July 30th (30th day of Vineyard's Bounty - 1st day of Crimson Dragon 4500 CCC)
Aslog, Skandik Priestess of Odin (Cleric 2)
Velor Silent-stream, Northern Elf Hermit (Druid 3)
Dabitha Darkmantle, Dwarf Storm Sorceress (Sorceress 1)
Udagar, First-man Courtier (Bard 1)
Pakhom, Altanian Warrior (Fighter 1)
Morcant the Magician, Avalonian Scholar (Wizard 1)
- Velor visited the strange priest known to locals as Boomer, who worships a spider god. He was able to determine from the austere nature of the temple - a black cube with an open bronze dome, that it was not dedicated to Nephtlys but little else.
- Boomer appeared as a man with a great belly and round, hairless head but long, spindly limbs. His lily-white skin glistened with sweat. He charged Velor an exorbitant price to remove the strange disease given to him by the ghostly set-animal encountered in the tomb.
- Torin, the first-man barbarian who had been accompanying Aslog and Velor on their previous adventures, was called back to the City State for some kind of mercenary duty. Distraught by this, Huberic scoured the area until he found Udagar, a bagpipe playing member of that strange and ancient race, to serve as entertainment at his now near constant feasts.
- Udagar had been charged by some ancient member of the Reptillons to follow Dabitha but arranged for her to follow him in order to make some money in Haghill.
- Morcant and Pakhom had arrived because of rumors of a tomb containing ancient Orichalcan treasures.
- Aslog and Velor explained to these four the nearby tomb, and also why their other hooks (killing adherents of the Toad living in Mermist Marsh and dealing with flying snakes in the Dearthwood) should be avoided.
- After a day of feasting they headed into the howling hills, and found the tomb in the late afternoon.
- Entering the tomb there was some retreading of areas to explain the situation to the newcomers, but eventually they decided to take a path shrouded in darkness.
- ...That led to skeletons! Some armed with swords and some with bows. Battle was soon joined.
- Aslog's ability to turn undead proved decisive, as did Udagar's fiery breath which he belches through bagpipes. Less decisive was Morcant's use of Fog Cloud, which temporarily made the undead very difficult to hit.
- Despite being victorious, the party felt it had used a large number of its resources and it would be best to return and rest, and perhaps feast a bit, in Haghill.
This session was a bit short because we had four new people, two of whom came in after we had just gotten past introducing the situation and so they had to be caught up.
Second Session Date
August 6th (6 - 12th Day of Crimson Dragon 4500 CCC)
Alkmemna, Tiefling Noble (Warlock 1)
- Dabitha spent the week between sessions gathering herbs, giving her one use of a medicine kit.
- After informing Alkmemna, who Aslog had met before, of the tomb and its treasures the party ventured into the Howling Hills.
- Near the tomb, they spied an Altanian barbarian acting as a sort of lookout near a rock on a nearby ridge. Alkmemna, who saw him first, waved, which prompted him to blow into a horn he carried.
- Udagar began to blow on his bagpipes as a kind of dominance display - a "counter-doot" to use his verbiage.
- The barbarian seemed to take this to mean that he was summoning even more men, which caused him to run off the ridge waving his arms, presumably for his comrades to stop.
- While the party could not understand Altanian, Aslog was able to find a higher vantage point and see that there were a group of Altanians yelling confusedly at each other about whether or not they should attack. Eventually it seems the more sheepish members of the troop won the day and the barbarians slunk off into the distance.
- During her watch, Aslog noted that there was a great tower in the distance and a circle of standing stones on a much closer hill.
- Entering the tomb they made their way back to where they fought the skeletons, but unfortunately the room was now home to a ghostly set animal much like the one they had faced previously! Battle ensued and both Aslog and Velor were stricken with the strange, lotus shoot malady the beasts carry.
- While wanting to go on, the disease made it too difficult for Aslog or Velor to participate in combat so they decided to return to Haghill.
- They arrived in the dark of the night, though the light was good because both Howla and Vanis were in the gibbous phases. They found Boomer sitting in his temple, disrobed, though once he realized his presents he covered his glistening white bulk with disturbing alacrity.
- Dabitha and Aslog, who had not entered before, realized that this was a temple to Yezud, not the spider god of the City State.
- Dabitha had used prestidigitation to make it appear as though Velor was nesting a group of spiders on his body, in hopes they could shave off some of the exorbitant rate. Boomer agreed to do this for Velor, but noted that Aslog's obvious devotion to Odin would mean she was lucky to get any treatment from him whatsoever.
- Boomer also revealed that the plants which sprouted from them were Amber Lotus, a plant held sacred to Set.
- They then asked Boomer to join them for a feast at Huberic's mead-hall, and he reluctantly agreed.
- Huberic through an even bigger do once he saw they had managed to bring Boomer out of the temple, killing cows with his whips and trading stories. Huberic informed the party that along the Pagan Coast they had encountered the strange sand dunes that were home to giant moles - "big as a dragon."
- Ochcall Cat-eye, Huberick's skandik lieutenant, discussed a time when he found a strange tree bearing golden fruit in the Adderwood, claiming when he reached for an apple the tree bit him and nearly killed him.
- Boomer then shared his knowledge of the existence of a strange weapon known as the Infinity Blade that seems to "stretch infinitely" into other planes. He stated that this would be found in the Admantine Crypts of the Dark Star, reported to be somewhere in the Howling Hills.
- They asked Boomer if the tower they saw was the location of these crypts, but he stated that locals called it the Howling Tower, and that it is where the hills get there name - "well that and all the wolves."
- They then drank and partied all night, with Udaga getting a bit of a hangover (and a level of exhaustion) but they decided to try to return to the crypt the next day.
- Unfortunately, on their way Alkmeman spotted a group of 6 riders in the livery of the city state - a priest and 5 guards.
- The party decided to approach them and ask their heading and business, but the guards moved to block them from interacting with the priest.
- Udaga saw that the priest was a young man in a kind of old age makeup who had also used some sort of makeup to make his whole body look jaundiced. This detail helped Alkmemna and Aslog know that he was a priest of Hamarkhis, but only made Udaga scoff at the strange actions of youth.
- Scoffing, it turns out, offended the priest, who swatted at him causing a blind red light to flash in the air. When the party regained its vision, Udaga was on the ground dying.
- Rather than flee, as Alkmena and Dabitha advised, Velor and Aslog waded in with spell and sword.
- Aslog's use of inflict wounds nearly killed the priest, whom a guard had called Jahungir, and a thunderwave from Velor finished him (and most of the guards) off.
- The rest of the battle was quite short but soon all the guards were dead and their horses fleeing.
- Feeling this a bad omen, the group returned to Haghill to rest for another week.