This is a writeup that my players received after our gaming session. I'm posting the series as blog entries here for your enjoyment. *SPOILERS WARNING* The campaign started with MOON1-1, and progresses through the Scales of War campaign with interruptions for custom adventures. Enjoy!
"Why can't you let him go, Brendan? We want to talk to the bard", said Cam.
"I'm afraid I can't do that, my gnome friend. The events you've unfolded for us are just a part of the problem. Without our unicorn around to protect us, the people of Warlsbry are seeking revenge on the one person who claims to have...er...touched her. Besides, we still have no food to last us through the winter if the wild wolves are not run off."
The half-elf speaks out in mild frustration, "Then we'll take care of the wolves." She turns around and starts to march upstairs. "First thing in the morning!"
* * *
The march to the fields doesn't take very long. Were it not for the fog, they could probably be seen from town. The road is well worn with wagon tracks, and is littered with holes where rain has washed away the dirt and rocks. Even with the fog, it's a pleasant day with the sounds of birds and frogs gently singing through the mist.
The village is surrounded by field full of weed-choked crops. A rocky road lines the field with an abandoned wagon off the side. It is obvious that if the fields are not tended soon, the weeds will kill most of the edible plants.
As the party moves towards the wagon to investigate, two gray wolves being ridden by goblins charge across the field and attack! They both leap for Keothi in an attempt to drag him down, but Thorin leaps to his defense and vows to bring one of them down.
From the back of the party, a strange combination of chanting and singing ensues. Cam begins mocking the new opponents as the half-elf curses them. Velnor lets out a scream as bolts of chaotic energy stream from his hands and leap from foe to foe.
The warriors strike at their foes and keep them in check as the casters whittle them down slowly. Occasionally, Cam yells out an order, and the warriors shift to a better position. out of the corner of his eye, Keothi spies a lone goblin sneaking behind some rocks just before it charges into the fray. But just as it corners the warden, a swift reaction spoils his advantage.
A glow of divine wrath bathes Thorin's face as he buries his blade into his prey. Blasts of eldritch energy strike out from the half-elf, enveloping another. The goblins can't stand up to the withering attacks.
It appears that more than just wolves have been active in the attacks on the farmers. Goblins are involved in the attacks. Perhaps they have left some clues as to where they are?
"Let's split up and search the area", Cam says, but he's not the only one with that idea. Keothi has already lifted the wagon up to look under it, and finds some mistletoe in a small pouch. "Looks like a druid was here."
Thorin finds a charm that appears to have been broken in the fight. "Goblin magic", he sneers. The half-elf takes a closer look at the charm. "I've seen something like this before. Its magic is a type of hex, and is often used to root an enemy in place. If you feel its power wash over you, don't move."
Cam and Velnor find gravel and mud from a cavernous source along the path. The cavern rocks stand out in contrast to the worn and sun bleached rocks of the road, and some of them have the strong scent of bat guano.
The wolves have beaten a trail through the brush, leading to the north.
After searching, the party follows the wolf trail until it leads to a cave entrance. There is no natural light in the cave, so Keothi draws forth a sun rod and throws it further ahead. Just as he rounds the corner, man-sized bats fly down from the ceiling and swing spiked tails as they pass by!
Thorin says an oath against one of the bats as Cam takes the opportunity to taunt him with a grin on his face, "What do you do if it flies away?" Thorin starts to respond, but he realizes that he never thought of that.
The bats take turns swiping their tails at whomever they happen to be near, but they are definitely disoriented somewhat by the overpowering light of the sun rod. Within a few minutes, the bats lie dead on the cavern floor, and the party spends some time binding wounds.
Further through the cave, a new area appears:
Deeper in the complex, the natural fogs of the region have settled in, making it hard to discern the extent of this chamber. Torches are scattered across the cavern here and there, still sputtering and offering only scant amounts of light.
From the far end of the cavern, a crossbow bolt flies out. Sitting atop a ledge, a goblin takes cover and fires a hand crossbow. Keothi and Thorin move to engage as the rest of the party cautiously files into the cavern.
Velnor cries out as he releases bolts of energy at his foes, but he changes dramatically as the energy leaves his body. He physically transforms into a bugbear, complete with a deep and commanding voice and completely hairy body.
The half-elf gets into position to begin cursing and blasting opponents when she is struck firmly by a giant morning star. "Help! I'm under attack by a bugbear!"
Cam hears his allies cries and charges around the corner, not expecting to see the giant form of the creature so close to him. He quickly plants his short sword into Velnor's furry hide and releases a wave of empowering energy. "Ow! What are you doing?! Don't attack me, attack the bugbear!" Cam quickly realizes that the creature in front of him obviously ate Velnor and put on his clothes, but he'll go after the other bugbear for now.
Just then, two pairs of goblin cutters charge out from their hiding places and attack. At the same time, the fog at the end of the cavern parts long enough to reveal a goblin hexer waving his arms and cursing the party.
Before he can finish his curse, Keothi transforms himself into a living ice sculpture and engages him in melee combat. The goblin puts hex after hex on Keothi, but his efforts are in vain. Every spell seems to slide off the warden like water off a duck's back. A 7 foot tall, gray duck with bulging muscles. And a greatsword.
Even if the spells are not giving him much trouble, the bolts from the goblin sharpshooters are getting dangerously close. "Little help over here!", he calls as a warning to his allies.
"Yeah, we'll be there as soon as we can", replies Thorin as the bugbear lifts him up off his feet and uses him as a meat shield. His arms and legs flail about helplessly as the life is choked out of him by the muscle-bound brute. Thorin's eyes glow with a deep orange light as he kicks his feet straight into the air, plants them on the bugbear's shoulders, then does a divine leap that carries him gently to the floor.
In a sudden streak of good luck, the party finishes off all of the attacking brutes, leaving only one wounded sharpshooter. Thorin calls out to him, "I promise, you will die by my hand!" Frightened and alone, the goblin is obviously shaken. Cam takes the opportunity to present the hand of good will and friendship. "Look, we only want answers. Come down and no harm will befall you." The goblin drops his crossbow and begins climbing down the rock wall. Suddenly, he finds himself pinned through the heart by a long sword, and quickly dies. Everyone turns to Thorin, who's face now has a look of relief upon it. "What? I made a promise!"
Chieftain Brenden Mac Lyrr is grateful for your bringing the truths of the situation to light. He immediately orders that Aatos the bard be freed.
That evening he gathers all the people in the village. You are recognized for your achievements, and the myths the villages have been operating on are dispelled. In the Dry Toad Inn, Aatos Kallio sings a song to your praise.
The following day, the simple folk seem excited to be able to return to their labors. Life begins to return to normal in Warlsbry.
Aatos is very happy indeed to meet his heroes. "You will be in my songs for as long as I draw breath! And believe me, no more tall tales about unicorns will pass my lips." When asked about himself, he shares, "I've been traveling the world, singing, dancing, acting, writing. Anything that would keep a little gold in my pocket and beer in my gut was good with me. Everything went well when I first arrived in Warlsbry, and I was making a good living. Then I heard the locals talking about this unicorn they called Gwyneira, and I figured it would make a great tale if I told everyone that I took her for a ride. Honestly, I never even saw the creature, and I knew I was in trouble when those locals said she disappeared. If you hadn't saved me, that would have been my last tale for sure. Thank you!"