Why you should never, ever build on mysterious ruins...ever!
The Enemy Within Revisited Cast:
Gustav Myrthenbaum the Dilettante (Davy White)
Falco the Ratcatcher (Michael Morgan)
Badigon the Boatman (Shane)
Nateery the Hunter (Nicole)
I will never forget the terrifying sound of the bloodcurdling screams that broke the silence and my troubled dreams that night. Though few of us had heard the shriek of undead before that night (most of us have done so since) and all to a man (and to a woman since Nateery also concurred) would swear, till the end of their days that this was an altogether different sound. Neither male, nor quite female, neither dead nor seemingly alive. Sat around a campfire our party discussed this quasi human and seemingly womanlike, close to death (and almost fearful) voice for quite a while. before Gustav suddenly and rather rudely interrupted our deliberations in as deep a voice as he could muster to insist that we stop talking about such frivolous nonsense. He seemed unusually flushed in the cheeks about something but perhaps it was merely the wine to blame.
But enough of this…back to that noise. Within seconds of the screams cutting the silence the room was filled with the sounds of fighting machines (well machine singular in Smof) jumping into action and as my eyes struggled to adjust to the light I could just make out the form of Smof as he brought his hammer up in a wide arc crashing into the skull of the ghoulish creature, but not before it’s teeth bit into Gustav who yelled out in a strangely familiar cry.
When the light was brought forward the party surveyed the scene and found the creature had retreated into its lair leaving behind a badly injured Gustav and an angry Smof. The party decided somewhat hastily that there was nothing for it but to plunge into the darkness to discover ‘What Lies Beneath the Tower’ As Badigon and Falco fought over which of them would ‘not go first’ Smof shook his head and plunged into the darkness below. I swear if Smof hadn’t been there they’d have left it to the huntress to take point. Speaking of the huntress I guess I should take this moment to introduce her though her performance in battle would more suitably describe her.
Like a lady knight in shining armor she arrived unannounced and came to the aid of our male ’damsels’ in distress when our combat shy bunch would have surely perished at the hands (nay rotting claws) of our undead assailants. She’d fortuitously been in the area and heard the commotion and rushed to see who might need her help. And help she damn well did…and how. She proceeded to despatch death to all who messed with her including nay especially to the ‘undead’ whom were all dispatched to the afterlife and a rest that they had been deprived of until now.
The way she did so with a cool almost flippant manner had the rest of our party in unmistakeable awe of her. Gustav perhaps to make light of the fact that his and indeed the rest of the all male party members manliness was being called into question took to giving Nateery’s recently downed cadavers a sneaky stab with his sword ‘to finish them off’ as he put it insisting not wholly convincingly that at least one of the still lifeless forms was ‘not quite dead’.
In any case, before long all the undead creatures had either fled or had been sent to their long overdue final resting places and the party had time to survey the scene. This place appeared to be a secret study of some sort and the discovery of books clarified that it was some sort of observatory. Charts predicting the course of the moons orbits were found along with a map pinpointing an as yet unknown barren almost mountainous region as worthy of note, though what part these Barren Hills were to play in our adventure would only later become apparent. In amongst all the items of interest was an obviously magical tome. It seemingly detailed the process of raising the undead and was duly pocketed by the huntress. If the party thought this strange non dared question her motives having seen her prowess with her bow even in pitch darkness. Also of interest was a rather fetching cane which Falco appropriated because he found the ornate carvings ‘purty’ as a picture.
Speaking of pictures the place also had a number of painting of some unknown people with bushy eyebrows and aquiline faces, and though the name wasn’t written the family resemblance among all the paintings was clear to all.
And that was pretty much that. It was all over in a flash but the memory of that dark place and the denizens beneath will haunt me until the end of my days. As it seems will the spectre of Nateery haunt Gustav. She didn’t stick around for very long, disappearing into the night at our next port of call, just as swiftly as she had arrived. But her memory it seems will live long in our memories and particularly Gustav’s who in the months and years after could be heard in fitful dreams (or perhaps they were nightmares) repeating the name over and over again.
Nateery, Nateery, Dear Nateery. I'm coming...
by GM Noely
Enter adventurers! Leave your weapon at the door, grab an ale and make yourself at home. And don't forget to subscribe while you're here.