1st day of Heironeous, 816
After several days of journey, the party reached Ampersand’s hometown of Lonsalindel and met with her parents, Janak and Janini Hollysword. They were very happy to see their daughter, but advised her and her friends to leave, as the town was in the middle of a magical plague. Being the helpful adventurers they are, the group offered to try and solve the mystery of this disease.
Their first stop was the home of the alchemist Polach Beldshy, one of the top suspects. He had moved to the town just a week before the disease started and did work involved with strange and magical compounds, so he was an obvious scapegoat. He didn’t want to talk to the heroes, but they got inside through bluff and magic. They searched his laboratory and questioned him, but could find no evidence that he had caused the plague, so they left to talk to the mayor.
The Half-Elven mayor Jakob Netrii didn’t prove to be too helpful, although he did suggest they talk to Jotham Delwar, town constable and former lover of Ampersand. Off the record, he blamed Yogini the witch.
After a tense reunion with his former girlfriend, Jotham divulged some useful information. He confirmed that the two main suspects were Polach and Yogini. Polach had cooperated with the authorities and was no longer official suspicion, at least for the time being. Yogini however, refused to talk to the town guard and had a history of wanting to violently expel the Human element of the town. However, would she go so far as to inflict a disease on the town that killed as many if not more Elves than Humans? The party decided to check in with the local priest and then investigate this supposed witch.
Father Samtai did not add much they didn’t already know, but the trip to Yogini’s hut proved to be eventful. They knocked on the door and called to her with no answer, so a cunning plan was hatched. They would cover the chimney so that her house would fill with smoke and she’d be forced to exit. Surely nothing bad could come of this! Unbeknownst to the group, Yogini had been awake all night working on a cure for the disease and was currently in a deep sleep. By the time smoke started pouring out of cracks in the hut and the adventurers entered to see what had happened, the old woman had died to smoke inhalation.
The party panicked. They had killed countless Kobolds, Troglodytes and monsters, but they had just accidentally murdered and old woman in her sleep. To make matters worse, they could hear someone approaching the hut. The body was stuffed under the cot and Monitus used a spell to make himself look like the witch. The lady who came to the door was an Elf named Vidhava. She wanted to talk to Yogini about the supposed human conspiracy to get rid of all the Elves in the town. Luckily, she believed that Monitus was Yogini and that “she” was too sick to discuss it at the moment.
With Vidhava gone, the “heroes” set about covering their tracks. First, for some reason they decided to let Krolok perform a crude autopsy of the body, to see whether or not she had died of smoke inhalation. After chopping her into pieces with his axe, they concluded that she probably had. Nirinjan took her herbalism texts and research material in case they might come in handy later while the rest of the group unsuccessfully searched the hut for anything else they might use. They then left messages outside making it seem like a group of Humans out for Elven blood had done the deed and torched the hut.
A group of Elves soon gathered and muttered to themselves about how the Humans had “gone too far this time.” Ampersand was able to gain their confidence and found out that the Elves were going to organize a midnight meeting in Vidhava’s wheat field in order to put a stop to the humans once and for all. The party split up and began to wait for the meeting. On his own, Melancthon revisited the Cleric Samtai and put a spell on him to make him confess to spreading the disease, thinking that might calm the townsfolk down.
Evidently, news of the Elves’ plan had leaked to the Humans, for as they gathered in the field, a crowd of Humans bearing torches marched up as well. A fight was about to break out when Father Samtai and showed up and announced that he was the cause of the disease. Just when things couldn’t get any more confusing, a horde of demonic Dretches crawled up through holes in the ground and began attacking all who had gathered. These were dispatched easily by the party, but not before two of the villagers had been killed. Calvin used an earth shifting spell to discover an open area directly beneath the field. There they found a huge wounded Nalfeshnee, a Demon much more powerful than the weak Dretches. The beast had been in battle with a powerful Paladin when it had attempted to teleport away. However, it had just received a mighty wound from a holy longsword which disrupted its teleport and made it end up under the field of Vidhava. Unable to move or heal itself, it had laid there for weeks, poisoning the fields and infecting the town. Using Gate to call upon a mob of Dretches had been its last ditch effort and now it lay closer to death than before. Krolok was all to willing to put it out of its misery and the town was saved from any more disease.
The Great Lonsalindel Plague
Hindsight is 20/20
1st day of Heironeous, 816