Adventure 07 - The Ritual
After rescuing as many of the hostages as they could, the Slayers prepared to set off south to Kyle Farson’s last known location. Before they could set out, however, a gigantic explosion erupted north of their position, and to their shock, the Magistrate’s Office exploded outwards and was reduced to rubble and ash. Fearing for their employer (and for the loss of his coin), the party rushed north towards the site. Trudging through the rubble, they stood on the dais where the remains of the throne sat, a pile of broken stone and dust. Revealed further behind the throne was a dark tunnel, illuminated at the far bottom by distant torchlight. Nervous, the team entered the room.
The grim sight they found was as mysterious as it was gory. In the center of a large chamber, a stone tank filled with blood rose from the ground, the sanguine remains of the explosion filtering through grates and leading toward the center. Floating inside the tank face down was what appeared to be the body of Kyle Farson. Before the tank on one side was an empty archway, forming a granite halo above the carnage on the ground. The body of Elias Kogan had been mutilated, organs carefully laid on pedastals, his torso continuing to be animated by a deeply embedded magic. Kogan was catatonic and helpless, but still alive. The party began exploring the chamber further. Upon investigating a pair of statues at the opposite end, a winged creature swooped down and assaulted the party. Its ability to split its body into doubles, combined with the added assault of claws grabbing at anyone unlucky enough to be thrown into the blood tank, proved to be a formidable force, and the party was overwhelmed.
When the Slayers awoke, they were bound before the statues, mutilated in various ways, and marked by dark gods to represent their shame in defeat. While the creature was nowhere in sight, a ritual was being performed by two armored twins in an attempt to summon a powerful magic. Just as the ritual’s power was coming to fruition, the dazed Kogan shouted a command word that activated a teleportation ritual enchanted in their cloaks and whisked the team off to safety.
After the party materialized inland, they watched with horror as the rebellious traitors escaped the island by sea, just in time to avoid the tentacles that slithered up the edges of Teramist’s shores and pulled the island down into the ocean. Kogan’s last words, hidden with the team’s belongings, spoke of a guilty conscience at having failed the people of Teramist in their hour of need. He bequeathed unto them a dilapidated fort, a seed ready to germinate in the harsh wilderness that was theirs, the world of Durai.