For Old Times Sake – Part III

For Old Times’ Sake Part III

Dorasa’s  Hut

If sensible the players should decide to visit Dorasa, the Gottir brothers will claim it is a wild goose chase as they have the culprits here and refuse to go as they are guarding the actual source of the chaos disease.

Kendrella will send Komasal a hunter from the village who is a capable tracker as a guide to Dorasas  hut. If the players have expertise in this area don’t add him to the party.

Dorasa is known to live in a crofters hut set back a few hundred yards from the main road, is empty and quiet when the players arrive, no smoke comes from the hearth and everything seem deserted, the small hut appears empty.

As players approach they will smell the stench of death. It won’t take them long to find the body of Dorasa starting to decay slumped against the outer back wall of her hut staring vacantly into the distance. The body fits the description of Dorasa given by Kendrella and not Entale.

The body shows no obvious signs of foul play but does wear one of the corn charms Entale and Taralor were selling. Successful first aid/prepare corpse (or similar)roles will tell players the body has been dead for 5 or 6 days. Protracted contact with the body will expose the person to Soul Wastes.

The house has not been ransacked but all herb jars and containers have been emptied, the house looks like it has been lived in since Dorasa has been dead.

The Trail

Either the players or Komasal will be able to pick up tracks heading out from the back of the house. The tracks are not just those of a sandaled small human, but also occasional tracks of two large wolves can be seen travelling in the same direction.

The tracks lead back from the house till they join a light trail heading south-west towards Upper Starfire Ridge. The paths go on for about 2 miles, with the players occasionally being able to see that the tracks they are following are still following the trail.

At that point the players will start to encounter a couple of corpses of small animals, they have been savaged by one or two wild animals, but the corpses not eaten and have been left to rot. Examining the corpses too closely will expose the players to soul wastes. There are no disease spirits or magic upon them.

The Wolves

If Komosal is with the party he will state that they are approaching an old disused crofters stead belonging to the clan, it will take some time but he will eventually be able to recall it was last lived in by the Garanth the chiefs former wife some 10 years ago.

About 1/3 of a mile away from the stead they will find their path blocked by a large wolf standing in their path. The wolfs hackles will be up and it is frothing at the mouth.

This wolf and the two other wolves are possessed by disease spirits and chaos spirits, which have given them chaotic features and leave them highly aggressive and dangerous.

The lead wolf is highly disorientating to look at and players need to roll under their Pow x 5 of suffer the effects of a demoralise spell, this is rolled every round but only affects that round. The wolf will not engage the party in combat but threaten and draw attention whilst its two pack mates get into position to flank attack the parties shaman or strongest warriors.

If the flank attack doesn’t cause chaos and wolves don’t have the upper hand they will retreat, and seek to skirmish and injured players and then withdraw to skirmish again. they will fight and work as a team. They will also retreat away from Arestas hut drawing the party away from their mistress. If they have the upper hand they will fight and try to kill or drive the PC’s back.

Possessed Wolf 1

STR 15 CON 12  SIZ 10 DEX 19 POW 15 INT 12
Hit Points: 12  Move: 9   Base SR: 2
Armour: 2 -point fur and hide.
Skills: Hide 50%, Move Quietly 35%, Track 70% , Dodge 60%
Chaos Feature: Disturbing Appearance, roll under power x 5 or be demoralised for a round. Possessing disease spirit will attack its killer with the wolves power upon death
Weapon: Bite 60% SR6 1D8 + 1D4 + exposure to soul wastes

Possessed Wolf 2

STR 13 CON 12  SIZ 10 DEX 20 POW 15 INT 9
Hit Points: 12  Move: 9   Base SR: 2
Armour: 2 -point fur and hide.
Skills: Hide 60%, Move Quietly 45%, Track 50% Dodge: 55%
Chaos Feature:  Acidic bite. Possessing disease spirit will attack its killer with wolves power upon death
Weapon: Bite 60% SR6 1D8 +  1d6 acid damage + exposure to soul wastes

Possessed Wolf 3

STR 14 CON 12  SIZ 10 DEX 16 POW 15 INT 9
Hit Points: 12  Move: 9   Base SR: 3
Armour: 2 -point fur and hide.
Skills: Hide 60%, Move Quietly 45%, Track 50% Dodge: 55%
Chaos Feature:  Pussy hide, any weapon striking becomes infected with soul wastes and will spread the disease without ritualistic cleansing. Possessing disease spirit will attack its killer with wolves power upon death
Weapon: Bite 60% SR6 1D8 + exposure to soul wastes

Arestas Stead

Once the players make it to the crofter’s hut which was Arestas stead they will find it with very signs of habitation. The round stone hut with turf roof would usually provide housing for a small family, has a small wall surrounding a vegetable patch which is overgrown, but a herb garden near the door has been recently tended.

However, Aresta will have fled with scant few belongings, after hearing the confrontation with her wolves.   The fire is lit and there is even a warm stew cooking in the pot.

There are a collection of herbs in pots and crafting materials for making the charms can be found under the window.  Most valuables have been quickly collected by Aresta.

There is a pile of rotting animal corpses piled against one of the walls with a swarm of weak disease spirits swarming around it (Pow: 1-3), which will attack those touching the pile. Also the is a pile of 12 silver coins left on top of one of the chests in the hut, which is watched over by a more powerful disease spirit Pow: 15. The spirit will attack the first person touching the coins.

Simple tracking will show Arestas footprints leaving the back of the hut and heading up the hill into bushes and undergrowth.

Aresta’s Hiding Place

Aresta has decided not to try outrun any searches but hide In the undergrowth a few hundred meters up the hill from her hut. She is resting quite breathlessly hidden in a  large bush similar to a rhododendron.

She will not try to fight he pursuers but use her magic to distract and confuse and intimidate them. If the party splits to search she will use befuddle to distract people close to her.  If she is well hidden but the players are not leaving the area she may try to discorporate and possess one of them.

If cornered she will try to persuade the players that she can reverse the disease which is spreading through the village of Swaton, but will only do so if they promise to spare her life and let her depart. This is a lie and she has no power to do this and would have no intention too if she had.

If persuasion fails she threatens that the closest family of whoever strikes her down will be cursed and die of disease within the season. This again is a lie.

A wise party will end her quickly without allowing her to speak or cast many spells. She doesn’t expect to survive direct conflict so will not initiate combat herself. But does think she can protect herself from the effects of a broken oath spell or the like.

If the players do not follow Aresta or cannot find she will flee the area to return at a later date.

Aftermath

After hopefully disposing of Aresta the players should return to Swaton. It will be very unlikely that the players will return with at least one of two of them Suffering from Soulwaste in some way.

They will find that Garanth has returned with a Chalana Arroy priestess from Runefort, whatever the outcome they will be treated by the priestess. If they have successfully dealt with Aresta Rune magic will be used to heal them.

If it becomes apparent to Garanth and Kendrella that Aresta is the source of the disease, both will become very downcast and withdrawn.  A successful empathy role will let the players know there is a great sense of shame hovering over both of them, however, it would take a special role in a relevant persuasion skill for either of them to admit to an adulterous affair 15 years ago that precipitated this attack.

Entale and Taralor are still guilty of spreading chaos disease into the clan, although without knowledge. Without the players deciding to speak up for them, their future does look grim, especially with the Gottir brothers demanding blood.

If the players have been successful in dealing with Aresta , and choose to speak up for the pair. A successful role on orate ( or customs local) will seem them merely banished from clan lands on pain of death, a special or critical role will get them fully acquitted. A failure or choosing not to speaking up will see them sentenced to be stoned to death. A fumble will see the players gain a reputation for being soft on chaos, and the enmity of regional chaos fighters.

If successful the players will receive some of the following depending upon the performance

  • up to +2d4% renown
  • Healing magic used to treat all there diseases
  • Gifts of assorted Goods worth 300 silvers each
  • Good standing with the Hiojrding clan, including ongoing hospitality
  • A feast held in their honour in Swarton a week after as people are recovering
  • Their story told at the court of Leika Blackspear Queen of the Colymar and be invited to attend her at Clearwine for her thanks and public praise.

Consequences

2 or 3 weeks after all of this blows over Garanth will announce he is stepping down as village headman leaving the position vacant.

Unless the players did something particular to destroy the body. Aresta will be coming back in 8 weeks time. She will be seeking revenge on the players through spirits, deceit or chaotic allies. But that is a story for a different day ……

Part 4 will have character write-ups and stats for Aresta

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