Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Duchy of St. Cuthbert: Malachite part 1

Cast:
Selena Tindel - 2nd Level High Elf Sorcerer
Katelin - 2nd Level Halfling Rogue
Kern - 2nd Level Human Barbarian
Byuco and Shmee - 2nd Level Wild Elf Ranger & his Wolf
Dren - 2nd Level Human Paladin
Zeus - 2nd Level Demi-God Fighter
Marc - 2nd Level Human Psion
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The group had ventured back to Bludenhare's Mine, but were unable to locate the Kuo-Toa colony, so they returned to their rooms at the West Wind in Newhom. After several days of rest and relaxation at the group has met some new faces and were enjoying a festive evening at the West Wind's tavern.  Stories and songs were being shared while Byuoc decorated the walls with the skulls of the four drake's they had defeated.  Clayburn Bromwell, the West Wind's owner approved of the new decor and kept Byuco and his compatriots well stocked in food and drink.

A spring storm rolled in for the evening, but the weather didn't dampen the spirits of those in the warm safety of the inn.  It was only the unfamilar sound of wood and metal crashing on the rain soaked road and the terrified screeches of horses, both out in the rainy darkness, that finally hushed the revelry.

When the group ventured out into the night, they discovered two frightened horses pulling the remains of a carriage.

Quickly the group followed the damp, dark road in search of what remained of the carriage.

They found the ruins of the vehicle on the side of the muddy road and bloody trails lead into the thick forest.

Lightning and thunder dazzled the group with the hints of danger awaiting them in the close pressed trees.

Finally, Dren spied a clearing where a giant spider, known locally as a wraith widow, was in the process of devouring a webbed victim.  Hanging nearby was the limp form of a women caught ten feet above of the ground, in a huge web.  A second wraith widow danced over to the girl, it's spinnerettes  preparing to engulf her in silky doom.

As Byuco unleashed Shmee and fired arrows at the wraith widow feasting on the ground, Kern saw a third, larger wraith widow but could not avoid being pulled off the ground by it's webbing, to be dangled above his comrades, like bait.

The group quickly split up and destroyed the arachnid horrors that were far away from their traditional hunting grounds, the Wraithwood.

Lightning and thunder again created havoc with their vision, but they became fully aware of cloaked figure stalking them in the dense forest.

Most of the group began to hunt the elusive figure and moved uneasily through the maze-like woods, all while the storm's fury grew in ferocity.

Meanwhile, Byuco and Dren confirmed the vicitm being eaten, had passed into death, but  they were able to free the young woman, who was still alive.  Dren called upon his vows as a Paladin, and his touch healed the woman's wounds and calmed her emotions.

A violent scream and terrible blast of acid from a huge monster allowed the group to find their target.  The cloaked stranger had somehow drawn the wrath of powerful and vicious looking drake with heavy green scales.  The beast was over thirty feet long and it's six legs propelled it quickly through the woods, allowing it to bend and even break any obstruction blocking it's path.  The creature had breathed a jet of acid at the mysterious person, who narrowly dodged the assault.

The group quickly charged the drake and Dren and Byuco moved to join the fray, not far off.  Shmee loyally guarded the woman they had rescued.

While everyone was focused on the monstrous green drake, the cloaked stranger began to tentatively lash out against her defenders, finally moving above them, using the branches of the trees for camouflage.

As Zeus struck the final blow against the bile drake, it exploded in acidic gore, but Dren and Kern felt the boon of a powerful guardian and ignored the acid.

Moments later, the cloaked attacker, vanished in a cloud of brimstone, as well.

Silence descended on the group as the rain began to stop and the moon broke free of the storm.  They became aware of a strong, ancient tree surrounded in a bright halo, and Byuco recognized the leader of the wood elves, Wand the treant.

Wand explained that the wraith widows were agents of the Green Wraith, a fallen druid who sought the  clearing of all sentient creatures from this land.  The mysterious attacker he identified as one her disciples, a Chthon who joined her mistress in worshipping the The Black Goat of the Wraithwood with a Thousand Young.  He deeply appreciate their coruage, and he congratulated them on destroying the green drake, the oldest abomination that the Corrupted had raised for their dark mistress, Nilat.
Kern and Dren learned that he had granted them a boon against acid and poison as gifts for their courage and daring.

Wand explained that as this Age closed, his powers seemed to be less effective agains the dark powers he'd spent millenia fighting.  He also confessed to worrying that the darkness may eclipse the light in the new Age.

As he bid them farewell, he welcomed them to call upon him for aid and he praised his wood elf stepson for his recent actions.

The group brought the young woman to the West Wind, where they learned her name was Shanna Felix and the wraith widow's victim had been her husband, Joss Felix.  They were on their way to visit the nearby city of Rounding for their first wedding anniversary, as a belated honeymoon.  Joss was the oldest son of local cattle farmer, Ford Felix.

Byuco decided to try to lighten the mood of the remaining townsfolk in the tavern by displaying the skull of the latest drake they'd slain.  While, it had mixed results, those gathered knew they were in the presence of true champions.




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