Lost Seals of Dracholt 14 – Kald’s Forest Demons

The Dracholt party obtains another seal after frightening an entire town.

Cast of Characters


Dungeon Master
Red

Aldin Thuliaga
Goliath Paladin – Red’s Husband

Nick “Pyro” / “Gandra Nox”
Human (Gold Draconic) Sorcerer – Tyrone (older teen girl)

Crux “Craux”
Kobold Warlock – Mort/Blackwold (new DM candidate)

McFadin
Half-Elf Rogue – new player Red’s friends knew

Thokk
Half-Orc Barbarian – Kildrak (new but experienced player McFadin knew)

Erevan
Elven Ranger – new player Red and husband knew from Warhammer 40k

Logan
Human Fighter – our emergency DM came back

Summary


Waking up in a pile to Crux, a fourteen-foot-tall owl, and an armored human standing over them, the party found their memories of Glen quickly fading, becoming dull recollections of blurring emotions. The last to wake, Thokk rolled off a large burlap sack, which Nick promptly dove into, extracting a number of magical trinkets from.

“Pretty birdy,” Thokk mused, grinning at the giant owl.

“Silvacet,” Aldin addressed the massive creature, “what happened? Why are we here?”

“Does he do that often?” the other new arrival asked Crux.

The kobold shrugged: “The bird’s new.”

“The tracks here suggest we were… dropped out of something… floating,” Erevan indicated scuffs and tracks in the loose dirt, although he was clearly fishing for words. “Is the seal in the bottom of that bag?”

“No,” Nick sighed after searching it again.

“I’m going to go back and find them,” Aldin announced as the owl unfolded its massive wings, the party saying nothing as he flew away on Silvacet’s back.

“So… who’s your new friend?” Nick asked, turning to Crux.

“Logan,” the human answered with a smile. “Alpharius sent me to find and help you guys.”

*~*

Hours later, the group surveyed their handiwork. When Aldin found them again, the gnomes had insisted that the trade for killing the spiders was fair; since the group had killed all of them instead of simply driving them off, they had been given the magical items instead of the seal. The gnomes then specified that if they wanted the seal, the group would have to accomplish another task. The mine in the nearby village of Kald was getting much to close to breaking through the mountain and into Glen’s hollow, so the gnomes wanted the party to convince the villagers to abandon the mine and never return to it.

After hours of planning, they had decided that convincing the town the mine was haunted would best serve their purpose, and the group had split to enact a number of key ideas. McFadin, Logan, and Nick had headed into town to find most of their work done for them; a little bit of magic and deception had convinced the already worried miners that an angry forest spirit was out to destroy the town. Most of the townsfolk had gathered their possessions and run screaming out of Kald; while one or two fainted at the sight of the pickaxe Nick had magicked into writhing about on the floor in a mass of leafy tendrils.

The few that had not fled at first chance were then greeted by a number of slaughtered goats, blood and viscera slathered all over the entrance to the mine as floating green lights began to dance in among the trees and roots burst from the ground; and that had brought the number of people wanting to stay in Kald to zero. What remained now, especially since one of the peasant’s homes had caught fire in the ensuing chaos, was a wreck of a village. A number of the shanties had fallen over and others had been damaged, tree roots having been moved to make it look as though the very trees had done the deed. The mine had collapsed in on itself, trees and roots repositioned to imply the forest was overtaking the village’s source of work. McFadin had gone throughout the whole town, clearly marking every building with theives’ cant symbols meaning “danger,” “monsters,” and “death.” Crux had created a beautiful stone plague in the center of town, elliciting Erevan’s help to carve a dire warning in Sylvan upon it that claimed the entire town for the forest.

As they all turned to leave, Crux and Nick made wide gestures, drawing more vines and roots from the earth to destroy what remained of the dirt and gravel paths throughout Kald, finalizing the image of a town destroyed by nature. Before anyone could ask how they would report back to the Gnomes, considering they all barely remembered what Glen had looked like, Aber appeared from the forest, offering the seal to the group with a lopsided grin.

“They approve of the forest being made to look like it retook the town,” she said. “But they’re not happy I brought you to Glen. For your sake and mine, don’t tell anyone about it.”

*~*

Once the party returned to town, stopping in the dockside tavern to rest, Nick and Crux noticed that what appeared to be the entire crew of the Trumpeter was there, drinking and grumbling about a witch aboard their boat. As Aber approached, snapping at them all for having left the vessel largely unattended, they loudly refused to return to the ship.

“I ain’t sailin’ nothin’ with a damned witch on it!” one hollered.

“She’s workin’ voodoo all over everything!”

“Wretch is doin’ dark magic and will curse us all!” another bellowed.

“Calm, calm, calm, my friends!” Crux cut them all off before Aber could vent what frustration was building. “Might I interest you in these Amulets of Warding or Crux’s patented protection salve? Guaranteed to keep you and your family safe from even the most dire hexes and incantations! Plus, I can bless the Trumpeter, keep it safe from all manner of things – black magic will be the least of your worries.”

A number of the sailors happily gave the kobold coin, and others seemed to obviously calm down. Still, as the sailors were seeming to settle down, an older man in solid white robes entered the tavern, announcing himself as a Minister of the Empyrean Creed and asking about this child supposedly doing dark magic.

“Oh, there’s no witch child!” Nick cut in, blocking the Minister’s way to the sailors.

“Yeah, there is!” one of the sailors indignantly shouted from behind him.

The Minister smiled kindly: “There is nothing to worry about…”

“Except getting burnt at the stake!” Nick snapped.

“No one said anything about burning someone at the stake,” the Minister insisted although visibly taken aback. “Everyone is given a fair trial and a fair punishment, even those that commit heresy.”

“There’s nothing here for you, priest,” Nick insisted.

“Minister,” the old man corrected before Crux tore himself away from the sailors.

“Hello, Father!”

“Minister,” the old man corrected again, more forcibly this time.

“There’s no need for you to worry!” the kobold grinned. “We… We’re taking the child to Pêtre Admonis in Dracholt. We have everything under control; the sailors are just a little anxious.”

“Understandably so,” the Minister sighed. “If… Pêtre Admonis has his reasons for bringing the child to Dracholt, then so be it. Just be careful how you address other Ministers as you make your way there.”

 


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