Buried Secrets

Chapter 7: Rumble with the Inquisition

When last we left our heroes, Wrathy had just dove for the runestone that had dropped from the cloaked stranger’s pouch. Elzin recognized the pouch as belonging to their murdered patron, so while Inquisitor Callifell appeared to be trustworthy his cloaked ally was most assuredly not!

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Callifell drew his sword and demanded that Wrathy return the runestone. This decorum cost him dearly as Wrathy’s allies attacked his cloaked companion. The stranger then used his powerful mental abilities in an attempt to turn Batal against his allies. Batal’s iron will fought off this violation, and the stranger instead imposed his will on the nearby townsfolk, drawing them into the fray.

Although Wrathy threw the runestone into a nearby stream to keep it away from its bearer, Ragnar observed that the stone flashed each time their foe used his psionic powers. Suddenly, the stranger was pulled into the air by the runestone and enveloped in a column of green energy!

The alien will that created the stone now used its pawn’s telepathy to broadcast its dark magic throughout the town. All around them, the heroes saw innocent people being transformed into grotesque organic portals to the Far Realm. Ragnar was able to resist this magic after his previous exposure to it, and the other three party members found themselves strangely immune. Few others were so lucky.

Setting aside their differences, Batal and Wrathy teamed up with Callifell to dispatch the doomed townsfolk as quickly as they could. Despite their efforts, a number of Foulspawn were able to cross the threshold into the Prime plane. Furthermore, three unstable rifts had opened around them. If these stabilized, the Far Realm would quickly infest the region.

While Wrathy and Batal dealt with the bulk of the invaders, Elzin and Ragnar focused on the rifts. Exposure to the runestones had partially restored Ragnar’s memory, and he believed he knew a countersign to close the portals. He was worried it might take too much time however, so he decided to pit his magic directly against that of the runestone by casting Dispel Magic. He surprisingly(*) succeeded! The rifts shrunk to an non-useable size and the stranger fell to the ground with the powerless stone.

With enemy reinforcements cut off, Batal and Wrathy dealt with the remaining invaders. Callifell fell under a combined assault from the two most powerful Foulspawn, one of which had the towering height of an ogre. A quicker monster grabbed the runestone that had fallen to the ground, but Ragnar used his most powerful magics to burn it and trap it under an acidic ooze.

As Batal hammered away at the Foulspawn hulk, it and a new wave of minions managed to incapacitate Wrathy. Elzin sprinted across the field to heal her dying ally, and this distraction provided Batal with the opportunity to slay the hulk. The battle for Sunvale had ended.

The heroes immediately tended to Callifell, who had survived both the runestone’s corrupting magic and the horrors it had summoned. Ragnar ensured that the rifts were properly sealed while Wrathy, Batal and Elzin visited the old warlock Telsis. He had survived the attack without injury. Now the party has two runestones; dangerous to possess, but even more deadly in the wrong hands. They have learned that the rocks were fragments of a great meteor that struck the town of Moonshire several days ago. Telsis has suggested that they might be able to dispose of the rocks by travelling to a sub-dimension that connects to all mirrors … but this course of action may bring them into conflict with the Lord of Mirrors, a devil which Wrathy bargained with long ago.

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