Family Ties

Crypt of the Everflame, Session 1

A Journey Ends, and Another Begins

From the Journal of Flynn a’Lynnalynn, Cleric of Desna

page 173
My time here in Kassen over the past year has been a delight. Father Prasst has taken me under his wing and I’ve learned much from him during our talks, though he is quite young, even by human standards. He is a very wise soul, however, and the perfect spiritual guardian for a town such as Kassen—although he serves Erastil, he maintains small shrines in the temple for Mother Moon, and other deities, making this a welcome place for those who travel through. I wish the townsfolk respected his council more, but I hope that in due time, they will come to see his value as I do.

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In any case, finally, the day has come—the Anniversary of Kassen’s victory over Asar! After hearing the history of Kassen from a barge-runner on the River Sein, (see page 136), I knew I had to visit this quaint town and witness the Autumnal pilgrimage to the Crypt of the Everflame myself. The Great Dreamer’s luck must be upon me, however, because I was chosen by Mayor Uptal himself to accompany two local Kassen folk to the Crypt! My companions are Krug—a huge hulk, half-human and half-orc, who works with the local smith and is prone to violent rages—and a local ranger who goes by Wood Creeper—also a half-orc—who knows the area around town as well as anyone. I have spent some time with both of them the past few days, as we have prepared for the journey, and though they appear fearsome, they have good hearts, and we have become fast friends. We set off soon, and will follow a trail through the Fangwood to the Crypt—two days’ journey, at least—with the ceremonial lantern with which we will capture the flame, and return it to Kassen for the winter.

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page 178
We’ve reached the Crypt at last, and we’re lucky to be here in one piece. Just a few hours south of Kassen, we encountered some savage orcs, who attacked us. Krug and Wood Creeper fought valiantly, and we vanquished them, only to find out they were illusions. I suspect the fine folks of Kassen, in particular the wizard Holgast, had created them to add a taste of adventure to our trek, (Wood Creeper recognized the rascal’s pipe smoke at the site of the battle).

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Our next encounter in the forest later that evening, was no illusion, however. We had bedded down in a clearing Wood Creeper recommended, and were attacked by a pack of starving wolves. The poor creatures had been driven to madness by their hunger, and we had naught to do but fight them. I couldn’t be happier that Krug and Wood Creeper are on this journey with me—they are formidable fighters, and we would never have made it to the Crypt otherwise. Krug struck one wolf so hard with his greataxe that he nigh split the poor creature in two! After we return to Kassen, I would like to investigate why the animals were in such poor shape, if possible, but first things first.

The next day, we discovered a grisly scene on the shore of a small lake south of Kassen—a dead body that had been attacked and poisoned by something from the lake. It had been there for about a month, and there was no sign that the attacker was nearby. In a hurry to reach the crypt, we skirted the lake and avoided any trouble, but when we return to Kassen, we’ll let the Mayor know that a dangerous creature may still reside there, so he can warn the townsfolk and the merchants passing through town to be on their guard until we know for sure.

We reached the valley of the Crypt, and spent one more evening’s rest before scaling the steep side of the valley to reach the bottom, where the entrance of the Crypt resides. On the valley floor, we discovered an even more disturbing scene. Directly in front of the entrance to the Crypt of the Everflame, we found three pack animals, and two horses, all still roped to pegs in the ground, as if by their owners, and all three quite dead, hacked to pieces by crude weapons.

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