Sometimes its little details that end up in the game that make for a memorable night. Long in the past the party were slaves and we had no shoes - so adventuring in the caves was difficult, very difficult, and around the table we called the first adventure "The quest for Shoes."
This night had us all soaked, sick, wet, and tired - and most of us did not have multiple pairs of underwear - so we had to dry out what we had. And we lost two sets - which had the trope around the table being Mako's voice from Conan saying, "Let me tell you of the days of high adventure, when we sought out the lost underwear, but that was another story."
It also happened, the party was pretty hurt, tired, and unable to function so we had to enact the rest for a full day option which was almost never done. An entire day of everyone just sitting around and healing!
Yeah - needs to happen more often.
Write up follows:
Our clothes were soaked; most of us had little else to wear. Plus the fetid water had gotten into everything. We would need to dry our clothes, to say nothing of actually cleaning them. While most of us were getting some sort of camp set up, Norris and Detheron opted to ride out of Glittercap while the sun was still up and gather what dry wood they could find from the surrounding forest.
They had only gone a short distance when they heard a horse nicker and saw a figure mounted not too far from them. Tall, broad, very muscled, his bearing was that of a king’s man and he identified himself as Aleron. He was a ranger that had been on the trail of Vanir for some time, the erstwhile wizard being responsible for the death of his mother and other atrocities that the young ranger had seen.
He had eventually been guided by the Adventurer’s guild in Cymbarton on the trail of Detheron and then through many other avenues until he had arrived in Flatrock. From there it was many inquiries (the least of which was to the crazed herbalist Zinther) that had him get to Frink’s home. From there he had tracked the group over the course of 15 hours westward to the Rakewood Forest and then to Glittercap.
The druid and bard were initially distrustful of the strange ranger. He did supply patents of nobility declaring him to be Aleron Greystone, direct lineage descendant of Baron Hadrick Greystone who had been second to Earl Maronnia during the crusade 50 years earlier. Plus he had a letter of marque from Dumethian Dracowulf and other items of reference. We warily accepted him as he was. Norris did ask him how he got past the satyr and Aleron said something about a deal to pass and purple underwear. Needless to say, that did not garner comfort to the two of them, figuring Aleron to either be strange, deluded, or a liar.
We gathered wood during his conversation and with his steed it was easy to come back to Glittercap with more than enough wood and kindling for tonight. Introductions were made and Norris stretched out what food we had into something better than just rations. Aleron filled us in on his background and we in turned filled him in on the plague, Frink, and what we’ve learned of Glittercap so far. Dinner ended just before 8 and after that we broke straws and decided who would be keeping watch and when.
Bit by bit the party went to sleep. Night moved on and we stayed inside the Odin Temple, occasionally going out to stoke the fire and turn the underwear hanging up in order to keep in drying. It was during Thurin’s watch as well that we noted a change in what was going on out there. A single glowing ball of pulsing plasma was wandering over the ground in a small tracing pattern. The elven wizard went out and approached the will o the wisp to converse with it.
This time though, even though he knew he had charmed it earlier, the will o the wisp seemed difficult to placate. In fact the longer that Thurin spoke to it, the more it became agitated. At the last moment, he cast invisibility on himself and the will o the wisp discharged a bolt of lightning where he was. Then it was some cat and mouse as the invisible wizard ran away from the wisp and back towards the temple, closing the door and waking Gwyn. The two of them watched the wisp wander about, firing bolts of electricity here and there – one of them burning Detheron’s underwear to a crisp. Then a second wisp arrived and the two of them went back to the hole towards the underground and disappeared again.
The two of them watched for a while until satisfied the wisp wasn’t going to return. However it was obvious that the fire was guttering out there and neither elf nor dwarf wanted to step out and add fuel. It was after about a half hour that Thurin went to get some rest, just falling asleep when Gwyn kicked him awake and shouted, “It’s stealing my underwear!” before running out into the dark with his repeating crossbow, a quiver of bolts, and Elfsplitter wrapped in his off hand.
Gwyn was chasing some ghostly figure outside his visible range, relying on the residual heat left by its passing, only obvious to his infravision. It ran along the edge of the Glittercap walls and then out of the camp itself. He stopped, not sure if he could get back in with the sun down. He fired a single bolt into the trees, not hitting anything. Cursing, he readied his crossbow and ran out of Glittercap and into the Rakewood Forest.
He plunged on for a short distance, confident he was gaining ground as the footsteps were growing more obvious before him. But then his feet crashed through some pine boughs and he fell – 30’ straight down into a spiked pit, his crossbow landing with a crunch just outside his reach, and a wooden spike slamming through his thigh, his gut, and his shoulder, pinning the dwarf to the ground.
He lived, but was in serious pain and unable to move.
Taking shallow breaths he tried to get some idea of what was around him when he heard from above a figure calling out, “Are you ok?” And giggling.
Damned satyr again.
It taunted Gwyn for a little bit, dropping rocks near him to piss him off. The dwarf twisted back around and saw the half goat-man was there with Gwyn’s underwear in his hand – and wearing a set of purple underwear stretched tight across his nether regions. “Huh,” Gwyn thought, “I guess that ranger guy Aleron was telling the truth.”
The satyr left after getting pissed off and ripping Gwyn’s underwear into quarters and chucking them down at him, telling Gwyn he would get a few others of the party, the dwarf losing blood slowly through the many holes in his body.
A short while passed and Gwyn heard some strange trilling noises. Something winged flew nearby and then down the pit hole, landing at his back. And then it stuck a needle into his shoulder and drank. Fuck shit damn it – stirge. And a big one too. After drinking its fill it pulled its bloated form off of the dwarf and flew up and away. Most likely to get other stirges. It was time to move.
Gritting through the pain Gwyn levered his upper body off the stake, shuddering as he did so. Unable to get off the spike completely, he took hold of Elfsplitter and hacked at the base of the spike in his shoulder. The jarring impact was sickening but the spike was cut and Gwyn gulped in agony as he caught his breath.
But three more stirges came, two of them getting a beak into the bleeding dwarf while the last one was caught with a wild grab, crushed, and hurled across the base of the pit its wing torn and unable to fly. The two unwounded ones took to the air and left again. Angry now, Gwyn lifted himself slightly off the last two spikes and cut them free. He was near death, teetering on unconsciousness, but no longer staked to the ground.
Meanwhile after a few minutes had gone by Thurin woke the rest of the group and informed them that Gwyn was gone, will o the wisps were out there, and something stole the dwarf’s underwear. We gathered up our belongings and Gwyn’s as well, strapping on armor and swords again even though we were all pretty damned tired (no one even getting close to enough sleep). Before walking out Aleron noted that there was a tick out there, a giant one, and it was partially on top of the building. Odin be damned!
We charged out and the fight with the tick was short lived as it was unable to get a good bite on anyone and jumped into the temple where it was surrounded and hacked to bits. Booyah!! From there we grabbed our underwear and followed the ranger out as he tracked the dwarf to the edge of Glittercap and beyond (Detheron making a command decision that we are leaving now and coming back some other time in the morning).
It wasn’t much beyond this that we came upon the pit trap and Gwyn far below. We rigged up some rope and Havic went down into the pit to help Gwyn out. He trussed him up into the rope and the party hoisted him up slowly out of the pit, careful not to jar his spike riddled body too much. Once out the satyr made his presence known and Norris fired off a countersong to keep his charming at bay.
Gwyn lifted his repeating crossbow and even in pain took aim in the woods where the satyr’s voice was and fired all 5 times – one of the bolts hitting the mark! The satyr was obvious and we charged in and hacked the forest fey to bits – battle done! We all noticed though that it was wearing the purple underwear that Aleron had mentioned and that had the party trusting the ranger a bit more.
Detheron, Ludwig, and Aleron all worked on the dwarf, taking out the spikes and doing what they could to stem the bleeding. We were practically out of healing and needed to rest. Thurin was badly wounded before from the will o the wisp and the elf and dwarf needed some time without movement. We decided to travel out of Rakewood since we could not get to Glittercap and try to make it to Frink’s homestead.
The ranger led the way in the dark dark gloom, an oil lamp lit to guide us and we lined our way out. Norris kept up a song in case any other fey touched creatures tried to encounter us. It was about an hour or so later that we did encounter something – right in front of us emerged ten 8’ tall green skinned trolls!
They looked at us, we looked at them, and then speaking to them in ogrish both Havic and Gwyn were surprised to find out they liked the bard’s music! We talked for a bit, they were not looking for a fight, and were willing to let us pass for a fee of 50 crowns for each of the trolls – total of 500 crowns. We didn’t even haggle – happily paying the fee and moving on, Norris Rickrolling the party through the encounter with his deft lute playing.
We slogged to the edge of Rakewood about 6:30 and once there Detheron turned into a horse so that we could carry Thurin and Gwyn who were very bad off. The trip to Frink’s took almost 3 hours and once there a few of us policed the bodies from within and buried them outside. The place was them stripped of linens and clothes and we stretched out resting the entire party the entire day.
It did us well. What healing we had was dispensed, spells were studied, books read, weapons tended to, arrows cleaned, armor repaired, even some gathering of apples and other light game went down. Our two worst off party members slept well and it was on the morning of the NEXT day, Watermonth the 27th that we prayed and reprepared ourselves and made the decision to go BACK to Glittercap.
We left at 8 AM and arrived at Rakewood at 11, eventually pushing through the woods between Aleron’s tracking and our own deciphering of Frink’s map, getting to Glittercap about 12:30. At 12:45 we set up camp at the Temple and were getting ready to eat lunch before going back into the underground and take out the source of the plague.