Players: Marc Brown (Ahn’a), Jack Bateson (Athelstan Blandifoot), James Dean-Hughes (Jian Blevis), INdran (Seerena Tonauac), Neil Simpson (Rael)
Date: 18 November 2015
Adventure: “Wolfstar Rising
Godsday, 4th Reaping 593 CY
- Rael runs like a startled rabbit, passing the rest of the party at a clip.
- Alerted that the elf is being pursued by a gaggle of angry zombies Ahn’a, Seerena, Athelstan, Jian and Samildanak quickly follow him.
- The forest is dark and oppressive and there are sounds of pursuit everywhere. There are also sounds of something very large and nasty crashing through the trees, crushing branches and splintering boughs.
- Ahn’a leads the way, still dragged forward by the compulsion of the artefact she carries.
- The party is waylaid by what looks to be a werebear infected with the undead plague.
- Samildanak and Ahn’a avoid the obstacle by Rael and the others engage it in combat.
- Samildanak urges Ahn’a to flee as he feels they are close to their destination. But Ahn’a decides to return and help her friends.
- The creature seems too much for the party, even with the help of the mysterious elven archer whose arrows hit the beast repeatedly from the dark forest.
- Eventually everyone retreats apart from Rael, who backs away and follows his companions at the last moment. As he retreats he hears the bear and archer going at it. The archer screams in pain, but shortly afterward the undead bear’s roars are silenced.
- Ahn’a leads the party into a clearing and abruptly stops. The Wolfstar has reached its destination.
- There is an odd pink mist on the ground about ankle high. Ahn’a bends down to examine it, but when she places her lantern on the ground it explodes singing her clothes.
- The party search the ground looking for a clue. They discover what looks to be a cave mount concealed by hanging vines and withered vegetation.
- Rael discovers what looks to be a gigantic tooth sticking out of the ground. It’s not real but feels part of a piece of statutory or ceramic. A little perspective reveals that teeth line the entrance to this cave. It is an artificial structure: designed to look like a giant wolf’s head.
- Everyone moves inside apart from Rael who walks back down the path toward the archer.
- But the archer is coming toward him. He is amazed to see that it is his friend Hilene – an elf of his own clan who he thought dead long ago. She has been wounded by the bear and Rael uses his meagre magic to heal her.
- She is glad to see Rael, but won’t speak of what happened to the rest of the clan – that includes Rael’s brother and father.
- She says that she has been living in the woods, but she hasn’t been alone. She had an ally, but she has disappeared. And Hilene does not think she will reappear with that creature stalking the woods (she refers to the noise of the giant beast that has still not abated).
- Hilene refers to the cave as the “citadel” and has obviously been here before.
- Inside the cave mouth, the other members of the party are in a trapezium-shaped room about 45 feet across and more than 20 feet in height.
- There are three doors on the other side. Two small and locked from the outside, and one set of very impressive double doors that bear the same wolfs-head device symbol that Ahn’a carries.
- Upon touching the wolfstar to the symbol the door begins the rise, bit it only manages about eighteen inches before it stops.
- Believing it to be safer within, the party – including Hilene squeeze under the door and close it behind them. Hilene says that although she knew of this place she was never able to get past the inner door.
- They are in a corridor about 10 feet wide and 90 feet long. It is made of the same ceramic as the tooth and the walls are etched with complicated patterns that look like arcane diagrams.
- There are three flights of stairs – two on the left and one on the right – all leading up. There are three doors on the left of the corridor, three on the right and a set of double doors at the far end.
- There is a dim luminescence in the corridor, but it has no discernible source. The intensity of the light seems to follow Ahn’a around so the further the rest of the group strays from her, the darker it becomes for them.
- They make their way directly to the door at the end of the corridor. Touching it with the wolfstar results in a mechanical clunking sound but the door does not open. They manage to lever it open and wedge it up with a crowbar.
- They are in a kitchen of some kind, although the ovens and fire pit are worked by magic, and not be traditional fuels. It smells rank. All the food in here is meat-based and it’s mostly all gone off. Jian thinks this place has been abandoned for more than 10 years. This could then be where Lady Cecillia came from.
- The party decide to camp here. It seems safe.
- During the evening Hilene mentions her lost friend again, and tells Rael that their tribe is dead or is as good as dead. They managed to escape the undead, she said, but suffered a worse fate. She does not elaborate on this.
Watersday, 5th Reaping 593 CY
- In the morning the group continue their exploration. The interior of this citadel feels odd. There is an energy to it – a slight vibration. It’s not alive, exactly, but there’s some link here between Ahn’a and the artefact she carries.
- Still not opening any doors, the party take the first stairs to the left.
- This leads up to domed room about twenty feet across in the centre of which is a large catapult. It is attached to the floor in such a way that a couple of people could rotate it 360 degrees. There is a cupboard that contains a large amount of what seems to be magical ammunition. Jian suspects that the roof opens.
- Heading back down the stairs, the party doesn’t go up the stairs opposite (thinking that it leads to a second catapult). Instead they return up the corridor toward the front door and head right up the main stairs.
- At the top is a door to a midden (although no sign of any waste).
- Then then reach another corridor on this level that runs directly above the long corridor below.
- This one isn’t as long – it’s about 70 feet long. The party have emerged halfway along and there are double doors are each end. There are an additional five doors here.
- They head to the doors at the end.
- These are locked and cannot be opened.
- Scrawled over them is writing that Ahn’a recognises is Lady Cecilia’s hand, but it is in a language that she cannot read.
- Seerena can read it though… it says “Beware the Engineer”.
- Taking this advice seriously, the party turn and go through the double doors at the far end.
- These open completely at the touch of the wolstar. Ahn’a things that this is where she needs to be. But the effort of doing this seems to have drained whatever residual magical power was left in the citadel. The lights go out.
- Fortunately, the doors have opened into a large chamber that is evidently inside the head of the wolf structure. Light streams through two enormous round windows (the wolf’s eyes) although the glass or crystal that makes them up is tinted red giving the place a slightly hellish glow.
- There is a pedestal in the middle of the room – identical to the one from Ahn’a’s dream.
- In front of the pedestal is a large stone throne carved with a lupine motif.
- There is another door to the left out of this room.
- Some members of the party look out of the window. They can see a massive force of undead massing outside the citadel. The animated Drokkar is there, as is the head of Barriss sewn onto the bloated body of an undead ogre. And there’s something else, something bigger. An animated dragon?
- Ahn’a goes up the pedestal under Samildanak’s watchful gaze.
- As she suspected there is an indentation where the wolfstar can slot into the citadel. She uses it like a key. As soon as the wolfstar is inserted, the stone throne trundles forward and she sits in it.
- The citadel is hungry. Ahn’a can feel it is desperate for magical power. She gives it all the magic she has – which is very small and hardly enough to cover a small water biscuit.
- Once she has given her magic, Ahn’a feels herself linked more closely to this place.
- It is not a citadel, it is a vessel of some sort. And she thinks she can control it.
- Ahn’a concentrates on trying to flee the undead. To move the vessel.
- There is a shuddering and a ripping sound. Undead outside are bowled over as a boarding ramp retracts into the mouth.
- Trees are unrooted and craft shudders and starts to slowly rise from the ground.
- Tons of earth are displaced as wings long brief break the surface. Whatever this thing is, it is about 200 feet long and with a wingspan of about 300 feet.
- It is suggested that Ahn’a close the mouth.
- With an effort she does this, but the mouth closes very slowly and some undead are inevitably trapped within.
- As the mouth closes the craft stops ascending as if there is not enough power to do more than one thing. It seems that all the power the ship has to work with has come from Ahn’a.
- Samildanak says that there is another power source. It is the magical artefact that he has been searching for. It is called the Eye of the Gods and it is in the hold of this vessel – beyond the doors where the warning about the “Engineer” was painted.
- He suggests going there immediately and recovering it.
- At the movement of the ship, the dracolich outside begins to take an interest in them.
- Hilene has moved to the window and is staring out at the dracolich as it makes a pass at them and vomits up a cloud of poisonous vapour that fortunately does not penetrate the ship.
- Jian and Rael head to the catapult to see if they can fight back.
- They head down the main steps and then up the other flight of stairs that they had not ascended before. They were right in their earlier assumption that a second room with a catapult lay up here.
- With the ship in flight and the domed room no longer buried under vegetation and sod, the pair can see that the dome is actually transparent. They are in the centre of a large curved wing and can see the dracolich circling the craft.
- Jian pulls a leaver that he things will open the dome, but nothing happens. Ahn’a can’t speak to Jian (he’s too far away) but she can feel what he’s doing. She sends magic to open the dome, that retracts into the wing very slowly, leaving them with a clear shot for the catapult.
- However… once the dome is down both Jian and Rael realise how exposed they are, and they don’t fancy engaging this dracolich at all. Jian yanks on the lever to close the dome. It closes even more slowly, and as it does the power available to the rest of the ship is once again diminished.
- The dome closes moments before the dracolich launches an attack with tooth and claw that sends the ship spinning.
- With no other options, it’s time to follow Samildanak’s suggestion. Athelstan, Rael and Jian head to the door to the hold and get Ahn’a to open it.
- Inside is an enormous space that looks as though it’s been covered in glittering silly string.
- This turns out to be a collection of razor sharp cobwebs laid down by an enormous spider made of crystal. The spider is telepathic and calls itself Spinner.
- It is hostile to the party but does not immediately attack. It knows what they seek, but won’t give it to them. It is not for them. How did they get here. Is the Princess with them?
- Reasoning that the spider means Lady Cecillia they tell it that she is dead. This seems to genuinely distress the spider.
- As the conversation continues, Jian and Rael walk into the chamber. It’s obviously a storage hold, but it’s largely empty save for the webs. It’s about 40 feet wide and 80 feet long and ends at a wide flight of stone steps leading to a lower area. Jian heads down here.
- Meanwhile, Hilene now has her face pressed up against the window.
- She smiles and turn to Ahn’a. “Open the mouth” she says. Hilene says that her friend, Vashta, is coming, and that Ahn’a must let her in.
- Ahn’a looks out the window and sees a creature flying in toward the vessel. It is the green dragon that the party fought two nights ago.
- Ahn’a commands the mouth to open. However, this robs the craft of all vertical thrust and the ship begins to plummet back to the ground.
- In the hold, everyone hangs on for grim death until eventually the ship stabilises.
- The dragon, Vashta, entered through the mouth on the second attempt and quickly kicked out all the undead that were still in the inner chamber.
- Of course, Jian and the others do not know this.
- Jian makes his way to the back of the hold. He finds a couple of loading bay doors situated in the wolf’s backside, and a flight of stairs that lead up to an exterior observation deck and an arbalest. He doesn’t stay outside with that dracolich still about.
- Ahn’a manages to get control of the ship before it hits the ground, although it fell back down to the level of the tree tops.
- She sends it on a path away from danger, but the dracolich is faster and far more manoeuvrable. It harries the ship, landing on top of it and attacking it with its powerful claws.
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