The buzzing continues, our first forays into the Courtyard were pyrrhically successful, destroying a good number of these insect like hybrid monstrosities…. However, three of the four that returned came back cursed. Haunted, craving a strange distillation of blood that came only from the courtyard. 


Acele, Idella, and Aslene have had their nature fundamentally altered. Now the curse and the thought of this concoction, ill named the Blood (capital letter is intended), is an almost all consuming obsession. Another resource that I must find, if we are to keep them alive long enough to cure them, though at the time of finding this out I pondered simply letting them die…. Or asking Aunne to execute them.


It is not wholly blood, but an alchemical concoction converted from the curse and the extraction of blood, so Insein tells me. The woman is working swiftly for a cure, but the nature of the Curse seems both magical and alchemical, and initial attempts at curing the horror have been stymied, so far. If the monsters of the courtyard, protected as they are, do not drain us, this Curse may.


After the initial assault into the courtyard, our funds were greatly diminished. Novina volunteered an expedition into the Weald, where more supplies and caches might be found to aid our future expeditions. With her went Sigmah, Etsiyona, and Akaiatana.


They reported rough battles, and growing strength of the enemy, however, with luck and a bit of fortitude, they were able to bring back a number of supplies… and more than a little disease, unfortunately. I sent them to the Sanitarium to be cured as soon as possible.. During their Expedition, they caught sight of the second of the trio of Hags, and made note of her last location. They were too wounded and unready to take on the monstrous witch, but I am confident that the next expedition into the Warrens will be able to take down the horrifying witch.


Later, Vae’gaun, Akhania, Janderius and Vael decided to explore the Warrens, to search for the hopefully last of the Swine hierarchy. Through bloody fights and stealing of food, they were able to pin down where the next beast was, dubbed the Swine God by Janderius. The jester had been the only one to catch a glimpse of the massive creature before more and more of the failed experiments of my Grandfather swarmed them. Vae’gaun and Akhania were brutally efficient, reported Vael, regarding their work, and a sort of strange, vitriolic friendship is forming between the two. Odd, considering how Akhania’s people have decried and blasphemed against the gods at almost every turn. 


With this information, we have a plan of attack against the Swine God, however, Arialynn asked to lead an expedition against the Hag, having taken the information and come up with a plan of attack. Her plan seemed sound to me, and I provided her with the necessary materials. She chose Tybalt and Pyri, both who have been proven faithful and dedicated adventurers, as well as Acele. This, however, surprised me, and I pulled her aside to ask. 


She said that we needed to test the newly cursed crusader, to see if he would be able to handle the stresses of combat with his obsession with the Blood. Troubled, but willing to let the priestess take the risk despite my reservations (of which she took into account), they headed out to the weald to slay the Hag.


During their time, a strange letter was delivered to me. No name was addressed, but the messenger reported the man as a hulking figure, wearing the cloth of a priest but armed for war. The letter was nearly incoherent, but raved about ‘putting down the Cursed’ and “Cleansing the world of the Filth of the Blood.’


Another likely enemy, this one struck by zealotry and madness that I doubt even our faithful in this venture could bend to our will. 


We shall see. 


The Hag hunters returned within the week, flush with victory. Acele was practically vibrating with energy, and bloodlust. Arialynn confided in me that the man performed well enough, but in the fight with the Hag she dropped a vial of the Blood that she had taken with her just in case.


Acele nearly dropped his sword in attempting to gather the Blood and down it, leaving himself open to the Hag… but with preternatural swiftness avoided her magical attempt to drag him into the massive cauldron she had previously used to cook Arialynn to near death. 


However, it was with speed and alacrity that he called upon his faith to heal and inspire the others in a Blood fueled zealotry that none had witnessed before. Pyri and Tybalt were able to whittle the Hag down to nothing.


It seems that the Cursed can still be relied on, if their obsessions are mitigated with the Blood. I shall plan a raid for the courtyard Vintners posthaste.

Author Razas
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