The Mercenary Conscience

Grandmammy's Head and a Dead Child Are Paraded Through Town
Scaring the locals

The first encounter finds our greedy adventurers drawn to the small backwoods, human-populated village of Lumberton, in the Dunwood. Ryft and Lux, already companions and friends, arrive first only to find that the Lumbertonians are elf racists and that Lux’s odd appearance of white hair and orange eyes disconcerts them. They eventually team up with fellow greedy adventurers and reluctant companions Kekt and Irin. Being a tiefling and genasi, respectively, the villagers completely shun both for their appearances due to recent demonic occurrences.

Upon disappearing to the outhouse to alter his appearance to something very human and friendly, Lux reappears to converse with the innkeeper about the village’s troubles. He discovers that about an hour’s walk north, at the base of the Granitespire Mountains, there lies a haunted cave system known as the Well of Demons. No one knows for sure what used to be there or why it was made, only that hundreds and hundreds of years ago evil rituals occurred. Over the years many adventurers have come seeking the vast treasure rumored to be hidden within, only to never return. The villagers keep their distance, knowing death waits inside.

A few weeks ago, however, death quit waiting and came to them. Old Grandmammy Kari, known through the small village as an herb witch, passed away in her sleep about a month ago. A few days later, the house of one of her many children was broken into, the inhabitants awaking to see pale, clammy Grandmammy at the door. She grabbed one of her grandsons and dragged him off. In utter fear, the simple villagers watched her go. Every week since, she has returned for another victim. Upon struggling with her as she took one of his daughters, one of her sons found that she was inhumanly strong when she smashed in his skull with a fist. The last few times she has also been accompanied by a floating silver wraith. Since she killed her own son, no one has dared interfere, and the call for help (with promise of a reward) was sent out to the nearest city.

And thus, the mercenaries arrived. After agreeing to team up, they approached the Well of Demons. As they entered the cave system, the floor sloped sharply downward, leading them to a crumbling dungeon strewn with skeletons. Upon leaving the dungeon, the entered a hallway lined with a wide, dark streak of blood, dried on the bottom layer but congealed and fresh on the top. It lead in either direction as far as they could see, and in the distance they heard a slow scraping interspersed with dim moaning.

Around the corner they encountered old Grandmammy, who dragged at her side, face down, one of her grandsons that she stole away from the town. His face had ground into the stone over and over, wearing down like a well-used eraser and leaving the bloody streak.

After dispatching Grandmammy in a pile of limbs, the found that the sounds of fighting drew a group of shadow wisp minions. After killing the two minions, they followed the hallway and entered a rectangular room located on the right. In the middle of the room lay an old, worn altar with two fresh-lit fires on top. On the far wall was a new-looking switch; when pulled, half of the altar exploded, causing minor damage. In the rubble they saw the altar was hollow, and also found some modest treasures.

Moving further on down the bloody hallway, almost completely circling back to their starting point, they entered a back room and encountered larger, angrier shadow wisps. Once the wisps were killed, they found the floating silver wraith the innkeeper spoke of. They killed it as well, and found a recently slept-in bed with a chest at the foot. In the chest was 40 gold pieces, some provisions, and a note: _Meet me at the entrance to the Well tomorrow at sunset. P.S. There’s more where this came from. _

TO BE CONTINUED or I’m tired of typing right now.

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