The party makes it to the monastery, now they must sneak or fight their way in to find the answers they seek to continue their quest to retrieve the bloodstone from Ixiolander.
The party made it to a small village not far from the monastery. The locals believe while focused on the morbid side of Pharasma, that the monks are still of her order. The were warned of a magical border one mile out from the Monastery. When they approached it they found it to be an ancient divine barrier against undead, with more spells woven in that warned the inhabitants of approaching magical auras.
Without any way to avoid detection, Martuph decided to make his presence known. Tessara left the group to complete an unknown task. The rest waited until morning to cross, and he stepped into the border and began his obedience ritual on the edge of the warded area. The party used this as, they hoped, a distraction enter the warded area.
They were observed, and once Martuph was done with his banging about. A monastery wizard began raining fire spells on the party from the sky. It was a quick and fierce trade of arrows, and spells. Martuph and Faeron were both heavily scorched, but the wizard’s arrogance was his undoing. He came too close, and was able to be observed despite his invisibility spells, and the party finished him off on closer to even terms.
They then spent an hour making the remaining distance to the Monastery’s main gate. Where the gate’s guardians immediately attacked without challenge or question. Faeron and Faydra crossed swords and scythe against the guardians quick and deadly punches and kicks. The party was once again victorious. Yet much was spent to get here, and they’ve only made it to the gate.
Once inside, the party faces a few traps, and more members of the cult. They discover that one of the ways the cults avoided detection is because the secrets they found here led to a mixed worship of Norgorber and Pharasma.
They faced many assassins, monks and rogues. Yet they had a purpose, and they focused not on exploring and clearing every room of the temple of the cult, but instead on finding the information they were looking for. They went deep into ancient crypts under the temple, and found a underground vault.
This vault was protected by Venomfist. A unique and evil water elemental allied with Norgorber. Venomfist loved drowning enemies who carried or used poison. Grem had collected some poisons off of monks and assassins they’d faced. So until powerful blows by Faydra and Faeron distracted him, he focused on Grem. The party managed to draw him out of his pool in the room between them and the vault door, this and the limited space kept Venomfist from manifesting at his full size. So in the end, they managed to defeat Venomfist.
Once they entered the vault, they discovered it was emptier than they expected. Several bookshelves looked recently emptied. In a journal written by Ixolander, they found a note addressed to Faydra. It proclaimed they left only the information the party seeked, and that they would not find the rest of the Anaphexia.
As the tried to leave the vault with the journal, Venomfists pool flooded the room before the vault. The party suddenly found themselves released from a wave of water on the far side of the mountain range they’d climbed to get to the monastery.
Now, with Ixolander’s journal, they must face him again to gather another bloodstone.