As the action began to settle, and the group realized they were no longer in danger, Vidic decided to skin one of the worgs.
When he plunged his dagger into the side of the worg, an unreasonable amount of blood began to flow from the creature into a large pool.
The group noticed that the other three creatures began to do the same, as blood spilled out from their wounds.
The blood began to flow out towards the other creatures as if commanded by an unseen force, until it created a shape. In the center, the dark red began to fade into a clear, pinkish color.
Vidic shrugged the scene off and made his way towards Garant the blacksmith’s shop with his new pelt.
The others noticed that in the center of the gruesome display, an image of their nameless friend and matilda, the maid from the Van Rhyn estate (and Rio’s date that he completely forgot about) began to appear.
The two were chained to a stone wall and weren’t looking in great shape.
As the image faded, the words “Who should I kill first? You have 24 hours to decide before I decide for you.”
The group sprang into action as the blood soaked back into the creatures, as if nothing happened.
Meanwhile, Vidic traded the worg pelt for Gerant to make a hat out of the worg’s head, before returning to the group.
They decided to head back to the bookstore to learn about the mysterious book they were carrying.
However, on the way, Rio and Vidic noticed a jewelery shop with a youthful, elven maiden resting against the counter. Taking action, Vidic made his way in and began to charm the woman in an attempt to introduce her to Rio. Yet, on his way out, he accidentally bumped into a rack of cheap hanging necklaces. Rio then attempted to charm the elf, but began to stumble over his words, confusing her even further. Vidic made a quick distraction, as the two made their way out quickly.
A bit further, Allegro happened to pass by a musical instrument store, and decided to make his way inside. Looking around the shop, he noticed a small fife/piccolo with an interesting design/color scheme. He managed to learn that the instrument was originally purchased from Mikolov, so it was possibly originally stolen from a noble – but it had been on display for such a long time, so it probably didn’t belong to a noble in this area. He was able to persuade the shopkeeper to sell it to him for 7 gold instead of the 10.
Stolkey and Stor managed to make their way to the bookstore to speak to the owner of the book. The salesman explained that he planned on identifying what the book was and what type of magic was involved in it’s pages. With Stor’s intimidation, they convinced the old man to let them continue on their way with the book to identify it themselves. He agreed to reimburse them and let them make their way out to search for the required elements for his ritual.
The party managed to meet up nearby the jewelry store, where Stolkey attempted to purchase a pearl. Vidic and Rio watched Stolkey speak to the elf, not knowing what she was saying, but believing that he was trying to win her over. After purchasing the pearl he needed, the group made their way to what they believed was some sort of warehouse full of animals to search for an owl feather.
The store was a mess, lined with cages for many different animals. The salesman in the back looked like he was used to dealing in illegal substances instead of animals, as he was thin as bones, with long, greasy hair (and beard) and very twitchy.
Rio attempted to poke a larger lizard in one cage and almost had his fingers bitten.
Vidic pulled out a snapping turtle out of a tank without having his fingers bitten as well.
After purchasing the turtle, Vidic attempted to hold the turtle up at the man’s face, who then slapped it away, knocking it into the air.
In the middle of this chaos, Stolkey snuck over to the cage with the owls. Upon plucking a feather, he managed to make the owl shriek, setting off the rest of the store.
It was at that moment where everything went to hell.
While arguing with the shop owner, Vidic punched the man into some boxes of feed, rendering him helpless.
He than ran up to various cages and began setting different animals free into the store.
As people from the street had already been gathering over to the windows to see what was happening, some town guards began making their way inside to see what was happening in this store.
The party began to flee through the back of the store. Stolkey opened the wrong door, setting loose an adolescent boar into the shop. Rio began hurling creatures at the guards to keep them away and distract them. Vidic managed to drop the cage with the large lizard, angering it further. Stor and Allegro found the exit quickly and encouraged the others to follow them out.
Making their escape, the party headed back in the direction of the bookstore.
Stolkey was able to identify the book, realizing that it was actually some sort of arcane key. However, the book was also cursed so that anyone who made physical contact with it would have to resist being charmed, or otherwise be compelled to return the book to its owner.
Furthermore, the book couldn’t be read in it’s current state, but if the pages were to be wet with blood, words would appear.
Vidic attempted to pick up the book, but rather than become charmed by it, he was repelled twice. Stabbing the book, his dagger flew out from his hand and lodged itself into a bookshelf.
For some reason, the turtle was placed on the book, where it suddenly became docile, retracted into it’s shell, and made a small fizzle noise.
Deeply upset, Vidic left the store in search for alcohol. He was followed by Rio and Allegro.
Stolkey tried reading some of the pages with his own blood, realizing that this was the journal of Bartholomew Whethersby. He gleaned that Whethersby was originally from Anchorhead, and discovered that he was behind the sinking of the Nighthawk (the ship that the party sailed on to Nyr Cay).
Stor made his way to gather the party back to Melthezar’s shop, while Stolkey hunted down some of the escaped rats from the “pet store”.
After some mead and some fish, the party convinced Vidic to continue traveling with them to save two “damsels in distress”. They made their way over to Melthezar’s to find Stolkey.
Meanwhile, Stolkey began filling the book’s pages with rat-blood. Stolkey read further into the book, learning that Whethersby lost his parents as a child, and was forced to live with his Uncle. His uncle was a mean dwarf who drove a young Bartholomew to kill him in his sleep. Whethersby’s journey led him to discover his knack for the arcane and eventually join something known as the Black Talon. While his notes never seemed to mention what they were or who exactly he worked for, they were the ones who gave him his power over the city of Anchorhead, his position in the masked elite, and tasked him with sinking the nighthawk.
At that moment, the party made it to Melthezar’s and watched as Stolkey decended into Melthezar’s basement. Allegro followed behind, using the same ladder. Vidic, once again, jumped down into the abyss, landing painfully on the ground. Rio followed, but was able to land feet-first. Stor decided to light a torch and climbed down after the group.
Making their way into the sub-basement sewer level, the group followed Stolkey, who used the book (without touching it) to guide him to where it wanted to go.
It soon became apparent that they weren’t alone in the tunnels, as they could hear the sounds of scratching up ahead.
While the party slowed down to minimize their volume, Rio loudly asked the party what they were doing, alerting whatever was further in the tunnels.
The party readied themselves for another encounter…