Session Title: Phantasmal Blood
Session Date: Feb 6-7, 2021
-“Chronicler” and “Scout” Bardy (Bard 6, Cleric 1) with Honkers the Goose level 3
–Cober (Cleric 1, Wizard 9) with a Skeletal Horde and Anhinga the familiar
–Don (Cleric 8) with Colonel, a horse mount
-“Leader” Faenoa (Fighter 7, Wizard 2)
-“Cartographer” and “Trailblazer” Gau (Druid 6) with Bagheera the Panther level 4
–Tenfoll’at (Warlock 1, Wizard 6) with Coco the familiar
A recollection a few days later and maybe a bit tipsy. The honking is giving me a headache.
We had received word from the Monastery of the Rushing Stream (the monastery that a recent visitor, Monk Rina, is from) that undead have been showing up near the monastery. We were to head east of Ruined Oak to meet the monks and get more information. It took us a bit to get everyone organized and introduced due to the sheer number of us, (frankly we took an army). Off we went, following the road east from Ruined Oak.
On our first day of travel, Gau again touched a magic item he found in the road, seemingly getting physically older (again… that boy). We also saw herd of wild riding horses. Near the end of the day we found a campsite that had a smouldering fire that we decided to investigate. We found an amulet to the wretched god of pain, Loviatar. (forgive me for putting that name to paper but I am obliged.) Additionally there were tracks leading to the north that we followed, as we didn’t quite know where to find the monastery.
Following those tracks led to an empty ruin and there we camped for the day. I saw someone walking around at night but they left us alone. The following day we continued east and found the monastery fairly early in the day. Upon arrival we could hear the sounds of combat, and thus the more eager members of the party started running forward (leaving this old guy red-faced trying to catch up)
I heard in the distance a group of monks asking the party members for help fighting an undead attack. By the time I got there the monks had retreated and we were in combat. The most fearsome foe was a “Yama Orochi”, an eight-headed hydra (and I think undead) abomination. Gau changed into a giant snake to fight that beast, using his gifts to absorb much of it’s attention. Cober did that neat Wall of Force trick of his and caught the zombie giant “Tarkius” in a dome. (I was tactically behind a tree so I didn’t really notice much more.)
Tenfoll’at and Faenoa focused their efforts on the hydra but it was who Gau managed to eventually strangle it. Cober then let the Wall of Force drop. Our attacks timed with that took the zombie giant down. Faenoa proceeded to do her (frankly disgusting, but you get used to it) ritual “tummy diving”. The zombie giant had “made by Crommwell” stamped onto it’s flesh. One of the cultists leading the undead attack had the symbol of Loviatar on his robes.
We then were greeting by a monk named Doeumi, representing the monastery. He thanked us for our assistance and offered us lodging for the night as he was expecting an emissary with more information by the end of day.(He also had these wonderful jellybeans, that provide a full days nourishment with a fascinating, random flavour. I got a marmalade one that was quite yummy, alas poor Faenoa got a ghost pepper one that she didn’t like the slightest.)
We finished our day there and eventually a familiar carriage that was pulled by nightmares (the scary horse ones, not the scary dreams) arrived. Out walked the Monk Rina and the Vampire Earl Sitaris (his butler Blueford was driving the carriage.) Rina had escorted Sitaris to the monastery as he was looking for help reclaiming his lake house from a rival, Vampire Count Brandino.
Sitaris deemed our group acceptable to help with his reclamation and we agreed to help him. (I sent a silent prayer to Oghma about the wisdom of interfering in vampire lord affairs) We set out the next day, following the road back to Ruined Oak. Nothing truly notable to report, though we did find a magic well blessed by Lothander with water that enchanted us with the Freedom of Movement spell. While we were close to town, we camped outdoors as we were not close enough. (I think the younger people were just humouring this old guy, I know I would’ve been exhausted trying to get further. I should really consider getting a trusty steed to carry me around.) Nothing of note happened during the night (though later I learned that Gau and Cober found some aurochs to study.)
In the morning we set off towards Ruined Oak (dropped of some hydra parts for Voromis) then followed the road north. About a half day’s worth of travel we found the old Deep One temple next to the lake. Sitaris chose to stay there and sent his butler Blueford to show us the way. We trekked west and eventually came upon a cave entrance that Blueford said was a hidden way to the lake house, and also that was as far as he could go. (this cave and everywhere after was saturated with necromantic magics)
The cave lead us to the lake house, and while it was unsettling, we approached and entered unhindered. As we went through and searched the various rooms we went by we discovered a note indicating Cober had had a previous encounter with Brandino (you’d think he’d remember such a thing, I certainly remember every encounter I’ve had with a vampire lord,) and that Brandino was looking for sacrifices for an obsidian alter.
Walking through the hallways Gau found a lever that he decided needed to be pulled immediately… this bloodied half our group as it triggered some trap blades to swing through. (that boy, a wonderful friend but sometimes I wonder if those wolves hit his head frequently)
After that incident our brave leader Faenoa decided that Gau should not be in the front and we continued going forwards. Gau’s new position allowed him to detect a painting that had it’s eyes removed and behind that the stone had been removed. Gau, (that boy… again) attacked the painting and pulled it off the wall. As we pondered what to do, Don (deciding, I guess, that it was appropriate to renovate Sitaris’ house) used the Stoneshape spell to remove the wall.
Behind the wall was a room with a giant obsidian alter. It radiated magic. There was writing on it,(deciphered by Faenoa magically) that read “made for Baphomet by Gahzel“. (Baphomet Cober recalled is a Demon Prince). Tenfoll’at seemed to successfully dispel the magic. Faenoa found a pit trap in the room as well (I think it might’ve been a garbage pit.) Gau decided he wanted the wooden leg of the table, which he then sharpened. We heard sounds of something ahead and decided to move forward stealthily. We found an empty study that we decided not to properly search, instead continuing forward to find the source of the noise.
In a large council room, there was a high elf mutterring to himself. Gau, (yes, him… again) with Bagheera, attacked the high elf, but instead of impacting, went silently through. The man started talking to us in Elvish, and eventually introduced himself as Prince Crommwell the Great Mage. (I was heroically hiding behind a wall, as to tactically hide our numbers. I didn’t really get a good looked at him.) Crommwell said he had been working with Vampire Count Brandino to receive sacrifices, and was currently irritated towards him for recent failures. Cober recognized that Crommwell was using the spell Project Image to appear here and could be anywhere 500 miles from there.
Crommwell said that Brandino was in the throne room behind him and we were welcome to go talk with him. Bored with us, he went to the study (thus we didn’t get a second chance to search there.) We went into the throne room and Brandino offered us a choice. We could offer ourselves to serve him and receive immortality or die. This did not entice anyone in our party (to be honest I thought Cober might say yes) and thus combat started.
I’m a bit deep in my cups now and my recollection of the fight is quite blurry.
I blessed, Honkers honked and then time stopped. (I’m being literal here, time magically stopped.) Brandino appeared next to Don and started pummeling and grappling her, (he went after her the entire fight, nearly killing her several times). Gau heated Brandino’s metallic pants which burned him greatly; Cober walled up some of the Count’s helpers while his skeletal army focused on Brandino; Don frantically turned the ones that escaped with the power of her god; Tenfoll’at slowed them down and sent fire at Brandino; Faenoa sent of beam of crackling energy into Brandino.
We managed to wear through Brandino regenerative powers and just as we thought we had, him he turned into mist. As this happened the helpers turned to dust. We followed the mist, quick as we could, and found an ornate coffin. Gau lifted the lid and the mist had collected in there. Gau then brought the power of the moon onto the mist, which forced the Count into his vampire form. Gau then stabbed the wooden table leg into Brandino‘s heart. (that boy… I was so proud of him)
When the wooden leg pierced his chest, Brandino glowed and then turned to dust, and the coffin collapsed. After such a battle, we quickly decided to retreat and return along our path back to the waiting butler Blueford. He returned with us to Sitaris who was very happy with our efforts. He commented that he would send news of any interesting information if he got hold of any and implied that he would go to reclaim his lake house. We were quite tired (certainly I was) but pushed on (safely, thank Oghma) back to Ruined Oak.
Closing thoughts: I don’t particularly enjoy vampire homes; I think Sitaris will ask for more assistance in the future should he require it; That Prince Crommwell fellow has seemingly been responsible for several recent monstrosities appearing on the Island; I am concerned a cult of Loviatar has formed somewhere; I shouldn’t have drunk before writing this log or during it but sometimes you need to settle your nerves.