Additions to the barracks and houses need to be made, as they are in terrible disrepair. Despite monetary gains, we simply do not have the supplies delivered to us yet. And always, avarice beckons me as well as the adventurers. I refused to send out another patrol to take care of the Siren this early, I did not believe our people to be ready. Leave nothing to chance, we must learn and grow to match these champions of horror before facing them, as well as our arms and armor, I told them.
So further into other areas, further we must strive to gain purchase.
Vael, Akhania, Jander, and Idella ventured into the Weald to hopefully clean up the scraps of the remaining bandit clans and the other monsters, while we contemplated what to do with this new Siren, scrabbling for what supplies we could to upgrade our arms and armor.
They returned successful, but without much coin to supply the rest of the troops, and the siren song had been silent. I deemed it acceptable to leave the Siren for now, as it was, at least, I had hoped, determined to stay within the Cove, in her home base.
Taking some initiative, Etsiyona asked if she could bring Tybalt, Idella, and Vael to inspect what she believed were deconsecrated sections of the Ruins, perhaps more information on the horrific Necromancers. Surprised and pleased with the Cursed young woman, I authorized the expedition.
They returned whole, hearty, and healthy, slaughtering numbers of the undead and lost bandits. Idella and Vael were quietly arguing over the strange runes that they had found, and I directed them to the remains of my grandfather’s library. Hopefully the two can provide translations and find, perhaps, the next necromancer.
Acele requested to go forth into the Warrens, with Vae’gaun, Jander, and Athalia, hopefully to find more information about the informal royalty of the pig hybrid creatures. During this fight, Vae’gaun was overcome with curiosity, and touched one of the altars to the dark gods that the swinefolk had erected. Thankfully, nothing occured, but the man swore he felt something dark and cold pass through the altar, seeking warmth and light. Acele berated him soundly, and Vae’gaun swore he would listen and take penance within the flagellation chambers of the church.
How repentant the man is, I could not say, but hopefully this will distract him from further curiosity. They did, however, find more supplies in the form of food and minor building supplies in the Warrens, which we will put to good use, and narrowed the Location of the supposed Swine King. We will find him yet. The blacksmith has claimed that he has been refining his technique, and soon, will be able to provide more armor to the army of adventurers.
Sigmah approached me later that week, with horrifying news. A good number of the townsfolk had been seen wandering off, towards the Cove. Pyri swore she heard the Siren’s song leading the weak willed to the cove. Damn me for a fool. Sigmah quickly conscripted Aunne, Pyri, and Vael to look for the thing, Aunne for his tracking ability, Vael for his magical might, and Pyri for her know how and distant sight.
None of these things were enough, for this Siren was wilier and smarter than her sisters. The horrid thing managed to ambush the party, singing a song to entrance the others before they managed to place the wax in their ears. Sigmah described a long, drawn out battle of hours, of Cat and mouse, never knowing who was under her spell until the attack came. At the end of what Vael and Sigmah reckoned was the third hour, they found her body, slain, bleeding out from many wounds, and none could say who had dealt the final blow. Exhausted, they returned, victorious, and with a significant bounty. Sigmah in particular was jumping at every shadow, and terrified of what the others might have been plotting. He clearly needed some time, and made his way to the gambling hall with a sack of gold.
Vael returned to his studies with Idella after, swearing they were close to finishing the translation. I am thankful that I have such learned students of warfare and magic, here, for without them I think I would be ruined.
Akhania, Tybalt, Athalia, and Novina asked to return to the Warrens, to search for more prizes and find the location of the next member of the Swinefolk royalty. They fought numerous retainers, and a few things that appeared to be a horrific combination of horse, man, and swine. I shudder at how far my grandfather had fallen to believe such things were practical, or even aesthetically pleasing. Upon their return, Athalia noted that the gates to the Courtyard were unlocked, and that there was…. An infernal buzzing, growing louder and louder. I fear that whatever may have lurked in the courtyard may soon be coming to assault our slowly rebuilding Hamlet.
This dire news was interrupted by the fact that Idella and Vael had finished translating the runes and had found the location of one of the Necromancers, the journeyman in their horrid practice. Ambrosine, full of righteous fire, selected Etsiyona, Aslene, and Silverdawn to accompany her to rid the world of this menace.. Silverdawn later reported that this assault was easier than most, as during their first foray into one of the ruined rooms, they came upon more of the runes that had been translated by Vael and Idella. Using that knowledge, they were able to find exactly where the Necromancer was performing his rituals, bypassing numerous traps and patrolling undead guardians. With furious steel and claws, light and rage, the four young women rent asunder the Necromancer, who was unable to raise enough of the dead to protect themselves from the holy fury. Successful, they returned, carrying the necromancer’s weapon and tossing it into the fire, to be purified by flame.
Success riding high, Athalia quietly requested some help from Pyri, Vae’gaun, and Donari. Vae’gaun and Donari almost looked about to quarrel about this arrangement, but was silenced by a glare from Arialynn. Athalia swore they would venture into the ruins and eliminate the Swine King.
There was no easy fight for these four, as numerous swine monstrosities barred the way to the King. It was reportedly… a bloody fight, though in my dreams I swore I could almost see the adventurers fighting the damnable creature. Vae’gaun and Donari managed to bleed it nearly to exsanguination with small but deep cuts into its horrid flesh, while Pyri interrupted and handled the King’s retainer and assistant. Even blinded and without the use of its helper, Athalia kept everyone alive with waves of healing light until the beast finally expired, its massive heart unable to keep up with the loss of blood.
It was then that a true horror approached, in the silence following Pyri’s gunshot into the assistant’s head, that they witnessed the Immortal Flesh that we all had thought defeated so many weeks before began consuming and reassembling itself from the massive carcass of the King. Exhausted and still very wounded, the four decided discretion was the better part of valor, and left before the shapeless amorphous creature turned its hunger upon them.
Victories met with setbacks…. And the buzzing has become so loud that even I can hear it in the Hamlet, as I write this. Whatever is in the courtyard is coming, and I fear we are not prepared. The heartbeat beneath the earth tells me we are not prepared.