Part of the town of Red Larch shattered, Pliskin walked in and headed to the Swinging Sword tavern as if nothing was amiss – for him, anyway. Lucian hefted horse troughs of water and help put out various blazes across the affected part of town, which looked like a bomb had gone off through it.
Lucian investigated, despite Pliskin’s disinterest. The taverns proprietor Kaylessa let him in on what had transpired : Turns out earth cultists had arrayed themselves outside the town around some sort of glowing casket and insisted the town turn out the heretics who had invaded and slain the mud sorcerer. These cultists had probably headed out during one of the times the party had been sleeping in Master Quarbo’s chamber – the vengeful cultists traveling by mere yards from the party who had contributed to the mud sorcerers death, as well as his actual murderer! Possibly some sort of disdain the lower fortress cultists had for the upper cult fortress (being based on earth, after all), it likely forstalled a communication between the two that otherwise might have seen the party murdered in their beds (well, Quarbo’s beds, strictly speaking)!!
But something had gone wrong with the glowing casket, the cultists had fled and then there had been a mighty explosion outside of town, the blast radius reaching into Red Larch. And it was at that point that the party had arrived, after a brief but shocking encounter with willo wisps.
The party were thanked by and said good bye to the former captives they had freed and escorted to Red Larch. The dwarf amongst the captives tried to mention something about being part of a missing delegation and was thoroughly ignored by the party, who rested the night with Lucian insisting he was going to sleep on the floor of Pliskin’s room – seems like a token romantic sub plot, guys! But having rested and recovered their resources, much of the party investigated the crater outside of town, taking glowing fragments they found as samples. But there was no particular lead here – this was simply an event that had occurred, though the source (the earth cultists) was clear.
So now they headed toward the water cultists! Something completely different! The water cultists location shown in the tome Pliskin recovered when he regained half of his family heirloom – the silver runed disk. The text said the water cultists had split it in twain in their theft attempt of it and had taken it away! Some of them flying away, strangely enough.
The party resupplied and made their way out, heading west toward the Dessarin river, where they would turn north, following it up to the water cultists keep. But along the way they spied from a distance a caravan being held up by the stoney armoured cultists – the same sort of banditry that saw the paladin Rikarian slain some months back (fortunately his god saw to it that the resurrection ritual succeeded and had returned Rikarian to life). Indeed, one of the caravaners seemed to be being forced into stone armour himself by the other guards!
Though they could have tip toed around, the barbarian in the party, as barbarians are wont to do, pushed to charge. Battle was joined and the party showed much prejudice to the cultist priest and guards – the former warlock of the party, having be repudiated by his patron and made a lowly bard now, argued to the earth armoured caravaner to not join the other earth cultists, in between saying mean things to the other cultists. The warlock-now-bard’s words swayed the former caravaner, who did not know who to join. Until the last earth guard tried to surrender, at which the former caravaner, turned by the bards words, went to slay the cultist – at which the bard cried out no to him, staying his hand again.
Turns out the cult had been trying to force the caravaner to join them for some time. Lucian wanted to kill the captive expediently, but the former caravaner said no, he would take responsibility of the earth cultist and turn him away from his dark path. The party agreed. If Lucians palm was greased a little, first.
Onward they went, to find other cultists called burrow sharks hunting for new Bullette mounts. Again they could have skirted around the cultists, but chose to engage. During which Lucian was stabbed to unconscious to the ground with their earthen spears. But battle was won and the barbarian stabalised! Why wont he die?
Then after further travel and another bad night of sleep the party had made it to the Dessarin river! They turned north, following the river that entered into tight ravines, keeping them close to the water.
Until Pliskin heard the water speaking in a form of elemental. Saying the monk told it to be here – the monk that talked inside of it. Tormented it!