Monday Night Madness

Shadow of the Demon Lord: the Knife in Your Hand - Episode 2.3
In the Belly of the Beast...

Greavings Gutter Patrol:

  • Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Rogue, Militiaman and entrepreneur.
  • 4th, Hobgoblin Warrior, Militiaman, medic and lackadaisical refugee.
  • Grimbar, Dwarf Priest, cranky servant of honored dwarven ancestors, and Ragnar’s cousin.
  • Esma, Goblin Rogue, Edwin’s unwanted partner in crime.

Grimbar finally arrives in Duskglen with Jack, having heard where they went from Lucas at the Ratspike Motel and Titty Bar. Having narrowed down the location from locals in town, the two reach the Hollow, bt Jack falls back, overcome by the Spoors. Grimbar is made of sterner stuff, however, and continues on alone.

Meanwhile, in the belly of the Beast, Edwin, Esma, 4th, Pung, Ragnar & Leoren are horrified inside the Flesh Hut as one of the “guests”, a woman with bound hands, dies as her chest ruptures, giving birth to yet another Echinemon infant. Pung & Ragnar panic, fleeing deeper into the bowels of the Beast, three Echinemon hot on their trail. Esma suggests persuading their four remaining hosts to come with them back to Duskglen so they can return the favor, but 4th & Ed are not convinced she can sell them on it.

Back near the entrance, Grimbar finds his way blocked by the portcullis, but manages to force it open so he can slip past. Inside he ponders, amazed at the size of the Beast’s head, more so when he hears a voice in his mind whisper kill me. He climbs up the ladder into one of the gooey nostrils, and after wandering through the mushy sinuses, finds himself in the mouth of the Beast. Thanks to good eyes (and a little mental nudge from the Beast) he spots the Savage Ornament hidden among the Dragon’s teeth, and tucks it in his belt before hustling after the echoing screams of his companions. In the main chamber he finally spots the Heart, Flesh Hut, and his friends surrounded by Echinemon.

When Grimbar fails to sneak up on them, two of the Echinemon turn to intercept him. Seeing an opportunity, the Goblinoids slip out of the Hut, followed by Leoren, to surround the Echinemon leader Gragun. Though Grimbar uses battlemangic to sprint past the closing Echinemon, it is 4th and his strange Green Sword that takes him down. The other three Echinemon rally, paralyzing Grimbar and forcing him to become a host for one of their eggs. But Leoren, Esma & 4th manage to push them back and dispatch them, while Ed snatches the Savage Ornament from Grimbar’s belt, shimmy up to the top of the Flesh Hut and plunge the pearly blade deep into the Beast’s heart (killing the Beast while cementing his pact with the Ornament).

The Beast lets out one last sigh as his heart finally stops, and the air within his massive corpse stills…

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Shadow of the Demon Lord: The Knife in your hand - Episode 2.2
Eenee... meenee... minee... moee...

Greavings Gutter Patrol:

  • Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Rogue, Militiaman and entrepreneur.
  • 4th, Hobgoblin Warrior, Militiaman, medic and lackadaisical refugee.
  • Ragnar, Dwarf Priest, cheerful servant of honored dwarven ancestors, and Grimbar’s cousin.
  • Esma, Goblin Rogue, Edwin’s unwanted partner in crime.
  • Pung, murderous Orc Warrior with an Axe to grind.

That evening Ed & 4th meet up back at their favorite hangout, the Ratspike Motel and Titty Bar, and are joined by Esma & Pung to discuss their next move as would-be adventurers (since their day jobs just aren’t doing it for keeping roofs over their heads), as well as argue the finer points of Esma’s paternity suit and who’s closet she should live in. As they consider the options they are already aware of (joining one of the competing Factions for profit or for betrayal for the public good, running off to join the Flying Circus, following Faust to steal a cut of his treasure hunt, or hunting the Tankards Butcher), they are approached by a familiar-looking Dwarf. Turns out this one is named Ragnar, and he’s looking for his cousin Grimbar, and as they know of him they welcome him to join their little company.

Noticing the interest of several other parties in and around the bar, Ed invites a dirty, dusty, hopeful lass to their table to hear her pitch while sending Esma and Ragnar off to see what is troubling strangers lurking at two nearby tables. The girl calls herself Leoren, and she is looking for Heroes to save her damn fool brother Sameth, who has wandered off in search of a legendary monster known as the Beast of Valderhalen Hollow. None know if the Beast be Demon or Dragon, Savior or Horror, but she does know those who seek it never return. She promises them her life’s savings if they can save her little brother, even sweetening the deal by offering herself to the Goblin (given Ed’s continual trouble with the ever enthusiastic Esma, he is less than eager to take her up on the suggestion). She desperately adds that her grandfather had told her the Beast was said to have a massive treasure hoard, all of which she promises the party can keep. Ed discredits much of what she says, pointing out the rips in her clothes and general disheveled appearance, arguing she likely doesn’t have two bits to call her own.

Esma chats up a scary, but wealthy-looking gentleman in a dark cloak, sitting with a compliment of bodyguards and a high-priced courtesan. Upon her return she states the mystery man is offering 5 gold crowns to the company if they are willing to investigate a new cult in the God Market. The Church of Duvia recently renovated an abandoned bathhouse, turning it into a mortuary, and their would-be patron would like a discreet investigation into what they’re really up to. Ed is quite swayed by an offer with actual gold coins attached.

Ragnar finds himself trying to cheer up a lonely merchant as he weeps into his beer, looking sandly at an old photo. When he returns, he tells them the sad fellow’s story. Buck Bloom, of Buck Bloom’s Tinkery, is worried about his daughter, who left with the Party King’s Flying Circus last year, and though they recently returned, she has not disembarked to see him, nor has there been any response to his entreaties to see her from the Fleet. If they can find out what’s become of her he is willing to give them a lot of scrap, to sell or use as they see fit.

While Ed is decidedly in favor of mysterious Mister Moneybags, the rest of the company outvote him in favor of helping the maiden with a missing brother. Leoren is overjoyed, telling them to be ready to leave for Duskglen first thing in the morning.


The next day they load up into her wagon and they set off. The journey takes almost a week as they travel through the Weirdling Wastes along the Iron Road, eventually reaching Duskglen at the edge of the Weeping Mountains, pausing only briefly in Hamlet to resupply. As they travel Leoren tells them of a magical relic said to be hidden among the monster’s teeth, a demonic dagger of pearl called the Savage Ornament. Staying at her country estate (which clearly has seen better days), they do a little research in the library and ask around town, but don’t find out much in the way of new information.

In the morning they set out for Valderhalen Hollow. The trip proves scenic, if uneventful. As they near the cave a haze of green and brown pollen hangs in the air, as does a smell of rot, leaving Esma somewhat ill, though the entrance itself appear quite clean.

Within the Cavern they find a massive rotting Dragon’s head, its’ mouth sewn shut, mucus dripping from its’ nose, one eye hollowed out (with ladders and platforms connecting to the latter three openings). Ragnar hears in his mind a voice whisper Kill Me, while the others feel a disorienting buzzing in the back of their minds, followed by visions of suffering as things burrow around within them. Ed has a flash of finding a pearly knife hidden among the Beast’s teeth, and using it to stab the monster’s massive heart.

Before they can act further, strange humanoids scuttle from out of the Beast’s eye-socket, nostrils and from the cave entrance behind them, leaving them surrounded. Caked in green mold, black muck and something red, their leader bows low and introduces himself as Gragun, speaking the common tongue in a smarmy (if odd) way through a mouth full of sharp teeth. The obsequious creature introduces himself and his people as Echinemon, and invites them inside to come to a party in their honor, promising they will be served sweetmeats, cake, dancing of the Hip and the Hop, and many other entertainments. Suspicious, especially after one of them pulls a hidden switch to drop down a portcullis, they still none-the-less follow Gragon and the others up through the eye-socket (especially after Leoren runs in, having heard her brother is waiting for her).

After a short walk they arrive at a massive cathedral-like chamber carved within the Dragon’s rib-cage. Bellow its’ still beating heart, within a hut carved from flesh, they find three humans. The first is clearly dead, his stomach ruptured from within to become a hideous playpen for one of the Echinemon young. Next to the corpse is a woman who appears massively pregnant, her eyes staring blankly into space, her hands bound to support her distended belly. Leoren rushes to the third as he rolls around in pain, clutching his belly, and does what she can to sooth her brother’s suffering.

Gagen laughs, claiming that all of them are also guests, volunteers who agreed to become host-mothers to their offspring, just as the Dragon offered to become their home, just as the company newly arrived has volunteered to aid in birthing a new crop of Echinemons…

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Shadow of the Demon Lord: Last One Standing - Episode 2.1
Interludes & Nocturns...

Greavings Gutter Patrol:

  • Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Rogue, Militiaman and entrepreneur.
  • 4th, Hobgoblin Warrior, Militiaman, medic and lackadaisical refugee.
  • Arren Pokathery, Human Rogue, Denis the Menace turned Dougie Howser M.D.
  • Grimbar, Dwarf Priest, cranky servant of honored dwarven ancestors.
  • Kane, Human Warrior, Goblin baby-tender.

The night after the horrifying events at Moorehouse, Arren sits alone in the crappy slum apartment he shared with Dr. Anselm, wondering where his mentor went. Two doors down Ed fumes, having just kicked 4th out having realized that the Hobgoblin is the father of the child Esma is carrying, the baby she claimed was his. 4th is in a nearby alley, sleeping in a wooden barrel, unaware he has just been robbed by a couple of thugs from the Rude Boy Gang, who have not only stolen the last of his coin, but his lovely green-metal sword.

A knock at the door rouses Arren, and Anselm’s voice calls to him: “let me in,” and in a whisper, “I Lost my key…” No sooner does the lad let him in than the Doctor transforms and lashes out,revealing himself to be none other than the Ghoul from the previous night. The boy runs screaming out the back door, the monster hot on his tail.

His screams finally rouse Ed out of his depression & 4th out of his slumber, and the two stumble into the lad as he runs shrieking to the Goblin’s residence. Seeing the hungry Ghoul hot on his tail they join him in his retreat, but the beast catches up with them at the edge of a nearby courtyard. Ed and 4th rally, spinning around to catch the beast off-guard, dispatching it quickly between them. The goblinoids forgive each-other (more or less) & 4th moves in with Arren to watch over him in return for a place to stay. The boy in turn is left physically (and emotionally) scarred, slash-marks marring his youthful face.


A week later, at the Ratspike Motel and Titty-bar, Ed has spun the tale of his involvement at the Moorehouse well, and has become something of a local celeberty, his bartab never empty as members of the Redeemers, Scrappers, and the Cartel woo him to join their side. He passes on some of the drinks to Arren, who is still in a deep funk over Anselm, while the two plot their next move with 4th.

Besides the rival Factions and their interest in them, Ed has recently recieved word from their mutual friend among the Browncloaks, [[Sgt. Alyse]], would like to see them down at the Browncloaks headquarters. In addition to all the attention directed their way, rumors swirl that the Party King’s Flying Circus has arrived at the airstrip outside of town (that strange flying caravan of gypsy-clowns that flit from city to city along the Weirdling Wastes, that the Redeemers have been fighting strange monsters in the city streets, that their former companion Franklen Faust has wandered off into the Morfairsing with treasure hunters in search of some “Gem of Power”, and that someone (or some… thing) continues to murder people in the district of Tankards.

While pondering all this, the three are approached by two adventurous souls new to town: Kane the Warrior and Grimbar Curbane. THe two ask to join up with them, having heard of their exploits at Moorehouse. Kane also quizzes them about orphanages, as he has a Goblin baby to be rid of. After the five debate options a bit further, they eventually decide to travel over to the district of Coins to see what [[Sgt. Alyse]] wants.

At the Browncoats main station [[Sgt. Alyse]] introduces them to Sheriff Skitter, who asks them if they might parlay their recent popularity with the various factions fighting for control of the city into membership with one or more of them, to help him break them up from within. Their negotiations break down when Ed adds a price-tag to their services, rather than get involved as a matter of civic duty.

After the Sheriff kicks them out, [[Sgt. Alyse]] shows Kane where a Cartel-run Orphanage drop-box may be found (so he may be rid of his squalling Goblin brat), and mentions to 4th she’s seen Rude Boys in the marketplace trying to pawn off a Green-metal sword for a ridiculous sum. Intrigued, the gang persuades her to show them where, and soon they find the gangsters haggling with a Dwarven weapons-dealer (who is refusing to purchase a weapon so clearly choked with rust as to turn green). Alyse distracts the salesman, leading him back inside the shop, while our heroes “negotiate” for the return of 4th’s stolen sword.

The negotiations swiftly fall to threats, and battle breaks out. After two Rude Boys are killed, the rest run, but 4th snatches up his emerald-green prize from the dead thug’s hand and holds it high, triumphant!

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Shadow of the Demon Lord: Harvester of Sorrow - Episode 1.3
Between hunger and the knife...

Greavings Gutter Patrol:

  • Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Rogue, Militiaman and entrepreneur.
  • 4th, Hobgoblin Warrior, Militiaman, medic and lackadaisical refugee.
  • Faust, wandering spider-like Map-quest Clockwork Magician & part-time Butcher.
  • Arren Pokathery, Human Rogue, Denis the Menace turned Dougie Howser M.D.
  • Dr. Anselm, Human Priest, Initiate of the Old Faith and young Physician extraordinaire.
  • Jack, Human Priest, Initiate of the Old Faith and Sage of the Natural World.
  • Esma, Goblin Rogue, Edwin’s unwanted partner in crime.
  • Pung, murderous Orc Warrior with an Axe to grind.

Losing their nerve, Pung & Anselm flee back upstairs, leaving Jack to fend for himself against the cannibalistic monster. After trading blows he too retreats, only to run into another recent arrival in the dinning room, a hooded figure with a scalpel in hand. Pung flees out the front door, while Esma hides, leaving the others to struggle with the newcomer as best they may.

Jack tries fleeing, to the library after the stranger slashes at him, giving him a nasty gash, but his attacker skitters after him on all fours, gazing up at him from under his tarp-cloak and linen wrappings, peering speculatively through a collection of lenses covering his face, before slipping behind him to slash him again. This time though the gang manages to rally together, as 4th, Faust & Ed move to help. Arren tries closing the secret door to the basement before he too runs off to help the others, but the door won’t latch, and the ghoulish dungeon denizen spills out into the room, hunger in his eyes. Hoping it will instead follow the others to the excitement in the next room, Anselm slips behind it and back down the stairs, but the toothsome freak has better judgement and follows him back down…

Thanks to Faust’s fell magics, the tatterman is dazed, distracted while vomiting and defecating, long enough for the gang to surround him and bring him down. 4th crushes his head to make sure he stays down, a fact Faust takes umbrage with (suspecting those lenses might have been valuable). Examining the creature’s corpse reveals that beneath the tarp and linens lies a man, more or less, covered in scars and full of redundant organs. Faust and Jack recall stories of ancient Witchland, stories of the Harvesters, servants of the Covens who gained Immortality through stealing the organs of others.

They are rejoined by Dr. Ansalm, who tells them he succeeded in trapping the ghoul in the basement vault, and so they decide to head upstairs to search for more clues, books, or loot. All they find however is the the upper story is badly damaged, with an unsafe floor (a fact proven once 4th falls through it). Retreating back down the stairs, they decide to continue on to the basement to settle up with the monster trapped bellow.

Unfortunately they find the Vault open, and the creature gone. Searching the surrounding chamber Jack finds a dusty podium, dusty but for a book-shaped patch. Pung, who had rejoined them by this point, finds Father Gregory hiding in a corner: maimed, crippled, broken (in both mind & body). Faust suggests killing him (“We-should-put-him-out-of-his-misery, as-a-kindness”), but is ignored. The rest of the gang enters the vault to examine the coffin inside.

4th is rather happy to discover a sword made of a strange green metal. Not cold Iron! Faust snatches up the sacrificial dagger and black robes covered with nefarious symbols. Arren puzzles over the scratch-marks on the inside of the lid, and keeps trying to find if any may actually be concealing some sort of graffiti, but to no avail, while whining about not getting the green sword himself. Faust attempts to sense magic, and succeeds! Sort of. He realizes that a glyph inside the Vault is doing… something, but he fails to discern as to what. Suspecting it may be a rune of teleportation the gang experiments with closing and opening the vault, but to no avail. Believing the ghoulish denizen of the basement having escaped them for good through this teleportation glyph, they too take their leave, but are a little disappointed they have to use the stairs. No one quite realizes that Dr. Anselm is no longer with them.

In the morning they meet with Sgt. Alse, and fill her in. She gives them her thanks, letting them know that if they ever need a friend among the Browncoats, she has their back. She also promises to see to it Father Gregory gets the help he needs at Mercy Hill Asylum, and that the Cult of the Redeemers will know who they should be thanking for saving their Priest.

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Shadow of the Demon Lord: Harvester of Sorrow - Episode 1.2
Into the House on Haunted Hill...

Greavings Gutter Patrol:

  • Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Rogue, Militiaman and entrepreneur.
  • 4th, Hobgoblin Warrior, Militiaman, medic and lackadaisical refugee.
  • Faust, wandering spider-like Map-quest Clockwork Magician & part-time Butcher.
  • Esma, Goblin Rogue, Edwin’s unwanted partner in crime.
  • Arren Pokathery, Human Rogue, Denis the Menace turned Dougie Howser M.D.
  • Dr. Anselm, Human Priest, Initiate of the Old Faith and young Physician extraordinaire.
  • Snot, snuffly Goblin Magician with a copper box full of love.
  • Pung, murderous Orc Warrior with an Axe to grind.
  • Jack, Human Priest, Initiate of the Old Faith and Sage of the Natural World.

Having gotten the note the others left at the flat, Anselm and Arren, along with new friends Snot, Pung and Jack, wander over to the Moore House to join their friends. Once there though they find their way obstructed by the Rude Boys, who try shooing them off. A flash of luminescence from inside the house and a goblin scream throws that idea out the window and the gang charges up to bust the door down. Inside they find their allies cowering in front of a spirit busy carving her own guts out with a similarly spectral knife. The Rude Boys, hot on their heels, turn yellow and flee at the sight of her. Before anyone can do much of anything else, she vanishes.

Reunited, the gang calms down and starts giving the place a proper investigating. In the library 4th traumatizes Faust by using various books to build a fire in the fireplace. Faust isn’t the only one traumitized, as Rats of Unusual Size start pouring out of holes in the walls. After a long and brutal fight with the swarming rodents, the gang manages to scatter or slaughter them, allowing them to return to their search.

In what appears to once have been a den, they find a not-so-secret door slightly ajar. Opening it results in revealing the remains of a mutilated corpse, dressed in dark clothes and a veil. The physicians and healers in the party quickly discern whoever did it, were masters of the scalpel, and that the man was missing several important organs. Anselm notes a strange black demon-skull tattoo in the inside of his arm. The others are sickened by the sight and just as happy to move along.

The body sits atop a set of stairs leading bellow the house, down which the Goblins happily charge. Not the wisest choice, it is soon realized. As Faust again falls into arguing with the ever insufferable 4th (again trying to set books on fire) back in the den, Esma runs around a corner in the cellar bellow into a vault piled high with a half-dozen corpses, and a horrible man-thing eating them. With a timid scream she rushes in to stab at him, only to trip and land flat on her face. Ed hustles down to help her up, with Snot stumbling in a little to close to be promptly beheaded by the man-eater’s claws. Arren runs back up to try tricking 4th to join the fight downstairs (claiming Ed has popcorn), but that plan is ruined by the arrival of Ed & Esma hot on his heels. Ansel, Jack & Pung push in over Snot’s cooling corpse to hedge the thing in the vault and start wailing on him with what weapons they have on hand…

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Shadow of the Demon Lord: Harvester of Sorrow - Episode 1.1
New troubles in a new town...

Respite’s Refugees:

  • Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Rogue, Militiaman and entrepreneur.
  • 4th, Hobgoblin Warrior, Militiaman, medic and lackadaisical refugee.
  • Faust, wandering spider-like Map-quest Clockwork Magician & part-time Butcher.
  • Esma, Goblin Rogue, Edwin’s unwanted partner in crime.

Respite’s self-imposed exiles have settled in to their new life in Permot. It has been perhaps a month since they settled in the district of Greavings. 4th has become an orderly and trauma medic at the Quick Clinic along with Andso & Arren, under the ever irascible Dr. Lyon.

Faust, living in its alley behind Ma Buxxom’s Mystery Meat-pie and Pastry Shoppe, notices an unusual sight one evening, a Browncoat in Greavings (constables are a rare sight in the poor end of town, especially alone at night). Skittering out to chat, it makes introductions and persuades her to confide in him as to what brings her to the ass end of Permot. Giving her name as Sgt. Alyse, she explains that she’s here off-duty, looking into a series of disappearances amongst Greaving’s more unfortunate citizens, as well as her only ally in the case, a Priest from the Redeemer Faction, one Father Gregory. Faust takes her to meet Edwin over at the Ratspike Motel & Titty-Bar over in Smokestacks, where he works nights as a scam-artist (pitching back a little overhead to the owner of course).

At the Ratspike Sgt. Alyse repeats her story, adding details about the half-dozen missing unfortunates, as well as letting slip that she herself officially has been ordered off the case. Ed tries introducing her to Ratspike’s owner, Lucas Murphy, but the Dwarf refuses to share rumors with a Browncoat. Not wanting to cause trouble she takes her leave after telling the gang how to get in touch with her if they find out more. Ed reconciles with his irate patron, and he tells them of stories of a hooded stranger seen around the streets at night, and of the drunk veteran Tyrus who claimed to have seen the abduction of the street-rat Trout by a similarly described shadowy figure before his own disappearance. Lucas also mentions an odd interaction between a couple of rich-looking nobs slumming from Purses and a couple of the Rude Boys (a gang of hoodlums from Tankards) talking about the old Moore House (itself notorious as the abandoned home of a reputed Demonologist).

Suspicious (or perhaps intrigued), Faust persuades the others to join him in checking out Moore House, pausing only briefly to recruit 4th & Esra. Their passage into the house however is interrupted by the approach of two Rude Boys, who threaten them over interloping into their territory. The four acquiesce, backing off long enough tosneak around to the back, where they find an unboarded back door. Inside they find the place a wreck. Their arrival coinciding with the midnight hour results in a run-in with a suicidal spirit that leaves the Goblins terrified and itching to run…

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Shadow of the Demon Lord: The Witching Wood - Episode 0.6
Horror in the Hut!

Respite’s Breakfast-club:

  • Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Militiaman and entrepreneur.
  • Arren Pokathery, Denis the Menace.
  • Faust, wandering spider-like Map-quest Clockwork.
  • Esma, Goblin fan-girl of Edwin.
  • Dr. Andso, Human Physician.

Evening rolls around and as the Nightwatch arises they can hear the turmoil in town as cries of passion echo out of the surrounding hills. Arren is checked on by Dr. Andso, who promises to do anything he can to help the lad recover. “Anything?” the boy asks. “Anything!” the Doctor states reassuringly. After he leaves, Arren slips out to join the two Goblins as they meet with Foust to make plans as to how to proceed, but Andso spots him and follows hastily, demanding to know what is going on. Arren invokes his promiss, however, and argues him into joining their next foray into the woods.

Together with the young doctor the five head out into the eerie forest. After several turnarounds (and haunted by the ever increasing cries of lovemaking echoing around them, which turns into a scream near midnight), they finally manage to find a door under a tree-stump, from which a bloody light slips from about its’ frame. Trying to be stealthy, Esma discovers the surrounding brush is filled with sharp thorny brambles, so they decide to charge in instead.

Within they find a bloodbath. The gory remains of the missing villagers leave several of the Nightwatch badly shaken (especially Edwin), but they quickly realize they are not alone. An old trapper, the first to disappear, still lives, badly mutilated with eyes and mouth sewn shut. Cutting his mouth open reveals he is also hopelessly mad. He lets slip that the monster behind all this is the Witch Vezreen, who had sought to drive the settlers of Respite from “her” hills, and had been in the middle of summoning and binding a large warband of Beastmen to her service when they arrived, forcing her to flee just moments ahead of their entering. To make sure she can’t simply come back and pick up where she left off, the gang burns her hut to the ground (Faust pausing only briefly to salvage her ritual elvish blade, her book of spells, and to slit the old man’s throat to end his misery).

They return to Respite, feeling the evil has left the forest. Ed and Anso wake the Mayor and fill him in on the situation, and in the morning he announces the plague over and the witch dealt with, all thanks to their Lord and Savior moving through his instruments – the Nightwatch.

Epologue: The Nightwatch decide they’ve had enough of Respite and its’ small-mindedness, deciding instead to follow the Weird Sisters (who now have no home thanks to the villager’s witch-hunting zeil) & Faust (who still has mapping to do) as they move to Permot. Andso persuades Arren’s family to let him take the boy on as his apprentice, and they too join the caravan, summarily leaving the local faith (which also ends his engagement to a local girl). As Andso travels through the woods into the Wastes he hears whispers of the Old Gods, and is eventually initiated into the Old Faith by a priesthe meets in Permot’s God Market. Esma gets knocked up on the trip by Edwin when the latter fails in a moment of weakness, and moves into his closet once they settle in Permot and Ed and 4th get themselves a Flat in Permot’s impoverished district of Greevings. Andso and Arren get a Flat across the way, finding work at the Quick Clinic in neighboring the neighboring district of Coins. Faust finds a job as a Butcher-bot at a questionable meat-pie shop, and takes residence in a crate in the alley behind it to continue his studies (though early on he loses Vezreen’s spellbook).

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Shadow of the Demon Lord: The Witching Wood - Episode 0.5
Burn the Witch!

Respite’s Breakfast-club:

  • Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Militiaman and entrepreneur.
  • 4th, Hobgoblin Militiaman and lackadaisical refugee.
  • Arren Pokathery, Denis the Menace.
  • Faust, wandering spider-like Map-quest Clockwork.
  • Esma, Goblin fan-girl of Edwin.
  • Rook, Changeling Theologian.

As the night watch (& friends) awake that evening, they can hear a baby crying out in the woods, and the confused, frightened murmuring f the villagers, Faust meets up with them and brings them up to speed as what had transpired while they slept. Apparently a babe disappeared at the edge of the woods around lunchtime, stolen right out from under the nose of his older sister. A search party went out to find him, but had no success (worse, not all of them returned, as it seems some of the search party also went missing). Rumors are now running rampant in Respite that a Witch is responsible, and that Rhianon is their top suspect – and that Faust is her familiar.

The Night Watchmen (our heroes) decide to again head out to search the woods on their own to find the missing children. After several hours of stumbling about in the mist-shrouded forest, they find a pit-trap (that Esra narrowly misses falling into). Investigating, they discover hidden within a deer being eaten by fat, toothy grubs the size of house-cats. Though their initial inclination is to leave well-enough alone, Faust argues they are a symptom of the encroaching Morfairsing, and must be destroyed. The Watchmen start filling up the pit with twigs and brush, sprinkling the tinder with oil, but before they get halfway done the babe’s cries end with a sudden shriek. alerting the larvae who end their meal and start climbing out. The gang panics and toss their torches in, but fail to light the tinder. Esra & Rook try shoving the Larvae back in with their staves, causing the grubs to start spitting acid.

Rook, Arren & Esma all are hit by the spewing critters, the damage is enough to incite a response from Arren & Rook’s parasites, which explode out of their bodes in a spray of gore, killing Rook instantly. As his body falls, it turns into a pile of random junk, adding to everyone’s panic. Arren fairs a little better, falling merely to the ground, barely alive. 4th snatches him up and runs into the forest, as do the others, leaving the grubs and centipedes to fight over the flaming pit and the peculiar remains of Rook.

Once they reunite, Arren refurbishes himself with a healing potion, and after a not so short debate they agree to return to the village to rest and join another search party in the morning. Once back in Respite, Arren sneaks back into his home to rest and hide the fact that again he had sneaked off without his parent’s permission. The goblinoids do the same, curling up in their hut in a dirty pile. Faust, not needing to sleep, continues to lurk about town, eavesdropping. It discerns the screams, and sudden silence, of the baby has left the villagers badly shaken, and desperate.

By mid morning a mob has formed outside of the Bre’ad household, led by Chet the Smith, who claims Rhianon had bewitched him, and thus she is the Witch that has caused so much trouble. The Weird Sisters in turn have locked themselves up in their house, while the Mayor watches, shamefaced but silent. Faust slips over to the Goblin House to wake his friends, and they agree something must be done before things get any further out of hand (some of the villagers have already started building a stake and pyre to burn the accused witch). Arren, woken by all the noise, tries to yell sense at the mob, but to little effect (he is, after all, just a kid who doesn’t know any better they say).

4th tries to defend the Weird Sister’s home, but gets distracted when they start throwing rotten vegetables at him, and he is led astray by his appetite (free food is free food, after all). Esma slips down the Bre’ad House’s chimney to let them know their working on a way to get them out of this mess, while Edwin persuades the Mayor into stalling the crowd for time. Arren spots Faust scratching symbols in the dirt and incantating in Dark Speech – recognizing a good distraction when he sees it, he screams and points, and the Mob sets chase to the clockwork spider, only giving up once it escapes into the woods. Seeing their chance the Goblins sneak the three sisters out of their home and off to the Goblin Hut. When the mob returns to continue their siege, only to find the house empty, they satisfy their wrath with setting fire to the presumed Witch-house (Arren roast’s marshmallows). In the confusion one of the men snatches up a spear and heads out into the woods by himself. When evening arrives, cries of ecstasy slip out from deep in the woods, cries that seem to be getting ever louder…

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Shadow of the Demon Lord: The Witching Wood - Episode 0.4
Into the Woods...

Respite’s Breakfast-club:

  • Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Militiaman and entrepreneur.*
  • 4th, Hobgoblin Militiaman and lackadaisical refugee.*
  • Arren Pokthy, Punk kid.*
  • Faust, wandering spider-like Map-quest Clockwork.*
  • Ezma, Goblin fan-girl of Edwin.
  • Rook, Changeling Theologian.

Edwin’s devotee, Ezma, finally awakes to see what all the hubbub is abou, but 4th prefers to roll over and continue sleeping. Coming out of the hut she shares with Ed & 4, she hustles over to the Church, just in time to join Edwin (with Mazagog in tow) to find the monsters that had exploded out of the boy having vanished (Rook & Arren having decided not to reveal they are the new hosts), and the one other witness, Pane’re, having fainted now the fight is over. Mayor Bailey orders Edwin, Mazagog & Ezma to clean the place up. Edwin “delegates” to the other two and persuades (aka annoys) the Mayor into letting him “investigate” the incident. The boy who had been infested previously is now dead due to his injuries and the villagers turn to discuss purifying and burying the poor soul, as well as consoling his parents.

Arren has his parents take him to see the herbalist Rhiannon after failing to talk them into leaving for a more civilized settlement with an actual doctor, complaining he feels sick (since he keeps his infestation to himself, they put his upset down to nerves and give him some whisky to settle him). Rook also heads over to visit the herbalist (as does Edward and Ezma as soon as they can get away from the Mayor & the Church), and they discuss events with Faust (who has been waiting patiently with Caran at the Weird Sister’s home all this time). Rook suggests the centipedes are not Demons, as the villagers believe, and asks Rhiannon how they might be excised from a host. She suggests a purgative to poison the body, but warns it could potentially be deadly for the host as much as for the parasite within. Edwin questions Caran, who can only recall playing a game of “find the faerie” with her brother the day before at the forest’s edge, before wandering as if in a dream until finding a door etched in blood in a tree. Rook thinks it might be a religious or Occult symbol but if so neither he nor Lanja know of it. Deciding to hold off further investigation until nightfall the gang decide to rest for the rest of the day (Rook to recover from his injuries, the members of the Night-watch because of their nocturnal business, and Arren because his parents ply him with enough alcohol to settle him down after his stressful day). Faust retreats from Respite into the forest’s edge after some suggest the villagers are spooked and suspicious of him, and nests in a tree until evening.

That night the Night-watch (along with Rook, Faoust & Arren) gather around the watch-fire to discuss options. When Rook reveals he has one of the parasites within him, 4th smacks him with his staff to encourage it to come out, but succeeds only in making Rook fear for his life. Edwin also reports that Caran disappeared sometime during the day while they all slept. After much prodding from Faust, several of the others (Edwin, Ezma, 4th & Arren) agree to search the woods with him to find the blood-etched door and the missing girl (deifying the Mayor’s standing order that no one enter the woods).

The expedition spends much of the night scouring the woods, until they eventually spot a flickering firelight and smell frying bacon. Suspicious, they send Ezra up ahead to scout it out. When she returns she describes a half-dozen naked and scarred humans armed with sickles dancing around a campfire, roasting an unidentified humanoid on a spit. They decide to leave well-enough alone and retreat to Respite where they turn in and sleep throughout much of the day.

When they rise the following evening they discover the village in turmoil as a baby has been stolen, his cry’s clearly audible from deep in the woods…

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Shadow of the Demon Lord: The Witching Wood - Episode 0.3
Infested!

Respite’s Breakfast-club:

  • Mazagog, an Orc Servant with murder issues.*
  • Pane’re Bre’ad, a Faun Militia-member and one of the “Weird Sisters” in town.*
  • Edwin O’Flaherty, Goblin Militiaman and entrepreneur.*
  • 4th, Hobgoblin Militiaman and lackadaisical refugee.*
  • Arren Pokthy, Punk kid.*
  • Faust, wandering spider-like Map-quest Clockwork.*
  • Caleb, Human Scholar.
  • Rook, Changeling Theologian.

We start where we left off, in a crisis!

While Faust takes the girl Caran to wash off at the well, and Mazagog makes a new painting to cover up the destruction of the old one that used to hang over his master Mayor Bailey’s fire place, the rest of the gang (along with most everyone else in the village) are recoiling in horror at the Church of the Sun King as they watch -Something- burrowing beneath Caran’s brother Lucas’ skin.

Pane’re decides the best thing to do is to cut the thing out of the boy, and attempts impromptu (and unskilled) surgery on the lad, while her sisters hold the boy down on the alter. Cutting into him causes Lucas to bleed profusely, but it does cause the creature – a gigantic centipede – to explode outward to land on the floor (eliciting much screaming from the crowd). Edwin slips out in the confusion to go look for Mazagog (thinking a big Orc better at killing the thing than he), while two other locals at the church, Caleb & Rook, step up to lend a hand.

Arren attempts to shoot it with his sling, only to break the Church’s stain-glass window. While Rook attempts to staunch the boy’s bleeding a second centipede pops out to attack him. The other centipede manages to bite an artery on Caleb’s leg when he attempts to stamp on it, and the floor quickly becomes slick with his blood. As the townsfolk flee he falls to the ground, where the centipede quickly finishes him off before moving on to burrow into Arren. Meanwhile Pane’re & Rook struggle to kill (or at least toss outside) the other, but it manages to burrow up into Rook’s arm. Pane’re considers burning down the church (even going so far as to light a torch, until she realizes the centipedes have successfully burrowed into new hosts.

Back at the Mayor’s house Mazagog admires his handiwork, thinking his painting on sheepskin is a perfect match for Mayor Bailey’s portrait, and that it is likely the Mayer will NEVER know the difference (even going so far as to lament not taking a career in being a cave-painter), when a breathless Edwin bangs on the door to get him to come quick.

Over at the Well, Faust finishes cleaning up Caran and notes the six fingered bruise on her arm, as well as a six-fingered hand tattoo in the small of her back, and decides to take her over to the home of the Weird Sisters to wait for them in hopes that Lanja the Occultist might know what it means…

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