‘Red’ Stedd Darvinson:
“I thought I wouldn’t find out much when I went to investigate the Cult of the Nine, but it seems they have taken an interest in me. Not sure how happy I am about that, to be honest. THEY ARE BUT FOOLS. USEFUL FOOLS, DABBLING IN POWERS THEY BARELY UNDERSTAND, BUT FOOLS NONETHELESS. They got a message to me, though, seem to think we’re on the same side somehow. Doubt that. They seem pretty confused, rambling about powers I am supposed to have. Bullshit. The only power I have is cutting people.
The message also contaned a weird little wand, and here is where it gets really creepy. Apparently I can find more of the weird black statues by fucking dipping the wand in the blood of innocents. I’m no damn murderer. Creeps. THOUGH PERHAPS I MIGHT MAKE AN … EXCEPTION … OCCASIONALLY. … Eh. Not a murderer. Not sure what they’re on about. They’re making my head hurt.
Anyway, a few days later we got a message from Farona that she apparently had figured something out about the dead plants we found. Went on our way, had to pass by the Red Square. That’s when shit really got weird. Some random guy just … died. Wouldn’t stay dead, either. Some ghoul or something. And then there were a bunch of … hands attacking people. Didn’t seem like much of a threat, so I went for the ghoul. It scratched me good, though. I BURNED IT FOR THAT. BURNED IT TO A HELLS DAMNED CRISP. SUCH A SWEET SOUND… Not really sure why that happened, or why it felt so good… This is starting to freak me out.
Turned out Farona really couldn’t tell us much. Yeah, the plants were dead. You think? A child could have seen that. THAT MEWLING ELF. COULDN’T SHE HAVE WRITTEN THAT IN THE NOTE? CURSE HER. Fancied herself a bit of an arcanist as well, it seems. The statyes aren’t evil, apparently, but tied to the history of the city. Not so sure about that. I don’t know why, but I feel the statues are more than they seem. Anyway, the poncy elf had made herself slightly useful, and talked to some other poncy countess or something, and apparently they would know stuff. Sure, let’s go.
So we got to the place, totally boarded up. Went around back to pick the back door without half the city watch noticing, and we got in. Except the mute, seems he doesn’t care much for this kind of thing. Don’t know what his problem is. He might know, but he’s not telling. Anyway, we found the countess upstairs. Obvious why she didn’t open; she got cut but good. A DEAD INNOCENT. CONVENIENT. NOT AS … SATISFYING, PERHAPS, BUT IT WILL HAVE TO DO FOR NOW. I CANNOT RISK TOO MUCH YET. THE WAND DRANK DEEPLY OF HER BLOOD, AND BESTOWED A VISION UPON ME. Got my hand well bloody, but the damn wand looked spotless as the day I got it. Felt like a spike jabbed in my brain, pointing me to the south west. The damn Cult didn’t tell me this would hurt so much.
That’s when Rhogash decided to be a good upstanding citizen, and get the guard. Not the brighest bulb. We just broke into the lady’s manor, she’s dead, I got her blood all over my hands. Guess they don’t teach common sense at paladin school. Luckily, the two guards that showed up were pretty dim as well and we got them off our back quite easily. A SHAME. KILLING THEM WOULD HAVE TAKEN MY MIND OFF THE DAMN SPIKE IN MY HEAD.
So we went to the south west, out of town, towards the old cemetary. As we got closer, the damn spike got more painful. It just couldn’t be a voice or something guiding me, could it. Damn that cult. ONCE THEY SERVE THEIR PURPOSE, I WILL TAKE PLEASURE IN GUTTING THEM AND LEAVING THEIR CORPSES FOR THE DOGS. As we got there, we got ambushed by some damn witch lights. Not a lot of trouble, but poncy elf and talky elf got it good. Hope they learn to keep up their guard better next time, their carelessness could kill us all.
The spike pointed me towards a crypt, and we entered. We fought some ghosts; weapons were pretty pointless. I HAD NO TIME FOR THIS. I NEEDED TO FIND THE STATUE. I FOCUSED MY RAGE INTO BOLTS OF DARKNESS TO SEND THEM BACK TO THEIR LITTLE HELL. Ok, seriously getting creeped out here now. The Cult must have done something to me. I will have answers from them. Not now, I need to find that statue first before my head splits.
We went further down the crypt, and of course, there had to be zombies. And skeletons. Eldeth was taking a pretty good beating, but she gave as good as she got. A fierce fighter, that one. I went for the skeleton archers in the back. MY BLADE DRANK DEEPLY OF THEIR LIFE ESSENCE. NOT AS GOOD AS A LIVING SOUL, BUT IT WOULD HAVE TO DO. I felt great. I felt like I could take on the world.
We pushed on, possibly too far. More skeletons, one on horseback. Pretty silly indoors, but undeniably effective. A close call. One of them got me good, and Eldeth too, but Rhogash was as a force of nature, standing firm and keeping us alive through the thick of it. AH, BAHAMUT. YOU HAVE TRAINED YOUR PAWNS WELL, BUT THEIR POWER IS BUT A FLICKER COMPARED TO THE FIRE I WIELD.
I felt we were nearly there. My headache was almost unbearable, but we needed the rest. We pushed on. I needed to be done with this. It needed to end. More damn undead. An ogre, with a massive club. I COULD TAKE IT NO MORE. THE POWER INSIDE ME HAD TO GET OUT. I CURSED THE OGRE, DARK WITCH LIGHTS CONSUMING HIS FLESH. It was slow though, and my blade felt guided somehow… where I hit it, darkness filled the rents in its flesh, and together, we killed it.
The mute had had different plans though, it seemed. He had taken the statue before even joining the fight. HE CAN HAVE IT, FOR NOW. I KNOW WHERE IT IS. I WILL TAKE IT WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT. HE WILL NOT SCREAM, ANYWAY. The pain in my head went away, a small throb compared to the blade in my skull it had become. It pointed somewhere else, now. Most of the group went for a rest, and I needed one as well, but I also need to find where the next statue is before I can no longer feel it. I went off to find it, and the talky elf, Aviendha, joined me to search for it."