The adventure began with Livia being escorted to her new life at the Orlandian Combat Academy, sitting in the back of a wagon being driven by Donry and Herron. Travelling north along the road toward the Academy they came across a merchant being attacked by bandits. The players assisted the merchant who introduced himself as Jerob and offered a reward if they would see him safely the rest of the way to the Academy (his guards having been dispatched by the bandits).
A few hours later the group arrive safely at the Academy. Donry and Herron are surprised to find the middle of campus looking like the sight of a battle…
Nymphadora wakes up from a long nights’ sleep featuring a particularly vivid dream. Shortly thereafter Mara Foxwald arrives at Nymphadora’s room and requests that she join Isaac in the infirmary.
On the way to see Isaac, Nymphadora is also surprised by the war-torn state of the Academy Quad. The events of the preceding day and the slake spider attack are explained to all of the players (Nymphadora somehow managed to sleep right through the whole ordeal). The players decide to all go and see Isaac for more details and to see if they could be of any assistance.
They find Isaac tired and distressed over the fate of his fellow Instructor, Brie. She was drained by one of the spiders and nobody can figure out how to heal her. Isaac says that he wants a cure found quickly, the lives of Brie and several others hang in the balance. Mara suggests that the players investigate the corpse of the one spider that fell during the attack and that they check in with Omar, who has been up all night in the library researching the strange creatures. Isaac would not normally ask students to perform such tasks but the majority of the Academy’s HEROs are currently out on contract (several noble houses are gearing up to fight one another).
From the slake spider corpse the players learn that the beasts do not exist wholly in the same dimension as themselves. Attempts to conduct an autopsy fail as the spider’s constant switching between different existences makes it almost impossible to leave any lasting impression on the body. Mara hits upon the idea of modifying a Protect spell to fix the beast in place. The players consult the White Mage Instructor, Danforth and he and Mara set about performing the task (though it will take some time).
In the library Omar is exhausted but thinks he may be onto something. He witnessed first-hand the slake spiders draining the life out of people. He believes that whatever they did may be related to the spell Drain. Unfortunately that spell is blood magic and thus forbidden in the Academy. The players consult the Black Mage Instructor Isla who teaches Nymphadora Fortify to protect against blood magic but that is all she knows. It is suggested by Omar that he’d be able to learn the spell if he could just see it being cast. To this end the players head off towards a forest north of the Academy where there’s known to be plenty of Bitebugs which use the ability.
Heading along the north road the players arrive at their destination and come across tracks leading into the forest. The tracks lead towards a pool of green liquid at the bottom of a tree. The green liquid leaves a trail heading deeper into the wood to an abandoned Goblin campsite. The players loot the campsite then decide to lure out the Bitebugs rather than run around looking for them. They fill a flask with some of Donry’s blood and wait. Shortly a loud buzzing noise fills the air and several large blue Bitebugs appear, accompanied by an even larger red Bitebug.
The players defeat the bugs and Omar (who had totally been with them all along and hadn’t at all been forgotten about at the Academy*) has successfully learned Drain. Though he is not strong enough to cast it so he teaches it to Nymphadora.
*Don’t drink and DM.