Monday, March 22, 2010

Seattle Campaign 2.3: The Wraith Remains

3/14/10 Trouble at Maskhigh

--experience awarded
--from the Stone of Thanuran, the party members gain +30 XP; they are also "cursed" by the Stone's remaining corruption
--many characters are ready for their median tests
--the party is unconscious from the Ritual of Cleansing and Dividing for almost three days; they wake the tower of Loxias; Ti'anti tells them what happened after the ritual; they eventually return to Loxian and are put up in The Adventurine Inn
--every party member remembers strange dreams; they feel as if they are full of energy that ebbs and flows; they feel on edge some of the time; they feel like they have memories not their own; their dreams are troubled; the power of the Stone heightens some of their darker or more troubled thoughts and desires
--their thoughts are also tinged by the geas that binds them to Loxias: "You must liege to Loxias, protect the Realm's interests, and honor the Sovereign Temples for a year and a day"
--Lord Mayor Loxias meets with the party; he looks much stronger, much better
--he tells them that the ritual was mostly successful; he says that the power from the Stone will take some time to become "integrated;" he says that whatever they do, whatever actions they take, whatever thoughts they think can affect how the power settles; Loxias says that the party must give the power purpose
--Loxias says that their first task will be to track down the wraith fragment that escaped from the Stone
--Loxias provides the party with a small sphere of smokey quartz that can sense the direction/presence of the wraith (since its power is connected to the Stone's power); it seems that the party also can be detected; they are touched with a little bit of "undeath"
--Ti'anti provides the party with further resources: everyone receives a magical weapon (which will be useful for battling the wraith); Tirdim receives new magical formulae
--the wraith has moved southeast of Loxian; heading perhaps down the river toward the coast; the wraith will need to take life in order to grow stronger
--the party travels down the Masked River; they stop first in Maskhigh, a small village a day's ride from Loxian
--in Maskhigh, they try to find any sign of the wraith
--the next morning, while performing devotionals, Telisa and Wren are approached by the village elders who say a local woodsman Venny is having trouble with his father-in-law Taubin; Taubin is aged and infirm; Venny says that he has locked himself in his room and refuses to come out; Venny and Taubin do not like each other; Taubin seems to be a bit of a mean fellow; Venny asks for the village healer Litra's help and Litra asks Telisa and Wren to check on the old man
--Telisa and Wren tell the rest of the party; the situation may not be related to the wraith, but the priests decide it was important to check anyway
--Telisa, Wren, Tirdim, and Galen go ahead to Venny's farm; Lanthorn and Riseif wait behind
--the initial party arrive at the homestead to discover Venny dead, throat cut from behind, dead in the main living area of the house; they find the old man Taubin holed up in a wardrobe in his bedroom; Taubin is covered in blood and he seems to have killed his own son-in-law; he also seems to have drank Venny's blood; Taubin seems mad
--the party calls for Lanthorn and Riseif
--the old man Taubin is possessed by the wraith; Tirdim tries to hold the wraith in a summoner's circle; the wraith tries to possess Tirdim but fails; the wraith tries to provoke the party and Tirdim puts the old man to sleep
--the wraith raises the corpse of Venny; the party dispatches the zombie quickly
--the old man seems to freak out and Galen crosses the summoner's circle and stabs the old man
--the wraith escapes
--Tirdim uses one of Burnbeard's potions of resuscitation to bring back the old man
--they move the bodies outside and think about how to get the wraith, who is hiding somewhere in or under the house; they consider burning the house down
--a cat under the house caterwauls; the party circles the house to find the cat thinking the wraith might be possessing the cat; they open the crawlspace under the house and a mangy cat rushes out; Riseif kills the cat but there is no sign of the wraith
--realizing they have left the bodies alone, they return to the front of the house to discover that both bodies have been reanimated and moved off in different directions
--the party splits to chase down each body; the body of Venny (already broken) is dispatched again; the body of the old man is possessed by the wraith; the party stops the wraith but the wraith escapes into the shadows of the trees; Taubin is dead
--the party tells the village elders and plan to pursue the wraith further down river

4/4/10 Wildin of Masden

--the adventurers assuage the village of Maskhigh as best as possible before leaving
--they follow the wraith using the wraith stone to the southeast along the Masked River, ostensibly heading toward Middern, a small town halfway between Loxian and the coastal city of Floodern
--travel is slowed and miserable as the weather turns ugly and winter rains soak the land
--less than a day out of Middern, the wraith's path turns away from the road and heads east of the river; nothing on the map shows any noteworthy settlements (though there are always small camps and homesteads); something must have turned the wraith's attention
--the adventurers follow into wetter, muddier, wilder territory
--Telisa and Wren, during morning devotionals, receive visions from their gods; they sense the presence of the wraith in the forest east of the river and the presence is getting stronger; they both are given messages that their faith will soon be tested
--late in the day on the second day turning from the main road, the party comes upon a deserted village; the village, more like a dozen or so houses built together, is completely empty of people, though there is no sign that they packed up and left; the village seems recently abandoned
--in one house, the party discovers signs of a fight and blood stains; the house belonged to a family--two parents--and a boy named "Wildin"
--Tirdim uses psychometry to learn some things about the boy; he is still alive somewhere
--the party beds down in one of the larger houses
--in the middle of the night, the first watch hears someone running through the rain soaked street; Telisa and Galen follow; they stumble upon two corpses buried in the mud between two houses; the corpses look like they have been drained of blood and life; they dispose of the bodies (chop them up)
--there is sign that whoever is moving about is the boy, perhaps possessed by the wraith
--in the morning, they find a body left sitting, looking to the north east (the direction of where the wraith's presence is), in the middle of the road outside of the party's house; the body is also drained and unnaturally aged; the group takes it as an invitation
--on their way to the northeast, they come upon another body, this time of a woman, hung up in a tree by her toes; the wraith is playing with the group
--the party discovers a cave; Lanthorn and Riseif are both claustrophobic but manage to will themselves inside; in the cave they discover eight people, tied up, unconscious, who look like they have been bitten and bled, as if something was feeding off of their blood
--why would the wraith need to drink blood? why wouldn't it just absorb the people's life force? why the "moves" of vampirism?
--the wake one of the people, a woman named Oret, who is frightened and confused; she reveals (after some fumbled conversation rolls) that the boy Wildin was a wilding, a child that grew up in the wilderness, perhaps raised by darklings; the boy was adopted by a couple in the village; but the boy tended to the cruel and "feral"
--the party surmises, perhaps, that Wildin had some spark of darkness/evil that drew the attention of the wraith
--the wraith remains out of sight, reach; Telisa thinks she sees a young boy in the distance
--the wraith sets fire to one of the village houses, perhaps killing more villagers trapped inside or burning bodies; again the wraith seems to be toying with the group
--eventually, the wraith sets off away from the village and heads toward Middern
--the party leaves the remaining villagers to fend for themselves
--they ride hard to arrive in Middern; the town is small but there is an inn and a working dock and local guard; they find rooms as the Inn of the White Wall; they warn the local elders of a "infectious" boy; Riseif talks to the local blacksmith and makes some silver holy symbols for the party
--there is some discussion about why the wraith has taken over the boy's body
--the presense of the wraith does not enter the town but remains somewhere north, where there are homesteads and farms, away from the bustle of Middern; the party decides to head north to try to track it down

4/11/10 Aquellon the Waterwise

--the party investigates the village of Middern; they investigate the inn, the town, and they tell the village Elders about a "diseased" child on the run
--in the middle of the night, Tirdim is woken from sleep sensing the voice being used far in the distnace, enough magic that seems like a magical combat
--the party gears up and rides to the north of the village; they come upon a small farm and house; the land around the house is set with pools for growing water plants; when the party arrives, they find the house and the immediate ground completely frozen, covered by frost and thick ice--ice that is pale blue-white and glows slightly
--the house is guarded by water elementals that look like rushing columns of water; any time someone approaches the house or attempts to enter the house, the elementals attack
--the house is surrounded by incredible cold; they eventually crack through the ice on a window, break into the house; inside the house everything is covered in glowing frost; inside they also find an old man completely encased by the same blue-white ice; it seems the old man is a mage and the frost was a spontaneous, last-ditch effort
--the party is attacked by ice elementals; shattering ice from around the room form into spider-like icy golems; they defeat the ice golems
--the wraithstone senses the presence of the wraith centered on the old man in the ice; the party thinks the wraith might be trapped inside the old man
--the party discuss what to do about the old man; Tirdim touches the mind of the frozen mage and senses only rage, paranoia, fear; meanwhile, something tries to influence some in the party (particularly Wren) to free the mage
--the party decides to wait till morning; in the morning, the magical ice melts, evaporating; the mage is freed and is completely enraged; Tirdim manages to put the mage to sleep; they move the mage to the bed
--suddenly, the wraith (in the body of the young Wildin) appears outside of the house; the wraith enters the house and attacks the mage, drinking deeply of the mage's blood; the party attacks the wraith; the wraith summons a sphere; Telisa dispells the sphere and the party attacks the wraith again but not before the wraith completely drains the mage; the wraith then phases through the floor and escapes
--the wraith tells the party that he has now gained enough power to evade them and soon will be powerful enough to come back for them:
"I am no longer spirit and hate, I am spirit made flesh
I am no longer flesh and weakness, I am blood and hunger
I am no longer alone and longing, I am greater and stronger
I am no longer afraid and small, I am murder and fear itself."
--the wraithstone no longer can sense the presence of the wraith
--the party discovers the old man is a mage named Aquellon Sirn or Aquellon the Waterwise; they uncover money, a number of potions, two magic items (rod of hydromancy and letter opener of erase page), Aquellon's research and spellbook
--they decide to return to Loxian

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