The adventure continues! Last time, Ward became a were-wyvern, the group defeated the vampire knight Lucien, tried to tame a dread wyvern, and discovered the remains of a Shifter village destroyed by the Dark Queen Lerazia…
Play time: 4 hours
- Asmund the Divine Soul Sorcerer (6)
- Drew the Eldritch Knight (6)
- Hugo the Time Wizard (5), Cleric (1)
- Rainen the Beast Master Ranger (5), Druid (1)
- Ward the Gloom Stalker Ranger (5), Rogue (1)
A long cold night
As the snow fell, the group huddled in the abandoned cottages. Asmund dreamed of a dark tower where clerics of Virune huddled in fear and the angel commanded him to save them. During Drew’s watch, his friend Wyoma One-Eye came to him and begged him to run away with her, but he refused and she left in tears. Hugo dreamed of his mother and saw a vision of her last night alive, when she ran into a local girl: Rainen Thicket!
A colder morning
Hugo immediately confronted Rainen about her meeting with his mother. She barely remembered the incident, only that a kind woman came to her aid after she was robbed by a stranger. Hugo stormed off in a huff.
Then they heard footsteps approaching in the heavy snow. An old man leapt through the trees and landed by Ward, and tried to make Ward flee with him. This man, Ivan, said that the Dark Queen was coming and they needed to run. He started dragging Ward with great power, and revealed that he too was a wyvern shifter. Ward refused to leave his friends, and Ivan fled on his own.
A warm reception
Believing that the Dark Queen was on her way, the party prepared an ambush. They dug a trench, built a snow berm, set fire to one cottage, and created an illusion of a giant werewolf, hoping to lure Lerazia to them. And she soon arrived.
Asmund tried to convince Lerazia to return to her grave and leave the shifters in peace. But Lerazia insisted that the shifters were killers, as bad as the vampires. Asmund offered to destroy the Wyld Altar, and she encouraged him to do so, offering him a safe home in her lands if he did so. Asmund…started to agree with her point of view. But Rainen insisted on the humanity of the shifters and Lerazia attacked.
Ward immediately lost control of his powers and transformed into a were-wyvern. Lerazia ran straight for him and stabbed him with her silver reaver, dropping him unconscious. The rest of the party rushed into the fray, reviving Ward and manipulating the field with all manner of spells. The tide turned, and Ward slaughtered the Dark Queen Lerazia, reducing her to ashes and her deadly silver rapier.
Their task complete, the party returned to the Angel Tears Falls to rest and recover. Drew cleaned the gore from his weapons. Hugo studied his book. Rainen taught her ravenwolf puppy how to hunt and brought back a vicious wolverine.
Ward tried to hunt a sacrifice for his angel Kasimah, and failing that tried to go fishing. But when he fell in the river, the current swept him away. Rainen and Drew ran to his aid, but Drew was swept away as well. Finally Rainen summoned her spectral ravenwolves to pull them both from the water. And so, for the third time, the party’s deadliest foe was a mundane body of water.
The next morning, Asmund climbed to the Wyld Altar and placed his holy hand upon it. The radiant light quickly reduced the huge block to a pile of gravel, and another half-finger vanished from Asmund’s hand. Ward confirmed that he could still transform into a were-wyvern, even without the altar, and everyone got ready to move out.
And that’s where we ended!
This was a very good session. It was a bit packed full of plot points and guest stars, but there was something for everyone. As an episode of a TV show, it would probably feel weirdly contrived, but it worked fine in the game. Personal interactions with Wyoma, Ivan, and Hugo and Rainen were all interesting. The shenanigans at the river were completely unexpected, but very fun.
The battle with Lerazia was a good proof of concept for my new monster design principles. She was definitely a deadly threat at the beginning, and downed a character in round 1, and she presented some cool abilities, but then she died in spectacular fashion in round 4 after everyone had a couple chances to show off their cool ideas and abilities in return. It only took an hour and never felt like a slog.
All in all, a solid session, if a little over-stuffed. From here on out, I expect to see a more linear run as the group takes on the vampires once and for all.
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