Recovering from the loss of their dear friend, the Stellar Alliance set out for Ruggleton. On the road they ran into a few different obstacles, narrowly avoiding fighting a group of ogres, meeting a half-orc bard by the name of Ter’Batan, and most significantly: running into a ranger’s cache.
The Vedaren Rangers of Silverwood often left caches of weapons and supplies to those who know how to seek them out in times of trouble. The nation of Silverwood had been under attack by a vicious brood of green dragons lately, and the rangers had left potions and weapons to aid in the fight against the poison-spewing beasts. When they came across the cache, Candy and Katariah tried to seek out the secret passphrase that would get them through the cache without harm, but after a few minutes of searching they turned up nothing. Kat, getting impatient, headed into the cache with zero regard for her own safety, figuring that the Stellar Alliance could take on whatever traps the Vedaren could think up. She was mostly right. She took a magical bombardment of arrows, a boulder thrown by a treant, and a lungful of poisonous gas, rendering her unconscious, but the party of Watchers managed to revive her and defeat the threats, finding in the cache potions of poison resistance, anti-venom, potions of healing, and a shortbow and scimitar crafted by the Vedaren.
Carrying on after taking a short time to rest and heal their own ranger’s wounds, the party made it to Ruggleton that evening. There, they saw the gates being bombarded by the horrifying chuul. They watched in horror as most of the Ruggletonian defenders were ripped to shreds by the abberations, and devised a plan to sneak around through the side entrance of the town. As they made it in, they took on the remaining chuul at the gate, managing to save two of the town’s archers. After the attackers were defeated, they met in the Reelim Inn with their contract holder, Amelia Tosscobble.
Amelia explained that over the course of the past weeks, the town had been assaulted by chuul. While the town was used to such problems, the chuul having been a recurring problem for them since the town was founded, these attacks were happening out of season and the townsfolk were not prepared for it. To make matters worse, people from the town were vanishing before people’s eyes, the town mayor and Daryl’s parents among them. The party resolved to follow Candy to their spawning lair, the next day, and began to leave the inn when a curious event happened.
As they were stepping out the door, everyone not within ten feet of Stephon froze, not moving a muscle or speaking a word. Then without an ounce of expression in their faces, two of the people in the inn got up and began walking to the edge of the water. Stephon, realizing the aura exuded by his oath of devotion to Delarys broke whatever enchantment was being placed on the people, rushed to the side of the two who were walking to the ocean, and broke them out of their spell.
Deducing that this was how people were disappearing from the village, they strengthened their resolve. The next day they borrowed a boat from Farro, and headed to the lair of the chuul. Finding it strangely expanded from the last time that Candy had been there, they discovered that it was an entrance to a larger cavern complex. They had a vicious fight with a few chuul, and then Katariah used her primeval awareness to discover the true nature of the caverns. To Vera‘s horror, she revealed that the cause of the problems Ruggleton had been facing was an aboleth. They carried on through the complex to find and kill the aberration. Along the way they found Ander Marlin, Alec Sheckler, and Jarret Uffe, prominent members of the town of Ruggleton. All but the latter survived the meeting, despite the fact that their minds were twisted and enslaved by the aboleth. The party discovered that the complex was an old temple devoted to the creature, and that the townsfolk who had been enslaved had been put to work restoring it. The party gathered magic items that had been collected for the beast, and descended into it’s “sacred pool” to kill it.
The battle was fierce. Yngukulub used madness-enducing psionics and his aberrant biology to terrorize and inflict disease on the Watchers. Daryl’s parents were there, enslaved to try and heal the beast by sacrificing their lives and to cause physical harm to the party. Candy and Daryl were both enslaved to attack their allies, and Yngukulub summoned visions of terrors from the party’s past to haunt them. Eventually, only Katariah and Daryl were left standing, and Daryl was paralyzed in fear that she was losing her grip on reality. Katariah took a final shot… and killed the beast.