Sic Pixie's Carrion Crown Adventure Path - Page 8




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    Tower assault

    The party can hear howls resounding around the forest and they are drawing closer; they head off trying to catch up or find Duristanís group before heading to the Stairs of the Moon but they soon spy the fleeting figure flittering between the trees of another werewolf of large size; figuring if they stop to fight this one then more will descend upon them while they are fighting and they will be bogged down they turn their noses to the tower and they start making a run for it.

    They make it halfway before they have crossbow bolts whining as they buzz past them and burying themselves with a meaty thunk into the werewolves following them. Upon getting closer the hidden archers decide they are more of a threat as the werewolves following them retreat and they soon become the target of the speeding bolts. Several are fired and only Pringle seems to suffer them as they open a long line of blood on his arm; upon getting closer they spy the archers on the raised level of the building and Pringle roasts them all with a fireball. Donít make a wizard angry Ö Itís not healthy. They all die a very quick but painful death as they burn.

    They ascend the steps to the raised platform and take a quick look around. There are several burnt bodies in different poses of agony; they find more stairs heading upwards while Sayuri also notices a familiar pair of figures strolling out of the woodlands.

    DM Note: Small explanation why Kat has been absent these past few weeks. Kats player James had to run a few courses which turned into more than a few. We are happy to have him back with the party Ö not only as she is the only decent healer in the group

 

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    Kat out and about

    Kat has been busy; she had to run off to perform a task for some druidical circle; itís always a pain when your head and your heart are pulling you in different directions. When the Druids say jump you turn into a bunny and hop, hop, hop till they tell you to stop. Lets face it itís better to do it willingly then have them do it to you.

    Trying to locate and re-sanctify a set of standing stones in a swamp is no mean feat but Kat was able to locate the stones by tuning into the ley lines of the region and follow them to the natural culmination at the stone circle. The fact that there was several stone circles in the area only made finding the correct one that much more difficult.

    The various inhabitants of these locals were usually not interested in a peaceful negotiation and were less than impressed with Kat and her wolf turning up and trying to figure out if this was the stone circle she was sent to repair.

    However when she got to it the evidence was in-surmountable as only a stone circle that has become seriously out of tune has such a powerful nexus of fey energies. Having fought her way through several other stone circles to get to this point; the ley lines here were practically throbbing with power which was being dispersed by the surrounding stone circles. This particular stone circle had drawn the attention of a coven of Hags; Kat had to defeat them one after the other to restore the natural order to this location as their rituals were opening a doorway to the fey energies as stone circles are quite often locks on the weak points of the world to other planes.

    Having performed this Kat reported back to the Druid circle that this had been done as requested and she was allowed to continue onwards and catch up with her companions.

    Kat set out immediately to follow the group; she knows they were heading to Ascanor Lodge in the Shudderwood but she had not actually been there before. Traveling swiftly through the woods as druids can; she soon arrived at the lodge to discover that the party had left more than an hour previously. Thanking the officious Halfling porter she shouldered her equipment with a sigh and turned to the Stairs of the Moon which she has heard of through rumors. Using her considerable woodland skills and the abilities of her wolf companion she manages to evade the various patrols and hides at the forests edge watching the tower. It is only after she spies the party on the building that she starts heading to them having witnessed the explosion of flame from Pringles fireball. She is pretty sure Pringle could not do that the last time she saw them Ö

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    Defecation

    Closing in she spies Grembor as he starts scaling the wall of the tower like a spider; thatís a spell she likes to use to overcome obstacles. However Grembor had checked out the stairs and found them to be perilous so downing a potion he hit the wall and scaled it without a problem; reaching close to the top he can hear a few growling voices having a discussion but some stonework crumbles under his boot as he tries to gain purchase and the rattle of it falling down the wall attracts the attention of the guards above.

    Seconds later a lupine head peers over the wall and looks down at Grembor as he is looking up. Had he been a few inches closer it would have reached out and pulled him up to the top. This werewolf has silver and grey fur covering its face and it snarls at Grembor baring its sharp teeth glistening with drool; however Grembor is out of reach and itís not carrying any missile weapons so there is little he can do. Grembor swiftly climbs down the tower having seen enough when the tail of one of the werewolves appears over the top of the tower and Grembor is assaulted with werewolf excrement which thankfully misses as this would not make for a good day.

    Grembor makes it back to the bottom of the tower and finds that only Pringle remains; Pringle however is keeping his distance as not long ago a large smelly squishy object impacted the ground near where he was looking up at Grembor as he was climbing down. This is not something that should hit an upturned face Ö

    Pringle advises Grembor that it looks like Kat has arrived and Sayuri and Zordlan have gone to meet her; they are on the plains on the north side of the raised platform. Grembor looks over the edge and can see Sayuri and Kat talking animatedly.

    Sayuri having seen Kat approaching with her wolf leaps from the platform; the 25ft drop to the ground not bothering the monk; meeting up with Kat they hug and start exchanging recent history. Zordlan soon joins them as he took the long route down the stairs and around the building not wishing to break an ankle.

    They do notice however that from this side the raised platform has some rooms below which is accessbale via some narrow archways; which look to lead to some sort of shrine or alter dedicated to something they have not seen before. Sayuri notices a shimmering in the air as if there was some sort of heat wave in the room; it seems to be localized but moving; they head in to investigate as they also spy a corridor leading off into the depths of the tower.

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    Kat fight

    Sayuri and Zordlan approach the tower and from the raised dais a figure manifests; this figure is the upper body and head of a lycanthrope and the lower body is all misty as if itís a spirit or ghost. Itís large claws and tooth filled maw while looking insubstantial they guess is not just for show; spying Zordlan the wolf spirit shimmers for a second itís eyes burning bright as they focus upon him as Zordlan feels the spirit trying to take over his body; grasping his temples in pain he screams ĎNooooooooooooooí as he drives to possessing force out and denies it possession to the surprise of all concerned. With a loud mournful howl the spirit looks about for another victim.

    Sayuri casts force armor around herself while Kat cautiously enters the shrine; her wolf has more sense and remains outside. Zordlan draws out his bow and fires an arrow at the spirit which seems to pass right through it. The wolf spirit seeís Kat and to everyoneís surprise possesses the druid; spectral fur appears all over her body while her jaw elongates popping the bones underneath revealing huge spectral fangs slavering with drool with drips from her jaws and rains as little icicles upon the floor. Growling she turns and menaces Zordlan with her large spectral claws her eyes are now a burning red colour. Her neck starts smoking softly as does her hands as the silver torc and rings she is wearing burn her new form; there is a soul shattering howl that sends fear running down everyoneís spine.

    Grembor up above hears this mournful wail below his feet and running to the side of the platform uses the last of the potions effects to climb straight down the wall. Pringle however has to take the longer route and uses the stairs.

    Possessed Kat moves to Zordlan and attempts to maul his body; however a serious miscalculation in the reach of her new claws causes some confusion and she inadvertently bites her own arm. (First time I have ever had a player accidentally infect themselves with Lycanthropy; Natural 1 with first attack) Sayuri concentrates and casts a spell; several images of her appear around her bobbing and weaving around making it difficult to discern which would be the true Sayuri. Zordlan drops his bow and pulls out his sword swinging with an vicious swipe striking the Kat/wolf with a mighty blow that had it not been resistant to anything but silver would have probably severed her arm at the shoulder. (Zordlan crits on the first blow against possessed Kat and caused about 40 points of dmg. All hail DR 10/silver) Kat hisses in pain and reaching out drives her spectral claws into Zordlanís body as the freezing cold of death makes his armor frost over and his lips turn a funny shade of blue before the colour returns to his cheeks; Sayuri stepping away sends some force missiles into Kat/wolf while Grembor fires some arrows which bounce off.

    Zordlan swings wildly and connects with Kat/wolf again opening a slash in her shoulder; Kat with an extreme force of will expels the spirit which manifests behind her in a blue haze of teeth and claws; Kat practically falls to her knees in exhaustion as fatigue overwhelms her. Sayuri unleashes a quartet of force missiles that impact upon the spectral wolf causing it to howl in pain as it turns to face her with murder in its eyes. Sayuri feels the possessive force of the wolf trying to take over her body but with a grunt of exertion she repels the spirit very much to the spirits disappointment. Grembor advances and drives his silver dagger into the spirit causing it to howl again and it turns itís evil red eyes towards him; Grembor gulps as he knows whatís coming as he prepares to repel anyone encroaching upon his mind praying fervently to the gods that he has the mental fortitude to resist.

    Swinging Zordlanís sword passes through the apparition without apparent harm while Kat stays on the floor too tired to do much other then crawl. Sayuri casts quickly and another quartet of force missiles hammers home into the core of the possessive wolf spirit and rips its tenebrous form to pieces. With a final soul searing howl the wolf disperses and the ambient temperature of the shrine raises several degrees. Grembor expresses his praise to the gods as the others look on in amazement.

    They quickly gather around Kat helping her to her feet and casting healing energies into her. She smiles weakly at the party and asks them to not throw such a surprise party for her return ever again. She does not like surprises Ö Kat banishes her fatigue with a spell and they continue exploring the room; Pringle finally arrives on the scene hyperventilating from the exertion of running all this way.

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    Pain is symbolic

    Sayuri and Zordlan investigate the apparent passageway into the tower and find a pair of doors opposite each other. They back out not having touched them and call in the trap expert. Grembor checks both doors and informs the party that they are both free from traps; Zordlan opens up one and a sudden agonizing pain rips through everyone in the party; Sayrui is the only one able to dismiss the pain to the back of her mind while the rest roll on the floor for a while screaming in pain. Finally they recover and they all shoot Grembor accusatory looks but he was affected by the magical trap as everyone else they let it slide. They investigate the room but find little of interest until Grembor notices that one of the walls seems to be made of loosely piled bricks. Pulling one out he can see little through the gap but from the sounds on the other side it appears to be a room.

    Sayuri investigates as her ties to the plane of shadow grant her the ability to see in the dark and she can see a room on the other side; this room seems to have some sort of pit in the centre of it and disappears out of her field of vision. Her ears perk up as she detects the sound of spellcasting on the other side of the wall. The whole party retreats out of the tower and have a brief discussion while Kat scatters caltrops in the passageway to impede anyone advancing from the room.

    After several minutes nothing happens so they advance again but this time investigate the other side of the corridor. They easily avoid the caltrops but should they need to retreat then they will be in for a nasty passage. The other doorway leads to a mostly empty room; mostly in that there is a corpse lying in one corner clutching a satchel in its wasted hands. The aroma is cloying with the stink of decay and as they approach they notice movement; hands leaping to swords they find it is only the maggots and other insects feasting upon the body causing the slight shift in the body. Grabbing the satchel and a ring off one hand (taking most of the finger with it) they retreat again outside to the fresh air to examine their find.

    Opening up the bag and discarding the spoiled remnants of its ownerís lunch they fish out some stones in a pouch; examining these they find several onyx gemstones which Pringle identifies somewhat worryingly as possible material components for an animate dead spell. The other thing of interest in the satchel is a leather wrapped map of Ustalav with several coordinates scrawled on the back; the towns of Ravengro and Lepidstadt, a location near Ascanor Lodge (likely the Stairs of the Moon), and the ghost town of Feldgrau in the Furrows of Ardeal (wonder where to go next?). They pocket this before looking at the ring which looks to be a gagged skull; another ring with the symbol of the Whispering Way.

    After waiting to see if the inhabitant of the room behind the door is willing to come out they decide to head in to investigate again. Sayuri and Grembor take point and start tearing down the wall while Kat stands back until her impatience gets the better of her and she directs a powerful gust of wind at the wall as Sayuri summons some elementals into the room to harass the poor hermit living within.

    However they all wait in the room and then head in to investigate when nothing seems to happen and find no-one in the room to challenge them. In disgust and some confusion they check out the room finding a few interesting things in a chest which tells the history of this place; some instructions for re-activating a relic on the roof and a remove disease spell (cast at 12th level). Additionally they find a fine set of solid silver surgical tools.

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    History of the Stairs of the Moon:

    Reading through the fragile scrolls they find out:

    History of the Stairs of the Moon:

    The Stairs of the Moon was an ancient temple of Desna constructed in the Shudderwood during the first half of the Age of Enthronement. For over 800 years, the temple administered to those of Desnaís faithful among the settlers of the Shudderwood, until the Whispering Tyrant came to Ustalav. At that time, the high priest of Desna at the temple had a single son whom he loved dearly. During the wars against the Whispering Tyrant, the priestís son served as a missionary, but when he returned home some years later he had changed, for at some point he had contracted a particularly virulent strain of lycanthropy. The priest tried everything he could to save his son. He imprisoned his son in a secret chamber beneath the temple and conducted experiments upon him, desperate to reverse the curse. When his research failed to yield positive results, these experiments turned dark and terrible. The priest developed a serum from his sonís blood that he used to infect his congregation with lycanthropy in order to study the diseaseís effects. Over the generations, these afflicted werewolvesí offspring became natural werewolves and their descendents now hunt the Shudderwood as the Mordrinacht tribe. When the temple fell to the armies of the Whispering Tyrant, consumed in mysterious pillars of white fire, death transformed the clericís wretched son into an undead wolf spirit. The Stairs of the Moon was soon abandoned, and its memory wiped from the world at large.

    They come to the conclusion that the wolf spirit they fought outside was none other than the son of the high priest; ransacking the room they find little else bar a wand of some description.

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    Spiked Tentacles of forced intrusion ... If only we had this spell :)

    Leaving they had almost forgotten the hidden spellcaster within the tower but it soon came back into the forefront of their minds when a forest of black tentacles springs up around Pringle and Grembor as they exit the tower. These tentacles wrapped around the pair and started mercilessly choking the life from them.

    Zordlan springing into action charges into the tentacles ignoring the fact that they are likely to try grappling him too and seeks to pull Grembor from their grasp; this he fails to do but thankfully remains free of the tentacles grasp. Sayuri starts summoning some creatures to help out while Kat attempts to make her way through the tentacles but gets caught in their powerful grasp

    Casting his gaze around Zordlan manages to make out a lean figure just outside of the ground floor that seems to be waving his arms around and muttering arcane words of power. He recognizes the figure as Estovion the late Warden of the Lodge looking decidedly worse for wear as he is sporting some recent bite marks. Grembor and Pringle try to free themselves but neither manages this as the tentacles are very powerful while Estovion finishes off his spell summoning a large Dire Wolf to assist in taking out these powerful foes. However there is a slight miscalculation and he summons the wolf slightly closer to the tentacle spell effect than he should and gets it grappled.

    Zordlan tries helping Grembor free himself but the tentacles are too strong even with the combined effort and nearly gets trapped himself. Sayuri finishes off summoning a few Lemures from the plains of Hell which appear close to the party and try helping to free them of their binding tentacles to little effect as they all get grappled as soon as they step from their summoning portals.

    Katís wolf with direction from Kat sneaks up on Estovion and attempts to bite him in the bum; this fails as its teeth snap together on an errant bit of clothing as he spins around in surprise.

    Only finding a wolf he steps back a step and casts a spell on the wolf expecting it to take hold; the spell should make the wolf friendly but for some reason it fails to take. Estovion however does not know this and turns back towards his main goal and that is killing the bothersome group of adventurers that had disturbed his peaceful Lodge

    Sayuri in a flash of inspiration quickly casts grease on the area of Grembor and Zordlan hoping to assist in their escape which makes it much easier for Zoldan to extract himself and then grabs the now unconscious Grembor from the grasp of the tentacles and start making his way to the side of the spells area of effect. Pringle still stuck within the confines of the spell struggles weakly to break free but fails.

    Estovion looking a little perplexed at the group overcoming his nasty spell sends a bar of flame towards Zordlan which misses and impacts on one of the many pillars holding up the ceiling; a little dust falls from the area around the pillar but nothing more serious.

    Zordlan finally makes it out of the reach of the tentacles dragging Grembor with him who is out cold from the repeated assault from the rubbery tentacles. Pringle is still stuck fast with the tentacles wrapping around his throat; with a mighty heave he manages to tear the tentacle free and staggers towards the perimeter of the spell. He does not make it out however before they again wrap around his waist and start squeezing again.

    Sayuri casts grease on herself and Kat and they both start picking their way through the forest of tentacles which is hard going but they manage to make it part way through; the tentacles have a hard time getting to grip with them due to the grease covering their supple forms. (Who would have thought we would have a pair of greased up girls and grappling large black tentacles; this is not Manga) Her summoned Lemures are having a difficult time with the tentacles and only one remains which frees itself and attacks the Dire wolf which is still wrapped in tentacles.

    Dropping Grembor to the ground outside of the area of the tentacle spell Zordlan whips out his bow and fires a shot at Estovion which misses; Sayuri and Kat make it safely out of the area of the tentacles just in time for Estovian to fill the air with thick strands of webbing in another attempt to impede their approach.

    Sayuri ignoring the webbing due to her still greased form which the webs have trouble sticking to casts a quartet of force missiles at Estovian; they streak towards him and before impact hit an invisible shield which absorbs their power. Cursing wizards she folds her arms before her and considers her next option when her favorite spell is denied her. Kat moving to a better position casts an entangle spell on the grass and weeds under the evil wizard which wrap around his feet but also trap her wolf and herself.

    Zordlan dropping his bow heads into the tentacle forest to help Pringle out as he has suddenly gone limp; Estovianís tentacle spell expires and they disperse leaving an unconscious Pringle lying on the floor while Estovian with a thought disappears from the confines of the entangle spell and appears on the other side away from the party. He turns and starts walking away towards the surrounding woodlands.

    Kat thinks to follow but looks over the remains of the party and decides otherwise as they need some serious healing. Heading to Grembor she casts a healing spell which brings him from his slumber; Sayuri heads to help with Pringle as Zordlan carries him to them but he is very pale and cold and his breath is rattling in his throat in its final moments. Sayuri scans around looking for something she can do and pulls out a wand of minor healing; concentrating she tries to activate the wand which is something she has not managed previously and she feels it spring to life directing its healing energy into Pringle. With a light cough Pringle is saved from the clutches of death but it takes several more applications of the wand to bring him back to mobility. He is still very pale looking however.

    DM Note: This is basically a side kick kicking their ass; Estovian is supposed to be holed up in the room with the surgical instruments but what self respecting wizard is going to let themselves get into that situation. Dimension hopping outside and setting up an ambush is much more effective. Conjurers need space to work with ÖI like wizards as BBEGís; have to be very careful you donít get close and conjurers are great at this.

    At the end of this Pringle is 1 point off dead; if Sayuri had not used the wand he would have passed away while Grembor was into pretty high negatives but had eventually stabilized towards the end. This was a tough fight but there is worse to come Iím sure. Couple of mistakes by me with the spells but we can put those down to Estovian not having much need for casting offensive spells so little practice with them. James (Katís Player) advised me I had summoned the Dire Wolf within reach of the tentacles which pretty much wasted the spell as the wolf got grappled. Oh well you live and learn. Was a good session and two very close deaths Ö not had a death in a while Ö

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    Assault on the Stairs of the Moon Part 1

    The group chill out for a few minutes while gaining their feet again; an inventory of items gets underway as they consider the climb to the top of the tower. Pringle gets the wand of spider climb that they found in the base of the tower and they consider their options (after identifying it).

    Having some idea of what they will be facing they plan on attacking from all sides. Ignoring the stairs they plan to climb the walls while Pringle climbs one side and unleashes a devastating spell; the rest of the party climb the other side and jump in and take them while their backs are turned.

    As far as plans go itís a bit ropey but then itís not my place to judge; so they scale the stairs of the moon without using the stairs as they scale the sheer walls like a bunch of spiders. Everyone but Pringle is on one side while Pringle climbs the opposite side. Peering over the edge Pringle canít see anyone in the tower room but he has good authority that somethingís there. Summoning forth his powers he casts a slowly rolling ball of flame into the room; this illuminates the area around it and he notices some movement thatís very close. Standing behind the upright practically adjacent to Pringle is a hybrid werewolf with silver grey fur who seemed to know Pringle was coming. (Possibly as he has little to no skills in stealth and was muttering to himself all the way up the tower) turning into the open window he bites down on Pringles head leaving large tooth marks which bleed profusely.

    With a scream Pringle ducks out of reach and climbs down a way as the blood runs into his eyes; Sayuri peering over the edge notices another trying to hide close to their position and quickly intones one of her favorite spells. The area beneath the werewolf is suddenly coated in a greasy layer which causes the creature to fall over; Grembor looks over the edge; seeing this he bounds up almost slipping on the floor himself; then pulling out his silver knife drives it into the werewolfís back as itís laying on the floor. With a twist of his knife when he pulls back a large spurt of blood follows it adding to the slipperyness of the floor. The werewolf howls in pain as the silver knife is driven into his suddenly tender hide.

    Kat decides to leave the group and investigate further up the tower as there is another level above this one. (Have I mentioned my dislike with splitting up the party before?) Crawling up the wall making almost no sound at all Kat makes it to the next level where she can see a pair of tough looking werewolves which seem to be preparing themselves for a fight. Kat tries sneaking back down but she knocks some debris loose which clatter down the wall causing both the figures topside to look in her direction. Zordlan at this point thinks itís a good idea to follow Kat up and investigate so he starts clanking up the wall in his plate armor. Kat descending tells Zordlan to go down but the damage has been done as a Grey streaked wolfs head appears over the top of the wall looking down upon the pair.

    The werewolves in the lower level are in more of a bind however; the one on the floor before Grembor struggles to rise but fails slipping back down onto the floor with a crash; the one who bit Pringle moves to engage Sayuri and delivers a nasty bite on her arm; itís friend lacking any space hangs back looking for an opening. Grembor delivers a couple of devastating blows to the werewolf on the ground while Pringle peeking into the room from outside moves the ball of fire to the same werewolf which causes it to scream as it expires with the pungent aroma of burnt fur.

    Kat transforming into a fire elemental vaults through the archway landing beside Sayuri who is trying to decide what to do with the wolf attached to her arm while Zordlan follows through landing gracefully the other side of Sayuri and drawing forth his sword with a flourish. Sayrui tries beating and kicking the werewolf but most of her blows just bounce off its tough hide as it worries at her arm. She is only able to release her arm when it tries to improve on its hold and she manages to extract her arm from its jaws.

    The remaining werewolf charges across the floor towards Grembor as it has just seen Grembor killing its mate by driving a silver dagger into its hide. Obviously this would infuriate the creature and it would like revenge so it tries with tooth and claw. Grembor smiling until he spies the swiftly approaching form readies for combat as the werewolf crashes into him knocking him from his feet as the werewolfís teeth pierce his leg and hot blood showers over the wolfish features and down its throat.

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    Enter Master Werewolf ...

    Walking confidently down the stairs is a tall lean figure; its face a noble appearing wolf with grey and silver fur. It absently twirls a bastard sword in one hand while the other grips a very functional looking dagger; getting to the bottom of the stairs it looks around with apparent boredom as if deciding which of these minor annoyances it would swat first. Grinning its eyes alight upon Grembor lying prone with his leg being used as a chew toy; glancing to his side there is a column of fire where Kat used to be as she is now a fire elemental. Next to this is a short practically unarmed female which is being menaced by one of his pack while next to her is a warrior in full armor with a big sword. This would be his first choice but he is unable to get to this warrior without cutting through his own pack mate. Happy and confidant he waits for a space to clear up before he bothers to motivate himself.

    Grembor manages to extract his leg and retrieving the dagger from where he dropped it; striking out from the floor he is able to sink his dagger into the soft underarm of the werewolf beside him. Pushing he tries to reach itís heart but the blade is not long enough; Sayuri casting carefully summons a configuration to burst into being around her is scarlet flames; ďthat should make them think twice about biting meĒ she thinks as she grins at the werewolf before her. Zordlan and Kat striking out at the werewolf before Kat both make telling blows rocking the creature on its feet. It grins at them through bloody teeth its eyes making them aware that it will eat their liver for breakfast; probably with some fava beans and a nice chianti Ö

    Pringle poking his head up can see the large and impressive figure that came wondering down the stairs; thinking quickly he fishes out one of the goat figurines and tosses it towards the newcomer while uttering the command word. It springs into life and charges the surprised werewolf which has to dive to the side to avoid its large horns from impaling him. Scrambling back to his feet he covers his surprise with a savage series of blow on the goat that causes it to stager back and the vicious over head blow rings off itís horns almost buckling the poor goats legs.

    Itís Sayuri who finishes it off however as her lightning bolt rips through both the goat which disappears back into the statue; the large werewolf just down the stairs who looks around with some surprise as the lightning makes itís fur stand up on end; and the werewolf stood right in front of her who receives the blast to his chest at point blank range. This poor werewolf drops to the floor itís whole body wracked with pain as the electricity courses through him; cooking his organs on the inside while he swiftly expires on the floor.

    Zordlan and Kat who were waiting for this swiftly advance on the big werewolf and try alternatively beating it down with a big sword and slapping him round the face with fiery fists with various amounts of success.

    As these two are effectively blocking off any approach towards the annoying lightning caster at the back the large werewolf needs to take down these gnats first. Striking out alternatively at each of the two before him he expected them to drop to the floor in blood gushing piles of soon to be expired death but alas they are tougher then he thought they would be and they weather the storm although they both take some serious wounds to their bodies and pride in the process.

    Grembor and Pringle both finish off the downed werewolf with a combination of silver dagger and burning ball; the werewolf expires with a whimper. Zordlan and Kat both try their respective smack downs on the large werewolf and score a few good hits while he is still getting over the many surprises today. A magically appearing goat with big horns; lightning bolt from no-where and then these two who defy all probability by remaining on their feet after he hit them. Sayuri does her usual force missiles; which with the death of the final werewolf on this floor makes him reconsider his options and he retreats back up the stairs to the top floor leaving the group below wondering if they should follow him up the stairs.

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    Taking down the Boss.

    The party can hear a droning chant coming from the floor above which sounds like spell casting so they are feeling cautious. They quickly apply a few healing spells and potions not wishing to waste any time and then scamper up the outside of the tower.

    On top of the tower is a henge; a circle of large 10ft tall standing stones with another large lintel stone laying on top of two upright stones. Seeing this the whole party clamber up onto the top of one of the lintelís each as they arrange themselves in a semi circle around the two figures in the centre. One is the large werewolf they have previously encountered; the other is a smaller leaner affair with red fur her green eyes glowing with a mystical light as her arms are wreathed in crackling lightning which streams down from the heavens and strikes Sayuri on top of her lintel.

    Sayuri in response unleashes a lightning bolt from her hand directly at the Auburn furred female who tries valiantly to dive out of the way but still manages to catch some of the blast. For some reason the large werewolf takes a disliking to Kat who is still in the form of a fire elemental on top of her lintel and with a running jump manages to clamber up and loom over the small elemental that is Kat. Grinning he runs his tongue down his sword smearing the resulting bloody saliva on the blade as it drips down his chin.

    Kat as the werewolf is climbing up tries to poke her fire wreathed fingers into the creatures eyes but a turn of the head as they close only burns some of the hair on his face; Zordlan fires off a pair of arrows at the large werewolf and scores a good hit as one of the arrows remains stuck in his side while Grembor hefts a flask of fire in his direction. Pringle covers the area around the female in a dense cloud obscuring her from sight while Sayrui covers the area she was standing in grease causing a frustrated squeal followed by the sound of a body hitting the floor from within the fog. There is another bolt of lightning from the heavens which impacts upon Sayuri again which causes some minor damage.

    Our sword wielding werewolf strikes out at the fire elemental that is Kat and scores several hits causing Kat to teeter on the edge of the lintel almost driving her to her knees in its ferocity; the rest of the party seeing the effects of this re-double their efforts to save Kat. Zordlan fires off another pair of arrows one of which draws blood; Pringle sends some force missiles towards Katís opponent which impact with teeth jarring force; Grembor leaping from his perch to Katís swiftly scales the monolith and drives his silver blade deep into the creatures knee joint and viciously twists the blade as the large werewolf howls in agony and turns on itís still strong leg and faces Grembor who is hung suspended below him on the lintelís upright. Opening its mouth it howls its hate into Grembors face and is rewarded by a torrent of force missiles from Sayuri with impacts upon his face and shoulders with the sound of cracking bone the large werewolf collapses and drops to the floor inside the circle of standing stones with a defeated whimper.

    The wind this high up soon whips Pringles Fog spell away revealing the female werewolf who has managed to get beck to her knees; she notices the still form of the large werewolf lying not 10 paces from her and raises her paws to the sky in surrender. The party exchanges glances and accept the females capitulation and set about searching the werewolf and asking the female questions.

    They are most interested in the heart they have heard of and they are informed that it is being chased to the south east in an attempt to recover it; asking her name she advises them in a haughty tone that she is Cybrisa Dorzhanev the leader of the Dorzhanev clan of werewolves. They look at the fallen werewolf and they are advised that this werewolf (now back in the form of a man with a bushy silver streaked beard and lank hair) is non other than Mathus Mordrinacht the now ex claimant to be the Pack leader of the Shudderwood werewolves clans and flunky of the Whispering Way.

    They allow Cybrisa to leave once they have her word that she will be taking her werewolves away to the north but she does rip out Mathusís heart prior to leaving and consumes it whole before the party. Several of the party looks away in disgust at the barbarism while Cybrisa grins to her self to see their reaction; she seems curiously interested in Grembors reaction.

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