It has been a bit of a hiatus, but we’re back! Hooray! The lands beyond Qvosfeir await, as our team etches closer through the rugged terrain of the bloodied wyvern peaks. And by lands beyond, I mean quite beyond! As always, things are about to get even weirder!
We pick up from last time, most of the time has made their way up the cliff where the time freeze happened before… Well, save for Delvin, who is clinging to a tree while trying to fathom what exactly has been happening for the past couple, well, however much time has passed. For that matter, everyone tries to get their bearings following the rather alien turn of events from what seemed like minutes beforehand. Seeing as the player for “Bird” wasn’t available for that week, he was largely part of the background. After some bickering, the team makes a plan to find some resources, or moving forward if worst come to worst.
Meanwhile, Ha’shar and Sweetgrass take to looking for food or supplies, or at least get another clue as to what exactly is going on. Jeveng gets bored and branches on his own path, also foraging. Ha’shar and Sweetgrass find some quicksand like muck that attempts to swallow them up, with a notably disgusting color to it. Something has clearly tainted the soil and made the mud truly horrid. Trailing a bit further, they see a shrub of berries with a similar color to the vomit-green mud from before. A few are carefully taken for study’s sake. Meanwhile, Delvin steadies himself and tries to track the rest of the team down while Jeveng finds strange hoof-like prints that trail off into a meadow. Delvin remarks that this is similar to the “radiant rock” that made his fellow miners ill, not long before the incidents happened. Jev’eng tracks the creature down to a another patch of berries, discolored like the ones Ha’shar and Sweetgrass found. The creature reveals itself, looking disfigured and sickly, as if it could perish at any moment. It’s face is warped and partly melted looking, its teeth and horns are gnarled and out of control, an extra leg drags along the dirt, necrotic-like rot has eaten at its torso. Jev’eng battles the creature in attempt to put it out of its misery. Eventually, the creature falls and he incinerates the body… unleashing a putrid and overwhelming smell quickly after. Ha’shar pushes forward to navigate past dangerous sinkholes and murky goo, ultimately finding another rock wall… this one seems strange. Meanwhile, the rest of the group follow the trail of smoke (which seems to be a recurring motif in this game), before being overwhelmed by the horrid smell. The team regroups by the slab of rock, before realizing something… there’s an illusion placed on it. The jagged and dangerous wall is actually neatly chiseled and safe to climb up.
As they get to the top, they see a site that seems eerily familiar… it’s another cult encampment. However, unlike the previous one, the cultists here are long since dead… merely skeletons in tattered robes. The party scavenges the remains, coming across an illustration of some sort of ritual on a parchment. They realize a magical circle loops around the camp, with the fireplace activating as the focus point for magical incantations and rituals. They assemble bones into a triangle in the center, while making a circle of coals. Upon focusing on the ritual, the power in the campgrounds activates… and the party quickly becomes overwhelmed! After blanking out, they come to on the ground… in the campsite.
However, something is different, there are tons of live cultists surveying them. The team tries to assess the situation, wondering if they could take them. Soon after, a woman with a feather covered cloak emerges from a tent. She reveals herself to be the high priestess. Jeveng and co get sick of her stoic expression and morbid sense of humor, as she also demands the dagger from bird as well as any other cult icon. The team attempts to trick the cult through flattery and then more direct means (punching the dagger out of the creepy lady’s hands for one), while reactivating the circle. The 6 robed people and the priestess point at the circle and focus energy… messing up the teleportation ritual! The team merely flies back into the village with the burning pyre… This time, it’s different. There are countless more huts and many just as lively members of the cult… and no parasites. After some distracting banter, the team makes a run for it. Sweetgrass, being stubby and slow, tries to hide… and fails. Everyone else makes it to the first cliff from before. The village leader and some others spot sweetgrass and ask him to emerge peacefully, to which he cooperates. After some nervous babble, the village leader asks sweetgrass to stand still as he plants a palm on the big dog’s head. Sweetgrass feels his mind being read by not only the village leader, but the other cultists joining in too… it’s quite unnerving. The uncanny group recognizes poor taliessen as genuine and his goals as just. They offer to bring him and the rest of the PCs to their high priestess. He oafishly accepts, as he’s poofed back. He asks for his allies to return as well. Jeveng, Delvin, Ha’shar and presumably Bird as well begin to glow. Hashar panics and disrupts the effect, as the rest simply disappear Ha’shar runs frantic for a moment as his displaced crew asks for the High Priestess to bring him as well.
Back at the elevated portal grounds, the mysterious high priestess tries to gather information from the party, as they do the same. Ha’shar focuses on the circle and somehow gets information about technologically advanced ships made by aliens, before he’s taken by dimensional psychic power, rendering him temporarily paralyzed and drooling. Meanwhile, everyone else comes to a less drastic conclusion thanks to the creepy monks circling them… they jumped into another universe and they don’t belong here. They relinquish any goods that “don’t belong in their reality” as it hits them… They’re from a reality where the cult failed. It’s likely the cultists were trying to escape from their reality, accidentally pulling random objects instead. Or worse yet, the cultists in this world might have accidentally caused both the crashing ship and the strange light. Jev’eng tries to cause trouble, before the High Priestess makes a joke of his actions. Everyone else decides they just want to leave. As they return, Delvin collapses on the ground while feeling around to make sure he’s truly home. Everyone else notices something not right. It looks like something pulled everything from the ground, making it almost disappear entirely. It also looks like a good 2 hours passed as well.
Instead of resting there for the night, they press forward. Unfortunately, the stretches and passages get more and more narrow, overlooking a dangerous and deadly fall below. As they sidle past the thin ledges, jev’eng notices two men fighting a barrel past another jutting formation of rocks, an earthy barrier separating the fighters and the team. Taking out the stolen scope, he notices the men are in guard uniform, looking different from the ones he was with… in addition to the fact that they look zombified. Everyone tries to distract the undead former-servants of the king, causing them to stop attacking for a moment. A black, inky creature with countless tendrils leaps from the barrel and kills one of the zombies, but not before the other one returns the favor. The motley crew begins to sneak past the dangerous ledge, but not before a rumbling from the other side of the rock barrier halts them. From out of rubble and green goo emerges a wicked, giant undead abomination. It looks like countless corpses fused together, with the green goo acting as an evil necromantic paste. The confused mash-up of creatures charges in the direction of the kingdom, before Delvin uses equipment to make noise and drag its attention. Ha’shar continues to scout the nearby area as Sweetgrass slowly makes his way down the cliff and turns the creature. Jev’eng checks out the dislodged rubble, discovering that it was purposely created… and the earth around it is still loose and hazardous. Against all odds, it works! The creature panics and charges towards more rubble. Jev’eng lets some more rocks tumble by carving into the already loose ground. The monstrosity is crushed! Jev’eng then leaps past the crag border and hacks at the pinned creature until it falls (or rather, gives up).
Feeling tired and stressed, everyone makes do with camping in between the canyon and the rock wall, providing a decent amount of cover and protection. Ha’shar conjures up a tiny hut as everyone quickly files inside, preparing to rest up for the night ahead… Although, something lurks in the distance, seeing easy prey to pick on… next time!