A Mage from Poisonwood Pt.4: Demon Hunt

The following day we found ourselves traveling being led by Drogo and battled through 2 raptors and 3 Deathpods before reaching the edge of Farmers Wood. We had been following tracks the ranger had happened upon in the place the guards said they had fought the demon. Drogo tracked them to the shore of lake where stood an aqueduct with the green tower behind us visible on top of a hill. It was late and we decided to camp at the edge of the forest where of course we were set upon by a Brownfang dragon. Drogo got the deathblow.

In the morning we found our new companions had wandered off into the trees and met an old fisherman who had walked by our camp on his way to the lake. He told us that the previous night a cow had been killed by the “demon” and pointed us in the direction of the violate field. On inspection of the corpse my demonological expertise told me that this was a fiend with a touch of shadow and most certainly not a full-fledged demon. With a sigh of relief I broke the news to my two companions and Drogo searched the area around the body to try to pick up a trail. He found one and was able to back track the prints to some old ruins in the woods after a couple of hours. The place was not distinct just some moss-covered piles of old bricks and shattered masonry with some overgrown old foundations here and there. The ranger found a cave the mouth of which was no more than a hole in the ground held open by the roots of an ancient tree next to an old foundation. Tweena climbed down using her rope, she was the only one carrying any, and had to make gymnastics roll to safely leap the remaining 20 ft distance after a 70 ft. climb straight down. I teleported down after Drogo made it to the bottom and lit a torch.

We were immediately set upon by a pair of giant centipedes. I slew both of the monsters and found that both of my companions had been paralyzed by the centipedes’ venom. I could do nothing but cast Illuminate in order to hopefully stave off any more giant vermin and concentrate for the next few hours to maintain it trying to wait out the effects of the poison. After about 3 hours both of my fellows were able to move the venom having worn off leaving them only slightly stiff. We proceeded south down a short passageway connecting the partially collapsed chamber that we dropped into to a larger room with angled corners. There were arched passageways to the south, east and west. The passage to the south was choked with spider webs and Drogo picked up on the “demon’s” tracks going down the eastern route. Tweena and Drogo decided it was a good idea to set the webs ablaze before following the demon tracks so Tweena went to light them with her torch that was when Drogo spotted a pair of giant spiders which we easily took care of after the webs went up in a blinding blaze of flames. After dealing with the monstrous arachnids our focus went back to the mission and we followed the tracks through the eastern archway.

Past a set of niches and the remnants of a pair of shattered statues the hallway terminated in an archway through which we could see a set of stone steps rising. At the archway a pair of old bronze doors lay knocked down long ago atop which lay a desiccated corpse. Tweena looted the corpse finding 50 ft of rope, a superior quality dagger, a high quality longsword, a battle axe, a waterskin, 5 days rations, 10 silver pieces in a rotting pouch, a crossbow with 10 bolts, a gold ring on a boney finger, 5 unused torches, and the corpse was wearing a suit of studded leather armor which was amazingly intact. We proceeded up the stairs after Tweena packed up the loot.

The stairs led up into an octagonal chamber with statue niches in the north, east and south walls occupied by demonic goat-headed and winged statues. The center of the room sank with steps leading down into it to a wellhead. On three sides of the pit on the floor above were sacrificial altars equipped with silver chains and suspended troughs leading from the altars with spouts hovering over the well presumably to let the blood drain into the well and to wherever that led. The trail led to the well and probably into it. Scribed into the curb of the wellhead was demonic script but I couldn’t decipher its meaning. Tweena was able to identify the well as an open portal to somewhere. The “demon” sprung at us from the well and after a short battle the ranger smote the fiend with his sword. He severed the head and we tossed the black rubbery corpse back into the well. I teleported back to the surface shortly after the fight with the length of rope taken from the corpse so I could pull Tweena’s rope back up and tie the corpse’s rope to the end before lowering back down so the other two could climb back up. We camped near the opening and kept a large campfire.

Come morning we attempted to travel back to Farmers’ Keep but Drogo got us lost until midday so we had to set camp at the Western Edge (of Farmers Wood). The night was anything but uneventful as on my watch, the first, a Carnivog (another killer plant creature) happened upon camp upon which I got the deathblow. On second watch, Tweena’s watch, an unnaturally large wild boar rushed into camp but got away and on third watch, Drogo’s watch, a pair of trolls attacked but we made short work of them mostly due to my acid bolt. Later the next morning we finally made it back to Farmers’ Keep.

The first order of business was to deliver the package; the fiend’s severed head, to Lord Phenox (Black Eagle’s brother as he was in dispose at the time) and the captain of the nobles’ guards took us to Haldred Jeanor, Black Eagle’s druid, to receive our reward of 1,000 gold pieces. My share was 333 gold pieces, 333 silver, and 333 coppers. We made our way back to the Merry Farmer. I bought food and spoke to the bartender, named Flek, about the Red-Daggers thieves’ guild and found out that the local guild was the Shadow-Hands who are enemies of said other guild after dropping him a gold piece. We sat in the tavern for most of the day with Drogo picking up the first round. It wasn’t until evening that Corfen, the captain of the town guard that promised us he’d buy rounds if we brought the “demon’s” head back, showed up at the tavern and declared to the drunks and soon-to-be that our money was “no-good here tonight!”

He had the barkeep bring out the “best” bottle of Hill-Lander whiskey in the place and we sat and drank with him. We found out in the course of the night that Lord Black Eagle had a bounty on each Red-Dagger head brought to him for assassinating his wife the previous year. Corfen and Drogo rented whores for the night and left for their rooms. Tweena departed for hers. I sat and bought more food as I was drinking light for once. Shortly after Tweena left and I was finishing my meal a squire sat down across from me. He introduced himself as an envoy of the Shadow Hands guild and told me the Ranknor had stolen an item from the Red-Daggers that they were supposed to deliver to Blackgut the troll. Needless to say Ranknor now had a 1,000 gp price on his head if delivered to the Red-Daggers. The squire, a disguise btw, was named Keenor. He said that Flek the barkeep would know how to get a hold of him (Keenor) should I need to contact him for any reason. Later I went to my room. We stayed in town for 3 days before deciding to begin anew our quest for the green tower especially since now we knew exactly where it was.

To Be Continued…

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