Monday, August 15, 2016

Tromping through the Shudder Mountains, Part 6

Chapter 4: The House of Cosmic Horror

Our "Heroes" have just recently escaped the ancient underground serpent tunnels, where many horrors were fought, Pinky, the halfling brewer, found an magical serpent blade and Darcy, the elf bard, met an ill fate. Poetically enough they have emerged from the frying pan, to find themselves in the fire! Literally, their town is a flame, as shadowy demons swoop down from the night sky to snatch the children away.

  • Tom Dankers runs out from his tavern to embrace Rynila. He was concerned the demons had snatch her away too.
  • They ask Tom what the hell is going on and he mentions old man McEvan, an old conjure-man who should have long been dead, but his connections with the devils of the mountains has kept him alive. For years he's been shunned by the townsfolk and just the other day he cursed the town and told them of a reckonin'-a-comin'! The shadow demons seem to be only taking the towns daughters.

  • Hans, the mad Braar, becomes enraged! They must stop these fiends! So together, with the help of two of Tom Danker's sons, Don the town drunkard and another fellow who we'll just call Bob (0-levels rolled up for Alex, who was playing Darcy in the last session) they head off.
  • The party borrows some horses and races up the old mountain path that leads to the McEvans farmstead. Along the way Pinky spots a pair of glowing eyes watching them from the shadows of the forest. The thing quickly hops away, making quite a racket and they press their horses harder.
  • As they reach the farmstead, their horses become frightened, treading no further. Thunderous noises and chanting come from within the half collapsed farmhouse.
  • They hear a noise coming from the barn nearby and go to investigate.
  • The inside is a mixture of hay and entrails. An old, tumor ridden nag in a stall is chewing loudly. It lifts its head, showing a shout covered in dripping gore.
  • The party looks into the stall to find a female corpse tied upside down against the wall. The nag is feasting on her insides from the groin down. Failing a Fort save, Don the drunkard, vomits out his reserve of ale. [Warning: Do NOT Google "tumor horse"]
  • Hans puts the horse brutally to death just as four of the McEvans boys jump down from the rafters.
  • The boys are all half-wits, caked in mud and hay and sporting crowns of antlers. Incest has turned this family into monsters.

  • A battle ensues and the boys are slain, but not before killing Tom Danker's two sons and Bob (the 0-level characters) leaving only Don, the drunkard.
  • Rynila grieves for her brothers and must be pressed to continue onward.
  • They cautiously head towards the house (and to my dismay avoid the well house all together).
  • Inside they find a real shit-hole. It looks as though animals were living there. The floors are covered in filth. Roots and vines grown up along the walls.
  • They find the dining room and other one of old McEvan's sons. The younger man snickers under the table saying, "You'll not save them! You can even save yourselves now! HahaHAHA!" Then with a silver blade he slices his throat wide open, gurgling some strange words before death. Rynila takes the silver blade.
  • They creep through the house, careful not to make too much noise. Thumping and chanting comes from the rooms above.
  • They decide to quickly search some of the rooms downstairs for any of the stolen daughters.
  • Entering one room, a loud mewing sound comes from the makeshift crib of antlers and roots. Next to the crib is a pile of dead rabbits and squirrels. Inside the crib they find an Eraserhead baby. Hans puts the baby out of it's miserable life.

  • They find a girl's bedroom and a diary. They discover it was Margo's (a 0-level character from the Sour Springs Hollow, who was a witch's apprentice). In the diary she states that her Father wants her to take the Witch-liquor to Tom Danker's wedding. She doesn't want to, but her Father will hurt her if she doesn't, or worse send her to the well. (Margo died in the 0-level funnel).
  • In another room, some lump of thing dressed in a filthy and tattered red robe shrinks into the corner as the PCs approach. Its frowning fat face rolls into it's neck. Chubby fingers point towards a writing desk on the other side of the room. 
  • The desk holds a large book with writing of an expert calligraphy. The book details the McEvan family tree. Deaths, births, mostly sons. Perusing the book they discover Han's wife and son's name. Reading further it states that she was taken and gave birth to a son. A son he thought was his... A son who drowned in the lake... A wife who then hung herself...
  • Han's becomes madden with rage and wants to beat the fat ugly mutant scribe, but is talked down. Everything he believed was a lie and he curses the Sovereign!
  • They finally rush up stairs and bust down the doors to the master bedroom. A horrible scene unfolds:
  • Old Man McEvan on his knees facing away from the PCs inside a summoning circle surrounded by lit candles. On three sides of the room bloated pregnant young women from the town wail and moan. Mid-wives tend to the victims.
  • Old Man McEvan slices his gut open down the middle and begins pulling out his intestines praising an elder god to rise, screaming his name over and over, ''YOG-SOGTHOTH!" Before collapsing in the circle.
  • The earth begins to quake and the women scream in pain as a floating, pulsing, bubbling horror pushes out from between their thighs.

  • Once they overcome their fear the party moves into action!
  • Rynila rushes to free the women, but finds the crazed mid-wives ready to kill.
  • Don rushes to help too, just as a spectre rises from the corpse of the old man and attacks. Don attempts to defend himself, but the ghost is too powerful. He falls... (All of Alex's characters have died, again.)
  • Pinky attempts to fend off the shadow with his serpent sword and fairs better than Don.
  • The young women burst open and the ceiling begins to crack as the elder-god fills the room, spilling over into the night sky.
  • Hans, his faith shaken, attempts once more to believe, calling upon the Sovereign for aid.
  • The shadow attempts a killing strike on Pinky and the mid-wives surround Rynila while Hans continues to pray.
  • Suddenly a wave of heat fills Hans body. He lifts off the floor as his skin begins to glow and his clothling catches fire. His wild unkempt hair and beard burns away. Hans radiates an inner light and the shadows of his bones can be seen through his skin.
  • This holy light is released in one gigantic wave that sweeps out in all directions, like a ring, cutting through the elder-god and the house alike. The old farm house collapses and there is blackness as the rubble covers all.

To be continued...?

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