Morning, Toilday, 29th Arodus
Having spent time resting and visiting the markets over the last day, the group prepared to explore the cellars of Fort Hailcourse. First, they spent some time searching all of the areas of the fort, thinking they may have missed something in their haste of the previous day. Sure enough, they discovered a cache of scrolls in the first room they had entered, secreted amongs various books. In the room they had found the Skum sorcerer in, they also discovered a key, attached to the underside of a desk drawer by a blob of wax. Cailyn was able to identify this key as a master key to the fort, and stashed it into her lockpick kit.
The amnesiacs next spent time talking to the captured Skum leaders, Itsqaal-thoal and Deggorhbaatha. Itsqaal-thoal, the clawfighter, refused to acknowledge the presence of his captors, and refused to partake of any food offered. Deggorhbaatha, the sorcerer, responded, and told the group his and the other Skum's name. He also told how his people had assisted capture the fort, but now that they were clearly defeated, he wished to take the remainder of his people and flee, never to return. He confirmed that they had helped kill the Royal Inquisitor about 2 weeks ago.
After some consideration and negotiation, the amnesiacs agreed to allow Deggorhbaatha to enter the cellars to convince his followers to surrender their weapons, after which he would provide information on the contents of the cellar, and then his people would leave town. The goup escorted the Skum sorcerer to the entrance to the cellar, and watched him enter from the top of the stairs. The Skum descended, then turned to the left, and went out of sight into another chamber.
A short time later, the watching amnesiacs saw the door directly across from the stairs down open of its own volition. Lekovi cast Detect Magic, and began concentrating. He caught a sense of magic, but by the time he had focussed his senses, it was no longer detectable. The group waited a little longer, and then moved down the stairs.
The group spread out, with Taber following the route the Skum leader had taken, and River moving across to the door they had seen open, while the rest waited in the first chamber. River looked over the room behind the mysteriously-opened door, and found it full of mundane food supplies of various kinds (dried fish, Smoked fish, hard cheese, dried fruit, corn, oil, wine, vinegar, and other bottled or canned foodstuffs), with another passage leading out.
Taber, meanwhile, found the chamber to the left to contain 3 cells. One of the cells was unoccupied, one contained a pair of mutilated bodies, and the third contained a young man, curled up in the corner. While Taber communicated reassurance to this young man, Scorcher and Cailyn moved into the main room, and tested the bodies to ensure they were not undead, and then searched those cells thoroughly after Cailyn unlocked them.
The young man in the last cell appeared to have been mildly mistreated, and was very afraid. He identified himself as Sholn, who Holissa had asked the amnesiacs to locate. After Cailyn and Scorcher satisifed themselves he was who he said, Cailyn unlocked his cell as well, and let him out. The group asked Holissa what had happened, and he related how he had been knocked unconscious, and had awoken here somet time ago, in the cells. He also related how the people in the cell next to his had tried talking to him at first, but their Skum captors had eventually discouraged any noise. Holissa also said he had not heard anything from his fellow prisoners for some time. Decidinging the young man was no threat, they gave him some food, then escorted him to the front gates of the Fort, with instructions to return to his sister. Some of the group stayed in the cellar, watching for the Skum.
Returning to the cellars, and still with little idea of where the Skum had gone, the group tried the next door leading out of the jail. It was locked, but Cailyn was able to open it (with the aid of the master key), revealing a dusty old storage room. The room seemed to contain a mix of old and broken furniture, archived records, and old uniforms. Examining the records, the group was able to determine they were all at least a century old, despite the mildew setting in.
In one corner of the room, the group spotted a section of wall where the plaster was crumbling away, revealing what looked like the outline of an opening. As the group moved towards it, a ghostly figure stepped out of the wall, moaning, and began attacking the group with a corrupting touch. The translucent figure lithely moved around the room, stepping into and out of the walls to avoid being struck, and threatening the casters in the group. Despite several damaging hits on River and Scorcher, the group were eventually able to discorporate the figure.
After recovering from their ordeal, the group looked closer at the marked section of wall. It appeared that another corridor had been sealed off here at some point in the past. Working together, the group were able to pull the unmortared stone down, revealing another cell. Lying on the floor of the cell was a dessicated corpse wearing little but a loincloth. River and Lekovi examined the body, and were able to determine he had starved to death , but that there appeared to be something in the digestive tract. Cutting the corpse open, they discovered a scarlet and blue ioun stone. Some in the group recalled reading some case notes about a man named Clymes Prett, and decided this may have been him.
Leaving this dead end behind, and finding no other sign of the Skum, the group returned to the pantry with the self-opening door, and moved into the next chamber from it, after searching it thoroughly. The next area proved to be some sort of water storage area, with a number of empty barrels and other water containers. Another passage lead to a door in the north. At this door, Cailyn discovered a trap, connected to the door, and disabled it. Cailyn was able to recover an alchemist's ice vial from the trap.
Behind the door was revealed an opening that led into the well shaft. Above could be seen the well opening, and down below could be seen flowing water. Finding signs of webbed footprints leading from the door to the well, the group surmised that perhaps the Skum had somehow entered and exited the Fort from here.
With no other sign of the Skum, and no further way forward, the group recovered the body they had found in the hidden cell, and determined to head to Winter to have the body reconsecrated.
With no warning, as the group walked through Thrushmoor's streets, a lithe woman wearing a chain hauberk appeared beside Scorcher, killing him in two blows before anyone could react, and then moving away. Cailyn began firing arrows at the woman, as Taber and River moved to intercept her. Lekovi, thinking quickly as ever, Suggested that the woman go try out the fruit at a vendor's cart, at the other end of the street. Falling prey to his magic, the woman danced around the group towards the cart, but being unable to escape or defend herself, she was soon cut down in vengeance for what she had done.
Reeling from this attack, and with no means to resurrect Scorcher available in Thrushmoor, the group quickly took passage to the capital city of Caliphas aboard a trading vessel bound there. They arrived long after sundown on the following day.
Oathday, 31st Arodus
The group located a temple of Sarenrae with a priest willing and able to raise Scorcher. Finding an opportunity and need to raise liquid funds, the group visited the city markets, and sold off a number of valuable items for cash, purchasing some more needed supplies at the same time. One of these supplies was a scroll that allowed River to remove Cailyn's leprosy infection. After paying the Sarenites for their help with Scorcher, the group then found passage back to Thrushmoor.
Fireday 1st Rova
The amnesiac's vessel arrived back in Thrushmoor the following day, about an hour before sunset.