Kollaborativ Verden for Både Kort og Bredt

Project Outpost (Part 2)

The adventure starts out where it left off the previous session, with the players just having finished trading with Gaulder the Tinkerer. They continue around the mountain, finding that it is a good bit larger than they expected. After a short period of time, one of them notices what might at one time have been a road heading straight off from their current path, directly towards the mountain.

After convincing the others that it is there, they investigate it, finding a long-abandoned mine, which they intend to investigate. However, their dragonborn companion, the sorcerer Ghesh, refuses to go into the mine. Nothing they try will convince him otherwise.

Unwilling to abandon the mission, the other three proceed into the mine. While some of them see well enough in the darkness of the mine, Bran the Rogue is forced to light a torch to be able to see. As they proceed deeper in, they find that the mine tunnel twists and turns, frequently branching. However, all but one of the tunnels are blocked by rubble, some appearing to have caved in on their own, others clearly having been deliberately collapsed with tools. They see no way through the blocked passages.

They proceed along the single open route, which continues twisting and branching into collapsed tunnels, until they eventually emerge into a natural cavern. roughly halfway across this cavern, they are ambushed by a pair of Gricks, who have chosen this place as their current hunting ground.

After dispatching the gricks, disemboweling them and bringing along whatever treasure they considered valuable from them as well as a few parts (including a "steak" of sorts), they proceed onwards. After a good while more, they emerge into another, similar cave. However, this cave is not the same as one with gricks. They immediately spot a series of four lights placed several meters above floor level.

Before they can do much of any investigation, a voice shouts out to them, demanding to know their business. That voice turns out to belong to a hobgoblin. They do their best to question it and to bluff their way past it, but the hobgoblin has orders not to let anyone past. They debate means of trying to get past it and its fellows, but eventually decide that all their plans are unlikely to succeed. Especially considering that the hobgoblin claims that its "general" and the rest of its legion are above, in the ruin. Thus they decide to turn back, heading out.

When they do get back out, they find that Ghesh is gone, having left no trace of himself. They then proceed further around the mountain, having decided to head for one of the other ruins that were supposed to be to the northwest of their current location.

After uneventfully traveling much of the rest of the day, they eventually set up camp, but not until after convincing Leif that sleeping in the small lake they found is not going to work. They cooked the grick "steak", though Leif was the only one willing (and able) to stomach the giant worm-like meat. With his dwarven resilience, he suffered no significant consequences from this. The others chose to eat the three fishes caught by Aust instead, one of which Bran filched after gutting (and searching for loot).

When they woke up the next morning, after a seemingly uneventful night, neither Aust nor Leif were feeling too well. In Leif's case, his armor was a bit tight across the belly. In Aust's case, the symptoms were not as clear. His hair was unusually long, and his clothes did not quite fit as well as they day before and that he was quite tired in spite of the long rest. Not having much of any clue about all this, they suspected it might be some sort of regional magical effect, and determined that getting out of the area would be wise. Thus they packed up and left.

After another several hours, they came across what appeared to be a massive stone creature, which they vaguely recalled to be an elephant. One of them eventually realized that it must've been some sort of statue to represent a deity. Finding nothing else of interest, they marked it on their map and moved on.

When they after another good number of hours came to a ridge, they saw a small mountain not far from where they were, but much closer than their map implied it should be. At its foot they saw evidence of habitation. When they moved closer, Leif recognized the style of the structures as dwarven. Drawing on his knowledge of his people, he knew they were not the evil Duergar, who do not like going aboveground if they can possibly avoid it.

They entered the small settlement, fairly quickly figuring out that it was a mining settlement and not some sort of village. There they waited for a few hours until one of the miners they could hear within the mountain emerged with a cart of Mithral ore. They greeted him, and he recognized the symbol of Moradin on Leif's chest. In short order, they found themselves sharing some of Leif's ale with a large group of dwarven miners, who in turn provided ample food. Many hours and a bit of arm-wrestling later, they retired into the beds offered by the noticeably inebriated dwarves. As the beds were designed for dwarves, Bran was forced to wrap his feet in his cloak, as his bed was far too short for him.

The following morning, Leif noticed that his armor seemed to be even tighter across the belly. Aust in turn discovered that he was at least as tired this morning as the one before, but that that was the least of his issues. Though they were the same clothes as he'd worn the previous days, they fit even more poorly now. His hair had grown even longer during the night, and he had taken on a considerable number of other physical traits more normally associated with females. A bit of creative use of magic, and he determined that somehow, he had begun to change into a woman. Though he could determine that the source of the effect was external both for him and for Leif, he did not figure out the origin for Leif. For himself, he got hints that it may have a link to the Tabard he had looted from a Satyr earlier in the mission. As they had no means at their disposal for lifting curses, they could only let it go on, though he no doubt had mixed feelings about it all.

They spotted a rough path heading west towards the dwarves' home, but chose instead to head straight north, so as not to risk missing their target. About two fifths of the way towards the mountain, they were suddenly ambushed by a group of well-armed bandits (1 scout, 6 thugs). Though they defeated these foes, it was not an easy fight. In addition to that, the day was already getting late, as they had gotten a quite late start that morning. Thus they decided to camp for the night. That is, after looting the bodies of the bandits.

When they woke up the next morning, Leif's armor was, not too unexpectedly, even tighter across the belly. However, in Aust's case, the changes were even more severe. In the span of that night, the magical effect transforming him had completed its work. When he woke up that morning, he had none of his masculine traits left. The curse that had been changing him had now completely turned him into her.

 

End Session #2.

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