In Castel we learned:
- The Markiza had returned home after the attack and got into a fight with her father when she demanded money to pay some questionable mercenaries.
- Mari Sirinov was in Castel about a week before us, looking for some tomes. She bought silver dust, but did not have the coffins that she left Askanor Lodge with.
- One of Sirinov’s escorts is named Dolan Helbraithe
We returned the noble’s signet ring to Theorin Welgory, who informed us that the house would be pleased to have the Markiza returned, willingly or not.
We left Castel, heading east along the Jezeldan’s trail. The ground became increasingly fetid as we covered ground. The farms were mostly abandoned, but a few families still worked the dying land.
Our werewolf scouts alerted us to a problem ahead, and we dismounted, intending to follow. However, we were set upon by Mandragorans, a sort of twisted plant creature that required demon’s blood to be formed. After defeating the plants, we soon found the source of the blood, a pentagram carved into the ground and filled with blood and silver dust. At each of the points was a dead farmer, in the center, an eviscerated demon corpse, summoned by Sirinov in a dark ritual (as confirmed later by the spirits, who are definitely not fans of Vrood)
A further search of the area revealed two more bodies, a merchant and a priest of Desna – apparently killed by the plant creatures. We gathered all the bodies for burial and cleansed the ritual site while Ronit opened the chest and determined the merchant had been based in Castel. We traveled to a nearby farm and paid the family to 1) get a safe distance from the pentagram 2) return the chest and it’s contents to the merchant house 3) inform the house and temple of the deaths.
Our trackers followed the trails of the demon wolves as well as Sirinov until the professor’s trail cut south, presumably to Thrushmoore.
Hurgal was plagued with nightmares of undead rising from the ground and chasing him.
We were once again warned by the wolves of a hazard ahead, they reported a tree filled with hanged werewolf corpses.
Kelda saw only human skeletons hanging from the tree, and while the rest of the party pondered the massive tree and prepared for a fight, Forthing bravely went ahead to check on the cause of death of the many bodies.
As he approached, the massive tree came to life, grabbing him in its branches and swallowing him! Everyone leaped into action, trying to cut or burn the tree to the ground.
We managed to destroy the tree, which Ronit identified as a hangman tree, an evil, carnivorous plant that spews hallucinogenic pollen to lure its prey.
As we recovered from the battle and searched a nearby farmhouse, we were set upon by a cleric of Urgathoa and her festrog minions. Everyone held strong against her foul magics as we defeated her undead minions. She followed swiftly behind, Kelda not thinking to spare a worshiper of the foul deity until the killing blow was swung.
Being late afternoon, we decided to find a place to rest that was defensible and not next to a flaming tree carcass. We headed for what appeared to be an abandoned farmhouse, but which turned out to be a graveyard. One of the shacks was filled with skeletons, but a fire bomb followed by a frost bomb killed the lot of them with no fuss. Once again as we were searching the area, and cleaning up the dead, we were ambushed.
Two demon wolves attacked, wielding blades that cut deeply. The group held fast against their attacks and this time were able to take one alive. The group quickly gathered items they had found and buried the dead and headed north to make camp a good distance away from the city.
In the morning the wolf was questioned with the help of Ronit’s Detect Thoughts brew.
- The priestess they fought the previous day was associated with Vrood
- Vrood is in Feldgrew, as is Adimarus Ionacu, leader of the demon wolves, and the Markiza
- The Markiza is a werewolf, but has not yet been fully initiated as a follower of Jezelda
- There are 6-7 more wolves to deal with in the city, and many undead of varying types
- Adimarus is in the center of town, he is searching for the packlord’s heart
- The demon wolves don’t seem to be aligned with Vrood, even if Adimarus and Vrood aren’t enemies
Potion: cure serious wounds
3x +1 breastplate (1200gp)
magic pearl unidentified
+1 scythe (taken by Kelda until sale) (2018gp)
bag of onyx (100gp)
a slug of silver, melted from Ergothoa’s unholy symbol
4x Masterwork longsword
4x Heavy Steel Shield
2x +1 Falchion