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The farmhouse leans uneasily, it's weathered planks straining to keep the fragile shell of peeling paint and crackled shingles upright.
Looking in through the window, Sebastian can see the house appears bare save for some old, rotten furniture. A hearth on the east wall doesn't look to have been lit in years and though he sees no sign of occupation, there is a persistent scratching from somewhere in the house.
1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
Jon, Cara, Davos, Morbar:
The wolves hanging from the tree are twisted and monstrous looking things, with overlong arms and patches of ragged red fur. They have row upon row of razor sharp teeth, as might a shark, and cloven hooves where their rear claws should be.
Markus and Sebastian:
As you get closer to the farmhouse, you realise that the bodies hanging in the tree are not wolves at all, or at least not any more. They are humanoid skeletons and the wind whistles slightly as it blows through their exposed bones
As you approach you can see that the bodies are indeed that of werewolves, though from which tribe, it is impossible to tell.
The bodies twist and sway gently from ropes tied to the tree, tongues lolling from their decomposing heads.
You approach the farmhouse from the rear, there doesn't appear to be an entrance on this side.
After the fraught discussion, the party awakens the next day to find the weather has not improved. If anything, it has grown worse as the rain has now been joined by a shroud of low mist that hangs over everything and hampers your vision to just a few hundred feet
Never the less, you press on, the horses by now filthy with mud and none of you faring much better as you slop through large tracks of sodden field.
Some way in the distance, just at the edge of your vision in the mist, you see the outline of a solitary farmhouse with an enormous tree growing beside it.
Perception DC 20:
There appears to be about half a dozen bodies hanging from the tree, listing gently in the breeze
Of course. Though be assured that would only happen if you lived. Most don't. he replies, matter-of-factly. The Prince's Wolves are natural lycanthropes. We are born of parents who were born of parents that themselves were children of the moon. We do not create others like ourselves outside of mating.
We have heard nothing back as yet. We are warriors, not magicians, so have no means of communicating with them. I expect them to return with the heart, or not at all.
He takes the monk's hand and demonstrates a very firm grip.
An accord. As you say. Take these.
One of his men steps forward with necklaces. Each bears a long, yellow fang.
They belonged to the Demon Wolves. My men will smell them before they see them and know the significance. As will the Demon Wolves though, so be mindful, they may not be as ingratiating as my men.
And I can only reitterate. Be wary of Adimarus Ionocu. That... creature has a black heart, one I would not seek to eat under any circumstances, and he is a mighty and terrible warrior.
No. I am needed in the Shudderwood to bring the other packs into line. But I have sent several of my tribe to Feldgrau to deal with the Demon Wolves and also recover the heart. I can give you tokens that show that you are friends of the Princes Wolves but they will mean nothing to the Demons, they are foul things, far stronger than any of the other tribes. But it is their inherent cruelty and disorganisation that has stopped them seizing power previously.
Adimarus is far stronger than Malthus and a terrible Enemy should you have to face him.
We know of the dark sorcerer. His goals are of no interest to us but we want the Heart. With Malthus dead, I have eaten his heart and taken the position of Packlord. You certainly did me a favour there but with Sains heart still in their possession, the Demon Wolves have pursued the Way, hoping to obtain it and stake their claim fir the title. It is now the only thing between me and my rightful place as Packlord. So perhaps we can help eachother?
And I am glad of it for I saw what you did to my brothers.
He doesn't come closer but begins to pace back and forth before you, never taking his eyes from you, as might a hound as it examines the kill.
But all brothers fight and squabble of course. The Princes Wolves have fought and opposed the Whispering Way since before the Tyrant himself. But I admit it was my curiosity as to why you should hunt them that led me to seek you out. They say that curiosity kills the cat. So I should feel quite safe, no? he says, flashing a sharp smile
We don't need lights to see in the dark. the leader replies to Jon's whispered words form a hundred feet away. The oracle's jaw dropping open in surprise.
The man steps forward with arms outstretched to his sides, as if he were preparing to wrap them around someone in warm embrace.
Once again he stops short of the group, about twenty feet away and says.
We are no threat to you lest you pose threat to us. he says calmly.
At this distance you can now see that the man is dark and handsome, with a closely cropped beard and piercing blue eyes that move quickly between the party, appraising each of you.
My name is Rakis Szadro, leader of the Prince's Wolves. We have tracked you since you left Highthrone, though we dared not approach you in Ardis. You killed many of my kind at the Temple. Will you parley with me instead?
After a solemn breakfast the party gathers their things and the last of their purchases before saddling up and beginning the trek to Feldgrau.
The events of the previous night weigh heavy on their mind, particularly Jon and Markus who, though they don't know it, deal with the near loss of one of their friends in a similar, quiet way. It also hasn't escaped the party that if nothing else, the events have yet delayed them further in their ultimate pursuit of Vrood. Before embarking to Ardis they knew Feldgrau was his destination, and are left hoping that is still the case else the trail run cold.
The day is cold, the bleak autumn colds are rolling in and bring with them a grey drizzle that quickly soaks you to the skin. Despite this you know you have a long journey ahead to the village and press on with only a single stop for a cold lunch of dried fruits and even drier meat.
The rest of the day continues in the same way, conversation as sparse as the plains you now travel in. This region of Lozerai is marked by long tracks of uninhabited plains that lead to hour upon hour of dreary travel.
Eventually, having seen no sign of habitation for miles around, you set up camp beside the road and try to light a fire in the dismal conditions. However, without dry firewood, it proves a long and frustrating task without success.
1d6 ⇒ 1
During his watch, Jon reminds himself to cast a light every hour. With the overcast conditions and the persistent rain, his night vision is even more reduced than usual.
Muttering curses to himself, he buttons his coat up tight against the chill. Every time he reaches the top however, he finds that the mischievous spirits that haunt him have undone the bottom ones and he has to start again. He continues with this for a few minutes before giving up, their sounds of tittering laughter in his ears.
Then, he notices a light near by, some hundred yards away. It is a torch, and illuminates a group of about 8 or 10 men and women, it's difficult to tell for certain. He wonders how the men managed to navigate in the dark to be able to approach so close before lighting their torch and as he does so a loud and clear voice calls out;
Ho, the camp! Friends approach!
The shout will wake everyone and assuming you don't just attack on sight, they approach a little closer, until they are about 100 feet away.
As they get closer you see that there are in fact ten men and women. All are armed and armored in a variety of styles. They seem no strangers to battle. The one who steps forward furthest, and by that you take to the leader, is a man of average height that you would place at around 30 years old. He is dressed in studded leather armor over which he wears a woollen greatcoat of grey wool and a wide-brimmed hat. A colourful, Varisian-style, scarf can be seen poking out over the collar. A rapier and dagger hang at his belt.
Round 5 constitution damage: 1d4 ⇒ 1
Morbar's muscles seize, his eyes bulging and tendons standing our on his neck like cords. The vessels in his eyes burst from the spasms, flooding with blood. His coughing has now become nothing more than a constant wheeze.
For good or ill, you sense the end is near.
Round 6 constitution damage: 1d4 ⇒ 2
His back arches with extertion, jaws bulging with such force that you hear his teeth crack. There is a final retch he hacks up a disgusting mass of bile and blood before slumping into unconsciousness.
The poison works it's way through his body. Morbar is currently on 3/16 constitution.
Morbar, you may roll another fortitude save with your adjusted constitution and have another try with the Bit of Luck Markus granted you.
Morbar sinks the sticky substance in one. Despite it's thick, congealed texture, the flavour is actual surprisingly pleasant, a rich earthy blend not completely unlike of some of the mushroom liquors brewed in the caverns of the Dark Lands.
That is where the similarities end however.
Within moments, Morbar's vision blurs and his head begins to spin. He tried to make some joke about the drink going to his head but finds his tongue is swelling to almost double it's size.
He collapses back on to the bed, a feverish sweat breaking out on his brow.
Round 1, constitution damage: 1d4 ⇒ 2
He begins to cough. A spluttering, wheezing bark that starts to bring up thick, green strings of bile that he spits weakly to one side.
Round 2, constitution damage: 1d4 ⇒ 3
The sweating becomes more profuse. By now, it is pouring from his forehead and what remains of his shirt is plastered to his body.
Round 3, constitution damage: 1d4 ⇒ 2
Morbar is dying. His body is wracked with shakes. A persistent moan is emanating from his lips and his eyes roll back in his head. It is clear he has no idea where he is and the poison is eating him alive!
Some of you can barely watch. His body is emanating a sickly, revolting stench, like that of dead flesh and his skin is burning up.
Round 4, constitution damage: 1d4 ⇒ 3
I'm going to pause here and so things in rounds with your actions in between. Morbar is on 6/16 constitution currently with two rounds remaining. Either you can see this through or one of you can intervene if seeing your friend in such pain is too much.
Round 5 - Heroes
Yeah, it would have been even more interesting if you were still there when the watch arrived.
Morbar isn't out of the woods. Drinking the alchemically treated wolfsbane from the temple will deal 1d4 points of constitution damage per round for six rounds
This damage damage cannot be interrupted by healing for the cure to work because it burns away the infection as it destroys the system. Nearly as many have died from this cure as the infection itself.
Reflex: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 5 + 2 = 25 Success, (and saved Morbars life!)
Jons eyes blaze with eldritch fire and hos mind is screaming with the souls of the damned that plague his every step.
The wolf is suddenly engulfed by terrible, wracking flame. It's fur catches immediately and in seconds it is ablaze, flesh blistering amd bursting, a horrid scream emanating from its maw.
It thrashes helplessly as the flames take it and collapses to the cobbled street where it burns for a few moments more before it is mercifully still once more.
The party gathers around the fallen creature and watch in horror as it shrinks and reforms, scorched fur dissolving away and giving way to charred and disfigured flesh. What was once a proud, red beard is now a blackened patch of hair surrounding lipless teeth below a pair of eyes, one melted to a jelly-like mess on what is now clearly a dwarfs cheek.
With horror, you see that this foul creature... Was Morbar Dwinhak all along.
At the end of the street, unbeknownst to our heroes, a tall figure in a dark hood smiles, and shrinks back into the shadows......
Round 7 - Enemy
Sebastian darts from the shadows and takes hold of the wolf. With muscles bulging with every ounce of strength he can muster, he still cannot break the hold of the powerful creature.
Instinctively, it's claw tightens on the man's throat, the individual nails burrowing into his flesh but before it can rip his throat out with a single, easy movement Markus is there and gone in a flash.
In the space of a second the man can feel his life about to end and then suddenly he is wrenched through space only to appear some distance away with a tremendous feeling of nausea, as if he had suddenly fallen. He takes a staggering step and collapses
Through shock, not from injuries
The wolf growls in anger and frustration as the monk grabs him and he shrugs Sebastian off with a roll of its shoulder.
A liar and a Coward! Is that what they teach you in your precious order? To lie with every breath and to creep through shadows like a rat? RRRAAAAAGGGHHH!
Bite, Sebastian, Pa: 1d20 + 14 - 2 ⇒ (4) + 14 - 2 = 16
From somewhere close by you begin to hear the pounding of several sets of boots and the shrill call of a whistle.
Round 7 - Heroes
Ok, several things going on here.
1. The wolf is not aware of Sebastian's approach so does not get an attack of opportunity for the attempted grapple.
Markus left to post.
Round 6 - Enemy
And there's me thinking you were the son of an Oathbreaker, Jon.
The wolf continues to back away another 40 feet.
You are basically shouting after it now. Are you letting it go or going to attack? Unless anyone does anything different I think that's what it comes down to now.
Round 6 - Heroes
Round 5 - Enemy
The werewolf begins to back away, dragging the unfortunate man with him. He struggles against the powerful claws, bobbing like a fish on a line, eyes rolled back in abject horror.
This is happening! he thinks. This werewolf is actually taking me, it's going to eat me!
His mind is on the verge of snapping. Nothing in his life to this moment has ever prepared him for anything so awful. He cannot even mouth the words to cry for help.
Then, he hears that harsh voice from behind him;
You make me laugh. Forgive me if I don't believe any of this. Single combat? Please. Escort me to the gates.. it just shakes it's head. I will release this one when I am safe. How about I give you my word?
Round 5 - Heroes
Round 4 - Enemy
Bloodied and beaten, the werewolf casts a furious glance behind it as it hauls itself up.
It sees Jon swoop down as Sebastian clambers down the wall like a spider while Markus, Davos and Cara watch on from above.
The wizard hurls a ball of black, viscous liquid down at the wolf but it dodges to one side and the ball spreads into a bubbling pool of grease beneath it's feet. With a hiss it slips and slides throuh.
The street into which it dropped is a busy thoroughfare for inns and rest stops. Even at this time of night there are several people on the street and it is with these that the wolf sees it's chance!
The citizens gasp as the wolf hit's the ground like a meteorite and the horrid, demon-like creature lands beside it only seconds later.
Help! one man shouts, turning to run and grabbing at others to do the same. Help us! There are monsters in the streets!
The others begin to panic and run. but not quickly enough.
Werewolf, charge, grab: 1d20 + 14 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 14 + 2 = 32 Success.
The wolf dashes across the cobbled streets and seizes the man by the throat. It's claws dig into the soft flesh of the man's neck and his cry for help is cut short as thin rivulets of blood run down between the dirty nails.
Enough! it shouts in a thick, bestial voice. Enough of your cowardly spells Davos and your sanctimony, Markus. Jon, Sebastian take one step forward and you'll be washing this man's blood from your boots. Any arrows come sailing my way Cara and you'll have a great view of what comes next! I'm leaving here, or I will die here. But not before this man dies too.
Round 4 - Heroes
That is a fail Sebastian. Morbar has the Dwarven trait racial trait that provides a +4 defence against trip. With his enhanced strength it makes him very difficult to knock off his feet.
I was waiting for that aoo before I continued the movement in case you did trip him
The wolf runs blindly toward where he knew there to be an edge to this roof. If they wanted to fight like the cowards he knew them to be then fine, two can play that game...
He pitches off the roof and is suddenly in the open air, arms pinwheeling and wind rushing through his fur. He smashes into the cobbled street below with a crunch and a great huff of breath. Whether it was the impact or Davos' half-hearted conjuration he doesn't know, but his vision clears.
Fall damage: 3d6 ⇒ (4, 6, 6) = 16
Sebastian and Jon are closest to him, now 70 feet away. 40 feet across the roof and 30 down to the street
Cara continues to rush up to the fight, seeing for the first time that Jon and Sebastian are engaged in combat with the snarling wolf.
Round 3 - Enemy
Struck blind by Davos' spell, the wolf howls in frustration.
Cowardly f*cking elf! I'll rip your heart out, you bastard!
However, remembering his surroundings, the wolf quickly turns to it's left and rushes that direction.
Jon and Sebastian may take attacks of opportunity
Will save: 1d20 + 8 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 8 + 2 + 2 = 25 Success
Round 3 - Heroes
Cara, you don't need to make any more rolls, just move up.
Markus and Jon, you make a perception check as a standard action this round and locate the fight. You can use your remaining movement this round to close in.
Round 2 - Enemy
Will save: 1d20 + 6 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 6 + 2 + 2 = 17 Success
The cloud of glittering motes settle over the werewolf and despite shaking it's fur like a wet dog drying itself, the motes cling and glow.
He know he cannot run nor hide any longer.
Let's see how good you really are, Sebastian. it growls and launches itself at the monk.
Bite, Sebastian, PA + FF: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (15) + 14 = 29 Hit
The wolf's powerful jaws clamp down on Sebastian's arm and with a lurch of it's strong neck muscles, the creature hauls the monk to the ground before it tears into him with it's claws.
Claw 1, Sebastian, PA, Prone: 1d20 + 14 - 2 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 14 - 2 + 4 = 22 Miss
Round 2 - Heroes
Map doesn't really need to change
Cara, acrobatics: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (8) + 14 = 22 Success
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18 Fail
Cara leaps down on to the cluttered rooftop and dodges through the various obstacles in her way. As she ducks under a clothesline, she fails to spot a ladder propped up against a wall that would have given her a great vantage point over the chase.
She stumbles on, following the shouts of her companions.
Round 1 - Enemy
As Sebastian has closed off the exit route by getting in front of the werewolf, it has no option but to fight.
The werewolf, now seemingly penned in by the monk to it's front and the others hurtling up behind, resolves itself to slaughtering these wretched humans!
Charge, Sebastian, Bite, PA: 1d20 + 14 + 2 - 2 ⇒ (10) + 14 + 2 - 2 = 24 Hit
Round 1 - Heroes
Cara, you are currently 90 feet away and do not have line of sight. Davos, you are 30 feet away and do not have line of sight. Jon and Markus, because you chose not to take part in the chase, you need to make a perception check to locate the fight which is 120 feet away from you.