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Recap 36: A Coven in Bryn Sturges

November 6, 2010

Dragonkin Cave

Malouf and Oliver leave with a few griffon riders to see if Willie was still alive after Gloiterwome's visit.

Talking to Klute, the group learns that the owlbear he has under his command is named Hooter. In order to keep the beast charmed, Klute must sing to it every few days. As a group used to animal companions being treated as cherished members of the party, it is a little disturbing to discover Klute sees Hooter as little more than a tool that he's more than willing to sacrifice.

While Malouf and Oliver are away, the rest of the team explore the Dragonkin cave. They arrive late in the morning. There's no sign of undead activity. As they approach the entrance, they see a shimmering, blue light.

The group is apprehensive as they enter the cave. Josy's earlier scrying of the cave had revealed it to be full of undead. Klute takes out his lute and plays a soothing melody. The tension everyone is feeling immediately lessens.

The blue light is coming from a force field at the cave entrance. Discarded armor and weapons litter the ground. Alana immediately sees this as an opportunity to acquire some items. However, having learned her lesson, she waits until Brecaryn has checked something for curses before picking it up.

Josy offers to attempt a dispel magic spell on the barrier. If the Oblivion King is the one who created the force field, there's little chance Josy's spell will affect it, but they might as well try. As a precaution, everyone gets behind a stone wall except Josy. Calling on Yondalla, Josy casts her spell only to be thrown back as it fails. Luckily, Snow had positioned herself behind Josy, ready to catch her in case of just such a scenario.

Josy scries the cave again, trying to see what is beyond the barrier. She sees an army of undead lined up, row after row. They are all just standing there, waiting. Josy's vision is obscured by a blue haze. The deeper into the cave she scries, the denser the haze until she can see no more. No one else has any ideas about getting past the force field. And, in truth, none are all that eager to engage an entire army of undead, a good portion of which consists of wights. So, they decide to leave this problem for another time. Meanwhile, they will ask the Knights at the camp to keep an eye on the cave in case the undead start to become active.

While they wait for the griffon rider to return and pick them up, they discuss their plans for retrieving the two mirrors Klute saw. Brecaryn tells Klute that many months ago the group received a message from Beeblebrox. One of the messages was meant for Klute. It said Klute's best chance of getting home was to stay with the group. Once he helps them find the mirrors, they will help him get home to Bjornland. Klute doesn't object to this arrangement in the least.

Back at the camp, the group resupplies. Alana magnanimously donates the armor and weapons from the Dragonkin cave to the camp armory. Klute believes the medusa he encountered was near the river east of the Nara forest. Before heading towards the forest, the Crew decides to stop in Betaya for more supplies.


The griffon riders offer to fly the group there. Because of their status as captains in Phantar's army, the Crew is housed in lavish suites and promised horses in the morning. Flerm and Alana pick up the bulette shield and backpack they had commissioned months ago. Brecaryn, Josy, and Klute take a trip to the black market magic shop. They acquire several healing potions, a couple of spell scrolls, and magic boots specifically requested by Flerm. These boots allow him to move at speeds nearly as great as Malouf's. Flerm's just not sure yet whether he'll use them to run towards battles or away.

Knowing they'll be headed for colder climes in the mountains, Alana and Lieralyn shop for winter supplies. Using their combined "charms", they manage to get a good deal from the merchant plus a free meal.

Meanwhile, in Mangar's Woods, Malouf and Oliver find Willie's hut to be in complete disarray. Willie is nowhere to be found. To add to their unease, they find the trapdoor into Mangar's Testing Grounds completely filled with ice. Unable to find any other clues to Willie's current state of health, Malouf and Oliver rejoin the group to report.

Before leaving the next morning, Brecaryn tries to find out as much as she can about liches and Gloiterwome. She finds no information on Gloiterwome or the Oblivion King, but does read an account of another lich named Vecna. She had enchanted her hand and eye such that a person could replace their hand or eye with Vecna's and become imbued with powers. In the end, Vecna was killed when someone summoned her by name while another destroyed her phylactery. If the Crew is ever so lucky as to know both the Oblivion King's name and the location of his phylactery, they might be able to use this method to kill him.

On the Road

With six new horses, the group heads towards the forest. On the way, they encounter a swarm of 2ft long wasps. Brecaryn easily kills a group of them with a fireball. During the skirmish, Flerm sees an old woman in the distance just before she attacks him. They kill her easily. Her body disintegrates, leaving her staff. Flerm and Lieralyn stand guard over it to prevent Malouf from destroying it before Brecaryn has a chance to study it. Sadly, their efforts prove inadequate as Malouf easily barrels through the two and breaks the staff with his axe.

Were the double attacks by the wasps and witch separate encounters or was the witch responsible for the wasps?

Later that night, the group gratefully takes shelter in their tent as it starts to rain. On the second watch, Malouf hears someone calling out.

Voice: For Tyr's sake, is anyone out there?

Malouf wakes Snow. Snow alerts Oliver and Lieralyn to be on guard. Peering out of the tent, they see the strangers look like Knights of Phantar. One of them is on a pallet. According to the knight Tsaney, he and Fulnar were attacked by the giant wasps. Fulnar was poisoned by the wasp's sting. Malouf helps Fulnar, extracting the poison. It's a tight fit in the tent (shoulda gotten the bigger tent), but they manage.

In the morning, they are able to signal Brecaryn who emerges from the mirror and enlarges the tent. Josy comes out and heals Fulnar more fully. They give the pair one of the horses so they can get to Roesh quickly.

Bryn Sturges

Since they are passing near the town of Bryn Sturges, the Crew decides to stop there rather than camp again. The group is immediately recognized and put up in the town's hotel. It's clear that the town is once again in trouble. The mayor tells them of a coven of witches who have recently been coming and demanding the town's livestock. It sounds like the witch they had encountered the previous day could have been part of this coven. The group offers their services to the town once again.

As they are getting ready to leave the next morning, a youth named Tommy comes running up to them. He wants to go with them to help bring the livestock back. Malouf is more than happy to have him in the group. Snow, however, insists they check with his parents first. This fight with the witches could be dangerous. Tommy looks disheartened and mumbles 'Never mind' before running off. Better to disappoint a child now than to explain his death to his parents later, as far as Snow is concerned.

Two hours out of town, the Crew encounters the witches. Standing under a grouping of stone structures are two witches. In front of the stones is an ettin, a 2-headed giant, wearing a large metal plate across its front. A swarm of giant wasps can be seen on either side. Malouf immediately rushes one of the witches. She taps his hand. Malouf feels weak and drops his axe. The second witch attacks him with spells.

Snow feels the entire setup is odd and informs the group. She brings Josy closer to the structure so she can attempt to dispel magick. Josy's spell causes everything to disappear as if it were all just an illusion, but Malouf is still injured.

Klute takes out his lute and plays a tune. An ettin suddenly appears near Klute. The ettin crushes Hooter's head with two clubs. Klute and Brecaryn are hit with a fireball by a witch appearing nearby. Klute, though injured, manages to cut her down with his flaming sword. The ettin disappears, leaving Malouf facing a now enraged owlbear.

Flerm feels something flying around him. He suddenly feels a sharp pain in his neck. A wasp has stung and poisoned him.

Brecaryn casts a spell to detect invisibility. It causes the north corner of the field to shimmer so she casts a fireball on that spot. The fireball breaks the illusion, revealing the true location of the witches and the ettin. Unfortunately, the witches have shielded the area and only the giant wasps are killed by the fireball.

Snow attempts an attack on the witches. As she touches the witch, she feels a jolt in her gloves before she's thrown back. Luckily, the gloves protect her from real injury. Now knowing she can't directly touch the witches, she instead uses her Distance Death techniques to attack, killing one.

Lieralyn goes after the ettin, but is knocked unconscious. Malouf tries to lead the enraged owlbear toward the ettin, but the owlbear catches up and crushes him in a bear hug. He falls down unconscious next to Lieralyn.

Brecaryn casts Bigby's Imposing Hand to protect them from the ettin while Klute attempts to calm Hooter down. He then points mysteriously at the ettin's armor plating. Not knowing what this is supposed to mean, Josy ignores him and concentrates on tending to Malouf and Lieralyn.

Flerm teleports into the stone area and kills the last witch before collapsing from the wasp's poison. Brecaryn takes care of the remaining wasps and the ettin, but a rebounding lightning strike hits Hooter, killing him. Whoops.

Looking over at the ettin, Klute's signal becomes clear. The armor becomes extremely hot, clearly a result of a spell cast by Klute.

As Josy finishes healing Flerm, the group hears mooing indicating the Bryn Sturges livestock must be nearby. When they go to investigate, what they discover is horrifying. It appears half of the herd have been turned inside out. There's a shack here that they investigate. Inside are a few spell components Brecaryn recognizes and a book detailing a procedure that can double or triple a mages spell effects. The diagram and description match what the witches had done with the stone structures on the hill. It was lucky that Flerm was able to kill that one witch early on otherwise the battle might have been alot harder. They gather up the potions that Brecaryn has identified as being useful to them before seeing to getting the livestock back to town.

Tags: Alana, Brecaryn, Flerm, Fulnar, Hooter, Josy, Klute, Lieralyn, Malouf, Oliver, Snow, Tommy, Tsaney, Vecna

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