Session Date: 1/3/2012
Having successfully completed their quest, the company gets the chance to have their audience with Lord Boroman in his luxurious office. Aldric gets on his good side by asking about Boroman’s expeditions and quests. The old man goes on and on, until Zel gets him on the subject of aberrant marks and shows him the sketch of Luella Vanwick’s mark.
Boromon studies the sketch and confirms that it is an aberrant mark, and calls Sheriari over to take a look at it. She recalls that similar images were found on artifacts from a small Dhakaani temple in the southern part of the Starpeak Mountain Range during an expedition 2 years ago. She fetches the expedition log and shows the party a sketch of a symbol that had been on an amulet and resembles a more complex version of Luella’s mark. She explains that the symbol on the amulet represents the Dhakaani god of death. The expedition party had returned under duress due to something to do with the war. The amulet was anonymously sold to a private collector on auction.
Additionally Neils shares that the Dhakaani was an empire of ancient goblins who were the lords of Korvaire 6,000 years ago spanning the continent until the empire was destroyed. Zel adds that his religion worships the same gods as the goblins, except that they would have worshiped all 15.
Upon leaving the Wayfinder Foundation a small gnomic woman with a fedora hat introduces herself as Paige Neverdown, reporter for the Korranberg Chronicle. Neils happily offers her the details of the party’s vanquish over the ashbound druid.
The party decides to split up. Neils and Bulwark head back to the university library to research the Dhakaani and their religion. Aldric, Zel and Hogar head to House Galandra to get Professor Dronnell his interview with one of the aberrant marked people.
In his research Neils finds that many of the texts had been censored by Priests of the Nine and mainly talk about how similar the goblin priests are to The Nine, with very limited references to The Dark Six. He tries to research the god of death but the closest he finds is The Mockery, the god of violence, betrayal, misery and war. The best documented Dhakaani ruins are in Darguun, the ancient capital. Neils does not find any mention of Dhakaani civilizations in the Starpeak Range and surmises that back in that time the mountains may have been a good place to hide illicit activities. He asks the librarian about other books on religion but she indicates that they are in the vault and that he would need the permission of a higher staff person to access it.
Bulwark starts reading up on Cyre and the Mournland, but most accounts boil down to hearsay. He does find that there is a grey mist that towers where the borders used to be and that adventurers who venture in are often not heard from again. There is some speculation that it was caused by a magical weapon of mass destruction. There are also rumors about a large group of warforged in the Mournland who follow the Lord of Blades. The Lord of Blades is proclaimed as a prophet of warforged kind and wants to raise a Warforged civliization and find a way to create new Warforged. However these accounts are not necessarily reliable.
Meanwhile, Aldric, Zel and Hogar approach the huge manor house repurposed to serve as a hostel and sanctuary. The gate into the compound is guarded by House Deneith Blademark mercenaries and backed by House Galandra (halfling) troops. Hogar asks for sanctuary and Zel fails to negotiate for a price lower than 20gp each, so Hogar offers services in return for their stay.
Somehow managing not to stick out like sore thumbs, the adventurers wander into the common room and spot one of the aberrant people sitting at the bar. Zel slides in next to him and is able to put him at ease and get him to talk about his affliction. He demonstrates his power by reaching out to touch Zel’s hand sending a shock that knocks Zel off his stool and causes a commotion. The worried man runs off. A short while later, Aldric is able to point out the man’s room to Zel and he makes a second attempt to gain his trust. The aberrant explains that he is afraid of the House Tarkanan, which is a house of aberrant marked people known for being murderers. Zel is able to convince him to meet the professor at the docks that night in order to help him.
Later that night, after an expensive dinner (5gp) the party informs the professor of the meeting and provides an escort for him to the docks. Aldric attempts to shadow the marked contact but gets distracted and loses him.
After the group gathers at the meeting place Zel is the first to hear an uneven round object rolling toward them and is horrified to discover the disembodied head of his aberrant marked friend.
At the end of the street a woman accuses the professor of outing members of House Tarkanan and orders his kidnapping. The heroes are victorious in combat and the woman surrenders as her companions flee. As it turns out the woman is Melissa Tarkanan, and the man they killed was a target of her house’s recruitment campaign, and since he had left the hostel she was worried he would spill their secrets to the professor. Now that she has been defeated she agrees to answer the professor’s questions in exchange for her freedom.
(will wrap this up tomorrow)