In the morning we found the cadaverman had turned to liquid goo. It was repulsive, vile and vomit inducing. It attracted the constabulary. Cleaning it up left us ill, depressed and at a loss as to what to do. With an inspired idea we hired a tracker and went to the site where Darius had encountered the thing and its keepers to try to track backwards to their hideout. It worked too, only the trail did not lead us out into the wilds. It lead us right back to the outskirts of Hullifer and to an old, long empty estate. Surrounded by a wall, but showing not much of any activity we decided to return after dark to investigate. Our efforts at stealth were apparently unnecessary for the yard and ground level were void of anyone. The house was used, but not lived in. Furniture piled in one room on the ground floor and the rest left to the mold and dust. Upstairs however we found equiptment and monstrosities that made me wish I had chosen to stay at home in my cosy little room at the guildhall. Giant balls of lightening that drained (as we watched) a body hooked up to it with tubes and wires. In panels in the wall were more hearts (for lack of a better word) some with power nodes that looked to be attached to the ball of lightening. It was unnerving to listen and watch as the static charges could be felt coursing along your skin… in the eerie darkness it was easy to let your imagination take hold, easy to jump at shadows. We found where the two dark elves must have been sleeping, and then, we found access into the basement. Only Icharus went down, however, as the hole was small and would have been tight for some of us. I was happy to let him forge ahead and explore, especially after he described the horror being created down below. A man’s body was on a slab with an arm removed and things being grown onto it. There were also men and women chained to the walls. While we were removing those still alive, Icharus found a wall safe with several things inside… one of which was the light metal ring we had been sent to retrieve… I must say that I am certain there was more than what he told us of, but I am not going to complain. At this point I am well quit of the whole thing and am so very eager to be gone from this city that had once been my home. But I get ahead of myself. What we found sickened us all and angered most of us, especially Icharus. I don’t know exactly what is going on his red head, but he was beside himself, feeling out maneuvered or simply flummoxed at the apparent loss of a weapon he had set his eye on he wrote a hasty note telling the dark elves that we would meet them at the crossroads for an “exchange”.
In the morning we went to The Church to return the ring. I don’t know if we really thought we would get what had been promised, but I know at least some of us (alright… me) thought that what had been promised would actually be delivered. It was not. As a matter of fact, I probably made it all worse by losing my temper completely, shouting in the streets at the horrid, vile structure that housed the lying whoresons. But it gets better. Darius discovered that the house was now in the hands of the constabulary and the militia… and then… a note is delivered telling me to meet at the end of the cograil… but to come with honor or innocents would die.
I tell you I have had enough. I seriously don’t know what I thought I would find, traipsing around the country instead of doing what my father always wanted me to do, find that man, marry, and spend a happy, warm life puttering in our workshops together.
We met with the ristopians… that is what they are…. and brothers, twins at that. They spoke of how they were beaten, how they felt we were honorable foes, not like most of what they had encountered here. They told us they were leaving the field, then told us of the innocents that had an hour before they died. Once they were gone we rushed to the address they gave us, and with barely moments to spare got the chained children out of the forge before the smelter exploded.
I really have had enough. Weary, angry, frustrated we return to the guild, to a man deciding we want out of this city. Tomorrow I look forward to breakfast and a coin toss as to where we should go next.