Arrived in Magnimar today. It’s such a big city! So many people all in one place. I’ve never been in such a large city before. Well, let’s face it, I’ve never really been anywhere before. After the caravan trip, I very much wanted to find the location of our ancestral home with my sister but instead the group was persuaded to go shopping with Koya. Ameiko made a good point that our grandparent’s home had waited 26 years so it would wait one more day but I couldn’t help thinking that a dwelling somewhere in this great city held secrets to the Kaijitsu family while the old woman tried on dresses. It seems I still have a lot to learn about people but it was a good thing that I accompanied the group because Sozen spotted that two pickpockets has stolen Koya’s coin purse. The group chased them through the crowd, avoiding marbles thrown down to slow our pursuit. We confronted them in an alley and I persuaded them to give back what they had wrongly taken or face justice. I insisted they return to their homes and take time to rethink their lives and the path of crime they have chosen. We later met up with Xikandar for some more practical shopping – we traded in the half-plate I’ve been wearing for a full set of masterwork plate mail! My poor convent could not afford more than chainmail but now, for the first time, I wear the same armor as the Goddess Iomedae herself! This fine set of full plate will serve as a righteous tool of Justice.
The next morning, Sandru had not yet returned to camp so we went looking for him. We travelled to a bad part of town where the streets were filthy and disgusting – how can people live like this? I seemed to stand out and many stared at the gleaming new platemail. We came searching for a man named Marco, but the barkeep did not know where he was. When one of our group spotted him in her very establishment, I was kind to let her know in case anyone else asked in the future. It’s these simple acts of kindness which will help spread love across all humanity. Marco informed us that Sandru went to meet with a group named The Creepers. We took a ferry to their base built inside the ruins of a massive bridge. The leader of the group, a Mr. Haugan, was very helpful and returned both Sandru and the cart full of stone without a fight and seemed to have no care that he had lost money by purchasing stolen goods. However, little did I know that he must have had his own reasons for doing so because later in the day I would discover that this man was the worst kind of criminal – one who deals in the trafficking and enslavement of the most innocent among us – the children. One boy managed to stow away in the cart and informed us that his sister and other children were being kept in an orphanage. I vowed to free the children but since we might have to leave in a hurry, we decided to finish our original business in Magnimar first and investigate our ancestral home.
The estate was run down and had been badly burned at one point in its history. The locals said that it was haunted and that no one was left alive from the last group that went inside to investigate. As soon as I pushed open the gate, I sensed the evil within and we were quickly set upon by skeletal figures that burst into flame! Neither my new plate nor the holy energy flowing through my body offered any protection against the fire but with Sozen at my side and Xikandar, Genet, Templeton & Ameiko right behind us, we defeated the fiends. We heard stirrings from within the stable but not sensing evil within we gave it a pass and headed straight for the front door. Inside were more skeletal forms at rest and a more imposing robed skeleton at the far end of the room. This figure began to rise as we entered and do what it did in life, defend the estate. I rushed across the room to engage the leader of undead and a pitched battle ensued. Xikandar interrupted the robed skeleton’s casting once but it succeeded a second time and missles made of magickal energy passed right through my armor and burned into me. As the lesser skeletons were destroyed, bursting into flame each time, the robed figured asked again who we were and I insisted that Ameiko and I were family. At this point he said that his mistress was waiting for us and he crumbled to dust but also vowed that if we did not make peace with this place that all the undead would return. Deeper in the house, we found the ghost of my grandmother wailing in her anguish. She was lamenting that all her children were dead. I begged and pleaded with her that even though that may be the case – her grandchildren live on! This knowledge soothed her and she gave me a pendant which I am to show grandfather when we reach Brinewall to prove that we are who we claim and that only she could have given this to us. In addition to the amulet, we found a mystical protective ring in the ashen remains of her manservant which I will wear to remind myself of this place and my roots.
With the Kaijitsu home freed of its curse, it was time to deal with the matter of freeing the poor children. Templeton scouted around the orphanage and both he and Genet took up positions on a nearby roof as the rest of us approached through the darkened alleys as quietly as we could (which was still loud enough to wake a good mother). We found that it is difficult to sneak up on criminals on their home ground and a bloody battle ensued. There were so many swords in every direction and try as I might, I could not get them all to attack me and my companions were attacked as well – including Xikandar. Things looked desperate and we were nearly brought low, but the tide turned when we managed to get Xikandar safely in the doorway of the orphanage while Sozen and I fought side-by-side (instead of back-to-back as we had been doing). This change of tactics served us well and we defeated the ones who creep, however two did manage to escape. This means the clock is ticking and we must go below and free the children before the criminals return with re-enforcements. I just have time to make a quick diary entry as we see to our wounds and prepare to head below …