After Defeating the Naga the party returns to the city, the last ingredient needed for crafting Gloves of Dexterity aquired.
The party returns to the leatherworker and manges to sell the entire Naga’s body for 300 gold, as it is in perfect condition. While there Keldon decides to purchase his own set of gloves for a lesser version of the Gloves of Dexterity than Fin and Smoth are having crafted.
With all the shopping and gathering business concluded, Asherok teleports us back to her house in the small village, and there in the basement Smoth and Asherok begin to work on the 3 pairs of gloves that are needed. During this time the rest of the party takes a long needed rest, except for Findail who spends every available moment scrying on the far away jungle. Eventually he starts asking Keldon to view the jungle with him, so that they might teleport there.
While speding his days scrying Findail begins to wonder what has happened to Roland and Famish, the two party members they lost when everyone was turned to stone. With some effort he finds out that Roland is in a big city, drilling a large body of the Red Lions in practice. It seems Roland has rejoined the Red Lions and is now in a leadership position of some sort. Famish is (Micah needs to let us know).
During one of the scrying attempts Findail notices a tribe of Pygmies around a funeral pyre. There is a great ceremony and then the pyre is lit. As the flames grow larger and the smoke begins to form, a smaller cloud seperates from the smoke as it leaves the body and drifts of it’s own accord.
A month passes in this fashion, and finally the gloves are crafted. With the party rested and new magic items upon their hands, Findail asks to travel to the jungle, to reconnect with nature, and attempt to learn more of the agile cats whose forms he likes to adopt. Smoth explains he is studying with Asherok, and learning the finer points of crafting magical items, so he remains behind while Keldon teleports Findail and Shun deep into the Jungle.
The party walks for several hours and meets a pygmy who is very wary of us, we attempt communication, but he does not understand anything we say until I start to speak druidic. As I utter the secret language of the druids, a bit of recognition sparks in his eyes and he motions for us to follow. Eventually we make it to a small pygmy village, and the leader of the pygmies comes out to greet the adventurers.
The leader’s name is Mogra, and he, like Findail, is a druid. The converse for some time and Mogra explains he knows of the great cats that Findail has come in search of, but first he has a request. He explains that members of his tribe go vanishing, and return a few nights later, but they are not themselves, they have large fangs and are much stronger than they used to be. At the sound of this Keldon and Shun explain that it sounds like vampires are attacking this village. Findail agrees to help Mogra with the vampires in return for knowledge of the jungle cats.
That night as Shun is on watch, two pygmy vampires attack. They are easily beaten back after Shun sounds the alarm, but before help arrived, Shun took some ability and constitution drain. The next morning Keldon teleports the part back to the city to buy diamond dust to restore Shun of his level and ability drain, as well as buying extra should anything like this happen again. The following night is quiet as the party prepares to attack the vampires.
The day comes and Mogra leads the fearless adventurers to the crypt where the party thinks the vampires might be hiding. Before entering all the magical buffs the party has are cast. Since it is daytime and the party is as buffed as they can get, they charge forward hoping to brute force their way through the encounter with the vampire. However, as soon as they enter the vampire casts a giant web which traps the party in the hallway, as everyone is stuck there, the vampire lets loose a large lightning bolt which streaks through everyone, setting the web on fire. Free of the web the party rushes in to confront the vampire and his two pygmy vampire spawn. Keldon and Shun each turn undead and they manage to send both the spawn fleeing, while Findail calls down a giant flamestrike on top of the Vampire and charges in as a cheetah, attacking rapidly and tripping the vampire to the ground. With the two spawn feared, Shun and Keldon close in and together the party defeats the prone vampire.
With the vampire master defeated, the two spawn fall quickly afterwards, and the party follows the mist forms of the vampires to their coffins where they destroy them once and for all. Looting ensues. ;-)
With his part of the bargain completed Findail is rewarded from Mogra with a guide to a watering hole where Findail is able to watch a Dire Panther hunt. With this close examination, Findail is able to take the form of the large jungle cat.
The next day Mogra again thanks Findail and the party for what they have done, and asks what Findail’s ranking is in the druidic culture. Findail is slightly puzzled by this as the druid who taught him the ways of nature died shortly after teaching Findail the basics, and then Findail was taken into slavery. Mogra explains that there is a heirarchy of sorts among the druids, and tells Findail that Freka, the oldest and most powerful of the druid pygmies can explain more.
Armed with this information, the party once more goes into the jungle. One night, on the way to Freka, a giant spider attacks! A battle ensues and the sounds and light of the fight draw three owlbears to join into the fray as well. Findail knows that owlbears are not evil, only easily angered and very territorial. Instead of killing the newcomers, Findail instructs the party into making escape by using a spell to cause the brush to entangle the owlbears, while Keldon opens the ever-smoking bottle to cover the tracks and scent.
The party travels for a few more days before they finally reach Freka’s domain. There in a slight clearing is a large treehouse, and at the base are two tigers. Findail approaches and calls up to Freka, managing to not anger the tigers in the process. Freka comes out and listens to Findail, and at first does not want to help, but Findail bargains. Freka says that the hunters who hunt for sport anger him, and for the skin and face of one such hunter, Freka will tell Findail all he needs to know about the druids. Findail is horrified by this, but through diplomacy and fast talking he explains to Freka how this is not the natural way of things. Freka is shamed, but his second request isn’t much better. Instead of the the skin of a hunter, he wants the children of a hunter, so that he might instruct them in the ways of nature and break the cycle of hatred. Findail again explains this only would encourage the cycle, sending the hunter in search of his children, and instead of stealing the hunter’s children Findail asks if orphans would not be better. Children who have no one to care for them, would be better pupils of nature he argues. Freka finally assents, and the deal is struck. For two orphans to instruct, one boy and one girl, Freka will tell Findail all he wishes to know about druids, and help him reconnect with the secret society…
ExperienceDefeated two vampire spawn – CR 6
Excellent RP with Freka – 200xp – Fin only
Note: Only 1/2 xp for Smoth, due to player absence.