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019: To the Citadel

The party rested overnight in Languard.
019: To the Citadel

The party rested overnight in Languard.

The next day, the 15th of Anoriul, the heroes arose early and made their preparations for an extended stay in Gloamhold's depths. Provisions–principally several barrels of ale–were purchased along with weeks' worth of provisions. Artur arrived clutching a massive side a beef after learning from friends at his church that strange flying creatures warded the Dripping Span, and that they only let those paying a toll sail passed.

With their preparations complete, the party set sail on Laina's heavily laden fishing boat. Luckily, the weather was good and the winds were with them. Three hours or so later, the heroes passed once more into Gloamhold's benighted depths. If their plans unfolded as they desired they would not gaze upon the sun again for two weeks.

They sailed deeper into Gloamhold than ever before. They passed the four huge statues watching over the Murkwater's outer reaches and pushed toward the Wailing Citadel. Grand Silvertongue sent his dancing lights about each statue in turn. Excitement ensued when Horsa spotted a glimmering black stone surmounting a carven wand on one statue. Colzo wanted to immediately recover the stone–it was clearly valuable–but his friends were fixated on reaching the Citadel, and thus it was left undisturbed.

Thus it was that eventually the heroes reached the slimy, stone wharf in front of the citadel. Three more huge statues stood opposite the wharf, and after giving them a cursory once-over the heroes climbed ashore.

A wide archway led into the citadel, and curiously misshapen carved bollards stood upon the wharf. Artur thought the bollards had a demonic look about that, but they seemed inanimate and to not pose any threat.

As Luther snuck into the citadel to get a look at what lay inside, Grand Silvertongue sent his dancing lights further down the Murkwater's eastern course. He noted a curious amount of floating seaweed–that seemed to get denser the further away from the citadel he sent his lights–and a patch of oily water bobbing near the wharf.

No sooner had he spotted the oily patch of water than a crushing pain lanced through his brain. He staggered back, and Artur–fearing the bard might fall into the water–dragged him back. As the party wondered at this new occurrence, Horsa too suffered a crushing headache. Clearly, something lurked in the surrounds, and the party leapt into action.

Swiftly, the party honed in on the patch of oily water as the culprit of these strange headaches. Horsa summoned several large blocks of ice to block its movement–curiously it seemed to be moving against the tide–while Hell'en smote it with her radiant power. It fell to Artur to slay the thing with a single strike of his axe. Sadly, though, the thing had acid for "blood" and his axe was damaged. For the paladin, it was not an auspicious start to proceedings.

As the battle ended, Luther emerged from the citadel clutching a dusty cloth wrapped around something. It transpired he had found a secret niche with this wrap hidden within in a nearby room. Inside the crumbling cloth the ranger discovered a strange yellowed bone whistle. It had a curious seaweed design about it and Grand Silvertongue proclaimed it very strange. It seemed to him that blowing the whistle would make no sound. Several of the party pondered whether it was instead designed to work underwater.

With the immediate dangers seemingly defeated, the heroes unloaded Wave Dancer and transferred their supplies–and two emergency rowboats–into the room Luther had already cleared. With a temporary store established, and the afternoon wearing on, the heroes prepared to explore more of the citadel...