- The Battle (continued)
- Detante and Friendship
- Oh, Crap!
The Battle (continued)
Merrick rushed down the trail so that he could cast Spare the Dying on the fallen druid that had leapt at Idra. Idra was wondering how things had gotten so far flummoxed when all he attempted to do was to dare the wussy druid to try and break his nose. Valeria and Milpot watched westward as rushing figures from a nearby campfire came in response to the sounds of combat and howls of pain that had just subsided.
Two men and a woman dressed in muted woodland colored clothes wearing breastplates rushed out of the fog. They were armed with heavy crossbows and had longswords and a shield strapped to their back. As they came into easy viewing distance they surveyed the scene and halted raising their crossbows to fire upon the party members, striking Valeria with two arrows and striking Idra who managed to knock the crossbow bolt out of the air harmlessly. After firing, the three rangers dropped their crossbows intimating that they'd be drawing their longswords on the following round.
Milpot cast Shatter about the rangers, destroying the fallen crossbows as a loud clap of thunder pounded the rangers causing them to bleed out of their noses. The had been shouting that they wanted the fighting to stop which fell on deaf ears as a half-elf druid, following the rangers, came out of the smoky train and cast a Fireball on the center of the party. The spell exploded, knocking Idra out of the fight and damaging the others, including the fallen druids that had just been stabilized. Frustrated that their pleading were falling on deaf ears the party began to target their new foes even though they really didn't want to make the druids enemies (and become the baddies).
The following round of combat continued to be just as erratic as the previous round as Merrick was the only one to see a large, human-sized suit of armor descend out of the air and onto the ground next to the druid. The suit of armor had attempted to swing its two handed sword at the half-elf woman but whiffed, cutting a swath of earth and ash which showered the druid instead. From the south, Doria the Halfling druid had also been rushing towards the sound of combat and finally crested the large hill, and the confusion on her face mixed with accusation as she looked upon the fallen bodies of druid and party member alike as she tried to assess just what in the nine hells was going on!
Doria had attempted to halt the fighting by casting an Entanglement spell on several of the rangers and party members that were fighting one another. The party continued to try and minimize the damage to the rangers, not wanting to kill the people who were trying to correct the chaotic weather patterns but also having to acknowledge that neither the rangers nor the half-elf druid were interested in curbing the violence.
The suit of armor continued to swing and cut into the half-elf druid who had also been receiving blasts from Valeria round after round. The half-elf was resilient, taking damage from spell and sword while burning the suit of armor with flames that shot out of her hands. The flames did seem to cause the armor damage, but both remained standing and continued to war on one another. Valeria continued to hammer the half-elf druid with her Eldritch Blast until she alone received a second Fireball that was directed solely at her. The party watched as the ever present smoke around Valeria's body briefly dissipated as the pressure and the "boom" of the fireball forced the smoke away. All watched the soles of Valeria's boots rose and fell as her body crashed into the ground, dying.
Doria then raised her staff to the sky, emmitting a pearly white beam of light into the sky which was followed by a giant 40' ft. diameter beam of moonlight onto the half-elf druid, a ranger, and the suit of armor to try and reinforce her plea to stop the violence and quit the half-elf druid from targeting the party with her strange druidic spells. The half-elf druid was finally brought down with the Moon Beam, while the armor and a ranger began trading blows, having taken damage from the druidic spell, but still able to stand and fight.
The resilience of rangers were also witnessed as Merrick, tired of dealing with the stuck up ranger that continued to wail on him with his longsword, cast Guiding Bolt, calling on Tritherion to increase its power and smite his foe. Holy light burst from his shield, illuminating the ranger with burning angelic light, and even though the ranger staggered from the cleric's devine power, he managed to keep his footing and remained standing. Merrick sighed as the crazed look of determination on the ranger indicated that he would, once again, bring the weight of his sword down upon the cleric.
Finally 2 of the 3 rangers where knocked out, the last remaining ranger succumbed to Milpot's Suggestion that surrendering was not without honor in this instance. 4 more druids came upon the scene from the east, responding to the continued sound of combat and looked upon with horror as they caught site of the broken and unconscious bodies that lay about the campground. Doria and motioned them that things were under control, at least temporarily, so as to not restart combat amongst supposed allies.
Detante and Friendship
The new druids that had come upon the scene seemed to be more shocked than upset about the carnage that was strewn about the campsite. The magical suit of armor had actually flown over Silver Surfer style and landed between Idra's unconscious body and the lone ranger that seemed to have fully accepted Milpot's suggestion of surrender and friendship.
Merrick was the first to notice a quirky hand gesture that one of the druids continued to make which consisted of bringing his thumbs together and crossing his index fingers to form and uncomplete hourglass shape. This druid, named Sauruki, seemed to furtively make this symbol over and over while watching for recognition as he would then quickly disguise it with a scratch on the hand or wrist. Doria pressed the party as to just what the hell happened, party members were being revived.
The conversation that followed was disjointed, confusing, and frustrating as all three parties attempted to figure out what had happened and who everyone was. Below is listed some of the information that was discussed:
- The druid's seemed very confused about the party's telling of the transformation of the first two druids to having a wolf-person form. They assured the party that druids, did indeed, have the ability to transform into beasts, but they were not able to partially transfer into a beast-man hybrid. The druids mentioned lycanthropy as a possibility but assured the party that any druidic circle would be able to cure a cursed member of this disease if one ever contracted the disease.
- The lone ranger, whom the party never bothered to ask him his name, described Lytin, the half-elf druid, as a priestess and admitted that she had quite a temper. He said that she was tasked with interviewing the druids that came to the Scarlet Moon Hall to participate in the circle to see if they were worthy of joining the Scarlet Moon Circle. Storal and Wiglaff, the two druids who had fought Idra, were two people that had Lytin had stated impressed her. He mentioned that she liked to burn things and that those whom Lytin called weak had been fed to the flames above.
- Doria said that druidic magic and rites did not require human sacrifice so she was certainly appalled at this statement. Even 3 of the 4 druids that responded to the violence late actually looked sick to the stomach at this admission while Sauruki seemed to take it in stride.
- Valeria took Doria aside and discussed that maybe there were two groups of druids here or a group present that had been posing as druids. This seemed to make sense and so Doria assured Valeria of the soundness of the first camp site when the party had arrived at the base of the hill. Doria suggested going to each campsite and re-interviewing the people there to make sure of their being druids. She said that she could test this out with her ritualistic druidic tongue but the party was weak and needed to rest so they opted to camp down at Lytin's camp site before investigating the other campsites.
- Both Valeria and Merrick seriously doubt Sauruki's credibility. His hand signs seem to indicate he's trying to communicate something to the party but he has, so far, not received what he has been looking for. He seems to be cut of a different cloth from the 3 that he is camping with and the 3 had already stated that they had met him on their way here and offered to share their campsite with him. The druids do not seem to suspect Sauruki so it may be the party chasing shadows.
- The suit of armor has answered some yes/no questions but not others. Idra is contemplating turning him into a walking trash can but has yet to test this. He doesn't understand why he has come under its attentions which has the party puzzled as well. So far it doesn't seem violent to the party so they are content to leave it alone.
- The campsite further to the west of Lytin's is one druid that the ranger has admitted that Lytin has said will not make the cut. The implication is that she would eventually be fed to the fire, but the current events seemed to have curbed that for the moment.
- The ranger seems high and very free with his knowledge, of which he knows some but not alot. He has mentioned that their leader is a real druid by the name of Elizar and that Lytin was tasked by Elizar to interview the arrivals for their ability.
The party retired, opting to take a long rest at the site of Lytin's and the ranger's camp. The ranger even pointed out his cot as he jumped down onto it. The party arranged their watch, once again Idra volunteering to stay awake for the last watch so that he could keep an eye out on Doria who he has blamed for all of the ill actions that have gone on here (because she is a half-ling and a druid AND a woman).
It was in the morning that one oversite seemed to have made a big impact. The party did not bother to tie up the ranger. It had been discussed but when it was made clear that it might be perceived as an aggressive action the thought was dropped. Now that the suggestion spell had ended, the ranger sought to escape and flea to safety.
The ranger bungled a sneak roll as he tried to crawl out of the rear of tent. Idra approached him and asked him what he was doing. His furtive and nervous glances only gave Idra a moment before the ranger took off running down the trail towards the site of the combat where the trail led to the top of the hill and the Scarlet Moon Circle. Idra managed an elbow chop on the ranger as he fled, but the ranger dashed ahead, breaking away from the camp. Doria cussed, and began waking the party up. She was exclaiming why the prisoner hadn't been tied up and that he had escaped, the rest of the party hastily woke up and began following after Idra, watching as the suit of armor flew diagonally over the rough terrain as it moved to intercept the run away ranger.
The session ended with Idra's smug face falling as he managed to catch up to the fleeing ranger and purview the scene. He looked upon a courtyard with a large wicker statue that contained within it a huge burning fire that did not seem to ignite the wicker frame. There were guards along the scaffolding that had been erected around the lone broken tower. 2 robed figures stood in front of the statue with their hands pressed together, bowed in prayer.
Next week… The Courtyard!