The next stage of the ritual is at hand, a loyal sacrifice. Halthas the Flayer is led to the height of the Horn by the Villains, totally unaware of what was expected of him. When the time came and the literal sword of his damnation hung above his head, each of the Villains took gleeful pleasure as Leges plunged the blade through his chest, carved the heart from Halthas’ chest and carefully placed it into the sacrificial bowel of the alter statue.
As the blood pooled in the bottom of the basin, the entire Horn shuddered as a great voice called forth from the statue: ‘I hear’
As the Abbysal words reverberated in the Villain’s ears, ghostly green flames flared into reality and coated the exterior of the Horn. The Villain’s soon discovered with swelling joy that these flames, while causing the Horn to resonate as a vast beacon for all to see, also blocked all magical messages and teleportation within and without the fortress. While Farhold is now aware of the Horns revival, the strategic advantages are quite evident.
A week later, a message reaches the Villains from their contacts in Farhold:
“A group of adventurers is headed your way. Local heroes. Poor equipment. Little experience. Plan to arrive in three days. The dwarf has been to the Horn before and said something about entering the caves. Prepare them a proper welcome, will you? —Z.”
The Heroic adventurers who tasked themselves with exploring this new dungeon had no idea as to its significance or formidability. All they senses was great wealth within its walls.
As the party move through the caves, they fall prey not only to the spiked pit traps that Xun had dug, but also a more nefarious trap, groves of Brown Mould planted strategically throughout the network of passages which fed on the body heat of living creatures (as well as that which radiated from Hallack Amon’s torch)
Yet the real peril approached when the Heroes, nursing relative bruises, stumbled upon the Boggard Village. As they wandered into the village, Yorgan the dwarf took note that the huts were made from straw saying: ‘With all this stone around they make their huts out of straw? We’re dealing with primitive people here guys’
At this, James O’Tool set his torch to a hut and the Boggards attack! As the amphibious nation poured forth in the flaring light of the flaming thatch, their ominous croaking struck terror into the hearts of the Heroes who fled as Boggard spears bit deep. As they fled, the master of the caverns appeared, his skin pale, almost sickly, cultivations of foul mould and fungi literally crawling over his body and his long, seratted knives flashing in the torchlight. Xun charged in, flanking the Heroes and felled several before pursuing the others.
All died in short order and only the Cleric, Sister Marta, managed to put up a valiant fight. But the Boggards soon overpowered her as they swarmed over her and she dieed in a great pool of her own blood, her body riddled with wounds.
Not one Boggard perished in this assault and a great cry and croaking echoed through the caverns. The Villains celebrated in their own dark ways as to the resounding success of their defences and prepared for the next, no doubt stronger wave of repulsive representatives of virtue to come and smash into their infernal wall.
Some weeks later, a new message from the 7th Knot arrived:
“New adventurers in town calling themselves ‘Brendam’s Breakers’. They have been broken. No further difficulties. — Z”
In addition, Tiadora informs the Villains that the Baron will be having a ball to celebrate his 105th birthday and advised them to attend. It could prove a useful setting to gather intelligence about Farhold.