The Last Age of Heroes

The Price of Freedom

Clapped in irons, and held by chains, even the very idea of being heroes was stripped from the party. A prison wagon carried them toward a towering building, and after being stripped of their gear, the members of the group were lead deep into the Marshal’s Prison.

Thrown in a cell to be forgotten, the party found the corners of their small cell, and seemed to lose any semblance of cohesion. Stuck in near complete darkness, the shadows and sleep deprivation played queer tricks on the minds of the party, or at least they hoped they were tricks.

After some hours, Broken Tooth had had enough. He pulled his body through the bars, injuring himself in the process, and went about getting the keys and helping his cell mates escape.

Perhaps a good plan to start with, fate was against the party. Broken Tooth snagging the keys woke the guards. Broken Tooth ran back to the party in the guise of a wolf to warn the other members and prepare them for the incoming guards. However, the party, never seeing Broken Tooth turn into a wolf before, were rightly surprised at finding a wolf deep in the underground prison.

Murdoc Sticknee once again enlarged Drogan, allowing him to grab one of the guards with his now monstrously large hands and crush him like a nut between his palm. The party then expected Mytharis to grab the other guard, who was easily in reach, but Mytharis merely stood there, watching the ensuing chaos. The poor guard was not a match even for an imprisoned party, and was soon crushed by Drogan as well.

Once the cell was open, the party, including Mytharis, sprung into action retrieving their possessions and gearing up, but not before hearing an unnerving child-like laugh coming from behind the walls, Mytharis swore he saw a pair of eyes and found a spot where the wall could easily be broken down. The party then barricaded the door and headed into the hole in the wall.

The party traveled underground and found themselves in some kind of tunnel system that belonged to what may have been the original settlement of Carpenden, before it was named as such.

Some of the party managed a quick sleep, under guard of Mytharis, and then began to move again. The party had not expected this, and while they were weary of traps, they also knew that behind them were the soldiers of Carpenden.

After some time, the party found an old sign, decayed and barely legible were the words “Odd’s Lane,” which Murdoc took as further proof of his thesis that this was the original settlement of Carpenden. This bizarre piece of knowledge seemed to bother some of the party, but there was no time to further pick at Murdoc’s mind.

At some point, the party found a mostly intact door of a large and mostly intact manor. The door was covered in scratches, and far more worryingly, bits of finger nails. Were there a third option, the party may have gone another way, but it was forward or back, and they could not go back.

Inside was even more terrible, scratches on the walls, the ceiling, and the floor, much like those on the door, but in every direction and every surface. The team carefully tread further into the manor, finding chests and bits of a doll. At one point, Drogan became filled with rage. The party watched as he slammed his ax into the wall, and every other member of the took a step back and not entirely due to Drogan’s rage. What should have released bugs, dirt, and bits of wood instead the walls bled. Blood poured out of the walls, pooling and coagulating.

This should have led to a conversation at the very least, but the party heard a child, they looked around and realized the child was inside the walls. The child told them that if they collected the doll parts, she would help them. The party members all had different feelings about the child and her honesty.

The party continued to pick up the pieces of the doll and faced monsters disguised as chests, and queer artifacts which filled the party with fear until they were destroyed.

With the pieces of the doll collected, the party headed past a threshold, where some nefarious magic twisted and bent the laws of the world. The party then found the girl, sucking on bones of a long dead corpse.

This was all Mytharis needed to condemn the “child” he shot an arrow at her, and saw her eyeless face as she melted into the walls. The party then began a mad rush, filling chests in their new reality with the doll pieces from their old one. The walls seemed to be pulsing as if a heart, and blood began to trickle and then flood the halls. The walls would shift as the pieces of the doll were put in their correct places, but the “house” seemed to become increasing demonic in the process.

During this mad dash, an artifact of fear forced Murdoc to run for his life, the party heard him scream and chased after him, but he was gone. Mytharis then redoubled his pace, ignoring everything except the chests which needed a piece of the doll. When the final piece was replaced, the wall exploded in spectacular fashion, blood, bone, and sinew bursting our and the floors were filled with blood covering the knees of the party. All of the previous walls began to reform into just four walls, the party finding themselves in a tower made of blood and muscle.

In the middle of the room formed a massive golem, constructed of the family that once resided in the house, towered above the members of the group, but Mytharis instead focused upon the “girl” crawling on her hands and knees across one of the walls. Mytharis pointed toward the golem and shouted to Drogan to deal with it, whilst he charged at “girl.”

The “girl” shot her barbed tongue toward him, knocking it to the side he stabbed at the monster. She clawed at him again and his blade once again deflected the attack and pierced the monster. She began to crawl away up the wall and by magic shimmed and then disappeared. Mytharis prayed to Heironeous and stabbed his blade at a patch of wall with all his might. For a moment, there was nothing. But then, the “girl” shimmered back into existence, Mytharis’ blade deep into her heart as she fell further down the sword and dropped into the pool of blood, never again to rise.

Drogan and Broken Tooth looked at the towering behemoth of blood and muscle, and knew they had their work cut out for them. Broken Tooth hammed the golem with a bolt of lightning. While mundane muscle would have tightened and froze, the creature of magic muscle seemed only empowered. Drogan then charged the creature, slashing it’s “legs,” its tendril-like arms, and its massively fleshy torso. Drogan was whipped several times by the monster but Broken Tooth took the brunt of the damage and was laid low. Broken Tooth had barely fallen when Drogan finally severed the bonds that kept the monster together.

Mytharis had just vanquished the “girl,” when he saw Drogan heroically rushing towards Broken Tooth’s body floating in the blood. Drogan slid into the pooled water and poured healing liquid down Broken Tooth’s throat, reviving him.

The blood walls began to crumble and the room they were in turned into an old manor, deep outside the city. The party was not underground at all, but topside, and through a large window they could see the town of Carpenden. They were out of the prison and far from immediate retribution from the soldiers.

The party was free of Carpenden, but as they searched the manor high and low with no sight of Murdoc, they began to wonder, at what cost?

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tehminx

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