Kundal huddled naked in his prison cell, raving about what he had done.
“Calm down,” Zot told him. “You’re locked up. You can’t hurt anyone.”
“But, but I’m a monster! I’ve killed!” Kindal said, clawing at the bars.
“It won’t happen again,” Ravena reassured him, “We saw to that. Your lycanthropy has been cured.”
“How?” Kendil asked.
“We gave you a potion.” Ravena replied.
“Though I would like to keep Kandel to observe him until the next full moon.” Zot said.
“Indeed, how can we know that Kendul won’t change again?” Melvin asked.
Behind him, the imprisoned former werewolf tried to correct the pronunciation of his name, but his suggestions were mostly ignored. This might have bothered him, if he had anything left to lose. As it was, Kuhndahl was a nomadic Numarian who had lost his wife and two sons in a horrible wolf attack.
More important than his name or his past was what the future held for him. Initially Baron Melvin and Zot tossed around the idea of punishment, and both still favored keeping the man, but Ravena insisted that he was cured and should be free to go.
“Be that as it may,” said Melvin, “The townspeople are a superstitious lot. I’d like for Jhod to bless this man to give them further confirmation that the curse is lifted.”
Ravena stamped her foot and wiggled the tips of her hair in irritation. “Is my word not good enough?”
“Well, you know, Jhod is a respected religious figure-”
“I’m respected too, and I say Kundul is fine!” Ravena interrupted.
Finally the others relented and it was agreed that the barbarian would be sent to the farm where he killed the goatherd and decimated the flock to make reparations for what he had done.
The following day the foursome set out to investigate different reports of possibly supernatural wolf activity.
Prior to the establishment of Stagfall the adventurers had spotted huge wolf tracks to the southeast while surveying the area. More recently the Sootscale kobold patrols had reported encounters with the maker of those huge tracks, a worg named Howl of North Wind. The worg had told them in no uncertain terms that this land was his and that the settlers of Stagfall had no place there.
After riding for hours Zot, Ravena, Miracelli, and Melvin arrived at the wort’s cave.
“Come out!” Melvin commanded at the mouth of the cave, “We want to talk with you. We even brought a gnome for a snack!”
“I’m delicious and lean!” Zot agreed.
“You come in here.” The worg growled.
Ravena was remarking that they might have to go into the cave to fight it on its own turf when she saw the worg and three smaller wolves charging out of the cave toward them.
Zot was standing deliciously right in front of them, giving him a clear shot with an entangling cartridge from his gun. The worg and his followers were hit. In mere moments Melvin and Miracelli closed in, destroying the worg. The wolves were dispatched with equal ease.
After the battle Melvin decided that the worg’s pelt would make an epic baronly cape. He set about skinning the beast while Miracelli and Zot made their way into the cave looking for possible loot. In the very back of the cave they found what they were looking for in the form of a very, very dead guy with a lot of money on him.
Ravena was poking slowly into the cave behind them and overheard them talking about their spoils.
“What’s that?” she shouted in the echoing main chamber.
“Nothing!” Miracelli shouted back.
“That’s it, I’m coming after you,” Ravena replied, jumping off a small ledge and gently drifting to the ground.
“No need! Nothing interesting!” Miracelli was still shouting when the witch got to her.
“Were you seriously going to keep this from the rest of us?” Ravena said, indignantly turning to Zot.
“Why do I have to be so… nice?” The gnome sighed. “Lets give her a part.”
“Fine.” Miracelli agreed.
“Good.” Ravena said as she tucked the gold pieces into the pouch at her waist.
Back at the entrance of the cave Melvin was still skinning the worg.
“How was the cave?” He asked, “Anything interesting?”
His companions glanced at each other.
Finally, Ravena told him that Miracelli had found some money.
“That’s good.” Baron Melvin replied. As was often the case, his voice betrayed no strong emotion one way or another on the subject.
“I think,” Said Ravena, hoping to get him riled up, “That Miracelli was planning on keeping it to herself.”
“She does that sometimes,” the Baron shrugged. “I see no harm.”
Miracelli winked gleefully at Ravena.
“Well, what now?” Zot asked.
“I say we camp here for the night and do a bit more exploring tomorrow.” Melvin suggested as he wiped a trickle of sweat off his brow with the back of his hand.
The following day our heroes were fascinated by the giant piles of poop they found.
“I wonder what could have taken such giant dumps?” Miracelli mused.
“You just answered your own question.” Ravena replied. “Giants.”
The other half-elf’s eyes grew large. She kept an eye out for the massive men as they continued to ride, but none were to be found.
Fortunately, they did spot some rattlecap mushrooms.
“Perfect, Bill will love these!” Ravena exclaimed as she dismounted near the mud pit they grew around.
Bill whinnied in confusion.
“No, not you, the other Bill,” Melvin said, patting his horse’s head.
As Ravena began plucking mushrooms from the loamy earth the ground itself seemed to move under her. Suddenly, a terricolous emerged from the ground. The plant monster grabbed her in its horrible tentacles and held her tight- too tight for her to cast a spell to heal herself against the damage it was doing to her body.
The other three attempted to fight and free their friend, but the monster was too strong. A violent slap from the beast cracked Melvin’s strong centipede scale armor. The terricolous even tried to eat Zot because hey, everything wants to eat Zot.
Ravena fell unconscious and the monster gave up on squeezing her, believing the bloodied and broken elf to be dead. All outward indicators suggested she was, and none of her party had healing potions to offer- that is, if they could even get past the tentacles to where she lay. Her patron, Insanity, appeared to her in the dark.
“Oh, hi. Am I dead again?” Ravena asked.
“Save for a miracle, you will be.” Insanity replied. “But you’re good at miracles.”
“Are my friends being killed right now?”
“Most definitely. Especially Zot. Why does he have to be so delicious? Do you ever think about eating him?”
“No. That’s gross. You’re insane.” Ravena replied with a sneer.
“Righty-o. I am.” Insanity flashed a grin. “Speak of which, do you ever get the feeling that you’re at the mercy of someone, let’s just call him a GM for the sake of simplicity, and he’s laughing at you right now? Like maybe he’s what just killed you and he thinks that’s funny?”
“No, I don’t get that feeling. Isn’t it bad enough that I was just strangled by what looks like an angry vagina?”
“That makes it even funnier!” Insanity giggled. “Ooo, now that angry vagina is doing a number on Melvin. You know, I’m gonna go talk to Pharasma. Maybe she’ll let you go again. I really don’t want to lose you- you and your friends are too much fun to watch.”
Moments later Ravena found herself regaining consciousness. She was aware that she still had several broken bones, but the monster seemed to be faltering in its attacks and she was now free and able to heal. She saw that as the beast had thrashed around it had crushed most of the mushrooms they had come for in the first place.
“Stupid fucking mushrooms.” She swore.
“Stupid fucking mushrooms,” Miracelli agreed as she fought on, trying to miss the tightly grappled Zot in her attacks.
Finally, miraculously, despite the heavy wounds that the heroes suffered they vanquished the terricolous and Ravena was able to set about healing them.
“I can’t believe that angry vagina-looking thing almost bested us,” Melvin mused, sadly looking at his damaged breastplate.
“Nor can I,” Ravena sighed. “Sometimes these things are just insane.”