The Cleansing of the Quarry


New Hampshire Staff
The first month of Autumn on The Isle of Khar-Durai was a gruesome, somber time. At the very end of summer, adventurers fought off an alarming influx of ghouls that had swarmed to the area, seeking to feast. The hunger of the ghouls was, tragically, not unjustified. People had gone missing, and through a disturbing investigation, it was discovered that a local butcher, Grant, had been excessively murdering animals, then Wylderkin, then even Humans. This killing spree was not unnoticed by such forces of evil, and complications arose. One such complication was the situation in a nearby quarry - the area Grant had used as a dumping grounds for all the bodies that remained after he severed whatever he could use. It had been infested with the hungry undead.


An eager, no-nonsense young Elf, clad in purple, patrolled the area surrounding the quarry with tired eyes and nimble steps. Keeping her company and providing an additional careful watch was an eccentric Slyvanborn named Grand. Never without an outlandish tale to tell, the Sylvanborn contributed many intriguing, somewhat befuddling stories and theories about how to best tend to the situation at hand. Though confusing at times, it was clear that his heart was in the right place, and the Elven guard Amara much appreciated his company to pass the time during the dreadful patrol. As the hours stretched into days, they observed no additional suspicious activity present around the quarry. They were able to conclude that if any other forces or creatures aside from Grant the butcher were involved in this atrocity, they were now either gone, or somehow disposed of.


A local Dwarf, Gedin, approached Amara and other citizens of the town to inquire about what assistance they wanted for the memorial service. Upon learning the plans for the quarry, Gedin sought out a learned and resourceful Spore Dryad, Myco, asking that he be allowed to borrow some space in his newly-established local workshop to help in developing a few things for the upcoming cleansing and sealing of the quarry.

“Nasty business, that!” Gedin lamented to Myco. “Just imagine all those Ghouls, feeding off the remains of them poor folks! And to think, someone from here in town was responsible. That fella needed to be sorted out! I heard you all took care of him…” Gedin shook his head as he began brewing several large batches of explosives to assist in sealing the quarry. He also concocted some extremely hot burning liquid fuels to be poured on the pyre for the ceremony. As he worked, Gedin also made it a point to send word to Hearthfires to ask for several of his clan to come help him in collapsing the quarry. This task needed to be done well, and all were eager to assist.


Anyone in the area of the quarry who dared come close enough to peer into the depths would see the Elder Dryad, Deeproot himself, resolutely trudging through the mostly-eaten corpses, blasting away the remaining few undead with the righteous anger of the Earth. Aiding him capably was the Blue Jay-kin, Minerva, who committed her efforts fully to not only destroying the abominations, but also recovering what she could of the bodies and organizing them into a pile. She moved with a resolve both steely and compassionate, rising to the horrific occasion with determination and empathy.

It took hours of dreary effort, in addition to the days of organizing had already passed, but in time, the ghouls were gone, and the bodies of the victims were piled. As rumors of the news spread, and the mystery of missing people solved, local citizens began to gather in the area of the quarry to pay their respects. While the ceremony was being arranged, Deeproot offered his condolences to the various families from around the town who had lost their relatives and friends. He let each of them know that a group of Adventurers had offered to help in this cleansing of the quarry, and that their remembrances were in caring and capable hands. He explained the plans to provide a small memorial service for those lost, and promised to ensure that their resting place would never be disturbed.

An old man, Alfred Jost, brought a single red rose to honor his wife. A family, including a young girl and pet dog, mourn the loss of their son and brother. There were many who knew a friendly man named Brennan, now gone and lost entirely. Finally, arriving later than most, was a teenaged girl named Melanie, thankfully accompanied by her father, who had returned home as fast as he could when he learned about the gruesome murder of her mother, his wife, Hannah. Melanie looked down at Minerva with tears in her eyes and nodded respectfully.

Benningon, his Servant Cadbury, and the magistrate Quintessa joined the gathered townsfolk at the rim of the quarry. Bennington had Cadbury carry a torch down into the quarry, and with dignity, he lit the pyre on his lord's behalf. The pyre began burning with incredibly hot flames, sending light and smoke high into the sky. Even those standing on the rim of the quarry felt the heat. It did not take long before the pyre blazed gloriously and reduced all to ash. Gedin and his fellow engineers wasted no time in preparing their explosives; once the charges were set, the entire rim of the quarry collapsed into itself, burying the ashes of the lost.

With a reverent air, Deeproot slowly walked into the center of the crater, and magic could be felt swirling all around the quarry. At a deliberate pace, he began walking in clockwise circles outward towards the rim, weaving a tight spiral with his footsteps. Those gathered witnessed the ground beneath his feet suddenly green with new sprouts in his wake. By the time he reached the outer rim of the crater, there were what appeared to be several new saplings of the purest, freshest trees, sprouting from the ground directly above the pyre.

The rituals were complete. The bodies were laid to rest. The cleansing of the quarry, thanks to the effort of so many dedicated individuals, was finally accomplished.