Rise of the Runelords

The Misgivings | 1-Kuthona-4707 A.R. (First Day of Winter)

The party ventured into The Misgivings. The first high ceilinged room contained moldering trophies hanging on the wall: a boar, a bear, a firepelt cougar, and a stag. They paled in comparison to the monster on display in the center of the room: a twelve-foot-long creature with the body of a lion, a scorpion’s tail fitted with dozens of razor barbs, huge batlike wings, and a deformed humanoid face.

The hallway had a foul stain of dark colored mold on the floor covered by a ratty throw rug. When revealed, the stain seemed to resemble a bird’s eye view of a spiral staircase descending downward with each step littered with skulls and bones. Experimentation revealed it was safe to touch and walk over. On the wall hung A rather gruesome antique-that appeared to be a mummified monkey head- its tiny mouth gaping. A bellpull extended from the monkey’s gaping mouth. Papa Doc identified it as a hungry decapitant, and he expects pulling the bellpull will elicit some sort of loud sound. Instead of experimenting with the antique, he removed it from the wall and hid it behind a shelf in the entrance hall.

The dancing parlor is an oak-paneled chamber that must have once been breathtaking, but is a sad sight now-the floorboards are warped with moisture and the paneling scratched and spotted with mold. A grand piano, its surface splotchy and keys warped, leans tiredly in the southeast corner. The piano looks as if it had been standing unattended here for decades. Papa Doc was surprised to find the keys in perfect tune. As soon as he played some notes, the instrument exploded into music playing a catchy but discordant Varisian song. Twin Feather was swept into a series of rapidly increasing pirouettes, leaping across the room in the arms of an invisible dance partner. Twin Feather could see his partner: She appeared as a vibrant Varisian beauty. As they danced, her beauty faded as her neck darkened into an angry blue-and-black bruise, her eyes bulged and watered, her mouth twisted in pain, and her tongue protruded as if she were being invisibly strangled. In the final moments, she crumbled away into rot in Twin Feather’s arms.

A simple washroom contained an ancient metal washtub with a ring of mildew crusting its inner surface. A blind diseased rat was trapped inside the tub.

The lounge features a long couch caked with white sheets of wispy fungus. Eddies of dust skitter along the warped floorboards as if caught up by a slight breeze, yet no wind is noticeable in the air. Careful observation revealed that the dust was being disturbed, almost as if an invisible person were pacing violently back and forth before the fireplace. Papa Doc attempted to pass through this path and exposed himself to a brief flash of memory-a woman’s memory filled with worry about what her husband might be doing on those late nights spent in the basement. He heard a woman’s voice whisper, “Lorey.” An instant later, he was suddenly convinced that Salton was his daughter, and developed a powerful urge to escape the house with her before something horrible happens. Papa Doc was able to resist the urge, but he saw himself as a Chelaxian woman and Salton as a Chelaxian girl.

The dining room: A mahogany table surrounded by chairs sits in this room. Twin fireplaces loom to the west, while to the east, stained-glass windows obscure what could have been a breathtaking view of the Lost Coast. Each window depicts a monster rising out of smoke pouring from a seven-sided box. From north to south are depicted a gnarled tree with an enraged face, an immense hook-beaked bird with sky-blue and gold plumage, a winged centaurlike creature with a lion’s lower body and a snarling woman’s upper torso, and a deep blue squidlike creature with evil red eyes. Papa Doc inspected the images depicted in the windows closely and determined that the runes on the box are necromancy-related, that the monsters seem not to be emerging from the boxes but rather being drawn in, and that their snarling visages express not rage, but rather fear.

Library: This library features two chairs, one of which lies on its side, before a stone fireplace. A scarf, its reds and golds contrasting with the drab palette of the room, is draped over the side of the fallen chair. A book sits facedown on the floor between the chairs. A stone bookend, carved to look like a praying angel with butterfly wings, lies on its side in the fireplace itself. Papa Doc took the Varisian scarf.

Drawing room: This cozy-looking drawing room is marred by the unnatural dampness and the thick sheets of mold that cling to the curtains closed over the southern window. Pinky pulled the curtains to the side so she could look out, and caught a brief glimpse of a forlorn Varisian woman’s face reflected in the window beyond. The reflection vanished an instant later. Pinky also noticed it had started to rain.

The party was headed back to the entrance hallway when the Varisian scarf wrapped around Twin Feather’s throat. He became paralyzed with fear as a ghostly image of Aldern manifested before him and appears to be using the scarf to choke him to death; at the same moment, Twin Feather lost his sense of self and believed he had become the same vibrant beautiful Varisian women he danced with. He felt himself being choked to death, and he nearly was. Salton had to revive him from unconsciousness.


Pinky entered the entrance hall, and the 12 foot trophy leapt to life. Its flaming tail struck and burned her before it returned to its motionless state. She opened the front door to check on the weather. It was indeed raining, the horses were gone, and the burned remains of the outbuilding and well were covered with several thousand crows.
Twin Feather sent Mange to chase them off. It was then that the party realized there were swarms of undead birds. The birds chased everyone but Papa Doc back inside The Misgivings. An invisible Papa Doc used his exceptional summoning ability to summon a swarm of bats of augmented bats. The bats and crows engaged each other. Some of the crows burst through a window into the sagging house. Mathew and Twin Feather fled upstairs. Salton tried to channel positive energy, but the swarms kept him distracted. Pinky managed to get a fire bomb off. That helped. Jovu fled injured.


Mathew fled into an upstairs bedroom. This bedroom features a child-sized bed, a chair next to a toy box, and a looming stone fireplace big enough for a child to get lost in. Mathew suddenly becomes convinced that his parents are trying to kill each other, and that whichever of them survives will be coming to kill him next; he has a vision of his mother (Chelaxian woman), wielding a torch, and his father (Chelaxian man, festering with tumors and wielding a long knife, both struggling to kill each other. The vision passes as fast as it occurs, at which point Mathew was able to shake off the mind-numbing terror of the sight.

Twin Feather hid in a stairwell.

The summoned bats and Pinky finally finished off the undead crows. Twin Feather found blood and horse prints fleeing the out building. Twin whistled for his horse, but it did not come. The party tracked the horses a mile and a half back toward the Lost Coast Road. They found the string still attached. The horses were bloody, muddy, and frothing, but Twin Feather’s horse had managed to lead them to safety. Only Twin’s horse was well enough to ride, but Salton healed the lot of them.


At some point the need to record and convey information supersedes the need for maintaining consistent tense and proper grammar. Recording this much information is work, and I apologize for the quality of my writing.

KenJudy KenJudy

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