On To Coral Reef

Day 18 (cont): We managed to extricate ourselves from the vampire-thrall bar without getting seriously hurt, though Rodor apparently managed to make a vampire jealous. I didn't know that is possible, but evidently the foul creatures have some pride. I really don't want to know exactly what he did to produce that reaction, but I'm sure it would have been entertaining to watch.

Outside the inn, we met Sir Giles, a man who appears to be a vampire hunter. He alluded to a high level of vampire control over the city, with many people enthralled by the fiends' mindbending powers. All manner of people regularly disappear into the creatures' lairs, never to be seen again. Father Cain and I were deeply offended by such public, unhidden darkness. As the Father points out, never has there been a place more in need of the Light than this one. However, we have a greater threat to conquer. The giants and their fiendish leader will soon be on the march, while the vampires will still be here later.

Day 19: He then led us to an inn owned by a longtime friend of his, where we finally able to sleep. The next morning, we rose and set out to explore the town, and discovered that everyone in the city keeps vampiric hours. This was certainly a troubling development; if the city is controlled by vampires to that extent, then removing the control would presumably be a task beyond our abilities. We will have to be careful not to attract unnecessary attention to ourselves.

We visited the unmarked cathedral in the center of the city, and discovered it was run by a powerful undead priestess of Incanus. She offered her services to any member of the party prepared to pay the proce, but thankfully noone took her up on her offer, and we returned to our inn to sleep for a while and wait for the city to reopen. That evening, we returned to the main shopping square.

We again met Lady Annalee and her lover (if that is what he is). Rodor managed to get himself into a duel at midnight with Peter, which could be a problem. Lord Daventree released a set of giant scorpins into the square to test Father Cain, but we were able to defeat them easily enough. After the battle was over and the situation quieted down, I was able to find some valuable books in the bookstore. The will further my researches usefully. Soon, I should be able to summon creatures from the outer planes for more than just a few seconds. That will help us immeasurably in situations like this.

Day 20: We headed out to meet Peter for the duel. There was quite a turnout; evidently, the vampires in this city have a lot of spare time. Peter was a skilled duelist, and it took Rodor a long time to make headway against him. Fortunately, Peter seemed more interested in making stylistic points, and repeatedly passed up opportunities to end the fight in favor od trying to make Rodor look foolish. Eventually, I was able to sneak off and fly up above the fight. There, I used illusions to give the impression Annalee was cheating. This gave Rodor the opening he needed, and he swiftly cut the vampire down. This embarrassed Lady Annalee, and allowed us to secure some valuable loot.

After the fight, we finally got to speak with Daventree's dwarf. He told us that Daventree and Lady Annalee were engaged in a contest to see who could manipulate us the most, especially Father Cain. The Father was honored to be the focus of such hatred from such evil creatures, but this did mean that the dwarf was much less willing than we had hoped to tell us what we had wanted to know. He is, evidently, under the dominion of the vampires like so many others here. We shall have to storm Daventree's mansion in the morning.

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