Plots and Perils in Darkmoon Vale

Session Three: The Hag-Haunted Hollow

Dutch, River, and Torvek left the oldest tree in Darkmoon behind and made their way toward the next spot marked on their map- Ulizmila’s hut. The day was peaceful, and the only interesting thing that happened was running across a patch of glowmold. Dutch harvested a handful of it and Torvek put it on the front of his shield so everyone could see ahead when they walked in the darkness.

Later that day the adventurers found the glade surrounding the old witch’s hut. After traveling through the forest the silence of the glade was eerie, as were the small fetishes spread around the open ground. At the center squatted a small hut of twigs and mud, with knucklebones and beast carcasses dangling from its eaves. Everything appeared to have seen little use or passage of man or woman for some time.

As they approached the hut, all eyes scanned the area for danger. Nothing could be seen, but there was still a sense that not everything was right. At the moldering door, River raised her hand and concentrated on the hut before her. The druid found an old, weak magical energy coming from all over the inside of the hut. One spot, however, revealed faint illusion magic. Once River explained to her companions what she’d discovered, Torvek opened the door and used the glowmold on his shield to illuminate the inside.

The interior of the hut was small, and dominated by a large, rusted iron cauldron. The walls were lined with shelves covered with all the bizarre items you might expect to find in the hut of a witch. No one was willing to enter the hut, because on the other side of the cauldron was a high-backed chair made of wicker, gigantic curved tusks, and humanoid teeth. Worse, in the chair sat a figure wrapped in strips of linen and sprouting patches of thick white mold.

The item that River detected as magical was on a shelf not too far from the door. It was the small, shrunken head of a dwarf. It didn’t look like the rat’s tail they were sent to find, but the party decided to stay in the doorway and use River’s spear to reach the head and lift if off the shelf. River had to stretch to reach it, but she managed to hook the head’s leather thong with her spear tip and bring it over to the group. That is when things went crazy.

The cauldron shuddered, then lifted its feet off the dirt floor. While the party looked on with wide eyes and gaping mouths, its opening closed and opened like a large mouth, then the whole thing waddled forward and attacked. River and Torvek moved into the hut on either side of the cauldron while Dutch stayed in the doorway. The large iron pot chased Tovek and tried to get him into its mouth but the dwarf was able to dodge away.

Believing the cauldron was after the shrunken head, the heroes decided to throw the magical trinket into the mouth-like opening. River did, but the cauldron’s behavior did not change. They then decided the head needed to be destroyed. Again River used her spear to snag the head from within the cauldron (while it tried to bite her) and fling it to Dutch. The elven ranger failed to catch the head as it flew over hers and landed on the ground outside the hut. Dutch deftly drew her rapier and impaled the head where it lay.

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Session Two: Entering the Forest

Dutch, Torvek, and River made their way down the dirt road to the lumber camp. On the way, they noticed some tracks crossing the road from the direction of the Darkmoon Wood. They followed the tracks, but after a short distance they mysteriously disappeared. The heroes considered following the tracks back into the forest, but decided their mission to relieve the suffering of the residents of Falcon’s Hollow was more important.

After a near-altercation with several loggers, the party met with Jarlben Trookshavits, the camp foreman, and Milon Rhoddam, the most experienced woodsman working for the Lumber Consortium. Milon revealed that his nephew was suffering from blackscour taint, and gave the group a map showing the most likely locations for the ingredients necessary for Laurel’s healing mixture.

The party headed into the forest, following a route that would take them around the lake in the center. According to the map, the Forest Elder, where they would find the elderwood moss, was on the other side. On their way, they were ambushed by a hobgoblin and his pet razorcrows. River’s focus was on the trapped and wounded firefoot fennec (a local breed of fox) that was the bait that drew them in. Torvek used his massive shield and heavy armor to protect River from the arrows flying out of the trees. Dutch stepped into the trees to try to locate the sniper, and picked off the two razorcrows while she was at it. It took some time, and several insults were hurled (between party members, no less), but the group eventually found the sniper and worked together to finish him off.

The next day the party found the Forest Elder, the oldest tree in Darkmoon Wood. Before they could search for the elderwood moss, a strange creature that looked like a large snake with two arms burst out of the branches and attacked them. It coiled around River, but Torvek and Dutch were able to kill it before it could do much harm to her. After River caught her breath, they found and collected a large sample of elderwood moss, but left enough behind to be certain that it would continue to grow.

The group decided to move on to their next target. On the way, River’s lion companion, Summer, sensed something strange in the forest ahead of them. The party waited, weapons ready, until a small, strange humanoid shuffled out of the underbrush. It appeared to be a kobold, but it’s flesh was rotting and a large portion of its skull could be seen. As it moved closer, Dutch realized it was a zombie, one of the undead, her most hated enemy. The zombie kobold barely had a chance to attack before the party destroyed it. The zombie had a sign hanging around its neck, with a message only River could read. It read “shaman”.

The companions took a short rest to discuss their plans. They were concerned about the possibility of someone creating undead and sending them through the forest. They knew, however, that they could do nothing until Falcon’s Hollow was cleansed of blackscour taint.

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Session One: Arrival in Falcon's Hollow

The PCs entered Falcon’s Hollow and quickly noticed the sickness in town. They ran into Sheriff Deldrin Baleson. He told them a bit of what was going on, and made suggestions of where they could go and who they should avoid. They started with cinnamon-crusted flapjacks at Jak’a’Napes. They asked Jak, the proprietor, a few questions about the sheriff, and were told that he is the only person to ever stand up to Thaldrin Kreed, the local boss of the Lumber Consortium.

After breakfast they ran across Roots and Remedies, the business of Laurel the herbalist. There was a long line of sick people waiting to see Laurel, but thanks to the intimidation of Torvek and River’s pet lion, they avoided waiting in line for an hour. River and Dutch had a confusing conversation with Laurel, but learned of the three special ingredients needed to create the cure for blackscour taint: Elderwood moss, rat’s tail, and seven ironbloom mushrooms. Laurel also told them their best bet for finding these ingredients is to speak with Milon Rhoddam at the lumber camp.

Before leaving for the lumber camp, the party decided to visit The Sitting Duck, an inn popular with adventuring types. The only person present in the main room was a halfling going by the name of Evan. Torvek had a long and (again) confusing conversation with Evan. The halfling said the rest of his party was still asleep, and that they had been spending time up on Droskar’s Crag looking for ways into the old Dwarven tunnels.

Eventually, the group left Falcon’s Hollow to make their way to the lumber camp.

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