The old man invited the heroes down to his cellar, to spend the night and partake of the roasting pig him and his friends were about to settle down to eat. Callum said he needed to talk to his friends first, and walked back to the others: there Magnus told them all that the old man was under a glamour and was actually some sort of red-skinned, dog-headed demon! The old man called out that they should join him, but when they didn’t immediately follow, he said he’d see they downstairs if they wanted to join him.
A debate broke out amongst the heroes: should they join the old man/demon, who might actually be friendly, or– as argued by Alf– should they stay well clear of the demon, who, it was pointed out, had not mentioned his alter-ego at all. They eventually decided to make camp on top of the other hillock instead, and see what happened.
As they made camp, and Magnus drew up a Circle of Protection against demons, another figure approached them in the growing dark. This was a young man, very much a farmer-type, clutching a hunk of roasted ham and a torch. He cautiously approached the camp, stopping just before the circle and asked if they wanted some meat. They talked and the man, called Slicer, admitted he was a demon– Magnus could sense a glamour on him, but could not penetrate it– and that so was the old man, Punch, and their two colleagues– Splatter and Crunch. He told them that while he himself was not hostile, and Punch didn’t much care either way so long as he had wood to whittle up puppets and dolls, the other two demons did like to eat people, and would probably find them tasty. He also told them that, below the ruined tower, there was a forest spirit called Oakeheart that he as friends with, but who was a target of torment from the others. He wanted to live a peaceful life with her, and asked if the heroes could, maybe, help him out by getting rid of the two terrible demons. They agreed, and arranged to pretend to be sleeping at midnight while Slicer drew the others out, and help out if needed.
So off Slicer went, and around midnight, the four demons approached the camp. Splatter– a dreadlocked woman covered in blood and wielding a meat cleaver– and Crunch– a thickset man with no neck and a massive axe– were surprised to find the heroes awake, but just said they’d come over to see how they were. Both Punch and Slicer hung back, letting them do the talking. With the heroes not coming out of their circle, Splatter ordered Slicer to read them some poems from his book, and when Slicer seemed reluctant to do so, Crunch came over to persuade him: at which point, knowing that something bad was going to happen, the heroes attacked!
Callum lobbed a ball of fire at Splatter using the Ring of Many Colours, the blast scorching her; Ratkin blew on his recently acquired Tree-horn, and the demons found themselves entangled. Alf stepped up and stabbed Splatter with his spear, earning a scream of pain. Jacob joined him, his two-handed sword cutting into her flesh, and then Willow hurled one of the few remaining fire marbles at her, searing her arm. Behind them, Magnus blasted Crunch with a double-bolt of magic missiles.
Crunch tore free of the roots and grass and charged at Callum, who blasted him with a bolt of lightning, but then was knocked back a couple of feet as the demon gored him– its true form revealed as a boar-headed muscular demon with red, raw skin– and then took a deep wound from Jacob’s sword as he moved up to help. Alf, meanwhile, ran Splatter through with his spear slaying the demon, her true form revealed as a hunched, maggot-covered crone as she fell dead. This enraged Punch, who used his magic to take control of Alf; the warrior turned his attention on Willow and started attacking him!
Crunch fell dead moments later as Magnus magic missile-slew him, allowing Jacob to run round the fight, heading to take on Punch. The old man blew fire on Callum, searing him, then staggered as Magnus blasted him with yet another magic missile. Punch let Alf go, but took control of Jacob instead, who turned on Callum. Then the control was gone as Magnus and Willow took him out with a combined blast of fire marbles and magic missiles.
Slicer, once he was free of the entangling roots, was grateful for their help, and agreed to let them search the cellar for anything that they might find useful. He waited for them to catch their breath and bind their wounds, then led them to his ‘home’.