Round two of the Recap!
The next bit stumbled a long a little bit, but I managed to nudge them in a few directions and that gave the guys some inspiration. A few minor points occurred that I’ll blaze through before covering the main event:
- The first was meeting Ogion, Ged’s apprentice, and Wyto, Ged’s druid “business” partner.
- Solena led the exploration into the keep’s chapel, which they discovered had been overun by vines. The corpse/skeleton of the priest was sprawled across the altar, and a second lordly-looking corpse/skeleton sat slumped in a chair in the corner; both covered completely in vines. AND initiative! The vines began to coil around legs, as the bodies sat up and attacked the investigating trio.
- After a successful battle, they discovered that the core/heart of the vines were coming from these corpses; as if they had been planted within the bodies of the men that they once were upon their death. Dendrim consulted with his druidic tree to try and find some hints, and a faint glow covered the floor, hinting at something beneath.
- They then unlocked the back room, which turned out to be a well stocked library, focusing centrally on the theme of Iku, the Eternal Storms, or the Jin Ocean (which sat off this coast). On their way out, they found Wyto praying over the bodies of the fallen men and vine remains.
- Ged gave the PCs a job offer: eliminate the Caffe Druids and he will pay them well and even aid in finding out where Dendrim’s younger brother was sent. But why would he request them to take out the cult? Doesn’t he work with them? The simple answer was yes: in exchange for sending them children he received magical artefacts and spell ingredients. The less simpler answer? The druids had grown bold, requesting more and more from Ged and returning less; Ged tried to limit the amount of slaves, but in the end he knew what they were doing was futile and only going to end in madness.
And so the guys set off, accompanied by Wyto who was to guide them and watch over their efforts against the cult. Along the way, they found a clearing filled with dead canines, and in the middle a girl in rags sobbing over a puppy. Edyth, turned out to be one of the slave children, who had escaped from the evil rituals that the druids were performing. The puppy? A blink pup! I thought he might be a nice little addition to the group, and after a few in game weeks they still actually have both Edyth and the dog quickly to be named Glint, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves.
The mystery of why Edyth was surrounded by dead blink dogs was soon explained as they discovered her ability to shift into a were-displacer beast. It appeared that what ever rituals the druids were attempting was blessing or cursing (depending on how you look at it) people with lycanthropy. More to this later.
Their arrival outside of the Beorys Temple went pretty much unnoticed. They crept through the druid’s campsite, stealthily killing a guard, finding a tent full of caged children, and then releasing them. Shortly after, their luck ran out and a battle ensued: a few generic cultists, a generic druid, and then three were-cultists (a crocodile, a lion, and a panther). I scaled them down quite a lot for a cool level 3 battle, but it was still a tough one, and an alarm was set off in the distance. Furthermore, the were-panther snuck off, following the tracks of the escaped children, followed in the distance by a few howls and soft padding of feet. The battle here won, the guys chased off after the were-panther to try and rescue the children from their fate…