The Azure Shroud of Doom

Beneath the Temple, Part 1

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
Veiger the Druid………………………………………………………….an elven protector of the natural world
Wolfwood the Paladin………………………………………………….a champion of Law, devoted to his quest


Scene:
An ancient temple sacred to the hated serpent-god Ungu, dedicated by the legendary Queen Ya hundreds of years ago, until recently occupied by the Spider-Witch Florimel. Refugee goblins infest the upper chambers, and the insane and aberrant sorceress has been killed, her body cast into the pit.


The curtain rises on our daring trio on a platform jutting over an endless abyss, once used to offer sacrifices to the serpent-god Ungu. Taking some time to explore around the sacrificial pit, leading to a brief experimentation in gravity by Wolfwood, the adventurers decided to explore into the depths. Tossing a torch into the pit revealed that the wall below them had collapsed inwards, creating a sloping pathway into an open cavern below. With insightful Hobb securing a rope to one of the nearby pillars, they carefully made their way down the wall with only minor incident.

Skirting around the ruins of Florimel’s corpse, the party discovered a series of dried and desiccated goblin corpses hanging from metal rings set into the rock ceiling. Those furthest from the pit were wrapped in some kind of silken webbing, strangely familiar to faint lines of spider silk that had lined the walls of the pit. Upon realizing that the occupant of the final bundle still writhed and moaned, they sliced down, revealing a semi-conscious elf.

No sooner was the elf freed than the group was set upon by a ravenous quartet of cave rats. Still injured from their trials above, the party lay about with sword, shield, and hammer, joined by the groggy elf, and quickly dispatched the menacing rodent.

Given a chance to rest, the elf introduced himself to the group as Veiger, elven druid and warden of nature. The elf, bound to slay unnatural monsters invading the forests, had been waylaid by the Bloodbelly goblins, bound and rendered unconscious. Someone, or something, had brought him below the temple and hung him from the ceiling, left to season like so much meat. Veiger was pleased to hear of Florimel’s defeat and offered to accompany the trio of humans while they explored the rest of the caverns under the temple and attempted to find an exit.

Devout Ragner, servant of Khorne, scouted the passage before them. Peering ahead of them, he was startled by a silken noose flying towards him from the darkness. Deftly slicing it from the air, he warned his companions to prepare for an assault. Two foul beasts leapt from the shadows, lashing out with claws and webby ropes. Tall they were, though their torsos were compact and fat, with long arms and legs, and grasping fingers and toes that ended in sharp talons. The beasts’ faces were flat, with long, pointed ears, large bugged eyes, bare slits for noses, and wide mouths with glistening fangs. Their flesh was mottled and slick, with patches short wiry hairs across the backs and shoulders, and spouting here and there from limbs.

The ensuing battle was short and rather one-sided, though unfortunate Hobb discovered that the creatures possess the ability to spit a foul poison, leaving him weak and temporarily blinded. Enigmatic Veiger revealed his ability to shapeshift into the creatures of his beloved forests and took upon the guise of a bat, using echolocation to investigate the passage and large cavern that opened before them. He retook his elven form to communicate his findings to the party.
After carefully washing out Hobb’s eyes, the group continued on finding themselves before a large natural chamber, the ceiling vaulted high above them. An odd assortment filed the room, wilted and rotting vegetation, various collections of cave mushrooms and lichens, and against one wall, several hutches of sticks and woven vines containing nearly a half-dozen rabbits, blind and hairless.
Heedless Veigar rushed forward to inspect these puzzling animals, accidentally triggering a tripwire which set a wooden log, spiked and heavy, swinging down into the group. Veiger took a sharpened branch to the shoulder, though Wolfwood tried to push him free in time. With his wound bandaged, Veiger called upon his connection to the natural world and attempted to speak with the rabbits, but they had little information to offer, knowing little of what happened outside of the wooden cage they lived in.

With Veiger’s permission, Wolfwood slaughtered the rabbits and the group prepared to hole up for the night, lighting a fire to roast the coneys. Lighting a fire and roasting meat may not be the wisest choice while in unexplored caverns without taking certain precautions, as the party of adventurers soon discovered.

Bounded out of side passages of the chamber came six of the sordid creatures the group had fought before, three aside. One quickly entangled Hobb in a webby noose, and as Ragner rushed to aid him, bold Wolfwood charged to attack the trio attempting to flank the party. Veiger crouched down and, with a beastly roar, rose up in the hulking shape of a bear. In the form of this rampaging beast, Veiger frightened off one of the vile creatures and crashed bodily into another, rending its stomach and buying Ragner time to free Hobb. The wrathful warrior whirled upon his attacker, planting his sharp, serrated blade deep in the third creature’s gut.

Ragner, Hobb, and Veiger turn about, ready to assist Wolfwood, only to find the paladin standing triumphant, covered in foul ichor, battered and bloodied, with the bodies of his fetid foes stretched out before his feet, the severed head of the largest creature resting nearby.




Stylized hand silhouette 108155

View
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

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.