17th Reaping, 594 CY
Tracking the horse and rider that fled the ruins of the hunting lodge, the Heroes find themselves about to pass by a small farm, when suddenly a woman comes running out of the farmhouse, screaming for help!
The Heroes spread out, approaching cautiously as the woman spies them and shouts for help: “It’s going to kill him!” Through the doorway of the farmhouse a monstrous figure can just be seen, the farmer fending it off with a pitchfork, standing between the monster and his young son. Calibos charges straight in as fast as his dwarf legs can carry him, while Sidni flies in through a window. They find a strange humanoid creature, part-ape, part-bear, with crab claw arms and the head of a stag, As they attack, it gorges the farmer, who distracts the beast long enough for his son to flee through the backdoor.
Meanwhile, Ungrid and Halmary hurry to join them, forcing open a window to squeeze through; while Xellos investigates the stables, where thuds and bangs come from: he opens the doors and the spooked horses inside bolt, knocking him over. They almost trample the young boy as he hurries over to his mother. Xellos also notes that by the barn lies the lower half of a man, torn apart, with a leather satchel close-by and several brown glass spheres lying on the ground surrounded by fragments of glass.
Inside the farmhouse Sidni wounds the monster: but its blood turns out to be deadly poison, and it sprays into Sidni’s face and across the farmer’s chest; both succumb instantly, and fall to the ground, dead! Halmary runs over to help, ready to reverse the effect, but Ungrid smashes the creature, shedding more blood, which narrowly avoids him and Calibos, but does splatter Halmary, who also collapses, dead!
The monster wounds the dwarfs, who wound it back and dodge the blood splatter, once more distracting it long enough for Xellos to swoop in and pelt it with magic missiles, killing the monster.
Thankfully, the Heroes have carried three neutralise poison potions for a few weeks, if not months, and these prove most useful: they reverse the effect of the blood spray, and Halmary, Sidni and the farmer are returned to life. The farmer’s family are reunited and they ask if the other monster is also dead…
The barn seems the obvious place for a monster to hide, so some of the Heroes head over to it, leaving Halmary to guard the family. Sidni enters first, scouting out the ground floor, while Calibos climbs up to the hayloft and is ambushed by an armadillo-armoured monster with the head of an eagle, with an added trunk, claws and a tail with a sting in it. The former paladin-turned-defender of the faith slashes it with his sword: the creatures hide hardens even as blood flows. Sidni flies up from below, jabbing it from behind with her spear: the creature’s hide becomes more reflective. Outside, Ungrid activates his ring of haste and hurries to the barn. Inside, Xellos joins the fight and pelts it with more magic missiles, scoring burning marks against its armour, which again shifts and reforms. Now, Calibos blows just bounce off, and the creature takes advantage of the surprise and wounds the dwarf: Calibos’ blood begins to burn, causing his immense pain!
Xellos then hacks off the monster’s head with his axe.
In the aftermath, Calibos is given a p_otion of gaseous form_ to quaff, saving him from dying, and when he solidifies he is cured. The farm is cleaned up and the monsters deposed of by burning them, and the torso of the dead man is found in the barn, along with gems and coins that the Heroes donate to the farmers. Also, the satchel holds a spell book, and a message:
As requested, here are some baubles that should prove useful in dealing with those annoying pests that are interfering with your plans. Use them wisely and with care.
They also pocket the glass spheres, wrapping them up in blankets to protect them and hiding them away in their bag of holding. They suspect that they release more monsters, and hence may come in useful. The farmer, Jacob, tells them that someone matching Malachi’s description came through this way a few days ago (maybe a week ago), and swapped horses, before heading on to Gorna. Today a man came looking for him, tripped over an escaped pig, and smashed something in his bag. A pair of monsters formed out of smoke and tore him apart, then attacked the farm. They would be dead if not for the heroes.
Glad to be of help, and with another clue, they head off to the capital and arrive a couple of days later. While most camp outside the city limits, Sidni and Xellos, both invisible scout about and learn that they are still wanted for treason, that the Duke and his lords are all with the army that is (has?) liberated Pest’s Crossing from the traitors. They report back, and during the evening make plans.
End of Session
Kills: two unique monsters.
KO’d: Sidni and Halmary, both died by poisonous blood, but were revived by potions of neutralise poison administrated in time.