When the party awoke, Yuni was bearing the mark found on the dead woman on her forehead. As the party searched the airship, they saw the dead crew rise before their eyes. The party lashed out to strike down the undead soldiers. Each one they hit faded into darkness. Dai’chon was the first to realize that the ghouls were merely illusions. He convinced the rest of the team that the illusions were not real, but not before Grimm and Vengeance had desecrated the body of the dead woman, fearing that it too would come to life.
Using one of the ritual scrolls found in the witch’s den, E’rah was able to relive the last few moments of the airship captain’s life.
The captain marches to the room where the woman in white is being held captive. “What is all the commotion in here?”
“Sir, we saw the woman slip a small object off her person and hide it under the floorboards,” one of the guards said while the other was hunched over, examining the cracks between the wooden boards.
Before the captain could reprimand the two guards, a third marched into the room. The captain fixes his eyes on the lieutenant who gives a sharp salute. “Sir, this was found on the engineering level” he said holding out an object in his hands. It was a small metal talisman with a symbol of the moon on it.
“One of those lunatics must have gotten on board. Search the ship!” the captain ordered.
“They mean to kill me” the woman said solemnly, breaking her silence. “If one was on board the ship, then we are all surely doomed“
As if triggered by her words, a thunderous explosion rocks the ship.
Grimm tore up some of the floorboards in the wrecked airship. Inside they found a small ring with the symbol of a comet on it.
Losing interest in the events on the ship, Vengeance examines some of the maps stolen from the witch’s old den. One of which appears to be a map of possible wild manasprings. He makes the nearest location the destination for tomorrow’s journey.
While the party rested for the night, an invisible assassin sneaked into camp and nearly slit E’rah’s throat. Luckily E’rah caught the glint of the campfire in the knife’s blade and managed to slip away and alert the others just in time. The assassin managed to escape, but left the would-be murder weapon: a dagger with the symbol of the moon on it.
When morning came, the mark upon Yuni’s head had disappeared. However, a new one, similar but not quite the same, had appeared on Vengeance’s head. During the course of the day as they marched down the mountain and into the forest, Vengeance’s genasi elemental scars began to glow and smoke.
Deep in the forest they came across dozens of strange stone statues. The statues were of feral looking four-armed creatures with mask-like faces. Vengeance boldly knocked one over. Grimm, not to ever be outdone, knocked over a dozen more. Soon the statues began coming to life and attacking the party. During the encounter, Vengeance’s genasi scars burst into open flame. Unfortunately this burnt most of the gear he had on his person.
When the battle was over a strange voice called out, asking them if they were foolish enough to come to this forest willingly. What the party first thought were a pair of trees bent down to reveal that what sat atop was a small stone cabin. Out of the cabin emerged a eladrin wizard. He explained that these woods have long since been cursed by a fearsome creature named Vaskmati. His curse prevents anyone who enters these woods from ever leaving, and all of those that meet his gaze would be turned to monsters under his influence. Luckily the monster’s vision was based on movement, so one caught in his sights could avoid the curse by standing perfectly still. Amongst the treasure that he guards is a crystal the serves as the focus object for his curse and would have to be retrieved in order to break the spell.
The party make their way to Vaskmati’s lair: the ruins of an old town around a manasprings, long since abandoned and now overgrown by the woods. Two of Vaskmati’s heads laid sleeping while the one with the cursed eye kept watch. The team had to move silently between the crumbling walls of the ruins to avoid Vaskmati’s gaze, whose attention was divided between the party and another group of thieves that came to loot his treasure.
Tired of playing hide and seek, Vengeance struck first, waking Vaskmati and teleporting him to a cramped corner of the ruins. However slaying the creature proved very difficult because the threat of the cursed eye remained.
E’rah was the first to recover the treasure hidden by the manaspring. Inside was the focus crystal, as well as a magic crossbow. E’rah proposed a game to Grimm: see who can poke out Vaskmati’s eye first. Enthusiastic about the new challenge, Grimm was able to use the crossbow to strike Vaskmati in the eye, blinding him. With the combined effort of the party, Vaskmati soon fell.