Tales of the Veridian Coast

Adventure 4, Lucky 7 pt. 1

Into the Death's Heart

Everyone wakes the next morning, unmolested by any more Wylde Eladrin, magically enraged bugbears, human mercenaries, dead gods, ghostly undead, Silver Lady Zealots, or God hating Virian’haad. A light rain began just after dawn. Thankfully, the dilapidated pavilion provides enough shelter to make a campfire and prepare some breakfast.

As they attempt to enjoy the heated trail rations, they consider that they have added another powerful opponent to a list of enemies that already includes a Lich, an insane Greater God, a Death-infused and a Servant of said God.

The Travelers break camp and continue to Bariel. As they leave the Gnomish Empire, they discover that there are no roads, so Liam uses his map and his tracking skills to navigate them towards Bariel in the North. The clouds, which seemed at daybreak seemed to have been thinning out, have grown even darker.

As they press on, the land around them seems to have changed. The shimmering trees, which normally appears as though magic flows just below the surface, now appears to have thick ichor crawling within its bark. The blue-green grasses and ferns have wilted to a puss-like yellow. Liam turns around to see when they entered this phenomenon, but the way they came seems to have been tainted as well. Frohike determines that they are in a supernatural event known as a Blight, a sudden manifestation of necrotic energy which corrupts all life in a small radius.

Liam climbs a corrupted tree, which causes him to feel ill and loose the feeling in his hands for a moment. At the top, he sees that the corruption has spread roughly a mile in every direction, though they are not near the center. Zedd determines the direction of the center of this Blight and leads them on. Frohike determines a shorter way filled with less corrupting necrotic energy due to small fire that burned a grove to the ground.

Glimper believes he has found a better route, but steps into a pool of ichor, but is pulled out by Liam in time. Zedd attempts to use his knowledge of religious matters to guide him, and he remembers hearing that Blights are usually a lot smaller in area than this. There are many theories to their nature, some believe that the energy comes from another plane, others think that it is simply wild magic, last a small group thinks that they could be considered Stygian Passovers. If they were Passover events, then they would occur almost as frequently as all other events known to be tied to the Stygian Passovers.

Liam realizes that the Flora has been mutating in such a way as to hinder their path. He begins to lead the plants in circles, until it collides with previously mutated plants, which are distracted as they begin to consume themselves. Frohike attempts to blast some trees with his magic, but Ichor sprays from the area where is magic missiles impacted, and he is covered in it. Glimper attempts to mess with the tree branches and is sprayed with Ichor. Soon, Frohike has a revealation, he breaks a branch that is near another tree, causing it to spray the other tree in Ichor, which burns through it like acid. They use this strategy to clear a path the eye of the storm.

In the center, they find an area consumed by darkness. Though their vision is impaired, they can make out several undead, including a bloated monstrosity walking on all fours with gas seeping from fissures in its mutilated skin, and what may have once been elven mages, with their flesh corrupted and their staves fused to their meaty hands, and finally Ghouls while massive maws in place of their bellies. In the center of this shadowy grove sat a statue surrounded by four obsidian obelisks. The Ghouls quickly pin the Travelers down, but Liam slips by to attack the big bloated monstrosity. As Frohike, Glimper, and Zedd fight back the undead, who have them cornered, Liam is knocked in between two of the pillars and the statue. Suddenly there is a surge of necrotic energy, and his knocked unconscious, the life being drained by the Towers.

The remaining Travelers press forward in order to rescue Liam. Zedd takes blow after blow from the undead, but in a burst of light is able to revive Liam, who upon standing up quickly shatters one of the towers and moves away to attack one of the undead mages. Through a combination of power spells and skilled swordsmanship, they destroy the undead. After Zedd determins that the destruction of the tower weakened the Necrotic energy of the Blight, Liam destroys the remaining towers, and the forest returns to the way it was. The clouds begin to break in the sky.

However, the statue becomes a creature of rotting flesh. He declares boldly that he is Count Varitas, Master of the Deathspire. He is suddenly confused as to his location. He asks the party what they have done to him, and they ask if he was overthrown. He is unsure, but is told of Ablorin by Zedd. Liam notices the sun begins to creep up on the Vampire. Him, Glimper and Zed attempt to distract him long enough for the sun to reach him, however he realizes their ruse and begins to transform into a bat.

Suddenly, he stops and falls to his knees. Everyone turns to see Frohike holding the Vessel of Alura. Frohike asks Varitas what the Deathspire is and the Vampire manages to say that it is tied to some sort of power before the sun catches him, turning him into ash. His staff, rod, and ring are all that remain.

Zedd admonishes him for using the Vessel, and Frohike says that the Vampire wasn’t consumed by the Vessel. He justifies himself by saying that they needed more information and their attempt to glean any failed, thus he was forced to resort to the Vessel.

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