Constantia Moke of the College of Stars requests the Assistance of a party of Adventurers to track down a Missing Professor and his Wayward Students; the only Clue being a Fragment of an Ancient Tome of Unknown Provenance.
Briefed by Constantia Moke, head porter of the College of Stars, the party head out on their search for missing Professor Morgan Runes - their only clues a Mysterious Manuscript and a student in the Alchemy department who knew the Professor. Defeating the Giant Angry Wasps menacing a graduate student, the party acquire a scrap of paper revealed to the student by Professor Runes a month ago and are directed to a bookseller in the Market.
From the Bookseller they recover an old book with a strange diagram on the front which seems to link each of the five Dragons to one of the Gods of Acryn, as well as one remaining useful page inside which seems to describe an alternate history of the Gods’ influence on Acryn. After following the Bookseller’s vague directions and fighting their way past a Builder priest and his flock who denounce the party for Heresy for their bearing of the book, they reach a boarded-up house containing a fluxy Axe Murderer, his Dogs and a Robed Figure who flees into basement as the party fight their way through.
On entering the basement the party find a tunnel leading into the ancient catacombs beneath Acryn, also made of flux, and talk their way past another group of robed figures who seem to be members of some Cult. Travelling on they encounter Spiders made of flux; fortunately for the party (and unbeknownst to the rest of them) Lord Blackthorn is a Wayfinder, and his ability to shape their path prevents other Unknown Dangers befalling them.
Soon they arrive at a patch of Consensus, a large stone-walled room with torches in the walls and a some simple furniture. However, occupying the room is a Wounding mage and his Zombie Horde, obviously raised through some Ritual, and the Cultist who ran from them previously. After much combat and some diplomacy the party acquire a map to the Lost Library that the Cult had discovered deep beneath the city, shortly before the Upheaval. However, they take the time to free a number of students who had been hunting for the wayward Professor, and inform the party that the Cult had been attempting to convert them rather than causing them harm.
Heading down to the Library (via Catacombs of Flux and more Dangerous Beasts), the party encounter the Cult’s Inner Circle in a library full of ancient books. The Masters, each a mage, receive them and tell them of their lost Master Scribe who started acting strange a month ago, reading books that seemed to hold no Truth to the Cult. Then yesterday he left with a small group of followers, taking one Tome which he claimed was the only book that held any power, speaking of using it to undo the Upheaval. In a surprise turn, the Masters revealed that the Master Scribe was none other than the missing Professor Runes, an infiltrator into the College of Stars for the past few years.
Heading out along the route that the rogue Master had taken, the party fight through a group of men who seem to be made entirely from paper; some form of Scribing construct, and come across a number of dead cultists and one severely injured one who tells of finding the Master Scribe performing some ritual to take the Book into himself. When the ritual ended, he did something that none of them had seen before (and indeed that nobody in the party can recall hearing of before) - he claps his hands together then places them palms-down onto the floor, then touches them to his followers’ armour, which merges with their bodies, to become one entity of living armour. Then he does the same and touches the sword of one of them, which becomes part of their arm. They proceded to kill all the Cultists who had followed after to stop the Master Scribe.
Leaving the injured man behind to be tended by one of his fellow Cultists, the party proceed along, out of the catacombs and into farmland at the edge of the area of Consensus around Acryn. Their path leads to of a number of people who are made of armour and one whose sword is merged with their arm. They refuse to let the party stop the ritual which the Master is performing just ahead; fortunately this turns out not to be a problem, since the party are happy to wait until the ritual is concluded.
However, from just ahead they hear cries of ‘It’s going wrong, this wasn’t meant to happen’. Heading toward the source of the noise they see the missing Professor Runes bent over as if in pain. Suddenly the area around them for hundreds of metres in all directions changes, becoming Flux. At the same time the Professor himself changes, his body warping and becoming Strange and Monstrous, his limbs stretching and twisting, his arms merging into his sword, parts of his body turning into stone, metal, vegetation and other things impossible to describe.
Running at the Party, the creature that was once Professor Runes attacks. From around it boil forth creatures of the Flux in all shapes and sizes. The party are forced back, and Marius Triskelion is separated from the party and tragically falls, the rest of the party to busy with the flux monstrosities in front of them to see. After a hard fight they are victorious, but Marius Triskelion has lost his life in the battle. Deciding to take the body of what Professor Runes had become back with them, they notice that it doesn’t change or dissipate as they leave the flux.
On their journey back they encounter a party of City Guardsmen accompanied by a senior Guild Wayfinder, heading to investigate a disturbance in the Flux toward the edge of the city. The party direct them to the location at which it occurred, informing them that the creatures are dealt with. Upon returning to the College of Stars the party are met by Constantia Moke who provides them with their pay, thanks them for their help and promises to send Marius Triskelion’s share to his family. The body of the deceased Professor, still in its unnatural form, is taken away to be examined by the College. Ms Moke is upset at the loss of the Manuscript which she lent them; unbeknownst to her (and the rest of the party) Gidner Waycox had taken it from Marius’ body. The book that the party retrieved from the Bookseller is given to the College, a copy being given to Gidner Waycox.
Over the next few days the Wayfinder’s Guild question as many of the party as they can find. They are turned away from Lord Blackthorne’s manor.
The College of the Stars and the Wayfinder’s Guild spend the next few weeks examining the body; as far as they can determine there was no actual Wayfinding involved in whatever happened to the late Professor, although there were elements of both Consensus and Flux in his mutated body.
Both the College of the Stars and the People’s College send some of their more ‘hands-on’ academics down to the Library underneath the city, along with some City guard who drive out the cultists. The two groups never quite come to blows, although there is a lot of tension. The reports that come back are of some very interesting historical texts which illuminate some of Acryn’s later history, but there is no sign of the Arcane mysteries which the Professor seemed to have uncovered.
The College of the Stars also report that the information in the book found by the party appears to have no basis in fact, no matter how much the cultists wanted to believe it.