We started to get ready to go in to Haven. We knew that there is a type of person that that came to haven; thrill seekers, adventurers, criminals, and other ruffians. So just to be safe every one put on their armor and took their gear.
We strolled off the dashing stag like the concurring heroes. Looking back at my friends was an impressive sight. Urgral was walking out front wearing his new forged plate armor and massive long sword. Stilicho towered behind walking strait backed and stiff, his plate was so polished that the stars shined in it. Dremnin was just the opposite his clothing was so muted he almost disappeared in to the long shadows of dusk, but if you looked closely you could see his blood pebbles at his neck and wrists. Suulin walked in the middle of the group her new crystal cloak swayed back and forth. Vridich walked at the rear of the group, his dark cowl pulled over his head so that his face was nothing but a dark shadow inside. I was wearing a bright red with my crystal ring mail armor, hammer on my back, and my big red hat. We were dressed to impress.
We slowly came in to the tavern one at a time, looking around the room. We spotted the Troll we were looking for right away. Mayor Torgak, a large old troll that was well dressed. He sat in a chair that had been made to fit him, with a small table just large enough to hold his drink. He was close to the fire place, maybe to warm his old bones. Urgral declared that he was buying a round for the table. I had a nice glass of wine and the rest had dwarven stout. Urgral also had a drink taken to Torgak. We also ordered some food as a long day of sailing makes you hungry. The drinks were delivered, then the one to Torgak. He did not even look down at it; he just puffed on his pipe a couple times and then got up and walked out. Urgral leaned down and picked up a piece of paper. He read it and then passed it around the table. It was a note from Torgak telling us to meet him in his shop later. We ate our food and finished our drinks, then got up to leave.
As we left and headed down the street Suulin and I stepped around the corner of the building to see if anyone was going to follow us. Suulin did not see it but I was sure that I saw a dark shadow dart acrost the back of the dark alley across the street. No one came out of the bar to follow us so Suulin and I jogged down the street to catch up.
We were let in to the warehouse area of Torgak’s shop by an old ork. I could see Torgak standing in the light of a lantern back deeper in to the room. He was pacing and looked oddly nervous. As soon as Urgral stepped in to the light Torgak looked directly at him and asked “Are you the one sent to help me?”
Urgral produced a letter and gave it to Torgak. Torgak read the letter and appeared somewhat relieved. He looked at the group and said “I need your help.” He explained that there had been 12 murders in the last 30 days. These had been twelve gruesome killings where the killer had dismembered the bodies and drawn symbols all over the room in the victim’s blood. Torgak went on saying that his wizard had copied the symbols for further examination, and that he would have them brought to our boat. We asked him a few question to no avail. He really did not know what was happening. Torgak also told us that he thought he was being watched and that we would not be able to contact him again till we solved the crime unless it was an emergency.
As we left I came up with the Idea that we should take a crate with us like we were making some secret deal, unless someone was watching. So Urgral and I took an empty crate and we went back to the boat.
A short while later female wizard showed up with the drawings. I found them very disturbing; I could not make heads or tails of them. Vridich also look confused while he studied them. The elf finally spoke and said that he did not believe that they were magical symbols. We decided to sleep on it and start again with rested minds in the morning.
Just as we were starting to settle in to breakfast the next morning we heard the sound of small bare feet running up the gang plank. It was a small human boy telling us that there had been another killing and that Torgak wanted us to come right away. Being already dressed and armored I grabbed a couple of biscuits and my hammer and ran up on deck. We all gather on deck and then followed the child at a run. After a couple of minutes we could see a crowd formed outside of an alley.
We made our way through the crowd to find that a woman had been killed. She was slashed and cut all over her body. The body was sitting position against one of the wall. It seemed that someone had pulled her intestines out of a large gash in her abdomen. There were symbols smeared in blood all over the walls.
I have seen and caused a lot of death in the last year, but this was beyond anything I had seen. My stomach turned and I could feel the evil that wafted out of the alley. I turned and walked back out of the alley. I was trying to catch my breath when Suulin and Dremnin came running out of the alley chasing someone. I took off after them not knowing why we were taking them. We tracked the person south of town towards the ruined city of Parlainth. We could see to our left the Urgral, Vridich, and Stilicho were following a woman in the same direction we were heading.
We all came together in a clearing and there were 12 people in robes. One spoke in a voice that was not his own, claiming that he was a horror that was in control of this area and the town of Haven was trespassing and that town would be dead by morning. The twelve then turned and walked off further in to the ruins.
We followed them till they disappeared in to a whole in the earth. It opened in to a man-made passage that was under the earth. We slide in and moved in to our marching order. I was covering the rear so that vridich and Suulin were safe. We moved in to a hall full of doors.
Dremnin, Stilicho, and Urgral moved up to the first door on the left. Dremnin said that he heard chewing noises on the other side. Stilicho stepped back and kicked the door. It was old and rotted and with the force behind the kick it nearly exploded. We raced in to the room expecting to battle a horror but instead found 2 ghouls chewing on piles of dead bodies. The smell of the dead was so thick you could almost taste it. I moved to the first ghoul and smashed him under the hammer. The ghouls never stood a chance. As soon as the ghouls we dispatched I moved out to the hall to make sure that no one heard the noise and was coming to attack us. The others checked to room for anything of value and a pile of gear quickly formed by the door.
When we checked the next room down the hall we Dremnin heard the sound of crying. We opened the door to find a female windling, a female dwarf, and an obsidaman. They looked beaten and starved. We asked several questions of them and they did not respond. We started to believe that they were horror tainted and then they started to respond. We gave them some food and water and they said that they could walk out of the dungeon and get back to Haven. We told them to warn haven that they horror planned on killing everyone in town before the next morning. We gave them some gear from the pile in the other room and got them out of the hole. The female dwarf thanked us for getting her out by telling us that she had been in an adventuring party that came in to these tunnels and found a secret door that we had missed.
The next door we opened a sparking mist started to poor out of the room. We decided to close the door and not go in. The last door in the hall Dremnin could hear a lot of sounds but could not identify or really describe them. We opened the door slightly and saw dozens orange sized balls. They were translucent like kids bubbles, and bouncing all over the room. We closed the door as quickly as we could but a dozen got loose in to the hall. They went in all directions and we started herding them back to the room we found the three hostages in. I did not want to touch them and I used my shield to bat them back in the other direction. I quickly found out that my suspicions were correct. Dremnin pinned one of the balls to the floor with his shield. It stuck to the shield. Dremnin tried to scrape it off on the door jamb but it would not come off or even stick to anything else. I do not know how we are going to get it off of there. I took a little doing but we got the other eleven balls in to the other room.
The hall way was clear, so we went back to the secret door we were shown. It was a rough cut passage. We followed it for a short ways and came to what looked to be an underground sea. We stood on the beach watching a sun that was not our own setting on the other side of the underground sea. Someone asked how we could be watching this sun set. Vridich answered that he did not believe that were not in our own realm anymore. As if we all had one mind began to move away from the underground sea and went back the way we came. No wanting to be outside of our realm fighting a horror again. We went down a hall we had passed and followed it till we came to a large room.
The walls were covered in a pictograph telling the story of a wizard. The wizard, Malgim Mortaka, was getting ready for combat with a horror. He covered himself in the four elements. He has air around his head. His body and legs were covered in earth and rock. Brightly burning flames encompassed his right arm and water the left. The picture showed him struggling against a large mass with tentacles. The story seamed unfinished, it did not show him beating the horror. We took a little time and let Suulin take some rubbings of the room and learn the story. When she finished we moved on.
We wandered around the tunnels for a while and then we found four elemental fountains, one for each element Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The fountains were contained in a circle. Each had an arch way in which flowed each of the elements. Vridich was the first to enter one of the arches, he chose Air. He walked under the arch and you could see the pain on his face. He grabbed his side and made a groan as he exited the fountain. Urgral then decided to try the Fire fountain. He ran through the arch way and burst in to flames. He rolled around a bit and patted his beard. After that we decided to move on.
We came to what looked like a library. There were several book shelves and we fanned out and started looking at the books. We found the order that we were supposed to go through the elemental fountains to gain an advantage to fighting horrors or the horror, it was not clear. We also found out that we could get healed in the sparkling mist room. Some of us gathered up what we thought looked like valuable books and headed for the fountains.
We passed through the fountains in the given order, Earth, Fire, Air, and then Water. Each fountain caused pain, some more than others. We then headed for the room with the sparkling mist. It did heal our pains and wounds. We headed off to the last place that we had not explored intent on defeating the horror.
We came to the hall that we were looking for and we could see on a low pedestal just about 3 yards inside the room what looked like a large somewhat clear jelly fish with a cloudy center shaped like a man. It had 3 large tentacles sticking out of the body, they all seemed to wiggle and thrash about. The blob had eyes all over it but all seemed to be looking in to the room on the other side of it. They were concentrating on a group of 12 grey robed figures. We decided to charge and ran in to the room. We lined up along side of it Stilicho on my left, Urgral on my right, and Dremnin on the right flank. Vridich was behind us in the hall casting his spells. Suulin surprised me and went troubadour warrior. She charged the grey robes and tossed a bolo sending one grey robe to the ground in a sprawl. She snatched up the torch it was carrying. I swung with my hammer and thought I had landed a blow but it just seemed to bounce off. Stilicho had better luck and sliced a light cut that opened the horrors flesh. All thought it seemed like it closed up as fast as it opened. Dremnin and Urgral also did not affect the horror much, although all of the creatcher’s eyes came to bear on us.
We continued to take shots at the horror but did little damage. Stilicho stopped fighting for a second and grabbed at his helm. When he looked back at the Horror he had rage in his eyes and screamed “I will not!” Stilicho reeled in pain and screamed every time he attacked the horror. Blood was pouring from his nose.
Suulin was out numbered twelve to one and was quickly surrounded. She stuffed the torch right in the face of the grey robe in front of her and leaped over his body as he was rolling on the ground. She moved over to the right side of the room where I could no longer see her, but I knew she was doing okay as I kept hearing screams of other grey robes and not hers.
I also noticed that Urgrals sword was glowing. He looked like a man possessed; his eyes were wide and filled with rage. His sword started slicing gashes in the side of the horror. Urgral also started calling out the name Malgim Mortaka. I could see the cloudy shape start thrashing about inside the Horror. I could hear Vridich casting some spell I had never heard. I on the other hand could not seem to get a good hit on the horror or a hit at all. Stilicho started to look really bad. Blood was coming from his nose, ears, and eyes. He backed away from the pedestal and tried to heal himself and then reeled in pain.
Urgral with his glowing sword were cutting chunks out of the horror, it was oozing back from our side of the pedestal. Urgral must have scared it as it called in reinforcements. A horde of howling cadaver men rushed in to the sight on the far side of the room. Stilicho moved back up to the pedestal. Trying to remain standing in his final charge, his sword made contact with the horror but bid not do any damage. His body jerked one last time and collapsed to the floor. The cadaver men were now charging. We were in a desperate moment. I could not defend the left side to keep the new attackers from getting to Vridich. Stilicho was down. Grey robes and cadaver men were pouring in on the right flank. I could feel that we needed victory now. I gave a quick silent prayer to Flourannus , for victory. As I started to make my attack I could feel my muscles tingle. My vision tunneled in on my target point, right where Urgral had just opened a large gash. I felt the resistance of the body of the horror as I hit but then I felt it give way and the hammer when right through to the pedestal. The hammer clanged on the stone. Then there was a spray of jelly and goo as the body of the horror splashed everywhere.
The grey robes looked as if they had awoke from a dream and stumbled around confused. The cadaver men collapsed to the floor and stopped moving. There was a body of a man lying on the pedestal where the horror had been.
Seeing that there was no more danger I put away the Hammer and jumped to Stilicho’s side. I pulled a healing potion from my pack. I took a moment to give thanks to Flourannus for the victory and asked to save my friend who had fought so bravely against the horror. I poured the healing potion in to Stilicho’s mouth. I waited and prayed a moment. Stilicho snapped awake and jumped to his feet clutching at his belt looking for his missing sword to defend himself. I rolled back startled by his quick action. I could see the relief on Stilicho’s blood covered face when he realized the horror was dead. It was over.
Ardor Zomay Skram
4th circle Tail Dancer