Rise of the Runelords

 

The Graul Farm

 

The adventurers finished taking the ogre hooks from all the ogrekins that they had defeated and were ready to continue their exploration of the farmhouse. Rion took point moving through the house in the direction they believed the ogrekin to have come from. As he opened one of the doors he heard the sound of a trigger and a large scythe swung from above and slashed through his shoulder causing him to fall to one knee in pain. “Crap. I should be more careful. This house seems to like its fair share of traps.” Rion said, cursing his foolishness for just rushing through a door. They moved onward through the house making sure that none of the other doors were trapped until they came to the room that the ogrekin had emerged out of.

The room appeared to be almost like a child’s room with various “toys” made of bone, wood, and what appeared to be animal carcasses. The walls were painted with blood to depict various horrible drawings of demons and other horrific beings. The party scanned the room to see if they noticed anything else besides the twisted objects in here and saw nothing of note. “Alright, I’m starting to feel this place is quite strange…” Maiwyn said, picking up one of the toys to examine it before tossing it back down and moving on with the rest of the party.

The next room that they explored had a filthy mattress on it and various fetishes and homemade “art” hanging from the ceiling. Pieces made of fingers, jaws, and other body parts hung like an elaborate wind chime in the room as the place smelled of filth. Xiha examined the fetishes to try and figure out what bizarre creature would do such a thing and as he did he noticed a faint glint from one of them. The Fetchling looked closer and saw that one of the fingers still wore a ring made out of jade on it and carefully slipped it off the finger and into their bags. While it was quite disgusting it would still have some value to a merchant back in town.

Each room continued to make this place more perverse by the minute. First with all the traps and the strange markings, the deformed ogrekin, and now the next room they explored had a pile of what appeared to be tiny children bones. “What in the world is going on in this place?” Rion said, moving quickly from that room to see Chester sniffing out and exploring a stairwell that led to a second floor. The Sihedon Knights made their way up the stairs and saw two doors awaiting for them here. Opening the one to their left revealed a bedroom with a number of beds in them. The beds had dirty blankets and were quite messy. Near the wall there was a chest sitting there. Rion moved forward to examine the chest to see if there was any traps on it. The chest appeared to be safe and unlocked but when he went to open it the lid appeared to be stuck shut.

“I got this.” XIha said as Rion stepped aside to allow the monk to open the door. Using his brute force he was able to pry the lid open to reveal a bag of coins sitting in the chest. As he reached in to reap his rewards Rion grabbed his hand to stop him. The rogue pointed to a small spot below the bag and looked at Xiha. “Careful. There’s a pressure plate. Let me handle it.” Rion said as he moved in to disable the mechanism below the bag. Once it was safe they pulled the bag out to see what was inside and saw that there was an assortment of coins inside as well as a number of severed fingers. They added the coin to their bags as Roccal took the fingers for his own bag. The rest of the party looked at him curiously as the Tiefling just smiled “Never know when they might come in handy for something.”

Not wanting to question the strange thoughts of their witch, the party proceeded to move on and explore the other room that was upstairs. This room seemed to be a workshop of some sorts based on the assortment of items in here. Metal pieces, junk, potions and tables set up with lab equipment and tools filled the space while cobwebs littered the corners.  “Maybe we can salvage something in here.” Roccal said, eyeing the various pieces in the room. Xiha agreed with him and they spent the next few minutes scavenging through the room to see what they could find and ended up with an assortment of tools similar to what Rion used to open locks and disable traps they encountered. They headed back downstairs and down another hallway to another door. When they opened this door the sight was one to behold.

This room was a large bedroom with an oversized bed in the corner of it. The smell of decay, filth, and waste filled it as they saw next to the bed an easel with a palette of blood and guys from a number of dead unidentifiable animals. Buckets of urine and fecal matter lined one of the walls as on the bed was an obese female figure. Her skin was glistening with sweat as her greasy hair adorned either side of her face. She turned and glared at the group as they entered.

“Ya’ll sons of bitches killed ma boys! I’ll kill all ya’ll and show ya what it means to mess with ole’ Mammy Graul! Git’ em my loves!” The large ogrekin said as the other figures in the room began to move and stir, their decaying bodies approaching the group. They quickly entered the room to deal with the incoming monsters, getting into positions where they could strike most effectively. Even the firepelt leaped into the fray as it sank its teeth into one of the ogrekins lumbering at them. While the group was dealing with these threats however, Mammy Graul had other plans. She began to wave her staff in the air and suddenly the floor began to darken as black tendrils began to rise up from it and lash out towards most of the party. Most of the group was unable to react in time as the tentacles wrapped around them tightly trying to crush them in their grip.

“Eww, what in the world is this?!” Maiwyn said as she felt the tendrils grab a hold of her.

“It’s Black Tentacles.” Roccal said, groaning as he tried to force himself free from them. “Seems the fat one is quite adept at magic.”

It was then they realized how dangerous the woman was and that she had to be dealt with. Chester and Xiha were able to avoid the tentacles grabbing them and made a dash to get closer to her to try and stop her from casting any more dangerous spells. However this was when they ran into their next issue as both Chester and Xiha unleashed a combination of attacks onto the stationary target. While their attacks did hit the mark they seemed to not be as solid of a hit as they were used to feeling as if the woman’s thick skin was resisting it. Meanwhile, the rest of the party continued to struggle against the tentacles as they gripped firmly onto them. Rion was able to slip through their grasp using his dexterous ways and rushed to get away from them and to a safe spot where he could unleash his arrows. Each arrow that struck Mammy Graul barely broke her skin but the flames that followed them seemed to burn through the skin and leave a lasting impact.

The disgusting fat beast of a woman glared towards Chester. “Mangy lil cat, you’re quite the feisty one.” She said as she flashed a crooked teeth smile before unleashing another spell. Suddenly the cheetah whimpered a bit as he felt the blood inside him begin to warm up making him quite uncomfortable. The battle had broken up into what appeared to be two separate battles in one as Shalelu, the firepelt, Maiwyn, and even Roccal to a degree were left dealing with the decaying ogrekin while Rion, Duline, Chester, and Xiha were combating Mammy Graul and her arsenal of dark magic. Each strike and bite from Xiha and Chester just seemed to be resisted with the tough skin exterior of the ogrekin however the flaming arrows that both Duline and Rion were firing seemed at least leave a lasting mark.

Suddenly Chester’s body spasmed a bit as the blood inside him began to boil up causing extreme pain and draining him of energy. “Chester no!” Duline called out seeing her companion in severe pain as she rushed to his side and began healing him with her magic. Meanwhile, the black tentacles continued to constrict and squeeze the other half of the adventuring party slowly. Maiwyn clutched onto her holy symbol as she prayed to Iomedae to give her strength and began to release waves of positive energy to keep the group healed and counter the effects of the dark tentacles.

“Why you lil blonde bitch..you think you better than ole’ Mammy Graul? How many sons have you birthed? None I bet with that skinny body of yours! Why don’t you just DIE!” The obese ogrekin wizard shouted out across the room as she unleashed another spell but this time in the direction of the Elven Cleric. As the spell washed over she suddenly felt the air in her lungs vanish as her body twitched from the lack of oxygen. Maiwyn stumbled but kept her footing as she fought the feeling of suffocating. She looked around at the rest of the party as her vision blurred a bit, using her strength to hang on and not pass out from the horrible effects of the spell.

By now the group had managed to deal with and defeat a number of the ogrekin leaving just Mammy Graul on her own. They continued to unleash a flurry of attacks on her and eventually the attacks suddenly seemed to be able to break through the tough resistance of the skin and land fully on her. She continued to curse at them while unleashing nercomany magic at them but the Sihedron Knights proved to be quite resilient in dodging and warding off her dark powers. She cursed them one last time before her body vanished in a flash of purplish arcane energy.

“Where did she go?” Xiha said, still in his Boar stance ready to deliver another strike to her.

“She’s gone.” Roccal said with a slight sigh. “She used Dimension Door to escape.”

The group took a moment to regain their composure and deal with their wounds. Even though they survived they had taken quite a rough beaten and used a lot of their resources. While they healed themselves the adventurers began to figure out what their next move should be.

“She can’t have gone far right? The spell doesn’t have a huge range.” Xiha said, itching to finish the fight and defeat the vile woman.

“Yeah but I’m quite spent. I don’t have much magical energy left.” Maiwyn said as she looked quite tired from the combination of the Suffocation spell and from using most of her power to heal the party back up.

“Maiwyn’s right. Let’s head back outside and set up camp to rest. We can continue exploring after we’ve rested for a bit.” Rion said as the group agreed and started to make their way back out of the farmhouse and into the clearing. As they walked they saw a group of ogrekins approaching them quickly and behind them flying through the air a large obese ogrekin.

“I’ll get you bitches for ruining my home!” Mammy Graul said as she sent more of her boys after the party.

Right away Xiha, Duline, Chester and the firepelt charged in to deal with the ogrekin. Their deformed bodies wielding dangerous hooks continued to swing and try to slice them down but Xiha’s reflexes were too quick for such simple attacks. Roccal looked around the clearing as he turned to Rion and smiled at the human.

“Do you trust me?” Roccal asked him.

“Uhh…why?” Rion said, not sure what the Tiefling specifically was getting at.

The Tiefling Witch placed his hand on the shoulder of the rogue as he used Dimension Door and warped himself and Rion to the other side of the clearing. The rogue looked around confused from where he was for a moment before reorienting himself correctly. While the jump may have not been far it put the rogue in a flanking position with the rest of the group allowing him to take some clean shots at the ogrekin and Mammy Graul.

Mammy Graul saw the group of adventurers coming at her as she cast another spell this time slowing them down with the Slow spell. By slowing them down she was able to unleash another spell as waves of negative energy flooded out from her staff trying to fatigue the party and drain them of their energy. Maiwyn saw the necromancer fire off the spells and was growing tired of this evil caster as she brought down a blast of divine energy, engulfing the clearing in a Holy Smite to try and weaken them all. The flash of divine energy gave Roccal the opening he needed as he ran in and used his own arcane magic to cover the obese woman in a spray of acid and fire that burned her flesh. As the ogrekin tried to recover from the spells she saw that Xiha had finished taking care of some of her kin and charged in right at her unleashing a strong kick to her side.

The pain from the kick caused her to ache as she cursed the Fetchling before an arrow flew in and blasted her other side with fire from Rion. Roccal looked at her as he could see she was beginning to fade as he spat in his hand and smirked.

“So long you disgusting thing.” He said as he fired off another cast of Burning Hands engulfing the woman in the flames as she collapsed to the ground a large charred corpse. The Matriarch of the Graul family had been defeated and with her down, the rest of the ogrekin stood no chance as the adventurers cleaned them up with ease.

“Finally got her. Now let’s get some rest.” Rion said, sighing as he was also starting to feel tired after the long drawn out battle. The rest of the party continued to scavenge what they can from the ogrekin and then move out to the outskirts of the clearing to set up camp. The party set up their tent and rested for the rest of the day after a day of intense combat through the forest.

The next day after resting up the adventurers headed back inside the Graul farmhouse to finish their exploration of the building. They had gone upstairs and covered the ground floor and now all that was left was the basement below. They headed to the staircase and made their way down below into a tight hallway with a number of doors. Maiwyn decided to take initiative as she opened one of the doors to reveal a room that looked to be almost a storage room of sorts. Broken farming equipment, random broken pieces of metal, and other assortments of junk littered the room. Rion did a quick inspection of the room to see if anything useful was in here but most of it seemed to be broken or unsalvageable.

Another door was opened to reveal a chamber twice the size of the previous one. This one was splayed with blood all around with sharp tools of torment and violence hanging above a table. Near the table was a pile of what appeared to be decaying skin ripped clean off whatever it belonged to. They quickly closed the door and moved on not wanting to spend any more time in that slaughterhouse looking room. Maiwyn then pressed on and opened the last door which brought them to a small room.

This room had an ogrekin in it that glared at the intruders as he stood up and roared violently at them while grabbing a hold of his ogre hook. There were also a number of large ratlike creatures that resembled rats but were the size of a dog almost. Maiwyn took a deep gulp as the rats surrounded her and began to bite at her legs violently. Due to the constraint of the hallway it was hard for them to get any good vantage points on anything in the room. Only Xiha and Chester were able to get into the room to back up Maiwyn in time which left the firepelt, Shalelu and Rion in the back unable to do much. Every now and then a rat would come into view and the archers would let loose a volley of arrows to try and take one of them out.

Maiwyn dashed out of the room when she got the chance, finding a spot behind Xiha for cover. While she was heavily armored and able to take a blow she left the frontline to XIha so that she could support and hold the team together with her magic. Her departure from the room freed up more space to allow the large rats to come near the doorway allowing Rion, Shalelu, and even Duline to join in on the combat of picking the rats of with their bows.

Meanwhile, Chester and Xiha had their hands full with the ogrekin who swung his hook with violent swings. Each swing that pierced skin hit deep with a lot of force behind it. However Chester and Xiha were a deadly duo as both were able to target the ogrekin’s legs and with a quick sweep of the legs the ogrekin was on the ground surrounded by the Fetchling and the cheetah. With the raging ogrekin laid out on the ground he was in a dangerous spot. Both Xiha and Chester ripped apart the ogrekin as his corpse laid there dead after their destruction while Duline, Maiwyn, and the ranged support from Shalelu and Rion were able to clean up the large donkey rats.

They examined the ogrekin and saw that he was more armed then some of the other ogrekin that they had fought. “That was certainly a tough one.” Xiha said, wiping his hands clean as they finished looting the creature of its valuables. They looked and saw no other door in this room and then it hit them that there was another door at the other end of the storage room that contained all the farm equipment. The adventurers moved back into that room and opened the other door to see a long hallway leading to another set of double doors. It seemed there was more down here in the basement and they began to wonder what other terrors awaited them down below. Not only that but they still had to remember they had ventured out to find out what happened to Fort Rannick and still have seen no sign of the Black Arrows or what may have happened at the Fort that caused all this.

 

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