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Pattern Seekers – Episode 9: Dangerous Dogs and Killer Colors

17 March, 2012

The Complex was once again secured against threats and our heroes had a few days of rest before being called before the Shaper.  She is sending them to help a friend of the Pattern who has been tracking a source of disruption, dangerous to the restoration of the Pattern.  They are sent to locate Sevany in the village of Rom.

Aware of possible dangers as they pass through the gate, the find themselves in a scraggly forest in a light rain near to a rough road.  Zandrik’s familiar scouts into the sky and set them toward the village, which is located on a hilltop behind a wooden palisade.  The city militia guarding the gate are a bit puzzled by the party but allow them in and direct them to the Iron Pot, Rom’s only inn.  There finding Sevany is no problem, as she is a young woman with pink hair, very out of place.  They give her the letter of introduction and she invites them to sit, her bodyguard, Ten Dancer, an athletic man dressed in blue, fetches additional chairs.*  Sevany spreads out a map and explains that odd lights have been seen and livestock and a few young shepherds have gone missing.  They talk to Tamas the townmeister who conveys the same information and that there is an abandoned mine, abandoned since before the village was founded, near the center of the problems.

Our heroes decide to investigate there, as they make the two mile trek, they notice that domesticated livestock and wildlife gets progressive thinner as they approach.  The old mine entrance has been partly melted open, but not by heat, the stone simple seems to have flowed like soft cheese.  Just inside their were paw prints in the stone from a large dog leading deeper into the mine after a bit, they faded out.

Our heroes advanced further down, coming into a large gallery, where near to the roof, six changing lights swirled and played.  Suddenly, they streaked down from the ceiling.  Zandrick blew one apart with a cascade of lightning.  When they touched the characters, they painfully warped flesh.  Defender caught one of the lights and with Dr. Martin’s help, stuffed it into a jar.  The others were destroyed, flaring out or exploding, leaving nothing behind.  Though they discolored Defender’s sword and hands.

Moving deeper, they found an area of worked stone, perhaps the outer areas of a temple.  A huge piles of bones, badly chewed and damaged.  They look at the bones and it is noted that none of them are human.  All too soon, the click of canine nails on stone on heard approaching.  Defender and Dr. Martin, having shifted into his bestial form, move to meet them.  Two huge hounds, their muzzles dripping frothing green-white drool.  Their bites burn with acid and tear deeply into both of those standing in their way.  Dr Martin tears one apart, splattering himself with mildly acidic blood and in then turn, the other hound tears him down before being pushed back by Defender across the floor made magically slick by the sorcerer.  Dr. Martin lays sizzling in a pool of his blood mixed with that of the hound until Pho pulls him out.  Defender and the last hound charge and counter charge, Defender driving his sword though it opened mouth and into it brain while the hounds powerful jaws lock on his shoulder in death, wounding him most severely.

They are wounded and so fall back to the chamber where they fought the colors to rest.  Dr. Martin slips away, back into the Temple, past the bodies of the hounds and hears echoing from the deep parts of the temple, chanting.  He hurries back to tell the others.  They pound through the passageways only to find a large room, in the center a pit above which two young shepherds are suspended.  Circling the pit are seven robed figures engaged in a complex and ancient chant.  Using magic and surprise, our heroes attack, killing four of the robed men before they can gather their wits.  The dead cultists are pulled into the pit by unseen forces. Defender pulls the sacrifices free from the pit and then takes them to safety.

Of the last three cultists, one has his throat slit and is pushed into the pit by their leader, Volshak.  Then a column of lights emerges from the pit, illuminating the area in otherworldly colors.  The last lesser cultist is wounded, has one of the lights forced into him by Volshok and begins to mutate, only to be torn apart by Dr. Martin.  Volshok then steps into the lights, who wrap around him like armor, forming into a large man-shaped mass, and he/they walk out through the walls, leaving the room suddenly dark.

Our heroes withdrew back to the village to recover and decide what to do next.

Notes: H had a family emergency, taking Nikko out of the game, and C was away due to spring break, so Morgrymson was not present either.

* Sevany and Ten Dancer are an off-handed homage to Lazytown which Z picked up on.  Though they have their own secrets which may, or may not, show up in later stories.

The appearance of the entropic lights was informed by the Star Trek episode the Lights of Zetar which I had just watched the night before.

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