The Dark Isle

Chapter Two: A Night of Death

After the battle, they find themselves in possession of two prisoners. One, a male, seems terrified. The other, a female, calm in the face of certain death. Michael begins an interrogation, the outcome of which will yield no information, but will deepen the cracks already beginning to appear in his leadership of the party.

One of the dwarves of Deepholm arrives in pursuit of the party. Not all of his kinsmen, it seems, are so obsessed with metal and precious gems. He wants to help them rid the countryside of these bandits, and test his strength against the living, rather than the cold dead rock of the mine. For reasons known only to himself, he amputates the foot of the male prisoner. His screams begin to echo through the valley, until the Warlock causes them to cease. The man dies. Michael turns on the woman. He stabs her. He bludgeons her hands to a bloody pulp, and yet she refuses to issue even a whimper. She reveals nothing, other than the fact that Michael has little control over his party.

Moradin returns to find Tana, the Druid, seemingly about to set fire to the prisoner. She attacks her and stops her. A Cleric of Heironeous, she challenges the actions of Michael and Tana and heals the prisoner back to some semblance of health. The cracks deepen. Seemingly weary of the in-fighting, Kaboose simply kills the prisoner. The party drag the bodies of the bandits to the side of the road. Tensions high, they move on into the mountains.

The Temple
Tana scouts ahead in wolf form, eventually picking up the scent of death on the air. Arriving at the temple, they find it dark. The clerics are dead. Most have been killed cleanly. Among the bodies, they find one of the attackers – a pale man, carrying a sword of dark metal.

In one room, they find a man laying dead beside a chest, over which he has thrown – perhaps as the last action he ever took in life – a flask of Universal Solvent, which has sealed the chest shut. After attempting to break into it, and discovering that it is made from the same dark metal as the man’s sword, Kaboose gives up on trying to breach the chest and instead cuts it from the wall to which it is chained. He slings it over his back. They can attempt to open it later.

Deeper into the temple, the party uncover two hidden doors. The first leads to a small room containing a permanent Circle of Teleportation, the other contains something much darker. Within they find three Clerics, two dead, one near to it. Evidently, they had been keeping some ritual going, waiting to be relieved by the others in the temple. The others never came, and whoever attacked the temple did not find this secret place. The Cleric goes unconscious and the flame of the candle around which they had been chanting goes out. The candle is set in the center of an eye, itself set in the center of a large pentagram. The Arcanists exchange looks, but say nothing.

The others bring the Cleric outside in an effort to resuscitate him. Meanwhile Michael argues with the Arcanists in the ritual chamber. He wants to remain present while they investigate. They want him to leave. In the end, they agree to keep each others secrets. Nothing will be reported back to the Watch about Michael’s interrogation, and nothing will be said to anyone about the contents of the room. When Michael leaves, the Arcanists destroy any traces of the pentagram.

Meanwhile, outside, the Cleric is restored to health. He seems desperate to return to the temple, but before he can, a crossbow bolt flashes from the treeline and buries itself in the side of his head. He falls down, dead. Michael runs to the treeline, but sees nothing. Tana turns into a wolf and picks up a vague scent, but after a short pursuit, the trail goes dead. They return to the temple.

The bodies of the dead are burned. No evidence presents itself of the missing Watchman. With all the secrets and lies, and their leader coming unhinged, the party threatens to fall apart. But they return to the town. There, they are able to open the chest. The Arcanists take possession of the contents. The party breaks up to find rest for the night, and, hopefully, the strength to continue with one another.

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