The Dracholt party finally makes it to the source of the red lightning.
Cast of Characters
Goliath Paladin – Red’s Husband
Lawful Neutral Paladin of Devotion tied strongly to Goliath’s tendencies for meritocracy. Thinks magic is cheating, and has a personality loosely based on Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation.
Human (Silver Draconic) Sorcerer –Anndelle
Nick “Pyro” / “Gandra Nox”
Human (Gold Draconic) Sorcerer – Tyrone (older teen girl)
Vigilante-type that masquerades as a Dragonborn-esque creature “Gandra Nox” in order to keep himself safe.
Half-Elf Rogue – new player Red’s friends knew
Dwarven Cleric – new but experienced player McFadin knew
After Lord Killgrave pardoned Aldin, the party split up to ask the townsfolk of Roselake if they knew anything about the red lightning. Although Killgrave did not know exactly what caused the strange phenomenon and the maps that had been in his keep all went up in flames, he knew that to the north were three possible places: a ruined castle, Havenmill, and Blackshire. He told Aldin he did not remember much about the ruin, but Blackshire was some tiny town that had sprung up around some legendary healer for which the town was named. Havenmill was a little village known for its festival of heroes honoring four great people from long ago.
Nick, meanwhile, asked the travelers and bards if they knew anything, and one of them pointed out a half-crazed peasant that had recently arrived from the north.
Going to talk to him, Nick found that the peasant was terrified and was just getting ready to leave for Deacholt, where he thought he will be safe. At Nick’s prodding, the peasant said the red lightning came from the village of Blackshire; he was there when it happened. Some evil witch lady, after the town had been beset by zombies out of the nearby cave in the forest, had come to the town and blew it sky high. At the mention of the witch, who he said he did not know, he became even more upset and anxious to leave. He clearly indicated that she will probably come to kill him, but Nick coaxed out a description of this witch before the peasant leaves. He said she is part beautiful and part horrible to behold , with one blind eye and half of her body heavily scarred by acid. As the peasant hurried to leave, Nick kindly gave him some gold, so he could restart his life.
After Nick informed the party of this, McFadin asked the tavernkeep for his opinion, and the man was rather convinced that the peasant was mad. The lightning probably affected him or the “witch” – whatever she is – probably warped his mind.
With that, Aldin got directions from Killgrave – to take the road North and head East at the first major crossroads – and ushered the rest of the party out of town. Since it was after noon by the time they got moving, they only travelled for half the day although they found a sad, starving dog with fleas and mange in the early evening.
Although Aldin just wanted to leave the thing or put it out if its misery, the rest of the party convinced him to heal it, curing it of both the fleas and mange after Nick gave it a large hunk of cheese, which the dog greedily devoured. Nick and Krisa, upon seeing Aldin’s magic, were incredulous that he would use it since he had clearly stated that magic is cheating, but he scoffed. His healing was not magic; it was a gift from the gods that he had to work diligently for.
Although annoyed, Aldin did carry the dog for the rest of the day, but once they got to a decent place to camp, he stated that Nick and Krisa will be responsible for the dog. They must feed, shelter, and care for it, and if it died, they will be the ones to bury it.
Nick and Krisa were mildly disturbed by the paladin’s harshness, but they agreed quickly before helping set up camp. Nick was even excited to have the dog since it should be more alert once it regainef its strength, and the dog shortly proved that it could be worthwhile.
A few hours into the night, Nick noticed the dog making a sad wuffling noise, its eyes locked on the forest a few hundred feet off the road. He then realized the dog was trying to bark and, taking another hard look at the forest, realized that two large, shaggy shapes were creeping forward from the tree line. Raising the alert, Nick woke the others, and Aldin, who was convinced that the shapes are bears, made some noise to try to scare them off. Yet the two shapes charged, quickly closing the distance as tiny, crude arrows flew from the little green riders on the wolf-like creatures’ backs.
Nick and Krisa throwing magic at the things and McFadin shooting crossbow bolts back from the safety of a tree, Aldin finished off one Worg once it came close, the swing of the paladin’s greatsword beheading the monster with such power thay its tiny rider was catapulted into the grass. McFadin then lassoed the other Worg as Aldin went to finish the downed goblin, and although the rogue made the leap onto the worg’s back, it quickly bucked him off, its fast movement dragging him back into the tree, which he had looped his rope through. The goblin rider then cut the lasso noose, and the rope dropped McFadin down onto a branch.
Aldin, meanwhile, attempted to stun the goblin with the flat of his sword, although the little thing slipped underneath his swing only to walk right into an acid ball to the face. Although Aldin glared, Nick trumpeted his triumph as the other worg disappeared into the night.
Still, another sound signaled one more creature approaching the party. On guard and expecting another goblin, the group shouted for it to stay back, but Dwarven words answered them, a well-armored cleric appearing. It turned out that the dwarves of Verkauf had sent someone in response to Alpharius’ flyer, and this new arrival wanted to make certain that the balance of all things was not interrupted by this “restoration of true magic.”
Inviting Kildrak to travel with them, the party finished their nightly rest before heading north along the road again, eventually coming to the crossroads and heading to Blackshire.
What they found was a wreck of a town, black and charred but still smoking; a massive crater in the center of the village absolutely destroyed all but the farthest hourses. Still, these were only husks, and as the party investigated, they found a broken statue in the bottom of the crater, the stone turned to such fine rubble that only an elderly male face was discernable. As McFadin poked at the stones, a pack of ghouls was alerted to the trespassers, but thankfully Aldin and Kildrak noticed the creatures before they charged, the paladin almost single-handedly smiting the leader down with his shining blade. The putrid monster exploded into a giant cloud of ichor and miasma, and the other ghouls did not last long under the withering focus of the party once the others joined the fray.
Still, with the sun disappearing behind the trees, the party was in need of finding a place to camp, although it was painfully obvious that almost nowhere would be safe.