29 June 08 Forgotten Realms No Rejanon
Dratsab thinks that the two drow were merchants and that the wagon is full of trade goods; wine, magic items and children. Rejanon uses the Merrydale function of the sword to free the children. Also in the wagon are 2 crates of cure light potions, crate of cure light wounds wands, and 3 casks of underdark elf wine. The children have chafe marks on their necks and wrists.
The little gloaming child says that drow steal the shadow magic of her people to hide themselves. Phaedral suggests that she learn how to steal the shadow magic back. She looks intrigued by this. The gloaming says to call her ‘Violet.’ The half-drow says to call them Vorn (boy), Zarra, Myrymma, & Irae. Violet isn’t the gloaming’s real name, it’s just what they called her. Introductions all around.
Camp overnight & then plan to travel on in the morning. Watches overnight; Darvin hears strange rustling noises outside the gate. Outside, he can see the skeletons of the trampled bunnies are animating. They throw themselves against the gate; they sound horrible but are ineffective. Rejanon goes out to battle them but doesn’t come back. Outside the gate are fields of snow marked by positive energy blasts.
The kids shelter under the tarp in the wagon, as the light hurts Violet’s eyes. We continue toward Waterdeep. Yoke the ghost rathe to pull the wagon, since the giant tortoise is no longer there to do. The half-drow children like the sunlight. Violet likes the snow but she shelters under the tarp, to get out of the sunlight. The surroundings are still odd; in places the snow is purple (not yellow) and there’s burgundy grass sometimes; just like Dratsab’s hair. Dratsab’s hair length is inversely proportional to the grass length.
About midday, everyone but Phaedral see a line of large, white wolves, marching, in pairs, cresting the hill and coming towards us. There are are 10 pairs (20 of them). There are comments about the things in Dratsab’s hair. The wolves appear to be growling in cadence. When they reach the party, they split & go around the group. They look like winter wolves, but they aren’t acting like winter wolves. One of the last wolves ask Drevin (in canine) if the cooshee wants to join them on their quest; strike against the Darkpaw clan, over the ridge. He decides that Phaedral needs him and wishes them luck.
Dratsab hair reverts to normal and the burgundy grass subsides. A stone building, shaded by trees, is visible along the road. It’s an inn that looks deserted. The building looks burned out and the roof partially caved. The inn had been called the Roosting Gryphon but the sign’s been trampled. The second floor has collapsed, too. Whisps of smoke still rise from the ruins. Darvin spots things floating in the river behind the inn. He heads off to investigate while Dratsab casts Detect Magic. The bodies are livestock that were burned, slaughtered, and then dumped into the water. Dratsab wanders around, looking for anything magic. He sees nothing outside the inn, except for his own group.
Darvin uses some rope to pull the bodies to the other shore of the river. Amber follows Dratsab into the inn. The stair leads to empty air as the 2nd, wood, story burned away. The 1st floor was stone and remains. One intact wood table near the stairs has 2 chairs pulled up. There’s a body in one chair & both it & the table radiate magic faintly. The man is short, portly, wearing an apron and slumped over the table. He radiates necromantic but it’s fading. Amber expects him to animate as she approaches. He looks like he was killed by a sword blow, from under the table, but there’s no sign of blood. Pools of melted copper & silver are on the charred floor. It looks like Cyric and that [expletive deleted] sword have already been here. Phaedral finds Cyric’s prints outside; here after the inn burned, or maybe a little bit before. The prints are in ash & headed for Waterdeep. While looking for more tracks, he finds stone stairs in the back, leading down into storage. It’s been raided but not emptied. Phaedral also finds tracks of gaunts and nightriders, about the same time. It looks like the undead arrived at the inn first. Unable to tell whether they left together or not.
While Dratsab searches the table, chair, etc, Amber digs a grave for the dead innkeeper (now headless corpse). The table and chair were somehow protected from the heat as the inn was burning. There is no blood there. Man definitely killed by a short sword and stripped of anything valuable. The bodies are sprinkled with holy water by Amber before they are covered and she says blessings over them.
Phaedral calls Dratsab down to check the cellar, too. Everything metal above ground melted. Also, five skeletal burned body scattered about the common room. The bodies are buried separately from the heads. Phaedral puts the surviving table & chairs (total worth about 5 gp) onto the wagon. He also puts the remaining food & wine into the wagon. Dratsab gets about 12 gold worth of melted metal scraped up off the floor.
Make camp (the kids thinks that it’s creepy) in the inn’s cellar and fix food for everyone. The usual watches are held overnight. Nothing odd happens overnight, other than the usual wild magic hijinks (rain of fish, that swim inland through the snow). Some of the fish that didn’t make it become breakfast.
Finally, only another day’s travel to reach Waterdeep. The day is filled with wild magic oddities but that’s all. The leaves and sticks on the tree fly up and, honking, fly overhead in a vee formation. Rocks rise up out of the ground and float in circles, like a stony ballet. The honking leaves/sticks veer off to either side.
Amber rides Noon (her heavy warhorse) alongside the wagon, with Dawn, her light warhorse behind, as Phaedral leads the way. Darvin rides his gryphon over the rathe as Dratsab flies just above the wagon.
The leaves go to ‘populate’ otherwise 4 bare trees near the side of the road. On two trees the leaves attach and keep waving, but on the two near trees the leaves shrivel instead. That’s not natural.
Amber gets the rathe to stop and tells the kids to stay back, just in case. And be prepared to run; it might be something hostile or just more wild magic weirdness.
1)Dratsab flies up another 30’ and casts See Invisibility, and is successful. As a side effect, the trees on either side of him are pulled up into the air about 30’, turn upside down and fall to the ground. Amber rides forward, trying to draw an attack, if there is one. Darvin flies by her. Phaedral readies to shoot hostile tree creatures, then as one moves he shoots at the one in front, but his arrow bounces. The tree creature (with living leaves) comes out and swipes at her. Its match also swipes at her. The nearest undead treant attacks the half-drow but both swipes miss. Its match manages to hit Phaedral with both swings of its branches.
2)Dratsab charges the last one, getting hit by the op as he closes and he’s poisoned. His mace blow connects but does not do any damage. Amber hits the near undead treant with both blades but misses with her second nightblade blow. Darvin casts Ray of Enfeeblement on the treant beyond the undead one that she hit. Phaedral shoots the two nearer tree creatures, using blow-through, triggering his arrow-mind at the same time. One of the treants runs underneath Dratsab to attack Phaedral. Dratsab whaps it with the mace but not for any damage. The treant misses Phaedral. The undead treant swings at Dratsab but only hits once. It feels sucky again. The weakened treant almost crits Amber (fails to confirm due to weakness) as its undead partner almost hits her.
3)Dratsab continues to attack the undead treant, hoping that his disruption mace will destroy it. He misses with both swings. Amber repeats her attack on the undead treant, her melee partner. Darvin hits the other treant with a Ray of Enfeeblement. The fires from Phaedral’s arrows burn the treants. He shoots the same two, twice, and the treant with the 3rd arrow. She kills the treant, leaving his undead treant partner. The other undead treant swipes Amber once. The other does the same. The blow feels sucky, in an unnatural way. The last one manages to whip branches over Phaedral twice.
4)Dratsab continues to attack the undead treant, now directly underneath him. Mace hits both time and on the second blow the undead treant is destroyed. Phaedral is relieved. Amber’s larger blade bites into the blightspawn treant, as she realizes that the pair are juju zombie blightspawn treants which have animated the other two treants. Phaedral believes that they are native to the far East (Aglarond), not the snows near Waterdeep. Darvin uses his spiked chain to slash into the treant, nicking it. His gryphon claws it and rakes it. Phaedral activates his hammer sphere to attack the blightspawn Amber’s been hitting. It works, flowers fall and a maniacal laugh fills the air. Drevin goes to help Amber and gets hit by the blightspawn. The treant thwaps the gryphon with both branches. The blightspawn attacks Amber and hits her twice. Amber is left unconscious and bleeding in the saddle.
5)Dratsab flies toward Amber, who bleeds. Noon retreats, carrying her away, and the tree misses him. Darvin and his gryphon continues to attack the treant. On the chance that she’s still alive, Phaedral rides over to Amber and taps her with a cure light wounds wand as he whistles for Drevin. The cooshee retreats as the hammer sphere pounds on the blightspawn. The treant misses Darvin and his gryphon. The gloaming flies over to Amber and pours a cure light wounds potion down Amber’s throat. The half-drow regains consciousness. The juju zombie misses Dratsab & Darvin.
6)The tiefling, fighting defensively, approaches the juju zombie and hits it once. The mace destroys the zombie. Amber casts cure moderate on herself, a large scream fills the air as she casts. Darvin and his gryphon continue their attacks on the treant. Phaedral moves the hammer sphere to attack the treant and destroys it.
After healing, continue to Waterdeep.
Within bowshot of the city, see flights of lance-wielding riders mounted on gryphons. Lots of guards in full plate guard the city gate. Phaedral asks if Cyric has been through (that jerk with the nasty sword) and since we’re evidently no friends of Cyric’s they’ll let us into the city. The two officers ask about name & business; Amber presents the Purple Dragon writ (hoping that they have a good relationship). Phaedral asks about temples. We need healing from some powerful cleric due to the encounter with the juju zombie blightspawn. He recommends the Promenade, Ellistraee’s temple, but he doesn’t know where it is. Amber can’t remember how to get there, but it’s through Skullport. Eillistraee is in residence in the temple. Darvin knows that blightspawn creatures infect others to spread the blight. The one infected loses more and more identity until transformed to blightspawn or die.
The guards have a message for the group; people waiting to see them in Blackstaff Tower. However, that can wait until after visiting the temple. There might be a guide at the Yawning Portal Inn that will be able to lead the way to the temple. Ask for a dwarf named Gower. If someone has not already hired the dwarf, he should be able to lead the way.
The group heads to secure lodgings at the Yawning Portal Inn.