When Last We Left Our Heroes… They had gone a few miles down the road from the inn where they’d become heroes and engaged-in/broke-up a bar fight, collecting a new mobile member (Scout/Johny) and two new non-mobile members (Mecha Unit Delta, a comatose Kislev warforged; and Kit Chen, Scout’s now-dead brother).
NOTE: Jenn could not be present for this game, though her character, Art Zoe, was.
Kerath/Mike took some time to examine the Kislevan Warforged body he had stolen/kidnapped, and after conferring with the group a bit, came to the conclusion that there was no soul present in the body, and that his evil Vecnite book (that he had shown the warforged) was now completely blank. After the customary gathering of firewood & berries (which involved a Nature check that said the plants were very healthy here… likely the work of a druid in the area), we began by setting watches for the evening rest. The first watch saw no activity other than some nocturnal critters doing their things in the heavy underbrush.
The second watch, however, saw a bit more activity. Nocturnal critters made a large commotion, heading in a southward direction. It turned out that this was just a reaction, though, to something worse in a northern area… something that reached out to steal Art Zoe/Jenn from her bedroll and pull her through the underbrush, but somehow not breaking it. After taking a few moments to figure out light sources, the party engaged in a skill challenge to track the captors. Most did okay, though a few walked into tree branches or stepped in hidden holes, losing a few healing surges along the way.
When they got to the clearing, they saw what appeared to be a druid standing over Art’s body on a raised ridge. All around were animated bloodthorn vines, which wasted no time in attacking the party. As the party moved forward and the druid teleported from tree-to-tree, though, it became clear that something was very wrong. At first glance she looked like a sick Deva, with sores and patches of rough flesh. However, she also had scattered tufts of an unhealthy-looking orange fur, and other feline features that appeared not to have fully manifested. Though it wasn’t obvious at first, Akara/Valarie realized that she was witnessing something unheard of in Deva physiology: a partially-transformed Rakshasha. As far as she knew, this could not happen, but nonetheless she decided to kill the druid before the process could be completed.
The fight was fairly fierce, with newcomer Scout/Johny taking on one of the vines on his own in a dark corner of the field (or so he says). After the druid was hit with an elemental blast of cold, her flesh seemed to adjust to deal with it (as happens with demons), so it was theorized that she was partially demonic. When she was bloodied, that theory was confirmed, as the transformation completed and the remaining deva flesh turned into demonhide.
As Akara dealt the killing blow to the demon-druid, she had another awful feeling. Being connected to death in the ways that she was, she could feel the true death of the druid’s soul. It wasn’t as if she’d reincarnate as a deva elsewhere (or even as a rakshasha). It was as if her soul had been turned into a demon’s soul, and so her deva self truly died.
These fears were confirmed in the aftermath, as Art was revived and a nearby hovel revealed a journal that had belonged to the druid, whose name was Hassan-Je (bonus points if anyone knows where I got that name… but don’t worry, there’ll be plenty more references from that particular source in the future). Hassan-Je had found some kind of demon that had clawed at her before she killed it. In the time since then, she had felt a demonic poison (actually a lesser form of the Abyssal Plague) infecting her body and soul. It appeared that she had tried to purchase a book from a traveling salesman to learn more about the Abyss, but it had turned out to be a tome that was more about the Dawn War and not much use to her. As her soul was slowly turned demonic, her Deva body reacted in the only way it knew to respond to an evil soul… it started manifesting tigerlike Rakshasha traits.
That mention of the claw wound infecting the druid gave Akara pause, because both she and Art had claw marks on them. Art seemed to shake it off (i.e., we made the saving throw for her), but Akara did not. The next morning, she awoke to find that she had grown whiskers.
XP: Everyone should now be at 2,250 XP, which is exactly enough to put y’all up to level 3.
Treasure: 50 GP Healing ritual components,
+1 Chronicle of the Dawn War Tome [Kerath]
[Cure Disease Ritual] NOTE: As this is a level 6 ritual, y’all won’t be able to cast it for several levels. Once you get to level 6, though, anyone of you with the Ritual Caster feat will be able to take this one.
Next Game: Set for Tuesday, March 13, hopefully around 7 PM. It will begin with everyone at level 3, just coming off an extended rest (full HP, all powers recharged, everyone at 1 Action Point). If you have questions about the levelling process, try to come a little earlier on Tuesday (I get out of work at 5) and we can go through options together.