Age of Worms Adventure Path – Game Session 61

Game summary for November 29, 2007; present characters included Ashkor (half-bronze dragon lizardfolk barbarian/battle sorcerer/dragon disciple/fighter), Chuck Ahammer (shield dwarf master thrower/rogue/thunderthrower), Eolas Windmaster (moon elf duskblade), Iapetus Hasur (hu-charad giant rogue/scout/vigilante), Lady Aridarye Phylund Brokengulf (human aristocrat/harbinger/ranger cohort), Lyrin Sinbal (simian incantatrix/ring sage/warmage), Morak Beardfist (shield dwarf fighter/rage cleric), Syvarius Strongbow (moon elf archer-ranger/peerless archer), and Taravin Truesilver (human gray guard/paladin of honor/pious templar).

The courageous Mercenaries plunged into the Doomshroud Forest and soon found themselves in an alien landscape. The trees were dark black and oozing a viscous sap. The bark was leathery and bizarre. The team plodded through the underbrush into the evening before deciding to make camp. As night fell, a depressing keening reverberated from deep in the woods, filling the longing shadows with additional gloom and despair. Figuring this must be the mournful song of the Doomshroud, the team used magic to refresh themselves and pressed on.

Soon, the team came across a clearing with a single massive tree in the middle. Chuck was overcome with sorrow and attempted to go into the clearing, but Morak broke the compulsion, and Iapetus shrouded the team in silence. The tree swayed as it sang a dreadful song from its gaping black maw. As the team approached, it ripped its roots up from the ground and turned to face them. It spoke, but no one could hear what it said. Wasting no time, Syvarius unleashed a volley of arrows, which all but bounced off the plant’s bark.

The tree retaliated with a weird effect, but it failed to slay anyone thanks to the standfast ability of Taravin. The worst damage was to Ashkor, stunning and weakening him for a short time. Lyrin, Morak, and Eolas began a series of fiery attacks, which badly burned the tree. Aridarye used one of her most potent attacks, a resonating bolt, to batter the plant as well. Chuck and Syvarius had trouble harming the monster with their ranged attacks. The tree was now in flames and in dire shape; however, it revealed a horrific surprise. Using the dark connection it held with its grove, it melted into the earth and exploded upward in the midst of the group. It pounded Syvarius with its branches, shattering bones and beating him to the threshold of death’s door.

With one companion down, the team prepared to deal with the threat now in their midst. It was then that Eolas, Scourge of Tilagos, unleashed a mighty sword swing powered by true strike and laden with channeled pyroburst. His blade struck home and cut deep into the tree. As the tip plunged into the trunk, the flame spell within erupted. The explosion was astounding, with fire shooting forth from the back of the tree and fragmented wood spraying into the forest beyond. With a final despairing cry, the ancient monster fell dead at Eolas’ feet.

In the aftermath, Syvarius was healed of his injuries by the cleric of Moradin. Then, the grove was searched, and a small fortune in gold and items was recovered. Within the treasure trove was a gleaming, ornate adamantine rapier known as Pride of Princes. The heavily enchanted blade was snatched up and some debate has begun on who should wield the prize.

With two trials complete, Morak communed with Moradin to find more information about Darl Quethos and his team. The group quickly departed after learning he was earnestly seeking the completion of the remaining trial. For days the team marched, moving from the thick forest out into the plains. On the way toward the mountains, and the Thorn Vale, Syvarius discovered the tracks of Darl and his team. Some time had passed, and the group surmised this was the path taken when Darl and company sought out the Roc King. The group continued on, and when within a day’s travel of the mountains, they finally sat down to rest and recover their mana and strength. Morak again communed to learn more of their enemies.

Will the Mercenaries reach the Thorn Vale in time to claim the victory for themselves, or will Darl succeed in slaying the nightmare, forcing the teams to work together to present the trials completed? Perhaps the Mercenaries will stage a full assault on Darl’s forces to buy time before having to engage the nightmare. Maybe Darl will attempt that first. Only time will tell as a confrontation with the murderous priest draws nigh.