The Ruins of Evil
The fourth chapter of a grand heroic tale of good versus evil. Penned by the esteemed scribe Belkas Silverquill
Having taken a moment to regain their strength, our band of heroes once again set out to search the ruins. Spreading out and searching the chamber, they soon find a secret door and venture onwards. They soon find themselves in another large chamber, where they surprise a group of gnolls. After a brief battle, the gnolls are slain, but it seems the commotion has drawn the attention of even deadlier foes… a group of Ghouls and a Ghast. Again, these mighty heroes fight for their lives. Just as the group seem to be gaining the upper hand, Silas checks on Rethidoor. As he does so, he spies a shadowy figure through an open doorway. He prepares himself, expecting this newcomer to attack. And attack he does, stepping out into the chamber he fires off a flurry of magic missiles – directly at the ghast, killing it. The remaining ghouls are soon slain. The figure reveals himself to be Spugnoir of Hommlet, and expresses his relief at finally finding some allies.
Finding a safe place to rest and talk, the group tell Spugnoir of his daughters worry for him and of their promise to her to find him. He is grateful for their concern and assistance, and tells them of how he came to be trapped in the ruins when the dragon arrived. He witnessed the dragon slay the cult leader, and fled into the ruins to hide. The group show him one of the items taken from a table in a chamber – a black tube containing a scroll. Spugnoir studies the scroll, but is unable to decipher the language. He thanks our heroes for his rescue and prepares to depart. They tell him of their decision to continue to search the ruins, and he warns them of the danger, telling them that he overheard members of the cult discussing that they had found… something. He believes that whatever they have found to be a means to greater evil. Spugnoir and the party then go their separate ways.
The heroes continue to search the corridors and chambers, but seem to only find ransacked rooms, ruins and debris. Eventually another secret door is found, behind which is a stairway leading down. Beyond the stairs are more winding passageways. Following one of these passageways leads to room containing six straw mattresses and an assortment of bags and satchels. Searching the room reveals nothing of value… except for a locked chest. Silas goes to work on the lock, and in no time it springs open. Triumphantly, he opens the chest which triggers a hidden trap! Only his quick reflexes saves Silas from serious harm. The items are quickly looted.
Making their way through the other passageways, they come across a group of gnolls, which they quickly slay. Continuing on, they find themselves in another room containing six straw mattresses and an assortment of poorly maintained weapons and armour. The room smells of wet fur.
Following another corridor, they find that it ends abruptly at a stone wall. The stone is clearly different from the walls, but the group can find no way around or through the wall. Baffled, they decide to leave it for now and continue their search.
Retracing their steps, they find another winding passageway which eventually leads intersects with a set of stairs leading down. The group hesitate, unsure whether to venture onwards or down the stairs. In this moment of hesitation, a horribly deformed figure lunges from the shadows of the stairs and attacks. Another Ghast. The group slay this lone attacker, only to spy more figures at the bottom of the stairs – a human Cleric and scaly lizard creatures. Our heroes once again charge into battle, and are eventually victorious. Searching the body of the slain Cleric reveals he is wearing a pendant of the same symbol they had found on the other Clerics. The lizard creatures are also wearing pendants of a different symbol, but this one has also been seen by the group before – on the body of the female in they found in the manor.
The group become aware of how cold the area is… of an unnatural feeling chill not just in the air, but the walls and floor. Before them lies an open pit. Water seeps from the walls and flows down into the pit. A set of ropes and pulley’s are suspended above the pit, and there is a large, flat stone nearby… the same size as the pit. The group also find a strange statue next to the pit, a rectangular block with different figures carved on each side.
Leaving this area, the group return to the top of the last set of stairs and continue along the corridor, only to find that it leads to a large crypt…
What evil now awaits our heroes? What lies ahead in the crypt? What is the significance of the strange statue by the pit? Could this be the ‘thing’ the cult found? So many unanswered questions, the answer to any one of them could mean their death… or worse!