Borderland of Adventure #72: Into the Wilderness

At the end of last session, we left the party standing over the hacked and scorched corpse of Sost, high priest of the Dragon Cult. Most of the heroes (and Krorz) were badly injured and so the party spent a few minutes healing their many, grievous injuries. Afterward, they decided to split up–Gerald and Skink returning to their rooms at the Shrieking Phantom to begin preparations to flee the city.

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The remaining members–sparing no thought for their slain companion Klar–searched the temple in search of loot and clues. Some wealth–along with a seeing stone (a kind of lesser crystal ball)–were recovered from Sost’s personal chambers. Exploration of the ground floor uncovered a secret trapdoor leading to a small network of catacombs. Much of the area was given over to the storage of cremated worshippers, but the party did encounter a small band of lurking kobolds. Ulmo slew them with a well placed fireball before they could mount any kind of defence. The party also discovered a secret passage leading out of the town.

Returning to the Shrieking Phantom the party gathered up their possessions and prepared to flee. Sir Eril–a wandering warrior keen to gain renown by slaying the dragon Vesicwyr–elected to accompany the party as did the six slaves Gerald had previous purchased and freed. Sir Eril suggested the party spend some time preparing for the trip, but by then the alarm bells were ringing in the leader’s quarter and so the party fled. (Tzaran lingered to keep an eye on things and to see how the pirates reacted; for his troubles he caught a glimpse of Yorn and his ogre bodyguards before joining his companions outside the city).

And then things began to go wrong.

Sir Eril had previous seen the dragon land on a rocky mesa some 12 miles outside of the Dekspoint. However, the nearby woodlands were particularly dense and so progress was interminably slow. Compounding this problem was that the party was now sizable, numbering as it did 13 members along with a gigantic snake and riding dog. Predictably, their flight from town had been so swift they had neglected to bring much in the way of rations with them. This meant they had to forage for food as they travelled, which further slowed their progress.

That night as they camped, the party discussed several courses of action. Some favoured returning to Dekspoint while others wanted to push on. During the discussions, Gorinar decided to examine the seeing stone and discovered it could be used to scry on other stones in the set. Ulmo volunteered to use the stone and shortly thereafter discovered the stone for which they knew the command word was owned by none other than Vesicwyr herself! Unworried by this surprising development Ulmo first tried to get information from the dragon–particularly the identity of her employer. When this didn’t work he resorted to insulting and threatening her. Shortly thereafter, Vesicwyr terminated the conversation. Ulmo’s friends were not sure insulting the dragon was the best plan, but were intrigued by the veritable heaps of treasure lying about her lair.

The next day, the party pushed on and again progress was particularly slow as they foraged for food. Worryingly they discovered that as they moved closer to the mesa, food grew harder to find. That night, Ulmo again scryed Vesciwyr and a “lively” conversation ensued. However, this time the party had a plan! They used the time to take a good look at her treasure and to estimate her size (and therefore to get a good idea of her abilities). It turned out, Vesicwyr was relatively small–roughly only the size of a large human. Krorz in particular was dubious at this revelation for he wondered how such a small dragon had accumulated so much treasure. He suspected something was terribly wrong.

It was during the second night that Gorinar remembered he could create magical food and water and so fortified by this, the party made much better time over the next two days. They finally reached the mesa–a great forested outcrop of rock fully 300 ft. high–on the third of Reaping. It was then they discovered no one had thought to bring any rope…

Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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