The Azure Shroud of Doom

Into the Temple

The Temple of Ungu


Dramatis personæ:
Hobb the Fighter…………………………………………………………a sellsword, currently without a master
Ragner the Cleric………………………………………………………..a devotee of Khorne, god of Bloody Conquest
Wolfwood the Paladin………………………………………………….a champion of Law, devoted to his quest
Gogmutt…………………………………………………………………….a goblin warrior
Snotgarble…………………………………………………………………a goblin clan chief
Florimel…………………………………………………………………….a sorceress, wielder of strange magics

Scene:
An ancient temple sacred to the hated serpent-god Ungu, dedicated by the legendary Queen Ya hundreds of years ago, now occupied by the Spider-Witch Florimel. Florimel strove too far into her dark polymorphic arts and has transformed into a huge spider-monsterosity. The temple sits in a mountainous wilderness, surrounded by a thick forest.


The curtain rises on our intrepid trio insight of the temple entrance, following the ambush of a goblin hunting party, the bloody ruins of the creatures’ twisted bodies laying before them. Wolfwood leads the way to the temple, carefully scouting around the slightly ajar stout oaken doors, testing the air with nose and ear alike. Brazen Rognar, however, pops his head through the narrow opening, filling his eyes with the sights inside.

The front parlor of the temple houses dozens of goblins, twisted cavern dwellers. Rognar discerns that the group is made up of goblin women, children, and the elderly. Unfortunately, they too spy the cleric and raise up a screeching hue and cry. The trio of adventurers back away from the temple…and into the waiting blades of another goblin hunting party. Though outnumbered, supernal Wolfwood boldly demands to speak with the goblin chief, calling upon his divine authority for guidance. Gogmutt, leader of the hunters, agrees to take the three before his mighty master.

The adventurers are led through the goblin parlor and into Snotgarble’s filthy throne room. The goblin chief, robust and strong, lounges in his throne, surrounded by ruined finery looted long ago from the temple. Standing sentinel at his side are his royal guard, awaiting his commands. Snotgarble’s hand rests upon the pommel of a mighty sword, jagged and brutish.

The thuggish chief questions the three warriors as to why he should not slay them outright and save himself time and trouble. Clever Hobb attempts to deceive the troglodytic creature with tales of greatness, claiming to have recently vanquished the mountain giant Thorg who lives in the nearby hills, but the goblin king refuses to take Hobb’s word without proof and dispatches several of his warriors to confirm the mercenary’s tale.

The trio of dungeon-delvers finally convince Snotgarble to let them attempt to slay Florimel. If they succeed, the goblins will be free of her monstrous spawn, and if they fail the goblins will at least have some entertainment. Snotgarble also extracts a vow to retrieve an item he claims the Spider-Witch stole from his clan, the Crystal of Fire. The goblins lead our fearless crew through the butchery, where the creatures prepare stolen livestock to provide food for Florimel’s offspring, and, by way of secret panels in the sturdy barricade, lock the adventurers inside the inner temple.

Wolfwood, having been blessed with a mystic amber gem in the pommel of his sword, calls upon its power to light their way into the gloom. Scrabbling out of the darkness come a swarm of nightmarish spider creatures, fist-sized and screaming with all-too human faces. The trio lay about with sword, hammer, and shield, smashing through the aberrations taking only minor wounds unto themselves. When Wolfwood’s sword is ripped from his hands, Rognar beseeches his god Korne to illuminate their way, casting forth a cold white light, tinged with the blood of the vanquished.

Right on the skittering heels of the tiny swarm come two lumbering goblins, each bodily controlled by one of the scurrying beasties. These too are quickly cut down, but not before causing injury in return. The bloodied trio carefully continue down the temple passage when keen Rognar calls them to a halt. In the silence, he draws attention to the swiftly approaching sounds of larger aberrations, and he and Hobb set about preparing a fiery defeat for the creatures with oil and torch. In seconds the insalubrious beasts crash into view, screeching cries from human mouths before clambering up the webby walls of the temple to avoid the burning flames.

The heroes again strive forth with sharpened blade and blunted force, laying waste to the noisome creatures as they spit webs and slice at the adventurers with talon and fang. The brave trio is victorious but not unwounded, and Rognar’s prayers to his deity are answered with healing magics to close the most grievous of their wounds. As they collect themselves and prepare to venture deeper, a gigantic hideous face emerges from a hidden passage in the cobwebbed walls. Florimel has heard the calls of her horrible children and spits a gripping gob of eldritch acid at Wolfwood before scurrying away.

The explorers hurry on down the passage to Florimel’s lair, the temple’s ancient sacrificial chamber. The hallway opens up onto a sloping platform that juts out over a yawning abyss. The monstrous sorceress leaps to the attack, slicing with sharpened claws and hurling uncanny spells. The heros return with strikes of their own, deftly hewing away her chitinous legs and slicing agape her soft underbelly. With a mighty roar, stalwart Wolfwood leaps onto the beast and plunges his sword into her fetid neck. Clinging on with one hand, he bashes his shield again and again against her twisted human face, scoring deep and true. Florimel’s foul features erupt in flames, bursting outward and throwing Wolfwood from his perch.

The arachnid monstrosity collapses, pinning Wolfwood to the slanted floor. As her corpulent body begins to slide over the edge, benignant Hobb dashes forward to pull Wolfwood from his doom. But the mighty weight of the Spider-Witch is too great and both heroes are pulled ponderously towards the hungry abyss. Mighty Rognar leaps to their aid and with the great strength of comradery all are saved from certain death as Florimel’s corpse crashes into the depths below.

The heroes stand on the edge of the precipice, bruised, beaten, and burned. Behind them waits the den of tumultuous goblins; before them lies the cavernous unknown. Though the paths diverge, both routes may lead to an illustrious destiny.




Spider

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