The Black Witch
Nekron holds the book at out towards Blevat, while pulling out his throwing axe. Blevat swings and hits the book, an unnatural sound emanates, and a concussive explosion knocks the group away from the book. The Black Witch walks over and picks up the book. She says, “Thank you for returning my book …. Can you explain what you were doing with it. Why are you here?”
Blevat takes a swing and misses.
Shade speaks up, mentioning Mag, while Ironvein rushes over, covering his mouth in an attempt to keep him from revealing anything, and says that they are just travelers trying to find a place to rest and heard of “dealings” in this area.
The Black Witch says: “Some call me Shadow-walker, some call me the Crone. I’m certainly not Old Mag, but if you want to meet her, she’s over there.”
She gestures to a spot on the ground just outside the burned out hut. A swirl of dirt winds up and we see bones underneath the dirt, and the bones stat to form themselves back together. Essentially we watch a body un-decay and eventually pieces of cloth form a black robe and broken stick reforms in her hand.
Season of the Witch, or, the fight with Old Mag
Shadow-walker smokes out of there, and can’t be seen anywhere. Mag mutters some words but nothing noticeable happens. Ironvein takes an attack stance and awaits Old Mag’s move. Piccolo Feet runs around Mag, flanking her. Nekron throws his axe at her, hitting her for 7 damage. Sid casts a Protection from Evil spell. Blevat casts Silence successfully on Mag. Shade fires an arrow and misses. Ironvein throws a dart and misses. Old Mag approaches Sid, enveloping her in the cone of Silence as well and hits her with her staff for 7pts of damage, which breaks the Silence. Shade narrowly misses with his 2nd arrow. Ironvein shoots her Magic Missiles at her but they don’t seem to affect her. Piccolo attacks from the back and rolls a MOTHAFLIPPIN’ TWENTY!!! for 4pts of damage (rolling a one). Nekron attacks with his battle axe and rolls a MOTHAFLIPPIN’ TWENTY!!! for 8pts of damage (rolling a one). Blevat, Sid, & Nekron all miss. Old Mag pulls an Emperor Palpatine on Nekron & Blevat. Nekron takes 18pts of damage, Blevat takes 21pts. Nekron, singed and barely hangin’ on, rolls another MOTHAFLIPPIN’ TWENTY and puts his axe in her chest where it sticks and she falls.
Shadow-walker smokes into existence again. “You did very well”. Old Mag dissipates into the dust and sand of which she had risen moments ago. When asked why she had her minion attack the party, Shadow-walker replies: “Old Mag was not my minion. You fought valiantly and deserve to have some of your questions answered. What do you want to know?”
We begin to talk about the Zhenterim, and Blevat says they are out to destroy the Black Network. Shadow walker replies: “Then we have a common interest.” Ironvein asks her to elaborate, and she says, “The Zhenterim have begun a process of bringing things out of balance… I have a vested interested in restoring the balance of things.” Blevat cures light wounds on himself and Nekron, when Nekron asks, “What have you done to stop the Zhenterim?” Sid talks reason to Shadow-walker. Blevat keeps curing light wounds. Shadow-walker says “I know much of the Zhenterim and their plans, and as strange as it may seem, I am in need of human assistance… a group to help battle this evil… however it is important to me and this task that your intentions be pure. Why do you seek the downfall of the Zhenterim?”
Shadow-walker tells the party that she is unable reveal the nature of her true self, but she does reveal that she has two sisters. She believes that Zhenterim’s ultimate goal is to bring about “pure darkness” in this world. She speaks of “weapons” that would help destroy the Zhenterim. She indicates that it seems there is a bit of a fractious nature amongst the party, and that perhaps they need some time to discuss matters. She leaves her book behind as a show of trust of the party and an indicator that she will indeed return, and then leaves to confer with her two sisters.
The group talks about what their next move will be, and agree to move forward with playing along with Shadow-walker, but also remain cautious and not reveal their affiliation with Lord Tessaril.
Shade goes on a nature walk and talks to the leader of the wolf pack, who speaks of his trust of this lady (Shadow-walker), and refers to her as The Maiden. Sid casts Read Magic to read the cover of the book. The words are in constant flux, and it’s hard to get a read on what the words actually are, but Sid comes away with the sense that the title of the book is The Beginning, the Middle and the End.
As the group begins to settle down for the evening, Shadow-walker returns, walking into camp with the grey wolf that Shade was speaking with before. There is a humility and a reverence to the way that she walks into camp rather than through her usual smoke teleportation. She speaks:
In the beginning there was a light. And then there was more. My sisters and I were present, but more unified then we are now. There was light, then more, and then a shadow came. The exact nature of this shadow I am not fully able to describe. It was as if it was …. nothing. My sisters and I fought this shadow and vanquished it. Or delayed it for some time, at the very least. The way in which we defeated I can’t explain, because even I don’t even know… my sisters and I made a choice to separate ourselves and separate this power into three to make sure the wielding of this power is something we could not do of our own accord. When we split, we gained our identities as we have them now.
My name is Thanatos. My sisters are Chronos and Ilithyia. We are still one, but we are separated in consciousness. The power we had wrought to defeat this shadow was split and contained in three artifacts. Each of us was given dominion over one artifact, but unable to know of the other two. Because the immense power imbued in these artifacts that created to overcome Shadow, we decided that part of our self-binding would ensure we could no longer wield these artifacts ourselves. We need mortal avatars to wield them.
This is why I need your help. The Zhenterim are trying to bring about the The Shadow. I do not believe they know what this will truly bring about.
Sid asks about the eagles. The wolf has been aware of the eagles migrating, but does not know why.
Ironvein asks about the artifacts:
The only one I can tell you of is The Slow Knife, which is the artifact under my dominion. It is an artifact that will help you reach my sister Chronos. Of us three, she is the most attune to what goes on in this plane.
Piccolo asks where The Slow Knife is located.
It is deep within the Haunted Halls. I am bound from divulging the exact location. I can tell you that there has been a lot of Zhenterim activity within the Haunted Halls. The Halls are not to be trifled with and i strongly suggest a guide.
When Thanatos is asked about her sisters, she replies:
Ilithyia will treat you like someone she know a long time ago, Chronos like someone she knows presently. [Beginning, Middle, & End]
When she is asked about the other two artifacts:
I only know their names: The Bells & The Spark.
Wishing the party luck, Thanatos departs.
We follow the wolf to a tree where some soft hooting is heard. The owls “clock” everybody and they rest their gaze on Shade. The wolf pats the hollow of the tree and Shade approaches, sticking his right hand in, pulling out a really simple steel key. The next item is a pair of silver rings tied together by a blade of grass. And then he pulls out 3 more things: another ring, a piece of armor, and another piece of armor.
So, tally is:
1 steel key
2 silver rings tied together w/ a blade of grass
1 simple gold band
1 pair of bracers (simple leather)
1 set of gauntlets
Shade asks the wolf about the objects, it says that the key and the rings found their way to this place, the owls like magic tingly things.
We divide the objects up, Sid takes the key, Ironvein takes the two rings tied with a blade of glass, Piccolo takes the gold ring, Shade takes the bracers and Blevat takes the gauntlets.
The owls watch over us as we sleep (per Shade), but Nekron stays up.
In the night Nekron hears noises, from 2 spots. He wakes up Piccolo and Ironvein. Piccolo sneaks quietly to the shadows to hide and alert the party with a whistle if he sees anything, while Ironvein pretends to lay asleep, but with sword drawn and ready to attack. Nekron walks out to pretend to piss in the woods. Nekron and Ironvein hear Piccolo’s whistle, and then a man screams “Now!” Ironvein is up with sword drawn, and then screams “Wake up!” to the others. Ironvein fires Magic Missiles at one of the unknown assailants, hitting him for 8pts. Nekron full sprints towards Piccolo Feet.
The rest of the bandits miss. Ironvein kills the man in front of her. One of them hits Blevat for 2pts. Nekron hits the bandit attacking Piccolo Feet for 9pts. One shoots an arrow at Ironvein, but his bow string breaks. Sid gets hit for 5pts. Piccolo takes down his assailant. Blevat gets hit for 1hp. The Grey Wolf comes running in to help Shade & Sid, but misses. Blevat nails his dude, but he doesn’t quite go down. Sid Magic Missle’s her attacker, taking him down. Ironvein attacks Blevat’s assailant for 6hp, and he goes down. Nekron hits one of the archers with his throwing axe for 9hp.
The two archers go running … Blevat casts Entangle on one of them. The wolf chases down the other with Piccolo & Nekron. However, Sid gets him with Magic Missiles. The entangled archer is kept alive and bound and gagged.
The next morning we run into the Purple Guard and hand over our captive.
We’re back in Evening Star.
Shade stays outside of town, Blevat heads to the tavern, and the rest of us head to Lord Tessaril, only to find out she is not in town at the moment. We take the magical items to be appraised from a magic shop. She charges us 50gp to not tell us much.
The local contractor says it’s gonna take about four weeks to fix everything for about 520GP.
Town activities TBD before next time …..