Session VIII: Drider Riding the Red Hands of Mercy
DM…again proclaims Lawful Goodness…we disbelieve!!!
The setting sun draws heavy shadow across the rolling hills, losing the day’s heat with the soft blowing of evening’s breeze. We decide to search the home of the two human victims and perform last rites. We linger no longer than necessary as we suspect more Red Hand Army agents must be lurking near.
We travel a few hours and rest. The evening passes uneventfully and wake to a warm morning. We begin our travels and find that the trail splits. We discuss with Puck, being the resident Dwarf familiar with the mercenaries on the direction we should travel and decide upon the southeast trail and travel until the middle of the afternoon. We stumble upon a road marker as we enter the hills “Hammerfist Swords…next gas 5000 years”.
We crest a hill and see down the other side smoke rising gently from a stone house set within a hill several hundred yards down the road. Littering the road ahead we discover many bodies, only two appear to be dwarves with humans wrapped in clothes as if beggers. We dismount and lead the horses closer, as we approach we quickly discern that the two dwarves died via large sword the other by claws. The humans obviously died from large axe wounds. Na’Gathgil notices that something is crawling underneath the skin of the humans…Linarlic suggests we all step back…Honeydew wants to set them ablaze.
Two more humans wearing filthy rags brandishing large swords attack from the direction of the stone edifice. Candle yells a shout of alarm to the group, “…in coming”. A brief battle ensues and two earthen statue-things appear from behind the party, something drips noxiously from their claws. Along with the earthen statues, a strange grey creature with large claws, looking like a frog, an agent of chaos and destruction carrying disease from the planes below, a grey Slaad. One of the earthen-statues explodes washing the Slaad with a spray of volatile acid who yells our in pain from a lightning bolt form Na’Gathgil. Candle rushes forward slaying one of the generated Slaads from the bellies of the slain humans. Cardago rips one of the generated Slaads in two. After many teleports, the Slaad is eventually destroyed by Cardago’s brutal strike. We handily defeat them.
In the stone house, there are two paintings, several casks of dwarven ale, a small chest (800gp), and a small key and locks the door of the structure. Puck “If we don’t find anyone, then I guess we’ve got a house.”
After several moments, Puck mentions he drank too much ale followed by a comment from Cardago, “I didn’t think that was possible!”. Linarlic then with Na’Gathgil’s aid attempt s heal check identifying that he and Honeydew have been affected by the Slaad’s in some way. They work together in performing Linarlic’s Cure Disease rituals on both of them and they are successfully purged of the blue salad larva gestating in their shoulders (shoulders?).
We travel a ways up the road to find another stone house set in a hill with smoke wisping from a small fire. We knock on the door, show the dwarves within the two portraits, they recognize them as their neighbors and we leave their portraits with them. They breakout the ale and we begin to speak of our adventures and inquire about the surrounding hillside. Jorn tells us about crazy humans from a long dead cult have plagued the dwarven countryside. They also mention kinsman falling ill to the Slaad disease. Othrick Hammerfist, Thane, has called upon the Shining Axe and Hammerfist Companies have been sent to find the cultists responsible for the Slaad infestation. We stay the evening under Jorn’s family’s hospitality and head out the next morning to speak with the Thane in the holds a few miles up the road in the pre-dawn mornings light.
We come to the bungalows leading up to the walled city of the Hammerfist. The drawbridge is down as well as the port cullis. The walls are patrolled by crossbow and axe wielding dwarves and they look as if they are on alert at Hammerhold.
After submitting to a thorough search of your skin to ensure we are not inflected, we are informed that there are several holds such as this dotted across the country side and are escorted in. We are told Bert Skillsmith is in charge of the Hammerfist guard, Ervath Helmbreaker leads the Shining Axes, and the Thane can be found in the middle of town.
We reach the hold and make arrangements to see the Thane or Skillsmith and negotiate our way into the hold. We agree to assist the Thane in searching for the Cultists. Linarlic and Na’Gathgil offer to assist with attempting to heal his daughter who had been infected two days hence. An accord is met. We are able to heal and save the Thanes daughter who is extremely thankful and we receive additional Mystic Salves (500gp) worth. We failed to mention the 6000gp contract as we have now secured their services without the need for payment.
We depart quickly well stocked and fortified by the dwarves and begin our long hard travel deep into the heart of the mountains. After traveling the winding narrow paths we enter a cave depicting burial rites.
Upon entering the cave, Honeydew scouts ahead and comes across a large hairy beast resting upon a pile of bones situated in front of the entrance to the Dwarven Burial Hall. We decide to approach the beast under the cover of a Dark Light spell. WE envelope the Hag in an Eavesersdrop Foil ritual and call her out as her form melts away into that of a blue humanoid. Initiative is rolled. We engage and landshark delivering flowers and pizza comes from around the cave corner. Honeydew slays the blue skinned Oni. A clever plan is devised to handle the landshark…-5 penalty to all defenses compliments of Linarlic, Candle teleports him to Cardago’s Banner, Cardago places himself against the wall expecting to strike it with a pinning strike effectively keeping the beast immobilized and surrounded, all ends with it being bloodied. Then a living ball of fire leaps forth licking the cave walls with searing flame. Cardago fells the Bulette (landshark). Honeydew and Linarlic gang up on the living fire elemental and slay it with 38 and 40 points of damage respectively.
90gp, small garnet, Ritual Scroll Detect Lies, Potion of Healing, Magical Caustic Whetstone. We defeat them handily.