Deciding to explore more of the area immediately around their kingdom, the party journeyed back to Stagholm to restock before setting out again. Herne and Dvalinn decided not to stop but to continue on to Oleg’s Trading Post to discuss with Kesten Garess of joining their kingdom as General.
The remaining party members arrived in Stagholm in the morning and found that there were reports of attacks on livestock by wild beasts and the death of Saki, a barmaid at the local inn, and Beven, a shepherd boy bringing in his flock.
Jhod had been caring for the mutilated bodies of the boy and maid. The party asked him questions regarding what might have killed these folk and Jhod indicated that it was some sort of large beast which had torn them asunder. The party decided to investigate the area where the attacks took place.
In each area, they found a set of very large wolf tracks that were able to be followed back to a copse of trees. Within those trees, they found that the wolf prints stopped and a human foot prints left the trees. Believing that this could be the acts of a werewolf, they went to the inn to ask the innkeeper to ask if there have been any strange people seen at the inn recently. He said that there was a visiting barbarian who has kept to himself .
Feeling that this could be the break they needed, the party went to his room and investigated it. Searching under the bed, they found an ear with the earring of the barmaid under it. They also found that there were claw marks on the window sill outside of the room that indicated that the werewolf must have been the same barbarian.
That night, the party stood watch and waited for the werewolf to come to town. The werewolf attempted to sneak into town but the party was able to see him. A battle ensued which was quite difficult. It even involved the werewolf resisting the coup de grace from Gurnison. But in the end, the werewolf was put down.
A few townsfolk saw the fight and even more found them over the body of the man after he shifted from wolf hybrid form. Confusing word rang out about the incident which had many different stories by the morning. Kiza calmed things down with an official announcement from the leaders of the kingdom. After that, they set out east to explore more area around their kingdom.
Howl of the North Wind
Venturing to the West of Stagholm, the party explored the area past the river to see if there were any threats in the area. Upon travelling over the hilly terrain, the party was set upon by a few wolves. Edris did recognize that one of the wolves was different, it was a worg. The wolves swarmed the front of the party tearing at the legs of Gurnison’s horse Julsey. Julsey would have none of it and bit and stomped one of the wolves to death. The other wolves tried to bring her down with Gurnison still on top, but they were unable to succeed.
Lanna showed some mettle against the worg, hitting it thrice with her heavy mace until Gurnison could come up on foot to assist her. Soon, the wolves were all dead and the worg was attempting to escape. Edris moved up within range and let out her ear piercing scream successfully taking down the worg.
As they gathered up the wolves and searched for treasure, they noticed that this worg must be the same one called Howl of the North Wind. It had been terrorizing bandits for a while, but the local citizens wanted to be rid of it in case it developed more of a civilized taste. Gurnison skinned the worg and they packed it away so they could display it in town.
The party decided to go to the Lonely Barrow, which the Old Beldame directed them to and a rumor indicated where the undead form of the Stag Lord was raising an army. Taking the directions, they found a crack in a hill that led into an ancient burial tomb.
Upon entering during the day and being quiet, they noticed that the first chamber had hundreds of bats sleeping and clinging to the ceiling. They wisely decided to leave them alone and not disturb them.
The next chamber had passages exiting in each direction and had four large monstrous faces, carved from stone, which leered and grimaced from each of the walls. A skeleton was face down in the middle of the room. Edris cast detect magic and found that there was magic underneath the skeleton as well as on his finger. Fascinated by the prospect of magic, Edris attempted to find what it was after Ruki had performed a cursory look for traps in the area.
Unfortunately, Ruki’s abilities were insufficient to find the magical trap as black tendrils of smoke enveloped Edris and exhausted her. Then, sounds of stirring down the north and south tunnels alerted them to 12 skeletons about to attack. A battle ensued, but a well placed web spell quickly hindered the skeletons in one room and a bead of force blew apart the other group of skeletons. Not very worse for wear, the party were able to search the area, but with nothing to show.
Ruki saw through the east tunnel, that there looked like a body atop a stone catafalque in the darkness. She approached and when she entered the room, it rose to attack her while threatening their lives. The battle was dangerous with every hit of his sword causing a great deal of damage as well as suffering from an affliction that made them weak. Gurnison was hit the hardest, falling unconscious. Luckily Kiza was there to heal Gurnison enough where he could fight on, though in a weaker state. It took the combined might of everyone in the party to take him down, involving plenty of luck provided by Edris, damaging electricity spells from Ruki, and damaging healing spells Kiza turned upon their undead opponent. The final blow was a desperate maneuver by Ruki which sent her sword flying, but luckily, downed their undead foe.
Hurt, relieved, and tired, the party found the last remaining magic item in the tomb: the undead creature used a broken aldori dueling sword which was determined to be very strong magically, but needed to be repaired in order to use it again. They decided to leave the tomb and journey back to Stagholm, to rest up.