As requested, I reported to Cardinal William Rennick at his temporary residence in Whinebrass Heights. With little explanation, he led me to the local Men of Letters bunker and revealed himself to be a member of that organization. While they aren’t inherently opposed to our faith and sometimes are even aligned with the Church, his dual loyalties concern me. Perhaps it is not my place to judge a Cardinal, but it seems his future actions should be seen in the light of his other alliances. He also told me quite brazenly that he supports Holy Father John Herbert in his bid for the office of Archbishop, and my arguments for your bid appeared to fall on deaf ears.
Upon arriving at the Bunker, we were shown to a comfortable meeting room by an especially dark half-elven woman who introduced herself as Sinclair. Already present in the meeting room was a practitioner of summoning magic named Saraneth and her considerable volume of luggage. Still, no explanation was forthcoming until a party of Hunters arrived led by the paladin Wesley who you no doubt remember. While his party lacks a cohesive appearance, they work well together and are dedicated to their path. They would be valuable allies in our crusade against the darkness, and I’ve invited them each to study in their specific arena at either Revelation or the Mission.
Cardinal Rennick and Sinclair finally explained to the gathered assembly that a demon was haunting the catacombs under Revelation and Whinebrass and turning both corpses and the living into ghouls. Sinclair had tracked the fiend and had concocted a plan with Saraneth to weaken it. We set out (without either Man of Letters) for the ruins beneath the bridge. Wesley is apparently well-known in the poorer neighbourhoods in that area for his ministry, so we had occasion to share the light of Tatavul with the local populace en route.
It took us some time to navigate the ruins guided by a wisp provided by Sinclair. Saraneth informed us that we would need a selection of ghouls before she could attract the demon, so Wesley’s party’s tracker (a one-eyed woman named Katrina) showed us where the largest groups of ghouls could be found. We dispatched them with little difficulty, and the five most appropriate (by whatever criteria summoners use) were placed around a circle. A bell was provided to call the creature, and while it was fearsome to behold, the circle soon cut it down to size. Wesley’s party surrounded the diminished beast, and I supported them with our Lord’s blessings to give them an insurmountable advantage.
After the creature fell, the summoner Saraneth approached it with a celestial shadow trailing her. While I couldn’t understand any of the exchange, the three of them spoke for a time before the celestial destroyed what was left of the fiend. We all pressed her for an explanation afterward, and it sounded like she reaches agreements with various extra-planar entities. That one is a celestial (a balisse, by the look of him) speaks well of her, but she doesn’t appear to be particular about what kinds of creatures she forms pacts with. She didn’t have the appearance of a diabolist, but that temptation may easily ensnare someone like her. Infernal contracts are only too appealing to those who treat with extra-planar beings.
From there, I parted ways with Wesley’s party and walked the underground roads to Revelation now that I knew that’s where they would eventually lead. To my shame, I underestimated the strength of ghouls in large numbers. While my injuries weren’t grievous, one of the scratches became infected with what a learned physician here at Revelation told me is ghoul fever. Had I died from it, I would have joined their number but am now under the care of the infirmary in Revelation and recovering quickly. I intend to requisition a horse and return to the Mission as soon as my fever has passed, though news from a fellow Inquisitor of a possible vampire nest nearby has caught my interest. If they locate it before I depart, I may assist them with the purge before returning. In any event, may the light of Tatavul shine on you until we meet again.
Your disciple, Anton Horst