It is hard to write when one is not used to detailing ones thoughts. The rigors of life outside the temple are many and pull at you in all directions.
Where was I…ah yes, being hunted…
Turns out we were being hunted, by Dire Wolves… thought they were rather mangy and famished. Probably not as terrible as true healthy Dire Wolves might be. But they were desperate for something to eat and they brought friends, some other scraggly wolves that hoped to get a bit of whatever their bigger brethren didn’t eat. We were able to dispatch them after a few tense moments.
We moved on in search of the source of the mysterious quiet of this section of the forest. We came across a swath of a dozen or so small humanoid tracks we later determined to likely be kobalds. Our investigation ultimately lead to the site of a flash of something green overhead and a glimpse of said dragon as it dove into some thicker growths further ahead in search of some prey or another. We elected to backtrack in the direction of what we believed to be a Shadow Crossing. Hali had done some sort of ritual that had pointed off in another direction.
In persuit of the Shadow Crossing we came across another troup of Kobalds, sporting a crude green banner. Probably off to serve the new dragon denizen of these parts. We all hid, including Hali some how, and got ready for their approach. When it became evident that they would not notice us, despite practically walking on top of us, Hrafn gave the signal to let them pass. I don’t know why, they are foul creatures after all. We should not fear facing them. But he had his reasons I’m sure, and he’s more learned than I.
We eventualy found the Shadow Crossing. It appears to be anchored to what used to be a Fey Crossing…a circle of mushrooms. We settled down for the night to see what we’d see. Deitrich Essenbach reported seeing movements within the faint light emanating from the circle, but no one else noticed. I think he might have been trying to appear more observant….or he was just seeing things.
We eventually ended up back at the Temple of the Black Star to report all that we had found. The Abbess gave Hrafn and Hali some rituals to work on learning and they took to doing so. While we waited I wiled away the hours getting some always sought relief from my troubled slumber, returning again to the icons of the temple to quiet contemplation. Deitrich came looking for me, apparently bored and looking for a sparing partner. Practice is good and one can always find ways to improve….and we all need to learn to work together when it’s time to act. He seems to be a fine swordsman, accomplished in his own…effective…if rather brutish techniques. I enjoyed the chance to spar and learn a bit from what he had to offer. sigh after several good opening bouts though it became clear, as I expected, he views me as naught but a child. I guess I don’t fit his expectation of a warrior. I’ll win him over too, eventually…
We headed out the next day in search of a farmstead to the north, which had been rumored to also be the site of a Shadow Crossing. We found it deserted and the cart gone. It felt as if there was an eerie presence in the root cellar pressing upon you…and it reeked to high hell. We found two newish graves in the family plot out past the tool shed. The closest neighbors said that their newborn had died earlier this year, with the mother following soon after in grief. The father packed up his remaining sons and headed off to the northeast.
The evening as the last ray of sun faded from sight, a specter of the mother and child appeared from their graves, along with some other spirits from the root cellar, and attacked. Hrafn called for us to stay close while he prepared a blessing from the Raven Queen to protect us in this fight. As Her blessing washed over us it also blasted away the restless spirits. Hrafn was able to sustain his pray for the duration of the skirmish while we put them all back to their uneasy rests.
Hali did a ritual that ultimately indicated we’d better exhume the child if we wanted he and his mother to finally rest. So Drelf, Dietrich, and I grabbed shovels and started digging. We found the baby buried in a makeshift wooden box, which after much investigation appears to have been tied closed with rope…but something had burned away the bindings. Drelf took one of the viles of holy water and anointed the child only to find that wherever the water touched its skin blackened. This was not expected. He lightly bathed its entire body and examined it for symbols or other clues. A ritual was cast upon the child to make it so it would not again rise as an undead. The body crumbled to ash. Drelf collected the ashes to bring back to the Abbess for inspection.
We could not figure out what else to do about the root cellar, so we did our best to bar the hatch and scrawl a warning for passers by to not enter. We then informed what neighbors we could of the potential danger and to stay away. We’d try and have the temple send more help out to deal with it when they could. On the whole, people seemed confused as to why anyone would come out here to help them. It seems to me they’re fairly self absorbed in their own troubles and worries to really believe that anyone might be willing to help.
We headed back towards the circle of farms we’d first investigated. Along the way we found word that the creepy talkative group had passed this way. I don’t really know what to call them, so I’ll just go with the “cloaked group of interest”. Good enough…. So in general the cloaked group of interest appeared to be heading south (and west?) from the direction of the mountains.
Once we arrived at the circle of farm houses. Hrafn did a ritual to see the last moments of one of the lady’s life. He reported seeing an unnatural wind disturbing the fields in a swath maybe twice? the size of one of the houses. It was cutting across the field within her view, from the north, before changing direction abruptly and heading straight at the house. It impacted the house without visible sign of having done so and the lady died.
Where does this leave us….? I’m guessing head back to the Abbess, drop of the child’s remains, and then head north to see if we can find traces of whatever caused the disturbance in the field…