The ruined keep near the village of Blunt had a foul reputation. When your fellow villagers started disappearing, everyone knew the source of evil. It took three weeks and the fading screams of a young girl to wake you from your mundane lives. No more would you farm, raise bees or haul corpses for a living! And you would start by rescuing your people.
The trembling, would-be adventurers assembled on the hill before the keep, watching its ruined gate. They were:
- Dorothey, the Barber (Chris)
- Syndra, the Mendicant (Chris)
- Borris, the Woodcutter (Chris)
- Elric, the Urchin (Jason)
- Jonah, the Squire (Jason)
- Fortran, the Corn Farmer (Jason)
- Kraus, the Animal Trainer with his brave pony (Sean)
- Waylen Longfield, the Wheat Farmer (Sean)
- Seamus the Quick, the Beekeeper (Sean)
- Skiff, the Guild Beggar (Brent)
- Lucky, the Squire (Brent)
- Silk, the Jeweler (Brent)
- Otus, the Smuggler (Paul)
- Clem, the Halfling Dyer (Paul)
- Ahnold, the Noble (Paul)
Skirting the obvious route via the ruined drawbridge, the mob of peasants also avoided a gaping chasm on the east side and instead entered the keep through a ruined wall on the northwest. Within moments, several of the mob were crushed underneath rock and other perished within the tomb revealed under the rock.
The well of screaming souls almost took more, but they pulled poor Elric from the brink. Entering the remaining tower of the keep, the stepped back in shock as a hoard of beast-like men attacked them. Serpent heads, bear bodies and bull horns were among the more tame mutations. Moaning and tortured villagers called for help. Sucking back fear, the peasants fought the mutants. Gore encrusted the chamber when they were done, much of it their own. They freed their fellows and were joined in the crusade by:
- Franz, the Halfling Chicken Butcher (Chris)
- Simon, the simpleton Beekeeper and rarely-a-competitor of Seamus (Jason)
- Eladin, Elf Scholar (Sean, then Brent)
- Festus, Dwarf Rat Catcher (Paul)
They looted a chamber guarded by a tarry ooze before descending into the dark depths. Underground, they gathered glowing skulls within a strange pool and followed a trail of loose coinage to an underground sea. Offshore,a viking-like ship floated, silent and empty. A menhir of stone enraptured Eladin and others who tried to kill their fellows. After subduing them, the mob ascended the menhir and found evidence of a ritual. Lighting candle and incense, they watched as the ship drew closer to shore. Drums and chanting came from the blackness of the sea as well as distant screams and cries for mercy.
The ship traveled to the middle of the sea. They saw bonfires and heard the chanting grow louder as they neared an island. Enormous tentacles wrapped the ship, killing several before the placated it with gold and jewels. The guardian of the sea receded.
Wearing filthy robes of the chaos cult, they sneaked by dozens of beast men and ascended a ziggurat. Atop it, a beast man shaman and his acolytes fed both treasure and prisoners to a pit of lava while worshiping an effigy wrapped in plate mail. As the serfs attacked, the shaman pushed the effigy into the lava pit. Beast men fell in bloody heaps and the shaman died screaming. Yet the effigy leaped from the pit, writhed in flame and unholy energy, its one eye and demon horns smoking and flaming. It’s unholy flail killed several in the group before it could be sent back to hell.
The survivors grabbed the captives and fled back to the ship. The ziggurat shivered and crumbled as the remaining beast men screamed and flailed wildly. As the last adventurer entered the ship, he noticed Elric walk from the water, drenched, alive and with a blank-stare in his eyes. The tentacled beast had released him. A tidal wave heaved out of the sea and carried the ship into the darkness, away from the entrance to the keep, and further into the realm of the unknown.