The investigation goes slowly, and the pace is discouraging Ian and Ignatius. I don’t believe we can leave without leaving Dusky, and I don’t believe that would allow us to complete our mission in Kaidan, as it was her vision of carrying a casket with the five of us (then) – but what of Ignatius? Is he to be the bearer of the Faith of the Tree to Kaidan, but not play a role in the ending the Curse of the Wheel? Maybe he’s in the casket – a powerful connection to the positive planes to offset the negative energy that has overtaken the land. More time to stew over the future once we sort out the present.
We lost Kumori to the lamp, but saw Ignatius and Smriti once more. Ignatius was not keen to face the danger before us, since he was the most likely target. Still, like the shield he carries as both an emblem of his faith and a token of his heritage, he is designed to protect people, and reluctantly faces the blows and attacks of his foes. Smriti was more keen to face the danger, but I believe it was her joy at seeing Dusky once more that made her so, rather than any more courage in her than Ignatius.
We couldn’t think of a plan to really face the creature, since we knew so little about it. We talked and brought Ignatius and Smriti up to speed, but we went to Calliope’s show as requested, and Dusky was separated from the party by being invited to a party that the rest of us were not welcome to attend. Ian feels like Count Malbrand has an evil design on things, and I don’t trust him much, either, but I know of no connection between him and the disappearance and deaths.
Shortly after leaving the performance, we found we were wanted by the constables, and seeing it for the trap I expected, I called them on their stupidity, and the Captain, a good man, snapped out of it, though I think it may have been the thought of striking the lovely Smriti that stopped him.
On the creature responsible for this impromptu arrest, we still know so little, despite facing it for what felt like three hours – we know it can cast darkness repeatedly, as well as invisibility and turn itself into a gaseous form, can attack and try to kill with a spell that presents an illusion, much like the aura of fear it radiates, but is very deadly with its claws, unfortunately for the noble Captain, and can apparently suggest something to almost anyone.
Most troubling to me is that while I’ve never been able to hit it, because it apparently is quite dextrous or thick skinned, when Kumori and Smriti did hit it, they don’t believe they did any damage. If neither of them can damage it, I have the best chance, but it’s difficult to get it in position for me to do anything to it.
I think the only one of us who damaged it was Ian, and he has a rather tough time in doing so, especially since he can’t renew his spells.
In some ways, as an investigator, I feel like this is when the old miner or smith would step out from the shadows to talk to us and tell us what we failed to comprehend about the weakness of the creature. Maybe one of the people whom Ignatius will raise in the morning will have some clues or information, because if there’s some metal to bypass the creature’s damage reduction (other than Silver, which we didn’t try because we missed it with our enchanted weapons…), and we could acquire a weapon (or brass knuckles, for Smriti) of that metal for Kumori and Smriti, they could better contribute to the fight. Indeed, we should likely acquire that same metal as arrows for Ian, and he could put his bow to use, though he has such difficulty hitting anything with the bow, I don’t know it will connect for him.
Also, Ian must buy some scrolls to use in the fight – he mentioned Glitterdust and I suggested any spell that targets a creature’s spell-casting abilities – it may not work so well, but if we can sap or rob it of the ability to flee and kill with spells, we can hopefully put an end to the creature’s plans. Ian said something about a Touch of Idiocy, and Ignatius mentioned he could use Bestow Curse to try to bestow a blight of some sort on the creature, since he believes that Silence may backfire on us. Since Ignatius also has Invisibility Purge and Daylight to prepare, I have asked him to acquire scrolls of that as well.
There are a few options ahead of us today:
1) Ask everyone to hold a candlelight vigil tonight and to deny the creature single targets who are alone and frightened, possibly arrange the remaining performers to put on shows at appropriate distances, so the town as a whole is filled with people entertained and distracted from fear – this may weaken the creature, but is also similar to the Pthyans and the gladiator shows they hold to distract from the corruption and injustice
2) Stock up with scrolls and armaments to try to damage it and try to get face to face with it and use them up
3) Keep Ian awake and alive until the morning and let him sleep during the day to try to regain spells
4) Have Ian cast the extra-dimensional sleeping chamber and sleep there – the spell that denies him slumber may not have reach across dimensions, and Ian has said that a spell can not cross the inter-dimensional doorway.
5) Some combination of these options
6) Some option that we’ve not yet come up with thanks to Ian and Ignatius and whomever else wishes brainstorming a solution
Ultimately, I feel great sympathy for Ian and Ignatius… I recall my frustration with having been at the docks in Bloodeye guarding a boat while my companions faced danger and I could not contribute to the best of my abilities. That being said, I don’t believe Ignatius and Ian had the ideal spells prepared for the encounter, and possibly with the right spells and scrolls, they may be better able to fight it.
I know that Smriti, Kumori and even I are going to be of reduced or no effectiveness if we don’t solve how to overcome the damage reduction it carries.
P.S. Only Smriti had a good look at the creature’s face – I am going to have her work with an artist to produce a likeness of the creature and send it along with my report, but I do wish to retract my earlier concerns it may be a vampire. While it’s possible, it’s not likely. I feel we should focus our efforts on the fey. To that end, it is possible the cold iron ammunition Kumori carries may be of better use split with Ian. Even if that does not overcome the creature’s damage reduction, it is a resource we have and can test to see how well it does.
Addendum: The first plan has a flaw in that the creature can snuff out light using darkness, but if every street is lit, an approaching darkness could be a warning sign that it was coming. I will discuss that with the party.
Sketch of the suspect as described by Smriti → → →