2011/07/18 - Here be Demons
We head towards the tower of the magus with a smaller retinue. It should take about 3 weeks.
About two weeks later, we approach the town of Dracsburgh, which is the last major town on our journey. We get there late evening. Some way to the south are the ruins of a castle. As we enter the town, and night falls, the streets clear very quickly. We find an inn without too much of an issue, with good food.
Rumours: People have been going missing. They think it is bandits, living up in the haunted castle. Farm animals have been left alone, but wildlife around the castle seems to have gone missing. The townsfolk ask the champion to help them resolve the problem. We stay in the inn for the night, and plan to head out tomorrow.
The champion gets to spend time with a barmaid named Molly. Victus gets Samantha as a bed warmer.
We are provided with a guide called Vartrick, who leads us up to the edge of the woods near to the castle. It seems a good solid rectangular castle, with 10m high walls which are mostly intact. He mentions that some of the foliage near here has died recently, and there is little in the way of fauna. He leads us to a 'secret tunnel' that apparently will take us into the castle.
We head into the tunnel, with Vartrick taking the lead, followed by Cain. Come to the bottom of a well. There are three naked bodies, 2 male 1 female. They have much skin missing, with fingernails and teeth missing, broken bones, a burnt out eye. Definite signs of having been tortured and killed recently. There are evil designs carved upon their flesh - invocations to the dark powers, though nothing particularly skilled. There are no rats or insects here.
We move on, through a bit of water, past another well. The passage leads up, to a grate, which we open into the castle. There are what appear to be guards up on the towers. Most of the inside keep is ruined. There are some more recent wooden buildings.
Cain and Zuriel sneak up one of the towers, to try and grab someone to question. There are two guards there, one with his back to us and the other looking at us taking a fag break. They refuse to surrender, so the smoker is killed by Zuriel and Cain manages to subdue the other.
Athenais tortures the guy, gets a name, Krendok, then ends up killing the guy. They both seemed somewhat crazed, as if under cultish influence.
We sneak over to the wooden huts. There are dead bodies and incense in here. The bodies have decayed, but there is no sign of having been bothered by animals.
Up a second tower, we find a couple more guards, which we take out silently. We gradually take out all the guards we can find. We find a prisoners locked in cages, and take out the guard. We leave the people there for now, and clear out the rest of the castle.
We find a passageway that slopes downwards. From it, comes the sound of chanting. There is a big room, with a pentagram on the floor, and altar with a body and lots of cultists. There is something smokey forming in the circle. There are about nine people, including a guy in plate armour with a flail and an EHP. We charge.
There is some carnage, then the Evil Champion charges Zuriel, making 3 attacks with his flail, missing. The EHP rips out the heart from the person on the altar. Zuriel skewers the EC, and with the grace of the Emperor guiding both his blades, slays him. The EHP throws a ball of black magical flame at Zuriel, but he side steps.
A big demon materialises in the circle. Zuriel charges the EHP, who appears to be partially immaterial. Victus fries the cultist attacking him, and the final cultist throws himself on the alter attempting to kill himself. Zuriel pulls him off the altar before he can do so.
The demon does something, and everyone is burnt by psychic energy. The cultist tries to get back to the altar, and Zuriel kills him before he can do so.
Turning to the EHP, Zuriel strikes at him. The first blow goes straight through, the second hits but he vanishes completely.
A second demon begins to caoalesce inside the circle.
Victus destroys the first demon with a burst of fire. Athenais runs over to the altar and starts bailing the blood out. Zuriel tugs at the sword, and eventually pulls it out. The second demon vanishes.
The EHP reappears, and Cain manages to charge and kill him before he can escape again.
All is peaceful. The prisoners are freed and sent back to the town, and we destroy what we can here.