TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL
SESSION 021 - The Broken Tower
SESSION 021 - The Broken Tower
GODSDAY, 04 FIRESEEK (MID WINTER) 579CY
The Temple ground is spotted with rank weeds and some foot falls are evident in the grey muddy sludge of the freshly fallen morning snow. The vegetation is disconcerting dead trees with a skeletal appearance, scrub growth twisted and unnaturally coloured, all unhealthy and sickly looking. The ruins of the Temple's outer works appear as dark and overgrown mounds of grey rubble and blackish weeds. Skulls and bones of humans and humanoids gleam white here and there amidst the weeds. A grove of some oddly stunted and unhealthy looking Usk trees still grow along the northern end of the former Temple compound. A stump of a tower juts up from the northeast corner of the shattered wall.
The leprous grey Temple, however, stands intact; it’s arched buttresses somehow obscene with their growth of climbing vegetation. Everything surrounding the place is disgusting. The myriad leering faces and twisting, contorted forms writhing and posturing on every face of the Temple seem to jape at the obscenities they depict. The growth in the compound is rank and noisome. Thorns clutch, burrs stick, and crushed stems either emit foul stench or raise angry wheals on exposed flesh. Worst of all, however, is the pervading fear which seems to hang over the whole area, a smothering, clinging, almost tangible cloud of vileness and horror. Sounds seem distorted, either muffled and shrill or unnaturally loud and grating.
Your eyes play tricks on you as you walk. You see darting movements out of the corner of your eye, just at the edge of vision; but when you shift your gaze towards such, of course, there is nothing there at all. You cannot help but wonder who or what made the maze of narrow paths through the weedy courtyard. What sort of thing would wander here and there around the ghastly edifice of Evil without shrieking and gibbering and going completely mad? Yet the usual mundane sounds of your travel are accompanied only by the chorus of the winds, moaning through hundreds of Temple apertures built to sing like doomed souls given over to the tender mercies of demonkind, echoed by macabre croaks from the scattered flapping, hopping, leering ravens.
The raven pecked at the eye of the dead man that lay a short distance from the crumbling wall of the tower inside the Temple’s ground. “C-c-a-a-a-A-W, C-c-a-a-a-A-W, C-c-a-a-a-A-W,” it croaked as it peck at the dead man’s face.
The large black raven clawed at the dead druid’s face, its large black orb darted back and forth at the approaching figures. “C-c-a-a-a-A-W” it screeched angrily, as it pecked furiously at its prize of a steely grey eye. The sound of steel been drawn caused the bird to drop the eye as it spread its wings in defiance at the approaching men. The large bird let out an unholy screech! It sounded like metal being twisted. The bird continued to peck at the hollow socket that once held steel grey eye, twitching its head back and forth looking for the tasty morsel that it had dropped. Markus spotted the severed eye laying in the snowy sludge next to the fallen druid’s body. The raven spread and fluttered its wings as it hopped to the ground to snatch its fallen prize. With a final, “C-a-a-a-w-W” the raven took flight with the severed eye hanging from its beak. Markus watched as the large raven flap its large wings, gore dripping from bloodied claws, it made its way back to the safety of the vaulted roof of the tower to perch in the rafters.
The battle had been short lived but had claimed the life of Darius, the old druid. He had fallen victim to the vile, infectious claws of the ravens that had roosted in the broken tower’s rafters. The companions had little time to grieve over there fallen companion, as they could hear muffled footfalls approaching from the west.
Siam stood in the doorway of the tower, allowing her eyes to adjust to the gloom of the inner room. The young rogue stood at the ready focused on the chamber before her, her rapier partially drawn. She sensed the danger before she heard it, the sound of steel been drawn. Her rapier was instantly in her hand as she tumbled to the side of the door using the inner door as partial cover from the danger within.
Markus notched an arrow and pullback hard on his bowstring. The ranger used the weapon as a guide to scan the grounds before him. The compound had left him feeling ill at ease, as did the approaching night. The old dwarven Cuthbertine cleric knelt at the corpse of the fallen druid. Duerin passed his hand over the open eye and empty socket of the dead druid; closing the old man’s eyes as he said a prayer to St. Cuthbert, “Father, show us the immense power of Your goodness and strengthen our belief that you shall guide this soul to his eternal resting place, with Beory the Oerth Mother.”
Erehwon picked up a small rock and threw it at the raven that perched in the rafters of the old tower in disgust. A tirade of orcish words spilled from the half-orc’s mouth as he cursed the bird. The bird fuelled his anger by defiantly cawing back at him as it fluttered back and forth on the beam.
In a rage the half-orc hurled his shield at the obstinate bird and let out a triumphant roar, “VASK …. MURKER”, when his shield splattered the bird against the back wall of the tower.
The young woman twirled her blade over her wrist and caught the blade in her left hand as she buried the blade into the bloated corpse of the creature before her. The dead creature buckled to its knees, before crumpling to a pile on the ground. She extracted the curved blade from the creatures gut; it came out with sickening sound. The sound repulsed her so she gave the thing on the ground before a kick for good measure before wiping the curved blade on its tattered breeches. She wasn’t going to have that smell on her blade for the rest of the day! Her eyes darted back and forth from shrub to tree, “Remember your lessons, take a deep breath and clear your mind!” she said to herself calmly, as she search the body for anything of use. A “C-c-a-a-a-A-W” could be heard off in the distance, as she stood, the leprous grey Temple loomed ominously before her. Seta pulled the hood of her woollen cloak over her head as shivered at the sudden drop in temperature.