Rupert Gregory, a senior member of the Council of Acryn, in a show of good-will following the laying of a Waystone of Aetheyta the Wanderer in Acryn, wishes to make a pilgrimage along several of the Waystones connecting Acryn to their neighbours. They are currently looking for volunteers who wish to be involved in the pilgrimage with him.
Uptake appears to be low, as the councillor is apparently not employing anyone, so much as offering the chance to pilgrim with him. Although as he is a senior figure in both the Council and the Spicers Guild, it seems to offer a good opportunity for networking and making a name for yourself.
The party set off with Rupert Gregory towards the first Waystone on their pilgrimage. Barely have they set off when some political agitators attempt to kidnap him in order to gain traction with the council. The incident is resolved quickly thanks to both a fast response from the party and the surprising capable councilman.
As the party continue on their way they have to force their way through a stampede of claw-fiends which appear to be escaping from something. Pushing through the party reaches a defiled way-stone and a number priests of the Wanderer, all staring in horror at what has been done. Some investigation by the party reveals that whatever has been done it was a work of ritual magic, Wounding magic and some other other element to faint to identify. While investigating, Rowan feels a gripping around his heart, a symptom of his curse which points to the instigator of the defiling and will continue to worsen. The defiling has already happened at 4 way-stones and, the priests tell the party, is currently happening at a fifth. With an offer of help from the PCs, the priests of Aetheyta and the party travel at great speed towards the fifth way-stone. Before arriving they are intercepted by a group clearly in league with whoever is defiling the way-stones, immediately sending runners to warn their comrades the party has to split to put down the threat and intercept the runners. The party become separated from Rupert Gregory and at the behest of the Priests are forced to head on to the way-stone without searching for him.
The party gets to the way-stone only slightly too late. The ritual is complete but the perpetrators are still present. As the party goes to deal with the ritualists, one of the ritualists kills himself and creates some sort of Blood Golem, which in turn is dealt with through clever uses of the Tender’s blessings and a geyser placed at the Golem’s feet. Once the ritualists are dealt with (and a misunderstanding is cleared up with local villagers) the party proceeds to investigate the defiled waystone to see if they can learn anymore, which they do: the ritual is part of a larger ritual which is nearly complete and at its centre is the Entity in the Forest!
Shortly after the party meet up with another group of Wayfinders investigating the defilement and after a heated discussion about the fastest methods of travel, the party agree to sit and eat while the High Priest of Aetheyta prepares to transport them to the next way-stone. The trip is indeed short (and passes through some other space) and the party come in fighting, with Colin Fletcher immediately releasing several devastating Calamities as the rest of the party drop the ritualists, removing them from the vicinity of the way-stone. The party win swiftly and cleanly, seriously disrupting the ritual, although not quite enough. Investigation by the party suggests that only one more ritual is needed to fulfill its objective - whatever that is.
Following the fight, the Priests of Aetheyta are rather badly hurt. They promise to catch (or overtake) the party but encourage the party to make haste towards the final way-stone. The party end fighting their way through yet more crazed fauna, before having to deal with the much more dangerous flora: corn dolls and strange faces offering help, warnings, and threats. Finally they reach the ritualists, the high priests has indeed overtaken them and has gotten himself captured. Even as the party prepare to intervene the ritualists slaughter the High Priest. The junior priest advises the party to hang back and keep the ritualists occupied, expecting the High Priest’s regeneration and subsequent access to the full powers of Aetheyta. Unfortunately this was the exact purpose of the ritual and just as the High Priest returned to life the ritualists descended upon them and vanished.
Investigation of the waystone reveals that unlike the other defiled way-stones this one is still active, but is now connected to somewhere else. The junior priest believes he can use the power of the way-stone to take the party there, and the party continue to investigate in preparation for their journey. A brief experiment with raising one of the ritualists from the dead reveals that all of them have been under the control of the entity in the forest, simple villagers made to do its bidding. As the party prepare to go after the priest Colin Fletcher raises the issue of Rowans’s curse, arguing that they should attempt to remove it before daring to face the entity. Eventually Rowan consents and Colin attempts to block the link between Rowan and the Entity, with somewhat surprising results. Rowan is transformed into a stone doorway showing a tight forest beyond. Investigation by the junior priest establishes that both the doorway and the way-stone lead to the same place, before being caught by some energy beyond the door and dragged through. With no choice the party step through, being met with a somewhat ghostly Rowan on the otherside.
As the party make their way through the forest, a few revelation are made. None of the party can access their powers, magical, priestly, or wayfinder. The space they are in is not Flux, but it is also not consensus. Finally, the space they are in was created by a Dragon.
At the heart of the space the party find Aetheyta. She speaks to them of the Dragon’s awakening, and its attempt to steal her power so that it may move freely. She asks a favour from them, to take a piece of her power from this place so that the dragon could not gain control of it, in return she provides blessings upon the party and showing them the path to their powers. Soon after the Dragon becomes aware of their presence, small pieces of it moving to deal with the party. The fight is tough but they manage to escape with Aetheyta’s essence, despite being unable to rescue the god herself. As the party escape Colin turns to loose a last Calamity into the space left behind, knocking himself to the ground with the force of the blast.
Shortly after their escape the party become aware of other gifts they received:
Experimentation with the Compass received from Aetheyta suggests that it should not be locked up, the forest grows significantly during these periods.
Rupert Gregory is massively impressed with the party members. Each party member can choose to either get a favour from him later or buy Council Contacts.
Each party member gains the Divine Favour (Aetheyta) background and may buy skills in it if they wish.