Rise of the Harpy

Windego

Travelling to Efuiel to investigate the threat against Lizella Varex, the group found a pallaside city in the throws of a tournament. Apparently, a nearby village had been attacked by a monster. The winner of the tournament would be declared the champion, and be tasked to bring back the monster’s head. If successful, the champion would be rewarded Duke Robert Arseaunt’s daughter’s hand in marriage.

Deciding it was not worth dealing with the tournament, the group gathered some more information about the monster. It turns out it had been an especially long winter, and after the cold lessened, travelers to the village found the people there had either vanished or been eaten by something. Based on the evidence available Akharan Akenseth and Kaius agreed it was likely a Windego.

Exploring the village made this seem more likely. There were partially eaten corpses, and it seemed as though several of the villagers had wandered out of their homes via the windows.

Crow and Sparrow were searching the nearby woods, and started hearing a sound like a distant human voice. Soon they spotted the monster, a tall creature with long claws, and a skull like a deer’s on its head. It chased them through the trees, and jumped high enough to grab Sparrow and disappear into the valley.

The group tracked the monster into a cave, where it seemed to be trying to keep warm and was saving Sparrow for later. They attacked and killed the monster, but a strange, buzzing haze remained in the cave. The monster hunters realized that it was looking for a new body to inhabit. They realized that it could inhabit the corpse of anyone who had eaten human flesh.

Then they realized there were some in the village who had. The cloud moved towards it, and the hunters needed to behead them to keep the spirit from gaining access.

Then the Windego realized Johan met its requirements. He took the monster’s head back to Efuiel as quickly as he could, outriding the spirit. It appeared to be anchored to the cave, so they returned and attempted an exorcism.
Akharan Akenseth couldn’t successfully banish the spirit, but back in the town they found a Frostmoore Shaman who could accomplish the task.

Johan and Rex befriended the duke as they watched the rest of the tournament.

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Searching

Outside the cave where Talus had done his dark work, Crow and Akharan Akenseth met Rex and Kaius, who were on the sorcerer’s trail. Kaius’s village had been destroyed by a monster years ago, and Rex had looked after him, even though Rex was suspected of the crime. They had travelled into the The Frostmore Wilds, and begun to hunt monsters together. They had followed the trail to Talus’s cave.

Dramus Varex had taken Tarsa, Johan, Sparrow and the strange box of scarabs back to town. Tarsa was to be “treated”, while held under Dramus’s watchful eye. The scarabs were returned to Valron Hastix, likely to go to Palus Mareen.

Those still near Ma’al, to see whatelse they could find. Rex and Kaius went to speak with Valus. He trusted them more than a city guard, and told them of the hidden room in his family hut.

Inside, they found Talus’s Journals, which described a spell that sickened a victim. It seemed he had been testing it on his wife. They also found several letters in Jaul.

The returned to Agea, with Crow bringing Rex and Kaius to stay at Low Tide Temple, to wait until they could find a scribe to translate the letters the next day.

Harrius Aspen was given a single letter. It complemented Talus on his success so far, and that they needed to be able to move against Dramus’s Mother, Lizella Varex, the minister of war in Agea within 3 years. it was signed by The Letter R. The decided not to have the rest of the Talus and R correspondence translated.

Worried about the safety of Lizella, they arranged a meeting with her, and brought to her attention the letter they had translated. They asked who could be out to get her. LIzella’s first thought were some of the dukes on the border between The Remian Confederacy and Jaul. She was concerned about Roger duMont, Robert Arseaunt, or Roderick Rodspiere

Kaius thought investigating these dukes would be the first concern. Lizella offered to assist them.

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Floatsom

Valron Hastix, a merchant in Agea, needed some assistance, as a ship he owned had been wrecked east of the city. He recruited the assistance of Dramus Varex, a sergeant of the city guard, Johan, a Frostmore mercenary, Crow a blind student of Zidean, her young ward Sparrow, and Akharan Akenseth, a Sethian healer whom had goods on the sunken ship. He hired them to secure the cargo while he made arrangements to have it brought back to Agea

Heading out to the site of the wreck, they discovered that something had attacked the ship from below, scratching up the bottom of the hull, and leaving some large gashes through the ship’s underside. The corpses of several drowned sailors floated in the water. Some cargo had washed ashore, and suspicious tracks made it appear that at least one heavy piece of cargo had been dragged away.

In the nearest village, Takus, a farmer mentioned that early that morning, just after dawn, a stranger had come through town with a cart. He claimed he had been fishing, and offered to sell some halibut. He had suspicious little in his cart, and he continued northward, towards Ma’al.

Meanwhile in the ship, they learned that someone had gone through the Captain’s quarters to view the cargo manifest, and then specifically grabbed only a few items, leaving obviously valuable salvage behind. After sorting the cargo, they found that a box being shipped from Hassen Krasvin to Palus Mareen, was the only item missing.

That night, strange sounds were heard amongst the wreckage. Sparrow discovered there were strange fishmen, with wide mouths filled with needle like teeth, and long claws, spying from the water. They would only approach the shore if they outnumbered those in sight on the beach. They sang a strange song, and could perfectly mimic the child’s voice. Sleep was uneasy that night.

In the morning, Valron arrived with workers. When the team explained what they had covered, he offered them a larger fee to recover the stolen box. They agreed, and headed to Ma’al, to chase after the strange fisherman.

In the little town, they met a a baker, an older woman who mentioned that no strangers had come through, but Talus, a villager of Ma’al, had returned the previous day from the sea around noon. She pointed them to his home.

At the house, the door was open, so the team headed inside. A child waited inside. The boy of about eight was named Valus, and upon realizing Dramus was a City Guard, the child attacked with a kitchen knife. They subdued him, and learned he distrusted guardsmen, because his father claimed they would murder him for the projects he worked on in the woods.

They took the boy back to the baker, and learned that the child’s mother, Tarsa, had passed away, and they hadn’t been the same since. Concerned, the team went to the grave yard, and Akharan was able to determine that the grave had been dug up a week ago, and then refilled. They headed up to the cave in the woods the child mentioned his father did his projects in.

The cave was full of dark wonders. In the entrance was a man whose eyes had been surgically removed after he had been sedated. There was a box that, when opened, spewed spiders from the Sethian deserts, and seemed bottomless and unending. Amongst strange instruments and tomes, they were set upon a two headed snake, that when killed, spewed forth three scarabs.

In the very back of the cave, they came across the corpse of a woman. Her head had been shaved, and her belly had been stitched closed. Upon examining her, she sat up, opened her eyes and spoke. She claimed to be both cold and hungry. She asked where her husband had gone, as he had left to find a healer. Akharan claimed to be that healer, to calm the woman.

The box of scarabs was in the room.

Akharan examined the tomes in the previous room. One allowed him to close the spider portal. The other was a journal, kept in two seperate hands, of a series of experiments to bring the dead back to life.

It appeared that where a more experienced Sethian occultist had failed, this Remian peasant had succeeded. Akharan shared his concerns with Johan.

Together, the team decided to take the strange, cold woman, back to Agea with them, so that Akharan could treat her further.

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