Once settled into the “Regal Gardens” Inn, the PCs traveled to the University in Balkenport. They were greeted at the gates by a young student, Ansel Parker, who escorted them to the “Hall of Sages” to speak with Master Oswald Rosenridge, the University’s resident expert on Necromancy.
The PCs were met by Master Rosenridge’s assistant, Isaac Reis. After a brief discussion of the black pearls, Isaac asked the PCs to either leave the pearls with him or return after 9pm and Master Rosenridge should be back. The PCs elected to return rather than leave the pearls.
That night, the PCs met Master Rosenridge, a handsome middle-age man with thick black hair pulled back into a long pony tail and pale skin as if he had spent many hours indoors working by candle light and very little actual Sun. He was wearing black robes as typical of the Reglosian university system, with a gold necklace holding two rings, one of platinum and one of steel.
After introductions and pleasantries, a detailed discussion of the black pearls and their demonic origins, Master Rosenridge says, "I believe the pearls contain captured souls. However, without more research, I would not want to speculate on what would happen if a pearl were to be destroyed. Alas, the University is limited on available research. But, I do know of an ancient Necromancer, Ulikras “the Harvester”. He was rumored to have an extensive collection of research in the Necromantic arts. Some of it may be helpful."
Master Rosenridge directs the PCs to the small village of Ravenrest. The lair of Ulikras was rumored to be in the towns old cemetery. Rosenridge also warned the PCs of possible vampire activity due to reports of missing persons in the village.
Master Rosenridge requests found in the library of Ulikras. However, at this point, Reeve attempts to diplomatically explain that if anything radiates an evil aura, he will not be handing it over for study, but keeping for disposal. At this, Master Rosenridge attempts to convince Reeve of the folly of such an undertaking, the lost knowledge is unacceptable. Reeve, ever the Paladin, will not budge on this point and Master Rosenridge finally acquiesces. Tansy leaves the pearls with Master Rosenridge for study and Reeve informs him that Teressa Frostbrand, a local Paladin, will come to claim the pearls should they fail in their quest and never return.
Approximately one day NE of Balkenport, following the coast line, the PCs enter the village of Ravenrest. A small village with one tavern/inn, “The Chubby Possum”. The PCs talk with Miss Hafwen Phrys, the proprietor of the “Possum”. She tells of 3 missing a children and a couple of “adventuring types” that went looking for them. She points at Reeve’s symbol stating, “The man was one of your people, one of them Paladin types.” “They’ve left with a local tracker, Thilis, two days ago, but I don’t expect we’ll be hearing from them again,” she adds sadly.
The PCs move on to the cemetery about 2 walk from the town. Reeve and Kealani do a fly over the cemetery and find one child hiding among the tombstones. With some difficulty due to the presence and charm of Kealani, Reeve finally coaxes the girl from her hiding place. She tells of how her, Aedan, and Tamisin were playing in the woods nearby and were captured 4 days ago. That the creatures would beat them, set them loose at night in the cemetery and hunt them. She managed to hide and the beasts gave up the hunt when the Sun rose. She also tells of a woman in the cells that has been badly mistreated. The party sets up a small base camp at the edge of the cemetery while Kealani flies the girl, Eseld, back to town.
As the party awaits Kealani’s return and the sun is setting, a woman’s scream can be heard in the distance. At this, Praxith begins to insist that the group begin a search and rescue. Reeve advises against this stating that they should wait. Praxith becomes increasingly more agitated and adamant that the party move as more screams can be heard. She begins marching into the cemetery as Kealani returns and the Sun finally sets. This forces the group to action at night.
As party searches for an entrance to a lair in the darkness, they can hear movement in the distance, seemingly just out of the light radius. They come across a large pit, probably some sort of sunken in mass grave. Screams can be heard more clearly from here. Kealani leads the party into the pit as Reeve covers the rear of the group against whatever is moving in the darkness.
As the party carefully descends, Belamdil slips and tumbles into the bottom of the pit, stopping against a massive pile of bones. At that moment, Kealani announces he is detecting an evil presence, pointing to the pile of bones.
As if on cue, the bones rise into a huge monstrosity made of random bones, its huge maw opens and lets out a bone rattling cry, ribs forming its teeth. But, as the fight begins in the pit, Reeve is set upon by a creature from the darkness. A gaunt, pale, feral looking man with fangs. Filthy and stinking, it leaps at Reeve.
Belamdil unleashes Searing Light upon the undead monster as Kealani and Blane hack away. It is felled as Reeve and Ethrias deal with the feral spawn at the top of the ledge. With a smiting blow, Reeve strikes the creature and it dissipates into a gaseous cloud and floats away.
At the bottom of the pit, a cave entrance is found leading to a ladder. The ladder descends into a tunnel with only enough room to advance one person at a time. Once again, Kealani leads the way. The entire group is caught one at a time in a teleportation trap. They reappear in a darkened cells. Tansy makes short work of the locks. In the cells they find the young boy, Aedan. They also find a naked, beaten, bitten, and unconscious elf. She is roused with healing spells. She introduces herself as Ritriel. She and Ewen Silverflame, her Paladin companion, and Thilis, their guide from the village, entered this underground lair in search of the children but were set upon by many vampire spawn. She does not know where Thilis or Ewen are. She has been held in this cell, beaten and fed upon, tortured for sport. Tansy gives her some of her own clothing and the group begins to search for a way out.
They scout through doors and into halls. They find coffins set into some walls. They are forced to walk single file and are set upon by vampire spawn it seems at every turn. Tansy gets separated from the group and enters a lit room. It appears to be a library, a dead body is on the floor, a small girl curled between its legs. A ghostly form kneels over the body holding aloft a holy symbol of Glo’ir over the small girl. Light is emanating from under the prone body. As Tansy turns over the body, she sees a glowing holy symbol around its neck. She takes the holy symbol of Glo’ir off the body, upon doing so, the ghostly figure stares deep into her eyes, then glances down at the girl, then stares hard at Tansy again, then looks upward and rises through the ceiling, vanishing. (Tansy believes the ghost has given her charge over the small girl)
Taking up the girl and the holy symbol, Tansy returns to the group. It is revealed to Tansy that the holy symbol holds some power as a magical artifact. She learns the girl is Tamisin, the final missing child. Ritriel identifies the body as that of Ewen Silverflame, her Paladin companion. The group decides they must find the way out, get the children to safety, then return to vanquish all the vampire spawn, which is proving difficult as they assume a gaseous form when defeated, only to return later.
Tansy, Belamdil, Reeve, and Kealani take up the search for an exit as the rest secure themselves in the cell room. Spawn are fought and gassed along the way, but a door and stairs leading out through the floor of a tomb are found. The party reunites and begins a run for the door, but are set upon at every corner and from behind by vampire spawn. Kealani is taken to the floor and fed upon, Belamdil is fed upon, Praxith is dragged away and nearly taken except for quick action by Blane. The party becomes divide with spawn on all sides and in between the two groups. Tansy uses the holy symbol to attempt to turn the vampires away, but only one flees. When Belamdil regains his footing, fatigued from the blood loss but determined as ever to get his group out, casts Disrupting Weapon and wades in to the fray. He utterly destroys five different vampire spawn before his spell ends. The party makes it up the stairs, out of the tomb, and into the daylight. They return to the village.
That night, they gather the entire village into the two largest building in town, the “Chubby Possum” and a warehouse. The party divides into these two buildings and organize the villagers into watches for fear of vampire attack. But the night passes without incident.
On the morning of February 1st, Belamdil heals people and restores some lost Constitution from the vampire feeding for he and Kealani.
The party returns to the lair hunts down vampire spawn. They manage to destroy 5 more during the day, but have to return to the village before nightfall.
On February 2nd, the final vampire spawn is found and slain. Through the next day, the party loots the lair gathering everything back at the village.