My new companions and I began our investigation at the lighthouse. The guards that had been posted there warned us that the room and victim above were a gruesome, bloody mess and they were spot on in their description.
The lighthouse keeper had been murder in a horrifying manner. He was flensed alive by someone that must have considered the act one of either artistic or religious significance, perhaps both. We determined that the keeper had been alive for a long time throughout his ordeal.
We believe that a spell of holding was used to still the living victim as there were no ligature marks on his limbs. Further he may have been silenced by another spell, though I have my doubts since the nearest people were likely 20 minutes away and might have been too far to hear screams if he could even do that under the effects of the holding magic.
Gripped in the victims right hand was a white rose, each petal had been gently bitten to leave impressions from the assassin’s teeth.
Despite the massive amount of blood shed, it seemed apparent to those with more expert eyes that some was missing, obviously taken by the perpetrator, to what end we did not know.
As to the magical light, it had been cast onto an enormous copper band delicately inscribed in an alphabet I did not know though obviously one of power. Onto it had been cast the powerful light magics or miracle if you prefer the religious nomenclature. A powerful counterspell had been used to permanently extinguish the bright emanations from the band.
Some searching revealed a very well prepared piece of vellum, made of human skin, that when examined proved to have recently held magic, perhaps the spell that doused the light.
Further investigation about the town brought us additional bits of information.
The ship that grounded on the reef and then was set ablaze was name Pride of Anhur and was likely carrying an item of power that would be of great harm to demons and those of demon blood. The Oder of the Ivory Crown were anxious for it to arrive and hoped to escort the artifact to Denelspire, the grand archive and home of archmage Vallendyl.
The information we gathered also led us to conclude that the assassin may be part of a cult known as Dark Spawn and maybe in league with Kardullis, a god of evil.
The Dark Spawn are also known as Isiry and most of them are elves, though they do have humans as thralls and wannabes.
We are discussing our next options for tracking the perpetrator.