While Mortyr, Nob, Rolf, and Lucius were continuing to muck about in the mysterious crypt outside Skogenby, Odayon was employing his trademark business acumen by relaxing outside, safe with the big bag of loot waiting until
the dupes his friends either had their fill of the incredibly dangerous hole or died therein. His self-congratulatory ruminations were interrupted by one Beronin “The Covetous” and company…
…Meanwhile, Lucius’ dramatic floating forehead-sigil burning show was also being interrupted. When the words “I AM HAATHOR-VASH, IRON QUEEN OF THE BLOOD RIDERS! WHO DARES DEFILE MY…” emanated from Lucius’ twisted mouth in a voice like the wind howling through dead winter branches, his three compatriots sprang into action. Nob ran for his life and Rolf froze in indecision and growing horror as Mortyr promptly immolated Lucius to a fine ash.
On his way out of the Crypt, Nob found the loot bag wedged in the narrow entrance tunnel, where Odayon had managed to shove it before being drug out for an otherwise thorough mugging.
With the three remaining partners unable to track Odayon’s captors in the dark, they resolved to camp and resume efforts in the morning. They did manage to locate a perfect campsite, only to discover it was also the favorite watering hole of a rather irate Devil Boar. After a sound thrashing, they escaped intact save for having dropped the spoils to fight. Fortune smiled on them soon after, however, as Nob was able to outwit the beast and retrieve the bag and, close to morning, a beaten and robbed Odayon wandered into camp from having been left unconscious nearby.
The following day, one more attempt was made and penetrating the mysteries of the crypt of Haathor-Vash, but despite some almost-clever burgling involving a secret door and hallucinogenic gas, and another surprisingly excellent display of swordsmanship, Nob and Rolf found themselves too worn down and ill-equipped to press much further inward. Poor Jora, if she is still alive and inside, would simply have to wait.
Arriving back in Skogenby, the village was keen to hear the details of the adventure, hoping to discover Jora’s fate and find some assurance that the locals would stop mysteriously dying in the night. However, the crowd assembled to hear Mortyr’s relation of events broke into a panic when the vengeful ghost of Lucius appeared and threatened wordless accusation at the mad wizard. In the ensuing chaos, a hut was set ablaze.
Feeling suddenly unwelcome in Skogenby, the four remaining partners set about completing the task Ronwald Brandyfoot originally sent them here to do: extract Nob’s cousin Mayweather. A little waiting for Mayweather to undo his barricaded door and a little fast talking, and the group was collecting their horses to return to the The House of Three Squires.
Relief and a well-earned rest was approaching fast when a distant arrhythmic sound set a tone of unease. It turned out to be the unbarred front gate of the palisade of the Three Squires, occasionally slamming home as it swung in the wind. Something is wrong here. A cursory search of the premises has found the interior in disarray, the furniture, patrons, Nob’s parents, and other staff all missing, with a pool of blood in front of the cellar door disturbed by wide scrape-marks leading across the threshold. Yes, something is definitely quite wrong here…