On our way to Horizon West we get a letter from Mr. Ward. He agrees to meet us and be more open about his operations.
We get to Horizon West. It is a massive city with 3 tiers of walls separating the capital. It is very rich and filled with merchants and civilized folk. We walk into the city and have to wait 20 minutes in a line and get to the front desk. The gatekeeper asks for our passports to enter. We tell him that we are foreign diplomats, which is why we have no passports and we ask for Mr. Ward. After an hour of waiting Mr. Ward shows up and gains us entry into the city.
We walk to Mr. Ward’s messy house. There are books and scrolls strewn everywhere. Taking a seat, we demand answers. We complain about our inability to find the relics and how a demon stole the only two we had discovered. He apologizes for the mysterious lead he gave us but promises he has a new, more concrete idea of where the relic in Greenwood is.
When questioned about the demon Balaam, he tells us that he also received a note from Balaam informing him of the stolen relics. After some talk we discover that the demon that stole the relics was not Balaam but a servant of the demon. Mr. Ward explains that he made a deal with Balaam to regain his youth many years ago. He signed a contract and he has no idea what the contract said. We learn Balaam was the one who told Mr. Ward about the relics originally and Balaam is the inside source who has given Mr. Ward the clues to the relics’ location. This new information makes us apprehensive about Mr. Ward’s alliance and intentions. Aya asks Mr. Ward about his wish, and he explains he wants to revive a dead lover.
We decide to go after the relic lead in Greenwood. Mr. Ward explains that it is in Rusk and is related to the recent plague in the city. We have a plan not to touch the relic so it cannot be stolen from us. After we locate the relic, we will keep it safely hidden so Balaam cannot take it from us. We also have an idea to put it in Yume’s bag but we are unsure if that will work. We put a log into the bag to test the theory (once we pull the log out we will know if normal objects can survive the magical backpack). We also hear of another possible lead in The Edge. We discuss what to do and agree to follow the lead of a relic in Rusk. Mr. Ward will stay here and write to Balaam, inquiring what he wants with the relics.
Hiding in Plain Light
The next morning we trade in our gems and stop by an enchantress shop but do not purchase anything. We leave for Rusk in search for Mr. Ward’s friend, Gerrard. It will take us two days to travel there. We walk to Chum’s Corner the first day. We leave abruptly and arrive in Rusk. We ask for Gerrard at the front gate and he guides us into the city. Gerrard is the military captain for Rusk. The city smells foul but apparently all the sick have died and been buried.
Gerrard explains that Mr. Ward told him to be on the look out for magical objects. He says that the plague was brought on by some magical item. He however has little insight into the location of this alleged object. He explains the city guards have been investigating the matter but have not turned up anything. He points a finger toward the worshipers of the Lord of Light, accusing them of bringing the plague onto the city. He directs us to their leader, Alam.
We plan to go undercover and tell Alam we are people who want to be converted to the Lord of Light. He is preaching to the cityfolk. We approach Alam and engage him in conversation. He is inviting and charming. We ask to join in their dinner tonight and he welcomes us with open arms. Thankful, we agree to stop at the Lord of Loght meeting house at 6:00. As we exit, we observe the guard treat him aggressively, forcing him out of the town center.
At 6:00 we go to the meeting. It is in the Lord of Light district, a poorer area of the city. We sit down at a table. After brief sermon, we begin dinner. Aya speaks with a villager named Stephanie who is a young, attractive (18) woman who was recently converted (4 months ago). Alphonse also speaks to follower, a man. We learn that the guards are nasty to them but the average city folk pay them little mind and the members themselves do not aggressively interact with non-followers. We also learn that the plague has killed some of their members.
The followers spend their days doing normal jobs and some attempt to convert others in the city. They remain in the city in hopes of spreading the word of the Lord of Light.
We go to speak to Alam. He explains how he was converted by a leonin in Elkrun. He felt motivated to go tell other humans about the Lord of Light and teach them the ways. He does not personally speak with The Lord, he just teaches The Lord’s wishes as dictated by the religious texts. Jack knows a bit about the religious book of the Lord of the LIght. It is similar to other religious texts; it is not abnormally violent of vengeful nor is it peaceful and passive. We ask Alam if we can join him in his daily tasks to further investigate him. He agrees.
We stay until the end of the feast. One of the followers, Jonathan, offers to let us stay in his home for the night. We make our way to Jonathan’s house late at night. We get attacked by a group of 10 zombie-like creatures. Jack unleashes a channel energy that hits all 10, confirming that they are indeed undead creatures. We defeat them and upon inspection they appear to be human. We sense magic on the bodies. Alphonse and Agan take a body to a doctor. The doctor is scared that the body is infected with the plague and will not let us in. Aya and Yume find a guard and show him to the site where we fought the zombies. The guard brings Gerrard to the scene. Gerrard tells us that this has been happening for a little while. He asks us to not tell others of the problem. We offer him our services and he says to meet him tomorrow.
We return to Jonathan’s home. He is surprised by our skill and thankful we are spending the night. He lives alone in a modest cottage.
Trust No One
We awake the next morning. Jack goes to meet Gerrard and the rest of to meet Alam. We follow Alam to the a man’s house to feed him soup because he is sick. Then Alam goes to the city center and begins to preach. We send Alphonse to get Gerrard to order his guards to be rough with Alam today. That way we cant protect Alam showing out devotion to him and hopefully to instigate a conversation about the aggression between the guards and teh Lord of the Light’s followers. Agan and Yume go other locations of preaching while Aya remains with Alam. Soon, Jack joins Aya and she informs him of the plan to get guards to attack Alam.
When Alphonse speaks with Gerrard, the captain says that he is ordering the arrest of Alam today and thus refuses to order the assault we desire. We go back to the center to observe the arrest. Alam is cuffed and lead to the meeting house. We speak to Gerrard and he does not let us join in the investigation. Upon asking to speak with Alam, Gerrard agrees. Aya and Alphonse go to speak with priest. We find that Alam does suspect that an arch priest named Stomas may been behind this. Stomas is the leader of the rival church, the Church of the Forest Gods.
We travel to the meeting house to speak with the Light members. The guards have blocked off the area. We talk to some followers and let them know we spoke to Alam and that he told us tat everything will be OK and not to worry.
We head to the church of the Forest Gods to speak with Stomas. We attempt to subtly imply that he had a part in the arrest. He admits to helping but plays innocent to having a major influence. We go to Gerrard and ask him to search the Church of the Forest Gods. He says he will think about it. We return to Jonathan’s house to spend the night.
The next morning, we go to the barracks to meet with Gerrard. He informs us that Alam will be executed today. Cofused, we question what he found to implicate Alam. Gerrard tip-toes around the question and claims that they found hard evidence that Alam enacted the plague on the city. We become more impatient with Gerrard and demand answers. He is unwaering. We suspect he is hiding something from us. Yume tries to intimidate him, but upon drawing his sword, slips and falls. Gerrard sternly asks us to leave.
Suspecting Stomas, we go to the church of the Forest Gods. No one is there. We decie to wait until the mid-day and attend the execution. It is held in the town center and hundreds of citizens attend. Yume sneaks behind Stomas and holds him with the sword at his throat. We demand answers or his life is over. He denies knowledge. We tell to Gerrard to stop the execution and give us answers or people will die. Gerrard admits that they are killing Alam just because he is preaches a religion that is from a foreign land.
Yume slits Stomas’ throat. A fight breaks out. We kill the guards and take Alam and Gerrard hostage. After interrogating them we learn nothing. We tie them up and parade them through town, yelling at the townsfolk. We threaten that if no one comes forth with knowledge of the plague, we will begin to kill.
One man approaches us. He tells us that Stomas had something weird and magical. We make him take us to the church where the item is. We enter the room to find an office crowded with stuff. There are three doors. We go to the first room, it has gold that we take. The second room has an operating table with human corpses. The humans are cut open and organs are missing. Jars filled with organs and remains line the room. We search the room for notes about necromancy. Reading, we discover that it requires some kind of magic o reanimate the living, but does not detail anything specific.
We enter the third room to find 3 pedestals with collapsed creatures on them. They are extremely large, ghoul-ish monsters. There is also a goblet in the room. Approaching the creatures we find that they are dead. We have Gerrard carry the goblet out of the tunnel. We kill Alam and Gerrard on the basis that they have seen too much.
We tell the people in town that we were under the evil magic of Alam and he forced us to save him from execution. We say that Gerrard broke Alam’s spell. Alam killed Gerrard but then we avenged him and now both are dead. After apologizing profusely Yume throws poisonous mushrooms into the city water system to try and kill people who know our faces. We leave the town with the goblet. We take it to the a shrine it glows blue. We have found a relic.