Shadow Under Innsheim

From Bestiary of the Hypogriph
Shadow Under Innsheim

These subterranean lands used to be grand. Once, great caravans of the mighty Dwarven empire of Khargrimnir travelled through the Underway, bringing riches from the World's Pinnacle Mountains to the far west. Once, the mighty fortress-city of Stradarhold stood here, one of the greatest bastions of the Dwarven folk west of their homelands. Once, hundreds of thousands of Dwarves called this place home, living, thriving and enduring.

These days are long gone.

Where once stood masterwork Dwarven statues were idols of bone and splinters, carved with unholy symbols. The great corridors, decorated with artistic engravings of mighty battles and other such great historical events, were erased, replaced by scratches and filth. And where the Dwarves once lived now stood shoddily-built shacks of rotten wood and rock, where horrible beings festered and nested. Rakash. They had lived here for the past three hundred years, rechristening the lost Dwarven fortress-city from its forgotten name to Rotblister and ensuring all traces of their hated enemies were erased and replaced by idols of their monstrous god, Skanqrak. Many rats claimed lordship over Rotblister over the ages, but in the modern day, it was the nest-lair of Snet Barbfinger, Warlord of Clan Valtas, a thrall-clan of the much dreaded Clan Gladius who held the most influence in this part of the world. Snet gained his position by slaughtering anyone foolish enough to engage him in battle, for he was among the elite black-furred Raetorians, the largest, strongest and most skilled of his race's warriors, and none dared question his orders by this point for they were too afraid to do so. Life was good.

A recent discovery, however, confounded the Warlord. A sanctuary, hidden away by piles of rubble, had been discovered while rat slaves dug out new tunnels to build more warrens, but any who attempted to enter it died before they could approach its center. News of this quickly reached the ears of Clan Pestis, and soon enough, Sket received news that one of the esteemed Rot Seers of Skitterfall was going to pay his nest-city a visit to investigate the matter.

"Grrrh, Priest takes too-too long, he does. I do not have all day-day!", Snet exclaimed as he waited. By his side stood a number of lesser Raetorians, as well as ratman who wore a necklace of skulls - all of them clearly from Human children - around his neck and carried a lash in his hands, clearly designed to inflict pain rather than actually kill. This was Skatch Windscream, the beastmaster lord responsible for the monsters under Clan Valtas' employ. "You know their ilk, hmm hmm. Always sneaking and plotting... Clan Pestis cares only for self-self", he said, a sly grin growing across his face.

"Do not think I forget your own mischief, beastlord!", Snet snapped, causing Skatch to stumble back in surprise. "I know you attempted to usurp-betray me once. And I broke every one of your teeth-teeth!"

"Of course, my fetid lord", the beastmaster responded with a shy bow, "Skatch shall never try-try anything of the sort. Skatch is your humble servant, yes-yes!"

Snet merely growled in annoyance as a response; he did not believe him one bit, but he was far more useful alive than dead, and so he had to put up with him for the time being. Finally, it seemed the wait was about to end; arriving to the meeting area was a hulking monster, devoid of any fur and outfitted with plates of metal which seemed to be forcibly burned into its flesh, with wraps of dirty cloth covering its eyes and arms large enough to be confused for pillars. It was like a grotesque fusion of rat and gorilla, who only grunted and growled unintelligibly as it carried in its back the Rot Seer. Snet was well aware of the rat-hulks, for they were a weapon he employed often, but this one seemed far more mutated than the usual one.

The Rot Seer leaped down from the rat-hulk's back and landed by his side. He was of average size for a ratman, though his silvery white fur made him easily distinguishable from everyone else, as did the two pairs of horns growing from the sides of his head, further decorated by the large rat skull he wore over his head. His robes were, compared to common rat clothing, of exceptional quality, and sported the sigils of Clan Pestis almost like medals. In turn, he immediately turned his gaze to the Warlord; black-furred ratmen were the size of humans, some even reached the height of Elves, and Snet was no different. His armor, made of masterwork steel, covered all but his head, as it seemed he wanted the Priest to be able to see his face in this occasion, for Raetorians normally wore helms.

"No doubt you are Warlord Barbfinger, hmm hmm", the Priest said, stroking his chin as he looked up to Snet's face. "I am Rastnikk, and I represent Arch-Pestilent Zhakch the Plaguelord, yes-yes. Your efforts have been recognized by the Council of Clans."

The Warlord's eyes widened. Was this discovery really this important? If the Council itself had recognized him, then he would surely be risen to the ranks even further. Perhaps he would rival the legendary Khrat Skull-Splitter himself! Or better yet, take his place! He wasted no time explaining it to the Rot Seer, who was followed by his monster as the Warlord brought them to the entrance of the sanctuary. As Rastnikk demanded a demonstration of the 'problem' the Clan was facing, Snet ordered a group of fifty slaves to be brought to them. Rat slaves were not allowed rights of any sort; they were not even allowed to have names. Such was how disposable they were considered.

"Listen to me! I order you-you to enter the sanctuary! All of you who make it to the end of the chamber, gains their freedom!", said the Warlord as he pointed at the dug out entrance. Both Rastnikk and Skatch looked at him skeptically; Ratmen did not offer a chance for freedom for slaves, ever. But it quickly became apparent on why he did so as the slaves desperately threw themselves at the sanctuary, for even the slim chance that the Warlord was not bluffing was better than nothing. And sure as day, the Ratmen watched as the slaves were incinerated by holy energies as they entered the sanctuary, each dying a slow and agonizing death as they struggled to walk all the way to the end of the chamber before collapsing into piles of ash.

"The filthy magics of the gods of the Dwarf-things", the Rot Seer affirmed as he took a step forward. "I sense their stench-stink. This is a shrine where the Dwarf-things honoured their false gods... Yes-yes, him, That one." As he spoke, he pointed his staff at a statue, depicting the image of a grumbling Dwarf carrying a great book. "False god Hurgrih of Dwarf-things."

Snet Barbfinger was outraged. The false gods of the hated enemies held sway over his domain?! "No-no! False Dwarf-thing gods cannot stay! Rotblister is rat land! Destroy-purge this temple at once!"

"Fool-idiot!", the Rot Seer snapped, to the surprise of not just Snet but also his guards. "Enter shrine and you die-die. We must break enchantment. Hmm hmm... or better yet..." he said, as a grin grew on the Seer's fanged face.

"Better?" the Warlord asked, puzzled.

"Corrupt sanctuary. Deliver it to the Rat King. Make it shrine of Skanqrak!" Rastnikk said, raising his hands, which immediately caused the rats, including the Warlord, to begin roaring in a mix of enthusiasm and bloodlust. "Bring more slaves. Sacrifice slaves for Skanqrak! Defile Dwarf-thing shrine!", the Seer continued to yell, and soon enough, the Warlord begun ordering his men to get more slaves to now be ritually sacrificed for the demon lord. And so they did, and over the course of the next several day, thousands of slaves were killed in the name of Skanqrak as lesser Priests arrived to provide support to Rastnikk, though it became clear to him that it was not enough.

Skanqrak demanded more than mere rat slaves to corrupt this shrine. And as the eyes of the Rot Seer turned up, he soon realized what needed to be done. The true sacrifice was right above them all along.

The streets of Innsheim were in commotion. A riot had formed in front of the town hall, the citizens carrying torches and pitchforks while armored guards kept them from entering the building. Innsheim was one of the oldest cities of the country of Volkland, a site of one of the greatest battles between the Elves and the Greenskins during the Great Eondrassana War. The region is lush valley extending towards the coast and over the river, making for a lot of good farmland and serving as a hub for rural dwellers to come into the city and sell their wares at the market.

The governor of the region, a noble man by the name of Archibald Ribbentrop, was unpopular due to his negligence towards the lower castes. However, he had never experienced a riot of this nature. As he looked down from his window, a frown dominated his expression. "What do these peasants want? What are they blaming me for this time?", he asked his assistant, who held a block of documents over his arms. "I swear, they always look for excuses to bother those of higher standing."

"They claim the river is poisoned, my lord", the assistant replied. "Farmers who drank from its waters were apparently afflicted with some... terrible necrosis. And you know how many seek your position, so... I believe they think you responsible."

"What?!", Archibald yelled out, turning to his assistant in anger. "These idiots think I would poison my city's own water supply?! What idiocy is this? Obviously, this is the work of those so-called "revolutionaries", seeking to incriminate me. Pah", he spat out, a hint of disgust in his tone. "Murderers and bandits, the lot of them."

"You called me, Ribbentrop?", an old voice spoke, leading the governor and his assistant to turn their attentions to the door. An elderly man, dressed in gray robes and walking with a staff made his way in, his head devoid of hair and with an impressive white beard beneath his jaw. He was Friedhelm Dassler, the court wizard of Innsheim. He had little love for the governor, though their animosity was relatively minor, for the mage spent most of his time in his workshop, studying whatever it is wizards study.

"Yes. Deal with the rabble below. Set them on fire, if you must, but I want them out by the next hour", ordered Archibald, an uncaring tone in his voice.

The wizard's brow furrowed. "Forgive my bluntness, but... are you out of your damned mind? I'm not going to harm innocents over your petty political problems, Ribbentrop."

"Do not disobey me, wizard. I am Governor, and you obey the law of Volkland like all other sanctioned wizards!", the governor exclaimed. "Or are you in league with the traitors as well?"

Before either of them could continue arguing, the governor's assistant pointed outside; the mob was getting angrier, and it seemed violence was about to escalate. A look of disgust and annoyance dominated Archibald's face, while Friedhelm grew increasingly worried. But then, something else caught their attention. Something they did not expect.

A roar. And soon after, screams.

Hordes of horrible, mangy humanoid rats emerged from the streets, carrying crude knifes, shortswords, daggers and axes as they charged into the mob of rioters, who were hopelessly outnumbered. Among them, a hulking monster the size of an Ogre, plates of metal burned into its flesh and with massive spikes of what looked like stone in place of hands, who charged at the town guard and made short work of them. The mob attempted to flee in a panic, but the rats tackled many of them down and carried them away, or simply killed them on the spot.

"M-Monsters! Monsters in my city!!", the governor screamed. He turned around to face the wizard, only to realize he was no longer there, causing him to spit out in rage. "Damned old man fled without us! Come, we must evacuate!"

"Ahahahaha! Die-die, manthings!"

For the past three days, Volklander forces fought back against the verminous tide of Ratmen pouring from the city's sewers. The more vulnerable parts of Innsheim were lost to the horde, its citizens dragged kicking and screaming to the monsters' lair, never to be seen again. The existence of the Rakash as not well known this far west, and indeed, many often claimed the stories of man-sized rat people were nothing but bogeymen to scare naughty children. But they were so very wrong.

However, in the midst of the chaos and darkness, a beacon of hope still shone. Friedhelm Dassler had evacuated a great number of innocents to the tavern known as the One-Toothed Grin, using powerful anti-scrying magic to keep its existence hidden from the ratmen, and among them were a group willing to venture outside in order to gather supplies and attempt to find out the cause of the attack. It was a quartet composed of a one-armed swordswoman, a Dwarf warrior from the lands of Khargrimnir who happened to be in Innsheim on his way to visit his relatives up north, a huntsman well renowned for his skill with the longbow, and a young sorcerous child who still struggled to gain control over their magical abilities. Over these three days, news of these so-called "Innsheim Four" spread both among the Volklanders and the Ratmen.

They had eluded the Rakash's attempts to kill them at every turn. Even the great rat-hunk, who had become known as Spinemauler, the Rat-Titan, could not get them, with the accursed man-things escaping him every time. Thanks to their efforts, the rats lost major footholds on the city, though now they were faced with their greatest challenge yet.

Skatch Windscream, beastmaster lord of Clan Valtas, was the only thing between the quartet and an essential stash of medical supplies which, if not recovered, would mean the deaths of countless sickly and wounded innocents waiting for their return at the One-Toothed Grin. The group had bested slaves, clan-rats and even Raetorian soldiers, but the beast before them was something out of a nightmare - a dragon covered in pustulent buboes and open, gangrenous wounds, with a wrap of tattered cloth covering its eyes and a spiked steel barb at the end of its tail. The Rakash called them Pus Drakes, and they were among their most horrible creations; and the beastmaster rode it like a mount, carrying a halberd in his hands to strike at them from its back. The Drake stunk like rotten meat, and from its mouth it launched globes of fetid pus which, had the heroes not evaded, would have definitely killed them.

"Skatch kill-kill man-things! Skatch greatest beastlord of Clan Valtas! KILL-KILL INNS-THING FOUR NOW!!", the mad rat screamed as his monster charged at the group. Pus Drakes were poor fliers, but they compensated by sheer brute strength, and their complete immunity to pain - from their nerves being numbed into uselessness - meant the four heroes had little way to tell if they were succeeding in wounding the beast. The huntsman's arrows pierced the cloth around the monster's head, skillfully penetrating where the creature's eyes should be, but its lack of reaction made him believe the monster may not even have eyes to begin with. A strike of its tail sent the swordswoman and the Dwarf flying into a wall, leading the rat and his mouth to charge at the young magical child, who only managed to cower in fear as the monsters approached. "AHAHAHA! NO HOPE FOR YOU-YOU! SACRIFICES FOR RAT KING!!"

However, the Drake would be knocked off to its side by a massive blast of flame, accidentally conjured by the youngling in his panic, burning and searing the monster's flesh while knocking the beastmaster off its back. Rushing to take the chance, the swordswoman leaped into the fray, piercing her blade into the Pus Drake's neck and using all of her strength to carve it open; despite missing an arm, she was strong and skilled thanks to spending most of her life training to surpass any difficulty her condition could present, and with enough effort, she succeeded in slashing open the Drake's neck, causing the monstrosity to collapse into a half-burned heap. However, she soon found herself assaulted by the enraged Skatch Windscream, who impaled her stomach with his halberd and hurled her into a wall. "Man-thing pay for that! SLAUGHTER-BUTCHER YOU!!", he screamed as he attempted to finish her off, though he found himself blocked by the Dwarf's heavy steel shield as he put himself between him and her.

The Dwarf and the swordswoman, attempting to endure the pain of her pierced flesh, were only barely able to match the rat lord's frenzied strikes; despite being no larger than a Dwarf, the creature was frighteningly fast in his strikes. With a careful shot, however, the huntsman used the enemy's rage against him by firing a shot while he was distracted, piercing Skatch's neck and send him down to the ground, gurgling on his blood until he was finished off by the swordswoman, who severed his head from his shoulders.

When the heavily wounded group returned to the wizard with the supplies, they brought with them their foe's head as proof of his death. And when they did so, Friedhelm Dassler's eyes almost seemed to glimmer in contentment. "You lads may have found a way for us to track these bastards down to their very nest", he would say, before ordering them to rest until their wounds were healed. Though before they left to do so, the swordswoman and the huntsman commented they had seen a figure watching them from a distance following the fight; a large, imposing black-furred rat in intricate armor...

Using his scrying magic, the old wizard was able to trace down Skatch Windscream's scent all the way to under Innsheim, for it was clear he was a Ratman of at least some esteem among their despicable kind. Doing so was easy enough; as it turns out, Friedhelm had suspected there was something living under the city, and Rakash were always among the possibilities, as much as he hoped it was not the case. Nonetheless, now that he knew where they lived, he hoped that by defeating their leader, the horde would scatter and any survivors could be rescued. Indeed, the old mage still did not know the true motive for the attack; if the Rakash wanted to simply occupy Innsheim and kill all humans there, why were they taking prisoners?

The trek down the sewers of Innsheim made it more and more evident that the vile Ratmen have been inhabiting this region for far, far longer than the Volklanders. The huntsman, native to the region, retained a cool demeanor and focused on the mission, but deep down he was terrified by the thought that his family were directly above a nest of monsters all these years. Fighting through hordes of clan-soldiers and slaves led them to finally discover the entrance to their dreaded nest; they had breached into Rotblister itself, a realm of nightmare for Men and a breeding pit of seething, frenzied beasts. But this was not the time for doubt; unless they found and killed the Warlord behind the invasion, the Volklander forces in the forces would be overwhelmed.

The infamous Innsheim Four carving their way through hordes of Ratmen quickly caught the attention of Warlord Snet Barbfinger. "The hated Man-things breach my nest-dominion!", he yelled at his guards, "this is all your fault-fault! You-you let this happen!", he continued, striking one of them over the head with the butt of his sword. Soon enough, the heroes were chased by hordes of elite Raetorian soldiers, forcing them to rely on hiding and only fighting when they could ambush them; Raetorians are the greatest soldiers of the Under-Empire, and to face an entire battalion of them head-on is suicide. Stealth was not the expertise of anyone but the huntsman, though by that point, the young sorcerer had learned how to cast a spell allowing their footsteps to go silent, an useful tool to getting past Raetorian patrols.

As they arrived to the depths of Rotblister, however, the Dwarf halted them. The architecture was changing, and very noticeably so, as a massive statue of a Dwarf carrying a battleaxe in each hand dominated the entrance of a cavern. He would read the engraving at its base and claim it to be impossible; this was the legendary lost Dwarven fortress-city of Stradarhold! It had been hidden beneath Innsheim for almost 3,000 years, occupied by the vile Ratmen! The Dwarf quickly begun imagining the implications of giving this information to the Thanes of Khargrimnir, though he could not do it for long as the group was attacked; leaping from top of the statue, Warlord Snet Barbfinger sent his two blades down attempting to cleave the Dwarf in half, though a push from the young sorcerer saved his life. "Man and Dwarf-things! I am Snet Barbfinger! Ruler of Clan Valtas! Lord of Rotblister! You stand in my way-way NO LONGER! SNAP-BREAK YOUR SPINES! BITE-CRUNCH YOUR NECKS! KILL-DIIIIIIIIIIE!!!", he screamed, unleashing a fury of blows.

The massive black rat was more than a match for the heroes. His furious slashes with jagged longswords were so strong, the combined efforts of the swordswoman and the Dwarf were only barely able to parry and block them. Even the huntsman, with his exceptional aim, was not able to shoot the feral rat lord, for he swung his blade at his arrow and broke it to pieces in the blink of an eye; for a Ratman to reach a position as prestigious as that of Warlord of an entire Clan, they needed to be this powerful. "Hyahahahaha! Struggling, man-things?! Weak-frail! Expected killers of Windscream to put up better fight!!", he yelled, swinging his leg into the chest of the huntsman and knocking him against the wall of the cavern, sending him to the ground immediately before a slash of his blades destroyed the Dwarf's shield altogether, sending the proud warrior down stunned. As the swordswoman saw her companions fall, the cruel rat let go of one of his blades and instead grabbed her by her entire head, before beginning to squeeze it in his grasp. "Crush you-you like a fruit!", he exclaimed, causing her to scream in pain as his grip tightened.

However, the Warlord had made a mistake. He had ignored, perhaps forgotten entirely, the young sorcerous child, perhaps due to his bloodlust causing him to lose his focus. The rat man's armor suddenly became searing hot and he screamed in pain as the child used his magic to heat its steel material. Snet Barbfinger agonized and let go of the swordswoman as he was practically cooked inside his armor, causing him to stumble into the edge of a cliff, and taking the chance, the huntsman charged and kicked the rat lord's chest, sending him down pummeling and screaming into the depths of the cavern. The Warlord of Clan Valtas was no more.

However, as the depths of the lost city of Stradarhold rumbled violently and a deep, echoing and deafening laughter raged through the cavern, it was clear their task was not yet done. They had little time to rest.

"Greetings, esteemed guests. You stand before Rot Seer Rastnikk, hmm hmm", the cruel rat mage said as he watched the Innsheim Four enter his domain. The halls were littered with the bodies of dead Volklanders, and the Dwarf's mouth went agape; the rats were murdering innocents in one of the ancestral shrines of the Dwarven gods. "If you stand before me-me, it means Snet Barbfinger is gone-dead. Good riddance," he said, "for he was a tool, with limited use. You shall witness the rise of Seer Rastnikk into rule, for once this hated Dwarf-thing shrine is defiled, Rat King himself shall favours me!"

Within the sanctuary of the Dwarven shrine, a malign mist took form. A pair of demonic red eyes grew into view, followed by the rest of an ethereal, monstrous rat-like skull, sporting a crown of terrible horns. A pair of clawed hands, made out of the same mist, emerged into view, clenching the ground as a booming laughter shook the foundations of the cavern. An avatar of a demigod.

"You! Save me!", a voice spoke out to the heroes, who turned around to see its source. Carried into an altar located in front of the shrine was none other than Archibald Ribbentrop, reduced to a starved and whipped wretch of a man. "Let go of me, fiend! Don't you know who I am? I am Governor!", he snapped as one of Rastnikk's fellow priests forced him into his knees.

A laughter came from the Rot Seer as he revealed a dagger. "Foolish, slug-brained Man-thing... You were never in charge here." With a slow and painful motion, the heroes watched as the governor's neck was slit, causing his blood to fall upon the altar, and as he did so, the misty apparition within the sanctuary became greater in size.

"Now you see. Your blood-souls will feed my god!", he gloated as he snapped his fingers, leading his priests to begin backing away; they knew what was coming. "To me, beast! To your formidable master! We have death-pain to bring!", Rastnikk spoke out, and before the heroes, the dreaded rat-hulk Spinemauler, the Rat-Titan of Innsheim, burst from a pile of corpses into the fray. The hated monster roared in rage, bashing his arms into the ground to intimidate his prey as the Rot Seer teleported himself into his back. "Time to die-die for good, meddlesome Man-thing scum!"

The heroes had been forced to flee from Spinemauler for days; he always served as grave inconvenience in all of their attempts to do good in the surface. Now it was time to finish the fight once and for all, or Innsheim would be lost. The swordswoman and the Dwarf dodged the monster's charge and attacked as it ran past them, attempting to hit its legs to topple it, though it would take much damage for the beast to kneel. The huntsman fired arrow after arrow at the Rot Seer, and the young sorcerer launched blasts of magic as much as he could help, though Seer was a formidable cleric, creating a shield of demonic energies as he retaliated by launching blasts of red lightning at his foes.

In a bold move, the Dwarf leaped into Spinemauler's face, grabbing into its ears and avoiding its bite as much as he could, causing the beast to stagger back in confusion and for its master to charge a beam of magic, though before he could, the swordswoman charged into the monster's chest with her sword, impaling it through his flesh and forcing it into its body as much as she was able while the huntsman, signalling for his child ally, aimed their attacks at its legs. The monster roared in pain and rage as it lose its balance, causing Rastnikk to also lose his footing and be forced to hold into the creature's furry hide to not fall off, though before he could get back up, he found himself tackled by the Dwarf, who threw both of them to the floor. Shouting out to the young sorcerer to cast his spell upon her sword, he proceeded to do so, causing Spinemauler to scream as the now searing hot sword burned through its insides, while behind them, the Dwarf punched the Pestilent Priest's face over and over in a fit of rage until the Ratman teleported away from his grasp.

Gripping onto her weapon, the swordswoman removed it from Spinemauler's chest, sending a stream of hot black blood over her body as she then impaled the monster's mouth, causing it to scream in agony once more while the huntsman, having ran out of arrows by this point, ran up to its side and stabbed his own daggers into the side of its neck. Burned and wounded beyond repair, the mighty Rat-Titan of Innsheim died, collapsing into the ground with a powerful thud.

"You cursed, wretched things", Rastnikk spoke, blood pouring from his mouth as he held onto the altar to stand up. "You shall pay for this affront! Rastnikk will remember you... Rastnikk will never die!" With a powerful blast of magic, the Rot Seer disappeared, teleporting away to parts unknown, much to the chagrin of the heroes who had no time to finish him off.

As the Rot Seer fled, his fellow cultists begun panicking, and the sanctuary begun glowing a golden light. The Dwarf yelled out to his companions to look forward, as a mighty, radiant silhouette manifested behind the apparition of the Rat King; the Dwarf could swear it was the god Hurgrih himself, lifting a fist over his head before sending it down at the demonic mist and utterly destroying it, sending a shockwave of holy energies which seared the flesh of the rat cultists, reducing them to mere bones in instants, while healing the wounds of the Innsheim Four. Once the spectacle was over, the radiant being disappeared, leaving only the Dwarven sanctuary behind, utterly purified of all Ratman influence.

When the Dwarf and his companions stepped into the sanctuary, bathing in its holy energies and reading its inscriptions, it was clear that this was the legendary lost Shrine of Hurgrih of the fortress-city of Stradarhold. A relic of the old Dwarven territories lost millenia ago, rediscovered.

The death of Snet Barbfinger and the retreat of Rastnikk sent Clan Valtas into a state of utter anarchy as rats fought one another for dominance, making them easy pickings to the soldiers of Volkland. With Archibald Ribbentrop dead, a leader among the revolutionaries who once fought him took the position of governor, something the government of Volkland itself was forced to accept, for not only was intervening in the area following the rat massacre against their wishes, this new leader would ensure the happiness of the populace remained stable for the time being. Volkland forces, instructed by directions given by the Innsheim Four, entered Rotblister and tore it down, sending any surviving Rakash scattering through the tunnels of the Underway. Clan Valtas was no more.

With the city safe, the heroes moved on with their lives. The swordswoman would return back to her home at Waldland, with newfound feats of strength, while the Dwarf made his way north to visit his relatives as he intended, though he definitely planned to speak to the authorities of Khargrimnir over the discovery of Stradarhold. The huntsman returned to his duties in Innsheim itself, serving as a veteran hero among the populace, while the child was taken as a student by Friedhelm Dassler, who saw great potential in them.

The shadow under Innsheim was vanquished. But Rastnikk, the ambitious and cruel Rot Seer, still roams Telamon. It would definitely not the last he is heard from.