Azura; 10,000 CE

Bloody Murder

As it was turning dusk the following day Cam, Cenarious, and Ix went to explore the city, specifically examining the waters of the gate. They remembered seeing the stone ram above the city gate was missing it’s horns, and so proceeded to investigate. There they discovered that the Ram’s horns, which were clearly made of gold, were actually removed by what could only be described as water damage. They were corroded off by the blasting force of super-heated water. Wondering how the force could have been so strong, they investigated the nearest source of water, the river. From afar the river appeared normal, but as they approached, the waters boiled, and the resulting steam began to grab and pull at them, causing them to turn and run straight to the inn.

That evening, the party enjoyed a short lyrical poem given by an elf under the name of Telain. Although the reception was fairly lacking, the words of the song were intriguing enough to catch the interest of the party members. It stated, simply put, that the High Shaman of Yamen’Kathala holds a most holy secret that is shared only along the Shaman bloodline. The secret, which lies deep within the halls of Ke’Este, the Great Temple, is passed very carefully from the High Shaman to his son. If the Shaman dies without heiring a son, then the secret would be lost until someone is brave enough to discover it again.

Ixmort, being in a state of the Alu’Nore curse, was kept a close eye on during the following night by Cam. No movement was discovered that evening, but the following morning Ix discovered that there was a clean, soaking wet dagger stowed beneath his pillow. Although it was a strange occurrence, the party largely discounted the dagger, suspecting it was nothing more than some nocturnal actions caused by the curse. That was, until, the party was alerted by an Acolyte of Water they met at the temple yesterday that the High Shaman had called for them.Preview

The party rushed to the palace to find the High Shaman on his bed, face up, with his throat slit. The High Shaman couldn’t have called for them, as he was dead. The party immediately suspected murder, specifically the perpetrator being none other than their companion Ix. The party soon realized that the killer couldn’t have been Ix, because he was stuck under the watchful eye of Cam all night long. The party gathered clues as to who it could be, finding blood on an Acolyte’s robe, a trail of water leading up from the Acolyte’s chambers to the throne room, cold water upon the bed of the High Shaman, and shockingly, the Shaman’s apparent lack of a son. Interrogating the Acolyte revealed that the bard, Telain was seen about the streets late last night outside a small party among the Acolytes. The finger finally fell on Telain.

The party left to the inn to ask the innkeeper or other patrons where Telain had gotten off to. He was scheduled to appear at one of the outlying villages in a few days to honor the festival of the sun. Contacting the spirits, made by A’khan, revealed even more unsettling news. Telain was just a fake name and persona created by a Doppleganger of who’s true name is unknown. Anyone could be the Doppleganger, but the party was confident that Telain, who probably wouldn’t suspect that they had caught on to him, was still in his bard form. So the party set off to the outlying village to await the appearance of Telain. At the village, the Shaman of the village told them that Telain was not coming to the village anymore due to the High Shaman’s death ceremony being scheduled for that night at the Sacred Stone.

The party set a trap at the stone, and as the High Shaman was brought up to the stone, surrounded by a crowd of his most loyal subjects and citizens of Yamen’Kathala, Telain took the stand before the Sacred Stone to sing over the corpse of the High Shaman. The party struck then, harassing Telain with psychic words and whispered words from Cam, in an invisible state. They harassed Telain to the point where he was ready to announce to the world he was the killer. Always one for theatricality, Telain took out his music box, and began to play a daunting and climactic tune as he announced he killed the High Shaman to the people. His eyes began to glow brightly, he reverted to his natural state, and he began to spew boiling water out of his pores. Raising his hands The Sacred Stone erupted with steam, while lashing tentacles grasped at the minds of the citizens around them, forming an army of Possessed zombies to fight for the Alu’Nore.

In the end, Telain was slain. Despite many attempts to flee the battle, a forest fire started by the Possessed contained the combat. Upon his corpse, the party discovered an Assassin’s Dagger, which would have easily provided the party with a substantial magical bonus, if not for it’s price. The dagger was cursed with a mind of it’s own, or so they thought. Ix and Cam were both cursed by touching the dagger with the Will of the Geyser, connecting them to the Alu’Nore overmind and began to slowly turn them into the Possessed. The dagger was disenchanted and destroyed, but it was too late. The Will of the Geyser had already begun to absorb their psyche.

Undaunted by this impending curse, the party went on to rediscover the secret of the Ancients, deep within the temple. After all, with no High Shaman left, someone had to…

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