From the diaries of Isyadora.

The fourth episode of our campaign began with the death of a night hag. The fearsome creature proved not to be such a challenge – the heroes noted- as they cut the heart from her shriveled body. Unsure about what to do with the four frozen children, they left the room to escort the prisoners off the property via the magical black cloaks. Next on the schedule was to identify new weapons and trinkets, take a long rest, and wait for the carriage to show up. After a rest, the team kicked off the night with a chorus of zombie groans and thunderous rainfall as they dashed out of the mansion in pursuit of the mysterious black carriage. With the monk taking the lead and whittling away the zombie numbers, the team made it to the carriage just as its wooden wheels skidded through the mud to continue its journey through the night. The group evaluated their stance, and realized the pressure of the zombies must’ve gotten to the cleric as he forgot he had a turn undead spell. The band of heroes exited as the carriage made its first stop. They were in a town identical to the one that had burned down. They waited for the sun to rise and decided to confront the Church once again. Identical in every way- except the Priest. Sneaking downstairs, they found the same evil mace and dagger hidden in the Priest’s private room. The party confiscated both weapons and scurried out of the Church, finally coming to the realization that maybe they could get the Hunter to lead them back to the town they arrived in.

They travelled through the rain and howling wind once again in search of answers, lead by the hunter and his instinct. The heroes stumble along until the rain dies down, and they find the mutated body of the goblin lying in the dead circle of grass. He and the other bodies seem as though they have not decayed, even with all the time that had passed. Still drenched from the journey, they enter the tavern for a long-deserved drink. With a hearty chuckle, the tavern keep offered them a meal and asked how their afternoon was… he expected them home earlier! After all, he didn’t think there was much excitement around this little town. After a much-deserved drink and mingle with people that weren’t trying to kill them, the party split off to the rooms they had bargained for weeks ago. Laying on the rogue’s bed was a letter with a message scribbled frantically upon it. “Don’t trust the Druid.” The party decided this letter may have been helpful before racing off, headfirst into the very danger they were warned about here. If only the adventure (and ale) -thirsty heroes had waited a night. 

Still searching for leads, the party decided to follow a hunch and check back up on Mama Jean, now that they had read how to stop the essence of the Herald of Ash spreading through their world. After a quick chat with Mama Jean, the heroes learned that her son had returned from war in a bad state – he was found in the very place our heroes had discovered the circle of death. Mama Jean showed them familiar looking back dagger- her son had brought it back with him and treasured it always. He died about a year ago and was buried in the graveyard outside the house. After sharing their condolences, the party left, they decided to have the rogue go back at night and remove the dagger from the house, as it’s evil presence was sure to have undesirable effects on Mama Jean. 

The next morning, after finally resting someplace with a real bed, the heroes finished their breakfast and headed back to the circle of death with their newest recruit (courtesy of the wizard) Pheny- a boisterous young swashbuckler. The team needed to find evidence of Mama Jean’s son/ the Herald of Ash. It didn’t take much searching before they came across an old well, and then slightly past the tree line… a crypt. The crypt held a single coffin, and within no time, the lid was raised to reveal a pool of mist. The paladin was sick of vampires. He cast sunlight. Sure enough, the mist formed to create the body of an elven male. He too, began to cast. After slashes, blows, holy strikes -and an explosive fireball from the vampire, the wizard could finally get a word in. “Daniel?” She yelled, putting a stop to the combat. The vampire admitted that was his name, after an explanation of how the party came across his story. Our heroes welcomed him to the group (rather reluctantly, for some), and carried on. 

Daniel revealed he had seen the untrustworthy druid come by this area often. Each visit, he would climb down the well and stay there for hours. The party followed the lead and found a hidden room with a summoning circle similar to the ones they found in the churches.

Next, Daniel told them he believed he had figured out the way to get rid of the Herald of Ash. With all-seeing spectacles, they had to dig up Mama Jean’s son to find a magical object he was buried with. This object would lead them to where the Herald kept his essence. The reason he could never do it himself, was because the cemetery was consecrated ground. When night fell, the team shamelessly began digging up the grave. However, the body the found was not of a man that had been dead a year. In fact, he looked as though he had hardly been dead a day! Wearing the spectacles, the wizard examined the body for the magical item. There was an amulet glowing in the center of his chest. Stuck to his chest, in fact. The paladin had to wrench it from the corpse’s chest in order free it. Instantly, the body decayed and crumbled. Fixing the grave as best as possible, the party followed Daniel off to the dark, where he cast a spell from an ancient scroll.  

The lights change, the air becomes clearer, lights sparkle and our valiant adventurers realize they are in a fairy realm, with dark emerald grass, and purplish night skies. A forest surrounds the clearing where the party stands, a gazebo at one end, and at the other: a well. The wizard confidently leads the group up into the gazebo, and through a teleportation circle on the ground. In a few dizzying moments, they find themselves in a beautiful city. One they recognize as the Twin City from a book that Isyadora had read back in the vampire mansion. They explore a bit but eventually retire early in order to set off as soon as Daniel regains his energy (after a trip to the butcher, where a certain spellcaster falls even more in love with the city). Deciding not to let this intriguing city sway them from their quest, the party allow Daniel to teleport them back to the fairy realm. When their feet hit the emerald grass, they headed straight for the well. Our intrepid crew plunge through the well, lights sparkle, worlds shift and they lift their heads to see they are standing in a ruined building, it is night, there are no stars in the sky, the area around them is covered a low veil of greyish green mist. Our dragon scale clad ranger sense the presence of a black dragon some miles to the east…… (cue end of episode credits).

Stay tuned.. same Elf time, same Elf channel…..

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