As you drift off to sleep in Sandpoint, exhausted but satisfied after the party’s defeat of Mokmurian, you find that you will have no rest tonight.
Rise of the Runelords 3.75
A voice from beyond
Images of your recent adventures flash past at a mind-numbing pace. Freshly slain corpses, reeking of ghoul-stench, the Sihedron Rune carved in a bloody mess into their flesh or hordes of plague-infested rats swarming out of the walls of a broken down mansion.
The brutal deaths of your companions also flash by: a monk being savaged by a bloodthirsty barghest, a delicate elven man speared through the heart by a loathsome snake-woman, a child-like halfling, cruelly torn limb from limb by a slimy troll – it is almost too much to bear.
The ogrekin of the Sanos Forest…so horrible you wish you couldn’t remember the massive, disgusting mother of the clan, surrounded by buckets of her own filth, reeking of death and sweat or the brothers in the barn doing unspeakable things…but remember you do.
And then the dream changes, gone are the comforts of horrors you have already faced and survived and instead there is an almost crushing dread of things to come. You find yourself alone, small and defenseless in the chamber where earlier today Mokmurian was slain. You are looking around the room at the signs of your passing – blast marks on the walls, bloodstains on the floor and Mokmurian’s shattered corpse lying in a heap upon the floor.
It is there that your vision is fixed and, although you try, you find that you cannot look away as Mokmurian’s head swivels grotesquely from its final resting pose to stare directly at you with dark, lifeless eyes. His mouth moves in a mockery of true speech, but the words are crystal clear in your mind as a booming voice from beyond this plane begins mocking you.
“So you are the hero of the age. More like a gasping worm to me, soon to be crushed back into the earth when I awaken the armies of Xin-Shalast, when the name Karzoug is again spoken with fear and awe. Know that the deaths of those marked by the Sihedron – the giants you have so conveniently slain for me – hasten my return, just as your death soon will. Foolish mortals, is this all that you could manage in ten thousand years?”
Cruel, mocking laughter fills your head and soon the entire room as you try in vain to flee this accursed place. The bodies of the giants slain above pound at the doors to this room while the various guardians rise to life once more, seeking vengeance for their deaths. Bloody, grasping hands and claws reach for your face while you weakly try to scream for help…
And then you are awake in your bed, sweating and cold with fear and gut-wrenching nausea. You are safe once again, but for how long?