Dark Tide Rising

Session Twenty-Five

As soon as the party is assembled at their new island base, they teleport to Winterhold. As they approach the gate, they can already tell that something is amiss. No sentries are present at the outer posterns. When they reach the main entrance to the asylum, they find that it has been barricaded from the inside. With the help of Zarrick’s eidolon, the group is able to force their way through the door.

The entry hall appears to have been the scene of a full scale riot. Amongst the debris of broken furnishings, the party finds several bodies. Both priests and inmates are among the dead, and all of the corpses have been brutally slashed and torn. A symbol of Tsu-Norom (the god of madness, storms, and beasts) has been drawn on the floor in blood. As they are searching the chamber, the adventurers are attacked by several werewolves in hybrid form. When the werewolves are killed, they revert to their human form. The group recognizes some of the lycanthropes as patients they had seen on earlier visits.

The party heads straight for Hargo’s cell. As they move down the corridor, they begin to experience a disorienting effect. When they arrive at the room where Hargo’s body was being cared for, they find that the dream plane doorway has re-opened and become fully manifest. The entire opposite side of the chamber looks as if it has been ripped away. Where the walls, floor, and ceiling end, there is nothing beyond but a swirling tempest. A group of creatures native to the nightmare realm set upon the party. As the creatures attack, some of the adventurers are filled with an overwhelming terror that reaches nearly lethal intensity. Fortunately the group is able to destroy the monsters before anyone succumbs to their fear.

The party begins to search the rest of the asylum. They find a small group of priests who have managed to hold up in one of the treatment rooms. The adventurers ask about Cavendish, but the priests can only speculate that he is either upstairs in his chambers, or dead. The party moves higher into the stronghold and finds Cavendish’s quarters under siege. A group of werewolves is attacking the door in an attempt to break it down. The frenzied beasts fall quickly as the party takes them by surprise, turning back into humans as they die.

It takes a few moments of convincing, but eventually the group is able to persuade Cavendish to let them in. The priest is in quite a panic as he describes the events of the last few hours. Apparently, things went bad very quickly as soon as the planar breach appeared. All of the inmates who had been showing aggressive tendencies suddenly transformed into wild beasts. Cavendish shows the adventures a holy symbol of Tsu-Norom and tells them that he found it amongst Father Vanicutt’s things. He is convinced that Vanicutt is responsible for everything that has happened.

Having suspected something similar already, the party immediately makes their way to Vanicutt’s chambers at the top of the tower. They break through the rooms outer defenses with ease and confront the high priest. Vanicutt is quite taken aback, and seems almost confused by the accusation. When the adventurers move into attack, Vanicutt activates a pair of shield guardians and uses a spell to immobilize most of the party. For a moment it looks as if the group may be overmatched, but Cavendish is able to free some of the party members from Vanicutt’s spell. Without hesitation, the adventurers deliver a killing blow to the high priest.

Instantly, Cavendish’s demeanor changes to smug satisfaction. He thanks the party for playing along so willingly and teleports away. The adventurers have a sudden sinking feeling that the real Cavendish has probably been dead for some time. Furthermore, they realize they have just killed a ranking member of the church of light. With seconds to decide, they group chooses to remain at the scene and face the consequences. Moments later, a large contingent of church forces teleports into the room. The party is placed under arrest.



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