The Devil’s Riddle: Session 39

Rufus draws his blade and strikes in a single fluid motion, the blade sinking deep into the desiccated flesh of the thing that had once been the bearded bandit chief. He then feints, wheels to the left and strikes again. This time the sword tip flashes across the creature’s neck, two inches deep. Black blood comes gushing out and the unholy thing topples backwards.

Lisandra steps from the shadows. “Luminarus Acribus” she gently intones. Closing her eyes she raises a hand and bright light bursts forth, causing her allies to shield their eyes. The effect on the two remaining ghouls is far worse;  grey skin blisters and blackens; the vile creatures shrink back from the radiance, Shivers shrieking in pain. Fat Rollo is quieter, no doubt on account of not having a head.   

As the light fades they stalk forward again; both close in on Fyn. Shivers attempts to sink his fangs in, Rollo lashes out with claws. “Oh no you don’t, you blasted freaks!” Fyn growls, dodging each blow with ease. But without weapons to strike back he instead flings himself into a roll and snatches up the fallen handaxe as he passes.     

Tomas steps swiftly past Fyn roaring a challenge, his axe coming down in a wild swing that almost chops the thing that once had been Shivers in half. Sickeningly though the creature staggers on, the dark power that animates it refusing to let it fall.

Rufus closes with the headless Rollo, his precise swordmanship opening up another line of black blood across his chest. Then Cayleb dashes in close, no small amount of terror in his battlecry. He blindsides Shivers, plunging his sword in deep under the creature’s ribs,before sending a wild crossbow bolt towards Rollo. Though the bolt misses Shivers collapses twitching to the ground.

Then Lisandra steps forward and points at at the headless ghoul. “Fall, darkling! Back to the pit that spawned you!” A blast of pure white light streaks towards it punching a hole through its chest that grows until the creature bursts apart, blackened flakes of charred flesh falling like dark snow.

“Sweet Source, what in Lothlonde were those things!” cries Cayleb, his face white with shock. “That was my crew, Shivers and Rollo and the Chief! We killed them, how did they come back? How in the name of all that’s Light did they come back?”

“The desecration of this ground is profound.” Lisandra replies. “The natural flow of life energy is perverted here, utterly corrupted. I hadn’t realised just how powerful it had grown. The darkness in this place  is being channeled.  These poor souls were victims of that darkness, their recent deaths served as foci for its power.” She looks pensive. “We didn’t see a similar effect on the bodies further back in the tunnels. They had lain for some time, undisturbed. Perhaps that means that as we grow nearer to the source of the darkness its power is intensifying. A worrying thought.”

“Maybe more worrying than you know.” Grunts Rufus, and meets the Channeler’s eyes. The hand that grips his sword hilt is white-knuckled and ever so slightly trembling.

For a moment Lisandra regards her bodyguard with puzzlement. Then her eyes widen in shock as realisation dawns. “You don’t mean…”

Rufus nods once in reply, a curt, almost jerky motion quite at odds with the Blademaster’s usual grace. “Sacred Source!” Lisandra gasps, one hand flying reflexively to her mouth.

2 Responses to “The Devil’s Riddle: Session 39”

  1. Rufus attack: 18 vs AC12, 10 damage
    Bonus action: Feinting Attack
    Action Surge
    Rufus attack (Adv): 23 vs AC12, 13 damage
    Cayleb crossbow: 8 vs AC12
    Lisandra: Radiance of the Dawn: 12 damage
    G2: Bite 11 vs AC 16
    G3: Claw 7 vs AC 16
    Tomas: Reckless attack (adv): 12 vs AC12, 9 damage
    Rufus attack: 13 vs AC12, 4HP
    Cayleb shortsword: AC 17 vs AC 12, 9 HP
    Cayleb crossbow: AC 7 vs AC 12, miss
    Lisandra Sacred Flame: Dex save 7, 6HP.
    Lisandra: Religion 16
    Q: Is the reanimation caused by the desecration? YES
    Hmm, Lothlonde was a random kingdom name I generated on Donjon. So now we know where our adventures are set.
    Something Negative happens to Rufus, involving the Usurpation of a Stalemate

  2. Goodness. The Usurpation of a Stalemate. What the hell does that mean? I pondered that one for a good while, and eventually decided that I didn’t really know, beyond the idea that it related to something from Rufus’ past. Perhaps some sort of mental deadlock or a negative psychological aspect held in check. And that balance is now being placed under threat by the growing power of the Dark.

    So I’ve set things up in this post to foreshadow something significant but vague. Something Lisandra knows about (well they are inseparable). Next time I’ll be exploring Rufus’ backstory to discover what could be making he and Lisandra so worried. Time for a flashback!

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