Session 6: Sarenith 1 through Sarenith 10, 4710 AR
Having stocked up on potions and scrolls, Alinza, Dorian, Richard, Solden, and Vidarr set out to confront the Stag Lord. You all also had Bokken poison some wine with a sleeping agent as well as give each of you a dose of anti-toxin. The late spring weather held, with temperatures in the 60’s and cloudy weather. The first four days were spent crossing the fertile farmlands and entering the Kameland Hills. You all passed by the abandoned gold mine, across the rickety bridge, and through the fangberry grove, coming to the north shore of the Tuskwater by the evening of the 4th. The only encounter of note was an attack by four Thyalcines (regional marsupials that have the hunting habits of great cats), which you all dispatched with relative speed and ease.
The north shore of the Tuskwater was dominated by the remnants of an old monastery that had been turned into a base by the Stag Lord. You spent the next two days exploring and mapping the territory. The first day was extremely foggy and you all encountered a nest of giant water moccasins that you took out without difficulty. That night, the camp was attacked by 4 wild boars. These tenacious beasts proved to be a tough fight. Before they were taken out, Solden, Dorian, and Alinza were severely wounded. Otherwise, your two days of exploration passed uneventfully.
On the 7th, Dorian and Vidarr spent time scouting the bandit stronghold. You all determined that there were about a dozen inhabitants in the fort and that security was fairly lax. The plan was to have Alinza approach and parley with the group, posing as the leader of a group of bandits who wanted to join the Stag Lord. If the plan worked and got you all inside, you would then offer the poisoned wine, which would hopefully put the bandits to sleep and make dispatching them easier. Alinza approached on the 8th through a thunderstorm and spoke with the Stag Lord’s top lieutenant, a man named Akiros. She convinced Akiros to allow the party into the fort the next morning.
Once inside, you all had an audience with the Stag Lord himself. There were some tense moments when the Stag Lord became agitated at Dorian, accusing him of working with some mysterious female to assassinate him. Dorian soothed the Stag Lord, who took his share of wine and tottered off to drop into a drunken stupor. Over the next hour, the majority of the seven regular bandits succumbed to the wine, as did Richard. Things took a turn for the worse when Dorian tried to sneak away and assassinate the Stag Lord as he slept. Akiros sniffed out the plot and challenged Dorian. A fight ensued. During the fight, another lieutenant named Dovan released a caged owlbear, but the beast was neutralized by a well-placed Grease spell by Solden before turning on and killing Dovan. Meanwhile, the other remaining lieutenant, a lumbering half-wit named Auchs put Solden on his deathbed with two might blows from his club before turning to a back and forth duel with Richard. Vidarr used an invisibility potion to get around Auchs and revive Solden. Alinza and Dorian were able to kill Akiros, leaving Dorian to coup-de-grace the Stag Lord while Alinza engaged two of the regular bandits who had managed to shake off the effects of the wine. Solden and Vidarr then supplied arrow fire along with magic missiles to soften up Auchs, the regular bandits, and the owlbear, allowing the melee fighters to slay these opponents.
Once the dust had settled and Alinza healed those who had been wounded, you all searched the rest of the fortress. The Stag Lord had some magical equipment, including his stag helm, which was a sacred relic to Erastil. This would have been a perfect item for Vidarr, but he angrily rejected it as he had turned his back on the gods for not saving his family and village. He also had a small locket containing a lock of hair, which Dorian and Solden determined came from a nymph. There was also a sizable amount of monetary loot. In the basement, you all encountered a strange old man who attacked you. He melded into the stone, emerged from the ceiling, changed into a wolverine, and summoned a swarm of spiders. Judicious use of alchemist’s fire and missile weapons brought him down. You all then discovered a huge quantity of loot that had been captured by the bandits over the past few months.
Among the ruins of the cellar you all also found records of the fortress’ history. The ruins are just over 1,000 years old, established by refugees from the New Iobarian Empire; over the centuries, it housed a variety of Brevic settlers and petty bandit lords before falling into desuetude about 100 years ago. About fifty years ago, it was taken over by a small band of witches and female monks who established a small monastery dedicated to Gyronna, a lesser-known goddess whose faith has always been strongest in the River Kingdoms. Within a few months, there was power struggle and the monks expelled the witches and lapsed from proper worship, leaving their cruel ways behind in favor of a more minimalist monastic lifestyle. Gyronna grew insulted, and one night, she caused the dead of the monastery’s extensive graveyard (which surrounded the monastery on the south, east, and west hillsides) to rise up and attack the monks, dragging their still-living bodies back into the graves and leaving the building abandoned. You all rested the night, healing up and sorting through the loot before planning your next steps.