((Party played 5 encounters, enough to get half way through level 13))
A few days after having returned to Guardian’s Peak, the team assembles in Alexus’s office upon her request in the morning. Alexus once again thanks the party for the efforts in saving Avaok and the dwarves from the Vanguard outpost as well as retrieval of the Arcane-Primal Inverter. She informs the group that Avaok and the other researchers are finding ways to put it to use in the Dry March.
In the meantime, Alexus introduces the group to a young eladrin by the name of Corrin. He informs the group that upon rising in rank and learning more about the goings on with the Vanguard and learning more about the problems in the Dry March that he has discovered that his own family’s recent happenings have been connected to the Dry March. Corrin tells him of his older sister, a rather talented wizard, some years ago was stricken upon by a curse. However his sister never told him of the details and when he pressed her for details she informed him that he shouldn’t worry as it was far from life threatening. In service at the time, Corrin couldn’t check on her and learned later that she was cured of it much to his relief. Things continued pleasantly until a few weeks ago when she contacted him again. She told him that she had discovered a powerful spell that was draining arcane energy from various sources, including people. When he pressed for details though she told him that it couldn’t wait and that she needed to get to the Vanguard Fortress immediately. He offered a guard escort if it was of such importance but she said she couldn’t wait for it to clear the “bureaucracy” and left immediatly. Corrin estimates that she should’ve arrived by now even if accounting for moving slowly.
When the party attempts to learn more info from him, a guard busts into Alexus’s chambers. In a bit of frantic state, the guard informs everyone that there are two travelers on the perimeter being attacked by monsters. When Alexus asks why he isn’t informing Clare of this, he tells them that it was a Beholder that was attacking them. Corrin asks what the travelers look like and when informed it was an old man and an eladrin woman he deducts it must be his sister traveling with their butler. Alexus asks the group to help assist the travelers as the current guards would not be able to handle such a monster and the party is dispatched to slay the beholder and rescue Corrin’s sister and butler.
After slaying the monsters, Eve is able to heal the two travelers. Upon healing them, the party quickly discovers that the old man is in fact Richard, Lydia Sareal’s butler. Upon taking a closer look at the eladrin, they put memories from a previous adventure together and discover that the eladrin is in fact Lydia, though much older. They can only assume that the curse that was put on her by Brandis Adrin has been lifted after slaying him. However despite Eve being able to stabilize Lydia, she remains unconscious. Clare and the Vanguard Peak guard comprised of more seasoned fighters eventually catch up and escort everyone back.
Several hours later, Savatri informs the group that Richard is well enough to talk. Upon entering the medical ward, they see that Corrin has come by and learn that in fact Corrin is Lydia’s younger brother. The medical staff inform the group that Lydia is still unconscious though it is probably due to the extensive trip and the battle with the monsters. The group questions Richard wondering what important info Lydia had to tell them. Richard explains that shortly after their last meeting , Lydia and himself assumed that the group was successful in slaying Brandis as Lydia soon returned to her normal age. However, it wasn’t long before she discovered that something else was missing: her arcane power. Lydia discovered that the curse placed upon her was not in fact a spell that reduced your age to that of child. No, your age was just the ransom, your arcane power was the payment. It was too late for Lydia though as it was quickly drained and left her as a fledgling wizard. Richard informs them that thankfully such power can not be removed entirely from a person but it has still been a challenge for Lydia to regain anything remotely close to her original power. Caelestis Nailo makes note that it’s no wonder the two got battered so badly by the beholder.
Richard tells the group that Lydia and himself began to research the curse and try to find any leads on how Brandis acquired the spell. Their investigations uncovered a few things of note. One, they were able to discover the general area where her power had been taken too: the Dry March. However they couldn’t pin point the exact location. Second, they discovered the real reason why Brandis had the the Arcanist’s Compass, to assist him in finding strong arcane power sources and using the spell on them. Lastly, they knew that Brandis did not create this spell himself. They did however find that he learned the spell back at his real home, further to the east.
After discovering all this they contacted Corrin at the Vanguard Peak. They knew that the Vanguard were looking into the problems with the Dry March and with Lydia’s power drained Richard and her couldn’t investigate it any deeper. After stopping at the Peak and getting Corrin their plans were to head to Brandis home. Lydia strongly believed that they would discover clues has to where or who Brandis learned the spell from. Now with Lydia out and Richard injured, he requests that the Vanguard investigate this without them. Savtri tells the group that they should be the ones to look, knowing that if they tangled with Brandis before then the reasoning is sound that if there are any defenses left at his house then they should have no trouble getting rid of them and finding clues. Before the party heads out, Corrin thanks the group for rescuing his sister and Richard. He lets them know that Lydia hasn’t always been his favorite sister but she is family and has no doubt that she’d thank them upon waking, even if she would be rather reluctant to say so.
The group heads out, resting up as the trip takes about half the day on the Gungnir. They soon spot Brandis’s house from the airship and head down to investigate. After breaking a window to get in, the group searches the house. They discover that the house has a layer of dust about but nothing is ruined so it’s possible it has been left undisturbed. Searching the rooms, Ash finds a rather odd note donating directions underneath the bed. Sin discovers a trap door hiding underneath a rug that doesn’t look nearly as dusty as the rest of the house. Descending the stairs the group finds an underground tunnel. After having a scuffle with some gibbering mouthers and chuuls, the group enters a room that looks like it’s floor has been charged with arcane energy. They quickly deduce the directions found earlier must take them safely across. After this they get to a lit room where a pair of neogi are searching bookcases and tables with various notes and books. The group charge in catching them unawares, taking down their umber hulk protector and dispatching the neogi with ease. After searching the room themselves they find various notes and books written in Deep Speech along with a map of the Dry March and some other places they are not familiar with. They find one book in particular that was next to most of the notes that while written in Deep Speech had a title written in common: The Arcane Energies Between Worlds. Satisified, the group gathers up the notes and most important books and head out.
Fairly angry by now that Brandis continues to annoy them even after his death, the group sets fire to his house, watching it burn to the ground. Satisfied he’d no longer haunt them, they jump back aboard the ship to return to the Vanguard Peak.