After leaving Timberdale, convincing Laurence and Horo to come with, the party heads east, push forward into the mountains. The weather settles on a cold fog that covers the mountain top, billowing mist. A day later, they come upon a checkpoint, covering the entrance into the Byway.
It seems that the Byway is currently closed, as there has been people going missing after a terrible thunderstorm a few days ago. The guards have sent a team in, and another adventuring group volunteered to go in and look around. They were stopping all traffic, so Laurence and Horo opted to stay outside while the others went in to look around.
Heading in, they find the main passage to be well lit and clean, with smaller doors open on each side. Looking through the first three, they find nothing, though in the fourth they find a group of women at a base camp of sorts. They introduce themselves as members of the Order of the Solar Lily, and had been passing through when they found their way blocked. The first women introduces herself as Trillian Wyndon, and explain that some of the guards seem to have gone missing.
A brief scuffle ensues at this point, as Sephira attempts to take Cherise, Trillian’s little manou pet. Another women, Juriana Cole, steps up, by Trillian waves her off. It is decided by the other party members that Juri must be the butch, and Sephira mentions that she is very open to alternative lifestyles.
They split up then, figuring they will cover more ground if they check the last passage while the Order finishes looking down this passage. Heading into the last hall, with Pariah throwing his lit stone down the hall trying to look further ahead, they stumble upon a man in a cloak.
The man saying nothing, and Sephira attempts to shake his hand, trying to wake him up. He attempts to throw her to the floor, while Drorock lights up more of the room. There is more people in there, also in cloaks. They attack the party.
A hail of arrows hit the party, while Sephira wades into the front two. They quickly find that these men are not, when most of the skin falls off of the first man, revealing that he is just a skeleton underneath. Taking them down, Ghesh notices that they seem to have a weakness to Radiant damage, Sephira finds that everything dies to lightning, Pariah uses Shield for the first time, saving him from death by arrows, and Drorock gains his first kill by laughing at it.
After the battle, they decide that the Order had a good idea, and Drorock uses a make camp ritual. While clearing away the skeletons, they find a pair of Goblin Stomper boots, which Sephira takes. They take a short rest, then move on, figuring that this could be their retreat point if things get bad.
Moving forward, they descend into a catacombs, of sorts. They find hundreds of bodies, nothing more then skeletons and bits of cloth, slotted away in room after room of wall cut burial rooms. Pressing onward, they find the missing guards, who seem trapped in one room, yelling and swinging at things the party can’t see. As the party comes in, the leader yells, and the men go after them.
After the first one drops, something strange happens. As each man goes down, four giggling wisps of light appear, intent on draining the energy out of the party. The battle gets hectic as the true enemy becomes clear. Ghesh manages to strike down the leader in one climactic critical hit, while the other three busy themselves with making sure the wisps don’t get out of hand. Pariah summons his Fire Warrior, which busies itself with clearing the room, while Drorock wades into the middle, trying to prevent the man from bleeding to death. They had decided that the man was unto Poland, of great battles past.
After a hectic battle, they finally clear the room, and the man is restored to his senses. They question him closely, attempting to find what happened down here. He didn’t remember much, only that they had followed what few leads they had, and eventually made their way deep inside the catacombs. They soon got lost, loosing their torches and being chased by small laughing voices. He then remembered waking up, on the floor, with Ghesh above him.
They sent him back to the base camp, assuring him that they would investigate what was going on down here. Moving into the last room, they found two large Elven status, one of a women in plate with a sword raised, and the other a man in clerical robes holding the symbol of Unis Mundi aloft. This was presumable their tomb, though of how old it was difficult to say.
Attempting to pass through, Pariah found the way was blocked by a force wall, which resisted all attempts to break through. After searching around, Sephira remembered enough of her history to read the plaques on the statues, which mentioned that the two elves were supposedly keepers of secrets under the Lady of the Celestial Wind. Finding a loose stone, they pried it up and found a switch, which dropped the force wall long enough for them to slip through.
On the other side, they found an alter set up, also for Unis Mundi, where Sephira found a pair of Hedge Wizards Gloves tucked away in a box, hidden from the wear of time. Pushing past the alter room, they heard the sounds of battle, and rushed to follow.
They found Trillian and Juriana, being mobbed from all sides by a horde of skeletons. The other Order members where no where to be seen.
Forgot to mention, Sephira got our first disease, against the first group of skeletons. She got Skinrot.