Machines and Madness

Session 29

The bishop is as surprised as the party to learn of Soriel’s fate, explaining that the trap was supposed to visit “the Flame’s justice” on the vampire. He promises to perform a more powerful ritual to find the captured artificer, and the party is left to wait while the clerics of the temple prepare.
Quill, meanwhile, has a crisis of purpose. He sees the effect of Trilla’s emotional bond to Soriel, and realizes that he has never felt that kind of connection. While he ponders his place in the world, the party discusses where they should head next, given their new information, but they ultimately decide to continue on to the Principalities as they had planned. They are soon summoned to the ritual at the cathedral, which goes terribly wrong.
Somehow the spell is turned back on itself, and the bishop is consumed within a living Blasphemy spell and several undead shadows are unleashed on the initiates helping with the spell. The living spell is a terrible opponent, but it is ultimately destroyed by the party. The bishop is freed; but only two of the initiates survive the shadow attack. The weakened bishop explains that the ritual could only have been stopped by the power of a god, but he did get a clear image of “a black tower, stabbing out of frozen seas like a blade”. Trilla clings to the hope that the black rock of the tower might be the volcanic obsidian common to the northern islands of the Principalities, and that their travels might take the party closer to the captured Soriel.
The two initiates regain consciousness, but it is clear that both were driven mad by the ordeal –one of them is killed when he attacks his paladin guards, and the other has to be restrained when he starts carving a strange design into his own skin –the pattern resembles a dragonmark, but does not match any of the twelve marks.
The party rests a few more days and books passage on an airship to Regalport, the largest settlement of the Lhazaar Principalities, hoping to reunite with their duskblade ally.



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