Rudi's Notes 03-17-17
9th of Desnus
While Rudi rides out the tremors and shakes caused by the poison from the black widows, Hydrastis sets about using her knowledge of nature and healing to counteract it’s coursing through his veins despite his protests. He tries to convince her to focus on the quest to save Tig, but she ignores him. She gathers materials for a poultice with Cassius gathering leaves, where he also finds a large blue stone. Hydrastis goes to the shores of the river to look for Felenciatia, a special type of healing clay that could draw the poison out. She takes some, applies it, even makes him eat some.
10th of Desnus
A new day emerges, clear and mild, and surprisingly Rudi finds himself feeling much better. A few of them hear noises, and see 3 humanoid shapes emerge. Everyone prepares their weapons, but the figures hold up their hands non threateningly. They introduce themselves in draconic as Arak, Yizzik, and Traz offering to help give the boy back if they promise to leave the settlement alone.
Sear, the only one able to communicate, speaks further, and finds their god Stisshak, and king Vesskit, want to keep the boy, but many others are tired of his screaming. They don’t like torture, and aren’t permitted to eat him, so they want to get him out.
Sear, in response, tries to encourage a coup in the camp to establish one as a leader, but they refuse. They aren’t braves, and aren’t big enough to claim the leadership position. However, to prove their good intentions, they offer a Dwarven shield as a gift.
During the false dawn, the trio of lizardfolk lead them to the lake edge, with the party dragging the raft to the water’s edge. Hydrastis beast shapes into the form of an alligator, and Cassius and Glod shed their heavy armor. They leave their animal friends behind, and Sear, Cassius, Glod, and Faderean hop onto the makeshift water vessel, while Rudi hops on *Hydrastis*’s reptilian back. She follows the lizardfolk through the water, hauling the raft behind.
They get to the palisade, and Traz hisses at the guard watching the gate. After a seemingly heated exchange, the guard lets the Viridian Guard slip in. Inside are 6 huts with mud roofs, small openings in the top to allow smoke to drift out. Hardened mud covers each from ground to roof of each. One extra, strange building that stands out from the rest.
Tied to one is the small form of an exhausted looking human child, with an extremely large, reddish caiman in front with two smaller ones on either side. The lizardfolk are surprised to see the reptiles there, and refuse to go get the boy themselves. Instead, Faderean sneaks around the side of the nearest hut, and up to the child tied to the hut while the rest prepare for a fight.
The rogue makes it to the child without incident, and cuts him loose, but as he falls into the rogue’s arms he starts screaming despite Faderean stuffing a blackjack in his mouth to try and muffle his cries. As he runs back to the safety of the party, the carnivorous reptiles snort and snarl themselves awake and give chase. Hydrastis, in her animal form, tries to convey their peaceful intentions but fails and they charge with a roar.
Sear convinces the the lizardfolk that brought them this far to join them, and they move to the forefront of the battle line. Steal clangs against reptilian hide as they roar, and gnash their teeth, sinking teeth and rolling the friendly lizard folk. Spells are discharged, their mystical energy lighting the false dawn sky as a massive lizardman steps out from the large centralized hut.
Trident in hand, he spits and froths and screams in rage, slamming fist into his chest and brandishing his trident as he stomps towards the party. At the sight, members of the group start to waver.
“Worry not, friends! We have been through tougher situations than this!” Cassius calls, stepping to the forefront of the fight and steeling their hearts. As the lizardmen pile on, and others advance on the caiman, Glod and Sear render Vesskit the leader helpless through various spells, blinding him, and forcing him to drop his weapons. It’s not without casualties, however, as Traz is the first ripped apart by the caiman.
“Shield wall!” Cassius yells, and the members of the Viridian Guard lineup with the remaining lizardfolk, start laying into the caiman as a large, bright light flies from behind a hut. Inside, a skull is just visible in its depths, a nebulous image floating in air. It is a very large will-o’-wisp, floating in the air, and easy to see it’s their God Stisshak.
Glod and Rudi launch useless elemental attacks against the creature as it flashes from sight to reappear next to Sear. It discharges a massive amount of electricity, leaving him gasping and convulsing as he launches a volley of magic missiles into it.
Additionally, three large braves come around the corner. Sear attempts to sway them, but two charge into the fray. A third hangs back though, watching closely as the defense continues, slowly whittling away at the lizardfolk forces, and reshuffling their lines to attack the new threats.
The leader reappears, repeating his previous entrance, only to be blinded once more, and blasted by a massive scorching ray from a frustrated Rudi, forcing Vesskit to return to his hut once more.
This is enough for the lizardfolk brave that was hanging back to change allegiance and fight for the Viridian Guard. The other pair of braves fall to their might, while Yizzik, Arak, Cassius, Hydrastis, and the lone brave chase the leader. Arak is spitted on *Vesskit*’s trident, blood gurgling up, even as Yizzik cuts him down.
Outside, the will-o’-wisp continues to harry the other members of the Viridian Guard. Glod takes up the defense of Tig, while Sear and Rudi bear the brunt of it’s attacks. The nature of the creature makes it difficult to hit, and eventually Sear collapses beneath the aberration, facing death one more time only to deny it. Hydrastis joins the fight, using her own magical nature and equipment to draw it’s ire while simultaneously evading its attacks.
Sear, reawakening, explodes in a burst of infernal fire, his eyes aglow. Members of the Viridian Guard are caught in the blast, as he pushes himself up, reaching out with a hand and sends another volley of magic missiles into the will-o’-wisp. The same infernal fire pulsed within each missile as it slammed into the ephemeral form of the creature, causing it to explode.
In the aftermath, Cassius enters *Vesskit*’s hut once more, where he finds the surviving brave already donning the king’s armor, and picking up the trident. Sear joins him inside, and the pair strike a bargain with the lizardfolk. They can continue to live, unmolested, under the protection of the Dun Scaith banner, under the conditions that no more citizens of the kingdom are eaten.
There’s a bit of haggling, and clarification, but ultimately they agree to live in harmony and strike up trade. As a peace offering, Sear takes the bands that the king wore. In addition, they search the strange building and find a variety of other items.
After the accord had been struck, they gather Tig and return to the shore. They decide they should return to Valour, and return Tig to his family.
While making camp on the road, Sear apologizes for losing control. There’s a brief exchange with Rudi, who says there is no changing who you are, and all there is to do is learn how to control it and live with it. Cassius suggests religion, which Sear rejected out of hand, but Rudi points out Gods are more multifaceted than some of their followers would like people to believe.
In the end, the conversation takes a more celebratory turn, as Sear breaks out some wine, and asks Rudi and Cassius to indulge him in a toast….