Dark Tide Rising

Session Fifteen

Bye Bye Belle Mare

Even with Randall dead, there is some concern amongst the party members that the cult might return. They decide to stay in Belle Mare and search for other high ranking members. The group elects to return to the mayor’s mansion and investigate the subterranean passageways further. In the massive ritual chamber they find the corpses of several cultists. Some apparently died in the chaos following the adventurer’s arrival. Others, it would seem, returned to the chamber afterwards and took their own lives. Many of the corpses are floating in the pool at the center of the chamber and have become quite bloated.

With the aid of some water breathing spells, the party enters the pool and begins exploring the waters below. They find a system of natural caves which eventually led out to The Heartsea. Navigating through the caves proves to be very difficult. Part of the group is separated and becomes hopelessly lost. Fortunately, the remaining group members are able to find them and get them back to the surface before the water breathing spells wear off.

As the adventurers near the surface, they hear a muffled noise. When they emerge from the water, they find that all of the corpses are chanting. The party wastes no time burning the bodies to ashes.

The group spends a few more days in Belle Mare to help the townsfolk restore order. Eventually they decide that their mission for Helmsley is complete, and it is time to return to Gryphon. Sir Jensen lets the party know that he will stay in Belle Mare until the church can send a replacement for Father Raynor. The adventurers bid farewell to their friends and set out for Fort Blackrock.

The journey north takes more than a day, and as the party camps for the night they receive an unwelcome visit. The ghost of the vigilante manifests and attacks the party. But, for a second time, she is vanquished.

When the party reaches Fort Blackrock, they begin making arrangements to return to Gryphon by ship. As usual, Seth disappears at the first opportunity. When he returns, he informs the party that a local lowlife named Ghren the Mule is planning to sell them out to The Iron Band. The group tracks the man to a local gambling house. They bribe the owner of the establishment to let them take Ghren, a deal which the owner is happy to take. When confronted by the armed adventurers, Ghren tries to make a run for it, but is easily apprehended.

Once the party has Ghren in their custody, they question him. He denies any intent to inform the Iron Band of the group’s whereabouts, and indeed denies even knowing who they are. To be on the safe side, the party decides to take Ghren with them. The next day, they board a ship bound for Avery.

During the voyage, they continue to question Ghren. Certain party members begin to realize that even if he hadn’t been planning to sell them out to the Iron Band before, he most certainly would do so if freed. When they reach Avery, Ghen is told that he will be allowed to return with the ship. However, Torc has made a quiet arrangement (unbeknownst to most of the party) with the captain to insure that Ghren will not reach Fort Blackrock alive.

The group has barely been in Avery half a day when they receive a request from Brother Cavendish to come to Winterhold. They leave immediately and arrive at the asylum late that night. As the group waits for Cavendish in the main hall, they are accosted by an inmate. The crazed man keeps ranting that they “left the door open”. When Cavendish arrives, he informs the group that the patients have been quite agitated lately. Some residents who were formerly quite harmless have become aggressive and dangerous. Many patients are refusing to sleep. Cavendish tells the adventurers that the changes began right after their last visit, which is why he asked them to return.

Eventually they are allowed to visit Colin Windhelm. He seems confused at first, but when someone mentions the man in the main hall and his claim about “the door”, Colin suggests that they check on Hargo. Once in Hargo’s room, Windhelm confirms that the “doorway” they used to enter Hargo’s mind is indeed still open (though he cannot explain why). He asks the party if they are willing to once again risk their lives, and once again the party agrees to help. Windhelm uses his power to send the adventurers back into Hargo’s mind.

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