ruined building Talia spotted a boar digging in the ground of a ruined building. She stealthily approached it before speaking to the boar. After a few simple words it asked “Teagon friend?”, she replied “friend” and it led her and the group through the streets. Soon several other wild pig followed the group along a small path which led to a small glen with a small stone building in the center. The building had a simple wooden door and stone walls that looked like they has been repaired fairly recently.
A robed figured emerged from the hut, his face was like a boars but covered in a course black beard with gray streaks, his shoulders broad shoulders hunched. In his cloven hands he carried a gnarled staff, his feet were cloven like a pigs. He introduced himself as Teagon.
Talia warned Teagon about the hunt and at first it seemed unknown to him but then remembered. He asked her to return when she knows when it is. When Talia said the white lady told her to come he asked if she speaks of a forest spirit and then says that the forest spirit has sent her for a reason. While they speak a huge boar appeared behind Teagon barely squeezing through the doorway of the hut. Talia carefully approached it and it sniffed her and pushed her with its enormous head. When she backed away it seemed to chuckle a bit. As Talia turned to leave Teagon stopped her, he stepped into the hut for a moment and returned with something in his hand. He reached out to Talis and gave her a simple corded necklace with a smooth black stone with one side carved in the shape of an old face. As they left the glen Talia asked someone to help her remember how to get back to this place.
After leaving Teagon’s Murf leads the group through the streets past a ruined small fort three stories high and then to what used to be a small plaza, now a grove of trees with a pool in the center surrounded by buildings. Talia sits on the edge of the pool dipping her feet while Murf stands at the edge. It appears the pool, bordered in stone, was probably a fountain at one time. It is a few meters across, less then a meter deep and filled with crystal clear water. The stone bottom is visible. At the center of the pool bottom an opening descends into darkness. Murf and Talia concentrate for a minute and the surface of the pool changes to a sky blue color. Adda observes the change as well but Talia and Murf are not sure what to do next.
Meanwhile Kosef patrols around the small plaza, as he does he hears something and turns to see a toad easily the size of a horse come out of the side of an abandoned building. Before he can move back it lunges towards him mouth open, but he manages to step aside. Slashing the toad with his sword Kosef retreats back towards to pool but as he does he sees two frog like humanoids with nets and spears watching him. One hurls its net towards him but he manages to dodge as he runs to the grove of trees around the pool.
Back at the pool Talia ties a rope around her waste and hands it to Adda before wading towards the center of the pool. She can feels cool water flowing into the pool for the spring in the center. Murf exclaims “I have an idea!” He mutters something and suddenly both Talia and Murf collapse. Adda quickly pulls Talia from the pool and sets her on the grass. Then Adda hears Kosef come rushing back to the grove. As she turns she sees a huge toad leaping towards them. She quickly flings her hand ax, sinking it into the toads mass as it crashes into the ground behind Kosef biting both his legs and grasping them in its mouth. Kosef cries out in pain as he manages to slip out of the Toads maw. Adda brings her great ax over her shoulder and slashes across the toads side. Kosef limps to the edge of the pool, one of his legs numb from the venom of the toads bite. He stumbles to Talia’s side and shakes her awake. As Adda prepares to attack the toad again the two frog like humanoids rush forward stabbing at her with spears, she manages to knock one of the attackers aside as he stumbles to the ground but the other jabs the spear into her side. Enraged she grabs the spear and shoves the blunt end back into the body of the frogman. The frogman lets out two croaks and all three of the frog creatures bound away.
Kosef wakes up Murf and the group quick retreats down the streets of Tordan and back towards the Helping Hand. They arrive safely and Adda manages to heal some of Kosef’s wounded leg. She takes a minute to go out into the sun and say a prayer. The group eats some food and recovers from their picnic.