BALANCE AND BLOODSHED: A DRUID’S TALE
Chapter Vin which there are no mutant squirrels and Ashoka wants to die
Journey to Cloakwood didn’t go as quickly as planned. Following the directions provided by a commoner in Beregost our druids traveled west until they reached the sea. Cloakwood was nowhere to be seen, so they decided to return and find a more reliable source of information. On their way back they met a few agressive sirines. Encounter could have ended tragically as Ashoka was charmed and could have been struck by one of his friends’ lightnings. Luckily, they managed to counter the charm with one of their own. The sirines were unnaturally agressive, so party decided to investigate and bring balance to the coast. A few lightnings later the coast was peaceful again. They also looted a treasure from a caostal cave. They could sense that the cave was trapped, so they sent Druma alone (since she perforemed so well with the traps in the mines). Somehow she managed to recover the treasure and retreat without triggering the trap. Later, when Thalantyr examined the loot it turned out that it included a grimoir that helped Ashoka increase his constitution (to 19) and a cloak that allows its wearer to transform into a wolf. Vrk was overjoyed. His friends had a hard time convincing him that a wolf form is hopeless in battle.
Finally they managed to reach Cloakwood. Once there they helped fellow druids in erdicating a human parasite. Then they reached a spider-infested part of the forest. The spiders probaly regretted not checking the weather forecast before going out. Fighting the spiders inside their lair was challenging, but a few Entangle
spells solved the problem.
Moving deeper into the forest, brave druids were ambushed by a pair of wyverns, but again they emerged triumphant due to bad weather conditions.
Later they met more druids, who gave them direction to the Iron Throne installation and even offered help, but our heroes were confident in their own abilities and politely refused. The Iron Throne base turned out to be an iron mine. A group of mercenaries tried to prevent the druids from entering, but they were soon struck by ligtnings. Ashoka found one of the mercenary mages rather scary and his friends had to calm him.
Inside the mine they found out that Iron Throne was actually mining ore, instead of breeding squirrels. It even made sense, though not in Raudra’s opinion. Second level was trapped, but druids found a secret corridor which allowed them to avoid the traps and attack a party of guards from behind. The enemies largely outnumbered our heroes but a few charm spells changed the odds. Enemies had a mage support, but the she didn’t manage to actually cast anything.
Some prisoners were held at that level. They told the druids about a way of flooding the mines. Cuta was a little concerned about the effect that would have on the local economy, but others were quite sure that the local economy will have to take care of itself. Then they fought their way inside the third level. All that fighting was rather tiring and Atavrksha commanded a rest (which also allowed the druids to meditate on newly learned 4th level spells). Turned out that it wasn’t a good place for a nap. Vrk and Raudra were sleeping so soundly that when they woke up they were surrounded by enemies.
They were bleeding from numerous wounds before all of the guards were hopelesly trying to free themselves from entanglement. Druids tried resting again, fought the guards again and finally decided to retreat and sleep upstairs. Once rested they returned and fought their way down to the last level where Davaeorn, mines supervisor, was located. Druids couldn’t do anything about the traps which protected him and had to fight two battle horrors in a spectacular Flame Blade
Davaeorn was a skilled mage but his lightnings did more hurt to himself then to the druids, who were all protected from it. He tried avoiding combat by teleporting but was finally balanced by Druma’s flaming sword. On his body They found the key to the floodgate that the prisoners were talking about. They also found some letters from Rieltar, one of the Iron Throne leaders from Baldur’s Gate. Party decided to follow this lead after flooding the mine.
Arriving at Baldur’s Gate druids were greeted by Scar, commander of the Flaming Fist. He was interested in party’s activities and druids decided to work with him against the Iron Throne. But first he wanted them to investigate the Seven Suns trade coster whose recent actions where considered as really strange (meaning improfitable), which worried some of the city officials. Atavrksha agreed quickly to prevent Cuta from starting her ravings about economic stabillity and such. But first the party went sightseeing and shopping. They bought a +1 sling and lots of ammunition at the Shop of Silence. Then they stopped by at Sorcerous Sundries and traded with a mage named Halbazzer Drin. He offered the party a device he called “wand of heavens”. It was supposed to summon a pillar of fire to scorch the unsuspecting enemy. Atavrksha liked the idea but was worried that it won’t work indoors. The mage however ensured that wand works in any conditions, so she decided to buy one for every party member, leaving the price negotiations to Vrk.
Outside party was aproached by a man with a proposition. They followed him into what turned out to be a thieves’ guild. Druids had no intention to be part of the thieves’ schemes. The guildmaster wasn’t happy about that and reffused to let them walk away. The guild was soon wiped out by the angry servants of nature. A tome found inside the guild building helped Ashoka increase his dexterity (to 18).
Then party went to the southwestern part of the city where the Seven Suns building was located. The merchants inside did not want discuss their actions with the druids, but Cuta was rather insistent. Before anyone could protest she started a lecture about the “basic principles of free market”. Merchants’ tolerance for the economic science must have been completely non-existant as they all hissed as one: “Sssilence fool!”.
Their features started to change and moments later they were attacking the party in their true doppelanger forms. Druids quickly balanced them and searched the building. In the basement they found the Seven Suns leader, Jhasso. He wasn’t happy to see Vrk.
“Get away from me, shapeshifter scum.” He barked angrily.
Vrk wondered: “What gave me away? Was it my ears? Eyes? Or maybe the grey fur and a tail?”
But even in animal form he was a very charismatic man and managed to convince Jhasso that they came on behalf of commander Scar. Jhasso calmed down and told the druids what they already new – that Seven Suns was infiltrated by doppelgangers. They returned to Scar and informed him of this. He was thankful for the help but had another quest – people started to disappear on the city streets and wanted to find out who or what’s responsible. Druids agreed to help and went off to search the city. Ashoka suggested to start from a tavern. They didn’t learn anything of interest there, but the visit made Ashoka much happier. Aside from the wine he must have drunk some strenght potion as well, because he didn’t have any problems with forcing the door to a house that he found suspicious. Inside he was attacked by doomguards and invisible stalkers. It made him sober enough to run outside and call for help. His friends gulped oils of speed, summoned Flame Blades and ran inside. After a hard battle the guardians were defeated. Ashoka moved to search the house and found it’s owner, apparently a mage. He was already starting to sober up, so when faced with a tricky question he answered truthfully: “We want to die”. Mage summoned additional guardians and attacked. The wands of heavens did work indoors and saved the party from this dangerous situation.
Then party went to rest at the nearby inn. Inside their room they found a magical helmet. Ashoka found it quite comfortable. On the next day party wanderred through the city helping some of it’s inahbitants and balancing a few mages. Finally they checked the sewers and run into an ogre mage with an army of carrion crawlers. After balancing them they discovered dozens of human bodies, so they returned to Scar to report they findings. He rewarded the druids and told that duke Eltan wants to talk to them. The duke seemed very interested in the actions of the Iron Throne and asked the druids to investigate their base of oparations in the city. They agreed, eager to finally bring balance to that organization. They stormed the Iron Throne buidling and balanced everyone that got in their way. They didn’t meet with any serious resistance until the top floor. There they decided to soften the enemies with a few fireballs (exploding potions and Necklace of Missiles), use Miscast Magic
on the spellcasters and summon some animal support. Vrk took a few arrows and had to retreat downstairs. One of enemy casters remained unaffectad by Miscast Magic
and confused Atavrksha and Cuta, who soon turned their Flame Blades
against each other. Raudra cast Defensive Harmony
to make it harder for them to hit each other and then started casting healing spells. Vrk joined him in this after healing his own wounds a bit. Meanwhile Druma was badly wounded by enemy fighters and had to retreat but Ashoka was free to take her position. Since the fight wasn’t going too well, druids resorted to their wands and scorched remaining enemies.
Then they searched the area and found letters which stated that Throne leaders have gone to some sort of meeting held in Candlekeep’s library. When they returned to duke Eltan he provided them with a tome which would allow them entrance inside their former home. And so they returned to Candlekeep.
Atavrksha – druid 8, 67 HP, fav. spell: Entangle
, 88 kills (battle horror)
Ashoka – fighter 6/druid 6, 74 HP (with Helm of Balduran), fav. spell: Flame Blade
, 283 kills (greater basilisk)
Druma – fighter 3/druid 8, 67 HP, fav. spell: Flame Blade
, 270 kills (greater basilisk)
Cuta – druid 8, 65 HP, fav. spell: Entangle
, 97 kills (greater basilisk)
Vrk – druid 8, 49 HP, fav. spell: Entangle
, 67 kills (sirine)
Raudra – druid 8, 54 HP, fav. spell: Entangle
, 145 kills (battle squirrel)
Edited by Blackmalkin, 26 July 2012 - 09:06 PM.