Carrion Crown, as told by Inquisitor Victoria van Helm.
Archivist's note: This letter has been damaged in places by damp.
Esteemed Witch Hunter Coim,
Upon finishing investigation of the house in the woods and dropping the baby off,
The medallion that we're finding on cultists depicts a cross between an eel, a fish and an octopus.
Ronan goes off to "Polish his sword". Boys will, apparently, be boys. Later, I find he has sort of broken into the Mayor's house, and discovered that the Mayor has actually been kidnapped.
We canvas the town for more information. In doing so, Hecathia manages to insult the Mayor's name to one of his neighbors.
Croon came with us back to the house, but somewhere along the way, he found a portal and fell through it, we lost him briefly.
Following him, we found ourselves in a cave system; Croon suspects he has set off an alarm with his arrival.
Hecathia found a pool of water that she spent some time sniffing to try and determine if it was saline.
We find a flight of stairs down, and find ourselves in a room with two exits. A golden, rune-inscribed bell in one corner, and in the other corner, a glass tank that contains a perfectly-preserved man... a familiar face: The founder of Ilmarsh, Cassius Undiomede?!
The bell has holy symbols on it.
Lucia judiciously smashes the glass tank, releasing a corpse, glass, and a flood of water and formaldehyde I feel it was superfluous. If the Founder was in suspended animation or something, he isn't now.
Ronan finds a diary and skims it. It's not terribly interesting, apparently.
There's nothing else special in the room, so we move on, exiting near the bell.
In the next room, the floor has pools of brackish water, and scattered across the room are several victims of great violence, literal Scum. There's about half a dozen Scum left alive, gathered around a shark-hybrid who appears to be Leader Material. They're conversing amongst themselves, but we can't make it out and frankly don't want to.
We back up and go the other way through the tank room. In the next room is a series of natural terraces, and a pond filled with various fungi, growths, algaes and water scum. The room reeks of rot.
Lucia decides to wade into the pond to look for treasure; she finds a helmet and amulet, but as she turns around, the algae and scum comes to life...
Ronan shoots an acid ray at it, and I sprint forward, shouting "Look out, Lucia!" as I perform a splendid forward-dodge roll over a knotty tentacle. It responds by shaking snowy spores into the air.
I flank it properly and figure out it's some sort of plant-based creature. Ronan gets huge and advances. Lucia throws her loot to the shore and spins around and absolutely tears into it before getting slapped and groped by the plant thing. I brand it for retribution, and Ronan finishes it off.
The helmet is a Helm of Underwater Action - Lucia borrows it to go diving for more crap in the pond.
In the next room are what looks like dressmaker's dummies... but on closer inspection, they're just dessicated torsos on sticks. I clutch the frog globe just a little tighter.
Magically, the room is filled with an aurora borealis. There's a pit nearby where a singing comes from. We open that pit up, and there's a young woman in the pit. Her hair is a yellow-white. Hecathia calls out to her, and her skin is deathly pale and yellowed; her eyes are sunken, and she's clearly not well, She holds a baby, which is long since dead.
I look to the Frog Globe for guidance. Visions of a city in decline with no new life. Impossibly tall mountains consumed by a growing darkness that snuffs out the stars above, one by one... a vision of a negative level.
Lucia catches up. Hecathia's not able to do anything for the girl, so we decide to go murder those Scum to make ourselves feel better.
We sneak closer. but Ronan and Lucia bump into each other and give the game away early. I finish one and the shark-hybrid charges in and mangles me.
Things get hairy for a time, and I forget the exact sequence of events, but it ends as it ought to -- with us victorious and only gently bruised for our trouble.
Glory to Pharasma,