Wednesday, February 22, 2017
D&D post game 2-18 Part 2
As the party rode toward the location of the once bountiful Wellspring of Vitality in the Shadow Wood, the storm clouds grew ever darker. They dismounted and ran into the forest hoping that there was still time to prevent the druidic ritual.
The majority of the area was nothing but ash and the burnt remains of giant trees. The fire set by an unknown third party had done substantial damage to this part of the forest. However, the farther into the forest the party went, the more green and healthy it had become. It was almost like the forest was healing as they moved closer to the center.
They knew they roughly a quarter of a mile away from the location of the Wellspring when the air temperature began to wildly fluctuate. Then it began to lightly rain and they could hear the rumble of approaching thunder. At the same time a pair of tree stumps began to slowly move. It appeared like they were getting taller and gaining appendages. The party drew weapons and prepared to defend themselves from whatever these tree creatures were.
These were Wood Woads and they had been summoned to defend this approach to the ritual site. The party quickly fell upon them. After a few minutes the tree creatures had been dispatched. It was then that the winds picked up, the rain stopped and then the lightning started to move across the sky. The party ran onward.
As they reached the forest center they saw three druids within a circle of standing stones. Bedwyr the largest of the three was in the midst of some summoning chant. The two other druids were trying to control an open portal with in the Wellspring. An opening that seemed to be absorbing and releasing light and energy. A half dozen of the tribal humans stood outside the stones chanting as well. The party took the opportunity to set up them before they were noticed.
These tribesmen were slaughtered quickly, but it didn’t matter. The ritual was all but complete. Bedwyr was struck by beams multicolored light and seemed to be absorbing it. Then this same light flew from his arms to strike the other two druids. The convulsed wildly and then returned the energy and their own life force back to Bedwyr. He then channeled it all back into the open portal. The two druids fell to the ground, their bodies little more than dried husks.
A javelin suddenly struck Bedwyr in the chest. He looked up from his chest to see the adventuring party outside the stones. They were prepared to fight and was eager to please them. His body changed rapidly into the giant form of some sort of hairy simian beast full of all manner of claws and sharp teeth. He was in the midst of the party within seconds. A blood melee ensued with the barbarian and monk taking the brunt of the damage. The bard held back trying to add some motivational songs and magic to bolster the combat.
The ground began to tremble. The rain started again, only to stop suddenly. The air became hot and dry. The skies would clear and seconds later they would darken again. Lightning would strike the standing stones. Snow would slowly fall. Nature was completely out of control. All the while the giant sasquatch-esque Bedwyr assaulted the party, seeming to laugh as he did so.
After a final few brutal strikes from the barbarian, Bedwyr reverted to his human form. He slowly stumbled back against one of the standing stones. A bloody smile on his face as he did so. The party slowly approached him. He continued to laugh as his life blood spilled from him. He drew a small knife from his belt and quickly plunged it into his chest. He slowly died knowing that he had not only robbed the party of their vengeance, but he had completed the ritual as well. His body slid to the ground as everything went silent. The strange weather stopped. The sounds of the forest were gone. The only sounds was that of the party breathing.
Then the ground began to tremble again. The standing stones shattered and fell. The portal began to grow size and spew forth all manner of light and energy. Then from within it exploded out a form. A giant worm-like form with a giant fanged maw and giant tendrils that whipped around looking to ensnare prey. The worm’s form was constantly shifting to various colors and then to transparent. It would shift from flesh to stone to wood to water and back again. It was a being of pure natural energy. A true sight to behold, the power of nature made manifest, and it was angry.
Tendrils struck the thief knocking the very life from it, or so it seemed. The fanged maw struck at the barbarian and monk. The half-ork knocked the monk aside to keep his companion from becoming a giant fleshy treat for the summoned worm. The bard did his best to aid the fighters, but then realized the thief was on the ground and unmoving, he raced to his side. The tendrils continued to lash out at any one they could. The monk and barbarian did their best to stymie the entity. Their attacks seemed to do very little damage, but they struck with all their might. The bard’s aid kept the dragonborn thief from succumbing to the various wounds that the worm tendrils did to him. Re-energized, he entered the fray again.
The great worm raised up looking to drive it’s ever changing mass down on the party. An attack that looked to finish the two fighters in front of it. It was then that the combination of the thief’s twin strikes, the monk’s scimitar and a huge downward strike from the barbarian’s axe: drove the giant worm to the ground.
As the worm hit the ground it exploded in a wave of light and energy. The party were knocked back several feet. The remaining standing stones crumbled. The plants covering the ground began to wilt. The near by trees shed their leaves as the bark became brittle and cracked. It appeared that the area around the ritual was quickly dying. Within minutes the forest that survived the fire was now nothing but dust and ash.
The party slowly recovered from the explosion of power and surveyed the scene. The druids were gone. The remains of the great worm were gone. The weather madness had ceased. This part of the forest was now a barren patch of land.
They found the rapidly decaying remains of Bedwyr. His mad plan to destroy Stonekeep had been stopped.
The party returned to their horses and rode back to town. The treat of the druids was finally over.