Rose of Westhaven #12.5: Whatever Happened to Maarku?

IC date: Tuesday 05 October 1540

  • The group has left the tunnels below Porthcrawl after finding they were unprepared (equipment-wise) to continue their explorations, William leaves to purchase the necessary equipment for the group.
  • Whilst Odhran and Sasha are considering what they should do whilst waiting for William, they are approached by Poppy the flame-haired wife of the local Innkeeper, she is frantic and begs for their help saying that her husband Brock1 has had some sort of seizure and she needs help.
  • Following her to the tavern they find Brock being restrained by his–equally large and surly–brother Alf a local butcher, Brock’s eyes are milky white, he is raving and appears to have scars on the side of his neck:
    “It’s happening too early… the change… they said when I gave them the Elf… the green rock and the light… so beautiful.”
  • After spending some examining Brock, Odhran comes to believe that the scars on the side of his neck are gills and that the Innkeeper has been blessed by Dagon.
  • Following Odhran’s orders they carry Brock down to the shore and place him in the sea.
  • Immediately he calms and regards them with a strange detachment, when questioned by Odhran he explains that he was angry with the Elf Maarku for be-witching his wife, so he gave the Elf to his family who tunneled up into his house and took him. He mentions again a green rock that seems to have accelerated his transformation into some kind of half-fish, half-man and then departs, promising not to forget the help that they have given him.
  • After he is gone Poppy is distraught, Alf promises to help look after but says that he needs to shut up his butcher’s stall in Smelly Alley 2 so asks the two heroes to care for her.
  • Odhran & Sasha return Poppy to the Siren’s Whisper and make her a sleeping draught, an old man calls around with a pouch of tobacco for Brock and leaves the good with Odhran, saying that Brock can drop the money off next time he’s down Smelly Alley.
  • Odhran & Sasha decide to try and discover the fate of the missing Maarku and head to his house, breaking in they find an area of floorboards broken open and signs of a struggle. The hole in the floor leads to rock tunnels below the town, grabbing a lantern they enter.
  • Exploring the labyrinth tunnels they find signs of floral Elf-blood having been spilled and follow them into areas where the tunnels are partially flooded, Sasha is extremely hesitant, although Odhran seems in his element.
  • As they walk across a rock bridge over a flooded chamber, Odhran spots shining metal and climbs down to investigate, he finds the ancient remnants of a town guard clad in plate armour.
  • Whilst he’s doing this, tentacles burst from the water on the other side of the bridge and attempt to grab Sasha, she finds her pistol into one of the tentacles, destroying it and causing the other to withdraw back into the water.
  • During the struggle Sasha drops her lantern and it smashes.
  • They continue to explore, although Sasha is becoming worried about the amount of light they have, knowing that she only has a few torches and candles as backup.
  • During their journey they encounter a piscine Deep One 3 that appears to be feeding something inside a pool.
  • Using his knowledge of the tongue of the Old Ones 4 Brock is able to negotiate with the creature, it explains that they have been blessed by Dagon.
  • Sasha gives the creature some flecks of Gloomium they recovered from some of the other tunnels below Porthcrawl, the Deep One snorts the flecks like snuff and is mutated, it’s eyes disappearing from it’s face and re-appearing on it’s shoulders.
  • The Deep One leads them through corridors and caverns to where more of it’s kind are screeching prayers to a huge chunk of Gloomium, chained to the front of the rock is a hideously mutated form of their one-time companion Maarku.
  • Odhran seems to be swept up in the wave of Dagon-worshipping fervour, but Sasha–deciding she has to take a stand–shoot the Deep One with them causing the situation to escalate to violence.
  • A hideous green Gloomcrab with two mouths on it’s back whispering prayers to Dagon emerges from a pool nearby and orders the Deep Ones to attack.
  • Having been in the baleful green glow of the Gloomium for several minutes Sasha is feeling unwell and Odhran has a pain in his neck, this gradually worsens into gills open on his neck, this causes the combat to pause.
  • The Gloomcrab tells them to lay down their weapons and they will be allowed to leave, since Odhran shows the mark of Dagon’s blessing.
  • Under pretense of doing this, Sasha takes her remaining fragments of Gloomium, places then into a pot with gunpowder and other accelerants, fashioning a crude explosive device.
  • Telling Odhran that she has to put Maarku out of his misery, she slides the bomb forwards towards the Gloomium chunk, aims her pistol and fires.
  • At the last seconds her eyes lock with Maarku and he whispers, “Thank you.”
  • There is a huge explosion and a gout of green fire bursts forth from the Gloomium, Sasha and Odhran run and dive into the water just ahead of the fire although some of the mutating inferno catches Odhrans leg. When he emerges from the water he appears to have a dark. misty miasma playing about his body but is otherwise unharmed.
  • Panicking and realising their light-sources are getting perilously low they run back through the tunnels using Sasha’s candles and the small light they provide and–after minutes of frantic running–arrive back at the entrance to Maarku’s house.
  • Pulling themselves up they rest for a while.
  • Outside their is a commotion, lots of locals shouting and panicking. Pulling on her cloak Sasha goes to investigate.
  • A local man is telling the crowd how he saw the village up the coast be englufed in green hell-fire and collapse into the ground, he points at a plume of dark green-gray smoke in the distance as proof.

  1. Brock and Poppy run the Siren’s Whisper, the only tavern in Porthcrawl. 
  2. As the name suggested, Smelly Alley is a pungent line of shops (most fishmongers) where pretty much all of the trading in Porthcrawl takes place. 
  3. Half-human, half-fish hybrid creatures that dwell below the ocean and worship the Old One Dagon. 
  4. Ancient, powerful beings worshipped as deities by some in Oldenwale.