Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Watch Reports: "Zompires", Homesteads, and the Shape of Magic

We left in the morning alongside several members of the Order of the Silver Oak. A halfling by the name of Belvon wielding a longbow that seemed a bit over-sized in his hands, a half-orc by the name of Ulag who seemed to be some sort of priest of Obad-Hai, a firbolg medic by the name of Yeswynn, our friend Nikola and the leader of the group herself, Elanil. Since she appears to be coming with us, it feels like I should actually use her name in these watch reports. It seems only polite to do so.


In any case, we made our way south and east in the shadow of the Zenils Mountains. It wasn't too long before we came upon the first sign of undead in the region. Well, the first sign aside from the cursed tree, though that could be a result of some other sort of malevolent magic now that I think about it. In any case, We came upon the body of an unfortunate man being stood over by a skeletal figure attempting to gnaw at his neck.

Miss Freehand managed to get quite close, but then it noticed our approach and turned towards us. It's initial attack was blunted by a disturbing but skillful chord played by Panry that caused the foul thing to initially flee but it quickly recovered itself in greater fury and charged for the bard with murder in its eye. 

That tiefling decided to produce a glob of acid which the creature nevertheless managed to dodge. I decided to follow this up by channeling a blast of electrical power into it from a distance, forming a linking arc between myself and the monster. I was initially concerned that this was a bit of overkill and that I'd be wasting a bit of power, but the creature turned out to be a lot tougher than I thought it was.

Following the spells that Asmodeus and I unleashed on the beast, Miss Freehand and Panry struck out at it with their blades while Dame TJ and Miss Crest worked into better position, the druid becoming a wolf in the process. They both struck firmly but the beast remained standing and then latched itself upon Panry biting into his throat. The unfortunate half-elf was felled by the attack, but there still seemed signs of life as we continued the attack. 

Dame TJ came within range of the creature now and laid down upon it a truly inspiring amount of divine damage. Then Asmodeus's acid struck true while Liri had a bit of difficulty with it holding off her main assault. For my own part, I simply focused on pouring more power into the beast through the witch bolt's arc I had formed. The finally blow was delivered by Miss Crest tearing into the beast like a dog with a bone. Which, now that I think about it, was rather the literal truth given she had become a wolf and the creature was rather skeletal.

Our oddly speaking paladin friend recognized the creature as something she called a "Forsaken". Well, actually, first she described it as a "gnarly zompire thing." Apparently, sometimes when a vampire drains a victim it fails to raise as a full vampire but comes back as this thing that tries to drink blood but still continues to decay. I had never heard of such a thing before to be honest, but then my studies regarding supernatural phenomena are rather lacking.

In the background, Panry was being treated for his injuries while the rest of us looked into this corpse. Neither us nor our traveling partners recognized him. The only clue we had to his identity was a locket that had a crude sort of drawing of a woman with a name engraved on it. Elanil and Nikola told us that there were a number of small homesteads that the man could have come from which makes the matter of the undead incursion that much more important as we are no longer talking about empty wilds. 

To be fair, undead creeping through the empty lands is bad enough as there is no telling how far they spread. But the fact that we are talking about farmers and trappers living out here in harms way makes things more immediately problematic. At least to anyone of good heart.

We traveled a little bit longer and made camp. The beginning of the nigh went well enough but we were awakened near dawn by Panry and alerted that there were entities creeping up upon our position. Dame TJ immediately began donning her armor as the rest of us were quietly awakened apparently subtly enough that our attackers hadn't yet noticed the activity. 

My human eyes could not pierce the darkness and so I remained close to the fire until the team indicated that it was ready to act. At that point I placed an enchantment of light about one of the pebbles and tossed it as far as my feeble strength could manage. This revealed the first of a pack of ghouls which began to surge forward to attack us. 

Panry took the chance to strum the lute he had picked up from the monastery to cast an enchantment of protection around TJ and this proved key to our defense as the ghouls found it nearly impossible to strike her. Miss Crest was unfortunately swarmed by our foes, but was brought back to her feet by the efforts of Nikola and others of the Silver Oak.

That tiefling displayed a significantly greater amount of magic than I had previously seen from him and for my own part I was surprised to discover that one of my own gifts proved useful when a smattering of blue force rose about my skin to stave off the rotting claws of these ghouls. While it took us some time, we eventually whittled the ghoul pack down and defeated them finally, opting to burning the corpses afterwards.

The fight has driven me to consider the direction of my own magic. I had originally considered to focus on enhancing my ability as an investigator, something to bolster myself in the face of my lack of mental capacity as compared to Hellenae, but I am finding that I need to enhance my capability in combat at the moment. For instance, I found myself limited in the options for dealing with multiple enemies, a matter which I now hope that I have addressed.

In addition, we discovered a ring. Panry indicated that it was not magical but he was quite clearly holding something back. I've pocketed it myself for the moment, but I'm not sure why. I don't particularly have a way to identify it and wearing it before figuring out what it is could be quite dangerous. 

In any case, we proceed south from here and may soon be seeing the Moon-Lit Mire before we head up the Ethereal Peak to find this Moon Light Monastery.

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