Sunday, November 19, 2023

The Maw of Crom Cruach

Our Savage Krevborna game continued last Friday. I didn't have a ton of time to prep an adventure that week, but I did manage to throw something together. I was expecting a shorter session, but this one actually occupied us for far longer than I thought it would.

The Characters

Pendleton Torst, rogue anatomist

Catarina Redmoor, prioress of an unusual convent

Panthalassa Laurentide, a very weird orphan

Raoul Carathis, necromancer

Daytona Midnight, dhampir gunslinger


Upon their return to Creedhall, the characters found a note hammered into the door of Viktoria Frankenstein's chateau telling them that there was an experiment in progress and that they should go away. On the way back from the chateau, they stopped in to see Father Prim. Father Prim had no idea what Frankenstein was up to, but he did know that Serafina was involved. He also had a letter for Catarina because the messenger who had tried to deliver to the chateau either wasn't able to discharge his duty or was killed and eaten by Father Prim. It was a little unclear. 

The letter was also cryptic; it was from one Baron Harricote and it entreated Catarina for aid in a delicate matter. The group traveled to the Harricote estate, where Baron Harricote and his very distraught wife explained that for the past month their children had been quarantined in a tower on the estate because they had contracted the dancing pox. That morning, it was discovered that the guards and servants posted at the tower had been murdered--their throats slit with a curved blade--and the children were now missing.

The group examined the scene, noting that whoever abducted the children made sure to bundle them in warm clothes and had also taken provisions to feed them. When asked if he had any enemies, the Baron mentioned Erasmus Feist, who the group already had a dislike for. Even though Baron Harricote didn't believe that Feist could be behind his children's disappearance, the group sought him out at a coffee house, paid off the proprietor to turn a blind eye, and then proceeded to subject him to some rough treatment. Feist didn't know anything and wasn't involved, but you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs--any cook will tell you that.

Following a different lead, the group sought out the Harricote children's lowborn uncle, Paden, but he was not at home. However, his wife allowed them to search his library for any clues. They determined that his collection of books on folklore evidenced a pronounced interest in pagan matters. His wife confirmed that they followed the Old Faith, but didn't practice openly because Baron Harricote was a zealous member of the Church of Holy Blood. 

Looking at his books more closely indicated that Paden was studying the myth of a cave on the shore of Loch Riven called the Maw of Crom Cruach. The Maw was supposedly imbued with the power to cure people who enter it of illnesses, plagues, and afflictions. They were now working off the supposition that Paden had killed the guards and servants to abduct his nephews and niece to take them to the Maw of Crom Cruach in hopes of effecting a cure where priests, doctors, and herbalists all failed.

And they were correct. They found a very distraught Paden pacing near the mouth of the Maw of Crom Cruach. Confronted with their theory, Paden admitted to what he'd done, but he was now extremely concerned that the children had not emerged from the cave cured of the dancing pox. Paden did not want to venture into the Maw himself, but the group forced him to accompany them as they tried to find his niece and nephews--the Widow pinned Paden's arms behind his back and marched him into the cave system.

They quickly realized that there was something unnatural at work in the caves, as many of its chambers were covered in organic matter such as fibrous puce tissue, thick veins filled with dark fluid, and even a massive pulsating heart. They encountered horrors within the cave, including worm-headed "men," swarms of worms that tried to burrow into their skin, and a floor that shifted. The floor would have dumped Pendleton, Raoul, and Paden into a black curtain of acidic muck, but Daytona quickly cast a spell that allowed them to cling to the walls and avoid death.

When the children were located, they were found bound up in organic tubing that pierced their flesh. Pendleton made a bit of a hash of attempting to operate and remove them from the tubes. Pendleton was able to alchemically heal the niece, and they were able to provide first aid to the middle child, but the Harricote family heir died in the cave before their eyes. 

The Widow, however, had a solution: they could take his corpse back to Viktoria Frankenstein to be reanimated. There was much discussion over whether this course of action was a sound one. And yet, addicted to creating horrible consequences for themselves, they ultimately agreed to have him brought back to "life" by Frankenstein.