Ashenport

The Story So Far...

Whispers abound in dark alleys of an errie cult that has befallen the seaport town of Ashenport. Tales of a dark otherworldly menace that has slowly beguiled the town for use in it’s own terrible schemes. Some speak of a nameless sea god who resides amongst the Ashenport’s coastline. It lulls an occasional victim into the sea, it order to satisfy it’s bloodthirst.

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Arrival

Despite the heavy storm, you all managed to arrive in Ashenport safely. Corrin arrived first and settled into the Smooth Sailing Inn and Tavern, gaining the particular favor of a young barmaid. The other patrons of Inn were mostly outsiders; including a retinue of the Goldleaf Trading Consortium led by a female swordmage by the name of Terza. Sengara and Isa arrived a few minutes later, immediately asking questions about a strange blackish substance that was rumored to be washing up on shore. They Innkeeper claimed no knowledge of such a thing, but Sengara’s natural insight proved his words to be false. Despite being an Inn all of you received keys to resident homes around the block. Isa and Sengara settled into a decent sized luxury home, while Corrin got stuck with a shoddy cabin-like abode. Everything seemed to normal until that following dawn….

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Call of Dagon

The following morning all of you head a strange melancholic sound emanating from the coast. While Isa and Sengara simply heard the sound, Corrin was mesmerized by it and was slowly compelled to traipse towards the shore. Soon everyone (who wasn’t hypnotized) noticed that about half of the outsiders in the town were all in a similar daze, heading towards their own watery fate. Terza was among the unaffected, and she called out for help. Receiving no such aid, she took actions into her own hands and started to lightly maim the people who had not made it to the water. She saved around a dozen people by cutting their legs and tying them to dock posts. Corrin was saved also by Terza, simply be being placed upside into a nearby barrel. Isa and Sengara offered no such aid, and instead idly sat back and watched the horrid display.

Later after the call had ceased the air was filled with screams of pain and agony. The affected had little to no knowledge of their previous actions, and were desperate for answers and healing. Terza explained to them what had occurred, and immediately suggested they head back into town to demand answers from the townsfolk…

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Answers!?

Heading back to town from the shore, you noticed that the arrival of dawn did not bring about the usual hustle and bustle of townsfolk. This was very strange, seeing as the town had a trade fair that it should be conducting. Terza led you all back to the Smooth Sailing Inn and Tavern to find a few townsfolk frightened and scared. She immediately grabbed the innkeeper, Pieota, and demanded he tell them what that sound was. Pieota quickly told them it was the Call of Dagon, and that it happens around this time every year. They fear its effect, so they hide within their homes and business till it ends. Terza easily sensed his lies and broke his arm and collar for more answers. Pieota mentioned his allegiance to the cult of Dagon before his arm was forcibly split from his body. His corpulent form burst like a balloon made of flesh and cloth, and formed into a tar-like acidic ooze covered in various eyes… The remnants of his head slipped off and hit the ground proclaiming “It’s always easier to just imitate the head…” Two townsfolk in the back also abandoned their facade and claimed that they should finish the outsiders quickly before gathering at the Church during an evening ritual…

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More Questions...

Pieota fled the Inn before he was defeated by the adventurers. He formed his ooze-like body into a sphere, and melted himself through the floor, taking the body of one of his fellow cultists with him. Terzacollapsed after the encounter. While she was passed out Isa stole three healing potions from her and gave them to Sengara. A few minutes later her men came to awake her. Weary from the fight she instructed three of them to watch the inn and took the rest with her to rest at her rented abode. Corrin investigated the second floor of the Inn, curious as to why the rooms were seemingly occupied from the previous day. Amongst the rooms he found a few oddities, such as forgotten chests, piles of clothes and boots, a small bivoted black box, a skeleton melted into the walls, a young girl called Esme who claimed her mother was being held in the attic, an armory, a ladder into a locked attic, a door that opened into a brick wall, and a cabinet with a hidden diary detailing some maddening procreation ritual with a creature of the Deep as the mother of Esme.

The girl Esme proclaimed she heard a commotion downstairs, and wanted her crayons to draw. Corrin kept her in her room and retrieved her crayons, noticing that one of her drawings showed her mother as a large reptilian beast. His curiosity immediately turned his attention towards the attic. He picked the smaller locks, but used his acidic sorcerer powers the melt the larger ones. Upon entering the attic her noticed a large iron door with a guard slit closed. Corrin opened the slit, and noticed a shape moving in the darkness. He said hello, and upon doing so something large and fish-like burst from the room, knocked him against a wall and jumped downstairs. Screams from a little girl were heard, and Corrin later found the body of Esme, her innards torn, her eyes full of tears and blood. In her hand was a simple drawing which Corrin pocketed…

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The Church

After a rest, Terza collected all of you and told it was all in your best interests to head to the Church and get to the bottom of what is happening here in Ashenport.

The rain continued its barrage as you all ascended the hill in the northwestern part to town on which the Church loomed over, like a decrepit and corrupted guardian.

Upon entering the church you noticed not a single soul was in sight, yet a few candles had been freshly lit. After a short inspection some of you noticed a strange draft coming form beneath the dais of the altar. It ended up being a rotating door triggered by moving of the pews as a trigger. Man made steps were hewn through the earth itself and led lower into the abyss.

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A Maw of Torque

The steps spiraled down into a larger rectangular room with doors

Some of the rooms seemed to be the sleeping and storage quarters for the Cult of Dagon.

Sengara noticed a movable way in one of the closets. Behind it was the shackled corpse of a water soaked human. His decay had revealed he had been dead for about a week, and his bloated body seemed anxious to burst. Sengara hit the body with a bolt of magic, hoping to find an object of value in his bowls. But to no avail.

You entered two large double doors and fought with cultists who seemed to be in a procession or gathering of some sort. They seemed to be dragging a tortured women at the head of their procession. They proclaimed to their neophyte companions that the “Maw must be fed!” before hurling themselves into the tear in space. Bizarre creatures emerged as a result, shards of chaotic elemental fire and a alien octopoid.

After the encounter Terza retrieved the body of the tortured, who proclaimed her name was Ramona and that she was thankful to be rescued. She quickly passed out, but not before revealing that she would give the party some minor details of the underground. Terza quickly encouraged everyone to head back to their lodgings for a rest and then immediately continue exploring the rest of the cult’s lair. Terza hoisted Ramona onto her shoulder and took her back to her house to interrogate her.

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Deeper into the Darkness.

Sengara offered her “aid” to Terza for interrogation of Ramona. Ramona was given food and clothing before Terza began questioning her of how she came to be underneath the Church. Ramona explained that she was abducted from in public, with dozens of onlookers standing idly by as she was dragged screaming into the subterranean areas of the Church. She vaguely remembers being tied to some sort of stone altar and repeatedly branded with large iron brands all over her body. Sengara provided a parchment and quill to have Ramona reveal the details of the room she had mentioned. Ramona haphazardly drew an large room with a raised section and an altar. She also drew a large open bit with a sloped circumference to allow blood to easily drain into it. Ramona then quickly asked to rest since she hadn’t been able to sleep for days. Terza kept her under guard and then collected the rest of the adventurers to head back into the Church.

You all continued through the dungeon, and quickly found your way to the room described by Ramona. Large octopoid statues similar to the creature you fought earlier. The stone was a dark obsidian color which seemed to drain any point of light that landed upon it. Sengara asked Isa to tear off a finger off one of the statues but she was unsuccessful. Terza tried but missed horribly, later she successfully broke open another statue. The inside of the statue seemed to bleed water, suggesting that the stone itself was quarried from some water soaked location.

You all noticed that the only exit in the room seemed to be the massive pit. Seeing no other option you all started to head back to the main room and explore more of the area. Unfortunately someone else had other plans for you. A robed figure immediately stopped you in your tracks and cast a barrier spell to prevent you from leaving the room. The figure spoke very little, only mentioning your foolish actions as of late. Slowly lifting his hands the figure uprooted the very stone beneath you, easily casting some of you into the open pit, while others valiantly tried to hang on to whatever lay around them. Eventually the momentum of the stranger’s power was too great and you all found yourselves tumbling into darkness.

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Corpse Pit

The descent into blackness was a brief interlude to a much worse fate. You quickly reasserted yourselves and noticed you had all been dropped into a massive cavern for fetid and rotting bodies. The noxious fumes choked every breath, and caused your eyes to well up in tears. A few piles of bodies clumped together in certain places, while a shallow pool of stagnant blood occupied one corner. In the inky blackness you heard the wet sodden sound of footsteps on damp earth. Terza’s sunrod illuminated your surroundings, revealing groups of shambling zombies. Some appeared to be waterlogged cultists, while a few others were bloated masses of fuming flesh and bone. Others would stay to the sidelines, shambling nexuses of dark energy and tattered flesh. A large guardian, haphazardly composed of many other rotting parts shifted towards the far end of the cavern.

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Corpse Locks and Strange Crystals

After defeating the perilous amounts of undead your party pressed on, knowing that staying in the pit wouldn’t be the greatest idea.

You traveled through the passage way and farther into the rock. You gradually felt your path ascend high until you came to a set of stairs beneath a large iron door. The door was a massive iron wrought monster, so big and daunting that it almost dared you to topple it in a single blow.

Isa successfully discovered how to unlock the door from this side and managed to allow one side of the door to swing open. You immediately encountered a group of cultists hovering around the body of an unconscious naked man. You also noticed that the light emanating from your sunrod was being dimmed by some unknown force, which was later revealed to be a dark mantle. The room itself was a cavernous opening in the stony earth, with three ominous doors placed at the far end.

During the skirmish, Isa hit the man with her cloud of steel. The man sprung to life and fled into a corner to escape being wounded again. Sengara also managed to capture one of the cultists and interrogate him for information. You learned that the three doors lead to long conquered foes of Dagon, whom he imprisoned here in an effort to contain them and to sap their energy to strengthen his own power in this realm.

After the encounter you noticed that man was adorned with four glyph like tattoos on his body, that corresponded to four gel filled chambers that were positioned symmetrical throughout the room. The glyphs depicted pointed to the man’s head, eyes, heart, and stomach. Those versed in the arcane immediately recognized that the whole room was a corpse lock. With little hesitation, Sengara ordered Isa to kill the man, and subsequently proceeded to harvest his organs for the ritual.

A surprising twist was witnessed when the slab upon which the man was utilized on produced three colored crystals. Each crystal seemed to have a personality of its own. Corrin picked up the green one, which ebbed with a maniacal madness. Terza preferred the red one, whose weight suggested sheer brutish force. Sengara settled with the blue one, a cool and collected stone which felt like vast universal knowledge condensed into corporeal form. It was no real test to see that the crystals themselves harbored some sort of mystical energy, since you immediately felt rejuvenated upon grasping anyone of them.

With her crimson crystal, Terza headed toward the door furthest to the right. It seemed to sense her presence and opened with little effort. Behind the door sat a sickly green barrier, where a single burning rune sat in its center.

Terza held her crimson crystal to it, and the barrier seemingly dissipated like a dense fog. She mentioned to the rest of you to follow her further down the path.

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