The search continued for Drael. Through the blasted lands infested with cult patrols, the companions made their way by boat, cruising silently upriver. The boat’s captain was a doughty dwarf who proved himself to be a capable fighter when the companions made a stop along the river to take care of an attack on a small settlement. A huge ogre boarded the boat and did some damage but the captain held him off while Logen pounded him with lethal magic.
Eventually, the boat could go no further and the companions waded ashore. Something about the small cove made everyone nervous and they posted regular watches. Sure enough they were attacked by a friend of Drael’s, a dark-skinned elf who fought like a man possessed. Realising that he had been turned by the cult, the companions sought to subdue rather than kill and eventually broke the fugue and heard some of his sorry tale. He also told them about Drael and how he had been turned after a mighty battle when he had killed the cult leader L’Arkesh and replaced him as head of the cult!
The companions found the township built around the temple and bluffed their way in as new initiates. As they climbed the temple steps, they were discovered by a scout who had seen them during the river battle. Grabbing another initiate, they threw him down the steps to cause some confusion and delay and entered the temple at a run. Soon they were under attack from powerful golems but some quick, tactical thinking saw them escape and they entered the temples altar room.
The end-of-level boss was none other than Drael! Rather than attack all the creatures in the room, they took Drael hostage and proceeded to attack the blood-red stone, clearly a source of much of the cult’s power. Hacking it to pieces, it broke the cult’s spell and a few thousand cult members were awakened to their guilt and one demon was extremely pissed.