On August 3rd, Year 5, a group of adventurers answers a note from Earl Wraecliff indicating that he had seen smoke rising to the North of his castle and that ashen wolves prevented him scouting it himself.
- Rovert (TrS): Level 10 Human Necromancer
- Dohasan: Level 3 Centaur Druid Henchman
- Drej: Level 5 Psuedodragon Familiar
- Elf Eater Skeleton (Level 5)
- Conan (MiM): Level 7 Elf/Vampire Magic-user (Fire)
- Q (TrS)(Guest): Level 4 Human Thief
- Earl “the Lash” Nigell (WaB): Level 3/3 Human Fighter/Tinker
- Stephen (EnS): Level 1 Human Thief
Following what has become a walked path, they soon come upon several soot hounds that attack. Rovert suffers the brunt of the damage and they slay the wolves, igniting a few blazes that Rovert quickly extinguishes.
As the battle ends, Stephen arrives, having been on the prior expedition into these woods. With him come Dohasan and Drej, who were watching the smoke from above. Seeing the way cleared of the wolves, Q returns to Citadel. The rest continue on, Stephen leading them on to the shack where the children found the color potions.
As they approach, they see that the column of dark smoke is ascending from somewhere behind the shack. Rovert and Conan sense some magic coming from the shack, entering and searching out some magical baubles, as well as Stephen finding a hollow leg on the bed containing some gnomish documents and other treasures.
Earl grows bored with the discussion of the finds and steps out of the shack just as they all hear an explosion that shakes the ground and makes the shack shudder. Earl rushes around the side of the shack, through the dense undergrowth, to see a great ashen head-stalk with a glowing, fiery eye emerging from a pit in a clearing behind the shack. The creature sees him and emits a beam of fire that ignites the trees in its path and the corner of the shack as Earl dives out of the way.
The ensuing battle sees Rovert’s skeletal wolf nearly destroyed twice and Rovert suffers significant damage as the others mostly shelter and attack at range. Earl, huddled behind a boulder, throws explosives at the pit while Conan uses repeated concussive blasts at a significant distance using his bonus DoP and the ‘on’ power syllable to get the range. Stephen also takes to the safety of the trees, taking shots at the massive creature and the wolves that come to join it.
They soon slay the enemy, causing an explosion of fire that further ignites the surrounding forest and severely damages Rovert. While the others fervently pray for rain that miraculously starts to fall, Rovert goes about extinguishing much of the flame with water spells. They soon have the forest fire out.
In the wake of the fire, they find a heavily secured bunker made of the same material as the broken seal that was on the pit. Rovert uses earth magic to bypass his way into it and they find a cave with depictions of the monster. The text is in ancient gnomish and Rovert and Conan struggle a little with the translation, but they learn that the creature was a fey lord, entrapped here during the war with the fey because killing it would only allow it to return to the fey and rebuild its strength.
Also in the cave, they find the bones of an ancient gnomish warrior with chests containing his equipment: +2 sword and bow (80#), +1,2,1 plate armor (gnomish size), and fireflint arrows. The third chest is a mimic, which Rovert becomes stuck to and they quickly deal with.
They grab up about 150 assorted mystery potions from the shack and head back to Citadel to divide the loot. Stephen and Earl level up. The rain grows heavier and continues through the evening, presumably dealing with other Soot Hounds in the area.
The Haven year in review is up. Hard to believe we’ve been at this for two whole years. Seems like I’m taking a little too long to move along any major plot lines…