This cursed rain still goes on, it is corrupt and befouled by the dark thing that was released. Those caught in the rain unprotected either get boils and pustules if they can get out of it quickly enough or die, either becoming undead or having some malformed… thing burst forth form their remains. The only one who seems unaffected is Samuel, the village drunk and survivor of Felgarde Keep.
Father Matthias would not speak to me of the troubles with his flock or faith, but spoke alone to the other Avecynians within my group. I know not what they spoke about, but we are apparently to return to the ruined Cathedral, there is something there we must cleanse. I was feeling poorly, at first, and not as much help as I'd like to be, but within the depths of that Cathedral, there was an abomination to the light, a shapeless mass with writhing tentacles. My friends fought it, but Fleer and Bob were afflicted by it, unable to maintain their very form, constantly dissolving into a pile of flesh that could move slowly, sometimes able to return to their true forms. The beast was slain and those two put into barrels, lets they fall off the wagon and returned to the Church of Our Lady of Light and Father Matthias' care. I ensured some clothing was left with him for them and took the time to clean and place their gear on their beds for their return.
Once returned, Fleer saw that Samuel was staggering drunk in the rain without a care, not being afflicted by the biting rain outside. She covered up and dragged him in yammering excitedly at him before foisting him upon me for investigation. We got him food and drink so he'd allow us the time to examine him and with my Sight opened, I saw a faint golden aura upon his shoulder. I asked permission to look and found a brand of the symbol of Marduk burned upon his flesh. This is what apparently gives him protection. I asked about it but he knows not whence it came.
An inebriated Fleer and Bob went to the Twin Smiths to go get a brand, noting I had sketched it in my journal. I went with, both to provide the picture and to ensure their well-being. The brand took several hours to make, going off of my sketches and apparently is quite painful as Fleer passed out while receiving it. I checked her aura, saw it faintly resonate then fade away, taking the brand with it. She stubbornly persisted, wanting to make another attempt after I healed her burns. This time, she stayed conscious, making deep impressions on the leather bound stick she bit down on and the aura stayed faint, then deepened. Oddly, the brand shifted on her arm, assuming the form of a hammer and anvil for Kord, her deity. Bob followed suit, but her brand shifted to that of Anubis, who I have been speaking with her about. She'd pledged her service to the destruction of the unliving. We gathered everyone else and all underwent the process, the paladins waiting for Father Matthias' blessing before getting the mark.
The last to get it is the often absent wizard, Potter. He got the brand upon his back, his pale skin normally hidden from view.. The brand took and changed like everyone else's.. It took the form of… no I shall not name it here, just that it was the sign for the King in Yellow.. He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. I took a very steps back, making a protective sign before me, Marcus evidently knew the sign as well, his hand moving to the handle of one of his pistols. This did not necessarily make Potter a follower of evil, as the cultists who followed the nameless one pursued forbidden knowledge, but my trust for him fell by many degrees. We will have to keep a wary eye on this one, his spells had a tendency towards collateral damage without care. Fleer noticed our wariness and spoke later with me on the topic. I do not think the fact that this mage followed an Elder God acquiring the sealed and bound statue of an Elder God is a coincidence, but I kept that to myself. Two Eldritch horrors have been unleash and only after he joined us and only when he's been around. If a third such coincidence happens, I may have to slay him secretly to save the world. I still have much work to do to seal the two that have been unleashed.
After our branding, we resolved to return to the Cathedral to continue our work. We walked through corridors whose flooring was apparently brittle, dropping us into a dank and pestilent sewer system below. The fall hurt and the waters were tainted, burning our skin on contact. Body parts of different things and people bobbed idly in the muck. There were walkways along the sides so we could stay out of it. We explored the tunnels for hours until we came across points we could not go further. On a hunch, we remoted a grate and went inwards, finding another ladder up which opened into an enormous natural cavern. Boulders, rocks and mushrooms littered the floor and a largish rat sat atop one. Bob turned it into fine mist without a care, against protest.
I am very sure my sigh was quite audible when dozens, if not hundreds of heads of beady-eyed rats popped up from every nook and cranny. Fleer charged one, to see if she could scare it off… it ran around behind her, crawling up her leg to bite her in the ass. I drew my sword with a growl and protest as the horde ran at us, biting and clawing what and whom they could. I am sure you can imagine what seeing that many rodents attacking must be like. It was worse. Joining them was an intelligent rat that left for help, coming back with a mad Skaven plague doctor before it turned into a large, raging thing. They both fell quickly enough, but their bites were diseased and filthy. We cleaned up and decided to rest up a bit before continuing on, our healing magicks depleted for the day.