A box, black as night, full of death

things get darker.

After the party leaves the gruesome scene at the canyon, they move along the tracks slowly towards Mercy. After a few miles, they discover an overturned train. Upon closer inspection, they see that this train is only a partial, being three blackened box cars. The panels are all boarded up, and they are on their side, as if they were rammed by something large on the port side. there is a lot of blood, and thick masses of flies cloud the air. There is a large swath of blood soaked sand that leads up the dune and towards a small mine. The party examines the train cars, and discovers that there is a lone survivor.

The Conductor. The party’s train conductor goes to speak with the dying man, who rambles on about The Box and The Bottle, and how they have to have it. He speaks of grave tidings, of a blood sacrifice to Andorak, The Enslaver. While this conversation is carrying on, a shifting noise emanates from one of the overturned cars. A large being bursts through the side of the car, and a skeletal minotaur emerges. The battle starts, and another minotaur crawls from the overturned car and attacks the party.

After a pitched fight, the party is victorious. They examine the train closely, and discover that this train carried a large amount of dead in one of the cars. Some of the dead have been that way for a while, while others were fairly fresh kills.

The last car, which was blasted open by the mysterious attack, looks like a mobile torturer’s lab, and has the wide fan of blood heading up into the hills. The party believes there are survivors of the crash, and set off in pursuit of the escapees.

At the mine, the party discovers, much to their horror and disgust, that all the “survivors” are actually zombies. A cramped, bloody fight rages on, until the zombies finally stop rising again and again. The party returns to the train, and rides on to their destination: Mercy.

While in Mercy, the party reports to Gaius Pellius Krooge, the leader of the garrison in Mercy.. They fill him in on all the happenings, excluding the mention of the Bag and the Bottle. Krooge offers his hospitality to the party, and invites them to a dinner celebrating their heroics out in the wilds.

The sorcereress visits Gaius Krooge’s personal library, and finds a burnt and mostly destroyed journal belonging to a dead prophet. The journal has one legible page, which shows a glimpse of the present whenever read.

Abu, wandering the town in disguise, ends up at the town’s tavern. Inside, he sees a goblin known as Krick Blackhand, a gunslinger and mercenary of some renown. Krick is the leader of the goblin band that has been hunting the party, and had lost most of his men to the group.

Krick and Abu talk and banter, at the end of which Krick offers Abu a place in his band. Abu declines, and the two part as amicably as sworn enemies can.

The party learns a few vital bits of information while in Mercy.

Krooge is the second cousin of the Emperor of the Ivory Kingdom, and was sent here to Mercy as a punishment for a severe failure. They also identify Krooge’s family crest as part of the symbol on the Bottle, which has a woman and child in a magical stasis.

A servant girl in Krooge’s household mentions to the group that her brother was one of the many servants that was taken to Krooge’s mansion in the hills. She says that none of them have come back, and that the house once belonged to Benthen Rowe, a glassteel baron of old. She asks them to help her brother escape, because she believes they are being held there against their will.

The party plans to check out the estate and see what Krooge has hidden in his closet.



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