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SCAP Session 43
Game date: August 2nd, 2010

With the dire bat defeated, the party assembled in the treasure-laden room and searched for where the vampire had gone. Reddur and Riell spotted a loose 5’x5’ tile in the middle of the stone floor and started prying it up. Underneath they found the vampire in his bugbear form lying in a depression in the earth, arms folded, seemingly asleep. Riell took a wooden stake and hammer, said a curse in elvish, and drove the stake into the vampire’s chest. Its eyes flew open, and it let out a horrible shriek and clawed at the stake, then fell still. Sigefrid happily cut the head off with his longsword and tossed it into his backpack, and Reddur rolled the body up in a blanket. Then the looting began.

The PCs gathered up all the treasure and the body and carried them back to the bathhouse. They sent a message to the Lord Mayor, and the High Captain Terseon Skellerang arrived shortly to see the vampire. The PCs dragged the vampire’s body and head outside into the sunlight, and they promptly turned to ash to the satisfaction of everyone watching. The High Captain left to report to the mayor and bid them all to come to Town Hall the next day.

Riell headed to the Church of St Cuthbert and got patched up from her last contact with the vampire. Jenya Urikas also looked over Zoon and Orak and said she could heal them the next day. Jenya seemed a bit distraught but said it was only stress and lack of sleep. The next morning the PCs headed to Town Hall where the Lord Mayor thanked them and paid them 5,000 gold for eliminating the vampire menace. At noon, they headed to Weer’s Elixirs to retrieve their latest batch of magical items, which turned out to be a Quiver of Ehlonna, a Quaal’s Feather Token (bird), and a Necklace of Fireballs.

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SCAP Session 42
Game date: July 27th, 2010

After stabilizing Zoon and Orak, the PCs gave chase to the now-gaseous vampire. Riell popped open the iron door to the dungeon and they raced down the steps, only to find a large pile of crates, barrels, cots, and other junk blocking their path. It took several rounds to shove everything out of the way so they could squeeze though, and the gas cloud slipped away out of sight. Reddur and Sigefrid raced after it and spotted it going over the ledge that led to the rope bridge. They scrambled up the ledge and Sigefrid ran across the bridge, then quickly slipped. He grabbed onto the rope with one hand, tried to pull himself back up, and then plunged into the dark chasm below.

Reddur’s ignored Sigefrid’s plummet and sprinted across the bridge and around the corner after the cloud. Sigefrid brushed himself off from the fall and rounded the corner and met up with Riell and Rori. The three of them ran up the stairs to the lair of the shocking lizards (still dead) and met up with Reddur at the entrance to the vampire’s throne room. The room was once again filled with fog, blocking all sight. Reddur charged through the fog first, crossed the room, and found a ladder down into another cavern. As he descended the ladder, a dire bat swooped down and tried to bit him.

The rest of the party followed him through the fog, and as Rori took aim at the bat, a hidden goblin ambushed them from behind with Burning Hands. The goblin managed to get one more spell off before Riell and Sigefrid chopped him to pieces, and then Rori was nice enough to heal him back up. Sigefrid turned back and finished the goblin off for good. Meanwhile, Reddur continued his pursuit of the cloud across the cavern and up another ladder to a ledge covered in treasure, while being attacked by the dire bat the whole time. After being peppered with multiple arrows and Magic Missiles, the bat finally suffered a fatal shot from Reddur and fell to the floor.

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Reddurs "Family Emergency"

The small group of adventurers in the corner looked battered and bruised, but also unexpectedly upbeat. The celebration revolved around bad puns and undead. “He sure was a pain in the neck”, “Bite me”, and “Up to our asses in rats and bats” are some of the comments heard floating away from the table.

One of the elves at the table noticed a commotion at the door to the in, and inebriated though he may have been, still recognized his name when it was used.

“Does anyone in THIS bar know where I can find a ranger named Reddur!” the newcomer yelled over the din.

Reddur stepped behind one of his companions saying “Hide me.”

For such a tiny elf, Riell had no problem holding Reddur up above her head and waving him back and forth while yelling “He’s over here!” to the searcher. Laughing as he approached, all could see that he wore the livery of a bonded messenger.

Mumbling “Traitor” as he was put back down, Reddur motioned to the messenger. “Who wants to know? And they can’t prove it. No one saw me. I think I’ll have another mead.”

“Paternity suit” Siegfried asks suspiciously?

“No, I don’t think so. It’s from my grandmother, Loredral. She’s says one of my cousins needs some help. Kind of a short, sparse note for her to have sent me. Just that and directions to a place to meet.”

“Do you want company on the trip.”

“Nah, it’s just a days ride there and another back. Hopefully won’t be too eventful.”

“Hopefully those won’t be famous last words either,” Rori piped up with a laugh as Reddur staggered out after the messenger.

“Should we make him wait till he’s sober?”

“Where’s the fun in that?”

The ancient forest through which Reddur wandered contained some of the oldest trees on the continent. Oaks that had seen the passage of kings and kingdoms. Giant sky-elms that seemed to scrape the clouds as they floated by. Weeping willows shadowing the cool forest pools and glades. All of this did nothing but emphasis to the ranger that he really should not have drunk so much yesterday. If he can’t enjoy scenery like this and the quiet that accompanies it, he should at least have someone with him he can blame.

“The horse?” he ponders aloud, “Is there some way to blame the horse? “

Based on the disgusted look from said animal, that would not go over very well.

As the day progressed, Reddur was able to rule out the forest, his friends (though that one almost worked) and himself as possible culprits. The Lord Mayor was still in the running, along with undead in general and various ungrateful barmaids. He knew better than to even contemplate blaming his grandmother. She was more than capable of taking him out the last time he saw her and he wasn’t about to ask for a rematch.

“Besides, she’s spooky,” he said aloud.

“Who’s spooky,” she asked, causing Reddur to almost fall of his horse.

“Damnit! Stop doing that to me!! I’m the freaking ranger in the family. “

“And I’m your grandmother.”

“Point. “

The elegant and ageless elven mystic stepped down from the tree limb where she had been waiting.

“Join me,” she said, leading the way to secluded glade, “we have much to talk about. Family secrets you might say.”

“Wonderful. If I remember by history correctly, the last time one of us used that phrase was just before the succession wars. Please tell me we are not going to go through that again?”

Laughing, Loredral shook her head. “No, these secrets are of a closer nature. They apply only to myself and my descendents.”

Looking out into the woods Lorendral spoke “A few hundred years ago, when I was young, oh so young we lived in much farther south than today. We actually ranged to the jungles at the end of the continent. Those areas are still unclaimed by man, so we had free reign among the trees there.

“As a child, I would roam wherever the wind took me. And as would happen, one day an ill wind blew me into danger. The panther that attacked me should have killed me. It did maul me, but then stopped. I thought it must have heard my father or some other hunter. It backed away, then almost sullenly disappeared into the undergrowth.

“My parents found me, lying there injured and brought me home. The wounds healed slowly, but I was soon able to continue my wanderings, but with a bit more care and caution.

“Several years later I disappeared for a time. No one knew where I went and I had no memory of it. One moment, I was in the village, the next I was in the jungle again and a month had passed.

“The next time, it was a year.

“The next time . . Well, I wasn’t away when I changed.”

“Changed, grandmother?” he prompted after a time.

“Yes. The panther was a lycanthrope. Since then, I have been able to control the change. I have learned to recognize it coming on, and even when it happens, I’m in control of myself in the changed state.”

Reddur stuttered, “So does that mean I . . .”

“No. It’s not that strong in you. But it is there. That’s probably one reason you are so attuned to the forest. Even more so than most elves.”

“But my cousin that you mentioned in the note? Is he the issue? Is there a rogue lycanthrope in the family?”

“No.” she whispered. “His entire branch of the family is my secret alone. Which you share now.”

As she looked down, a juvenile panther padded out of the woods behind her.

“Your cousin would like to go adventuring with you.”

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SCAP Session 41
Game date: July 22nd, 2010

After a night’s rest, the group headed to the Drunken Morkoth Inn and met with the fighter, Sigefrid, that Lord Vhalantru had recommended. They talked about the vampire problem and Sigefrid agreed to join them. After discussing tactics, they decided to go shopping for more silvered weapons, Magic Weapon oil, and Protection from Evil potions.

The shopping trip also included a stop at Weer’s Elixirs to pick up the rest of the identified magic items. First, Rori stopped by an upscale establishment called the Coy Nixie to buy a nice bottle of scotch to butter up Weer. This might have helped since they got Weer to drop his price on some Magic Weapon oil. He turned over the magic items from the captured mercenaries, which turned out to be another Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Studded Leather +1, a Brooch of Shielding, and a Cloak of Resistance +1.

After a stop by the Church of St Cuthbert to buy Protection from Evil potions, the group headed for Orak’s Bathhouse. The door was locked and strangely there was no answer. Riell deftly picked the lock and peeked inside, but the room was dark. She scampered up onto the room and confirmed that the domed skylight seemed to be painted on the inside. The PCs agreed that something was up, and that they should burst in through the doors and toss a sunrod into the room.

The light revealed Orak and Zoon tied together and suspended upside down by a rope over the main bathing pool. Nearby, the bugbear vampire stood poised with an axe ready to cut the rope, and swarms of rats surrounded the pool. Riell, Reddur, and Sigefrid charged forward to confront the vampire, while Rori hung back and used his area healing ability. The vampire pounded Riell once, tried to dominate Reddur and failed, and then Sigefrid lunged forward with his longsword after casting True Strike. The sword hit its mark, and the vampire evaporated into a cloud of gas. The rat swarms scattered, Reddur chased the gas cloud across the room, and the others pulled Orak and Zoon out of the pool. Neither one was breathing, but some quick healing from Rori brought them back to consciousness.

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SCAP Session 40
Game date: July 1st, 2010

After retreating to the bathhouse and catching their breath, the PCs asked Orak about Aion’s whereabouts. Orak told them that Aion had come through recently and said that he needed to go buy holy water. The group decided to head to the Church of St Cuthbert and talk to Jenya Urikas to find out whether she had seen Aion and to get some healing. Jenya told them that Aion had come by, decided the holy water was too expensive, and promptly left. She looked over the group and fixed the energy drain that Riell and Rori had suffered with Restoration spells. The PCs also bought some holy water and Jenya gave them some additional healing.

The PCs then stopped by Weer’s Elixirs to have some potions and an amulet identified. From there, they went to Town Hall to talk to Lord Vhalantru about their progress so far. They told him about Aion’s disappearance, and Vhalantru offered to have the city guards keep an eye out for him. Vhalantru suggested that they talk to an adventurer friend of his, who is staying at the Drunken Morkoth Inn, about adding another able body to their party. He explained that he used to be the patron of this fellow’s adventuring party, and then he offered to be the PC’s patron as well. The PCs were somewhat reluctant and confused. Vhalantru explained that he would provide money and support as needed in exchange for recognition (especially mentioning him in the newspaper) and adventuring stories. The group agreed with some apprehension.

The gang headed back to Rori’s apartment to rest. They also realized that some of the items they had taken from the human and tiefling mercenaries were magical. They dropped those off at Weer’s to be identified too, and picked up the other items, which turned out to be an Amulet of Natural Armor +1, a Potion of Cure Light Wounds, and a Potion of Invisibility. Then they returned to Rori’s place to sleep, Riell went to check with her superiors about Lord Vhalantru’s patronage.

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SCAP Session 39
Game date: June 17th, 2010

Moving deeper into the cavern, the PCs found stone steps leading up to a room and a tall ledge. Two goblins on the ledge with crossbows opened fire on Reddur. The group returned fire, but it was difficult to hit the goblins crouched on top of the ledge. Rori headed up the stairs and found a small room with a goblin and two lizards. The goblin began casting a spell, but Aion tossed an axe at it and Rori followed up with a Magic Missile, and they broke his concentration. Without warning, the two lizards began to crackle with electricity and launched a bolt of electricity at Aion. As Reddur and Riell exchanged fire with the goblins and eventually killed them, Aion finally slashed the lizards to pieces (getting shocked several more times in the process) and the remaining goblin ran away.

The PCs pursued the goblin and entered a room with more crossbow-wielding goblins on the other side of a deep crevice. The invisible spellcasting goblin unleashed a cone of flame as the PCs moved around the crevice, drawing the ire of Reddur and Aion. A few rounds later, all the goblins lay dead and their ears were collected.

Reddur and Aion crept around the corner and noticed a terrible smell. Reddur peeked around the corner and spotted their bugbear foe seated in a throne of skin and bones, holding a shield with human, elf, and dwarf hands and tongues nailed to it. After exchanging pleasantries, Reddur took aim with a fire arrow. Several more attacks seemed to bounce off the bugbear’s tough skin, and he stood up and laughed. “Now the fun begins.” He gazed intently at Aion, and Aion began to back away. The throne of skin and bones sprouted skeletal arms and legs and arose. Before the group could react, a cloud of fog billowed out from the center of the room, filling it and blocking all sight.

The PCs backed out of the room, and Reddur lobbed holy water at the throne, which seemed to be an undead creature of some sort. Reddur could hear the sound of bat swarms flapping around in the foggy room as well. Aion decided that more holy water was needed, and took off down a corridor and out of sight. The bat swarms poured into the hallway and began biting the party. Rori used his mass healing to keep everyone on their feet, and simultaneously dealt out damage to the vampire and his throne. Reddur managed to finish off the throne with a hefty slash of his handaxe.

Unfortunately, killing the throne seemed to have no effect on the vampire, who stepped out of the fog and slammed Riell with his forearm. Riell felt some of her energy drained by the contact, in addition to the damage from the blow. They could see that the vampire was getting worn down, but he also kept healing a bit each round. Running out of options, Rori desperately leaped forward and touched the vampire with a heal spell, severely injuring him. He howled in pain and then lashed out at Rori, draining his energy with another slam. The PCs decided it was a losing battle and prepared to retreat, when the vampire smashed Rori to the floor, leaving him unconscious and bleeding. He looked down at Rori’s broken body, laughed, then turned to gas and floated off into the fog-filled room. Reddur quickly saved him with a healing potion, and the three of them ran for the bathhouse.

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SCAP Session 38
Game date: June 3rd, 2010

As the gas cloud floated away, the PCs fled to the surface to heal up. They decided to see Jenya Urikas about curing their disease and then talk to the Lord Mayor about renegotiating their fee for killing a vampire in addition to the goblins. Rori determined that the disease was non-magical and could be fixed with a Cure Disease spell. Unfortunately, Jenya did not have enough spells prepared to cure everyone, and the church’s potions were very expensive. The PCs headed off to Town Hall to try to convince the Lord Mayor to foot the bill.

The Lord Mayor, Terseon Skellerang, and Lord Vhalantru assembled to discuss the goblin problem. They explained that the goblins were being lead by a vampire, which the city leaders were skeptical about. They agreed to pay another 5000 gold for killing the vampire, but the Lord Mayor refused to advance them any extra money for healing and weapons. Lord Vhalantru offered 600 gold out of his own pocket as a loan to cover the healing, which they accepted.

The PCs went shopping at the local weaponsmiths for any silver weapons they could find. After resting for the night, they visited Jenya and paid to have everyone cured of the disease. Reddur also bought some holy water from the church. With their new weapons in hand, the PCs dove into the dungeon again. They found a goblin guard on a ledge, and Riell tried to sneak up on him from behind. Unfortunately she slipped on some loose rock while scaling a wall, and the noise alerted the guard. A short battle ensued, and the goblin was finished.

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SCAP Session 37
Game date: May 27th, 2010

With the tiefling unconscious and the human relenting, the PCs began their interrogation. Rori reluctantly healed the tiefling to keep her from dying. The human revealed that his name was Chorlyndyr, but it took a lot of threats to get much other information out of him. He revealed that Drakthar is the bugbear they had encountered, and that he is in fact a vampire. Riell questioned him about the birdcage symbol on all the crates of food, and he said it belonged to an evil cult of demon worshipers in Cauldron. After more pressuring, he revealed that his boss (not Drakthar) is smuggling half-orc mercenaries into the city at the behest of this evil cult. Chorlyndyr refused to give his boss’ name, so the interrogation ended abruptly, and the group carried him and the tiefling upstairs and handed them over to Riell’s friends for further questioning.

After resting for the night in the bathhouse, the PCs returned to the caverns in search of Drakthar. Suddenly, all four of them became queasy and feverish and noticed that their bites from the rat swarm a few days ago looked red and infected. After searching around a bit, they decided to go see Jenya Urikas about this sickness from the rats. On their way up, they encountered several swarms of bats which swooped in and began attacking them. Seconds later, an enormous wolf came bounding around the corner and pounced on Rori, throwing him to the ground. Normal weapons seemed to do no damage to the wolf, so Aion figured this must be the vampire and bravely (foolishly?) charged in and tried to grapple him, unsuccessfully.

As the PCs tried to ward off the bats, the wolf closed in and grabbed Rori in his jaws. At that moment, Riell raised her silver dagger above her head and plunged it down deep into the wolf’s spine. The wolf collapsed and then mysteriously turned into a cloud of gas. The fog cloud drifted away as the PCs mopped up the remaining bats. Rori hit it with a Magic Missile, but it had no apparent effect on the cloud. Once the bat swarms were destroyed, the group decided to run away! Run away!

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SCAP Session 36
Game date: May 11th, 2010

The battle continued as one of the goblins cast a spell and then drank a potion and disappeared. Swords flashed and bolts, arrows, and javelins flew through the air in all directions. A bolt of flame launched at Rori but missed by several feet, and the invisible goblin reappeared. Rori returned fire with a Magic Missile, and Reddur pegged that goblin with two arrows, killing him.

Just then, a howling worg with a goblin rider scrabbled around the corner and charged into the middle of the melee. The rider leaped off and slashed at Reddur once before being sliced into ribbons by Riell. Aion squared off against the worg, which managed to bite into his leg and yank him to the ground. The worg got off one more nasty bite as Aion climbed to his feet before Riell crept in from the side and gutted it. In the meantime, Reddur picked off the goblins with crossbows up on the ledge, and Rori swatted the last goblin standing with his staff.

The PCs collected goblin ears and Riell explored the ledge. At the top she found a room with some bedding and a hallway leading to a rope bridge. Reddur tried to coax out the rat, but it stayed hidden in a crevice. Rori poked around the cavern and noticed a skeleton back in a narrow corner. It was wearing a rusty chain shirt and looked like a dwarf. It was also wearing a shiny amulet. Rori detected magic on the amulet and two potion bottles from the goblins.

The PCs decided the bridge looked risky and headed the other direction. They climbed a ladder to another ledge and found a few more rooms. One was full of crates and casks of perishable food that had a birdcage symbol on them. Reddur heard running water behind another door and opened it to find a large octagonal chamber with a basin. Inside were a human male and a tiefling female. Aion recognized the tiefling as a criminal that was exiled from Cauldron. After exchanging threats, the tiefling grabbed for her halberd and battle ensued. It was over quickly, and the tiefling lay bleeding to death and the human finally surrendered.

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SCAP Session 35
Game date: May 6th, 2010

After killing the goblins, the PCs searched the area for treasure. They mostly turned up mundane weapons and a few coins, plus a potion and a heavy stone cauldron that appeared to heat itself. Moving on, they began exploring a long natural cavern, when suddenly the area around Reddur went dark. Something attacked him in the darkness and tried to wrap around his head, but he pulled loose and backed out into the light. The creature followed and attacked Riell next. It looked a bit like a squid with stone skin and could fly. A flurry of blades and bows quickly exterminated it.

Creeping down the cavern, Riell spotted another one attached to the ceiling like a stalactite, and she and Reddur opened fire. The creature dropped down and managed to attack Aion before it was dispatched. Farther down the cavern, Reddur spotted a third creature and the assault began, but then it stalled when the creature cast Darkness at the end of the cavern and then never appeared. After fumbling around in the dark for some time, the group gave up and moved onward.

After checking out some empty rooms, they crept down the larger cavern and spotted a ledge, which Reddur noted looked like a perfect ambush spot. Sure enough, he was soon enveloped in a hail of javelins and crossbow bolts from both sides of the cavern.

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