Playing With Fire
When we last left our adventurers, they were trying to get their bearings around the crowded city streets of Dragon’s Run. They had been stationed in Snolst, one of the poor districts full of orphan children, dingy streets, and sinister characters. Samhain, the half-elven ranger and the dwarven trio; Bogdog, Kringle, and Mongo, had decided to visit Mother Alaena, the High Priestess of the Church of Ellophias. On their way, Mongo was approached by a fortune telling old hag who said to him, “A child’s toy will turn out to have a sinister purpose.” She then demanded 20gp. When the dwarves laughed at her and walked off, she placed a hex on Mongo, saying he only has three days to live, lest he give her the coin she demanded. Is this true? Perhaps we will find out in three days time… Once they reached the Church of Ellophias, Mother Alaena told the same thing that she had previously told Sir Geth, who was now watching over the 200 villagers he had chaperoned to the city. She explained that the sisters of a monastery of Ellophias, near the Hun Mountains north of Dragon’s Run, have not been heard from since the “Curse.” Mother Alaena even sent a large force of female battle-clerics to investigate, and they have yet to return. She fears the worst, but offered the adventurers 100gp for any information they could gather. She also asked them to find a Staff of Ellophias that was probably well hidden within the monastery. Within four hours, the party had arrived at the large wooden double doors. We have now learned that our half-elven friend has a bit of a drug habit, as he took a few hits of skooma before entering. Inside the monastery, they discovered several kinds of tracks but none resembling those of human females. As they went down the long entrance corridor, they were greeted by eight large spiders that had attempted to poison the adventurers and add them to the collection of victims hanging dead in their large web in a dark stone corner. Several oil flasks and one unconscious poisoned dwarf later, the encounter was over with a pile of scorched arachnids. Carefully searching further, they found the altar room had been desecrated. A large mural depicting Ellophias with her hands extended was covered in blood, burnt, and violently scratched. Samhain even noticed a word written in blood upon the mural: “Slaymonokk.” Further investigation lead to discovering a bedroom, where a bony snake-like creature with the head of a human skull had come from under the bed and performed a mesmerizing dance, attempting to paralyze the party. Unaffected, the dwarven trio and Samhain smashed the foul creature, sending bones flying all over the room. Bogdog had discovered a false wall, and lo and behold! They found three chests, one of them containing the Staff of Ellophias! Thinking their job done, they set off back to Dragon’s Run. As they left the room, they heard moaning and shambling footsteps. Eight morbid and grotesque figures were slowly approaching from the corridor. The party immediately recognized them as topless priestesses of Ellophias, now turned undead. Once again, our heroes survived with the help of flaming oil, and made it back to Dragon’s Run in one piece. They are now once again approaching the walls of the city, on their way to speak with Mother Alaena.