The Whisperer in Darkness
It is very dark within. Wistark casts a soft light, revealing the dismembered, hanging body of a little girl, slowly rotating. Isabella Toulson. As Poobeyr and Grimlock enter the barn, Wistark and Keyleth hear a noise from the farm’s water well. Keyleth approaches and a sharp pain bursts inside her head. Two floating creatures emerge from inside the well, tasting the air with an array of slimy tentacles as they levitate. Inside the barn, Poobeyr is attacked by two devilish gorilla-like beasts that attack him on sight. The bearded warrior is more than a match for the creatures, however, skillfully holding his guard and manouevering one demon into a corner. Grimlock rushes over to join the attack.
The floating monsters outside, however, meet with far greater success. They cast a flurry of powerful psychic attacks at Wistark, stunning him into mental shock. After firing his third or fourth arrow, Lumen recommends that they all enter the barn. Still confident that he can destroy these enemies before they destroy him, Wistark pushes the creatures away with a Thunder Wave, hoping that greater range will weaken their mind attacks. Keyleth attempts to fight back with her own mental attacks, but their power surpasses hers.
To make things worse, three new beasts enter the fray, flopping down from the roof of the farmhouse, resembling dense lumps of ethereal flesh. Wistark begins to see the sense in Lumen’s suggestion, but has one final card to play. Summoning his power, he unleashes a freezing cloud that destroys the three beasts before they have recovered from their falls. Heedlessly, one of the floating creatures enters the cloud and is also downed. Some unknown, black power emerges from the defeated flesh lumps and is drawn into the barn, where it restores the ailing gorillas to attack Grimlock and Poobeyr with renewed vigour. Fortunately, this does not stop Poobeyr from hacking the cornered one into pieces.
Wistark, Keyleth and Lumen enter the barn and, looking back, see the remaining floater throw itself onto the body of the other. They merge on the ground and then rise aloft as one. Lumen closes the barn doors and barricades them from the inside. The psychic attacks immediately cease, replaced by the sound of weak tentacles slapping at the barricades to no avail. With the entire group now present, the remaining gorilla demon, identified by Wistark as a Dretch, is soon dead.
Feeling overwhelmed by the combat prowess of the Risen Adventurers, Keyleth climbs a ladder to the upper level of the barn in order to get out of their way. Unfortunately, this upper level has a large, open hay window. The tentacle monster levitates into view and faces her. Boldly she attempts to overwhelm it with her own psychic power once again, firing two mental blasts in quick succession.
The weaker one misses. The stronger one is aimed so poorly that it bursts through the upper level floor and hits unlucky Poobeyr hard, and very painfully, in the groin. Despite this fumble, the creature does not get to retaliate. The Dretch downstairs is destroyed, and its death gives her the energy to teleport back down to the ground floor. She tells the group of the threat, and Wistark sets a cloud of daggers at the top of the ladder to prevent the creature reaching them unscathed.
A brief stalemate ensues, but Grimlock and Wistark are not patient men. They climb the ladder, emerging safely through the dagger cloud, and face their last adversary. The creature attempts to finger Grimlock’s mind with a pain probe, but the dragonborn is as unscrutable to those inside his head as he is to those outside. The mental struggle locks the pair into place, giving Wistark all the time in the world to fire an acid arrow which hits the monster dead-on, pierces its body and exits through its back. Its body is thrown out of the barn and melts into slush in the yard, its tentacles flopping wetly until the very last moment.