After taking scope of their discoveries, riches and wounds, the heroes took off a few well-deserved days of rest. Speaking with a few more contacts within the town and the gnome’s guild, they decided that The Journal of Gheznor Tonoff was more revealing than would seem, and decided to head to the fallen Brittlebury Enclave, to find out what the “wretch” that Gheznor was ranting about might know The Elder Elemental Eye.
Setting off along unused and crumbling roads, the heroes trekked through the windswept mountains, noting that the very sky around the Moathouse, even though many hours away, seemed foreboding and dark. En route, they came across a lone, crumbling bridge amidst a wide and deep crevasse. Midway across this rain-soaked bridge, they encountered a friendly dwarven cleric of Haela Brightaxe, who, true to his competitive patron, challenged the strongest member of the party to an arm-wrestling match, should the rest wish to cross. However, soon after the psychic warrior agreed to this test and matched arms, the cheerful dwarf melted away, revealing a withered and hideous haunt, who grabbed the stunned psychic warrior and hurled him off the bridge before anyone could react! Reacting faster than thought, he empowered his body with psionic energy, crashing into the jagged rocks and upturned blades mere seconds later – the haunt had apparently used the weapons of its former victims to line the dry riverbed below the abandoned bridge. Hastily escaping the bridge by psionically using a dimension door, the gnome retreated to the far side of the valley. The haunt magically convinced the cleric and his hexblade to leap into the valley below, injuring themselves, but thankfully landing on a rocky outcropping; however, a quick dimension door prayer whisked them, as well as the warlock, across the steep valley. The psychic warrior attuned his mind and ran up the sheer rock face, meeting his allies upon the other side. The leering haunt screamed after them, but they used their divine and psychic abilities to warp themselves to safety, far away from the accursed bridge.
Arriving at the Brittlebury Enclave shortly after, the charred and crumbling remains of this former gnome holding greeted them. The party noted that it appeared wholly abandoned, as the streets were littered with rocks, debris and slender pools of trickling rime – bubbled up from an untended natural salt-geyser at the far side of the town.
Making their way to the largest building – which appeared to be a tavern, hotel, or civic hall of sorts, they discovered an unnatural chill upon entering, much cooler than the spring thaw should see. Before any could speak, much less act, a phantom melted up through the decrepit floorboards and attempted to drive a spectral blade through the gnome’s neck! Perhaps a quirk of fate, or luck, the spirit failed and the gnome railed around and burst cryokinetic energy through the leering frame, completely unharming it. The warlock sprang into action and levelled a dispelling invocation against the ghost’s blade, causing it to flicker and shed the magical crystal that allowed the spirit to strike between our world and his. The ghost shrieked with rage, it’s seemingly broken neck and jaw leering angrily at the heroes. They continued to desperately battled it, frustrated at its ability to melt into the walls, or ignore their very blades and spells. It’s hideous appearance chilled the psychic warrior to his very bone, leaving him a shell of his former self.
Eventually, they lured it out and the hexblade’s heavy mace showered sparks as it connected with this hated phantom; the gnome capitalized upon this and gave it another blast of chilled psychic energy, sending it screaming and shattering into nothingness – buying them at least a few days before the ghost would vengefully return. Upon searching the upper half of this ruin, they discovered a skeleton hanging in a closet, which loosed a screaming mad spirit of a girl, wrapped in dark smoke and crying blood. It whirled around the room and tossed the contents at the party, and attempted to lock the door as well. It attempted to scream at the cleric, but years of monastic training and an iron-strong mind steeped in unshaking faith easily pushed the spirit away, it then turned to the already-weakened psychic warrior, who felt his mind become dull and full of the she-spirit’s whispered rantings, unfocusing his psychic ability for as long as his mind would remain magically fractured.
Slashing furiously, the psychic warrior tore at her essence with his massive blade, striking true because of the mystic crystal within it’s haft, giving it power against the walking dead. The gnome loosed a bolt of psychic energy which shredded her shadowy form and the hexblade levelled a crushing blow against her, causing the shrieking spirit to melt into nothingness. Next, they carefully searched the building, top to bottom, for any signs of what may have caused these ghosts to remain within such a wretched hovel. The cleric even used his divinations, and tried to forsee any outcomes of success, but there were simply none. After double-checking the abandoned place, the heroes decided to leave and walked across the splintered cobblestone, toward the next largest building – a former place of alchemy and herbs.
As they crossed the stones, a foul, leering face bubbled up from an abandoned water fountain at the middle of the court. It appeared to be an elemental, composed entirely of muddied, stagnant water, except it was shaped as a leering, horned skull, and made clawed arms and a gnarled rib-cage out of it’s water – the cleric and gnome recognized this immediately as a demonically-infused water elemental; an elemental possessed by fiendish forces. The warlock levelled a few powerful blasts into the beast’s form, but ill-luck saw him nearly fell his psychic warrior comrade. The ensuing battle was harsh and nearly saw the death of the psychic warrior, but quick thinking on behalf of the cleric saw his friend live yet another day. The psion poured crackling psychic electricity into the fiend, sizzling it and causing it to steam and shriek, while the hexblade positioned his shadowy cat near the creature, ensuring that it’s luck would always roll ill, as he hacked at the beast with his glowing mace. As it fell hissing, it clattered semi-precious stones, which the cleric kept.
Beaten and nearly-spent, the heroes decided to pull back from this clearly wicked place. They reasoned that the elemental could only have become tainted with demonic essence intentionally, through the workings of The Elder Elemental Eye, or naturally, meaning that the Brittlebury Enclave was truly a haunted and vile place that needed their aid. Leaving town and retreating to a nearby rocky crevasse in the side of the grey walls of the mountains found them a fairly defensive location, that backed into a cave. They lit their fires and discussed the next move against the haunted town, as they rested and recovered themselves.