Monday, May 25, 2020

The Cult of the Goat

Having prayed through the night for the guidance of Torm, the revered cleric Nermus aproached fellow cleric Fulgoth Tannerson with a proposal. He explained to the dwarf that he would be willing to try to raise Reardon Gray and Naill Ravenwing from the dead at a discounted rate in exchange for the completion of a task that was of a personal nature to the holy man. Our adventurers were to journey to a cave that recently appeared in the wooded hills to the east. There they should retrieve the daughter of the esteemed cleric. She had sent one of her scouts back to inform the elders at the priory that her and her patrol would enter the cave and investigate a strangely colored light eminating from it.

Many days have passed since the patrol entered the cave. Too many.

Fulgoth confered with his friends that were still living and they all agreed that the ritual to return Reardon and Naill to life must be attempted. The steep, but halved price of 3,500 gold pieces was paid and the somber event began soon after.

The Priory of the Disciples of Torm's Victories is a beacon of civilization at the edge of a hostile wilderness. Standing for inumerable generations the fortress is just as imposing below ground as it is above.

Fulgoth, Gunner Tannerson and Alaghast the Goat Whisperer were escourted through a series of interior rooms within the priory before coming to a set of stairs that seemed to be hewn from solid rock. The dank smell of countless centuries momentarily assaulted the senses of the entire group as they began to descend into the catacombs beneath the santcuary. Despite the illumination of the passages, from this point on  there were many areas of uneasy dark along the underground route.

Arriving at a far removed doorway, Nermus informed everyone that these were the "Screaming Rooms" used for rituals such as those about to be performed. Inside, the bodies of the dead friends had been prepared. Their grizzly wounds no longer glistening with the freshness of life, both the body of the half-elf and young human were yellow with the palor of death. Several attendants were standing near the rock hewn slabs that held the dead.

Having held a special place among all of those dedicated to Torm within this room, the ritual to raise the dead was to be adminstered first to the paladin, Naill. After some assistance in preparation by the astute Fulgoth, Nermus raised hands and eyes above him having coated the aforementioned in a carefully concocted blue paste. There he kept his posture for several minutes. With brutal force, the wide-eyed receptacle of Torm, slammed his hands onto Naill's cold chest.

Along with a sharp gasp of breath, Naill's eyes shot open to reveal the dull cloudiness of his light blue irises. That's when the screaming began.

Several of the attendants moved quickly to restrain and try to comfort him with various salves and cold compresses. These seemed to give him little comfort as the yellow tinge of his skin began to give way to the dark red hues of distress.

Calmly, Nermus crossed the room to the still lifeless half-elf Reardon Gray. Fulgoth, having never seen this ritual before now followed the learned cleric with the hesitation of shock. Gunner and Alighast also seemed to be somewhat unnerved by the tortured agony of Naill.

In the same way as before, Reardon was also recalled from the icy grip of eternity except that a full two seconds seemed to elapse from the time Nermus pounded his chest and the when his eyes bolted open. Perhaps this slight delay had something to do with the lineage of the half man? After all, everyone knows elves have no soul and therefore cannot be retrieved from eternal sleep.

As the three witnesses made the long and twisting trek back to the ground floor of Torm's sanctuary, the screams of their two friends followed them nearly the whole way.

Once alone Fulgoth humbly asked Nermus to help instruct him in the ways of faith. Nermus agreed, and over the next few days Fulgoth Tannerson achieved level 2 in the game. This training was given only under agreement that if any loot was returned from the cave, Fulgoth would tithe 30% to the priory.

By day two, Reardon and Naill were beginning to learn to walk and talk again and by the end of the third day they were both feeling capable and in good spirits. Neither had any memory of the encounter with the bears that had led to their demise but both bore the scars of critical wounds in different parts of their bodies.

On the fourth day, the entire reassembled crew borrowed a cart from the priory stables, hitched their mule to it, and were led to the mysterious cave by the scout that knew of it's location. Once there, the scout departed to relay the news back to the hallowed priory.

Map location 1 - The mouth of the cave was peculiar. Both of the dwarf brothers could easily tell that the ceiling should move, however there were no visible seams in the rock. The opening was jutting from sort of earthen mound and a pink glow could be seen emanating from somewhere deep within. As the Gray ranger descended into the opening to familiarize himself with the surroundings a pungent, musty smell hit his nostrils. There was a familiarity to the smell that no one among them could place. Perhaps the smell was out of context in some way?

Finding nothing but mysteries at the cave mouth, the entire party ventured into it's darkness. Soon, torches were lit and one was handed to Alighast's newly formed unseen servant which then was mentally commanded to move to thirty feet in front of Alighast to illuminate the distant environs. As the room was lit several things were discovered. Map location 2 - There was a small pool of clear water that had formed from a steady drip in the ceiling. A school of prawns had taken up residence in the pool that were being fed upon by quick moving reptiles nearby.

Map location 3 -Further back, there was an eight foot tall pile of Guano underneath a sea of bats that seem to roil in the torchlight. At the farthest wall there were three steel doors. From under the door to the left emanated a sharp pink light. Map location 4 - To the left of that door, proped up against the wall was the skeletal remains of a dwarf with a rusty knife lying in his rib cage. Scratched into the floor between his legs were the words "UNDEATH IS THE TRUE DEATH".


STOP... It as at this moment that yours truly realizes that he misread the map. There was never a pink light in this part of the cave and there is no pink light under the door. I would usually go with whatever has been played before but that makes the map problematic so I'm doing a roll back. Grrr, that's frustrating and I don't like doing it.


While investigating the doors, the movement of the torchlight spooked the bats so much that they swarmed the entirety of the cave before flying out into the sunlit world beyond. This loud disturbance subsequently awoke a pure white cadaver carver from its slumber within the mound of excrement. Battle ensued with the explorers proving victorious except that their goat named Barry was cut in half by the thing. Upon nearly diving headfirst into the foul mound, Alighast found a metal bar with markings upon it indicating that it is a royal bond, redeemable by the royal treasury for 500 gold pieces.

During the battle the mouth of the cave closed, sealing all inside.

Alighast opened his backpack to place the bar inside with his other valuables which seemed to trigger an incursion by nine large creatures resembling Angler fish. These entities are able to move without trouble through solid rock and leave a trail of slime behind them as they seem to swim through the air around them. All were fixated on Alighast or rather the 900+ gold pieces in his backpack. These creatures are officially called Arumeretrix or more affectionately as Gold Diggers.

Quickly all of the hummanoids realized they were sorely outmatched and threw their gold onto the ground but not before the death of Naill Ravenwing occurred. Naill had been swallowed whole by one of the gold diggers. Eventually Reardon slew the gold digger and cut open it's belly exposing the bloodied and deceased body of Naill inside.

Within moments Naill awoke completely naked and in the fetal position, inside of a ball filled with pink fluid. He reached out and pushed on the elastic wall of this mysterious container only to be birthed onto the floor of a pink cavern that smelled of roses. Barry the goat was also there, braying helplessly with his fur drenched by the pink fluid. Also, alarmingly, Barry now had eight eyes upon his head.

Naill realized there was now something different about himself as well. It seemed that now, once per day, he could detect all secret doors in a 100' radius; when he does so, he also emits a high pitched ringing noise, which will be audible for a good distance.


More was described before the game ended shortly thereafter but I am going to omit it because it will be one of a few minor changes that will take place due to the map confusion from before.

Thanks for reading and while I feel like I'm pretty good at writing fiction descriptions, I get annoyed with the time that it takes for me to construct, profread and edit the paragraphs. I feel like It's a good skill to hone but there's so little time in the day as it is that this eats up a large portion. I'll probably switch back and forth between paragraphs and bullet points intermittently from here on out.

Also, a friend of mine suggested I get the players to do a write up that would be worth in-game experience. I'll consider it.

Thanks for reading!




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