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EyeOfSkadi

Junior Member
Davavor presents Lucan with the Lord's Alliance scroll, "Master Lucan!" he says cheerfully, greeting the silversmith with familiarity. The sturdy half-elf presents his rapier to the blacksmith. His tone grows more serious, "I am truly sorry for the loss of your son. We will see to it that justice is brought to those who took him. I trust, too, that your son will be found safe. After all, the reports state that these beasts only kill the adults. We'll find the boy." he says confident in his hypothesis.
 

actualhermit

New Member
Shae bows slightly before she hands a dagger and her axe to the silversmith. "I know how hard it is ta lose someone ya care about. We'll do anything in our power to take town these wolves, I promise."

She stopped speaking there, but something the silversmith said bothered her. Another group hunting the werewolves? Did they just send out multiple search parties at once, or did something happen to the others? She pushed the thought away. No use worrying about a job she already took, right?
 

Hawk13

New Member
Aelar walks to the front of the group and hands Lucan the 30 arrows that he has. "I would like these 30 arrows fitted with silver arrowheads if you don't mind. Also, here is a shortsword. I would like this silvered as well."

Aelar then walks around the smith's shop curiously poking and prodding the items in there.
 

Locke9558

Locke
Once everyone has finished doing their shopping, Lucan gives you a solemn wave. "Do be careful out there! I'd hate for you to end up like everyone else. I doubt you'll be able to, but if you happen to find my son his name is Lucian. God speed travelers!"

Everyone takes a second to give their equipment one more quick look, then with a nod your group sets out on the road. The sun is shining brightly overhead, it only really being mid-day. As you guys head out of town and onto the main road the bright blue skies and warm sun lift your spirits. A fresh breeze blows gently past you as you press forward toward your unknown destination. After traveling a couple miles north, your group decides to actually head into the woods. You spend a few days traveling this way and you soon settle into a bit of a rhythm. Your group is able to take the opportunity to chat a little and get to know each other better. Aelar takes lead as he's the most at home in this terrain, and he expertly leads you through the woods. On your third day of travel, your group stumbles upon the carcass of a bloody deer. Aelar is able to positively identify the kill as having been perpetrated by wolves. It seems fresh, and the wolf pack may still be nearby.

As the party pauses to consider this, the woods seem eerily quiet around you.
 

EyeOfSkadi

Junior Member
Davavor approaches the dear carcass, crouching down to examine it, "Wolves..." he examines the tracks and points to one of the sets, "That set there. They are much larger. It is either an alpha or one of the werewolves which we are hunting. And this carcass is too fresh. Why didn't they feed..." he trails off thinking, "This feels like a trap." Davavor stands to his feet, "Let's follow the larger tracks but be on our guard."
 

Hawk13

New Member
Aelar approaches the deer and kneels before it. "Not only wolves....but a werewolf as well." Aelar takes a moment while kneeling by the deer to show respect to one of the wild's creatures. He seems visibly upset that an animal was killed and not eaten.

"We should follow these tracks. This may lead us to other werewolves".
 

Scylaxu

New Member
Despite the nature of the mission he and his companions were on, Willan was in a good mood. It felt good to be traveling again. He was very happy to have Aelar, a most excellent guide, to lead them through the woods.

The deer they found brought their progress to a halt however. Moments of silence passed as everyone gazed at the bloody scene. Willan carefully crept forward and poked the carcass with a stick causing a small cloud of flies to spring up before settling back down again. He turned around and looked expectantly at the rest of the group.

Davavor and Aelar both seemed to know what to look at. Willan helped where he could examining the deer and tracks. Eventually, feeling like he was more in the way, he joined Shae. Looking at herwith a smile and shrug, "Well, it seems like we're on the right path."
 

actualhermit

New Member
Shae examined the area around the deer carcass for a bit. Something big did this, definitely, or there wouldn't be so much blood. Maybe they could follow it? She crouched down, looking for any sort of path to follow, but the blood just all seemed to mix together. She stood up, shook her head and sighed in frustration "I've got nothin' here. I admit ya know a lot more about this than I do, Aelar."

Shae wandered a bit towards the edge of the clearing, away from the others, and lowered her voice, "Okay, Corax, I'll need your help for a bit. Ya know that weird magic detecting thing ya can do with my eyes? I need that now" She closed here eyes as she spoke, and when she opened them again they were completely dark. Her surroundings looked a bit different, less saturated and more, washed out, maybe? But nothing stood out to her, so she nodded as her eyes reverted to normal, and turned back to the others. "There's no magic around here, so tha's good I guess. The werewolf we're tracking isn't also a spell-caster."
 

EyeOfSkadi

Junior Member
Davavor looks between the two trails and in a hushed tone, "This might be a set up..." he says examining the surrounding area, "If we set up our own ambush, perhaps we can get the jump on them, so to speak. At worse, we waste some time, but I don't think we are in much of a rush." The tall, solid, half elf paces around the scene of the murdered deer slowly, measuring up potential approaches and hiding areas with his black eyes. He helps with the set up, careful to not make it any disturbances of the scene too obvious, and hides in a bush near a tree, hoping that it is the werewolf in the shape of a man that they encounter and not the beast himself.
 

Hawk13

New Member
Aelar looks at Davavar and agrees with the plan. "This is a good idea and I have just the thing". Aelar reaches in his pack and pulls out a metal box. The metal box is about 8 inches by 2 inches. The partially rusted metal on the outside of the box is mixed with a greenish color from the faint mossy texture. Aelar leans against a tree and starts pulling metal parts off of the box. After about 3 minutes, the box unfolds into a saw-toothed steel ring that snaps shut when a creature steps on a pressure plate in the center. Aelar reaches back into his pack and pulls out a heavy chain that is 3 feet long. He takes his short sword and carves a spike out of a downed tree branch that is 4 inches in diameter. After affixing the chain to the trap and the spike, he drives the spike into the ground near the blood trail, careful to not disturb any of it. He digs a small hole in the dirt, exactly round enough to engulf the trap, and sets it in the path of the blood.

After setting the trap Aelar climbs a nearby tree within eye view of the trap and pulls his longbow out. He gets comfortable in the tree, obscured, and his silhouette fades into the tree, nearly undetectable.
 

actualhermit

New Member
Shae wandered around the clearing for a bit, paying special attention to the hunting trap. "If we're settin' a trap, we'll need some bait, yeah?" She began pacing, using the movement to help her gather her thoughts, "We know the wolves are after the most vulnerable, especially children. Willan and I can be bait. I know I don't look like much, an' Willan's small. We can use that to our advantage." She turned to look at Willan, "Unless ya have somethin' else in mind, Willan."
 

Scylaxu

New Member
The mood of the group turned hushed and careful. They quickly discussed their course of action. Willan felt a bit silly getting all worked up off a hunch that something lurked nearby. However, the possibility that they were right, that something WAS nearby sent his heart racing. He thought about making an elaborate trap with pits to trap the beasts, but remembered what his Pa used to say, "Keep it simple Willan!"

He nodded to Shae. "I get confused for a child often enough. I should be able to play the part".

Glancing around at his companions to make sure everyone was ready, Willan closed his eyes and pulled forward memories of his younger cousin. Without moving his lips he produced the laughing and giggling of a 7 yr old halfling boy playing hide and seek.

Then with a glance at Shae he mumbled, "Ready or not, here we go"
 

Locke9558

Locke
The woods around you maintain their eerie silence, however a moment later it is broken by the sound of howls in the far distance. Howls echo in response behind you, closer than your group anticipated. Soon afterwards your group hear the clear sounds of two distinct groups of something barreling toward you. Two wolves, one noticeably larger than the other come erupting out of the foliage north of you. The larger one in its haste, however, runs straight into the trap that Aelar had set and it howls in frustration and pain. The other wolf though continues to come at your group, and it is soon joined by two other wolves coming from the south of your group. They approach and begin circling your group, eyeing Willan in particular. The larger wolf barks some orders at the other three, and they pull up short before attacking.

Looking at them it's obvious that the larger wolf is wearing what appears to be normal human clothing, albeit in pretty rough shape. A tattered vest hangs from its shoulders while barely held together pants strain against its legs. It doesn't take anyone long to guess that you're looking at a werewolf. They aren't immediately attacking you, but you're not sure how long that will last. In the meantime the werewolf is ferociously attempting to break free.
 

Locke9558

Locke
The wolves apparently weren't expecting the group to fight back so hard, and the werewolf begins snapping commands at the remaining wolves. The wolves a moment later are in full retreat, leaving behind one dead and one still asleep. They leave in such a hurry that they leave a very clear trail of blood and plant wreckage as they flee. The werewolf bellows back at you in a grating voice in common just as he begins to disappear out of view, "Catch me if you can little adventurers! Only more where that came from if you're foolish enough to follow."

As they leave, the group finds themselves wrapped in an eerie quiet again with only the sounds of distant fleeing coming back to them. It would seem they were successful in driving off the attack, but they're unfortunately left with only the trail in front of them as a remaining clue for where they need to head next to find the missing children.
 

EyeOfSkadi

Junior Member
Davavor glances at his silvered rapier thankful for the blacksmith's work before leaping from his hiding spot to pierce the werewolves hide! "Sleep!" he commands of the other beasts. He smiles proudly as he watches his spell take hold of the creatures. The large wolf snaps at him, its teeth making purchase. The half-elf falls back away from the creature when his vision begins to blur and double. He blinks swiftly trying to correct, slashing again at the creatures hide, cutting it. His head begins to pound. Oh no... he thinks, concerned for what follows being bit by a werewolf. He swallows the terror, assaulting the wolves until they flee.

Once the quiet sets in he walks towards the sleeping wolf, deliberately placing his rapier through the wolves throat to put it down before it wakes up.

He collapses on the ground, resting his back against the tree. He stares up at the grey sky through the writhed branches of the leafless tree, "We must pursue. These woods won't be safe until those beasts are put down." He climbs to his feet, grabbing his head, wincing in pain as he rises. "Let's go." he says to the group, ensuring everyone is ready before setting off.
 

actualhermit

New Member
Shae dropped from her vulnerable posture to a more ready one as the wolves approached, Corax's shadows growing up her body to form a makeshift armor. She sent a bolt of energy towards the trapped werewolf, before turning her attention to the two normal wolves approaching from behind. He cried as teeth sank into her leg, and slashed with her axe and dagger to free herself before losing consciousness.

Davavor's voice brought Shae back as Willan drove the last wolf off. She shuddered, before collecting her weapons and climbing to her feet. "Thanks, Davavor," She shuddered as the werewolf's taunt, "This is blatantly a trap, yeah? But we don' have much of a choice, do we?" She glanced around at her companions. Willan and Aelar both avoided the wolves, but Davavor... "You sure you're alright Dav? Ya took a nasty bite earlier, you sure ya can keep going?"
 

Scylaxu

New Member
Willan concentrated on creating believable sounds of a child. He worried what they were drawing to them.

He heard them coming but was still badly startled when two wolves charged out of the foliage. Panic threatened to overtake Willan. He suddenly felt extremely vulnerable with these large, aggressive animals tearing towards them. He froze until CLANG! he heard the trap snapping shut. His heart leaped up in excitement! Maybe this plan wasn't completely bollocks.

Everyone sprang into action at once. Now that they had drawn these beasts into a trap, he didn't know what to do. Suddenly there were two more wolves behind him. Reflexively he stabbed at one, not really sure if he hurt it. The wolves were ignoring him at the moment anyway, choosing to tear into poor Shae. She screamed and seemed to go limp. One of the wolves turned to leave. Willan swung wildly with his dagger but only caught air. Finished with Shae, the other wolf turned on him, giving him a nasty gash.

With a rush of pain, fear and adrenaline, Willan redirected all that energy and lashed out at the wolf with fire. Surprised, it yelped back in pain itself though most of the fire just shot out into the air. Willan cursed himself. He had more control than that.

Out of no-where Shae plunged her dagger into the charred wolf, killing it. Eyeing her gaping wounds and the savage look in her eyes, Willan thought he might have underestimated her.

Willan whirled around to meet the next attack but it seemed the fight was already breaking up. He watched Davavor confidently stride over and dispatch another wolf that Willan hadn't even seen.

Withering Weeds! He was still shaking with adrenaline. Surely they had time for a quick nap. Davavor seemed intent on continuing the pursuit. When he squeezed his eyes shut in frustration he could see Oceanore rolling his eyes at Willan's laziness and ineptitude.

Willan snapped his eyes open, set his jaw and slammed his daggers back in their sheathes. "Yep! Let's go get us some wolf stew!" He knew he sounded stupid but didn't care. He needed to get his feet moving or that nap would wrestle him to the ground for the next week.
 

Hawk13

New Member
The trap had worked as intended. The large werewolf was caught in it and Aelar began raining down arrows at him from his tree perch.

After a while, he slung his bow across his back, swiftly climbed down from the tree, and grabbed his shortswords while running over to Davavor as he gets bit by the werewolf.

"Coming DAV!" Aelar yells as his friend lets out a whimper of pain from being bit.

After seeing Shae plunge her dagger into the regular wolf die, Aelar couldn't help but feel a sense of compassion for the creature. Aelar walks over to the charred, stabbed wolf, kneels before it, and begins humming a hymn of the forest that has been passed down for generations by his ancestors.
 

Locke9558

Locke
With things now settled, the group takes a moment to catch their breath. The woods seem to press in on them uncomfortably, and everyone finds themselves eager to move on. The path following the wolf pack is really easy to follow, the wolves were in a hurry and they left plenty of broken branches in their wake. Your group is also helped along initially by the pretty clear blood smears from where the wolves had been injured. The wolves apparently were moving quickly though, and your group isn't able to catch up to them despite Aelar's excellent tracking skills.

Eventually your group is forced to camp for the night. It's a quiet, if uncomfortable night for everyone. Though when you wake up in the morning, the sun seems bright enough and you're able to pick up the trail where you left off. The wolves are heading north, and are heading into a region none of you are all that familiar with. The wolves' trail merges with a more obvious road after a day or two. The group spends some time scouting in the immediate area to see if you can identify if they used the road or carried on elsewhere. As you're looking though you find yourselves more and more struggling to find your way around the woods because of these eerie mists that have started showing up with discomfiting regularity. After a while, everyone is forced to recognize that these mists are going to block your progress going anywhere but forward. Not a little bit spooked by this, everyone is quiet as you make your way forward. The fog behind you spills out of the trees to obscure the path behind. After traveling like this for a few hours, something large begins to loom ahead of you.

Ahead, jutting from the impenetrable woods on both sides of the road, are high stone buttresses looming gray in the fog. Huge iron gates hang on the stonework. Dew clings with cold tenacity to the rusted bars. Two headless statues of armed guardians flank the gate, their heads now lying among the weeds at their feet. They greet you only with silence.
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No one is quite sure exactly where you are, but it's clear you've arrived somewhere. As you head through the gates, you're able to see a village a little ways away. You could probably get there by nightfall. Though as you proceed, the gates shut ominously behind you.

Welcome to Barovia.
 

EyeOfSkadi

Junior Member
The sound of creaking iron is heard behind the Bard. He turns around to see the gates closing slowly behind them. He closes his eyes tight, a prolonged blink. As they flutter open, Davavor realizes that he is not, in fact, imagining this ominous sign. He tries to run back to the gates but quickly becomes labored . He bends over, holding his head, wincing as he fights back the discomfort in his head. He wipes a cold sweat away from his brow, sighing heavily as his eyes follow the wall into the horizon for what feels like an infinity.

"Perhaps the village will have an answer for us. Or perhaps we'll come across a sign post." The half-elf steeles his resolve, doing his best to mask his discomfort, and continues on towards the village. What do the stories say about werewolf bites? he muses to himself, a look of seriousness across his face as he considers his situation.
 

Scylaxu

New Member
More than a few times on their journey through the woods, Willan thought about turning back. After all, Oceanore and the rest of the scholars would be expecting him back. He certainly didn't expect a little wolf hunting to take him so far afield. He really didn't like the looks of that creepy mist that seemed to be everywhere. However, the rest of his companions didn't show any sign of quitting and it would be rather silly to turn back now. Oceanore would give him a tongue lashing if he came back without seeing this through.

Willan sure was glad Aelar was guiding them. He seemed at home in the woods. He'd feel more comfortable if someone actually knew this area. This was clearly uncharted territory for them all.

Passing through the gates, Willan couldn't help but crane his neck up to gaze at the soaring structure. This was old, and Willan had explored many old places. He couldn't take his eyes off the amazing carvings and statues. Finally! Something to feast his eyes on after all those boring trees! He hadn't seen this kind of design before. That scrollwork was similar to the work he saw in... no.. no, it was more like... He hastily started pulling out his sketch pad to take down the more unique elements.

Realising he had fallen behind, he had to scramble to catch up with the rest of the group. Davavor turned to look back but not at him. With his heavy breathing, Willan didn't hear it at first but when Davavor rushed past him towards the gates he stopped, "Hey Dav, what's the big ide...". Then he heard it. Who or what is moving those gates?

"Ahem.. umm.. so I think Dav here has a great idea. I, for one would love to get re-acquainted with civilisation. Do you think they have pies?"
 

Hawk13

New Member
Aelar couldn't stop thinking about the wolves the others had killed in the woods. The life essence had been drained from a fellow innocent creature of the wilderness. Although he didn't approve of the killing of the wolves, he understood it. Civilized folk don't care about the forests. They sit around in their fancy homes with their fancy trinkets. Completely devoid of the nuances of the wilderness.

Aelar liked guiding his new found confidants through the woods. He stopped to show them different plants and flowers that he recognized. Some were poisonous, some cured common ailments, some were quite tasty. He felt like he was home again, even though he was many miles away.

As the group approached the large gate, Aelar scoffed at the giant armed guards and snickered at the irony of their heads laying on the ground "Once again, nature wins. Nature always wins". Aelar stopped at the foot of the giant iron gate and proceeded to admire the moss that was growing around its base. He had a creepy feeling about this place. The iron bars seemed like they were there to keep people in, not keep people out.

He entered through the gate after the group and laughed "Hey Bard, know any songs about creepy, abandoned, headless gates?"
 

actualhermit

New Member
Shae hated this. She was never particularly comfortable in the wilderness, but she imagines this air of uncertainty would even wear on Aelar. Even Corax seemed subdued - she can’t remember if he’s ever gone this long without input. Shae had forgotten how easy it was for her thoughts to get carried away when she was left alone. This is another trap. This is how the other groups went missing, they got cocky and the wolves led them through these damned mists to their doom

The gate should have been a welcome sight. But between Corax’s silence and the mists, it just filled her with more anxiety. She jumped as the gates closed behind them, and repressed a shudder. Thankfully Dav was full of good ideas. ”I’d take even a wanderin’ merchant at this point. A warm meal or stiff drink would be nice” She chuckled weakly, but it didn’t do anything for her nerves.
 

EyeOfSkadi

Junior Member
Davavor purses his lips with a raised eyebrow at Aelar's dehumanizing Hey Bard but relents and pulls around his lute. He thinks a moment about songs which are less popular at balls when he recalls a song from his youth.

"The Bard does know a tune about ancient forests lost to time and there is mention of a tower."

He plucks one string at a time, tuning down to D,


"I watch the storm approaching
the darkness calls my name
the trees are growing restless
they feel the season change
their fruit has putrified
forbidden once and bound to die
the thread of life lies severed
on the brink of paradise

Grinning winds of hate unfurled
dash towers tall that grip the sun
talons stretch her veil
reclamation, our time has come..."


He stops there looking at their surroundings, "Perhaps best not to continue with the other 7 verses... he puts the Lute away thinking of pie and hot stew. "Let's head on to the village. These woods are giving me a bad feeling.
 
"a shame to stop a song so soon I think," a wizened older voice speaks from directly behind the group. It's speaker is an older man wearing peddler clothes, his face rough and unshaven; eyes hidden beneath the rough-spun hood. He carries a large pack on his back and a walking stick as crooked as his spine. His skin matches the grey pallor of the overcast sky.
"Pray continue good bard, and if you are headed to the Village of Barovia then we shall both accomplish our goals." as he chuckles to himself, a cold wind blows from the north chilling you to the bone.
 

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