Tales of the Ruddy Spirits Taproom

The Shadowman Cometh

Adventure 06 - The Journey Home Part 2

The long journey to the north continues, just a bit more pleasant with the recent acquisition of the fine spirits from the apple orchard. Another week passes without much excitement. However, the sky begins to become cloudy and dark and the surrounding terrain begins to appear more wet and swampy. At some points even the road has become sodden and difficult to pass. As the days roll on, the group approaches the small village of Dakkot. The kings advisor reports that this was once a prosperous farming town that helped feed many of surrounding villages, but traveling through the area, not a single active farm is seen. The land appears to be old and boggy, not even close to being workable farm land. None the less, the king’s convoy reaches the town of Dakkot safely.

image.jpgThe town itself seems nearly abandoned. The buildings appear old and run down and the few people in the streets are fatigued and quick to glance over their shoulder. Between the worn buildings, nervous people, and overcast sky, a deep unease settles over the convoy as it pulls up to the only inn that is not boarded up and closed. Rooms are secured and most of the members of the convoy turn in. While Yentha makes her dusk visit to the local cemetery, several others settle in for a meal and a drink. The barkeep is a thin wirey man with unkempt hair. His apron is quite dirty and he has a wild look in his eye. When asked for a meal he produces a stew with a grey, watery broth. There are a handful of unrecognizeable vegetables and a couple of lumps of white, bloated mystery meat. The stew looks completely unappealing. Even so, Senji makes the best of it by snatching up a few roaches scurrying across the floor and crumbles them into the stew… for flavoring. Oddly enough, it helps and Senji enjoys his meal while Kamden and the others choke down what they can. 

As dusk approaches, the barkeep warns the group to stay inside at night so the Shadowman doesn’t get them. As the barkeep is clearly crazy, not much weight is given to his tall tales, but seeing that Tythan and Yentha still haven’t returned the small group that is still awake decides to go find them. Stepping out of the inn, they quickly spot Tythan near the north end of the main street. As the last rays of the sun pass below the horizon, an unnatural darkness falls over the town and a dark shadowy figure rises from the street behind Tythan. image.jpg A manly figure made completely of shadow standing 8 to 9 foot tall looms over Tythan as his companions run to help him. As Tythan turns to fight, his blade seems to pass straight through the shadow. Seconds later, the Shadowman strikes Tythan square in the chest leaving behind a thick tentacle from Tythan to the Shadowman. Tythan turns pale as if his strength is being sapped from him, but continues to fight on. Kamden and Senji soon join Tythan, but their attacks seem to have little affect. Suddenly from behind them the sound of a scream, Yentha’s scream, rings out though the muggy night air. The Shadowman attacks without resistance and soon envelopes the party one by one, draining their strength and replacing it with a bone deep fear. Soon the disheartened hero retreat to the safety of the in and bar the door. The drain on each of the hero’s soul is lasting and deep and the night passes dreamless without any true rest.

The next morning the adventures wake groggy and drained to find that Yentha never returned during the night. image.jpgAfter a dry breakfast they venture outside to look for Yentha. However, a the morning sun washes over the group, the fatigue and fear dissipates. As they head down the street to find Yentha the see her exit the old abandon church. She tells the others that she spent the night with a scared young boy, who seemed to be an orphan. Unfortunately he was gone when she awoke. After some investigation and asking the few people still in town the group finds out that several years ago the land sank and became swamp land. Most of the farmers and families left upon seeing their farms, and savings, wither and die. The few that remained tried to keep the city going, but over time people continued to leave and the town was more or less abandoned. As for the child, a few people thought him and his mother may still live on a small farm to the north west. So the group decided to go and try to find him.

image.jpgFollowing a small trail out of town, they come to a abandoned house. The sky around the house darkens almost to twilight even though the sun continues to shine. Approaching the house, a light is noticed it the upper window. The party moves toward the house, but they sense they are not alone. Near the front door they see shadowing figures moving in the distance hand hear hollow howls. image.jpgLooking around the side of a house several shadowy wolf like figures approach. Kamden hurls a javelin at the nearest one, striking true and splitting the shadow wolf in half. In the distance two more shadow wolves form and sulk towards the house. Seeing the numbers increase the party moves into the old house, but the shadow wolves do not cross the threshold. Before long there is a whole pack of shadow wolves outside the front door.

A short exploration shows the house is empty and has been for some time. Making their way carefully upstairs, the brave adventurers climb into the attic. In the far corner of the attic sits a small boy huddled next to a lamp. The lamp burns brightly, holding back the darkness Ina clear circle of warm light. The boy is crying, but appears uninjured. Yentha comforts the boy and he tells her he is waiting for his mom to return. After hearing his broken story it is apparent the young boy’s mother is either dead or long gone. However, by agreeing to help the boy they convince him to return to town and the safety of the church where he stayed with Yentha the previous night. Leaving the house, the darkness and wolves are held at bay by the light of the lamp, but the shadowy sky follows them all the way back to town.

Arriving at the church, the sky grows even darker and the oppressive darkness presses in. The boy is told that his mother is dead and that the group can help find a place for him back in Kavadin. The boy breaks into sobs and all light leaves the church except within the light cast by the lamp. The heroes crowd into the light around the boy as the Shadowman rises from the floor of the church. With nowhere to run, the heroes charge the Shadowman finding once again that their weapons are useless. image.jpgHopelessness sets in until the boy is encouraged to fight back. With this the heroes’ weapons begin to glow a bright blue and are able to strike the shadows solidly. The battle rages, but the boy is still afraid until Yentha steps up, places a glowing dagger in his hand and helps to guide it home into the heart of the shadow. The Shadowman howls and dies in a burst of light as the shadows dissipate from the inside of the church and the town. The bright, warm sunlight shines in through the churches front window restoring everyone.

Not wanting to spend another night in this town, the convoy is quickly packed and ready to set off on the journey north once again. Before leaving, two of the kings guards are sent back to Kavadin with the boy in hopes of finding him help and maybe even a new family.


Embrali Embrali

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