We begin this week’s session at the Boxer’s safe house after our looting of the Church of Otherwhere, at around 2 in the afternoon ready to make steps toward our next objective: looking to ensure the safely or discover the status of Nogamon. Before we depart Paola our characters visit the Bonded Mind to have Ahumm channel sweet divine energy to heal the injured from the battle earlier in the day.
Jabari tables the idea that our characters travel by horseback. Towards this end the first ranch our characters visit finds the ranch with a surplus of horses and the ranch manager offers to sell us each an equipped horse for 25 g. each. With that task completed we exit Paola bound for the Black Druid’s grove.
|Dragon Stylized Armor|
A short time later our characters are hailed by individual with a few words of warning. He tells of some individuals he and his spotted earlier. At the time they didn’t think was odd at first, until he was off the path where, in a copse of trees, encounters a posed (laid out) suit of dragon stylized armor affixed with an obvious officer marking on it. He goes on to explain this were spooked their group and decided to just leave the area- indicating back where the copse of trees and the armor was found. It was a passing conversation on the road; though we tell them briefly what has happened in Paola and to go to the Bard’s College for more information.
Intrigued about the discarded armor we follow the traveling man’s directions. Not long after Lermang, who is ranging about, finds a largish black feather confirming we are on the trail. Eventually we find the suit of armor in the shadows of the trees as well as numerous discarded feathers and varied tracks near what looks like a tunnel in the ground at the center of the copse of trees. Some of our group intuits that it must lead to the doors at the Church of Otherwhere.
Lex and Lermang slide down the opening to investigate further while the rest of us watch for a possible ambush. About 50 feet in Lex and Lermang find a spiral descent as well as some stored supplies (a barrel of gunpowder and a barrel of rum), a (fire-trapped) locked chest as well as map of the surface features of Malta (the map indicated a city circled in red with a tunnel line connecting: Rebet). The two heroes take steps to move the barrels and chest carefully out of the tunnel.
With everyone at a safe distance Lex bypasses the fire trap and discovers a brace of 8 potions of fly (markings indicated they are from IL-Kataniz) and several folded women’s dresses. Four coils of silk rope, a rope of Knots; 2 trade flags/banners from Birzebbuga and Xaghra; a ship captain’s diary written in a personal short hand of his attempts at looking for Ghallis rock (though not successful, it eliminated other rocks however in coordinates G1 & 2)); as well as a variety of six ID badges.
It was late afternoon when we continue on, Lermang hiding our tracks behind us as we take a direct route towards our destination. Along the way the terrain changes, taking on a blighted quality with breaks in the ground with wilted, chocked foliage. Eventually we come to a break between two hills and notice several breaks in the hills akin to cave openings. Here snake and scorpion hazards become more numerous. Our characters decide to dismount at this time and lead the horses in the event the horses get spooked.
|The Black Druid|
We are not surprised as a carpet of scorpions file out of caves in the hills while coming from over the top of one of the hills is an armed gnoll who howls out to others from the opposite hills. A 12 long creature moves out, like a dual action scorpion, an Ommoth. Then from the opposite hill- a bronze skinned scorpion-folk. But as the combat progressed swarms of scorpions come upon us; we eventually fight off the gnoll and kill the creatures.
Our characters continue on to find a gnoll encampment around the low mountain that contains ash trees- reminiscent of the Black Druid’s symbol. We learn later the tree is the Black Druid; it had help from several gnoll savages, giant wasps and bees, dire bats and a gnome and troll druid. At the end of the session our characters were victorious.
We begin next session moments after the battle with the Black Druid and its minions.