Author Topic: Session 16 - Whispers on the Wind  (Read 510 times)

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Offline Johan

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Session 16 - Whispers on the Wind
« on: March 09, 2005, 03:36:13 PM »
Whispers on the Wind
[Saturday 15 January 2005]

Sap/Delver's Moon +27

Valen Galaphile, Belwar Fireforge, Zurn Darkbrew, and Himo head southward through the forest headed towards the open plains and the human city of Gorna. They eventually come to the foot of a small cliff and Himo is elected to scale up the cliff side and investigate. His first attempt fails, but after moving over to a different section he does manage to effortlessly scramble up to the top. He sees a cabin here and standing guard outside of the lodge is a humanoid cat warrior holding a spear. Himo panics at the unfamiliar sight and leaps down from the cliff. Once he has recovered from the fall he quickly describes the "lion-man" and the cabin at the top to the others.

Meanwhile, Mirri, standing outside of the cabin sees a person appear at the cliff edge and then quickly disappear down out of sight again. She approaches to investigate and sees a group of people below. She thinks they may be the owners of the cabin, or perhaps friends of the madman that attacked Arlen.

Down at the foot of the cliff, Belwar, Zurn, and Valen discuss the sighting above with Himo. Valen happens to look up and glimpses the "lion-man" peering down at them. He is intrigued and decides to climb up to investigate for himself.

Meanwhile, up above, Mirri re-enters the cabin and informs Arlen that the madman's friends are approaching. Arlen, resting near the hearth is very hurt [1 hp] and cannot do anything about it besides have his weapons at the ready for a last stand. He is in too much pain to even rise so stays right where he is. Mirri ventures back outside to confront them. She meets Valen just as he gains the top of the cliff and levels her spear at him. They find that they both speak elvish, but Mirri is still very suspicious and untrusting of this stranger. The others call out to Valen and he tries his best to answer them with the spear still leveled at his chest. He reveals to the cat-woman that he has some skill in healing and she immediately takes him towards the cabin where Arlen lies.

Mirri brings Valen past the dead madman into the cabin where Valen finds the seriously wounded Arlen and offers to heal him. Arlen introduces Mirri and himself and explains that they were attacked by surprise by the madman when they opened the door to the storeroom. Arlen explains further that if it weren't for his good friend Mirri, he would be dead now. Suddenly, there are sounds of combat coming from the foot of the cliff. Valen is worried about his comrades and Arlen seeing his concern quickly consents to the healing. Valen begins to cast a spell, but the superstitious Mirri becomes alarmed by this action. Arlen gently convinces Mirri that they must trust this stranger for now and Mirri keeps a close eye on Valen as he heals Arlen's serious shoulder wound. Arlen soon finds that he is fully healed! He is very impressed and thanks Valen excitedly. Valen, Arlen and Mirri then run out to the cliff to see what is going on.

Meanwhile, Belwar, Zurn and Himo have managed to fight off a terrifying flying ghost-man with charred stumps for legs. Himo was hurt in the shoulder by the creature and Zurn heals him with a divine spell.

Valen and Arlen hold a rope as the others climb up the cliff one by one. Introductions are made. Arlen, seeing their whole party of four, suddenly makes a connection... He recalls that Brescht told him and Mirri to keep a look out for his comrades, an elf, a human and two dwarves. Arlen mentions Brescht, Captain Coris, and the keep in the forest to them and they do indeed know of it. Arlen gives them the latest news of the keep and explains how he and Mirri came north and ultimately arrived there. He and Mirri passed many disturbing sights along the way and eventually had to flee into the woods after leaving the keep to avoid the many orcs patrolling the road. He reveals that they are on a mission of sorts to deliver a message from Captain Coris to his superiors in Gorna asking for assistance or reinforcements. Valen explains that they are also headed to Gorna and both parties agree to travel together, as there is safety in numbers.

The entire party returns to the cabin where Zurn performs last rites on the dead madman lying outside.

There is more talk and discussion within the cabin as Belwar and Zurn investigate the storeroom (searching for beer). Arlen hears a strange whispering apparently coming from outside and hushes the group as he points to a window in alarm. Belwar, Himo, and Mirri run outside to check as the others look through the open window. The search reveals nothing, however. Arlen tries to shrug off the strange experience and tends to the fire in the hearth. Valen notices the exposed hole in the fireplace mantle and mentions it as the others return. Arlen reveals the five vials of liquid (two red and three blue) that he found in the hole. Valen and Zurn examine these, but unfortunately cannot identify the liquid within [both tried using their Spellcraft skill]. Arlen also shows them the madman's dagger. Zurn and Belwar both examine the weapon closely and agree that it is a Masterwork dagger, but Belwar determines that it is decidedly less than dwarven quality. Arlen describes the dead man against the tree that he and Mirri found. He explains that the man, who held an identical dagger, appeared to be tearing at a bandaged wound on his shoulder. He also apparently had some very strange self-inflicted wounds in both ears. No-one is sure what to make of all this and the others do not recall seeing this fellow.

Everyone settles in and Arlen plays a relaxing rhythm on his elven drum as he tries very hard to ignore further whispering on the wind. Valen, meanwhile, works his nature magic to produce a handful of berries for them to eat. Mirri is spooked by this and refuses to eat the berry offered to her, though.

Soon, Himo also hears the faint whispering on the wind. He announces this and another round of listening and searching takes place, but still nothing is found. Arlen is both relieved and disturbed by this. Relieved that someone beside himself has actually heard the strange whispering and of course disturbed as it doesn't seem to be going away at all and they still cannot locate the source.

Himo has many questions about the bizarre flying-stump man that attacked them and Valen tries his best to answer him. Valen reveals what he knows of wendigos. This thing that attacked them seemed to fit in with the stories that he has heard about these dreadful creatures. He explains in simple terms that there are times when mother earth becomes angry at the abuse of her world and responds by creating a wendigo. A Wendigo was once a beast as ordinary as any other, and could have been a man or any other creature. It is essentially a spirit of vengeance. He further explains that the wind whispering is one of the hallmarks of the haunting wendigo.

It is agreed that the madman's body should be removed before the party settles down for the evening. Zurn decides to toss the body over the edge of the cliff. As he does this, he notices that there are already two other bodies down there and returns with this news. The group decides to investigate this discovery. Himo and Belwar wait in the cabin while the others make their way to the cliff.

Arlen and Valen hold a rope while Mirri and Zurn climb down to the bottom of the cliff. Zurn investigates the bodies while Mirri stands guard with her spear at the ready. Zurn determines that they were probably chewed up by the wendigo before they were thrown over the cliff. Arlen hears the whispering on the wind again... He is shaken up, but holds fast to the rope. When Mirri and Zurn finally return to the cliff top Arlen wastes no time in high-tailing it back to the cabin.

Once everyone is back they discuss spending the night here in the cabin. It is agreed that there should be three watches (with two sentries for each watch) during the night. One sentry will patrol outside of the cabin while the other sentry keeps watch inside. The first two watches pass uneventfully, except for the fact that Arlen still hears the increasingly annoying whispering of the wendigo. It occurs to him that the dead fellow against the tree (with the apparent self-inflicted wounds in his ears) may have also heard the whispering and that it may have ultimately drove the man mad and caused him to injure himself with his dagger. Arlen is very concerned that he will share this unfortunate man's fate if he continues to hear this whispering all the time. He is very eager to move on from this haunted place now.

Sap/Delver's Moon +28: Third Watch

Valen (on watch inside) watches as Himo rises silently from his spot on the floor and purposely makes his way to Arlen's side. He continues to watch in disbelief as Himo (clearly not himself) leans very close, taking the arm of the fitfully sleeping Arlen...

"ARLEN!" Everyone is suddenly awakened by Valen's yelling. Arlen jolts awake to find Himo hovering over him and about to bite into his arm. The half-elf jerks his arm away before any teeth can penetrate his skin and scrambles to his feet. He hurriedly explains to the others what has just transpired as he heads to door. However, he finds the door blocked by Belwar (who has just come in after hearing Valen's cry) so he throws himself out through a window in a panic. Mirri quickly runs outside to check on him.

Valen, Belwar, Zurn, and Himo also exit the cabin and gather for a private discussion. Himo seems to be himself again now and has no explanation or recollection of what happened inside. Belwar voices his concern that they have not been totally forthcoming with Arlen and Mirri about their current plan. They still need to find the "swamp lady" on their way east to Gorna, yet Arlen and Mirri know nothing of this plan. Valen is unconcerned by this, though.

Meanwhile, Arlen crawls back through the window into the now empty cabin and gathers up all of his and Mirri's equipment. He passes the stuff out through the window to Mirri and then hastily exits through the window himself. He is still hearing the mysterious whispering on the wind and tells Mirri that they must get away from this terrible haunted cabin immediately. They soon join the others and are filled in on the side quest for the "swamp lady". The discussion has now moved on to the wendigo and Himo. The general consensus is that Himo seems to be infected with some type of "lycanthropy" from the wendigo. Belwar feels that if they can find the "swamp lady" she may be able to help their friend. Himo and Arlen are still hearing the wendigo's whispering on the wind. Arlen is completely spooked and wants to get as far away from this haunted cabin as possible. It is agreed by all that the party should leave the cabin behind. Belwar re-enters the cabin and gathers up the remaining equipment.

The party finally leaves the area, heading southward away from the cabin. The comming night will be the first of the new Moon (what the elves call the "Sprouting Grass Moon" and the Dwarves call the "Egg Moon"). Mirri leads them away south on a deer path towards the road. Valen explains his theory of the wendigo as the party moves along. He believes that the wendigo has been haunting the cabin, driving folk there mad and possibly infecting them with his disease or with the madness of the constant whispering. The madman that attacked Arlen was probably hiding from the wendigo in the store room. He likely tossed the other two bodies over the cliff (maybe after killing them himself), either out of madness or because they were infected by the wendigo. [Dray, my apologies if I've hacked up your theory. I don't recall what you actually said at the time and had to fill this in by memory... feel free to let me know if it needs fixin'. -fraz-]

The party travels for a couple of hours and finally halts at dawn so that Valen and Zurn can meditate and regain their spells. Arlen continues to hear the wendigo's whispering during this time and tries his best to ignore it, but it is driving him nuts. Belwar offers up a theory that the silver-colored dagger could be cursed. Perhaps it would be best to get rid of it. Arlen does not believe that the dagger is magical (his Detect Magic spell did not reveal an aura of any kind). Despite all this, he considers discarding the dagger here in the woods (where he hopes it is unlikely to be found again anytime soon), perhaps then the annoying whispering on the wind would cease (and he would not be inclined to inflict damage on his own ears).

The party suddenly finds themselves under attack! The wendigo has found them! The wendigo attacks Himo immediately. Arlen panics and throws the silver-colored dagger off into the woods, hoping that the wendigo (which he now thinks must be the source of the whispering) will possibly leave them to reclaim it. The wendigo, however, continues it's relentless attack. The party fights back. Arlen fires an arrow which strikes the wendigo and then falls to the ground below. As the fight continues on, Zurn casts bless and Arlen recites a battle chant inspiring courage in his companions. The battle goes well (although, Belwar is unfortunately struck by the wendigo). Belwar damages it with his axe and a nasty spear thrust by Mirri finally brings the wendigo down to the ground. The party continues hacking at the body until someone suggests that they cut off the head. Himo chops off the wendigo's head with his masterwork longsword.

Mirri suggests strongly that they burn the body and bury the head. She continues to keep the prone and apparently dead wendigo pinned down with her spear. She soon notices that the axe wound in the wendigo's torso seems to be mending itself. The wendigo is apparently regenerating! There is a sudden panic and flurry of activity and everyone agrees that this thing must be burned before it can arise again. Arlen, Belwar and Zurn gather wood to make a fire. Valen, who was trying to finish his meditation, gives up and prepares a Produce Flame spell with which he can burn the body. As the ball of fire lights up in his hand, Mirri quickly backs off with her spear. Belwar pours oil on the wendigo and Valen hurls the ball of fire at the body. As it burns, they throw the gathered wood on the flames.

Zurn takes a few moments to tend to the wounded. Himo still has a nasty looking wound/scar from the wendigo's initial attack at the cliff.
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Offline Johan

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Session 16 - Whispers on the Wind
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2005, 12:34:28 PM »
Hmmm...I don't recall.

I didn't go out of my way to change it; just an oversight...

I'll put it back.
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Offline fraz

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Session 16 - Whispers on the Wind
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2005, 11:13:28 PM »
Hey, uh, what happened to the title that I had for this episode (y'know, the one I made when I wrote it up)?  On this one is called "Whispers on the Wind".  Was that not good enough or sumthin'?  What gives?