The next few days were busy days, healing the injured and helping to take care of people, listening to the homily in the mornings and then spending every spare moment with Gelid and Charese. We helped my father and Lida in the temple, helped Mr. Ironhammer and Jo in the forge, and learned how to fight with a staff from Mr. Vance. Sometimes, Mr. Stark-Smith and Mr. Montgomery came to the forge to get the gates to Manse Hill fixed, but always left angry.
Elias came up to us, carrying one of his satchels. He thanked us for our help and told us we probably saved his life, and gave us some vials that he’d made, saying they were like sunrods but they lasted longer. Geled asked him if he could learn magic, and Elias said that he could let Geled read some of his books sometime.
We went to Mr. Ironhammer’s forge to check in on him, and he was deep in his work, covered with scars and tattoos that we could see after all of his hair was burned off. He wasn’t himself and hadn’t been since the battle, so we went away and headed around town to see if there was anything else we could help with. Charese said she had something to work on so she went to her auntie’s house, and Geled and I ran up to Manse Hill to see if we could help anyone out. While we were there, one of the servants named Fergusen came up to us and said that they had seen us during the battle. He thanked us for our help and for lighting the Torchiere, and then said that the families in Downhill had lost 25 people – almost as many as the 30 casualties that we had been told about. Fergusen told us that the families had pooled their money to buy us a gift to thank us, and gave us four sunrods – an incredible gift from poor servants! I gave him the glowstick that Elias had given me, and thanked him for his gifts, and then he ran off back to work. Geled ran down to get Charese and I went to Downhill to see if they needed any help at the temple to Wee Jas.
Downhill was even worse than I had thought – the runoff from the hill flowed into a pool at the bottom of the hill, and rowhouses lined the muddy path. Two stone biers were built and they had burning bodies on them – bodies that were wrapped in darned sheets and blankets instead of funerary wrappings. Nobody was there, so we ran back to town and bought as much bedding as we could. I talked to my father and told him that there were no priests in Downhill, and that they needed help burying their dead. He said he would take up a collection, and then asked us to take a package to Mr. Von Karis.
We got into the house, and it was abandoned – or seemed to be. The bag started moving and tried to talk in our minds, so we quickly went through the house, looking for something to put it in. We found a steamer trunk and Geled pried it open with a wire, but cut himself on the lock. Charese sucked out the poison and spit it out, and we pulled the linens out of the trunk, then shoved the bag into the trunk and tied it shut with the linens. Then we started searching the house, looking for any clues. Upstairs, Geled opened a book and it exploded, throwing him against the wall. We put the trunk into a room and put heavy weights on top of it, then locked it inside before returning to the front door to wait. After a couple hours, we didn’t hear anyone coming for us, so we went into the chapel and blocked ourselves up inside it.
Come morning, we returned to exploration of the house since nobody came after us. We went into the basement, finding doors that led to other rooms that we’d already explored – sometimes even through doorways that led to other rooms. We opened a door into a room with weird symbols, and Geled screamed and collapsed into a heap. When he came to, he sat up and started talking reallly strangely – showing an intense thirst for knowledge that was uncontrollable. We passed back through a scary white room and opened another door, then we heard Mr. Von Karis’ voice from the other end of the room. He thanked us for helping him to escape from the “spaces between spaces” and unfolded the room somehow, bringing us up to the room with the creature in it. He opened the trunk without touching it, and magically held it in midair while he dissected it alive. Then he told us to go home, and we went back to the chapel to tell my father about everything – and found out that it had only been a couple hours, and not all night like we thought.
We brought my father down to Downhill along with the blankets, and people were a bit suspicious of us until we mentioned that Fergusen gave us a gift and we had wanted to repay the favor by bringing some blankets. Then the man brightened up and thanked us, shaking our hands and calling out to Fergusen that we were here. We went to the chapel to drop off the blankets, and a half-orc woman met us there. After explaining what happened, she smiled and thanked us, but my father seemed scared and dragged us out – afterwards, explaining that she worshipped something called the Ur, and stole power from the gods.