Library of the Brotherhood of Ink Guildhall, Sinjeir.
With Sorrow in a deep slumber and the clock ticking, the group departed the following morning with their new companion, Nemeia, in tow. All roads led to Sinjeir in the South, a small river town that played host to the headquarters of the Brotherhood of Ink.
Parting ways with Thorne and Thiln Aktus, who were heading into Ravenstone to hopefully turn some of the militia to their cause, the party went overland to the river. A few hours in the rain brought the group to the small ferry where Pheonté was waiting. The young, dark skinned captain of the Emerald Dawn said little, helping the party board and store their belongings. The rest of the crew comprised of Pheontés brother, Doraan, a female archer named Ezra, a slick merchant type who went by Elias, and the hulking, droopy eyed cargo hauled named Walter.
The end of the first day was uneventful, the rains letting up by sundown but the blustering winds rolling off the mountains to the West were unrelenting. The small vessel was making great time and (aside from some invisible sleuthing around below decks by Rorik) the party spent most of the time relaxing and mixing with the crew. Anchored for an evening meal and a rest, the night went by uneventfully.
The following day, around midday, the ship came to a halt just shy of a pair of submerged carriages in the water ahead. Unable to bypass them, and Pheonté to afraid to ram through them, the group made landfall to clear the way.
On the shore they discovered the corpses two draught horses, slain by something large with sharp claws, as well as the massacred bodies of three armed caravan guards a short way from the water. While the group investigated, Emilia and Nemeia checked the submerged carriages for clues or survivors.
Walter, Okuyasu and Rorik managed to haul the carriage from the centre of the river, clearing the path for the Emerald Dawn. Within, Rorik discovered a chest filled with noble clothes and a small gem box of uncut precious stones.
Before the group were able to embark once more, two rotting trolls ambushed them – one from the river and one from the treeline nearby. The foul beasts came upon the group with a flurry of snarls and sharpened claws, managing to down Okuyasu after taking a beating from his flurry of blows. The rest of the battle went by swiftly with Rorik and Nemeia helping keep the beasts down with the dwarves flaming torches and the Tieflings acidic splashes. Covered by arrow fire from the boat, the party managed to defeat the two beasts.
The rest of the journey was uneventful and by late afternoon the group came upon the ghost town of Sinjeir. The population was dwindling, it seemed, and a young scribe of the Brotherhood, Amorth, met them on the docks and soon explained the troubles the town had come upon.
Bandits – a party of skilled adventurers – had arrived in town causing trouble a week or two before. They had since attacked the Brotherhood guildhall in the middle of town and taken it over, imprisoning the Grand Master Scribe there and flooding the archives with undead abominations. Aware of the answers that the large building held within, the group were quick to offer their services.
It is noted that most of the town’s milita had previously been pulled out of town after calls of Grestil raiders near the southern Sentinel Fort. While he didn’t necessarily relate this to the attack by this bandit party, Armoth definitely found the idea of Grestil raiders across the line as preposterous and suggested the incident was politically charged.
After a rest, it was late that night that the party entered the guildhall.
Within the party found abandoned tomes and archives, the walking dead, and haunting spectral ghosts of some unknown time. Cutting their way through their foes the group soon found evidence of the Grand Master Scribe’s work here, and Nemeia began to find answers – the man she sought after, a Warlock named Ulvrin Setchren, had been here many times before. He and the Master Scribe, it appeared, knew each other quite well.
Down in the lower levels of the guildhall, among the stacks of old histories and archives, the party met their match – a group of adventurers, cocky and well armed, waiting just for them.
The leader – a man named Julius, whose head would soon be a splattering of lumps on the stone floor – offered Rorik and Okuyasu the chance to depart. His job, the bounty, was only directed toward the other three companions, Nemeia presumably mistaken to be Sorrow. The dwarf and the monk, needless to say, did not accept the offer.
The ensuing battle was ruthless – a great barbarian brute, a skilled archer, a powerful magician and their hulking golem friend assaulted the party. Nemeia and Emilia each unloading powerful magics on their opponents, exploding the golem and eventually killing the opponent’s mage. Rorik unleashed his finesse on the enemies, quickly assaulting the brute of the enemy group before disappearing into his dwarven invisibility before pursuing their mage. Jacob kept his blessings and healings flowing through the group, blocking the golem from his scribe protégé and their new warlock friend, while Okuyasu (under the influence of a powerful concoction) unleashed the blunt force trauma of his punches and kicks.
When the battle was done and their wounds seen to, the group discovered the hideaway the other party had been using as their accommodations, while also discovering the breaking of the haunting curse that plagued the building. In a storage unit, beaten and bound, they found Grand Master Scribe, Horvul Dorinn.
Healing the old sage and escorting him back to the surface, the group learned much of the man they sought. Ulvrin Setchren, once a studying colleague to Horvul, was a powerful warlock. He has self-exiled himself from Sinjeir and the Brotherhood some time ago, explaining that his days were coming to an end and he wished to spend them in solitude, where those who might use his knowledge for evil could not find him.
Ulvrin had, apparently, spent many years of his scholarly life studying something known as the Fellborn legion. He was also the holder of valuable information regarding a great darkness of otherworldly power – it was Ulvrin whom Nemeia had been sent to find, to help her Lord Mellur in his fight against this growing darkness.
This man, as it were, had met Rorik and Okuyasu before, under differing circumstances. Together, the pair were able to click together the pieces of the puzzle and identify where it was Ulvrin had gone to spend the rest of his days.
“The tribe, buried deep in the mountains north of Tarra-Johrn, is that of the Ghros’nathi people. Their sigil, an image of sanctity and honour among their bloodlines from the founding days, is that of a moth within a broken circle.” With Grand Master Scribe Dorinn’s confirmation, the group knew where the next piece of their puzzle would await them.
As cleanup of the town and the guildhall began the next day, the party spent some time examining documents they’d taken from the bandit’s camp in the hall’s basement. A note here, signed off in the familiar hand of Bresk, asked for three things – the assassination of the party, the destruction of any Brotherhood archives on the Ulixi, and the hunting down of a man named Ulvrin Setchren.
The party called upon Armoth, asking him to gathering any materials within the guildhall regarding the Ulixi. More than happy to assist them, he set about preparing a small group of scribes to scour the records.
“Before I go, my friends… a stranger arrived earlier this morning asking for you. He came by boat, from the river, and was directed by the militia to the local inn: The Greasy Lamplight. He was a large hulk of a man, armour and sword and all. He asked for you by name, Jacob, Emilia. He said his name was Harwon Bearsbane.”