Xantari's Night Below

Lured Into Darkness pt. 1

PCs: Lesandra Human Ranger, Lamyl Human Fighter, Tremolo Gnome Cleric, Ar’Lii Wood-elf Bard

Gus was still in Germany, and Grimgor was sick, so they did not attend the session. I was very busy with work all week including the weekend, so I am just now getting around to writing down what happened two weeks ago. Here’s hoping I remember most of it.

Tauster had requested that the party head back to Millborne to send his apprentice Jelenneth his way, which the party had agreed to since they were to be paid in Millborne anyway. Ar’Lii and a couple of other PCs had also spoken to Jelenneth and started up a tentative friendship, so they wanted to see how she was doing. The ferry they had come to town on was heading back to Millborne the next morning, so they took up guard duty on the way back as well.

It was mostly a relaxing trip. On the way, Tremolo spoke to a small sparrow and asked it to fly ahead to Millborne and let him know if it was on fire or if there were any disturbances. It gratefully accepted a bit of bread as payment and flew off. Lesandra and Ar’Lii caught a few fish on the way, and the party as a whole noted a farm off to the north of the Churnette River. They asked the Halfling ferry captain, who informed them it was a livestock farm belonging to a man named Kuiper (Note: Kuiper is hard to say. In the future, his name shall be pronounced like Cooper). Temolo’s bird friend flew back after this and informed him that people in Millborne were agitated, but there was no fire or disaster that it could see.

When they got to town, the party saw that The Baron of Mutton inn was in disarray. They discovered the cause from the inkeeper’s grandson Andren, Jelenneth’s fiancé. Apparently, Jelenneth had gone missing overnight! The party split up at this point, some to investigate and a couple to get paid at the temple.

The investigators turned up a few clues: None of the townsfolk had seen anything suspicious overnight. None of the party could find suspicious tracks leading out of town. Andren had not left town recently or acted suspiciously lately (Ar’Lii was convinced he was to blame, for some reason. Possibly the way I RP’d Andren?) There was no sign of struggle in Jelenneth’s room. However, the party found a bag under Jelenneth’s bed that they determined to be her spell components. Jelenneth’s parents seemed very concerned, as she would not have left without it.

Finally, the party grouped back up and spoke to the local constable/carpenter, Garyld, who was a retired ranger. He asked for their help in finding Jelenneth. Lamyl remembered that Jelenneth had mentioned she sometimes picked herbs for Tauster at Hog’s Brook, so Garyld suggested they go talk to another Ranger who lived near there, Kuiper. The party agreed and headed to Kuiper’s farm on foot, following the river.

Once they got there, they met Kuiper, a tall, dark (and handsome, apparently) man, chopping wood. Lamyl and Ar’Lii both ended up over-estimating how handsome he was, and both spent some time semi-flirting with him. He was concerned when he heard Jelenneth had gone missing, and asked the party to accompany him to Hog’s Brook to look for her. On the way, he gave them some backstory history on the area, how he, Garyld, an old druid, and a couple of others had banded together about 8 years ago to drive off bandits, but they had never found the base of operations from which the bandits had been working.

After several hours of looking for traces of Jelenneth without finding anything but a scrap of brown cloth (Jelenneth’s signature cape was blue), there was a rustling in the woods followed by a wolf (who was then followed by a girl wearing rags). Kuiper went to speak with her in a language none of the PCs knew, but sounded similar to Sylvan. He then motioned the PCs over, and introduced them to the girl as Oleanne, the former apprentice to the old druid whom he had worked with before. Oleanne was agitated and attempted to explain something about a missing boy… or was it a bear? The party agreed to help Oleanne and Kuiper look for the boy, who Kuiper recognized by description as Maxim, from a local farm. They followed Oleanne back to where she had been tracking the boy, but night was falling and they decided to make camp.

Just before dawn, the party was attacked by a band of 11 Orcs, who fired a volley of arrows and then charged the camp. The fight was short but somewhat brutal, the party taking some moderate injuries and Tremolo using two out of three spells for the day. I feel like Ar’Lii was disappointed during the fight, as she missed every attack and had taken utility spells and no attack spells. During the fight, Tremolo had cast burning hands at the orcs and had noticed that the leader seemed to have a shield that deflected his attack. He was excited to get a magic item and planned to re-forge it to a buckler that he could use later if possible.

After the fight, Oleanne was very agitated and decide to track the Orcs back toward the heart of the forest. Kuiper though, requested that the party go with him and find Maxim. After a break to bind wounds and be healed by Oleanne, the party followed Kuiper and Lesandra, who were both able to track something large and clumsy.

After a half day of tracking, they came across the source of the tracks: a Werebear (how shocking, right?)! The party managed to subdue the werebear, with only one notable happening. Lamyl (who had previously been (and possibly still was?) inhabited by a minor Bear God) got close to the werebear to try and calm it down. She failed her ‘calm the enraged bear’ check, and it ended up biting her. She then proceeded to fail a saving throw. Insert evil DM laughter here. Tremolo cast Detect Poison/Disease and saw that both the werebear (Maxim, naturally) and Lamyl both had some sort of disease, though Lamyl’s was… slightly different.

After the fight, Kuiper managed to calm down Maxim and the group began heading back to Kuiper’s farm. Along the way, Maxim managed to return to his human form. He revealed he had turned into a bear and been very confused and scared, and had run away into the woods. He had been attacked by a group of Orcs, and managed to kill 5 and drive another 5 away. We ended our session when the group made it back to Kuiper’s farm.

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