After deliberation, the party decided to set off to the capital city, Caldaria, by way of Mossvale. They stopped by the Crossroads Inn on their way, having drinks and settling a dispute between the cook and his alcoholic brother, before moving on.
While camped on the road to Mossvale, they were approached by bedraggled travelers fleeing from an attack on the Crossroads Inn! They told of ogres attacking earlier in the evening, with a group of hobgoblins who were looking for a group that, more or less, matched the party’s description.
During the night, the party was attacked by the ogres and hobgoblins, an assassination squad sent by Stonehand, who was seeking revenge for the destruction the party had caused to his band of raiders and his stronghold. The party deftly fought off the attackers, sending the one remaining survive off with a warning to Stonehand, that if he pursued this revenge it would be the end of him. Stonehand, who had watched the attack from the safety of the woods, took the warning to heart.
When the party approached Mossvale, it was already dusk. They made their way to the only inn in town, the Raven’s Roost. Inside, they found much of the town gathered together in a panic. Apparently, a tremendous beast had attacked the town’s church earlier in the evening. Also in the inn were Kreass and Gav, whom the party approached.
Kreass told the party that they were fleeing from Mossvale, which was destroyed in what was likely a dragon attack. Then Kreass explained about the attack on the church, and said that the people were speculating as to what could have caused the damage that had been seen. At this point, a young boy, Peter, exclaimed “I know who attacked the church! It was Eric!” When the party questioned the boy’s father, Stephos, as to who Eric was, they were told that Eric had been the boy’s older brother, who’d died of a wasting disease a month prior. The town’s priest of Anadea, Gramm, told the party of how he was powerless to stop the disease from consuming Eric, despite his ministrations.
The party went to the church to investigate the attack, finding dirty, rocks, and fragments of bone, wood, and cloth buried in the devastated building. All of it’s windows on the ground floor had been smashed in, and the front door collapsed. The party ventured in, while Rumpy called upon Anadea’s light to guide them. Upon entering one of the back chambers of the church, Anadea’s presence vanished, and the party discovered a concealed chamber. Descending into the room and investigating, the party discovered texts on various slow-acting poisons, and a particularly esoteric tome on the creation of golems by binding the souls of the dying to the physical world. The tome revealed that only the god of death had the power to free a soul so bound.
The party, unnerved by their findings and the general evil presence in the air, fled the church, whereupon they were attacked. A hulking mound of earth, filled with bones and splinters of wood which appeared to be from a coffin and topped with a pale skull, towered over them. They desperately tried to fight it off, but were overwhelmed and made a fighting retreat towards the cemetery out behind the church.
As they approached the cemetery, the saw a gaping hole in the earth, were it seemed as if a giant hand had reached in and pulled out several graves. Nearly defeated by the golem, Rumpy found Eric’s grave, which was the center one unearthed, and saw an amulet of Coan the Sad hung upon it. He quickly made for the icon, and, holding it up to the golem, asked the god of death to come down and take Eric’s soul.
The party was frozen in time as an emaciated, weeping figure appeared. He reached up and placed his hand upon the skull of the golem. In the next instant, the skull and figure had vanished, and the body of the golem collapsed to the ground, no longer animated.
The party returned to the inn and confronted Gramm with their findings. Gramm denied the accusations at first, then repented, saying that he was trying to give them life eternal, as Anadea would not answer his prayers. It was then revealed that many young men had died of the wasting disease, more and more in recent years, no doubt all caused by Gramm’s “loving hand”.
Strude took the young Peter outdoors as Stephos, claiming the right of vengeance, slit Gramm’s throat in the common room of the inn. The party, deciding they’d had enough of the town, set off with Kreass and Gav without delay and camped on the road to Caldaria.