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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RKHurlburt

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