Selangod

Out in the Wilds, a Cornfield Appears, Complete with Scarecrow

It was nice t be out of the swamps. The party and the thirty-two other survivors rested in the damp grassland between the swamp and a forest. The large group didn’t much care for the morning rain that came, but at least they weren’t being attacked by monsters.
The group walked a few days East, an effort to skirt the edges of the swamp and end up back in Malacad. They encountered no monsters along the way. Eventually they were able to turn south, back heading toward civilization.
Out of nowhere on their right, a large cornfield appeared. Corn isn’t a common tropical crop but here it was, beautiful, ready for harvesting. There was also a farm-house in the center of the field. It seemed a good place to hold up for a night, that the peasants would appreciate a roof over their heads.
They came upon a path that led through the corn to the farm and took it. The advanced squad found a grisly scene near the house, four dead horses, rotting in the sun. There was also a well of putrid smelling water. No noise could be heard and knocking at the door produced no response. They checked the barn and found it completely empty, not even a pile of hay to be found.
Looking through a window, Tia found that a suffering man sat on the floor in a furniture filled room. Threep kicked the door in but still didn’t get a response from the man. The smell of death permeated the house. Tia quickly searched the two other rooms in the house, finding a body in each of them, one considerably fresher than the other.
Threep threw water in the man’s face, found him desperate for water and food. After stuffing his face, the man, named Richard, was able to answer some questions. He said that his three companions are dead, one was killed by something in the cornfield, another ate some of the corn and died, and the third just recently died of starvation. He talked about how he and his companions came here for a rest only to find that they couldn’t leave. Something in the cornfield also killed the horses. The house seems safe.
Items were found in the house, some of which belonged to Richard, although he didn’t seem to care about them anymore. There was a fancy harpsichord, a sword, and two books, “The Hammer of God” and “Tales of the Scarecrow.” Party members had heard of The Hammer of God, a forbidden spellbook, illegal to own by pain of death. Delal felt no need to read it even though it offered immense magical powers.
As they all rested, K’em read through Tales of the Scarecrow, found a story that seemed very real. It spoke of a scarecrow in a cornfield very much like this one. The scarecrow had the soul of a powerful, evil cleric within it, and it haunted the cornfield with its terrible scythe. It had power over the plants but also independent power of its own. Believing that the scarecrow from the book was the same scarecrow as outside, party members went out to attack it. Turned out they were right.
The scarecrow approached as an animated scarecrow would. Threep and Scruffy attacked it with burning arrows to small effect. When the horror closed the gap between it and the archers, it called down fire from the night sky. Some of the party were resistant to the flame, others were less so. In any case, the farmhouse was now alight. Delal and Gargg led the civilians from the structure toward the back of the house. Tia leaped inside the house and pulled a resistant Richard from the burning building. The treasures left inside the house were lost.
More archery found its mark. The scarecrow approached closer, found K’em coming toward it. The hay-stuffed enemy touched K’em causing a great deal of harm. Threep, Tia, and scruffy dropped their bows and drew their swords, joining K’em in a melee. They were able to get in several quick blows before the scarecrow could cause any more damage. Rah slew the thing with his sling. The party proceeded to put out the fire.
They decided to rest and heal, roughly planning to set out the next day. Gargg set out in the morning, using the planks out the barn to make a wooden path trough the cornfield. The going was slow but the peasants traveled in relative safety as Gargg himself absorbed most of the attacks. Members of the rest of the party ran through the cornfield. It seemed that the tentacles rose and attacked few in number, most of which went against Gargg. The party and most of the civilians escaped the cornfield and went on their way.

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