Rise of the Runelords

The Final Demise of Mammy Graul, at the Hands of a Bard

Mammy Graul, the hideous floating mass of veined fleshy folds and matted crusty bedsheets, clearly recognized she was outmatched. Too many blades were about her, the zombies of dubious heritage that had served as decoration and bodyguard were put down, and she was cut off from immediate retreat.

She wove her hands into intricate motions once more, arcane energy crackling into the room as a tiny vortex kaleidoscoped open beneath her. Her words of power quickly climbed in timbre, but Urist was faster. The skilled musician matched her pitch, and anticipated it, turning her arcane delivery into a duet of a few bars, he filled the tenor space her last syllable should have occupied perfectly, leaving space within an impromptu chord for a higher tone above.

The distraction drove Mammy’s final syllable into a higher register, and the error, for Mammy, was disastrous. The vortex grew beneath her, spinning motes of color taking on glittering diamond edges. The piercing light arced into and through her instead of enveloping her as she had planned, and the grotesque once-woman came unsewn. Great swathes of pimply flesh peeled away, freeing vile gobbets of pustulent fat that roped into the air. Gouts of blood and shredded viscera followed, throwing great stripes of gore across every nearby surface. Bone splintered into sickening shrapnel, slapping into the walls like a single great spit of hail, pinging from armor and shields. The nightmarish wave was thick and foul, spreading through the room in an instant, and just as quickly done.

There was a moment of eerie silence then, filled only by the sloppy drip of Mammy’s remains sliding down the walls to puddle on the floor. Antio had thrown his hands up against the wave, ineffectually shielding himself, and now blinked away the filth that ran into his good eye. Across from the swordsman, Marcus had been taken even more by surprise, and spat violently to rid himself of a particularly unwelcome piece of Mammy’s remains. Both were drenched in gore.

Teo had raised his shield to cover his face, but his unprotected lower body now looked as though he had waded in blood. Colhad peered out from behind his shield where he had instinctively hunkered at the outset of Mammy’s nightmarish demise. He was largely undefiled by the creature’s eruption, though her jawbone had embedded itself in his shield. A gobbet of some unidentifiable organ hung from the semi-toothed arch. Urist had flung his own shield forward against the flow, but had been bowled over by the force of the disastrous spell failure, and he now lay on his back in a sticky puddle. Alden was on one knee behind Antio, having been taking a moment to regroup when Mammy’s remains flooded the room, and while he was not as befouled as many, his snowy white surcoat would never be the same.

Lilliayn stood still, trying to process the filth that had just passed through her incorporeal form to paint a charnal masterpiece on the walls of the repugnant Graul homestead.

“What,” she stammered at last, “was that?”



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