Rose of Westhaven #13: The Pit of Satan

IC Date: Saturday 9th October 1540

  • Having been buying provisions William heads towards the Siren’s Whisper 1 to rendezvous with his fellows, on the way he sees a huge green light burst up into the sky from somewhere to the east of Porthcrawl and there is a rumbling aftershock that ripples through the ground.
  • By the time he arrives in the centre of town there is a crowd of panicked townsfolk gathered around an almost hysterical trader who claims to have recently returned from the village of Innsmouth, about a day to the east of Porthcrawl. He paints a vivid picture of a column of green hellfire rises to consume the village and then the whole thing collapsing into a crater.

“A column of green hellfire consuming the village, it’s a judgement from God. The apocalypse is upon us!”

– Anonymous trader in Porthcrawl

  • The crowd parts and a bald man with a beard steps out, surrounded by four armoured bodyguards. He wears the vestment of the Church of Westhaven and loudly proclaims himself to be Archdeacon Valentine Mayne, and that the church has sent him to assist in these dark times. He will be shortly taking up residence in the local church.
  • William makes himself scarce and meets up with the others at the inn 1 where they catch him up on recent events, including their detonation of a large Gloomium 2 deposit that caused the plume of green fire.
  • Whilst they are talked there is a knock at the door and they see Angus Drummond, the Dwarven blacksmith of Porthcrawl standing outside, with him is another Dwarf leading a large (horse-sized) goat. Drummond introduces them to Madok Vimar saying that Madok is looking for people who might know about the stone circle in Dertmoor, Drummond drinks with the gloombugger Jaspar who apparently guided the heroes to the stone circle previously.
  • Madok enters the tavern and Drummond departs.
  • During discussions Sasha hears a frail voice complaining about being thirsty, no-one else seems to have heard it and–when she follows it to the source–she finds a dried up plant behind the bar. Rushing out to get water from the well she gives it to the plant and hears the voice respond gratefully. Thinking that this reminds her of the Elves Sasha pricks her finger and shows the blood to the others, it is clear and smells of Elderflower.
  • After a short period of introduction–during which Madok (perhaps unwisely) imbibes one of Odhran’s hallucinogenic fungal concoctions–Madok explains that it was ancient Dwarves who lived in these parts who erected the stones to seal the demonic Lord of Words 3 from entering our world. Each of the seven stones was once a noteworthy hero who gave their life to become a sentry, eternally guarding the place. Unfortunately the Dwarf miners struck a seam of a strange glowing green rock that started to make them sick, so they left before the binding was completed.
  • Since then various people–such as the ailing Lord Harper–have used their life energies to keep the faltering ward in place but it extracts a terrible price of them. Madok explains that he knows the rite necessary to complete the eighth stone and that they just need a person who has served and lived a worthy life.
  • William suggests Captain Hayes 4 and–after some discussion–they head to Hayes’ house.
  • Explaining the situation to Hayes, he is finally convinced to volunteer when Sasha speaks privately to him and explains all the lives he’ll be saving by sacrificing his own. Strapping his armour on, Hayes joined the heroes.
  • Visited Jaspar the Gloombugger on their way to Dertmoor he agreed to act as a guide but suggested they leave their mounts behind with his daughter Missy, because their weight would make it more dangerous on the unstable paths through the moors.
  • Travelling on foot to the moors the heroes trekked for two days, menaced by wisps and other dancing lights of the eerie, wet moorland.
  • They also encountered a man who appeared to be sinking into one of the stagnant pools, Sasha went to help the man before realising that he had strange demonic symbols carved into his skin, the man mocked them in the voice of the Lord of Words 3 and attempted to drown Sasha. Trying to defend herself Sasha cast a spell, but under the stress of the situation it misfired and rendered her unconscious.
  • William waded into the water and slew the scarred man, before pulling Sasha to safety and reviving her.
  • At the start of the third day they reached the stone circle, William scouted it out and could see that there were six men conducting some sort of ceremony around a bonfire, from the black smoke of the bonfire the Lord of Words’ 3 voice chanted.

“We are now six, when we are eight the sacrifice will be made and I will be free to bring the joy of service to this world.”
– The Lord of Words (speaking at the Dertmoor Circle through the mouths of his cultists)

  • Determined to draw the circles from the circle Odhran attracted their attention, calling on his deity Dagon and bringing rain to the circle.
  • Outmatching the mind-controlled cultists the heroes, with the aid of their new ally Madok and Captain Hayes made short work of them.
  • While the last couple were being mopped up, William approached the fire. Speaking in demonic so that none of his mortal companions could understand him. He swore to the Lord of Words 3 on his true name (Atramos) that he would help give him a chance of freedom if the greater demon could tell William how to resume his own demonic form. The Lord of Words 3 told William that his soul was divided, as William is of darkness the other is of light, if he kills the other then his soul and form will be destroyed, William smiled and laughed manically.
  • The last of the cultists was killed.
  • Madok told Hayes where to stand and the Captain knelt down, crossing himself and clasping his sword.

“Do it then Master Dwarf, before I lose my nerve.”
– Captain Gregory (speaking at the Dertmoor Circle prior to his transformation into a standing stone)

  • Madok asked each of the heroes to give the Captain something to help in his eternal watch, the last was Sasha who gave him a kiss on both his cheeks. Hayes smiled and in return gave her a handkerchief with the initials G. H. embroidered on to it.
  • The ceremony was completed, Hayes transmuted into the eighth standing stone, causing the deep voice and the smoke from the fire to fade away.

  1. The Siren’s Whisper is the only tavern in Porthcrawl. Previously owned by Brock, since his departure the heroes have been taking care of it whilst Brock’s brother Alf ministers to his traumatised sister-in-law. 
  2. Gloomium is a magical ore believed to lie at the centre of the world, it gives off mutating emanations and is highly unstable. 
  3. The Lord of Words is a powerful demonic entity whose power resides in language, communication and secrets. He was trapped in a mystical stone circle and prevented from entering our world and enslaving it, although he constantly tests the barriers of his prison. 
  4. Captain Hayes is a retired soldier who suffered a crisis of faith when he was apparently resurrected by the powerful Golden Mycenae.