The Redoubt turned out to be a section of the city which served as the final holdfast of the defending forces during the Siege of Kittering. A long causeway traced its way along the ridge of a natural dike leading from the city proper to the Redoubt. This stretch of land, a few hundred yards across and perhaps a quarter of a mile long, had once been a no-mans-land between the the wall of the Redoubt and the entrenched siegeworks of the Kingdom of Shadows. So immense had been the outpouring of energies and so intense were the emotions on both sides of the conflict that the magics of the siege had been burned so deeply into this small stretch of ground that they had begun to take on a life of their own, as non-sentient living spells now spontaneously erupted from the haunted soil making crossings a dangerous event. However, guided by a Cuthbertite priest and two guardsmen of the city watch, Ashah and Nuana made the trek across to the Redoubt.
There they found a collection of temples and hockers, worshippers and tradesmen, and at the center of it all, the Tree of New Haven. It is believed that these trees, planted in several of the major cities in the area, were responsible for stemming the flood of the Taint. Since the Tainting of the Empire, these trees had become the center of various cultic practices from diverse religious traditions, all of which sought to lay claim tot he power of the Trees – and none moreso than the Tree of New Haven. On and around this tree lay the hopes and dreams and prayers at the base of the Tree – and on the advice of a local cleric, Ashah and Nuana prominently left a note for Sister Tully Dawnbringer, in the hopes of finding help for the healing of their companion and some answers to their dreams.
Meanwhile, in another part of the city, a ruined wasteland of razor-edged rubble and destroyed buildings, the entire section of the city having been destroyed beneath the feet of the invaders and the waste turned into a field of killing shrapnel and jagged-edged horror, the same way the defenders of Bolseau brought their city down around the forces of the Kingdom. Here, in the midst of the Ruin, Ipster found a single building, a large tavern filled with noise and music and the sickly-sweet smell of tobacco, black lotus, and devilweed. He was introduced to the master of the house, a man called Maias, who gave Ipster a good price for the quantity of taintweed he salvaged from Keira’s pack in the flooded wreckage of the Legion Playhouse in Wight Hall. Ipster departed with the offer of a job upon further meetings.
When the party finally met up again, they all returned with Ipster to Delacroix’s Folly in the Ruin. Here they met Maias, had a strange interaction with a madman called Wren (who agreed to help them research a way to open up the haunted city of Sigil in hopes of finding a way through to other worlds), decided also to begin researching if Truename magicks might be able to open such a portal, and they recieved the prospect of a job working for a local woman known to hire adventures for various jobs around the region.
After much travel and discussion, especially with a scholar at the Library of Kittering, the group realized that its hopes of traveling into the infernal realms were without any hope of ever returning, and decided to pursue more grounded quests, while still keeping a weather eye on the horizon, hoping to find some way to bring closure to the task of the twisted winged-swordsman and clarity to Ipster’s dreams in the ruins. Meanwhile, they met with the Lady Solara, and agreed to assist her in retrieving several shipping crates which had been stolen from her cargo vessel earlier that week, and were introduced to a new traveling companion, a weathered dwarven knife-fighter.
After investigating for some time, and getting into an altercation in the city’s alleyways with a strange iron man, the group discovered that the merchandise had likely been stolen by a group in New Haven’s undercity calling themselves the Brotherhood of the Sightless Lady. The group found and attempted to infiltrate the Sightless Lady’s compound in the Undercity, and succeeded in breaking up the criminal organization and sending the Sightless Lady (now known to be a blind medusa) and Suriel (who now appeared to be working for a new master, or perhaps still the same through other means?) off into hiding, but their efforts left several team members gravely wounded, and Sully dead at the hands of a migrated assassin. The group quickly gathered together what loot they could (and discovered the reason for their employer’s concern in a false bottom of one of the packing crates – several truedeath crystals being smuggled with the rest of the shipment), dealt with Sully’s body as the need dictated, and headed back to the Lady’s compound with her recovered items.