Having given the forces below plenty of time to prepare, the Heroes of Brindol ventured deeper into the Ruins of Rivenroar… wary of ambush. Their wariness proved to be fortuitous. The hobgoblins had set two large tables on their side in a large room. A pool of golden liquid was splashed across the bottom of the steps leading into the room.
“Oil,” Ravavyr said with a quick glance. The others gathered at the top of the stairs nodded and rushed down into the room, leaping over the oil as the hobgoblins taking cover behind it ignited the oil with a fiery crossbow bolt. Clarissa, Ravavyr, Skardreg, and Ragnar made it into the room, taking little damage from the flames while Wired and Francis hung back behind the flames.
Clarissa, after leaping over the flames, dashed around the corner and left a rage drake severely wounded. She quickly found herself pinned down between two of the rage drakes and one of their hobgoblin handlers. The others moved in to take the pressure off the beleaguered thief, creating an opening for her to slip free of the drakes toothy maws. In the far corner, a goblin dressed in the trappings of a spellcaster cursed Skardreg, surrounding him in a swarm of stinging and biting insects that punished him for every step. Battle was then enjoined by the rest of the group as the flames at the bottom of the stairs died down.
The hexer left the Heroes fumbling around in a cloud of darkness, though it did little to stop the Heroes in the end. With both Skardreg and Clarissa blinded by the hexer’s attacks, Ragnar stepped in to end the hexer’s life. The blindness soon faded and a few hobgoblins were all that were left. Clarissa, frustrated by the pinprick attacks from one of the hobgoblins, vanished into the familiar black ribbons of shadow and reappeared as a sable furred wolf with gleaming golden eyes. Her maw was soon dripping with the black goblin blood of the hobgoblin… who looked at Clarissa in astonishment. He soon choked on his own blood pouring into his lungs from his ripped out throat and collapsed to the cold, stone floor.
Shaking the blood from her maw, Clarissa stalked northwards… following the faint sounds of sobbing from behind a stone door bound with a leather strap. A four-way cross kept the Heroes from moving ahead quickly and before they could investigate, the light of Skardreg’s sunrod attracted the attention of a pair of bloodthirsty ghouls and some zombies shambling near a shimmering pool of water on the floor in a room to the north. The ghouls sped quickly up the steps, necrotic energy fueling their blood lust and speed.
Clarissa was the first they saw and leapt upon her with savage ferocity. The dark powers imbuing their rotting flesh with unnatural strength and swiftness left her drained and barely able to stand, let alone back away from the snapping jaws. The zombies were not given the same gift of unnatural speed, but it made them no less dangerous than the ghouls. Fortunately the battle was far less “exciting” than the encounter with the hobgoblins barricaded behind the tables. Ravavyr struck down one zombie in a single blow, completely crushing its skull and splattering his nearby allies with putrid gray matter rotten with worms.
While the others went down the stairs to investigate the waters, Clarissa wandered off into the shadows… her golden eyes giving her a distinct advantage in the darkness… more than her human appearance would suggest. As she skulked through the near total darkness of the tomb, she found the source of the sobbing… though someone with ears sharper than an elf caught the thief in a moment of clumsiness as her boot scraped across a small bump of stone on the floor.
“Who’s there?” asked a young boy’s voice in the common tongue.
Clarissa crept forward, wary of exposing herself to whomever was in the shadows ahead of her… when Skardreg opened the door to the room and the light of his sunrod illuminated a small boy and a women, weeping. The Heroes has rescued the last of the captives taken by the ogres and hobgoblins. Quickly they unbound the Jalissa and Thuran… trying to ignore the boys barrage of questions about his dead, Kartenix.
Fed up with the boy… Clarissa flatly stated, “He’s dead.” This was met with a defiant glare from the boy, Thuran.
“No he’s not.”
“Whatever. I can show you his corpse if you’d like…” Clarissa muttered as she wandered away from the two, having little patience for snotty brats or weepy women. Fortunately, egress from the tomb was foremost on everyone’s mind and the Heroes escorted both Jalissa and Thuran outside to meet with Pangeon and the other rescued Brindol townsfolk. There was a moment of debate about returning to Brindol… but Ravavyr reminded everyone else that the several of the artifacts taken from Brindol still remained in enemy hands.
Weary of this place and its many dangers, the Heroes descended once more after a short rest. Fortunately, no ambushes awaited them; nor did they come across any more hastily constructed defenses. What they did come across was a shock to them all. A DEMON!! bound by unknown arcane powers in the center of four columns. Francis attempted to bargain with the demon in exchange for freeing it… but a whispered voice reached the ears of Ravavyr.
“You are free.” Ravavyr shouted a warning, but it was a little late. The power of unseen sigils in the columns faded and the demon shook free of the invisible shackles binding him into that space. Battle was joined once more. Pangeon, Skardreg, and Wired kept the demon busy as Ravavyr dashed further northward into the tombs, seeking the source of the whispers. Clarissa hesitated a moment… wanting to strike down the demon with the combined strength of the Heroes, but a painful cry from the north drew her to try and save Ravavyr.
The ruthless ruffian had riled the rat-men in the hallway to the north. They had quickly surrounded him and in two blindingly fast attacks, left him nearly dead and writhing in pain on the floor. Wired was able to waken the rogue with a word of healing as Clarissa descended upon the walking rodents. Her barrage of attacks left one severely wounded and then dead a moment later, but not before it was able to bite through the thick leather armor guarding her thigh. Ravavyr struck the other rat-man and wounded it greatly. It fled easy through a pair of doors and slammed them shut.
Back in the room… Skardreg, Ragnar, and Francis put an end to the demon… banishing it from the mortal realms for a hundred years. Fortunately for most of the Heroes, they would long be dead before the demon could return, though their descendants may suffer the wrath of the banished outsider a hundred years hence. At Clarissa’s feet, the rat-man she had slain continued to bleed out onto the stones of the crypt… but it was no longer a rat. A near naked human lay in its place.
“Oh bloody hell,” Clarissa cursed as she tied a bandage tight around the festering wound on her thigh.