Victus

Episode 8

Beyond the Bloody Seal or Fishes Be Crazy

The party made their way towards the mine. While on their way a terrible storm blew up making navigation difficult. After several miles of climbing up into the mountains, they came upon a gruesome sight. The snow was thick with red stains and body parts lay strewn about the area. Relwin set about investigating the tracks and while there appeared to be many handprints, very few footprints were seen. The snow was driving, however, making tracking next to impossible. Even so, the skills of the Gallows Boys were not to be doubted and they tracked the group all the way to the mouth of a mine.

While heading towards the mine, they kept noticing strange pieces of paper. Evidently the journal of one of the crew, the journal excerpts detailed the mine’s operation and strange occurrences which had occurred down in the deep, dark recesses of the mine. The excerpts of the journal revealed three strange things to the party. First, while the mine was operational, the miners had found an unusual passage which appeared to be a large hexagonal road running for miles uninterrupted under the ground. The author believed it to belong to the dwarves, a race no one had seen since before the Dragonfall when they had been wiped out by the ‘Green-eyed Plague’. Second, the miners had discovered a strange area along the road. It appeared to be sealed with a tremendous amount of effort. Initially the miners seemed to have been convinced that it must mean that more treasure was behind, however as time went on the writing changed to almost fanatical and the foreman seemed unfazed by the claim of a gold vein in the original mine. In the end, the author had been hurt and removed from the mine, however the miners stationed there had attacked the troops and refused to leave the seal. This strange behaviour seemed more disturbing then anything and the party began wondering what sinister forces were at work which could control and dominate the minds of so many.

As they entered the mine, they found some strange monstrous creatures. They had seen their like before—they were beasts created by tainted Red Magic. As the party made their way through the mine they finally came to the passageway. The characters used the notes and headed towards the seal. They were attacked by a few taint monsters and finally discovered the seal. It had been breached and bodies laid strewn about the passage. After fighting nightmarish taint beasts they made their way to a giant eye set against the far wall. Piercing the eye, it dissolved giving way to an organic tube the size of a hallway. As they moved through they realized the entire structure was an ancient living chamber. Their minds couldn’t help but compare it to the strange ribbed stone cavern they had encountered years ago underneath the Necromancer citadel. This, was very different and full of violent abominations. The most disturbing feature was The Eye. The Eye seemed to follow them and direct the monsters marching against them. Although easily dispatched with arrows, the Eye continued to taunt them and seemed to change the terrain as they moved through. After one particularly grueling fight, the party seemed to find themselves transported.

Ozereth found himself in his former home in the elven forests. His dead wife and child greeting him on a beautiful night telling him to relax. Daewoo, Relwin and Gorin found themselves in a cantina in War Machine where everything their hearts could desire awaited. Gorin realized the illusion for what it was and after pulling the party out of it, they were able to converse with the Crafter.

The Crafter was an ancient being of a race which predated the other races. The being had helped the ‘First of Life’ establish mastery over the world. They had taken the stock life and changed it, twisting it to fulfil the needs of the First to conduct wars against the other planets. Mighty edifices were erected all over the world. Unknown magic was channeled to unleash terrifying creatures to destroy their astral enemies. At some point, their race had suddenly been betrayed by the other races of Victus. They had somehow tainted the magic which twisted and destroyed those creatures using the Words of Creation. His people had gone quiet and now slept until their magic was cleansed. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the Gallows Boys snapped out of the Illusion by killing their illusory selves. Freed from their waking dream they fought their way to the upper brain region of the complex.

Exhausted and bewildered from their ordeal at the hands of the Crafter, they elected stealth rather than brute force. Relwin the elf began to make his way through the complex and past the birthing and tainted mutations of the Fleshcrafting Chambers. Relwin discovered strange nodes that seemed to destabilise a membrane and also a huge trove of ancient artifacts and magic from the ages this chamber had worked its dread purposes. Relwin knew he could only select a few and found a few items of particular import. After this they dispatched the remaining nodes and made their way against the Crafter himself.

The Crafter seemed to swim inside a large elevated aquarium lined with grey, brain-like matter. Several human warriors and creatures went up against the Boys. The battle-hardened warriors dispatch but soon realize something new has joined them. The Crafter, a huge fish-like monstrosity has moved itself into what appears to be a huge crayfish-like beast. Where its head would be, instead is a bubble containing the Crafter. The Crafter ‘drives’ the monster and begins to cast, drive, and manipulate the will of the creature. After an epic battle, the beast and the Crafter were dead. As soon as this occurred, the party rallied to Ozereth who teleported them out of the chamber.

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