Wednesday 20 December 2023

(Warlock!) The Sleep of the Sword, part 3

Having rescued the ranger from the white faced Unmen, the PCs returned to Beck’s Ford with him and to consult the witch. She used her herbal brews to heal everyone a bit and discussed with the Ranger that the re-manifestation of Varrock’s spirit at the Tower of Memory was probably the catalyst for the increase in Unman activity in the area. The PCs surmised that the spirit had been taken there by the twisted, one-eyed figure seen clutching a brass urn by the village idiot. The urn obviously contained the remains of the former general and the weird giant was taking him home. 

 So armed with the knowledge that the Great Bowl where the Tower was located was guarded by the Wyvern of the Wood, they set off into the forest once more. Planning this time to stop whatever was happening with the spirit of the Warlock’s former general. A ritual of some sort was the consensus. Entering the woods, they encountered a small, wizened being who had set out a stall in the bole of a lighting split tree. He claimed to be a word trader and some PCs parted with silver for the knowledge of particularly interesting words. Pushing further on they came to the Great Bowl. A desolate depression, where nothing grew opened out before them. In the centre was a rising spire of rock upon which a ruined fortress was situated. A rope bridge stretched from a great horse chestnut tree out to the fortress. Around the base of the tree is a huge, scarred, impossibly old serpent; the Wyvern of the Wood. 

 A long debate with the Wyvern (including freshly purchased words from the word trader) resulted in the PCs pledging to bring to justice thieves that had stolen past it and looted items from the Tower. So have negotiated their way past the huge serpent they crossed the rope bridge and entered the ruins. Rain poured, and thunder rumbled. By a stroke of luck a flash of lightning silhouetted a twisted being stood on a bridge of fallen masonry about to hurl a rock at the PCs. They joined battle with this creature and mortally wounded it. It revealed the urn containing Varrock’s ashes had been stolen by a townsman who smelled of ale and bitterness. Identifying this as the tavern keeper the PCs rushed back to Becks Ford, believing he was about to perform Some sort of ritual to summon the dead general’s spirit. 

 At the village it seemed all of the villagers had been invited to the innkeeper’s daughter’s birthday party at the inn. Everyone in the village was making their way there, lured by the promise of free ale. In the time honoured tradition of PCs everywhere they decided to sneak in the back. Passing Yestin, the village idiot, who proudly showed them the finished security precautions he had added to the inn. Locks to the shutters and bars on the outside of the doors, it looked like they were designed to keep people in rather than out! Inside they observed the taproom chairs had been arrayed in a circle and the inn-keep and his daughter were making some sort of celebratory speech. Believing something horrible was about to take place the PCs sprung into action upon the revelation that the inn-keep was carrying a concealed yet ornate dagger. Exposed, he plunged the dagger into the nearest villager causing smoke to spill from the urn as Varrock’s spirit began to manifest. A cloudy, dark mass of talons and eyes like burning coals. A big fight then ensued as the PCs simultaneously battled the evil spirit and tried to keep the innkeep and his daughter from sacrificing more villagers to it. Eventually though they killed the inkeep, vanquished the spirit and subdued tue daughter. There was no celebration. Instead it rained. Soaked and miserable, the villagers hung the daughter in grim silence. The PCs slipped away without ceremony, after all the Church Knights were on there trail and it was probably for the best if no one saw them leave.

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