Two days ago we took the magical soul-catching helm we had previously recovered from the Abbess’ care and left for the Raven Queen’s shrine in the mountains east of the pass.
Last night we spotted flickering lights beyond a nearby hill near the narrow ravine path towards the shrine while we camped at an abandoned farmstead.
This morning we moved to investigate since it wasn’t much out of the way. We found a group of orc bandits in a position to ambush anyone coming up the road. They immediately attacked and we dispatched most of them quickly before one of their number ran off.
As we made our way up the ravine the path eventually ended in a simple doorway flanked by columns carved into the cliff face, overlooked by a couple of carved ravens further up the cliff side. Within we found a chamber covered in mosaic showing all aspects of the Raven Queen’s teachings, though there are subtle signs that those who designed it may have shown favor to her winter aspect.
The Inner chamber was columned and also covered in mosaic, with a small simple shrine at the far end. The whole place felt sacred. Oddly there were spirits present and watching or guarding the place, their very presence disturbing to the mind of any who strayed within a couple of paces.
We approached the shrine and prayed for guidance. I lit sacred incense and we received a visitation by one of her Divine Servants. They took the death helm from us and gifted us with a silver circlet that we were told would aid us in finding safe passage into the Hordelands. They also entertained questions about the prophecy, though they were only able to add a little information.
Monique wore the circlet and followed it’s direction and she literally disappeared as she stepped out the doorway. We followed and found ourselves in a cave overlooking the Hordelands.
While exploring our immediate environment, Drelf tried the circlet and while doing so went back into the cave and disappeared. We await his return…
As we waited on his return, we can tell from the change in the moon that it took days for us to get here, though it seemed only a few moments to us… Drelf has yet to return, and the relative safety of the cave seems to be giving way to the corruption of the Hordelands.
We have traveled through the Hordelands for the past week, slowly making our way back towards the pass. The land is barren and exhausting us. The water is fetid, but so far we’ve been able to boil it and not get too ill… Until today. Just being here for too long Hali, Dirge, and Monique have contracted Soul Rot.
We’ve been being trailed by some sort of flying creatures but so far they have not attacked… We’ve spotted a village and regular patrols in the distance along the road to the pass.
We have decided to head through the mountains to cut past the final wall out of the pass. While dangerous, it seemed more likely we’ll be able to make it than a direct attempt on the fifth wall.
We’re out of the pass finally beyond the corruption of the Hordelands. We made our way out of the mountains, fortunately only with a few injuries. We managed to rush through the guarded walls, though we were witnessed by several of the undead whose master can see through their bodies. I cannot help but believe the master of these creatures may make more of an effort to eliminate us now that we’ve shown repeat interest in what’s beyond the pass.
We made it back to the Cathedral. We’ve been able to nurse everyone back to health and get them over the Soul Rot. We’re finally all able to start recuperating… Drelf is still missing.
Drelf returned to town. It seems that the circlet will transport it’s wearer from one portal or threshold to another, but while time seems to pass instantly for the wearer, it passes as if the distance were traversed normally.
We need to figure out what we’re going to do next. We need to prepare for the inhospitable lands beyond the pass and have a specific goal to pursue. Perhaps if we can overcome the dragon in the nearby forest it’s horde would prove helpful, though that seems a distraction unless we find nothing better. Another possibility would be to try to track down the missing healing herbs that have been being stolen over the year. They could prove needed to combat the soul rot in the Hordelands.