Clovis goes through many adventures between writings, and I’ve found that going through them bit by bit has left the story lagging way behind and isn’t terribly engaging. I’m going to try a bit of a different way, and see how that works.
Since we’ve last convened on the story of Clovis and his Friends – Tag, Mamadune, Urath Garret, and now Ironmaul.
After the encounter with the ogre’s and their kind, who we assumed had slain the three travelers from Deepgreen, we realized that not one of the held a weapon that would be even remotely considered sharp as clubs and mauls were the order of the day. Realizing that we’d not found the killed, but that we’d still taken out an important and dangerous hazard along the road, we got about looting the camp. Of all the not so interesting things we found, the least uninteresting (pretty interesting, actually!) was another one of the baubles like the one we had found in the goblin caverns, marking this group, too, as pawns for the Drow. An interesting development.
We quickly made our way back toward Deepgreen to report our findings, but also report that we’d not found the killers. Conveniently, as we were traipsing through the woods back to the town, Clovis was traipsing ahead a little quieter and a little farther ahead. I heard a fairly quiet but resolved voice.
“I can’t wait till they come back. We’re gonna kill em all, fools.”
Well. I wasn’t particularly fond of whatever was about to go down, so I crept forward for a moment to get a look, and it was our grumpy friend from the Inn at Deepgreen, one who’d mentioned that we’d never be able to find the killers.
After listening for another few moments, it was easily determined that these guys were the killers. They talked about it openly, mocking the dead and flaunting their newly acquired trinkets, ones that we’d been sent to specifically find because they were so unique to the victims.
Quickly the party gathered its wits, set up and ambush, and sprung the anti-trap-trap. In moments the first of the killed had been slain, and shortly thereafter the second was taken out. The third tried to flee, but we weren’t having any of it and he, too, was killed. we were taking no chances.
We were completely caught off guard, during the battle, as the surviving two were both extremely resilient and shifted into Hybrid rat-elf forms. They were lycanthropes and not a single person had warned us or even suspected them.
Taking the information to Deepgreen, we were greeted with relieved, if not pleased, families as we returned the items we were sent to retrieve. The sword, that of one of The Lads, the escort that one of them had obtained, was given to Tag in return for his service. It was a powerful weapon, enchanted with great magic.
Which also happened to be a curse. Sadly, our good friend Tag was now cursed, and none of us know or knew it, to retaliate with great vengeance against those who have caused him harm. Thankfully, he’s a monster in combat and few survive his blows for long. We’d probably be OK.
Setting off from Deepgreen, we made our way out to Darkstar, where we’d been directed that we would find our sage. After a few days of traveling, we should arrive at Orashni’s, a large inn and roadhouse. Well, unfortunately for us, our path is blocked at one of the larger streams by a band of hobgoblins. They do a lot of talking, and I think they threatened or recognized us or something. The only one who understood what they were saying was Mamadune, who wasn’t keen on translating their miserable words. Being caught on one side of the bridge, needing to get to the other, and the hobgoblins itching for a fight, we gave it to them. We, however, were the ones who took the bait, even as much as we knew it was a trap, in that there were plenty of hostiles on both sides of the bridge, including a number hidden back in the woods. It was a long and brutal fight that included some 10-12 bugbears and their tamed pair of advanced displacer beasts. Our abilities and skills were stretched to the breaking point, but we emerged, however slightly, victorious on the other side. Quickly, I asked Mamadune to skin and harvest the displacer beast for its hide and venom (there isn’t any venom, but Clovis is pretty determined) Joining his drying wolf pelts and his displacer beast hides, he’s going about getting a pretty exotic set of garb.
Recovering and traveling to Orashni’s, where the stay was pleasant, if a little bit ostentatious, was a fairly easy endeavor. This is where, in a moment of brilliance, if I say so, I decided that Clovis, while he may have a little more ornamentation than the standard adventurer, sees no need for anything beyond the most basic of foods. A nice loaf of bread, a wedge of cheese, and some good, monk-brewed beer or wine is enough for anyone. He’s a simple, easy to abide with a peasant who happens to be able to punch ogres, hobgoblins and displacer beasts to death.
After the enjoyable, especially for Garret, our halfling friend, evening at Orashni’s, we said farewell to our new friends and set out back down toward Darkstream. We arrived without much an incident only to discover that the person we’d been sent to speak with has been missing for days. We look around for a bit and found a colleague of his sisters, who he followed out into the woods when she, along with a number of young men, left the town and went into the wilds. The colleague led us into the woods to a dark and forbidden stand of stones where, to our horror, we found the bodies of a number of young men. Shortly after we started investigating, one of the corpses, and then another, started moving. The dead men, animated in a number of different ways, attacked the party for trespassing on their sacred and profane land. Tag and I flanked hard to one side, killing a number of the weaker ones while the rest of the group, including a newly introduced ally of ours, a Gladiator-Warlock named Ironmaul, took on the frontal assault. It all came to a head when a spectral woman, wailing and weeping, materialized in the middle of our group, and all who could see her had their heart stutter.
Well, except Urath, who promptly planted two mystical quarrels, empowered by his celestial paragon patron, deep into her protoplasmic personage, promptly causing her to pop
after which, having slain the rest of the lingering retinue, Garrett however, managed to trigger the standing stones (which we had been repeatedly warned against contacting) by lighting them on fire. This promptly summoned a demon much, much more powerful than we were. Running out of the woods, the spell broken by the death of the earlier phantom, came the man we had been looking for, Galeon Braelnor.
It was time to learn about these dreaded Drow.