Weather is terrible. A cold rain falls with temps in the mid-40°s.
The band walks to a chilly and wet (read miserable) morning, luckily they were inside the fort lodging and are now well rested. Aldred is overjoyed to learn they have been granted an audience with his brother Cpt Loilor. They are even more pleased to learn they are invited to not only meet him, but to break their fast with him.
They join the captain and the meal goes well, bellies are full. The conversation is mostly about the brother's past, family questions, etc. Garmon is bored out of his mind and ready to go out exploring around the fort. He finds himself repeatedly interrupting with questions about nearby ruins that need exploring, what types of beasts haunt the surrounding woods, etc. Toltin is saddened the toothless bastard dwarf fails to join the meal. Aldred hands over the message to Loilor and we learn the contents:Guess we need to figure that out, eh? Using the Perilous Wilds book, I discover the message from the Bishop of Elswyth speaks of the discovery of a cave that was once a temple to a forgotten human god of time. He asks the captain to send men to explore the cave and return any important discoveries to the church in Elswyth. I suddenly realize a perfect confluence of events has come to pass. This fort is short men, as determined earlier. I failed to mention it in the last post, but I had already determined the reason behind Cpt Loilor's worrisome attitude was because his fort is undermanned. Using the table to to the left, again made on the spot, I rolled a d6 and determined that the fort should have 48 men but only has 33 (rolled a d6 and d10 getting a 3 and a 3).
Captain Loilor is short of men, and frankly a little "meh" about sending men to do this bishop's bidding. Garmon, notices the indecisiveness in Loilor and blurts out that he and his friends could handle this for the captain. Loilor eyes Aldred, thinking this might be just what Aldred needs to prove his worth and help set him on an honorable - and less drunk - path. Loilor agrees to pay each man 40gp to check out the temple, allowing them to keep anything they can bring back, so long as it is not determined to be of value to the church (as determined by Brother Iben).
The band decides to head out immediately following breakfast, Garmon's impatience proving too much for the others to battle despite the rain and cold. Checking with the fates quickly we have discovered something! Nearing evening they discover a river blocks our band's path and they are determined to cross before daylight ends. Unfortunately no easy way of crossing is found and Garmon, ever impatient, decides the best way to cross to chop a tree down and scamper across. The noise caused by this forces an encounter check and as luck would have it, I roll a 1. I use the PW's tables to determine the encounter is some sort of elemental fey creature. I grab my ItWaW and remember some sort of water fey beast.... A Weald Siren named Si-liren slides out of the water towards Garmon, smelling of honey and wine, he is immediately captured in her beauty, unable to help himself. I mean really, can you blame him? Look at those!
Toltin and Aldred make their saves but Garmon falls under her spell and begins dreamily wading through the water to her. The water sparkles across her naked body and the poor lout is hooked. Aldred and Toltin know something is up and begin shouting to their friend, but to no avail as the man simply ignores them and steps into the water. She hums a sweet tune to him, drawing him to her. He struggles across the river, his gear coming loose and disappearing in the rushing waters.
Aldred, terrified, yet oddly aroused, runs to aid his companion, knowing this beauty cannot simply be a wonderous beauty chilling in the woods. Toltin uses the downed tree to scamper across the river, readies his sling, and takes a shot but misses. Aldred rushes ahead of the wobbling Garmen and attempts to wake him, standing between the dazed man and the naked beauty.
Behind him, a rip appears down the chest of the beauty , and a gaping maw suddenly opens wide and moves towards Aldred.
In a moment, Aldred is gone.
Toltin is aghast but manages to clear his mind enough to attempt again to wake Garmon. I give Garmon another attempt as a save here but he fails. Standing there shocked, Tol can do nothing but watch as the creature splits down the middle and swallows Garmon whole. Holy fuck....
Toltin now stands alone before this beautiful horror.
Luckily he has the fortitude to force himself to act.
He turns and runs for his life.
He does not know how long he runs but he eventually finds himself alone in the woods, out of breath, and a little in shock. He finds a hollow tree, buries inside, covers himself with detritus, and falls fast asleep. Luck is again on Tol's side as we find he has no encounters for the remainder of the day and the next evening.
Honestly, I was not expecting it to go sideways so damn fast, but hey, this is old school. The whole encounter with the siren caught me a little off guard, damn those things are nasty and she did somewhat surprise the group and have them at a disadvantage. I thought I would share the doomed character cards.