Oscuria

Session 11: The Search for Symathus

and the fetishes of Vitus.

The hamlet of Aubade. Once known for its singing choirs, it is now rumored to be infested with vampires. Great. That’s our destination.

Right now we’re in the city of Bleakburn, where just about anything is available. We go to do some shopping and admire a longsword “of eternal flame” that’s priced at 3,000gp but we settle on 3 vials of holy water that we get for free. (Bobby says they can anoint a weapon for the duration of a combat).
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Arriving in Aubade from the Northwest, we see a collection of buildings that are all boarded up, somewhat neglected. We see a lone soul crossing from one building to another, completely covered in fabric. When they see us, they scurry into one of the buildings and disappear from sight. We’re not quite sure how to proceed.

Seidina lowers her fingertips to the ground and feels for magical currents, looking to see if that might give us an idea. She is surprised to find a light magical aura that permeates the entire town.

There is a road heading a beach South of town; the North end of the road ends in a Temple of the Sun. We pass a shop with a sign that reads: The Lamplighter. It’s locked up at the moment, but the sign indicates they sell oil lamps and scented oils for burning. There is a scent of fragrant oil from within the shop. But it’s closed.

We wander and come back to the house where we’d seen someone go inside. Rayney knocks on the door and we hear muffled footsteps inside. A feeble voice calls out: “Go away, you’re not welcome here.”

Rayney asks if they’d like to hear about his god Ashtus, and she tells us to go away again. They say that their god has forsaken them and then stops responding.

We see another figure approaching, carrying a simple brown parasol and covered head to toe in thick clothing, including a hood. A slight magical aura is detected emanating from them. We see they have very pale skin. They identify themselves as head of the town council, and 40 winters old. He says that a curse descended on their town two years ago, but for now we must leave. He says we may return at nightfall but right now we must go as we are disturbing the peace.

We venture to the Temple of the Sun. It’s locked up tight, but at one time was a glorious cathedral. It looks a bit out of place in these surroundings – it seems the whole town could fit inside. Behind the church is a hall building that’s also quite large. It strikes us as particularly odd. Rayney recalls that at one time this place was renowned for their childrens’ choir and drew visitors from far away.

We visit the beach; there is a small sailing boat that shows signs of fair use, and it smells of fish. Not much else there. We venture back into town to explore. We find a shop called “Everything Under the Sun” and an Inn called “The Warm Welcome”. The Innkeeper, a pale half-elven woman (Alyiah), lets us in.

She explains that they don’t have much to offer; business has been slow lately. We pry. “Most of the people in the village followed Darlen, the sun-god.” She resists further inquiry, stating that it’s not her place to tell us these things. Sharkbite plies her with Diplomacy, speaking up for the first time and clearly interested in trying some of the stew she had mentioned earlier. She starts the pot cooking and brings us her very best wine as a bonus. “It’s normally for special occasions, but I guess this is the most special occasion we’ve had in a long time.” After dinner, she says we might try talking to Srave, the priest, or Dancelyn, the
Head of the Town Council that we’d met earlier. It’s getting dark. She charges us 3cp each, a pittance for the dinner served. We tip her a silver. (spent: 22cp) She offers to put us up for the night for 1gp each, and we’d all get private rooms.

We decide to spend the last few rays of sun waiting in the inn; as darkness falls she says she always likes to go watch the lamp-lighting. We venture out and see figures moving about lighting the many street-lamps that are throughout the town.

Speaking to the priest, we discover that he’d burned a witch (Murja) at the stake and suspects that the sun god is displeased because her familiar, a fox, still skulks around. The curse seemed to come as a disease, strangling children and making it hard to breathe for those that do survive. We ask about the magical aura around town and if they could leave the town; he says they burst into flames as soon as they leave the boundaries. The worst of the curse – the light sensitivity – hit after burning the witch. He’s absolutely sure that the witch was the cause, because…she was a witch! Sunlight causes the villagers to burst into flames as well. The witch’s lair was to the West of town; her familiar has been seen throughout the town.

We head West, to the outskirts of town, searching for signs of the witch. A gigantic fox leaps onto the road in front of us, clearly surprised to see us.

Seidina attempts to use her animal empathy skills but can’t connect. Sharkbite simply talks to it like this is totally normal, being friendly. It leads us to the ruins of a hut. From inside, we hear a terrible wailing. We scatter like frightened rabbits.

A ghost appears, telling us that she is bound to this place by her anger; she placed the curse on the town, and offers to remove it if her hut is rebuilt and the church is burned to the ground. We ask her if there is any other way; she says the curse will remain until she is able to rest. We head back to town.

Dontillyon (aka Dancelyn, aka “Dan”) seems to have been expecting us, though it seems that he is under the impression that we are just returning to town and had not actually spent the whole day here. He tells us the history of the lamps in town, etc. We offer to solve their situation and lift the curse… he says he’d be willing to pay any price. He seems to have known the witch and believes what we say as true as it sounds like something she would have said.

We discuss a plan. We’ll rebuild her house first, so that the town will be less likely to be upset when we torch the church. We need a way to get the priest out of the church, as he sleeps in there.

Rebuilding the hut will cost us 5 gold and 5 silver. We pile into one room in the inn to save money. The ghost appears every night as we’re leaving to bitch at us for minor details. Tearing down the ruins, we find a cache of spell components that are intact. Sharky takes ‘em. He also gathers up a small amount of ordinary sand, and on the last night when she appears he tells her that this is magic sand that will bestow peace upon whomever resides in the abode. He sprinkles it at the door as if it were of great power. (During the day, he’d said “She’s dead, she won’t know!”).

We head back to town to handle the rest of the deal. The party finds Srave and convinces him to go to the bar with them, where they start buying him drinks.

Sharktooth sneaks out the back and goes to the oil shop; buys 4 pints of oil, 2sp each.

He then smashes in the back door of the church, takes the holy book from the altar, and then torches the place. He sneaks back to the bar.

At the bar, Sharky rejoins the party without notice. Soon after, someone comes in shouting that the church is on fire. Everyone rushes outside to see, but it is too late to save it – the whole building is engulfed in flames. Srave collapses, weeping.

Srave says he doesn’t know what he’ll do now; he doesn’t care if he lives or dies now. Sharkbite comes up with a plan, but really has to convince the priest to believe him. He says that as a sailor, he had been told by the salt-priests that in times of great change, the sun god may bestow a blessing on the first to see the rising sun. A despondent Srave says that he might as well go.

Sharkbite walks the priest to the edge of the water, which faces East. Srave starts crying so hard that he can’t really see, and Sharkbite slowly pulls the holy book of Darlen from his cloak and sets it on the sand beside Srave, then quietly backs away. The first rays of the morning sun touch Srave’s face, and it is the start of a new day in Aubade.

(Fin: +1200 exp each.) (8541/9000 Sharkbite)

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