We had sent Zaldiar ahead to Fallcrest in order for him to take Shalice back to her family since he said he knew one of them. From there he would meet us at the Green Tower.
On our way back to Fallcrest, we run into Tengu who had left our party on personal business. He had been looking for another gethzeri named Roku-gan who was residing he thought in Tranquility. This gethzeri was said to know about a magical treasure map from the God Torag and it was said to be an item of chaos.
As we continue our journey back to Fallcrest, Calla departs our company on personal business of her own. After that, we come upon a mysterious mist. This mist is the border of the domain of dread and in order to escape, one must understand the nature of the realm. We low and behold, our party, Jendra-shan, Pibl, Belara, Tengu, and Brande get sucked into the mist. It seems that once we can focus our eyes again that we are on the same road. Ominously, however, the trees are all showing the season to have changed to autumn…
As we all try to gain our bearings, we notice a male priest up the road with a symbol to Un the God of knowledge. Our sense of hearing must be dulled as well because the sounds of the wildlife seem to be in slow motion. As we continue walking towards this man, we start to hear house hooves riding our way. The mist seems to thicken. The sound of the horse’s hooves seems menacing and our party decides to hide in the trees. When we see the horseman come, the menacing sight of a black spirit-like horse with a frothing mouth and red eyes with a headless horsemen wielding a sword headed straight towards the priest, Jendra-shan makes a mad dash to try and grab the priest to safety. Unfortunately, the horse beats her there and the horseman beheads the priest.
Jendra-shan had been laying on the ground and luckily the horse and it’s rider just kept their pace after the beheading. The party searched the priest’s dead body for any sort of clue to the world around them. The body has a weird stench and blotches all over it. They find a book titled “By Innocence Undone”. The story in the book was about how there was a man who saved a village from a Hydra. He became the town hero and fell in love with Mayor Eli’s daughter Talitha. But this mayor became jealous of this hero because he had the town’s undying love and was now stealing his daughter’s love from him. The daughter loved her father and under duress accused this valiant hero of taking advantage of her. The town believed her and under Eli’s orders there was no trial, just a beheading. Ever since then, the town has been shrouded in mist and a headless horseman rides in vengeance against the wrong done against him.
The party continued in the opposite direction from the one the horseman had ridden and by some stroke of luck arrived at a gate with an estate behind it. This gate made of Iron and had the words Varathus on it.
They were allowed entrance into the gate and town by the respresentative of Eli, Varinell, but were told that they would need to swear loyalty to Lord Eli of the Van Hassen estate in order to stay and receive the protection of the lord from the headless horseman. The party was shocked to hear the name Eli considering that was the name they had just read about in the book. The learn from Varinell that Eli is looking for new guards. His faith and bravery are what saved them all from the headless horseman. They wish an audience with Eli but are told that they would need to go find the baker of Havenshire and bring him back before they would get an audience. But if they did that, then he would surely thank them. The Lord Eli is temperamental and the baker left town. He continued on to tell them about a town member who was a rogue who tried to get out of this mist and left with 20 good men only to come back, all of them, as zombies. He said that time felt weird here but he didn’t know why. He mentioned the ‘Stone Orchard’ to them which was a cemetery and gave them directions there.
They went to the Traveler’s Rest Inn which was the only inn, to stay the night. There were guards everywhere. The owner of the Inn was Karspen Rank. He said he did not take gold, but rather service. As they are sitting in the Inn eating, it is apparent that Tengu is not the first gethzeri that they have meet. In fact a couple they talked to said they knew another by the name of Roku. Roku, they said, had left for the Abbey of Cherished Jockularity and we got directions towards that place. This couple also told them that Havenshire was a small plot of land with many people who wish to live in safety from the horseman. They mentioned that Eli’s daughter named Talitha!!! (another shocker from the book) wanders the Rose garden on her estate. They were extremely happy for Eli’s faith and bravery but they never saw him because he usually remained in his house.
Belara and Jendra-shan decided to go talk with the daughter, Talitha in the Rose Garden. They tried to go in the main gate, but there was a check point with two humans, one male and one female, and two female half elves and a female dwarf. We rolled really bad on our bluff and aren’t allowed near the estate. So we decided to go around in the woods and made really good rolls. When we got to the garden, we saw Talitha had long black and was 19. She had been trapped in the estate ever since the horseman died about a ‘month’ ago. Something about wanting atonement from the Raven Queen. Eli was a follower of Erathis. Talitha told us that the horseman was buried at a bend near a river and a road. We won over Talitha with tales of adventures that we females did and promised to be her friend and help her have her own adventures.
Early the next day our party snuck out of town to go find the grave of the horseman trying to look for his skull in hopes of giving it back to him. (Pixie houses???) We get near an Abbey and hear a commotion. There are people beating Roku while laughing. They think that laughing will keep the horseman away. They attack us. They also feel that their faith in the Gods keeps the horseman at bay. We defeat them and realize that the Abbey is no longer safe because no one here believes in its gods. We intimidate Roku to come with us to the grave. Roku asks if Tengu wants the map. If he does, Tengu has to prove himself worthy of the map. Escape the land by either 1. Kill horseman and get to the crossroad through the forest (not by the road) and get through the mist; or 2. If the horseman forgives Van Hassins, the world would be healed.
Him healing is in the world of death.
We inspect the grave site, hit bone, and hear galloping.
Encounter with horseman where Tengu stayed near the water. We defeated the horseman and took the skull from the grave.