Last week on the Tuesday game...
Deciding that they should see the vampire die with their own eyes, the party headed out with the clerics and paladins assaulting the castle. The vampire spawn guarding the place proved to be more difficult to deal with than they had anticipated, and by the time they were ready to attack the throne room, only two paladins of Krubivax and one cleric of Cimayi were left.
The battle did not go well. In less than half a minute, one paladin was dead, and the other paladin was left struggling weakly in the vampire's grip as his lifeblood bled from his neck; and in all that time, the party had not managed to so much as scratch the foul creature. Realising that the odds were sorely against them, the party asked to parley: and to their surprise, the vampire agreed.
All he wanted, he said, was to be left alone: if the party would agree to leave and stop the paladins from attacking his castle again, he would allow them to walk out of the castle alive. The party agreed, and they quickly rode back to Drandeur, all the while keeping an eye out behind them lest the vampire change his mind.
Back in Drandeur, the sole survivor of the priestly forces - a human cleric by the name of Gabriel - reports back to the Temple of Krubivax saying that they were severely outmatched, and that sending more men to attack the vampire would be nothing short of suicide. The priest of Krubivax disagreed, saying that it was their sacred duty to fight undead wherever they may be found, and the two of them exchanged heated words.
By the time they were done, and the cleric returned to the Temple of Cimayi, word about their disagreement had spread, and Gabriel's own head priest gently suggested that it might be a good idea to "take some time off, maybe travel the world for a bit with these adventurers, and come back when things have cooled down a little". With little else to lose or do, he agreed, and the party welcomed him into their midst with open arms.
Driven by Serrano's consuming curiosity in Blackwall, the party decides to head to Yaniel, the last place that the demon was seen in. Gathering the horses and supplies that they would need for the month-long journey ahead, the party set forth in a carriage and made their way to the closest town: a small mining town by the name of Blackspot.
It soon became apparent why the town was called Blackspot. Thick black soot - mostly from the result of extensive coal and iron mining operations - covered almost every surface of the town's exterior, and while the townfolk seemed friendly enough, most of them seemed chronically exhausted, almost as if the work was draining the life out of them.
Seeing that there was no tavern or inn, the party pulled their carriage into the only stable in town and were promptly invited to stay the night at the stablemaster's own house. The friendly man also warned them to not venture out at night, saying that over the last month, three young men were killed by some creature because they were wandering the woods.
The night passed without incident, but the party found themselves awoken by a young woman's screams. Making their way to the gates of the town, they found the corpse of yet another young man, and his young fiancee weeping profusely by his side. As Serrano cleared the area of bystanders, Gabriel used Speak with Dead to commune with the poor soul and discovered that he was killed while he was out gathering moonflower for his fiancee.
Speaking with the stablemaster, the party learnt that moonflower was a local aphrodisiac that the men of the town were known to employ. "Not that I've ever had to use it myself, of course," the stablemaster hastened to add, "but you hear things. I can bring you to the cave if you wish, it's about half a day's hike from Blackspot." The party agreed, and they set forth into the wilderness.
Upon entering the cave, the party was swiftly jumped by a single weretiger, and although they did not have much trouble dispatching the creature, one thing worried them: the fact that there were two beds in the cave and not just one. Their suspicions proved accurate, and as they tossed the cave, they were swiftly jumped by a second weretiger who was just returning from a hunt.
As the weretiger roared its fury and despair, it crushed an amulet or statuette in its paws, and a water elemental began forming from a pool within the cave. The fight proved to be challenging, and within moments the weakened Serrano collapsed, half-drowned within the deathly cold embrace of the water elemental. Before Gabriel could get to him and drag him back to his feet, the weretiger lashed out at the rogue's unconscious form in a blood frenzy.
This proved to be all the encouragement that Serrano needed to give up the ghost, and as his soul was dragged screaming into the Grey Wastes of Hades, Bloodspine smiled to itself... and made itself right at home within Serrano's cold, limp body. It took the demon a while to figure out how to work everything, but it caught on quickly enough, and it only took a moment before Serrano was back on his feet. His miraculous recovery went unnoticed by the rest of the party (who, to be fair, had other things on their mind: such as a massive water elemental and a furious weretiger), and with "Serrano" back in the fray, the party went on to dispatch the creature for good.
Gabriel seeks out Daisy and hands her a moonflower, saying that her fiance died trying to get one of these for her. It is a sad-looking thing, its once-vibrant violet hues faded and wilting, and the pathetic sight of the flower drives Daisy into another bout of uncontrollable weeping. Her mother gently takes the moonflower from Gabriel and thanks him, saying that it is at least something that she can remember her fiance by.
Alistair - watched by Serrano/Bloodspine and Lia - studies the variant Fireball spell that he recently learnt. Re-reading the spell in his spellbook, in his own handwriting, gives him a mild headache and the annoying sensation that he's on the verge of some sort of breakthrough, some sort of deeper understanding of the world around him... but he does not. Perhaps a larger sample size of these variant spells would help.
Fenrir hunts in the wilderness around Blackspot and catches a bunch of wild rabbits for sale to the townfolk. Being a small mining town, however, they do not have much to offer, and he makes just 1sp for his trouble.