Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Carrion Crown: Through the Shudderwood to Ascanor Lodge Part 2

So the heroes reached the Ascanor Lodge after a five day travel through the Shudderwood. They were greeted by some very friendly and well armed guards...not really. The intrepid adventurers were told to 'piss off you dirty serfs'. After some more haggling and presenting the letter from Count Caromarc the guards relented and summoned the lodge's porter. What happened then you ask?

The Players

- Thredorik Trapspringer (male dwarven rogue 7 / uncouth / peeping tom)
Jess  -  Nisha  (female tiefling fighter(weapon master kit) 7 / combat monster....literally / professed her serious 'like' to Zuri)
Charles - Zuri (male aasimar wizard 7 / varisian wanderer/ harrow reader / admitted his 'like' to Nisha and that she scares him)
Charles - Dragos ( Zuri's raven familiar / smart ass / found out about gold leaf pastries in Caliphas/ LOVES pastries and shinies)
Me - Julian Du Marc ( male human cleric of Pharasma 7 / NPC/PC / stoic / has a secret)
Me again - DM (DM / rules dude / story mover-along-er / still bribed by pie or hot cocoa/ bribes of hot cocoa and cookies were offered by Jess and Charles........not Matt......not forgetting that snub)

The lodge's porter, while in front of the party, proceeds to examine the Count's letter with extreme scrutiny. Checking the seal, examining the paper, making sure the ink is dry and any/everything in his little halfling powers as porter to prove this was a forgery. Naturally he failed. So in response he does the mature thing....he tells us that we do not have a reservation at the lodge and will not gain admittance and we should leave now. And porter Belik of Courtlaud turns on his heels and walks off. The party tries to reason with him and then the fireworks begin! Belik turns on his heels and begins to insult their state and appearance, belittling Nisha for being less than a woman as well. I believe he called her a 'thing'. Zuri becomes visibly angry and begins to argue back and defend Nisha's honor as a crowd of patrons at the lodge begin to gather at the gate to watch the show. Thredorik tries to work up to the gate and unlock it to get to Belik but is met by the six armed guards all of which have their hands on their blades.

During all of this commotion a gruff, almost feral looking hunter pushed through the crowd of nobles and leaves the gates while being followed by a younger nobleman and his hired help. This hunter, Delgros Kroitzcer, is the lodges master hunter and leads nobles on expiditions for 'big game'. This time his 'client', Duristan Silvio Ariesir, is very impatient and over excited about this hunt. Duristan notices the group of heroes and calls to them to 'fall in line for a hunt'. After he is met with apathy and Julian telling him to 'get bent', he realizes that these are not normal hirelings but full fledged adventurers and Duristan immediately apologizes and formally introduces himself and politely asks if they would be of assistance in a hunt he has organized. The prize: werewolves. Duristan goes on about the need for seasoned adventurers on this and upon seeing their dismissal at the gates on the lodge, makes an offer of inviting them as his personal guests and paying for their lodging for as long as they stay. All the while Duristan was verbally bashing Belik the porter the entire time.

After a quick discussion, and realization they are getting nowhere with the porter, they accept Duristan's offer and join him on his werewolf hunt. While riding out they get caught up on the events that during one of Delgros's hunts early this morning for a great stag in the area that group was beset upon by large, furry, fanged beasts that drove off the other nobles and broke up the hunt. Which prevented Delgros from claiming the stag's carcass. During this ride out to the encounter site Duristan was flirting Nisha up and down a blue streak. Being that he was greatly 'impressed' with a warrior woman is an understatement. Zuri, Thredorik and Julian decided to stay out of this flatter fest and have a conversation in a different language so to not be understood. Julian stated his concerns that Duristan seemed brash and his plans seemed hasty. This bothered him as he felt his rash behavior will get people killed. Also it was noted Julian felt that Duristan's boasting of killing three werewolves was out of luck alone and not skill.

When they arrived at the sight Delgros exclaimed that the stag's carcass is gone and the huntsman, the noble, the lackeys and the heroes start looking around for it. Nisha makes an impressive 'survival' check and finds a trail of blood and matted down foliage which leads them to the carcass and the three dire boars who were feeding on it. Combat ensues, three large slabs of wild bacon created, more investigation continues. Julian does a 'heal' check on the wounds the carcass has and notes the arrow marks, the tusk marks from the boars and another set of very sharp teeth that he can't identify. There are also other footprints around that do not resemble the boars by the carcass. This excites Duristan and he insists they set up camp here and wait for the werewolves. Delgros dislikes that idea greatly exclaiming there are no werewolves out here and that intelligent people will return to the lodge with him. Duristan reminds the party of their arrangement and they stay with him at the camp. Drinking mead by campfire ensues. Duristan asks to hear all about our adventures. Henchmen on patrol around the campsite.

Late into the night when the booze was out and the dwarf was totally tanked we hear a muffled cry from the woods and then another scream. We then notice only two of the six henchmen have made it back to camp. Gathering up our weapons, and drunken dwarf, we head off towards the sound. Nisha leads the way with great axe at the ready and we come across a horrible scene. A twisted and mangled bloodied body of a henchman and another grasped within the jaws of a large, feral werewolf. The beast dropped the body and demanded to know why we are within the woods! Zuri, being the diplomatic one, tried to give an explanation but the monster cut his explanation short and accused us of aligning ourselves with a Mathus Mordrinacht and the Silverhide tribe. We were threatened that no Silverhide will sit on the Highthrone and continued support of such will have the other tribes waging a bloody war on the lodge and all within. At this point another werewolf appears from the wood next to its companion and we are told to run back to the lodge like good little sheep.

We hold our ground for a moment and try to speak but we are cut off by snarling and one of the werewolves howl into the darkness. Then we start to hear all the others replay back and soon the stillness of the wood is eclipsed by numerous werewolves howling a are NOT alone here! We head back to camp, collect Duristan and his two remaining men and make haste back to Ascanor Lodge where Duristan gets us through the gates.

And now this is where I feel I started to falter with my DMing and some bits of the story get muddled and I have to retrofit a few tidbits. But that will be covered in part three. Damn the party sure did a hell of alot of stuff this past game!