The session opens with the players defeating the Ogre, his entourage of cultists, and his motley band of goblins.
The Hammermage performs admirably and almost dies in the attempt at the last moment getting swatted across the battlefield into a stone wall by the Ogre and his seemingly appropriately stereotypical spiked club. To the rugged dwarfs credit he took an impressive thrashing from over eight different enemies that battle.
The Psionicist and the Assassin team together to wreak havoc amongst the throngs of goblin “lieutenants.” The battle though dangerously scaled against the PC’s, sees them victorious.
Freeing the captives they were sent after and pillaging the campsite the PC’s leave. The only true item of note is an ominous book seemingly penned in ink and written on human flesh. When analyzed it emitted the strange green glow that marked the cultists and the hand prints they had stained on the magical realm. To look upon the book induced feelings of revulsion and horror in the magical realm. The book contains only gibberish.
Things start going downhill for the party from here.
The first night the Assassin is assaulted in his dreams by some sort of malevolent entity, his keenly honed mind allows him to rebut the force. The party awakens and returns the men who had been held captive by the ogre, they are rewarded with a small box of gold and an curiously embossed golden plate that the Hammermage identifies as a dwarven IOU of sorts from some dwarf who makes his home in Hammersong.
Parting from the caravan and returning to their original course towards Skrimwood the party ventures onwards. The Assassin is visited in the night again by the book…? And he awakes to find himself in a library full of hundreds of copies of the book… all screaming.
Making his way out of the shelves he finds a man sitting on a raised platform hunched over a podium writing on a leather scroll that seems to be hundreds of feet long as it spills onto the floor. He is scarred in a horrific manner, with needles and piercings extending from his gaunt and frail frame. Markedly there is a seeming halo (in the more interpretive sense) of needles that are crossed through the skin of his neck and fan out behind his head.
As the Assassin approaches the man he turns to face him (despite the assassin’s ability to conceal himself) and inquires the Assassin’s name. Not being foolish enough to give your name to a seemingly magical entity that makes its home in a library of screaming books that you access in your sleep, the Assassin did not give his name. Though in trying to give a false name discovered that the man would not be fooled. The man on the podium accused the Assassin of being a borrower, and that he needed his name if he was to borrow the Manifest of the God Machine.
Awaking, thankfully, the Assassin explains what happened and it is readily identified that the book is the source, though still gibberish. The Assassin relinquishes possession of the book to storing it in the wagon of the Hammermage. The next night the Psionicist is enticed by the book to come read it, to the point that she steals the keys of the Hammermage to read it. The book whispers her name ominously and slowly over time, the book begins to make a bit more sense to the Psioncist. Though still gibberish en large, it is beginning to be at least readable gibberish.
Receiving no more additional trouble from the book, the party arrives in the now readily apparent backwater town of Skrimwood. It would be a swamp if it were warm enough to not be freezing cold.
Quickly locating the man they are pursuing, one Allieas Belezaar. They begin trying to convince him to stand trial in Grange, he claims he is innocent, but refuses to go. When asked if he recognizes the markings of the cultists and the Manifest he says it is familiar to him and reminds him of things he saw on the southern continents in the deep jungles. It reminds him of the Bone Lords.
Allieas is increasingly stubborn and combat finally ensues in order to try and subdue the man.