Traveling to the kobolds hideout (which turned out to be ruins of an ancient dwarf monastery) brought the heroes into conflict with both a harpy and a predatory plant called an assassin vine…
While the heroes managed to survive the conflicts, suspicions about the authenticity of Jeva’s story, her unnaturally powerful vision, and creepy, some what superficial attitude began to sow seeds of fear and distrust amongst the party.
Descemding into the monastery ruins, the troup immediately encountered a pack of kobolds. Proving little match for the armed adventures, the kobolds scattered and fled into the darkness. The search of the crypts turned dire however when Hassan, coming upon a halfling chained to an odd stone column in an abandoned room, became impatient and charged to the rescue. His actions set off a chain reaction that sealed him in the room and released three vargouilles from hidden compartments in the walls. Unable to aid their trapped companion, Khael was worked frantically to unlock the door to the chamber while the beasts bombarded the fighter with fangs, tentacles and kisses. By the time the lock finally surrendered, the halfling cleric had escaped his chains and was fighting for his life. Hassan however was not so lucky and lay unconscious on the floor, bleeding from his wounds. Serrka also quickly became a victim of the creature’s unnatural shriek and soon the lips of the vargouille were pressed to her as well. Fortune had smiled on Khael however, and the rogue was able to shrug of the beastly howls of the creature while slicing them from the air with his elven curved blade.
When the combat finally stopped though, the situation was grim. The halfling cleric, named Anson Longleaf, tried to mend the wounds of the party but discovered the vargouille’s bite was incredibly resistant to healing. A fellow adventure assigned to chart the region, Anson explained that his comrades had succumbed to a vicious assault by the kobolds. Weakened by his imprisonment, but strong enough to fight, he thanked the comrades and agreed to join their group.
Serrka’s knowledge of the vargouille kiss, and the terrible metamorphosis that followed, spread anxiety in the party. Conflicted about leaving the missing children in crisis, the fruit of inaction began to appear on Hassan and Serrka as their hair first fell out in bloody clumps, followed by the protrusion of fangs and tentacles from their necks. Jeva, who threw a tantrum about the prospect of leaving for Loudwater, was jolted into submission by Serrka’s showing the stormier side to her personality. With time of the essence, the party road west again, once more seeking the aid of House Helbrester to reverse the terrible metamorphosis.
Hours outside of Loudwater, the companions encountered a militia patrol from the city led by Peldan Helbrester, Hassan’s cousin. Stunned at the contagion sweeping Hassan’s body, the militia captain immediately provided the adventures with fresh horses and road west with them to city and finally House Helbrester.
Ellarian was horrified to see the results of Hassan’s latest adventures, but quickly set about working magic to remove the powerful contagion. While Serrka and Hassan survived the ordeal, their hair would not immediately grow back – a side effect of the vargouille bile that nearly snuffed out their lives. During the visit, Hassan also made an effort to suggest the possibility that Gellania had a darker, less pious side. This suggestion clearly wounded Ellarian and made the usually paternal women frost over with indignation.
Gathering their things, (including Jeva who absolutely refused to be left behind), the companions once more returned to the monastery in hopes of saving the lost children.