These lands are glorious and truly wild. Our time wandering these trackless wastes has been healing for me after the last six months of misstep after misstep. Each day my zest for our cause increases and each challenge met and overcome restores a little more of my old confidence.
Gargoyles, Mad plant things and monsters from beyond summoned to assassinate my lord count. Each met and destroyed in turn with only minor scrapes and scratches. Unfortunaely it has not been all victory parades and hero’s banquets. Anton Chomkov was sent against us. Turned into some sort of undead abomination as a mockery of our old friend. For once I stayed my hand and if Lady Zeleny had not realized what had been wrought on him I might have reached out to aid or restrain him physically. Once alerted to what he had become my fires burned bright and Lady Vaszilla’s blades wrought the ruin they seem to have in endless supply and he was laid low a second time . Returning his arms and armor to his family will be a sad task that is the least we can do for a lost comrade. I hope we will be in time to spare a similar fate for his brother the good baron.
My regret at the final fate of the younger Chomkov is tempered by my excitement at what we have found here. It looks like the ruins of an old Cyclopean outpost. Everything built to their enormous proportions. Old runes inlaid as tiles at their eye level telling arcane secrets that are long forgotten thanks to whatever horrors the Kyuric empire unleashed on them when the two peoples clashed. My suspicion that our Kyuric antecedents were less than merciful gains weight with what I see here and what little I know of the degenerate state of the Cyclopean tribes. Adding this to the cult of Zon-Kuthon and what we found in the ruins of Xak-zaroth I wonder if the capricious Green haired Fey that seems to have deviled this area for so long isn’t the real enemy. Even Neru-gal should have been banished back to the plane of primal fire and not imprisoned for eternity. Perhaps a more cautious return to Nal Vashkin is in order.
Caution is our bye word these days. The count has till not returned from his mission back to Karlsberg so we proceed very cautiously indeed. Luck is with us though and we found a hidden stair concealed by the murky waters that Anton Chomkov was camped by when he met his fate. I am not sure if he was ambushed there or if he had discovered the same path and was sent back to guard the entranceway. With Erastil’s blessing Lady Zeleny lowered the waters and we moved quickly through the damp passageway, leading us to yet another roadblock. More of the undead Cyclops and a death trap that we survived only through my dabbling in translocation. We moved back out of the ruins and reunited with Count Von Allegmund and then stormed through the next part of the ruins. Each step revealing new horrors as the cyclopean ruins transitioned into a temple to one of the horsemen of the Abyss. Charon’s foul taint was everywhere and we all felt his wrath at having his place of worship tampered with. A Piscodaemon was actually summoned by our mere presence in one part of the temple and we were sorely tested by the beast’s mix of magic and might. The true horror of his ilk sank deep into my heart as I realized the futility of sending a minor brother against them. For all the raw power at my disposal all but the simplest of spells I cast washed off the thing like spring rain. Thankfully, we took the day and drove it back to the infernal depths. The next leg of the journey took a morbid cast as we came upon a macabre tableaux. Fifty odd citizens of Varnberg including the good Baron sat posed at a banquet table seemingly posed after death by the undead cyclops that roam these halls. What worries me is that the zombies we have faced so far do not have the wit to do this without outside direction. I wonder at what we really face here? A human necromancer driven mad by the power he/she has tapped into? Or perhaps this Vordecai come back truly to rebuild his lost empire? We are resting right now and I am hoping by jotting all this down I will have better luck seeing through the tangled skein before us. We will need to recognize our next step quickly at each turn. Indecision or the wrong decision may be fatal. Hopefully the others will see clearly what currently is cloaked in mist and shadow for me. At the very least I will be able to get most of us clear if things go horribly awry. Who to leave behind? I hope to not have to make that choice or at least that the choice will be clear.
Heirs of the Stolen Lands
Kaspar's Journal (session 27-30)