The night before, the three heroes had led a group of refugees in a desperate battle against the Blood Kin Orcs. Now they prepared to continue their quest east, through the gloomy swamp and on to Naspers itself. They were joined by a half-elf named Trekhart who had journeyed south from Delen to meet up with the adventurers. He too was intrigued by the mystery of Naspers, and together they pushed deep into the swamps.
Following the keen tracking skill of Trekhart, the heroes stumbled across artifacts that must surely have come from the refugees’ escape from Naspers many months ago. Broken equipment, children’s toys and discarded clothing spoke of a chaotic, disorganized retreat from the village.
After several hours slogging through the brackish swamp, the four adventurers came upon Naspers itself. The village was composed of perhaps a dozen wooden and stone structures. The buildings stood atop sturdy beams sunk deep into the marshy ground. These stilts kept the huts elevated 15 feet above the murky marsh that had encroached into the village.
The adventurers spent most of the afternoon exploring the ruined village, uncovering some small treasures and learning more about the fate of the refugees in the months leading up to their flight. That night they camped in one of two guard towers that looked out onto the silent swamp.
It was only when they moved into the great hall early the next morning that they ran afoul of the ghoul pack that had stalked them since the day before. The fight was brutal and nearly one-sided, but for Prometheor’s inadvertent sacrifice. The noble holy knight, having been laid low by the ghouls’ paralyzing touch, relinquished his grip on Rhianna’s Kiss, his blessed longsword. The ghouls immediately grasped the blade and fled into the darkness, buying precious time for Stormcrow and Trekhart to barricade the ghouls inside the great hall and escape with their two unconscious colleagues.
Once the group had rested and healed, they laid plans to ambush the ghouls in the ruined village. This they accomplished with ruthless prejudice; then they prepared to spend their second night in Naspers.
The next day, Atabraxes Stormcrow used his arcane magic to transform into a mighty raven. Soaring high above the dark swamp, he soon spied the river bluffs where the remains of holy pilgrims were rumored to be strewn about. The four adventurers made for this escarpment with all haste, pushing through the evil bog and reaching their destination at midday.
The four adventurers climbed the bluff and beheld a great circle of standing stones. Between these tall rocks they saw the tattered remains of several bodies strung from ropes and chains. In the center of the stone circle was a larger chunk of rock, different somehow and covered with mysterious runes.
The party had found Naspers and the gruesome charnel ruins atop the bluffs, but the mystery had only deepened…