After searching the tower and finding nothing noteworthy the party returned to Newblessing. Upon their arrival they were greeted by Thorfin and the townspeople. Although it had only been a couple of days since the ogre’s attack, the people of Newblessing, except for a higher level of vigilance, were back to the regular routines of life in a small village. The party was able to witness the curative powers of Godspring first hand as the townspeople had almost completely recovered from all but the most grievous wounds they might have received. The party was treated well and the people of Newblessing thanked them for helping. Having spent time rebuilding morale, defenses, and wounds Thorfin was looked to for his leadership and compassion by all of the townspeople. The love-fest came to an end with Trellen Howe reminding the heroes of their lowly status in the real world and the need to complete their journey to Blackwater. He also informed them that Master Shell was arranging a dinner for them the following night to show his appreciation.
The party climbed aboard the wagons and started on the last leg of their journey to Blackwater. As they followed the Godspring the party observed the lush flora and fauna that flourished all around the stream and began to see for themselves why Hargath’s Wood had become a popular destination for nobles interested in hunting. En route, the wagons passed a large group of about 40 of pilgrims making their way to Blackwater. Despite Wil’s constant tactical assessments, none of the Pilgrims appeared to be unusual or maybe it would be better to say that they were all unusual so it would be difficult to pick out someone who might be out of place. It seemed obvious from the differences that, although they were traveling in a group now, they had not begun their journeys together. As the party completed their QUEST and entered Blackwater, Trellen Howe informed them that this section was known as Downbridge and had only come into existence over the last 30 or 40 years due to the Pilgrims of the Tide. The real Blackwater was now often referred to as “the Proper” and had existed within the boundaries of “the Scratch” for as long as anyone could remember. In the center of Downbridge was a marketplace that consisted of stalls set up around a man-made pool of the Godspring. Several vendors made a living selling to the Pilgrims and others; including the Fishmongers who, as well as selling the highly valued delicacies of Blackfish, Black Crab, and Blackweed, were also the disciples of Brother Grendel Darkmoor. Brother Grendel Darkmoore, cleric of Melora, was the reason the Pilgrims of the Tide came to Blackwater. As the pilgrims began the tradition of removing their shoes and walking barefoot through the Godspring and across the Greenbridge, Vox couldn’t shake the feeling that something was familiar about the pilgrims but he could not place it. As the party looked at Blackwater, they understood what Trellen Howe had meant when he said that even an extraordinary group of heroes like themselves could go unnoticed here. Even Downbridge was remarkable with the Black Church of Pelor and the Godstones, both made of shining obsidian. The wonders of Greenbridge, the the Blackwater Watch, and The Scratch, were just the beginning. As the party began to cross the Greenbridge, all were aware of the undercurrent of Primal, Divine, Arcane, and Psionic energy that seemed to come from the bridge and even the ground they walked on. It was as if an invisible fog of energy drifted about their feet and those more attuned to these things were aware of the fact that it would be difficult to identify magics and other energies while in The Proper. Trellen, still driving the wagon, led the group to Vain Robert’s Gibbet, where they were to stay, courtesy of Mathew Shell. They were also reminded that Mathew Shell would be hosting a small dinner for the group to show his appreciation for their actions in Newblessing. The party spent the rest of the day meeting the townspeople and restocking supplies.
The following morning the heroes were able to witness the ordeal of the tides as they watched dozens of pilgrims step into the turmoil at the bottom of the falls only to be thrown against the rocks. Some emerged barely alive but others came out healed of their ailments. The rest of the day was spent QUESTING about Blackwater and meeting the residents. Gloin spent his day observing Kaleb and Cassandra Brighthammer in the Broken Ogre Arms while Melandra Brighthammer provided a hearty lunch eaten, mostly in silence. Avrennieth and Thorfin went to the Gathering Tree where they met Raiyn and it was revealed that she was Avrennieth’s sister. Several members of the group went to Goodey and Gwendolyn Smythe’s shop, Thimbles and Threads, to procure more appropriate clothing for the evening. Vox spent some time quietly contemplating the black depths of The Blackwater Mines . That night they had dinner in the private room of Vain Robert’s Gibbet with Mathew Shell, Bertram Hale, Fargo Hale, and the Knight of the Greenbridge, Amon Trask, who turned out to be quite different from what the party had expected. At the finish of the meal Matthew Shell presented the heroes with gifts of magical items to show his appreciation.
The end of the day found the party sitting around a table in Vain Robert’s discussing their plans for the future. As a storm from the Elder Sea battered Blackwatch with lightening, thunder, and sheets of rain the party realized that there was something wrong and no one else was around them in the inn. With an enormous crash of thunder they awoke in their beds with the premonition that something was wrong and realized they had all been dreaming the same dream about sitting in the inn. Vox immediately informed the party that the feeling he had watching the pilgrims was actually his finely attuned subconscious noting that one of the pilgrims was a red leg raider. As they equipped themselves, everyone came to the conclusion that pirates would be able to get into Blessing Bay if the “Scutter Chain” was lowered and they immediately headed towards the Blackwater Watch.
Outside the storm was raging as the group came upon a force of pirates who had established a rope ladder up the cliffs and were helping others ascend. Avrennieth, using his incredible speed, engaged the raiders as the rest of the group were still moving into position. Vox protected Avrennieth with blankets of fire and pillars of lightening while he moved through the pirates and attempted to destroy the rope ladder. Shawna’s magics, again blanketed the party with protection. As the rest of the party joined the melee they realized that these raiders shared the disturbing connection that the others they had fought did. Whenever a raider fell the party would be assaulted by psychic screams and the slayer was forced into a battle of wills with the fleeing spirit. But the party did overcome the pirates and were able to cut the rope ladder sending dozens of pirates to their deaths and preventing hundreds from ascending. During the battle, Vox continued to attack the enemy while he made his way into the Blackhall and discovered the bodies of two of the Blackguard within. With the immediate threat over the party decided to move on to the lighthouse…
As you emerge from the back door of the Blackhall the wind and rain pummels you from either direction. You can barely make out the tall shape of the Blackwater Watch and even the magical light that forever shines out to sea is dimmed by the wrath of the storm. Suddenly an enormous flash of lightening freezes time as a terrifying picture is revealed. You stand in the middle of the Northwest tip of Blackwater. Only 20 feet on either side, the obsidian cliffs plummet over 100 feet into the raging sea. On your right you see the entrance to Blessing Bay clogged with scores of ships and it is obvious that the Scutter Chain has been lowered, for several of the ships are already into the Bay. To your left, a dozen more longships are moving into the Blackrock Bight in an obvious attempt to beach on the black sands below. It is obvious that this is no small attack but a full scale assault on Blessing Bay. As the darkness returns, Thorfin looks to the group and yells over the wind and thunder, “You go on to the lighthouse. I will alert the rest of the town to the danger! May Ioun guide your choices!” and runs off. Before you the black tower awaits. As you approach the entrance a bone chilling wail cuts through the storm from far off behind you. The sound of the scream is inhuman and your thoughts quickly turn to trying to identify what kind of creature could make that noise. But just as quickly you realize that the real danger lies, not so much in what the creature might be called, but in where that creature is. As you look over your shoulders, once again, Melora grants you the mixed blessing of the storm as lightening flashes and reveals the answers to both your queries. From the elevation of the cliffs you look down upon Blackwater. The advance of hundreds of humanoids is stalled in Downbridge by the battle taking place in front of them. The battle between an enormous demon and Amon Trask, Knight of the Greenbridge.