We left our ragtag party camping in the west fields of Thyertok, waiting for a monster to appear. With two of the party believing that the third may be a devil or an elemental or some such, they decide to take only two watches:
- Evren (BiW): Level 1 Drow Psion Thief
- Labkost (ByW): Level 1 Gnome Magic-user
- Argent Smith (RiH): Level 1 Human Monk
Evren and Argent take the first watch together to ensure both watches have some way of seeing in the dark. As they watch, Evren sees something large and warm-blooded moving in the trees. Argent moves to wake Labkost while Evren readies for battle, but the wolf-like beast emerges suddenly to pounce on a calf near the woods.
Evren charges, engaging it, but it claws her badly despite her admirable evasion and flees (taking a reactive hit as it does). Argent and Labkost join the chase, but when Evren engages it again, it claws her down before fleeing again. Labkost stops and starts to cast a spell to create a summoning circle while Argent runs to Evren and lays hands on her to get her back up.
Evren scans the forest as she rises and sees bright spots of blood from the wounds she landed on the creature. She leads Argent and they give chase by the trail of warmth. The creature is faster than they, and Evren can tell it is getting farther ahead by the cooling blood. Eventually, she can tell that it has stopped running all out and is moving normally. They start gaining on it and after hours of chase find where it slew and deer and ate large chunks of it.
Meanwhile, Labkost has created his summoning circle and focuses his knowledge to summon an earth demon. He cannot control the power of the demon, so ByW hesitates to roll for the summon for fear he gets something beyond his power to banish. Labkost is also nervous for his first summoning, but he goes through with it, handily summoning only a lesser demon, which he commands to hunt the beast and spare his friends. It takes off at a wild sprint to do so.
In the woods, Evren finally catches a glimpse of their warm quarry through to trees. She telepathically warns Argent and reaches out to try to read its mind. She detects coherent, humanoid thoughts, though only vague generalities. He is thinking of food and the hunt, hunger. Suddenly, however, his thoughts change to something he “needs.” It is a thought she recognizes from experience she can’t remember in those suffering from severe addiction. The beast immediately runs westward and as they pursue they find its wounds are closing and the trail is already growing cold. As they hesitate, the earth demon arrives and they send it to continue the hunt, returning to reunite with Labkost, hoping the trail will be easier to follow by sunlight.
They find Labkost standing vigilant over his summoning circle, which he has had to replenish once, as they have been gone some time. They report the beast to the town and then desire to go track again by morning light, but Labkost refuses to leave his circle until the demon returns. They agree to wait with him one more hour, though he insists he will wait as long as it takes. In that hour, the demon returns, badly wounded, and insists he was deceived concerning how difficult the task would be, reporting that he has failed. After some struggle, Labkost succeeds in banishing the demon and they set out to follow the trail.
They find the thrashed trail easy enough to follow, the blood still visible and Evren familiar with most of the way. Eventually, the trail puts them out in a small glen where a metal box stands. Near it, the ground is torn up and blood-drenched and they assume this is where the demon fought the beast. They approach the box and a minotaur speaks to them from inside.
They learn from him that he is a minotaur named Muthra who makes a living in part participating in experiments and projects run by elves and that he is currently part of an experiment that requires that he not leave the box, lest the results be invalidated. He says that the elves told him he would be a test of a resistance to hunger, and indeed, though the days have seemed long and confusing, he has had long spans without food during which he has not felt hungry, even very full sometimes. Looking over the top, they see through bars that he is wounded with wounds he can’t explain, but he insists he is fine and “there of his own volition” and that they can leave him there.
They decide to lay in wait for the experimenters to return and shortly after the moon rises, they hear a commotion in the box and see that the lock on it has vanished. While Argent and Evren desperately keep the door closed against a much stronger, but panicked, opponent, Labkost casts a spell to seal the door closed. They fail to get it closed all the way, but Labkost is able to seal the upper corner, giving them an advantage as they continue to struggle against the beast inside and Labkost casts the spell twice more to finish sealing it as they press it closed.
With the immediate threat contained, Argent makes the connection to the moon with the beast attacks and this new incident and throws his bedroll over the open top of the box. Muthra soon calms and they realize what they need to do to prevent him transforming and trying to break out. They decide to stay camped until those running the experiment return, presumably to feed him once the moon has waned. During this time, they must hunt to feed themselves and Muthra who now seems to become hungry normally.
They leveled up.
It’s fun to go back in time. They remember certain things about history, including that Margon was the god of werewolves, but they know Margon has not been born yet, so they were pretty sure that this couldn’t be a werewolf. What they don’t realize is that Margon was not the first werewolf, just the one to be deified. I thought they were aware (out of character) that the creation of werewolves was the first reason Lolith was admonished by the elves, but it seems that they have conveniently forgotten this piece of history and are now in a good place to play a part in it.