Travelers entered the village, slowly walking forward and carefully assessing surroundings.
Almost all windows were shut, and ones that weren’t were closed by its inhabitants immediately.
There were almost no apparent villagers and the ones they saw made haste to disappear in one of the houses.
They walked to the local inn with the constant feeling being watched. Layrreth eyes noticed local drunk near the entrance to the tavern. Unfortunately, his questioning didn’t reveal anything of use.
Innkeeper greeted them with a simple hello. After a few words with him, he seemed to be a simpleton completely unable to cook. Since the night was upon them adventurers decided to pay for the beds and explore village for the evidence of future ritual tomorrow.
The night proved uneventful. In the morning they decided to visit local alchemist shop they saw yesterday, chapel of Sovereign Host,
which is located on the hill in the middle of the village and find and talk to the village elder. Adventures exited the inn and decided to
visit alchemist shop ‘Haunted Cauldron’ first. When they were in 50 feet away from entrance adventurers noticed Dominic, who turned around for a moment,
before entering the shop. A light chill ran through the spine of Riute, Connor, and Kryak because they noticed symbol of Emerald Claw on his robes.
They rushed to the shop, but strangely there was no one inside.
A quick examination of the shop yielded a few useful potions but no clues of Dominic’s location otherwise. The shop itself looked long abandoned. Broken Blades carefully descended into the shop’s basement. The basement was in disarray but it revealed the terrible fate of the owner. After adventurers defeated a number of oozes they saw a human body inside defeated gelatinous cube. By its look owner was dead for a long time now.
After a few fruitless attempts to talk to villagers and being dismissed by the elder adventurers decided to sneak into the chapel.
While being definitely abandoned the chapel definitely was used, but not for prayers to the Sovereign Host. It was obvious that the chapel is the only place in the village where ritual can be performed.
Since adventurers didn’t know who actually is going to prevent the ritual, they decided to wait and attack them during the ritual. They returned to the inn to rest and spend the night. While the nights grew deadlier new danger was awaiting them in the dark.
It was Layrreth turn to keep watch. While others peacefully slept he was sitting near the door and kept guard. Suddenly, he heard a soft creak as the door slowly slightly opened. He stood up to check the other side but the corridor was empty. He turned around to survey the room and suddenly saw brain in the middle of the room. But it was not the regular brain, it has small legs and teeth! Right before the brain was ready to jump on Kryak Layrreth shouted to wake up everyone. Adventurers made a short work of this hideous creature though it managed to escape. Fortunately, nobody was hurt but Layrreth suffered a strange and strong headache after it. They went down to check on the innkeeper but found him dead with skull burst open. Tomorrow was the day the ritual should take place, they returned to their room to ready themselves.
Next morning they woke up but it was still dark. Adventurers went out on the village street and saw the whole terrain was engulfed in strange shadows. They readied their weapons and started advance to the chapel. Some of the villagers were on the streets and they were prey for horrible monsters jumping from the shadows.
At last, they arrived at the chapel entrance which was engulfed in shadows. Two hooded figures guarded the entrance and as soon as heroes approached they attacked. They shed their cloaks like a snake sheds the skin. Underneath cloaks, dolgaunts were hiding – horrible creations of the daelkir. Heroes weren’t frightened by their horrid looks and quickly slew horrible guards.
Kryak opened the doors and adventurers entered into the chapel filled with shadows. In the middle of chapel stood the village elder wrapped in shadows and surrounded by two concentric circles he chanted strange words performing the ritual. He was so engulfed in the ritual that he didn’t notice heroes when they entered. Broken Blades charged forward to disrupt the ritual but suddenly a few monster appeared from the shadows. Greater Barghest, shadow, and shadow mastiff intercepted heroes. A battle ensued under disturbing chanting of the cult leader. Layrreth sneaked past the enemy and tried to attack cultist. But before he was able to do this, cultist slowly flew into the air out of his reach continuously chanting.
Barghest jumped on Kryak trying to get him with his deadly claws. Meanwhile, shadow drained Kryak’s strength. Seeing this Riute took his holy symbol, called for the holy power and destroyed malevolent shadow instantly. Mastiff let out frightful bark sound of wich frightened Connor and Layrreth. Ritual continued while Kryak and Riute tried to fend off evil fiends. Finally, the malevolent fiend in skull mask slipped through the darkness into the temple and hid in shadows watching the fight from the distance.
Eventually, Connor and Layerreth overcame the fear and returned to help the friends. With their help rest of the party easily destroyed evil fiends. They saw portal started to open in the middle of the temple, which led to unfamiliar lands. They combined their strength trying to get to cultist flying in the thin air. He was almost unreachable for their attacks but it was enough to distract him from the ritual. He snarled the curse: “Blasted fools! I’ll kill you and then finish the ritual!”. He sent a couple of bolts filled with dark energy targeting heroes. Each bolt caused great pain. Seeing that they didn’t have means to reach him, heroes decided to destroy carefully placed items to permanently disrupt ritual. Seeing that his job was undone, cultist snarled another curse and flew through the window, leaving the scene.
Tired adventurers left the temple only to see mad mob gathered around it. All kinds of hideous humanoids were in it, and not one of the could be identified. Gathering last strength they pushed through the mob. Finally, they were on the fringe of the village. They saw that ring of Children of Winter shrink around the village to purified anything that left in it. They let adventurers pass and heroes left this terrible place for good.