Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Fresh Start

So, after quitting that first game, I joined Craig's 3.5e D&D game, which ran on Saturday afternoons. Before I joined, the group consisted of mostly characters who were from, or connected to, the village of Lorrik's Haven.

Pate - A male half-orc cleric/barbarian who has, being an orphan, dedicated himself to the protection of children. He is very popular among the village's younger residents and will be sorely missed during his journeys. Of course, the children of the village expect him to return with wonderful, if simple, stories of his travels. Played by Jason

Calatin - A male, human druid who lives near the village and has spent a great deal of time with Broadleaf, a very old treant druid who calls a glen just west of town his home. Calatin's best friend is a wolf named Hornet, who still sports scars on his muzzle from "that time he stuck his head in a nest of the stinging insects." Played by Mike E.

Timond - A male, human wizard who grew up the youngest son of a local farming family. At an early age, he expressed an interest in the strange talents possessed by the local weird hermit, Bartle, and has been studying under him for some time. Bartle just recently kicked him out (in a friendly-mentor sort of way) to find his own path. Played by Roy

Ehrdren - A male, human fighter/scout with a penchant for the great outdoors and a skill-set reflecting that. He is the only son of the owner of the local inn, the Inn of the Sundered Sword, and leaves town with the blessing of his father and little sister. Played by Mike B.

Kai - A female human bard who grew up in a fey city in the western forest. She left the forest, with the help of a pixie named Widdershins, to whom she is married. She me the rest of the group as they adventured in the outskirts of the forest, and accompanied them afterward. Played by Toni

The first session I played was very strange. The group had gone through a bunch of adventures already. They rounded up some escaped animals and monsters for a traveling circus, and fought a bunch of halflings in a wooden giant suit. They saved a villager from undead "Hollow Ones", and fought a "demon" of sorts, that had been sent by someone named Aleksar, to kill Pate. They entered the western wood to find where the Hollow Ones come from, only to encounter a pixie named Widdershins, who answered some of their questions, and told them how the forest was expanding to the east (towards Lorrik's Haven), and about the forest king, who lives at the center. They found that the forest was gray and dead and ashen, as if it had been burned. They discovered an old keep and fought fey spirits known as Slaugh, finding their cache of valuables, including a parchment that contained The Song of the Dusky Fey, which held clues to what was happening. They also rescued an adventurer named Eduard, who had more information, including how the forest shifted around, and that the leader of his group (now missing) had a map that would track the shifting forest. On their way our, they met Kai, who saw them all as different kinds of fey creatures... Timond was a Slaugh, Pate a Redcap, Calatin a Hammadryad (a male dryad), and Ehrdren a Thorn... Eduard she just saw as a human. She accompanied them out of the forest, back to Lorrik's Haven. There, they questioned Ehrdren's father about events of the past, and then decided to head east, to perhaps learn more about the Dusky Wood.

This is when I entered the game. It was a very interesting start... quite strange, in fact. My character, Zorenthiel Moonshadow, an elven cleric/sorcerer, was in the next town east of Lorrik's Haven, known as Barston. Several women in the town were having difficulties, as their pregnancies had carried on almost twice as long as they should have. Zorenthiel had been investigating this for them, mainly with research, when the rest of the group arrived. Joining in my investigation, we they helped discover that the well water was poisoned... not deadly, for for some purpose... and that there were two kinds of magic emanating from the women, and enchantment and an evocation, both concealed by an illusion. We had everyone stop drinking the well water, and Calatin created water for the town from this point on.

Then, with the blessing of the mothers, we began to experiment with dispelling the magics on them. The first attempt, we successfully dispelled the evocation, but not the enchantment. The woman's baby suddenly stopped moving, and the mother became very ill. I had Zorenthiel detect poison, and found that poison was beginning to course through the woman, originating from the baby. Zor worked with Calatin to help forestall the poison, and the woman suddenly went into labor and gave birth to a sickly gray baby that immediately tried to bite everyone. We spared the mother seeing that, and needed a few more days of trying to dispel the enchantment, hopeful that this would return the baby to normal, but dispelling it had no effect on the child. Left with no choice, Zor used his clerical powers to destroy the undead baby, turning it to dust.

Then the other three pregnant women suddenly went into labor at the same time. We determined that it was about the same time that we had taken them off the well water (we had isolated the first woman before the others), and we worked quickly. We dispelled the enchantment first on the next try, and had a stillborn baby, and the same thing happened to the next woman and child. We quickly fed some of the well water to the last woman, stopping her labor (and confirming the exact purpose of the poison). Preparing more spells, we dispelled all the magic on this last woman, and she gave birth to an undead baby, like the first had.

It was quite sad, really, but it didn't seem like there was any way to save the children (other than to, perhaps, just leave the situation be), so I took heart in that, at least, but I still would have liked to have had at least one of the babies born without dispelling any of the magic, just to see what would happen.

Well, after all that, the town leaders asked us to leave. I couldn't blame them for that, but the women were at least relieved to have their pregnancies end, and hopefully they could try again to have children (if they weren't completely traumatized by the first attempts!).

So, it wasn't the most successful start to my time in the game, but it certainly was interesting, and the other players were good people who had a lot of fun with the game. I had a feeling I was going to like this group.

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