7/7/1000 – Godsday 7th Ripening 1000 YT
Shaken by the frightening encounter with the apparently evil Father Belben and Brother Timofey in the strange underground temple, Tomek and Natalia discussed what to do next. Knowing that by doing so they were surely condemning the two priests to die of starvation in the pitch darkness of the subterranean structure, they decided that they had no choice other than to leave the two priests imprisoned there. Both Tomek and Natalia felt bad about it. But having been attacked so viciously by Belben, and not sure what spells he might have at his disposal, they were not prepared to face him again.
They examined Belben’s possessions and found that hidden inside his prayer book were two pages torn from some other tome which bore a striking resemblance to the pages the party had found when searching the temple:
Reflecting on this, they realised that Belben clearly had a connection to the temple and to the whatever strange cult or deity to which it was dedicated.
They decided to shut the outer door to the temple structure and to camouflage the entrance the best they could, spending almost an hour tearing up bramble and gorse bushes for this purpose. It was decided to keep all of the priests’ valuables (their cash and the various artefacts found in the temple) but not their prayer books, fearing they might be asked how they acquired them. The prayer books, then, were buried in the forest. With the same worries in mind, Tomek freed the priests’ well-kept horses, hoping the animals would wander far away to be found and used by some new owner.
Remembering Belben’s insistence that the bodies of the unfortunate Madame Zhara and her companions (the three people possessed by the Yellow Musk Creeper who had attacked the party the evening before) not be searched, Tomek and Natalia did exactly that. They noted that one of Massac Blueblade’s tattoos resembled the creature shown on the drawings on the pages found in the temple and in Belben’s prayer book. They seized various valuable items – Blueblade’s jewelled dagger, some gold coins and a ruby-eyed pendant in the form of black goat on Madame Zhara’s person. Zhara also had visiting cards giving her address in the city of Blodno. Noting that Belben also hails from that city, the players agreed that there must be some connection between this unfortunate group and Father Belben.
Discussing how to concoct a cover story explaining the disappearance of the two priests, Tomek and Natalia rode into the forest, nothing with concern that the heavy rain would surely make it hard to retrace their own tracks and find the trail up to the Border Road…