Starting the day bright and early, the adventurers rejoined the merchant’s wife, preparing to head eastward. She was headed onward to Lothidda, to finish her husband’s works (delivering an item to the king). The group of adventurer’s were offered monetary compensation for escorting her fully there, promised rich rewards for her protection. As such, Traice was inclined to follow along, especially after a maiden so beautiful (not to mention, grieving and needing a consoling embrace). Having imbibed too many fluids in the tavern, Ayaria was unable to be woken. She seemed be bloated and perhaps had drank something that didn’t agree with her. As such, she was incapacitated and nothing but a nuisance for a couple weeks in the wagon, too enfeebled to raise.
On their travels, they chanced upon a lovely hamlet, built into a rolling hillside with a church tower on top. While staying the night there, Kevros decided to offer his healing prowess in the town. An elderly man was found, knocking on death’s door in a church’s bed. After revitalizing the elder, Kevros was beseeched to take an item he seemed fond of: a set of prayer beads appearing to foster some magical ability, but weakened by the area’s mystical dampening effects. Pressing the beads in Kevros’s hand, the man thanked him and was taken home that night.
Once they left the hamlet, they reached the kingdom’s castle shortly, a week’s travel from the town. At one point, a rowdy group of brigands were frightened off, but nothing seriously untoward happened while travelling. Upon reaching the king’s land, the group was given time to wander the town and prepare for their royal meeting the next day. After browsing the city’s market, the adventurers determined they were in need of more coin to obtain better arms. The next morning, the group reconvened with Selene, finding her in an incredibly beautiful gown.
A couple of the group noticed a fairly odd chain around her neck that dangled beneath the folds of her dress, holding a skull-etched pendant. Kevros thought he detected faint evil coming from the chest still, but kept his concerns silent, trusting the time was not right to speak up. Once the adventurer’s were brought to the throne room, their weapons were peacebonded. R’Hawen’s scythe was confiscated, much to her annoyance, since sufficient peacebonding was rather difficult for such a large weapon.
The king greeted them warmly, as Nex Necros had been long awaiting their delivery. Opening the chest, the overwhelming power of its contents nearly blinded Kevros, as he detected an unbelievable evil coming from the crown. As Nex put on the crown, a black pulse left the crown, moving outward and filling the room with an emptiness and an unnatural darkness. Suddenly, a horrible rending occurred; a deep tear ripping the fabric of the adventurer’s souls. They felt their very essence being ripped away, slipping like sand through open fingers. Somehow, they seemed to survive the hurricane of power and the king’s true intent became apparent. Every guard in the room was an eerie bleached white, having lost all their skin, left with only their bones. However, they didn’t fall, as a corpse should have. Rather, they remained standing at attention, seemingly to await orders.
Nex cackled in glee, kissing Selene deeply. The two of them seemed to have forgotten about the adventurers, regaling themselves with how they had finally rebuilt the crown and gained dominion over the kingdom. As they were chatting, Kevros’s iron tight grip on the prayer beads crushed one of the gems. A white aura seemed to envelop him and all of his allies near. Nex suddenly realized that the crown hadn’t destroyed everyone near him. Turning and glaring at them, he stretched his hand out sending all the skeletons in the room charging after them. Just as suddenly as the white aura reached a climax, the skeletons reached them… poof
The adventurers suddenly found themselves in some form of manner. Next to them was a sickly looking old man in bed and they could see dark skies on the horizon, out the open window. This man was the same that Kevros had healed. Apparently they had used the prayer beads to come to him, as a sort of refuge. The man was woken and looked at the people in his house with shock. Quickly recounting what happened, the man explained what little he could, since he could feel himself perishing. The Waste had claimed the tips of a hand thus far and was slowly working towards the palm of his hand.
He swiftly explained that the seal over this portion of the kingdom had been broken, freeing magic. Since the magic was sealed to prevent a planar incursion of the Negative Energy Plane, there was a rebound effect, sending a necrotic energy out of the epicentre, wherever the event happened. Any life in the range, should it be weak, would be both destroyed and reanimated. As he said this, he moved the adventurer’s to his private treasury and suggested that each person take something of use to them, but not to grab too many items, for fear of their magicks being restored too quickly and terrible interactions occurring. R’Hawen leapt at the chance to replace her old scythe, Kevros found a duster well suited to his firearms uses, Traice found a useful dagger that had a sparkling ruby in the hilt that drew his eye, and Ayaria picked up a bow to replace the dilapidated one she had used for numerous years.
The man then began to finish his transformation to the undead and hollered for them to leave and seek the kingdom of Sevan for aid. Sevan would know what to do, being the neighboring country to Lothidda and constantly keeping their more questionable motives in check. After leaving, they found themselves in a town surrounded by undead. Searching the various homes turned up a mix of people not yet turned and their family members having been replaced with walking corpses. At one point, a terrifying child seemed to be possessed, wielding what appeared to be a whip made of fire and laughing in blissful glee as she destroyed what was once her home and slaying her previously beloved father.
Fleeing Lothidda as quick as possible, they eventually stepped onto the land of Sevan, where the skies weren’t a preternatural dark, overcasting the land. When the sun kissed their cheeks, the adventurers felt blessed to have escaped with their lives. They then encountered a courier, headed east, and stopped him by knocking him off the horse (as Traice had learned how to use his ring). Once the courier had the situation explained to him, he headed westward, carrying word of what had happened back to the king of Sevan. The weary adventurers then took the first rest in two days, sleeping long into the next day. R’Hawen rose first, always ready to be moving forward. She commented, forebodingly, “The sun no longer rises in the east. I shan’t sit idle till it no longer sets.”