The battle wages on inside - and under - the Lighthouse on Ocean’s Gull Point. Will the Heroes of Bingle be able to keep The Lord of Crows banished? With new enemies entering the fray, how will they survive the onslaught above and below? And even if they do emerge triumphant, what secrets are waiting to be discovered in the grave beneath?
It started as a simple dungeon run…
But has become a battle waged across two different time periods - decades apart - against some of the most dangerous enemies in all of Ain. The journey began with the discovery of an ancient amulet and a quest to rescue the titans that have kept the peace in Ain for hundreds of years. That quest led these 5 adventurers to the bottom of the ocean, where they fought a massive Kraken - and the warrior who commanded it. A warrior named Yan Mo - a half dragonborn Triton who enslaved Lily’s own family and decimated the vacation island she called home.
But while the Heroes of Bingle managed to defeat Yan Mo’s army of sea creatures, and cause him to retreat, some incredible magic has forced them to encounter him once again. To go back in time 22 years to a moment when he was only 5 years old - before he was Yan Mo. When he was merely a boy named Cho’Mel.
Somehow, some way, the Heroes of Bingle have been dropped into the bodies of a group of sellswords, years before some of them were even born. They found themselves working for a vicious pirate captain named Whitebeard who was hunting for Cho’Mel’s father, Cho’Ran - a Triton, fleeing from the Shaxen Gao empire in the north. He had run afoul of the dragonborn dynasty by falling in love with a member of the royal family. The dragonborn princess named Baozhai. Cho’Mel was born of their secret romance, and by rights was in line to inherit the throne. But the union of a Triton and a Dragonborn royal was deemed unacceptable, and so the young family fled, eventually splitting up to escape the bounty hunters pursuing them.
The Heroes of Bingle helped Whitebeard capture Cho’Ran and track his wife and son to the Castle Rum, a haunted manor where they were drawn into another family conflict. The Castle had once sat on a vortex of madness, a place that seemed to corrupt and bedevil anyone exposed to it. The family that lived there were driven insane in pursuit of ancient secrets - recipes that could imbue the liquor they brewed with magical properties. Ultimately, they were murdered by their own servant, who had made contact with a demonic entity known as The Lord of Crows. He set fire to the Castle, and declared his own sovereignty inside a Lighthouse on the eastern edge of the Isle of Rum.
That’s where the Heroes of Bingle first met him, as they prepared for their journey into the Castle. They made a deal with the man - who called himself the Viscount Winger-Sticks Envoy - digging up some of his Liquor of the Dead, which was fermenting inside rotting corpses buried around the Lighthouse. In exchange, they promised him their own corpses upon death. But when they learned that the Viscount was responsible for the murders at the Castle, and that he had spoken of mysterious “Old Ones” who had knowledge of a time lost to history, the team decided to revisit the Lighthouse on Ocean’s Gull Point to get some answers.
In a small rowboat, they dropped off of a moving ship and muscled their way to the eastern shore of the Isle of Rum, where dozens and dozens of grimey seagulls stood motionless watching them. Inside the lighthouse, they passed putrid smelling crates and ascended a spiral staircase lined with gulls, whose beady eyes tracked every movement. When they reached the penultimate floor, and came face-to-face with the Viscount, they attempted a ruse. Lily pretended to be dead and James presented a book penned by the Viscount, in the hopes that it might prompt the strange man to reveal knowledge of James’ own warlock patron, a Great Old One.
But James overextended, exposing his lack of knowledge, and a fight broke out. The Viscount drank and regurgitated, spewing noxious vomit at the heroes, and his skeletal retenue rose to fight at his side. With each blow that landed upon him, Liquor of the Dead sprayed and splashed from his very pores, even as his skin tore open like tissue paper. Suddenly, the team was attacked by forces in the lighthouse itself. Boney, groping hands pulled at their ankles, dragging them down, down, down, cracking and breaking the floor beneath their feet. Fahima, James, and Lily fell through the floorboards and beyond, with Fahima’s clutch use of a Featherfall spell the only thing that saved them from taking damage as they landed in a subterranean chamber beneath the Lighthouse. There, piles of bones surrounded them, and the walls hummed with a sickly yellow glow. From out of that menacing light emerged a figure of darkness, winged and angry, shrouded in the feathers of a thousand black birds. The Lord of Crows stepped forth and attacked. But the team reacted quickly. James summoned all of his willpower to cast Banishment, and the incantation landed true, casting the foul demon back to the plane of existence from whence it came.
Meanwhile, four stories above them, Uggo fought against the blindness caused by getting necrotic vomit in your eyes, and Siv dispatched one of the Viscount’s skeletons, still unaware of what was happening to his companions below.
As we ended last week, the fight was far from over. As James attempted to maintain his concentration on the Banishment spell, the heroes heard a new sound in the depths of the chamber beneath the ground. A rustling. A stirring. A plant emerging from the pile of bones. A corpse blossom growing in the horrible pit under the Lighthouse on Ocean Skull Point.