|Session 07: An Exercise in Exodus|
|Real World Date||July 5th, 2014|
|Game Date||March 19, Year 0|
|Location||Creston, Duskorb Forest|
|Enemies||Yellow Musk Creepers|
|NPCs||The Nightingale Bandit, Atamant|
Session 06: A Bardic Barrage
Session 08: Wildlife and Werewolves
Wary of the surge in military action near Creston, The Party decides to play it safe and leaves the town. They evade the soldiers under cover of Duskorb Forest, knowing full well that they may have just leapt out of the oven and into the frying pan.
Namfoodle woke up in the morning and spied on the troops again. They were now collected around the monastery, and Atamant was asking Adreyan if he knew The Party, but Adreyan told him that he didn't know. The party escaped in the direction of the forest, with the intention of moving north until they reached the river, and then following the river to the western towns and eventually to the coast. From there they would consider the best course of action, which seemed at the moment to be seeking out the other red marks on the map that was found in the Tome of Time. About four hours into the journey, the party encountered The Nightingale Bandit, who fled. The adventurers then came across a swampy area of the forest and were attacked by a trio of incredibly malevolent Yellow Musk Creepers. After a hard-earned victory, the party trekked on a while longer before coming across a small glen and calling it a day.
The Party decides among themselves that the best course of action is to get out of Creston. From there, perhaps the best move is to seek out the other red marks on the map of Aetraterra found in the Tome of Time. Namfoodle hears armor clattering on the other side of the entrance that the party used the previous evening, and so Isaac proposes they explore the ravine in the room with the mound of corpses. Nam casts Dancing Lights (crude but effective) to illuminate the bowels of the ravine, but there are some vicious-looking undead lurking fifty feet below. Isaac looks for a way to open the basement entrance from the inside, but to no avail.
Namfoodle finds that there is no longer any noise coming from the courtyard entrance. He spies outside and sees the scary elf asking Adreyan about the plucky protagonists. Adreyan says he’s only seen them once, when they came to investigate the disappearance of the late head bookkeeper (see Session 02). The scary elf punches him hard, but Adreyan does not change his story. Context suggests that our friend the scary elf is, in fact, Guard Captain of Glavdell, and is named Atamant. He orders the army to move out toward the center of town.
The group chooses to move north through the forest until they hit the river, at which point they will turn west. Namfoodle spots something moving in the shrubbery. It appears to be The Nightingale Bandit but he can’t be sure. Isaac and Vic collide as they fail to Move Silently, and the strawberry-blonde shape starts. It is indeed the Nightingale Bandit, and he is horribly beaten and terrified. He lifts up a bloody hand and whistles. He blinks away and back. Attempts to communicate are ignored. Emilie shortsightedly tosses a javelin at the Bandit but gets it caught in the vines. She cuts it loose and is about to throw again when Isaac stops her and suggests that they let him be because he seems to be wounded, alone, and scared. Emilie protests, especially because she thinks this is just an illusion. She turns out to be exactly right, because the real bandit trips and yelps in pain some 100 feet off. Emilie gives chase in the direction of the sound, but loses both the bandit and the rest of the party.
Emilie chooses to wait, annoyed, while the rest of the party catches up. They are about fifteen miles into the forest so there’s no easy place to reconvene. Emilie and the larger group hear each other’s shouts and connect in a creepy unknown swamp. Isaac chastises Emilie but she refuses to admit that she was wrong to run off. She says that the Nightingale Bandit can never be caught unless he is chased after, and that rather than her running ahead, it was everyone else that was falling behind. Isaac says that the Bandit is clearly desperate and may come to us for help if we play our cards right. Vic attempts to collect three swamp plants nearby. There are a few dead animals and decomposing humanoid figures around the plants. Emilie tells Vic not to touch them please.
Vic and Isaac withstand a sudden mental attack made by the plants' pollen. These creepy plants are carnivorous! Tahlarien engages one of the plants, but it stuns her with its spores. The plant grabs her with its tendrils, and vines start wrapping around her and trying to insert themselves into her ears and mouth. I saw a porn once that went kind of like this. Emilie wrestles Tahla away from the vines, but Tahla is not in control of her body and tries to shove Emilie off so she can submit to the vines. Emilie succeeds in separating the plant from Tahla for the moment. The plant drags a half-decayed corpse out from under it and starts using it as a weapon; manipulating it with vines that pervade every limb and orifice of the dead body.
Emilie manages to knock Tahlarien away from the plant and Tahla regains awareness. Kal is next to be subject to the hypnotizing pollen, but for the farthest creeper. This is bad, because now he is far from the rest of the party. Kal submits to the plant and immediately begins to have vines overtake his body. The second plant now has an animated corpse acting as defender as well. Tahlarien rushes Plant 2 in preparation to attack. Isaac casts a fire sphere spell onto Plants 2 and 3 from a single-use wand, lighting them. Emilie deals massive damage to Plant 1, but then both she and Vic fall victim to Plant 2’s spores. Vic and Emilie are able to shake off the mind paralysis fairly quickly, but Kal spends a lot of time letting Plant 3 try to absorb him due to an unusually strong mental attack. Kal comes really close to dying, which would allow the plant to turn him into a zombie either for defense like the animated corpses or for posterity by turning them into walking incubators for the spores. Fortunately, Vic is able to restore Kal, which buys the latter enough time to overcome the effect of the mind rot. Emilie kills Plant 2, but this victory is slightly diminished as Plant 3 deals a crippling critical to Isaac, bringing him down to 0 HP. Vic heals him on the next turn to 7! The artificer then slays the evil Plant 3. Plant 1 goes next and brings Tahlarien to 0 HP. No one is around to help! Kal runs to the rescue, decapitating the puppet corpse of Plant 1. The tendrils fight in vain to maintain control of the corpse, but fail. The corpse falls to the floor. Vic moves in and smashes the plant to a fleshy pulp. The encounter is won!
Spoils: 2 blue gems 1 yellow gem 1 spyglass
The party walks a little farther, then settles down to recover from the battle. They sleep early and so get up around the time of sunrise. There's still a long way to go.
- This session was the first (and last foreseeable) time that no Skype sessions were active to include players. :(