Bysorth

Bewitched

After routing the goblinoids the party set about exploring their lair. The bugbear they had captured was quite cooperative, explaining that he was only working for the money and he found the pursuits of the hobgoblin mages distasteful.

They discovered the women who had been kidnapped from town. One was quite crazed, and beyond all reason. Another had been the subject of experimentation. Her leg had been amputated, animated as undead flesh, and reattached. The new limb seemed to function according to its own will. The third woman was unharmed, and offered to escort the maimed woman back to Flathead. They seemed hopeful that Tirian, the scholar studying the undead nearby, would be able to help restore the undead leg. The party didn’t have the heart to let her know Tirian was likely dead.

The bugbear prisoner indicated that the hobgoblin mages had been working for a nearby coven of witches, who had taken an old mountainside temple. He proposed that if the party wished to end the troubles plaguing the area, the witches should be dealt with. He warned of their seductive wiles and urged caution, but offered to show them the way to the temple.

After overtaking some hobgoblins that had fled to warn the coven, the party arrived at the temple shortly before sundown. Outside they saw an encampment of several women of various races, each of them decorated with numerous tattoos, piercings, scars, and other forms of self mutilation. The bugbear suggested they infiltrate from the bottom of the temple rather than storming the front gates. When the party’s stealth failed, however, the bugbear created a distraction so they could quickly get inside.

Behind the temple was a sewer grate spewing filth. They hastily made their way inside and climbed up into a large chamber with numerous piles of rotting, dismembered carcasses. Feasting on them were various large carrion feeders. The party did their best to sneak past the monsters, and did so with only a minor burning from a gelatinous cube.

They climbed out through a heavy, slotted hatch into another room filled with corpses, but these were intact. From one door they heard the sounds of fornication and from another shouting and shuffling.

After making their way down a bending corridor, they came to a door, behind which they could hear a woman ordering others to pack and carry various containers. Dav kicked down the door, hoping to surprise them, and triggered an exploding ward. A battle broke out with a death priestess and her undead minions, which the party won but not before severely taxing their resources. Knowing they’d need to recuperate before they were attacked again, they made camp in a forgotten secret chamber. Kelton Osprey sealed it with an arcane lock.

Throughout their rest they heard the sounds of creatures coming and going, but no one discovered them resting. The next morning, they found the corpse of a gnoll chained to a set of pillars. It had been killed by the witches prior to their abandoning the temple, but they were unable to determine why. Back in the lower section, the party made their way back toward the room with the grate they had crawled out of. The door was sealed with a crude trap rigged, which Savik easily disabled.

Inside the piles of corpses began to rise all around them. To gain some distance from the zombies, Falemo opened the door to the chamber from which they’d heard the fornicating earlier. Inside they discovered a vampires sleeping in the tentacled embrace of a grell. What few witches remained also awoke and attacked from the balcony above.

Kelton and Sephori did their best to keep the undead horde at bay while the rest of the party did battle with the witches and the grell. The horde was unrelenting, however. Both Falemo and Kelton were tossed by the grell into the throng of zombies, with Kelton nearly losing his life to the tearing, biting horde. A timely intervention by Sephori saved his life.

Eventually the grell was killed and the vampiress fell soon after. Dav barreled a bloated zombie off the balcony, and then with a mighty cleave struck down the remainder of the throng. Mangled but victorious, the party was left wondering if this was merely a group of women with hellish fetishes or something more…

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