We started with our group of amnesiacs completing some shopping for much-needed upgrades. Wands, armour, weapons, all were bought and ordered from out of town merchants at the High Market. (River actually ordered a custom set of armour – Full Plate, I believe?)
Following the shopping, the group made their way out of town, and found a place to set up camp in the wilderness, on the way to the grotto they had planned on investigating. Nothing untoward accosted the group during their rest, but when they arose the next morning, River revealed he had once again suffered nightmares all night long, and was not feeling very rested. Examinations showed no physical symptoms, but Lekovi discovered a moderate magical aura of the Illusion school. (Note – the GM said faint Enchantment at the time, but this was incorrect) Unable to do much for River, the group packed up camp and moved out to where Tolli had told them the grotto where he had seen the light was located.
Sure enough, the grotto was there, but it was in the face of a small vertical rise, fronted by a beach. Cailyn immediately found a tree not far from the edge to tie a line to, and took watch while the others started climbing down. River and Taber went first. While Lekovi was still climbing down, River stepped into the cave mouth, trying to get a better look into a side passage that was beside a larger wooden barricade. As he did so, his foot snagged a tripwire, triggering a large wooden spike coated with some form of sticky paste to fly out and impale him. As this took his and Taber's attention, the vines covering the cave wall opposite suddenly showed it was animate, and stepped out, wrapping themselves around River, and choking the breath from him. As Lekovi struggled to descend the rope, Scorcher nimbly climbed around him and to the small beach. Seeing a traffic jam, Cailyn instead moved off to the edge of the beach, trying to see inside the cave. Finding the way mostly blocked due to the height, Cailyn then hopped down to some rocks at the inlet's edge. Taber stepped in to help River, flailing his staff at the vines.
River was now able to hear, further inside the cave, what sounded like a voice, but could not make sense of what it was saying. Ripping himself free of the vines, he moved further into the cave, closer to the side passage. Taber also moved up to threaten the vine, while Cailyn used her bow, and Scorcher sent blasts of magic into the cave. Lekovi struggled to climb the rope, and eventually managed to drop the last few feet to the beach. Most of the group could now hear the sound of spellcasting coming from beyond the wooden barricade. Both River and Taber saw a translucent image of what looked like a giant mushroom with a mouth full of teeth appear beside them, and it bit River, knocking him unconscious, just after he had finished off the Assassin Vine.
Taber, reacting quickly, used magic to stabilise River. Lekovi and Scorcher waited to attack the mostly-unseen foe, Lekovi recognising the creature as a Phantom Fungus. Cailyn moved in, trying to protect River from further harm, and clawed at the invisible fungus, finally bringing it down. Taber, sensing more of a threat from the main cave, moved up to the barricade, and attempted to pull it aside, needing a little more time to budge the surprisingly heavy barrier, while Cailyn applied a syringe of healing to the downed River.
From the larger cave beyond the barrier came a pair of what appeared to be wolves, covered in some sort of plant matter. At the back of the cave was a woman, dressed in armour and carrying a wooden spear, her hands glowing with magical fire. The group made short work of the wolves, and then found that the woman was covered in large thorns that stabbed at them anytime a blow made contact with her. Still, after a short struggle, the woman was knocked unconscious.
Searching the cave, the group were able to discern that the woman had been making alchemical items at a workbench against one wall. An open wooden crate contained a number of magical and nonmagical alchemical items, ranging from poisons, to drugs, to healing and buffing potions. A folded note on the worktable was revealed to be a request for “more of your dreaminducing brews, as well as more of that oil,” signed by a person named Melisenn. On one of the walls of the cave was a strange design, drawn in some sort of ochre – a spiraling mass of tendrils with two long, descending tails. River was able to identify the design as devoted to the Great Old One Xhamen-Dor, also known as the Inmost Blot, some sort of fungal deity.
After securing the woman, the group woke her, and began to question her. She revealed her name as Daridela Cornett, and that she had resided in this cave for several weeks, after travelling to Thrushmoor to find another soul who was following Xhamen-Dor. Her aim had been frustrated, though, when she found her quarry had left town. Instead, she had begun selling alchemical supplies to a group that visited her at her grotto from time to time. Despite River's constant urging to kill Daridela, the group decided to take her back to town. Searching the rest of the caves, the group located a chest with some valuables and personal items in it, which was also protected by a poison needle trap, but Cailyn was able to resist its effects. The chest also contained quite a large stash of gold.
As the group made to leave the grotto, they were attacked from the inlet by some sort of aquatic giant (identified later as a Salt Water Merrow). The creature's long arms enabled it to land a number of blows on various group members during the engagement, but clever use of some of Lekovi's long-held scrolls (of Deja Vu) forced the creature to little damage before it was finished off. The group spent a little time healing, and then led Daridela back to town.
The group travelled into town via the south road, past the New Chapel. As they did, they found that a large, angry crowd had gathered outside the studio of the half-elven painter they had met the previous day, Lelwyn Hasok. The mob were yelling for Lelwyn to face them, and accusing him of painting the murals found over the town. Lelwyn protested in his awkward way, and Lekovi scanned the thoughts of the townspeople, confirming they were afraid, and taking their fear out on the most visible target. Scorcher attempted to calm the group down, but one of the townspeople threw a rock at Lelwyn. Cailyn tried to cow the group into leaving, but was also unable to turn the tide. Finally, Scorcher was able to get through to the mob, and convince them to disperse.
Grateful, Lelwyn invited the group into his small dwelling to thank them. He explained to them again how he was looking after the Chapel while he hunted out a reward for them. The reward turned out to be a Bag of Holding containing a pile of gold coins. While the group talked to Lelwyn, Taber looked around the artist's small studio. In amongst the various portraits and views of the bay, one of the pieces of work in particular caught his eye – a large, unfinished triptych, showing sketches of 5 people in full figure, their faces indistinct and incomplete. In the background, three different cities flow seamlessly into one another under a yellowish sky. Looking more closely, Taber realised the the figures depicted in the painting were uncanny renditions of he and his companions! The sketches were so accurate, they even showed River in his usual supine position! When Taber began motioning to everyone else, Lelwyn looked at the sketch, then back at the group, and exclaimed 'They're you!'.
After looking over the artist's work, the group asked how this had happened. Lelwyn explained that he had he seen each of them in his dreams over the last few nights, and was immediately inspired to put brush to canvas. The painter says his visions (which he can’t quite remember all of the details of) gave him the sensation that “Thrushmoor’s destiny somehow depends on them.” Lelwyn ecstatically offered the PCs 10 gp apiece if they agree to return and sit for his unfinished triptych, which they did. Lelwyn also explained that the house next door to his studio was also owned by the church, and that in his capacity as caretaker of the chapel, he invited the group to stay there while they were in town. He also reiterated that he had not seen the chapel's attendant priestess for several days.
After this unsettling turn of events, the group continued on to the Sleepless Agency, intending to hand Daridela over to Cesadia Wrentz. Outside the building, they paused to look over one of the murals they had heard about, on the wall of Agency's headquarters. Looking closely, it appeared that the mural had not been painted on. The mural looked like charcoal, but did not appear to have been applied with a stick of charcoal. The application instead appeared to have somehow been applied evenly across the surfaces it was on, almost as if a stencil and spray paint had been used, only with carcoal.
Inside, the group spoke to Cesadia, and handed Daridela over to her custody. Cesadia said she would arrange for transport of the prisoner to Caliphas, which was several days journey away along the coast.
After leaving the Sleepless Agency, Lekovi was hailed by a man passing on the street. A short conversation ensued, during which the man revealed his name was Keldrin Mon, and that he was a drinking buddy of Lekovi, but hadn't seen him in several weeks. After arranging to meet him at The Silver Wagon for a drink once he was off shift, he also mentioned that the last place he had seen Lekovi was poking around Pier 19, and that it had looked like Lekovi had shoved a bundle of some sort up under the pier.
Eager to perhaps find a clue to their past, the group rushed over to Pier 19. As Lekovi and Taber moved out onto the rotting jetty, a disgusting mass of eyes, mouthes and formless flesh undulated out from under the surface of the pier. Thinking quickly and eager to test his new spell, Scorcher placed an extradimensional pit under the creature. Unfortunately, it jumped away, and Taber, eyes fixed on the dangerous thing, did not, and tumbled in. Lekovi cautiously backed away from the pit, throwing bursts of magic at the thing. Cailyn sent Pat, his Rat animal companion, into the water after the thing. The thing gibbered, sending the rat, Cailyn and Scorcher out onto the edge of madness. River waited, and struck at the thing as it swam out of the bay. Cailyn, in confusion, fired an arrow at Scorcher, but missed him, while Taber attempted to climb out of the magical pit. Lekovi again sent magic at the creature, as did Scorcher. Surrounded by Cailyn and and River, the creature attmempted to bit at them, inflicting little damage, and the pair were able to badly damage the thing. Scorcher was then able to finish it off with another burst of magical energy.