Lynch’s Journal #134
The trek to the map’s first destination is uneventful. Using a technique taught to me by the elf druid Nataku, I have been communicating with the frozen landscape around me to locate any potential threats in our area. The occasional presences were nothing to be concerned about except for one, a dragon. The terrain itself is terrible and I cannot fathom battling a wyrm in it.
It took a day before I realized it was Balasar and his heritage that was being detected.
It seems luck favored us there.
Diamond Lagoon rest in a canyon between two mountain ranges. The history of it is not lost on Amon. He recalls that the place was once a bustling community when the mines ran rich with the precious gems that gave way to the name. The latter part was given when the mines had collapse and flooded some twenty years ago, creating a small lake that separated the town.
After the accident many residents packed up and left, hence the creepy silence of the place.
It seems more like dread to the rest of us. Not one person is to be seen as we approach. As the lagoon greets us I use my keen eyes to look among the buildings that spread around the shores of the lake. As I do Balasar calls upon his divine senses, finding that evil radiates from the water. The closer the paladin moves toward it, the stronger it grows. The presence makes the copperborn uneasy and sickly.
Knowing we made need him for whatever is lurking here, Balasar rests as I begin to focus, reaching into the awareness of the mountains that surround the town. Besides the copporborn only one undead is detected within the area of Diamond Lagoon. A small threat to the four of us. If anything it could be a clue to the evil of the lagoon.
Though the gift is useful, there is a drawback. I have no idea where the presences are that nature detects, turning any possible search into a guessing game. Scanning the area for any clues, Lithia picks up heavy boot prints that are covered by the freshly fallen snow heading in the direction of the bungalows on the right of the lagoon.
With her and Prince Frost following a dagger’s toss behind us, Balasar and myself cautiously follow the tracks to the first home. Before we can even step upon veranda, the sound of glass shattering echoes around the homes. Not wasting anytime, the paladin and I lead the rush to investigate.
The tracks lead toward the sound but become more frantic and spread out, the clear signs of a struggle. Following the incident to the door of the next bungalow, Balasar covers the back door with Lithia and Amon as support while I bust into the front. The mess of wet footprints leads down to the hallway where a trail of blood leads from one room to the next.
Balasar gives me the nod to move ahead to the first room. Within is a most gruesome scene, in a fresh pool of his own blood is the dead body of a male dwarf. The smooth edges of the cut across his belly tells that one swing disembowel the poor fellow. It would take something as strong as the copperborn to make one clean cut such as that.
If anything it tells me that the murder has not gotten far.
Motioning to Balasar, I move forward to follow the blood trail to the next room. Death awaits for me there as well. Pinned to the wall with a longsword are two elves. It seems the male was attempting to protect his lover from whatever impaled them. The blade is pushed all the way to the hilt into them, fastening them to the wall half a foot above the floor.
Another sign of this thing’s impressive strength.
Is this the doing of Tuskgutter? I have no doubts about it. The abomination was heading North. Diamond Lagoon is the only clear path through this area so he and Slukx were forced this way. That would make me sense of the large boot prints that lead us here. I am betting they wanted no witnesses to their passage.
Rushing out of the room and past Balasar, I tell him what was discovered. As he rushes behind me I yell out for Prince and Princess Frost to check the snow for fresh blood. It does not take long to find it hidden among the snow, heading further into the bungalows.
We waste no time following the trail to the fiend.