On this day I traveled from my tribal lands to Edgeville, a small town on the border of the Cold Forest. A few hours after my arrival, I soon met an elf named Gale (disguised as a human), and an Illithid by the name of Ku. The town was soon beset by a group of bandits whom we, including these strangers I had just met, stopped from raiding the village as well as a visiting merchant caravan. We were able to convince one of the bandits, a human by the name of Barry, to side with us in order to fight off the rest of the thieves.
Additionally, a small group of elves from the Cold Forest, claiming to be looking for someone, visited the town. They were immediately viewed as hostile, being elves in a human village and were driven away. Gale later confided to us that he was indeed the elf they were looking for, having escaped from slavery after killing a couple of the guards.
After being contracted for escorting the merchant caravan, we agreed to set out at first light.
Our party, consisting of Gale, Ku, Barry, Rognvald the merchant, and a few other guards left Edgeville for the larger town of Lakeside.
Along the way we passed through the tiny village of Erthorpe, as well as some ruins which we explored. The ruins were filled with hostile fey creatures, strange reddish imps which we were able to kill.
We also met a human elder, whom was making a final journey to an Illithid temple, known as a Void Temple. We escorted the elder to the temple, whereupon I learned what the Void Temples really are- storehouses of knowledge, or a ‘library’ in the common tongue. To explain briefly, there is a traditional practice in which willing elders of the nearby human tribes travel on foot to this temple, their final resting place. The Illithid then record their life’s story onto stone tablets. One copy of their legend stays in the temple, archived for all time and the second is returned to the humans. Upon the completion of this ritual and the passing of the elder, the body becomes a vessel for future Illithid, completing the circle of life and death. In this way, the Illithid can continue to preserve and share knowledge and sage wisdom with the surrounding tribes.
A few days before we reached Lakeside, we saw something strange. From out of the north came a great white dragon. The great creature looked wounded and was losing altitude, seeming to crash somewhere ahead of our path. Rushing to meet it, we found the wounded dragon, which quickly began to melt, flesh turning to liquid under the heat of the sun. Soon, all that was left of the dragon was a pool of water and we were unable to assess its injuries nor the cause of death. Confused and slightly worried, our party continued to Lakeside, leaving the remains behind us.
We arrived at Lakeside, a large human settlement at the edge of a lake. Our arrival gathered some attention though I’m not entirely sure why as we were just escorting a merchant caravan, and soon we were asked to find a lost boy who had run into the abandoned Walton Manor. Entering the manor, we realized why no one else had gone searching for him- the spirits of the dead still roamed the halls, seemingly attached to an old life, and mostly oblivious to our presence, save for a few. Those that we talked to told us what they could remember of their past lives and how they had died in a storm while most of the Walton family, along with many of their servants, was out on the lake for a celebration. The spirits also said that the wife of Gerald Walton, head of the manor, had not been on the boat that day because she was ill. The wife was named Laura Walton (maiden name Tanner) and she was stricken with grief after the boating incident. She kept running the manor, though refused to hire any new servants, saying she had plenty. The spirits that were aware of us went on to say that the wife’s brother, Jeremy Tanner, a dabbler of magic, had tried to help his grieving sister by using magic to bring the dead back to life. His attempted ritual only ended up trapping the spirits of the dead in the manor.
While we were there, a man came to the manor. He was startled to see us there. He told us that he was Jeremy Tanner and that this whole mess was his fault. He went on to tell us that he had recently been trying to get the Walton family bodies out of the lake, hoping to perform last rites and put the trapped spirits to rest at last. Jeremy said that he had attempted a simple levitation spell to get them out but that it had gone horribly wrong and the bodies were now animated, coming out of the lake and heading into town. He asked us if we could come help him fend them off. We agreed, he grabbed a few things from the house, and we rushed to the lakeside to find undead corpses surfacing from the lake to attack the town. Battle ensued, but there were far too many of the living dead, and we were forced back to the temple, a place we could rest. Jeremy tripped near the temple as we retreated and we had to turn back and drag him in, barely ahead of the horde. The undead stopped at the edge of the temple grounds, but suddenly a great evil presented itself, a shadow possessing and influencing its human victim, Jeremy Tanner, to do its bidding. The evil thing within Jeremy boasted that it had used its human host over the years, corrupting Jeremy’s magic, and that it had fooled us into pulling Jeremy within the temple grounds. It said that it would now destroy us and the temple, the town’s last defense, then burn Lakeside to the ground. We then attacked, fighting for our lives. The evil in Jeremy seemed to grant him frightening regeneration powers. Eventually, after we had partially subdued it, Gale was able to exorcise the creature, its threat to the town finally over.
Jeremy Tanner, shaken but unharmed, was later tried and sentenced to death for using the most forbidden magic in Daern, necromancy. Possessed as he was, we were convinced that he was not responsible for his crimes, and so we argued that the court allow consignment to the Deepguard.
The court agreed to this. Jeremy Tanner also helped perform last rites over the bodies and the spirits passed on to the final resting place in the spirit realm.