The party left the libraries secret chambers and asked around town to try to track where Platon Festus had gone. They learned that he had been seen gathering up some locals and heading out to the northwest. Also during this time, Floriane Dell observed an incoming storm front. The imminent snows heightened the need for haste in tracking their quarry. Doctor Belwhether began reading a mysterious tome he had recovered from the lab. The knowledge contained within deeply unsettled him, but he felt compelled to continue and uncover all its secrets.
While following the path Festus and his companions had left on, the party encountered them on the return. They claimed the had been called to provide assistance reinforcing the defensive measures taken to protect the town from the Kython, and gave details on the location of these outposts. Upon investigation, the guards stationed there had not been in contact with the librarian. Two of the party followed the group back to the library, where they waited for them to emerge from the secret chambers beneath. When they were unable, with the assistance of one of the lookouts, to locate the tracks of Festus’s group, the remaining party went back to rendezvous at the inn. By this time snow had begun to fall fairly heavily, and visibility was extremely poor.
When the conspirators failed to emerge before the scheduled meeting time, [Geoffery] left [Jeremy] behind to tell the others what the situation was. While he was doing so, they emerged and left together. [Jeremy] attempted to follow them, but was detected, and they split up. He followed Festus back to his house. The rest of the party inferred what had happened based on the tracks and met up with him. They stormed the house, but by then he was gone, slipping out unnoticed using an invisibility potion. The heavy snows made his movements easy to follow, however, and he was tracked to another part of town where he had rejoined his companions.
After attacking the house from both stories, a vicious battle broke out between the party, Festus, and his three companions. Festus revealed himself to have a grotesque mutation: his legs had split themselves apart into a vast mass of adhesive tentacles, granting him the ability to crawl along the walls of the dwelling. [Tina] was slain in the battle; after being knocked unconscious by one of Festus’s warriors she was caught in a the path of a deadly lightning spell unleashed by the powerful wizard. Shaken to the core by this event, Garet Stonegate went into a frenzy, and felled the dark mage with a single overwhelming blow. Aein acquired an valuable treasure, Festus’s spellbook.
The party returned to Festus’s home to try to find clues explaining the Cult Of Typhon’s actions. His journal painted a mysterious, disturbing picture. Mostly garbled rubbish, only some entries could be interpreted to any useful extent, and read as follows:
“We’ve found the Maw. I think I can extract it.”
“Excavation nearly complete. How to sustain?”
“Everyone is so unaware. How could they know? I’ve learned so much.”
“I can feel it prying, searching. It is becoming mentally exhausting, I cant focus here. Havent sleep.”
“Went back today. No wildlife anymore. I think they know whats down there. Though how couldn’t they? You can feel its thoughts upon your flesh.”
“My eyes have been pried open, and my mind has been forced into a wider frame. Fractures have grown across its surface. I find myself unsure of where I’ve been and what I’ve done. But I cant stop now. I am so close to understanding.”
“I’ve stabilized it! The chamber is complete. With enough fuel it will be sustained indefinitely now! Collection begins in the morning.”
“The Heart has emerged. The others have collected it. They will be joined soon.”
“They’ve found us. I’ve sent a message to the others. They will retrieve the Maw, whether I am alive or not. Theres no way to stop it now.”
The party took the night’s rest.
Belwhether used magical aid to finish studying the knowledge from the tome. He could feel his mind starting, ever so slightly, to break under the weight of such dark knowledge. Little did he care, however.
[Geoffery,] being an elf, needed little rest, and used the remainder of his time to track and befriend a wild horse.
Florian Dell distributed offerings to the local temple of Gulshin, and in reward, was divinely granted a finely crafted scythe, the favored weapon of her deity.
Garet informed Upton Cornell of the situation, and advised him to keep extra vigilance.
Message was sent by way of magic back to Arcturus Leto describing the situation and events. Response promised reinforcement within 2 days, and urged extreme caution in dealing with these unknowns.
Judging the situation to be grave enough to not be able to take the luxury of having a full force, the party sent out to try to find where Festus’s team had gone the past night, and attempt to find this Maw. They past the guard post, and offered them the same message of warning given to Cornell. They, in return, urged them to be careful, as their path takes them straight through areas currently held by the Kython.
While following the path, a strong Kython force attacked. The ensuing battle was extremely brutal, as the Kython proved to be very deadly foes indeed. A note of distinction goes to [Jeremy’s] steed, who delivered the final blow on one of the heavily armored creatures, trampling it to a pulp under its hooves. No one was killed, but severe injuries were sustained, including two instances of a strength draining poison. Assessing their current strength, the party decided to merely see if they could locate any sign of the excavation spoken of in the journal and then return to Amberdale to recover.
As they grew closer to the hills, they could feel the gnawing presence of some nearby horror. A sense of profound unease fell over them as this dark power radiated outward from a unknown source. Upon locating (from afar), a cave entrance that seemed the most likely target, they left the area to return to town.