The adventure continues! Last time, our heroes journeyed north, defeated a tentacle monster, met with the fabled Oracle, and received visions of their future and places of power…
Play time: 4 hours
- Drew the Eldritch Knight (6)
- Ward the Gloom Stalker Ranger (5), Rogue (1)
- Rainen the Beast Master Ranger (5), Druid (1)
- Asmund the Divine Soul Sorcerer (6)
Rainen dreamed of a wounded tiger bleeding out across the winter snow. Drew dreamed of being tormented by the dead witch Baba Kruska. And Rainen saw strange fires to the southwest on her watch. But in the morning, the strangest sight was that Hugo was missing.
Asmund revealed that he and Hugo had gone back to the Oracle. After a confusing discussion of good and evil, they killed the Oracle and hurried back to camp. Asmund felt this was a good outcome because the Oracle revealed that she worshipped Shernavoth (the eldritch horror) and Asmund’s holy hand was able to incinerate her. But then Hugo had gone off into the woods to study his book alone.
Drew revealed that the Dark Queen Lerazia was killing Shifters on the east side of the river, though he did not explain how he had learned this.
The team had been planning to return to the town of Rukesti, which had clearly been attacked by wyvern-riding vampires during the night. But they quickly changed their minds. Instead they would hurry south to find the Wyld Altar. They would try to ally with the Shifters on the east side of the river, and save them from the Dark Queen Lerazia. Hopefully the Shifters would help them defeat the vampires!
Cold Creek Crossing
The party followed the river south. They passed the site of their battle with the tentacle monster, and passed the ruins of the bridge to Castle Dalca. As night fell, they came to a creek blocking their path. A new part of the same creek that almost wiped them out several days ago. Their old nemesis, Little Fang Creek!
Drew waded out into the freezing waters and almost lost his balance, but then he teleported to the far bank. Ward also made the crossing, getting cold and soaked in the process. So he stripped down and tried to get dry and warm before his clothing froze solid.
Then Rainen used her feathered cloak to summon a pair of ravenwolves from the forest and commanded them to carry Asmund across the river. The monsters ran shoulder-to-shoulder and carried the sorcerer across the water, leaping and gliding from rock to rock, and dumped him safely on the south side.
Lastly, Rainen rode Sasha across the creek, but the dire wolf was swept away! Drew leapt into action and used a magic whip to yank Sasha onto solid ground. The team was across!
Soon after, the party made camp for the night. Drew took out his gleaming shovel to dig a quick shelter, but the shovel instantly dug a massive pit for them. It was the Master Shovel! A magical tool that could cast the Mold Earth cantrip.
During Ward’s watch, he spied seven creatures crossing over from the east bank to the west bank by climbing the rock wall behind a huge waterfall. Then he saw two larger creatures tearing the smaller creatures apart. Not sure what any of them were, Ward chose to shoot the large creatures. He landed a massive critical sharpshooter flaming arrow on one of them, and discovered that he had just attacked a pair of Apex werewolves. The werewolves finished killing the vampire wretches and then came running to kill Ward!
Rainen roused the team to come to Ward’s aid, just as the first werewolf arrived. It was twelve feet tall, all in silver fur, and started tearing Ward to pieces. Ward tried to throw down his bow and apologize for attacking them, but the enraged hunters were not interested in his pleas.
Soon the second Apex werewolf arrived, and they summoned four more common wolves. Rainen ran to Ward and shielded him with the Silver Staff of Korvilus, which can cast an immovable “panic bubble” shield. Drew used his powers to frighten one Apex, and Rainen used her powers to Suggest that the second Apex “run home”. Despite a few rounds of terrible damage, the two huge werewolves turned to leave.
Drew killed one of the regular wolves and Rainen told the others to leave. But she befriended the last one, which was hungry and eager for affection.
The group moved camp and then rested late into the morning.
By the weak light of day, the team approached the waterfall and found an ancient stone stair leading up to a cave. Drew raced up the climb, with Ward and Asmund trailing. Rainen stayed below to keep watch with her three pack-mates: Sasha the direwolf, Bud the ravenwolf pup, and the nameless wild wolf.
In the cave, the boys found an ancient stone altar with a stone spike on top. The whole thing was covered in layers of old dry blood. Ward placed his hand on the spike and a strange wind began to blow as his blood ran down onto the altar. Then he shoved his hand down, spilling blood across the stone, and a whirl wind of animal ghosts surrounded him. Ward rolled the dice, and one of the spirits entered his body, knocking him away from the altar.
Ward felt his blood boiling as his senses grew sharper and the wound on his hand closed before his eyes.
And that’s where we ended!
This was a wonderful session. So much fun! It started off a little slow as the players described their side-session adventures with the Oracle. And then there was a solid debate about what to do next. I had assumed they would go back to town and experience the effects of their attacks on the vampires, but instead they decided to focus on the Shifters and Lerazia. So we dumped all the encounters and locations that I had prepped and leapfrogged to another part of the map!
This was fine, I also had these encounters and locations written, they were just much farther down in my notes. We got to battle the evil power of Little Fang Creek again (the true villain of the campaign) and then discovered the wonders of the Master Shovel. I think the magical shovel is now everyone’s favorite item. There were many Shovel Knight jokes, it was excellent. Rainen also got to use a bunch of her cool new powers, including summoning ravenwolves.
And then there was Ward. I like how Ward’s enthusiasm for the moment overwhelms his other thoughts and instincts. So we got a very exciting battle with two Apex werewolves, which could have easily turned into a TPK if not for some good spellcraft and good rolls. But the team survived! And we got to the Wyld Altar, and Ward decided to go full furry! I’m extremely excited to see how this unfolds next time. Although I do have to update and rearrange my notes a lot!