The three new acquaintances barely had time to knock back the last of their warming drinks, before a new cause raised its needy head.
The doors of the Wench & Goblet burst open, to reveal the dishevelled and bleeding visage of Lady Meemay Henet. The wife of the local lord Henet, she was well known by Jaric as a fairly well loved and caring individual. Her clothes were part ripped and blood pooled down her arm, she barely had time to rasp “Please help my family” before exhaustion overtook her and she slumped to the somewhat grimy floor.
The two, fat, Faury trundled to her aid – staunching the wound and giving her much needed water and comfort. When Lady Meemay’s senses returned – she told them the cause of her plight and injury.
“Just before first light, the draft animals became skittish and unnerved. Several of the draft animals broke free of their harness’ and ran away from the house trembling. When I began to shout for Henet, my husband and lord, the whole house seemed to shake. Henet arrived downstairs just in time for demonic creatures to erupt through the floor and leap through the windows. They spat evil ichor at all that moved, and Henet and many of the servants were overcome by them. I even saw my two sons and daughter dragged away. For some reason I recovered my wits and my limbs and managed to run, but not before something larger rose from the shadows of her courtyard and slashed me across the back.
I don’t remember the wild run here, and I’m not sure if I was followed – but please…I need your help.”
Never able to refuse a person in need, Jaric promised to rush to their aid and do all he could to save the Henet family. The two Faury, on the other hand, were somewhat more avaricious, and queried what would be in it for them. The Lady Henet assured them that her wealthy husband would be more than willing to repatriate them – if only they could save her family – she would ensure it.
With the glint of silver in their tarnished souls, the Faury leapt up and asked Jaric if he knew the way. Jaric knew of the Henets and their manor, which was a two hour walk from the town – but he needed to move in haste and suggested the ride; commandeering the horses of some of his men for the girls.
With little more hesitation, the three galloped towards the Henet manor, set on rescue (and reward).
Swiftly did they ride along the dusty road, barely aware of their surroundings as thoughts of heroism and silver filled their minds.
Which was unfortunate as they didn’t see the disturbed ground signalling a tunnelled path across their way.
Jaric as lucky enough to pull his horse to one side and avoid catastrophe, but the Faury twins didn’t fare as well and plunged into the narrow and suddenly crumbling space. They had barely time to gain their feet when a swarm of Rurthing who had been taking advantage of the space, leapt at them.
This small but ferocious beasts swamped the Faury at first before inexplicably turning their wrath to the mercenary captain. They appeared to try and latch their razor sharp teeth onto all those that they attacked, but this attack didn’t last for long. Natalie – the first Faury to regain her senses, raised herself into the air with her magic whilst Nate (her sister) began ripping at their animalistic brains with her magical savagery. Little time was wasted on these beasts, and (with a little time to get the horses from the ditch) they carried on.
The manor itself was eerily silent as they approached, with no servants or animals to be heard. With some careful scouting they were able to see their soon to be enemies through a grand window – Some Klork feasting on the grizzly remains of a servant. The Faury once again made short work of the beasts, but not without making a little noise in their continued search.
Room by room the plucky band explored the house, finding only death, destruction and the occasional Klork to greet them. Luckily for all three their enclosing armour prevented the worst of the Klork’s paralytic ichor from affecting them, and without that the bugs were easy pray to their combined might.
One room of interest held a large map of all of Ninigurien, and pinned upon it a dozen yellow stars. What this could be they could not fathom, but Nate was past caring as she discovered a small box holding a ThoughCrystal and a healing draught. Might the two be related? In her excitement, she didn’t care. They scrounged for loot (as they saw it) wherever they went, though Jaric was only interested in those things that may be of help – leaving any coin to the other two.
Following a blood trail up the grand staircase, they learned a few disturbing facts. The house was on fire – oil had spilled from a lantern and was burning through the inner walls, making any room a potential charnel house. Secondly, the house armoury contained two rather large barrels of gunpowder. Jaric stopped only to take a backpack of adventuring equipment he found in a spare room, on the off chance they would be needed in the ongoing rescue.
A sense of urgency overcame them – but they continued to follow the blood trail and came to the rescue of a terrified and hysterical Amelia Henet and her barely conscious saviour (a house guard). Jaric offered to take them to a safe spot outside, whilst the Faury sisters began to loot in glee – caring little about the fire and the flames.
Outside Amelia and the guard gained enough wit to explain to Jaric that Lord Henet and his two sons had been dragged down to the wine cellar by the Klork, and appeared to still be alive when they did so. Pausing only to ensure the two were safe, Jaric headed back in and – after some waiting around for the fat Faury – they progressed slowly down the cellar stairs.
Here they found the source of the Klork infestation – a massive bloated (even by Klork Queen standards) creature that had surrounded herself with her children…and piles of half digested ‘food’ from her children.
The creatures were little match for the heavily armoured troupe; even the queen was quickly reduced to nothing more than a bubbling pile of ichor and chitin by the combined attacks of Jaric’s sword and the Faury mind blasts.
Carnage settled, the three noticed the still forms of the young Henet’s, Lord Henet and his staff as well as some house animals – pinned to the wall with sticky strands: no doubt a living larder for the ex-queen. They cut and pulled at the forms – finding to their dismay that Lord Henet had already been used as meat for the beasts.
As the last of the Henet houeshold was freed, a groaning twisting thunder rumbled from above – followed by showers of dust and dirt. The house had collapsed as the fire burned away its interior.
It didn’t take Nate long to remember the coal chute she had seen on the way through the cellar and the rescued captives made their slow laborious way into the light. Whilst the Faury searched every nook and cranny for extra silver (and fortuitously finding a silver bar and a pennant with a circle and three beams coming from it – that none recognised).
Fresh air and daylight returned, the band of refugees made their slow way back to the town.