Journal Of Marsys Lightouch
21st of Fireseek 636 CY
Revelations at Skorane
It is seldom that exactly what you fear is correct. I suppose I could marvel at my ability to put two and two together, but there are times when you wish the answer was six and not four…no matter how right you were. I suppose I should pick up where I left off last time.
We left Megas Landing with Fr. Yellowbeard and headed up the river to Greyhawk city. We were attacked by river pirates, but the presence of a cleric of a water god can help to make that a simple matter. That and paladins and mages. I feel sorry for the poor scoundrels. They attacked a group of upset adventures guarding an anti-paladin. We were in the mood for quick and decisive action.
We took the Dwarven anti-paladin to the church of Moradin. I could not help but feel a twinge of pity for the vile dwarf. He is the opposite of everything his people stand for. For many to be an anti-paladin is against good, but for him it is against the very blood in his veins. There must be more to him and to why he would make such a radical departure from everything that defines his people.
Leaving him there we researched the soul gem and found out mostly what I already knew. I recorded the legend of the ghost tower in my pervious entry. And the gem does indeed capture souls and let the user burn them as magical energy. Such a prize would be wanted by the evil and morally deficient across the multiverse. We must wait for the ghost tower to appear before going to get it and beating Bartholomew and his minions to the artifact.
In our research however, all my worries proved real. We took the vials of the disease worms to the church of Pelor. They did not know some of the diseases but the two they did know…Yellow Eye and Night Terrors both happened in 583 CY. Yellow Eye ravaged Elmshire, as I have explained. And Night Terrors destroyed all the human inhabitants of the village of Skorane in the Gnarley forest. This was also the year the Elven Kingdom of Celene isolated itself. The Clerics of Pelor examined the disease labeled the Severing and said it would affect Elves and tear their connection to Oerth from them. Tulla remembered a drop in the population of Gnomes in the Stark Mounds in 583 CY but no one would talk about why. The clerics said the disease labeled Mind Fog would work on Gnomes and seemed to rob intelligence. I think at that point we all knew there was a connection and we could find the other disease if we looked. And even though confirmation was all I wanted and exactly what I did not want…we went back to the church of Moradin to ask if they knew of any diseases that effected Dwarves in 583 CY.
As we reached the church there was obvious screaming in rage inside. The anti-paladin was gloating about something called the Devouring in the Lortmils mountains. The clerics were incensed, with the the younger restraining the older ones. When everyone calmed down the clerics told us about a disease in 583 CY that ravaged the dwarves of the Lortmils. It was called the devouring and it sapped their strength.
We decided that since we had to wait for the ghost tower to appear and needed to figure out when that would happen next, we would investigate the diseases while we did that. It seemed the Rangers of the Gnarly would know something about the fate of the town of Skorane. So we headed to the ranger town of Corustaith in the Gnarly. Once we were there the rangers agreed to give us a guide to take us to Skorane. So we were introduced to the elf Cerrian and his elven dog Alarka.
Cerrian told us that Skorane has many undead and was recently being investigated by an cleric of Incabulous who seemed to be looking for something. We were able to dispatch the undead in the town, although the zombies were of a sturdier sort. But we found a hidden temple to the god of plagues and nightmares that has made all my worst fears real.
In the temple we found notes and records that revealed what happened across the Flaness in 583 CY. Under the noses and without the knowledge of the wise and mighty the clerics of Incabulos made dire bargains for knowledge with Asmodeus and an ancient servant of Vecna. They used the knowledge to create a being called The Plague Crow. This creature would be created through “the sufferings of all the races of Oerth”
The clerics created a disease for each major race. These diseases were designed to strike at the heart of what each race held dear. For Elves the Severing cut their connection to Oerth. For Dwarves the Devouring ate their strength. For Gnomes Mindfog made them stupid and took their intelligence. For Halflings Yellow Eye made us not able to eat and share community…but for humans…for humans it was so horrible. No one knew what Night Terrors did. All who had it died. But the records in Skorane told us. And it will haunt me forever. For humans they had horrible nightmares…but worse than they began to fade away and could not be touched by loved ones or anyone. They were robbed of contact…of love. And they descended into a lonely madness until they died, unloved…untouched and afraid.
The whole purpose of this was to create a this thing…the Plague Crow. A thing born pregnant that would give birth in 612 CY. And the child would be able to create disease but not be affected by them. The child would also know telepathically the fears of those around it. All signs point to this child be Bartholomew. In addition to that the clerics bargained with an ancient servant of the Archlich for the knowledge to create something called a Vestige. This creature is made up of the souls of a whole town that died in nightmares. This is why the clerics based their efforts in Skorane. The whole town is now one undead that is under the control of the child of the Plague Crow.
We decided to investigate the other places where the diseases happened. Cerrian, Tulla, Idrys and Wilhelmina will go and try to gain entry to Celene. The rest of us will go to my home of Elmshire. We will meet in Elmshire and regroup before heading in the direction of the Stark Mounds and the Lortmills. We will also try to find information on this ancient servant of Vecna…This Ascerak.