Friday, December 4th, 540 YV, the group of magic ban rebels has relocated to a manor nearer the heart of the city (Gollant), abandoned and hopefully not to be visited for a while. The three members of the party (one of four teams in the rebel group) are:
- Doane Six (ByW): Level 1 Nekolyn Monk
- Lamila (BiW): Level 1 Half-Orc, Half-Elf Fighter
- Benquil: Level 1 Spider Monkey Animal Companion
- Lucifer “Lucy” Underfoot (RiH): Level 1 Halfling Bard
Now settled into the abandoned manor, the party turns its attention to infiltrating the Temple of Hilbrent. With an inventor presentation on the 8th floor in two weeks, that seems the best moment to attempt to infiltrate the upper stories (9 and 10), where and information good to them would be hidden. They decide that while another team attempts to get an entry into the presentation, they will focus on plans to climb the tower exterior.
Zehra, their handler, refers them to an alchemist that should be able to provide them the potions necessarily to climb the tower. The alchemist assures then that he can obtain the strong acid and weightlessness potions they ask for, but that climbing potions will be more work.
He has suppliers to get him the roper tendril he needs for them, but the type of blood present in the stirge sacks he uses as a base is vital to the potion’s quality, especially relative to the person consuming the potion. To preserve potency and prevent disastrous side-effects, they determine to go out and capture living stirges that they can then starve of blood to ensure their own is the only blood present.
They take a train to Taurkiev and a bus from there toward the kobold hills to a border town. There they meet their guide, Gregson, who will be helping them hunt stirges in the wild that kobold tribes have kept civilization out of.
Two days into the wilderness, in the last watch of the night, Lamila is unable to resist the moon’s call and loses consciousness. Lucy, Doane, and Gregson awake in time to see a wolf creature running into the hills, apparently having carried Lamila off. Gregson has little how for her, but Doane insists on pursuing to rescue her in the morning.
Lamila awakes in the morning in the middle of a slaughtered kobold village. Wandering around, she manages to get her bearings and start back the way she thinks camp is, quickly rejoining the rest. Lucy convinces her to confess her werewolfism, but Gregson doesn’t believe it and Doane is eager to see it.
Continuing North through the hill country, Gregson helps them elude a kobold caravan and by the end of the day they find a cave to sleep in with signs of stirges nearby.
In the morning, Gregson finds another cave that clearly has a large stirge nest inside. They prepare a fall back position in their cave with most of their nets, and Lucy, Doane, and Lamila go up to the cave, creeping in with Lucy in the lead and Doane holding the lamp behind him.
Squeezing through a tight, low passage for all but Lucy, they come to a wide open area where Doane’s light pierces enough to let Lucy see a massive nest spanning the ceiling. The stirges show a little interest and they back out quickly and gently. With knowledge of how tight the cave gets before the main cave, they think about how they can block it off. Doane volunteers that he has the ability to fashion weapons and such from living wood and soon he has pulled a tower shield from a nearby tree.
They go in again, this time with Lamila with the shield close behind Lucy, who goes in mostly blind. Doane hangs back, lantern on the ground and net in hand. Once in the main chamber, Lucy throws a stone, knocking a chunk out of the nest and drawing the ire of the stirges. Lucy flees and Lamila attempts to block the passage behind him, letting five stirges through before closing it off.
Doane attempts to net the stirges and snares the last one. The remaining four rush at Lucy, who has picked up a net and swings it, completely entangling himself in it and falling to the ground (natural 3 on 3d6). The stirges swoop down on him, attempting to pierce his skin through the net. Doane rushes in with a second net, managing to sweep two off of Lucy before the others dig in.
Lucy untangles himself, springing to his feet and running out of the cave with two stirges still in him, entangled in the inverted net. Doane follows, managing to pull one out of Lucy with the net before Lucy collapses from loss of blood. Lamila emerges from the cave with the other three netted stirges while Doane removes the last stirge, keeping them both wrapped in the net.
They hurry Lucy back to their netted campsite, where Gregson tends to him for a full day before he awakes and heals himself through the laying on of hands. The stirges continue swarming that day and the next, during which time they capture five more by allowing them to bite Lamila, who then carries them into the netted area.
With ten living stirges and cages to hold them, they return to Gollant the way they came, using a little of their own blood to keep them fed during the journey. Back in Gollant, they turn them over to the alchemist, who is excited at the prospect of experimenting with living stirges.
There are still four days until the inventor presentation and two of the teams have been working together to prepare an entry that is one stage from being approved for the final event. Its intentional malfunction will be the distraction for the party’s entry to the tower’s upper levels, assuming their potions are complete in time.
The party all level up.