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Hunting the Black Mist

An excerpt from the journal of Fryn Kenlyl

My comrades and I began an investigation into the cause of a sickness affecting a number of inhabitants of the island of Acadia. While such pursuits are usually outside of our jurisdiction, it was a pre-requisite for recruiting Heather — granddaughter of the elf Stark requested — to Stark’s team on Angie’s Sigil.

We quickly came to the conclusion that we were looking at an unnatural effect rather than a contagion. Having witnessed what we believed to be possession on this island before, that was our leading supposition.

Thon and I canvassed temples in the city to see what knowledge the locals had of similar effects. It was mostly fruitless and forced me into contact with the temple of Pelor or Helios or Sol or whatever the local sun god is called. It was unpleasant and unhelpful, as sun gods tend to be.

Meanwhile, our comrades investigated the location where we’d encountered the mist-like creature possessing the dead bodies of gnolls. They also found little of interest.

That night, a disturbance took place throughout the city. Residents in some way close to the local tailor were all forced to clumsily attack locations containing the visiting Jedi. They were quickly subdued, and the tailor was found near the watchtower the next morning.

We questioned those who had been near the tailor both before and after his drastic change in behaviour to learn that he’d become possessed while purchasing food at the market square. From there, we found a clear line of sight to the previous victim, giving us an idea of how the possession spreads. Thon posited a number of psionic abilities would allow a powerful psionic creature to do all the things we were witnessing, but we had no way to detect a creature using psionic power. Knowing the creature had left the tailor, we put out word to watch everyone in the area for signs of unusual behaviour.

Not long thereafter, we received a report of a soldier outside the city walls who was acting in an inconsistent manner. Our questions were little help, but Nishant used a spell to detect a malign presence in the soldier’s head. We were briefly attacked by the guards posted around the infected soldier, further convincing us that we had discovered the creature’s latest victim. We removed him to the cave under the lake for questioning.

It wasn’t a very effective interrogation, so I intended to kill the possessed creature to force the mist-thing to manifest again. My comrades didn’t see the prudence of my plan, so I left them to their questioning and reported to Heather (not a bad person for a pale elf). The creature apparently broke its bonds while I was gone, and both the mist-thing (a powerful psionicist of some kind) and his host were killed. I arrived to see the body and briefly chide my fellows for not allowing me to conclude this matter sooner.

I regret the loss of life the creature caused. I don’t know its motivations or nature, but to kill so many in such a short time — even if it was to sustain its own life — is not indicative of a life force whose loss I will regret. And thus we gained our second Avenger.

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