Chapter 23 To Rescue Rednlarch
or As The Worm Turns
20th Sweetgrass in the Year of Petros Falling
Licking their wounds after a harrowing escape from the Hidden Temple of the Black Earth, the Party decides that they ought to return to Red Larch and kill hobgoblins. Orna, the reformed cultist, parts ways for she wasn’t offered enough to make it worth her while and she’d like to get back to amassing personal wealth. Meredith is pleased with this because “Orna would have been doing it for the wrong reasons”. Wuldgreda the dwarf scout sticks around because this is the right thing to do, or at least find out what is going on. As for Burke, the former Reeve of Red Larch and a humble butcher – “Sounds like a suicide mission, but y’all are the best chance Red Larch has”.
Opting for a subtle infiltration, the party dresses in the acquired robes of the Black Earth and bluff their way through the crater, past barracks and signs of a massive excavation, until finally coming to the quarry that they had explored so long ago. There they find multiple guard towers with odd modified ballistas pointed at a giant rhythmically beating the ground in a shallow pit. The party tosses stealth to the side for a straight up fight across the broken ground of cratered quarry and charge!
Arrows and spells filled the air as they carved their way across the battlefield, at last making face to face with the dreaded Marcos Urnrayle, revealed in his full petrifying glory – for indeed he is a medusa! His taunts of outrage at the party and the fools of Vivo Terra soon turn to panicked cries of “You know not what you do! Only I can master what is about to happen!”
What happened was the sound of the giant pounding the earth suddenly ceased, interrupted by a gargantuan purple beast erupting from ground, nearly tearing the giant in half in its gaping maw. Even as Marcos, self proclaimed prophet of the Black Earth, is felled and his flesh turns to mud, the mighty purple worm writhes, spewing a torrent of digestive acids on those closest. giant still in maw, it trampled across those tormenting it, finally spitting up the giant. Between flying bears, magic missiles, and crossbow support, the worm had picked a mighty battle, but this paled in comparison to a cleric with the size and strength of a giant attempting to wrestle it to the ground. Maddened, it twisted and turned, flailing ineffectively as the slowly but surely the worm was taken down …
A single captive was taken, as the party pauses for a short rest