Another day has passed, and much has happened.
The party returned from the ruins in the dark of the night, loudly calling for my services as a physician. I had at first disregarded it, thinking someone to be merely drunk, but a startled Maxwell pounded on my door, requesting my presence downstairs where I was greeted by a gory sight. The sister, Catherine, had been laid out on a table, barely conscious and her robes soaked in blood. The other three were wounded but able to stand, allowing me to focus my immediate attention on her.
She had endured multiple slashes by cruel blades, the edges of her wounds looking much more ragged than if cut by a regular sword. Her arms and her legs had been hacked at badly, and she had one nasty laceration that had exposed her ribs, though her interior anatomy had been spared any damage. She was still conscious and receptive to pain as I examined the wounds, though a small amount of ether was sufficient to render her fully unconscious. Her skin was clammy, possibly from fever already setting in, so I have applied maggots to the worst of the cuts. She rests in my quarters now, and once the maggots have done their healing work I shall pass her to the church to continue her rest. It is unfortunate that she had suffered so much and rendered so helpless, for the healing abilities of the Order are revered for their efficacy. If she were more able, there was much she could have done for herself.
The bounty hunter was much better off, his only wound being a crossbow bolt that had passed through his shoulder. The weapons wielded by the enemy seem engineered to ensure much suffering, as his wound was also ragged and torn around the edges. His clothes were covered in some strange green ectoplasm, the likes of which I could not identify despite its pungent odor. His wound will heal with no intervention on my part, but I have leeched both sides of the wound as well as his arms so as to ward off fever.
The leper, who I would later learn was named York before his illness, had taken his fair share of blows as well. The leprosy had ravaged him some years past, rendering his skin cracked and useless while also making him immune to pain. In a strange twist of fate, his illness had possibly offered him the best protection against those malicious weapons. Unfortunately, he was just as immune to all my healing efforts. The leprosy did not take his life, though if he is not careful, he may die an even slower death within the estate. He may feel no pain, but the flesh is finite.
Clarke’s man Cole bore no injuries from these cruel blades, though his body was battered and bruised. There was not much I could do for him, in that case, and he seemed much more interested in seeking whisky than healing.
The story, as it came to me from York, was that immediately upon entering the ruins they were beset on all sides by the undead. Unable to fight their way through, they sought a route to the library. The buildings have fallen into a state of disrepair, and the only way to the library was through caved in, claustrophobic corridors, which Cole navigated them the best he could with the map they had been provided. Cole was relentless, pushing them well past the point of exhaustion and forgoing all rest with the intention of reaching the library and its trove of knowledge as quickly as possible. York said that once inside, it was impossible to track the passage of time, but he estimated that within a day they had reached the library. Tomes and scrolls were stacked amongst shelves, along with more occult devices that Cole strictly forbade anyone from touching them. The party quickly gathered everything they could, shoving whatever they could reach into their packs. York uncovered a small alcove within the library that showed evidence of men living there, and recently. Within the alcove, there were grisly tomes in a strange cipher he claimed not to understand, though the pictures indicated they were texts of necromancy. With no mention of rest, Cole drove them to depart, leaving the ruins as quickly as they had come. It was upon their exit that the undead had fallen upon them with more intensity than before, perhaps because their presence had been noted in the library. Whatever the reason, it was during these assaults the party sustained their worst wounds and when Catherine had been most grievously injured . To his credit, Cole rallied the members and acted as an enraged berserker, carving a swath through the undead that stood in their way until they were able to exit and return to the hamlet with Catherine unable to walk.
The sun was rising as I finished my treatments, and by the time I was done the travelers had all assembled, along with the young master Clarke. Cole passed over what they had retrieved from the ruins, which Clarke received warily. With barely a mention of what had taken place in the library, he simply summoned Raziq to his side and instructed the travelers to assemble at sundown in the tavern.
I must sleep, and try and recover the rest I lost the night preceding. I can only assume that the young Master Clarke and Raziq are poring over the documents recovered from the library, seeing what sort of sorcery the elder Clarke had partaken of. I assume that another party will be sent out shortly, within the next day or so, as the extent of the corruption and the way to cleanse it become more apparent. I have no desire to expose myself to danger, but I do not know if I can tolerate simply sitting and waiting as another group goes out to face whatever foul things wander the estate.