This is part of an ongoing campaign. You can find the other sessions over on the sidebar.This session was run on November 21, 2022.
13 Meadowlark 4433
The session began with the party, having just defeated a flail snail in the dungeon, heading back to town to stash its valuable shell. It was starting to get dark by the time they reached the surface, so they camped for the night by the road. They set watches, with Duycken and Creng taking the last watch.
In the middle of the third watch, Duycken and Creng felt a sudden wave of terror wash over them. Duycken was able to resist it, but Creng took off into the woods. The duck knight recognized it from the other encounters with dragon fly overs and immediately looked to the sky.
What appeared to be a streak of blue fire flew by, heading to the northwest. It was pursued by the shadowy form of the four-winged dragon they had spotted in the past. The dragon breathed a cone of fire at the blue streak but missed. Lightning bolts shot out of the blue streak, writhing around the dragon. The dragon screeched in frustration and engulfed the mysterious object with its fire breath. The blue streak spiraled down and disappeared behind the mountains to the northwest. The dragon flew away to the south. Satisfied they were safe for now, Duycken ran to catch Creng and bring him back to camp.
14 Meadowlark 4433
The next morning, they continued back to Byrny. As they made their way along the road, Stranger heard fighting from up ahead. They stashed the flail snail shell out of sight and crested a hill to see a merchant caravan under attack from bandits. There were four wagons stopped where the road was blocked by a broken boulder that seemed to have been pushed down a nearby hill. All of the horses were dead, riddled with arrows, along with several guards.
Duycken immediately prepared his turkey for a charge and yelled, “Disband brigands!”
Uggmar killed one immediately with a bow shot. Gwythian charged in ahead of everyone and missed his target. This left him open to attack as others swarmed him and he was hit several times. Vargr charged in beside Gwythian but was also unable to hit one of the bandits. Duycken spurred his turkey and ran down one of the bandits attacking Gwythian, killing it in one blow from his war mace.
Rouen attempted to cast illusionary hounds but failed. Stranger, wanting to keep the group of bandits in their place, tried to cast entangle but failed as well. He ordered Argus to join the fray.
Uggmar managed to drop another with a bow shot and Gwythian, badly injured, withdrew from the melee.
South of the road, the bandits started cutting down the merchants that were hiding behind the wagons. Some started fleeing towards the party, but others stood to fight. Ser Duycken moved to engage the bandits to his west. Vargr now found himself outnumbered and taking damage as well as he tried to fight off three on his own. He managed to down one as Argus joined him.
Uggmar joined Duycken and Stranger on the western front and killed a bandit as Gwythian dropped one by Vargr with his bow.
They were not able to come to Vargr’s aid in time though, he fell under the blows from the bandit’s surrounding him.
The fight stabilized along the two fronts with both the party and the bandits managing to land blows, but neither gaining a real advantage. Rouen cast obscuring mist which gave Argus a chance to disengage without taking an attack of opportunity.
The party’s superior firepower began to take its toll as Stranger, Uggmar, and Gwythian managed to kill one each in a short interval. The bandits broke and ran.
The party showed no mercy. After a brief demand to submit to the governor’s justice, Duycken ran one down and killed him from turkeyback with one blow to the back of the head with his mace.
Stranger commanded Argus to give pursuit and the wolf tackled a fleeing bandit, tearing its throat out.
The rest fell in short order, unable to get away fast enough.
Once they had finished dealing with the bandits and looting their corpses, the party checked on the merchants and tried to find out what happened. Uggmar briefly tried to shake them down for a reward, but Gwythian stepped in and told him to stop. The merchants told them that they were transporting wool and dyes from the City State to Byrny when they had to stop because a boulder was blocking the road. The bandits ambushed them from the forest while they were determining if it was safe to take the wagons off track to go around. The initial volley of arrows killed their horses and most of their guards before they could get behind the wagons for cover. With no horses to pull the wagons, they were afraid that they would have to abandon their wares in order to get to safety.
Always chivalrous, Duycken volunteered to ride back to Byrny alone (Duycken can move much faster alone on his turkey than the group can) and send horses back to pull the wagons to town. As the group approached town they saw a column of smoke rising out of Lady Sulner’s holdings (technically Duycken would have seen this when he entered town alone, but we hand waived that to simplify things). When they reached Byrny, they learned that, on the 13th, an explosion in one of the old mines caused an active mine to collapse, killing twenty-three miners. The Miners Guild was in an uproar about perceived safety problems in Sulner’s mines and there were rumors of sabotage*.
While in Byrny, they stashed the shell with the Temple of Athena. They have been making regular donations to the temple for healing and safe storage. Rasaz and Uggmar took the chance to spend an evening together and she told him that she went to the Sulner mine to investigate what happened because Lady Batten was concerned about the possibility of a similar incident in her mines. In her opinion, there was a small explosion in the entrance chamber to the mine which set off a much bigger explosion in an adjoining chamber. It was the second explosion that caused the collapse in the active mine. She had been in the old mine a few years ago when the decision was made to close it down and she did not think that gas could have built up in either of the two chambers near the opening because they were well ventilated after years of widening. Rasaz told Uggmar that she was convinced it was sabotage.
In all, it took a couple of days to get the horses out to the wagons, get the wagons back to town, and rest up. They left to return to the barrows on the morning of the 17th.
17 Meadowlark 4433
When they were about halfway to the barrows, Stranger felt a vibration and could hear scratching coming from beneath them. He warned the others that he thought there was something moving underground directly below the party. This gave them a precious few seconds to prepare before an armored creature burst from the ground showering them with dirt.
Rouen cast illusionary hounds to attack the bulette, but its keen sense of smell allowed it to see through the illusion. Vargr cast bless on everyone and climbed a tree. Duycken ran up to the bulette and concentrated on evading its blows in order to keep it from being able to charge into the rest of the party. Despite his efforts to dodge, the bulette managed to land a blow on Duycken and disappeared beneath the surface.
Sure that it was going to resurface, the party began readying to attack it. Uggmar, Gwythian and Creng followed Vargr’s lead and climbed trees in hopes of shooting the bulette when they could see it again.
Seconds later, it burst from the ground beneath the tree Vargr had climbed. The tree disintegrated into a shower of splinters and Vargr fell to the ground. Gwythian and Creng managed to hit it with their bows and Stranger cast entangle. The bulette seemed unhampered by the spell though. Gwythian, Vargr, and Duycken engaged it in melee and were able to do some damage before it bit Ser Duycken and burrowed underground again.
Seeing that the knight’s bite wound was serious, Stranger ran over to give him some goodberries. The hoop druid was also able to pinpoint its location beneath the ground and warn the others.
The bulette burst through the ground again and bit Argus nearly in half. Stranger, enraged by the apparent death of his companion, charged the bulette but The Father of Swords bounced off its plates. Vargr managed to finish it with his axe.
The party healed up and, to everyone’s relief, were able to save Argus. Cayuga, drawing on bardic lore, told the others that bulettes were know to horde shiny objects. They decided to risk following the tunnels back to the bulette’s lair. Uggmar took the lead, moving silently in case there was a mate in the lair. Fortunately, they found only a pile of treasure.
As several of them gained enough experience to level up, they decided to return to town.
*It was sabotage. Stranger set the explosives before they left for the barrows. The results do seem to be out of alignment with the amount of explosives he placed though.