Grimes peered back over his shoulder as the strange creatures slowly faded in their pursuit; his plan to give his comrades time to escape appeared to have worked as desired. He turned his steed and began to slowly circumvent the town, keeping the grain stalks between him and the perceived danger.
Lylah, the mute boy and Oben stopped to catch breath; Lylah had not run this much in such a long time, and keeping one’s garments pristine in an environment which claws and grabs with grubby,muddy fingers is far from easy! Oben urged caution and they both continued onwards towards the path which cut away from the town- instinctively they hoped to reunite themselves with Grimes there.
Oben’s grumbling at having to once more pull Philleo through an adventure must have dulled his senses for a moment, as it was Lylah who spied a shadowy figure through the long wheat sheafs before her. Before she could finish vocalising a greeting she was rushed by a crazed looking man with a spear, eager to discover if they were friend or foe, and eager to look closely at the status of their foreheads. After a cagey stand off (with Oben threatening a particular variety of holy wrath) guards were dropped and information exchanged.
We discovered that his name was Albin, and he was the missing agent sent by the Scarlet Shield to investigate the town. He divulged that he had discovered a wicked necromancer had been taking the innocent villagers and transforming them into vessels for some inhuman abomination! He added that he knew the necromancer was planning to sacrifice a group of children the next day as a reagent for some spine-chilling spell.
He invited the gang back to his tree-stump hideaway for a night of quiet safety; en route they met up with Grimes (after a momentary confusion in the dark of night) and eventually they arrived, awkwardly squeezing into the sunken hollow Albin had called his temporary home. Grimes, unenamoured by the thought of cramming himself into a tight hole, opted to spend the night outside.
Pre-bed discussion was set; Albin was desperate for help in stopping the magic user, but was willing to go alone if necessary at the break of day. Eventually he bent their ear, and agreed a plan of action-take the town by force!
The day came: The mute boy was left in the relative safety of the tree stump with Phil’s inanimate body, and the team set to task. They approached the town from an opportune angle and employed “Operation: Quiet-time”. Peering through a ground-storey window they spy a used sleeping room, but no sign of any inhabitants. They crept further, looking to check each domicile in turn, before Grimes plucked up courage to stir the soul; walking down the main street he cried out, shouting the advert for selling his imaginary apples. Silence was the reply.
Nothing stirred within the town, bar the rustling of the trees in the late Autumn wind. He continued to try and draw out any adversary, but could find none. Albin took the opportunity to usher the team into one of the houses on the other side of the street and showed them a hidden passage dug in the dirt, spiralling off beyond their view. After Oben created another ‘clever’ trap with fruit and forks (?) to alert them to the door opening, they made their way deep into the mysterious catacombs.
The tunnels stretched out randomly, like elongated fingers on a crooked hand. After finding a series of dead-ends they chanced upon the creator; a strange rock monstrosity, dragging its clawed hands against the wall as it wandered aimlessly through the passages. They set upon it with great vigor- but not without great pain inflicted to Albin, who couldn’t help but get crushed against a wall as he tried to get in a better tactical position to flank the enemy. After an exchange of devestating strikes it was vanquished, no longer free to stroll in the underground it called home.
After Lylah and Oben stirred Albin from his unconcious stupor, they pushed into the final passage, which quickly opened up into a flame lit chamber. At the far end they could see the chidren Albin spoke of; bound and gagged, with a sinister black-cloaked figure standing over them. More disturbing was the discovery of a clutch of large eggs in a clearing to their left, covered in a strange green jelly and being tended to by three of the tentacle-addled villagers.
An unsubtle entrance from our heroes alerted the enemy, and a slobber-knocker of a battle ensued! Acid was spewed forth from the tentacled skulls, causing excruciating pain to all those caught in the spray. Keeping to form, Albin quickly became incapacitated before being of any use whatsoever, so it was down to the combined efforts of Oben, Grimes and Lylah to pull the team through this most horrid of pickles.
The warlock moved menacingly into melee with Grimes but proved no match for the Ryykan warrior, being felled without much recourse. Oben opened a proverbial crate of holy vengeance and bashed mercilessly at the evil which beset him. Although the fiends did manage to cause some healing concerns for our heroine Lylah, the day was won with no serious casualties.
The children were freed and taken into their custody, all to be taken back to Grate and entrusted to the temple of Tripos. The eggs were smushed into goo, and Albin was (again) rescued from the brink of demise. After a brisk search of the cave they found stand out loot for the day- a new black cloak for the ‘man of a thousand hand-me-downs’, Grimes.
The heroes depart, eager to report back to Halas. Albin ensures that all are in good cheer- a mission complete, and an evil vanquished. What can the next day bring?