With the last ogre routed, the party surveyed the carnage of Fort Rannick. They found Vale Temros and debriefed him on the fort’s status. Vale agreed to hold solemn vigil at the fort until reinforcements could be rallied. The party left for Turtleback Ferry.
Unseasonably heavy rains continued to fall. The Skull River swelled and rushed southward. As the party slogged through the mud, a great rumbling surge of water charged down the canyon towards the town. They heroes moved as fast as possible.
They found Turtleback Ferry drowning. The lowest third of the town was flooded with several feet of rushing water. The heroes came upon a schoolhouse maid leaning out an upper window waving for help. Just as she spied the heroes, a great black sinuous form lashed out of the water at her.
An unknown twilight-skinned hero veiled in shadows saw the woman’s plight and magically leapt towards the schoolhouse. Her name was Sylir, a Drow swordmaiden! Down below, Maggie launched a grappling arrow into the wooden clapboards securing a route through the floodwaters for herself and Azrak. Another strange hero emerged from the floodwaters. Tal’Vesha wore a chain shirt and a symbol of an unknown power, but most striking were his sea-colored skin and webbed hands and feet. He covered the approach of the tiefling and dwarf with an unusual mix of divine and arcane spellcasting.
As Sylir neared the building, the snake turned on her but missed the graceful Drow. She entered the building and began lifting the teacher and children to safety.
Outside the snake turned on the tiefling, thinking her easier prey. Maggie tethered her tail to the rope and delivered a small slash. The snake wrapped her within it’s crushing coils and began to squeeze. The lithe tiefling slipped away but held fast to the rope!
Mal returned from helping others villagers and saw the snake and blue headed creature closing on Azrak. Thinking the worst, she launched a volley of electrical arrows into the unsuspecting undine. Maggie, Azrak and Tal swam into the building away from the serpent and deadly arrows.
Sylir levitated the rest of the children to safety. She then came back for the party members and once on the ground tense introductions followed.
The tension was interrupted when another swell of floodwater surged through town, including a massive black log structure. The log dipped underwater heading toward the temple. Then, something immense, something wrong, erupted from the water and bellowed furiously. Filthy water sluiced from a head that somehow combined the worst traits of an eel and a tyrannosaurus, clad in oily-black skin and held thirty feet above the flood on a muscular, boneless trunk that gradually widened until is disappeared into the muddy water. About it thrashed several jet black tentacles, emerging from the river and crawling about the shoreline looking for victims. Within its glaring eyes clearly lurked an intelligence, ancient and cruel.
“By the All-Father,” stammered Sheed, “It’s Black Magga! B… But how?”
Mal launched some arrows into the mythical beast. Black Magga retaliated with roared cloud of oily madness that struck Azrak, Maggie and Tal. The tiefling and undine shook off the worst of it. Azrak, however, blundered about smashing himself with mailed fists and babbling incoherently.
Sylir dropped a globe of magical darkness onto the profane monster allowing the others to escape. Enraged, Black Magga chomped on the Drow swordmaiden rending her flesh and draining her soul. The monster then lashed at the staggering Drow with countless treelike tentacles. She evaded some of the slams but the onslaught was too great to avoid completely. As she was batted away she dropped another sphere of darkness which blinded the creature completely. Black Magga dipped back into the water and slid into Claybottom Lake.
The townsfolk cheered. Parson Sheed praised the heroes for their role in protecting the town. He explained that Black Magga was an ancient Mother of Oblivion, holy to Lamashtu, created only to bring chaos, horror and death. Legends of her existence had always been limited to the Storval Deep. He then explained something grave must be happening at Skull’s Crossing, the Thassalonian dam that holds back the Deep. He offered to pay the heroes 1,000 gold to investigate the dam and ensure that the floodgates were working to prevent further catastrophe.
As the floodwaters ebbed, the heroes were surrounded by grateful townsfolk. They were lifted onto shoulders and carried to Bottoms Up tavern and toasted the saviors of Turtleback Ferry!