I knew that Granny Moescher was a witch! I called it from very early on. How else do you explain her miraculous ability to keep the orphanage intact and unmolested by the foul touch of the chaos war host that must have been dancing across its very steps?
Unfortunately, no one would listen to me. No one that could do anything about it that is. And this eventually led to the slaughter of Sternhaur Keep and the release of a yet another demon upon this already demon plagued world.
And I curse my own inability and cowardice to stop the events that unfolded. May Asuryan forgive me.
It all started on the road to Middenhiem when we came upon the corpses or a recent slaughter. I say slaughter because so vicious and terrifying was the spectacle that I lost my lunch… and very nearly lost my mind!
Very quickly things went downhill from there. As we set about to burn the bodies, a thrice cursed raven squawked to alert Granny of the presence of an abandoned and overgrown road to her to old village where her father was murdered. A murder that she never managed to get over.
I knew the raven was an ill omen and shooed it away. But the seed of vengeance had already taken root in the old woman.
And then we lost Father Dietrich to a spiked pit trap set up by those wretched goblins! He wasn’t long for this world after he fell. But he held on long enough to pass some sort of human religious symbol to the halfling rogue (it’ll be interesting to see what the rogue does with it). After which, one of the dwarves helped remove him from the spikes and had enough sense to destroy the trap.
That night, the seed that took root in the old woman blossomed. In the middle of night she left the children in her sleep to make a midnight errand. Something not at all unusual, because this “caretaker” seemed to have a habit of doing that to collect herbs.
But this night was different. This night we were awaken by the cries of one of her abandoned children. The child had awakened from a nightmare in which a raven had carried him away in its claws! He tried to seek comfort in the arms of Granny Moescher, but of course, did not find her. This had done little to calm him.
Fortunately the halfling was there to help calm the kids. Unfortunately the twisted grave robber was also there. He wasn’t much help.
Quickly several of us got together and deducted that Granny was on her way to her old village to seek vengeance. Realizing her importance to the village and the dangers she was exposing herself too, we decided to try to catch up with her. After all, how fast could an old woman who could not see in the dark like us be?
Apparently very fast. Because by the time we caught up with her, she was towards the end of an unholy ritual. And guarding her was a pack of wolves!
To say we were all scared, was an understatement. Even the dwarves, who are supposed to be known for their unassailable courage, faltered. We were hesitant in our efforts and first tried to vainly talk some sense into her, though we knew her to be way past talk at this point.
I eventually stepped forward and aimed my bow at her to disrupt her spell. But I’m afraid, my nerve faltered as well. Staring into the eyes of those hungry beasts, I could not take the shot. Heck, as much as I was shaking, it would have probably missed anyways.
And because I failed, Granny was successful in summoning her demon. Fortunately for us the demon did not stay around to “play” with us before it went about its mission. I doubt that those of us who remained would have stood any chance against it.
At the spells completion, Granny fell to the ground and passed away, so drained was she from the energies required to cast her infernal spell. And again fortune smiled on us as the wolves dispersed into the woods when she fell.
After it was over with, we burned her corpse. And we burned the vile spell book we found on her when I discovered that its leather binding was made of human hide!
Now, I think I know why I must learn magic. If I had even a fraction of the power available to the skilled hands of my brethren, I could have simply waved away the wolves and stopped the old woman before she could finish her ritual.
I shall have to see if I can find a Loremaster in Middenheim.