Friday, July 14, 2017

Oakhurst: Duty and Sacrifice

My Oakhurst game is designed to be a sandbox, so I'm attempting to have some plot threads available to sew together and simply let the player's drive the story.

The group, along with three mules and five hirelings, set out north toward the home of the hag, Angelika, just after first light. After over two hours of travel along the plains on a sunny and breezy day, Willen the Ranger, noticed the trails of multiple large burrowing animals about forty yards to the east. Then the group heard a loud humanoid voice and some crunching and tearing noises over some hills in the same direction.

Willen realized that it was currently the mating season of bulettes and figured thats why there were so many trails.

Willen and Alvin the Wizard then snuck over the area and spied three hill giants who had been plucking the passionate bulettes out of the earth and eating them. One of them, a nasty sort with one milky eye, saw then and chase them off with rocks (that did a massive amount of damage to the Ranger), more concerned with their current meal than the two characters. Ander the Rogue raced toward them for aid.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group and the mules were attacked by a bulette. It took the whole group reuniting to finish it off.

After discussing how to proceed, the group continued north, moving from the plains to light forest. Willen and Alvin both spied two orc scouts on wargs, members of the Bone Thieves tribe, who simply stared at them, almost timidly from a safe distance. In fact, twice more the came upon orcs who merely kept their distance. The Ranger, who spoke orc, finally decided to speak to a sentinel in a tree, who revealed that the tribe was expecting emissaries of Zeos and were glad they were finally on hand.

Of course, no one knew who Zeos was, but they played along, glad to have safe travel through hostile territory.

Finally the forest turned thicker and less light from the middday sun shone through the older trees around them.

Alvin noticed a tree with the skull of a troll in it's bough and a second tree with a fetish, a few yards from the first. He realized these were magical wards and called for a halt. Ander the Rogue tossed a rock at the troll's skull and immediately a flock of large ravens burst upon them. Additionally, the sounds of wailing and frightened children could be heard all about them. Gulag drove off the ravens with magic and their group was fired upon by four kenku, the source of the childlike voices. 

The group quickly dispatched the kenku, while one of the hirelings approached the fetish in the second tree and the necromantic magic within the fetish assaulted him.

Once the group helped the hireling, a smoky image erupted from the troll's skull and introduced itself as Angelika and demanded to know why the group was tresspassing.

They learned that she had not created the Yellow Plague and sent a ransom note, that the chief of the Bone Thieves, whom she had aided in the past, approached her seeking magic to allow him to unite the goblinoids in the region and she had refused. They also learned that she knew of Zeos as a simple grave robber until he discovered an powerful tome filled with necromantic magic.

She did offer to find a cure for the halflings (she found them delicious and couldn't imagine anyone wasting such delicious meat) in exchange for being able to eat her test subject afterward. The group agreed to this and Gulag the Cleric bartered for teleportation back to Oakhurst in exchange for a second halfling.

However, only half the group took that offer and they began hiking back to the village.

When the other half arrived at the village, they immediately found a volunteer halfling willing to sacrifice themselves and when Gulag learned the magic the hag had given them wouldn't allow them to send a halfling cadaver, Ander the Rogue used her magic to transport himself to Angelika.

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