The Whisperer in Darkness
Lumen creeps silently through the trees to reach the other side of the creature. Separated from the group he becomes almost completely undetectable. Wistark’s plan is for Poobeyr and Grimlock to rush the beast, drawing its attention, in order to cover Lumen as he shoots it in the back from the trees. The signal for the attack is a spell of Light. Though the two minutes quickly pass by, Lumen manages to get into position unseen and draw his bow.
The feeding monster is illuminated by a sudden flare of intense white light. It leaps in fright, caught completely off guard, and is bowled over by a loud charge from Poobeyr and Grimlock. The pair hack at the surprised creature with relentless success, scoring deep injuries. The creature slaps away further blows and stretches up to its full height. Wistark’s light reveals its hairy, lupine features – the monster is a seven foot tall lycanthrope, with a muzzle soaked in red blood.
Though powerful, the werewolf is dazed and disoriented. It does not fight for long before fleeing into the woods. Determined to prevent its escape, Wistark fires a fluorescant acid arrow after it. The hastily aimed spell misses its target but hits close enough to splash the beast with magical acid. Its skin and fur now burning, the werewolf sprints out of sight. Suddenly, from behind the group, a hidden watcher drops heavily to the ground and ensnares Wistark in odourous tentacles, while flailing savagely at the rest of the group. It is an Otyugh, a powerful scavenger. Full of bloodlust, Grimlock recklessly abandons his companions to pursue the wounded werewolf into the forest.
His arms constricted by the filthy Otyugh, Wistark is unable to channel magical power through his staff. This severely limits the spells that he can cast. Setting his hands aflame, the wizard inflicts terrible burns on his captor, but cannot dissuade its suffocating grasp. It begins to choke and crush the life out of him. Poobeyr valiantly comes to his aid, but the creature seems uninterested in the warrior’s axe and continues to constrict Wistark in an ever tighter bind.
Meanwhile, Grimlock has entered the woods. He attempts to track the werewolf, but has no skill for such things and only manages to confuse himself. Lumen, standing at the forest’s edge, sees the problem of his stubborn friend and decides to go in after him. As he approaches Grimlock to offer tracking services, the werewolf charges out of the woods and barrels into the elven ranger, knocking him to the ground. Its natural capacity for recovery has proved more than a match for the vicious wounds inflicted by the adventurers, and with renewed strength the beast holds Lumen down and bites deeply into his arm.
Seeing this, Grimlock charges at the werewolf, brings his great axe to bear and separates the beast’s head from its shoulders. Its body slumps brokenly into the forest loam, and with a triumphant steel in his eyes Grimlock claims its severed head. To Lumen’s surprise, Grimlock is not done yet. Borrowing Lumen’s dagger, he gets to his knees and skins the werewolf, obtaining its pelt to be his cloak.
Feeling his lifeforce ebb away, Wistark summons the Flaming Sphere to fight in his stead. The Sphere knows no mercy, and strikes relentlessly at the monsterous Otyugh. The tentacles gripping Wistark are heavily burnt and the wizard is dropped to the ground. Gasping desperately for breath, he crawls away to a safe distance. The disgusting fiend is forced to defend itself as Poobeyr and the Sphere gain the upper hand. It begins to weaken, showing signs of injury and pain. It lashes out at Poobeyr, dealing significant damage and infecting him with Filth Fever.
Lumen’s arm is bloody, and he succumbs to a moment of dizzy sickness before getting to his feet. As he and Grimlock make their way back to Wistark and Poobeyr, the Flaming Sphere finishes off the Otyugh. Finally, the group are able to put away their weapons and reconvene near the road.