Date: Late Spring, 1333 Avard
After two days of heavy rains, the caravan set out along the road heading north. A bit before noon, however, they found the remains of someone else's camp – in bloody, ragged ruins. Iris, who perhaps was a hunter in a former incarnation, read the scene with ease. Tomanths had attacked at least two adults and their horses. The unbloodied doll indicated a child had been at the camp, as well. The tomanths had drug the horses and the adults far back into the woods.
There was some debate as to what they should do, with some of them favoring moving on with a shrug. Dannamai and Sariel and Iris, however, could not leave a child behind. Raike put up an arcane illusion to mask the caravan, and they left the elephant Rainy to safeguard the horses.
Perhaps half a mile into the woods, following the drag marks of a pair of boots and two horses, they found the remains of one of the horses, feasted upon by the tomanths. The trail continued, after that, albeit more slowly. The feast indicated at least two dozen tomanths.
Further on, using Raike's little owl familiar to scout ahead, they found the remains of an old farm house – right next to a giant sentinel tree that seemed sick and wasted. Inside the remains of the farm house, whose roof was long since gone but whose stone walls still stood, the little owl observed tomanths, as well as an entrance to the cellar through which the tomanths came and went, appearing wet when they came up.
Dannamai used her jade figurine of a mace tail, and summoned a great green life-sized version of the mace tail from the figurine. The full-sized mace tail was ushered in for the vanguard of an attack, and the CLAN NAME HERE followed, arcane powers at the ready, their hands giving off shimmers of energy in varying colors according to their own unique powers.
The tomanths responded to the attack by pouring out of the cellar en masse, but were trapped in the remains of the farm house by an ice storm summoned by Raike. This roused the attention of a twelve foot tall, demonically altered dryad that called the sickly sentinel tree 'home'. The dryad called forth twisted and thorny vines that caged Ignacio and then his horse, Char. She was a power-house of pain as brambles and spines engulfed whatever area she walked through. But, as the CLAN NAME fended off both the tomanths and the dryad's attacks, the tomanths slowly turned against the dryad.
Several of the tomanths peeled off from the attack, and raced to the other side of the sentinel tree from the CLAN NAME. The tomanths gathered the eggs the dryad had been holding hostage, and raced off into the forest. The remaining tomanths faded away from the battle, save for one or two that fought holding actions.
Fire and flame and plenty of arcane brought the dryad down, but not for good.
Within moments of her defeat, the ill sentinel tree was attempting to revive her, regenerate her, and bring her back.
The girls, Iris and Dannamai and Sariel, decided to treat the tree's ills, curing it of its possession. The sentinel tree's roots must have accidentally found an old pocket of demonic energies or perhaps a demon's corpse, and become infected with its toxic powers. The dryad, in turn, would have been twisted, as well. Working together over the course of an hour, they expunged the toxic source.
The boys, Raike and Tempest and Ignacio, moved down into the basement of the abandoned house. They found the basement flooded, with only a foot to a foot and a half space to the rafters. Across the way, laying on a mouldering casement, was a four year old girl with a spark of the divine. Perhaps there had been angel blood in her ancestors' lines, or even a god, but whatever the source of the spark, she was still a terrified little girl. She gave her name as Tasha, but that was all Tempest could get out of her, for she would not open up to the others.
Once the sentinel tree was cured of its ills, Dannamai spoke quietly with Tasha while Tempest investigated something he had seen in the waters of the basement while he rescued Tasha.
He found gold and silver and copper coins bearing the stamp of the Ionians. He found a crystal of aquamarine some four inches across and eight inches long. And he also found an amulet of silver with a gem of blued topaz set in it. The amulet was protective, although it had obviously not protected whomever had worn it.
Carrying the frightened little girl, the team left. The sentinel tree would hopefully finish its recovery, and perhaps help the dryad that had been tormented by the demonic blood.
DM's Notes: We wrapped it up after eleven o'clock before the last two paragraphs occurred. They took place on the next session, but I moved them here for the sake of continuity. When the sessions run long, it makes for looong Fridays, but it's always well worth it for the company and for the fun of the adventure.
Reference: Campaign IX
Mmmm!!! I love fire-roasted mutant alligator! (tomanth)
Iggy did his thing last Thursday, roasting some mutant crocs while trying not to set the forest ablaze. He was one of the two characters to take damage from the Demonic Dryad, who really didn't have a chance once the croc-like creatures turned on her.
Our 9th level characters are pretty powerful, but we still need to figure out how to work well together: as a team. I think it is important to understand our backgrounds, as well as what our abilities are so we can use them most effectively. I'm sure that some characters are better suited to fight together as a pair or group than others. For example, one of Sommer's characters (I can't remember which one) can turn all damage that someone deals into fire damage. If that is the case, perhaps the beneficiary of this power should be fighting alongside Ignacio since any enemy around him becomes vulnerable to fire. This, in turn, would turn Ignacio into a close-range attacker (which is fine by him). Anyway, I'm sure there are many options to explore.
Thanks again, Joe, for a good adventure.
None to date.