Into the Breach
•Leaving Archie with Halidus, the troupe travels to Port Skarsgaard before heading east to Blackwater.
•Along the way, they decide to stop at the Vistani Gypsy camp to meet with the man that said that he knew Saorise when they had crossed paths earlier on the path to Baldersbalet (see Chapter 4), but the gypsies had moved on, travelling to the feywild near the forest of Ins Namav Great Fyr (the same forest they had travelled to to save the baby Jamie Dunwall from Eribots, Finkel and Phytalus, also in Chapter 4.
•The gypsies had placed a curse on Saorise’s family after the terrible events that led to her fleeing her home (see Saorise and the Gypsies of Kawaguchi), one of the reasons that the spriggan Smidgen, had been trying to track Saorise down.
•The gypsy elders agreed to lift the curse, if the troupe brought them a rare creature from the forest – a unicorn of dusk – that the gypsies had visited every year since it’s birth, but this year did not.
•The troupe ventured into the forest and found the injured beast, trapped on a small island in the middle of a lake by a fey hydra, slaying the beast and liberating the unicorn.
•The gnomes Eribots, Finkel and Phytalus warned the troupe that if they took this creature to the gypsies, they would kill it and use it’s horn to make powerful magic potions, and instead should take it to The Queen of the Glade, so that it would be safe, but they refused – a deal was a deal.
•The gypsies hold up their end of the deal, lifting the curse from Saorise’s family.
•Entering the gates of Blackwater, they set off all manner of magical wards and alarms, indicating that at least one of the troupe must be infected with the plague. The Lord of Blackwater, Kassendro who quickly deduced that it was the vial of the black liquid Gideon was carrying with him that set off the alarms, and quarantined it – asking that they come by his tower later to discuss things.
•Kassendro explains that the black substance – that they call “aquaplaga” is found in the bodies of plague victims, but is never stable enough to be collected in vials, instead evaporating into the aether. Eager to study the sample, he says he will report to them any findings, when he discovers anything.
•The troupe reveals that they’re here to seek out the The Cult of the Kolossi chapter house at the address given to them by Jon Gosser (see Chapter 5), but after Kassendro looks up the address in the city logs, he says he wants nothing to do with it, and they’re on their own at the mercy of the law if they want to break in there.
•Tsvolat decided to seek out the academics of Blackwater Academy to see if he could learn more about his divine affliction (see Chapter 4).
•The Cult chapter house is abandoned, and they find it full of demonic paraphernalia, indicating that the cult had been using the aguaplaga and the blood of demons for rituals and experiments, but for whatever reason had had to abandon it.
•Unfortunately in the basements and sub-basements of the house, the party got split up by demonic creatures, traps and a group of shardminds tracking the group for the crystal shard they took from The Welp in Unbaraki (see Chapter 4).
•In any case, Grotto managed to escape attracting the city guards for help – Captain of the Guard, an eladrin named Taisanos, was waiting and had been keeping an eye on things with strict instructions. Captain Taisanos released a destructive orb to float to the depths of the cult chapter house and cause a detonation to collapse it (intending to bury the fact that Kassendro could know anything about what was in there, protecting the relationship he had with the property’s shadowy owner). Grotto convinced Taisanos to help him get the rest of the troupe out of the building, however, against the orders the captain had been given.
•Fleeing the building as it collapsed, the captain ushered the troupe into a carriage with Kassendro waiting for them. Although in support of their mission, he had them expelled from the city for the sake of deniability with the King’s Council, but sent word to the Temple of Saint Jolnir in the plague-ridden Blackwater Park to give them shelter whilst he analysed the aguaplaga sample.
•In the hospital run by the Temple of Saint Jolnir, they met a former Blackwater Academy member, expelled for becoming infected who explained to them that he believed the aguaplaga was being blown by unnatural storm winds from the south, that he had seen aquaplaga form on the south faces of building before it evaporated. He suggested that whatever is causing the plague, and the source of the aguaplaga itself is in the uncharted marsh in the valley to the south, and if the troupe wanted answers, that is where they should go.
•A letter from Kassendro revealed that the sample was indeed aguaplaga, but a modified more stable version – and that it had abyssal demonic energy within it – and a curious ability to nullify energy from the Far Realm.
•The troupe decided to go south to the source of the aguaplaga, but not before being ambushed by the Knights of Proinon – (a sect from Astera who have a particular abhorrence for demons and demon worship and had become convinced that the troupe had been involved with that sort of thing) and an ambush by some of the cult of the Kolossi themselves.