Songs of Erui: Session 5

More than a bit late, I'm starting to get foggy on specifics, so I'm throwing this up anyway.

Only had one encounter last night, the rest was the party exploring Dorsen and getting to know the NPCs and layout. Greymalkin already knows everyone there worth knowing, since he's been around for awhile. Grynn knows some of the more important people, but doesnt stick around long. The rest of the party, on the other hand, has no clue whats-what.
During the three hour walk back, they discovered a hyena corpse, which wouldnt have been odd except that Grey knows that hyenas dont come out this far unless they are with gnolls, and it was missing most of its head and two legs. This put the party on edge for the rest of the trip: they were waiting for a random encounter that I didnt plan, which is good.

Back in Dorsen, Grey was welcomed more or less as a hero, while Grynn got at best grudging tolerance (and I'm sure that the bone spurs sprouting out of his body didnt help matters). Maev kept a low-profile, since elves were a rarity and she wanted to avoid making a scene. Kegan wandered off in search of a dwarf-free watering hole, which apparently no one thought was the least bit strange.

First on the order was checking Grynn into a sawbones, which basically means the NPC with the highest bonus to Heal. Maebe doesnt know any instant-cure rituals or magic (much to Grey's chagrin), she's just really good at what she does despite what her work environment might imply. She claims to know over a hundred elven remedies, but since no one actually knows any elves they just have to take it on faith.
None of her training or experience prepared her for what the cat (ie, Grey) dragged in. She was put off by them bringing in, of all people, Grynn. She charged up front for an examination and charged quite a bit for the "courtesy" of being able to cut him open. Grynn's anesthetic involved a piece of wood between his teeth, the alternative a large hammer to the head. After about an hour of work, she was able to deduce that he was infected with a demonic-warping disease, and that the metal rods in his spine could not be safely removed without magical aid.
She prescribed tonics that contained iron filings and holy water, and kept him confined to a dirty cot for observation.

Assuming everything would be fine, Grey and Maev paraded around Dorsen going from major NPC to major NPC as they tried to find the best place to hawk their eladrin-themed goods and try to make sense of the eladrin crypt that they'd apparently stumbled upon. So, taking it from the top...

Talibah (female shifter) is the leader of Dorsen, and the one that set the party on their initial quest to hunt out the goblins that were terrorizing the outlying farmlands. She awarded Grey with 200 gp for services rendered to the folk of Dorsen, to be divvied up as he saw fit since he was the only guy left from the original expedition that bothered to show up. This was also worth a minor quest award.
Grey also wanted to check out the sunblade that they found that could zap them with psychic damage when they tried to use it, so it was off to see the wizard which in this case is an absent-minded-yet-skilled dwarf named Karad. Grey was able to get a free Enchant Item ritual out of him in exchange for "allowing" him to analyze the sword, and was able to determine that the intelligence trapped within the sunblade is that of an eladrin soldier who is very confused about what the hell is going on.
Grey also asked about the writings that they found in the Hydra's Grave. Karad's assistant Willow (male eladrin) is far more organized than his "boss", was able to provide Grey with a primer on ancient elven (aka, sylvan) in the form of a stack of unorganized parchment. He spent the next day studying it and transcribing it onto a more durable medium.
Finally, it was time to pawn loot. The Bear Market is the only place to find tradesmen and merchants from other parts of Erui, and Grey was hoping to find an eladrin there that might be interested in millenia-old goods of a fey origin, and as luck would have it there happened to be one that was flanked by a massive pair of wooden golems.
After a lengthy exchange between the characters and players, they decided to just give him a good deal of the stuff that they'd found in the crypt, keep some of it, and sell the rest. Grey waffled back and forth about whether to keep the sunblade before finally opting to hang onto it "just in case." Out of all the loot, the merchant recognized that one of the items (a pact longsword) belonged to an ancestor of his, and eagerly gave Grey a wooden box bound in iron chains. He even managed to squeeze out a thank you in the process.

Not wanting to open the box in public, Grey and Maev went to the Red Hall to check in. The Red Hall was constructed after a gnoll attack ten years ago, as a good-faith gesture by dwarves from Cindervault to help protect their neighbors (Dorsen grows a lot of food). Its a sturdy brick fortification that is mostly used by dwarf merchants passing through. However, it has an extensive underground section that villagers can hide if invaded.
The Red Hall is run by Hjort (male dwarf), son of a noble in Cindervault entrusted to run this place to teach him some responsibility, but is almost always found in some stage of inebriation. He's friendly enough, but likes to play a drinking game where he takes a shot whenever anyone else does.
Anyway, the box itself is designed to prevent it from being teleported or turned invisible. A theft precaution that would be handy if you were running shit through a fey-inhabited forest. After a Pulp Fiction reference, they found out that it contained about 1,500 gp worth of silvery residuum (it has, we'll say, than "normal" residuum).
With that, Grey decides to get hammered and check for rumors, so I drop a bit about how a dwarf faithful to Miach stole a family sword and fled Cindervault a couple days ago. He's got a hefty prince on his head by his own father. So, yeah, I'm curious how Josh takes the news.
Maev, on the other hand, cant stop bitching about how much dwarves smell and decides to find someplace to sleep outside. Forgetting she is a druid, she eventually heads to a shrine dedicated to Melora and Bahamut and just dozes off on the ground. Me? I would have used wild shape to change into an animal of some sort just to be more comfortable and blend in better. In hindsight, mebbe I should have called for an Endurance check to chalk off a healing surge? Oh well.

For some reason the next day, Maev decides to head back to the shrines and apologize for crashing on the priest's clean...dirt...floor. She couldnt see anyone there initially, so started calling out while searching the shrine. This is when she noticed a white mask staring at her from within the shadows. Now, she's fought ghost-things that had white masks, and heard Kegan flip out about running into one in the forest, so figures that she's in a bad spot. Slowly, she backs away to run, and as she turns is confronted by a grotesque humanoid that looked part rotting human, part tree.


Maev was...surprised, we'll say. She didnt want to reveal where he was and didnt want to risk lying since she, "doesnt have Bluff", and he was by all accounts still recuperating, so tried to run. It grabbed her, and told her that she could tell it where Grynn was, or it would tear out her brain and figure it out anyway. Resisting, she tried to break free and it grabbed her face, starting to burn through her flesh. She managed to escape after taking a minor amount of damage, and fled. Watching her back, she saw the creature collapse into a pile of moldering leaves.

This is about where the shit just got real.

Maev is able to find Grey and Grynn and tells them what happened. Grey wants to know what the fuck that is, and if they should be concerned. Grynn only reveals that its his former master, and that they need to leave immediately. They pack up shop and start to head out, deciding to clean out Hydra's Grave, and find a scene at the entrance to Dorsen. People are panicking, but are overjoyed when Grey shows up. He'll know whats up!
The crowd parts, revealing a large portion of a dead body. Its missing its head, arm, and leg...which matches the fleshy bits that Maev could see on the creature that she saw. Grey tells them to calm down and he'll get to the bottom of this, and by the bottom meaning that he'll shake down Grynn later to find out exactly what the hell is happening. On the way, Grynn reveals that her master is extremely powerful, mostly with necromancy, and that if they encounter him to run.

The trip back to Hydra's Grave is uneventful, until they get there. The tree outside is covered in dead gnolls that have been nailed to it, which the words, "Be back soon!" written on it in blood. Of course, they decide to go in anyway.

There is only one area of the last crypt that they havent investigated. Its got a big door in front of it, and finally Grynn puts his Thievery to good use and manages to open it without relying on the brute force method. There is a single, plain sarcophagus inside. Checking it for traps, Maev notices a figure walking down the hall towards her, dressed in white with a white mask. Dun dun duuuun! She just stands there, and it calmly walks by her. Grey and Kegan just watch as it strolls idly by them.
On my side of the screen, I'm waiting for someone to do something, but everyone hesistates. In retrospect, Josh claims that he assumed it was some kind of ghost or ghosty echo, reliving a past scene or something. Ha! It walks to the wall behind the sarcophagus, looks into a tiny hole, and teleports through. Grey checks it out, and sees the stranger inside a larger, more magnificent room, rifling through alcoves in the wall looking for something. As if on cue, everyone starts battering the wall down. Fuck trying to find the hidden latch, that guy is stealing the shit they were going to steal, and damnit they saw it first!

Once they break on through to the other side, its time for combat. The stranger goes first, and opens things up by summoning a wall of ice that also contains numerous frozen bodies inside of it before fleeing through another illusionary wall in the back. As the party chops through this wall, they start freeing undead stuck inside that claw and grab them. Once they punch a hole through it and hack their way through more undead, they discover that whoever the hell that guy was, he escaped through a fey crossing in the hidden chamber (it was a circle of mushrooms).

And thats how the session ended. At least there is still loot in the room (hint hint).

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