Using sail and oar, the party made their way up the Erath River until they came to a fork. The Erath continued northward, but the waters were treacherous and unnavigable. A Western fork was more navigable, proven by the various river boats that could be seen going up and down the river. At the fork was a riverfront inn, called The Last Chance.
At the inn's dock, various traders from the West sold their wares, and the party bought and sold goods for their journey. Once inside the inn, the party met the proprietor, a beautiful drow named Lenova. Also in the inn were two tattooed Madu traders, the older Vati and the younger Dika. Nearby at Korem Rell, a jeweler, and his two female bodyguards. Two other men sat near the front door but would only grunt when spoken to.
As the weather outside worsened, the inn shook with the wind and rain. Strange howls could be heard outside and the two silent patrons went over and opened the front door. The party confronted them and things turned violent. The silent ones attacked the party, slipping out of their skin and reveailing themselves as vile aberrations. As they struck party members, they took on their appearances, and when struck or healed, the stolen party member took equal amounts of damage and healing. Worse, a giant brute of an aberration appeared in the doorway and stalked inside, attacking the patrons.
The foulspawn were eventually defeated, but it took the help of the two bodyguards and the innkeeper to drive them away. The innkeeper changed shape herself during the fight, but she wished to downplay her abilities. In the end, it was clear who could be trusted to pull their weight, who would likely run at the first sign of danger, and who would help if only given the opportunity.
The party left the inn after receiving payment from Korem Rell, including the help of his bodyguards. The two Madu traders promised hospitality when the party reached Cullen, their northern village up river. Lenova declined to go, but promised to be of assitance in the future, if she was needed.
The party proceeded into the river valley, the river and road framed by tall cliffs. Eventually they came to a bridge and a small dwarven stone building. The sign on the bridge said it was closed and the small dwarven building offered a riddle in dwarvish. The party easily answered the riddle and proceeded into the building, which held nothing but a staircase going down. The staircase led to a large chamber with a door across from it and another on the left. The floor was covered in river sand. As they proceeded into the room, they were attacked by a sand golem. It completely ignored the party's dwarf, but it endeavored to slay all others. Eventually it was defeated and party continued to investigate. The side door revealed a trap room that contained a thunderblast cyclone contained in a cylinder of water. It was a trap against those who crossed the bridge above. A simple lever disabled it.
The dwarven village was their next stop. As they approached, they noticed corpses littering the streets. The bodies were partially disolved and kobold tracks could be seen in the dirt. They heard a bell tolling and headed to the towns cathedral. A strange sense of wrongness pervaded the down, and reality shifted in and out of focus. Something is in the cathedral....