Raj decided to keep the jade carving of a nude female elven monk; we’ll subtract 85 gp x 60% = 51 gp from previously calculated party loot. Raj will pay this out of his share of loot.
After resting up and smoking lots of meat from Tuskgutter, we made our way to the Temple of the Elk. It was a ruined structure surrounded by columns, with a pool of fetid water in the center and a broken staircase topped by a statue of Calen at the far end. We headed into the temple reverently and carefully explored the foyer with the pool. Tal’s familiar, Andarus, warned him of something moving in the woods, but before the party could check it out, the crazed bear that we were seeking appeared at the top of the broken stairs. Tal began to cast enlarge person on Larken, but was then attacked by the creature that emerged from the woods: a werewolf. It bit Tal, infecting him with the dreaded disease lycanthropy and tripping him. Through fantastic luck, he somehow managed not to lose his concentration on the spell he was casting, and an enlarged Larken moved to face the bear, striking a mighty blow against it that caused the bear to bleed profusely. At about this time, Liliana noticed that the statue of Calen was beginning to move and was, in fact, a gargoyle. The water from the pool also began to bubble profusely. The bear attacked the Oracle, Liliana, with a strange fervor, which we later learned was due to its religious craze due to a curse placed upon it by Calen. Liliana was knocked unconscious. Larken was attacked by the werewolf and also contracted lycanthropy, before being knocked unconscious. Tal cast grease under the werewolf, tripping it and buying the party some time to focus on the threat posed by the bear. Shortly thereafter, the bear met its end. As it died, it returned to the form of an elderly human who breathed a sign of relief, and then crumbled away into dust. At this instant, the gargoyle and the werewolf also crumbled away. The water in the pool began to glow and we decided to drink from it. The water had been blessed by Calen, and healed our wounds and cured our lycanthropy.
Liliana received a vision from Calen. In the vision, she learned that the temple of Calen had been abandoned many years ago and that the old keeper of the temple had gone mad with desperation and fear as the lands around the temple were overtaken by evil creatures, so that he eventually lured a bear to the temple and sacrificed it to any who would answer his call. (If he thought that was a good idea, I expect he must have rolled a 1 on his knowledge (religion) check.) For his lack of faith, Calen cursed him by turning him into a bear to replace the one he had killed, making him immortal but lacking the intelligence to understand this, until someone worthy came to end the curse. We found nothing of interest in the temple, but spent some time cleaning and restoring it as best we could. Hawke was given a vision of a great statue of a horned god, a male avatar of Calen, in the forest to the southeast that had been forgotten for a long time. The goddess wanted us to go clean and restore it. Raj prayed to Calen in front of the pool and was granted a vision consisting of three images: The Hidden Truth, the Mute Hag, and the Waxworks. We stayed the night at the temple before leaving to find the statue. While we slept, we each received a vision from Calen in our dreams.
Larken: The Unicorn
Tal: The Tangled Briar
Verrak: The Rabbit Prince
Liliana: The Avalanche
Raj: The Liar
Hawke: The Carnival
We left the temple on the 14th of Talor, with the moons in the sky in alignment. While heading towards the statue and mapping the surrounding area as we went, Andarus spotted something and alerted Tal. We heard a “blooping” sound similar to that of the jumping wormlike creature we had seen before, but one that sounded much larger. We temporarily halted our plans to find the statue to look into this. Following Andarus, we came upon two burnt out stone buildings that Tal identified as likely having been a watchtower for the old empire. The buildings were decrepit, roofless, and missing doors. They were surrounded by tracks from all directions, and pools of sticky grease and slime were all around the area. Raj cast speak with animals and learned from Andarus that two creatures lived here, which we were able to identify as a slurk, a walrus-like jumping creature we had previously thought to be a worm, and a boggard, a toad-like creature with bulbous eyes and warts. We knew that they were normally pretty savage, so we were on our guard. Hawke and Raj attempted to sneak up on the structure, but Raj ended up making a ton of noise and alerting the boggard. It came out of the hut riding upon the slurk, brandishing a weapon. It talked in a guttural voice in a language we did not understand, but with a few words of common mixed in. Hawke was able to understand the word “truce,” and quickly told the boggard that we meant it no harm. He offered it some of the smoked meat from Tuskgutter as a gift. Raj attempted to sing a pleasing song for the boggard, but felt strained and tongue-tied, and so delivered a song so agonizingly painful to listen to that we wanted to weep. Luckily, the boggard found this pleasing to listen to. The boggard told us that the area around the river was his kingdom, and that he was named Garoom and his slurk was named Oogaboog. His left hand was almost obliterated and he ranted about how bugs had run him off from his swamp to the forest. Despite the language difficulties, we finally pieced together his story: he had decided to devour the sacred blue fireflies of his tribe, believing that this would give him the strength to wrest leadership of the tribe. Unfortunately for him, this was not the case. He was captured by the priest-king of the tribe and sentenced to death after a series of humiliations. Before his execution, however, he was able to escape his binds by using a rock to pulverize his hand, and to escape.
He offered us mushrooms to eat, which after Liliana cast purify food and water upon them, we agreed to do. Garoom was disturbed by the casting due to his fear of the priest-king, but Liliana was able to convince him that it was just a blessing for the food. Not wanting to risk another outburst, Tal decided against casting prestidigitation to make the food tasty, so we had an unpleasant meal. Raj’s curiosity led him to touch the slime on Ooogaboog, which then hardened to the texture of cold tar on his hand, much to the amusement of the boggard. However, he was quickly able to break the tarry slime off of his hand. Garroom offered us a reward for killing Tuskgutter, who had been a menace to him in the past.
- deep green spinel (90 gp)
- shard of blue quartz (25 gp)
- iolyth (50 gp)
- -1 days ration as a gift to the boggard
We stayed the night, and Garoom told us of the dangers of the forest. There were faeries to the north, who play tricks on the eyes. A unicorn lived to the south, but had gone missing. The tribe of boggards lived to the southwest. Giant frogs lived in a pond to the northwest. The statue to Calen was to the west.
The next day, we headed to the statue and cleaned it. Hawke attempted to make a wreath of flowers and to put them atop the statue to decorate it, but he fell while climbing the statue. Tal used prestidigitation to place the wreath. Raj sang a song praising the statue. We noticed that no creatures came within a certain distance of the statue, so we decided to camp there for the night. In the morning, the statue had a divine glow, and all of our piercing and slashing weapons had acquired a keen edge (CL20, one week duration). Larken had a dream about the unicorn in which he had been afraid, but had the fear banished by the unicorn. The unicorn then touched him with its horn, which broke off, covering him with blood. We headed south to seek the unicorn.
We found a clearing in the woods with a stink of moldering plants and a strange quiet. Larken felt the urge to follow the trail down, and we followed him. The ground gave way to an insect-infested swamp, and we saw a white unicorn lying dead with its horn broken off. There was no obvious cause of death, but we saw that the unicorn had been blind at the time of death. The casters in the group sensed an aurea of necromantic magic arising from around the unicorn. We noticed that the corpse of the unicorn was strangely undecayed, but our knowledge of the planes was not sufficient for discovering why this was the case.
While we were examining it, a young black dragon appeared from over the swamp. We feared that we could not run away from something as fast as it and so resigned ourselves to a horrible fight against it, likely resulting in our deaths. The dragon hit several of us with an acidic breath that did grave harm to us and then attacked in melee. Luckily, its attacks were weak and ineffective, perhaps due to the intervention of Calen or the spirit of the unicorn, and it even accidentally bashed itself in the head with its own wing, partially crushing its skull and deeply damaging its intelligence. Tal cast enlarge person on Verrak, and the ferocious barbarian wounded the dragon deeply. Larken also did a critical wound to the dragon. Tal cast a few ineffective magic missiles from his wand while the rest of the party did some meaningful damage. Eventually, the dragon felt its breath becoming acidic again and attempted to fly upward to reposition itself for another devastating attack on the party. However, the melee fighters around it took this opportunity to get in one last hit each, slaying the evil beast. We skinned its corpse and took its head as a trophy.
- black dragon scales
- black dragon head
- -1 potion of cure moderate wounds used during the battle
We took the corpse of the unicorn back to the Temple of the Elk for burial. Along the way, we ran across Garoom, who suggested that we should talk to the fey in the Faerie’s Nest to the north about the fate of the unicorn, as they might know what had happened to it. When we arrived back at the temple, Larken had an insight that we should place its corpse within the waters of the pool. He carried it into the pool, and the water again started to bubble and glow, and the divine grace of Calen surrounded the unicorn and removed the magical effect that was preventing its corpse from decaying. It quickly decayed to nothingness within the water. Larken was granted a vision of the unicorn in battle, in which it was blinded and killed by a powerful fey creature that marked its corpse with a powerful spell to prevent its decay. The shadowy fey creature killed the unicorn in an unnatural and ceremonial way. It was late and we wanted to sleep, but it occurred to us that the now-again glowing water could heal the boggard’s demolished hand, so we did a force march to his ‘castle’ and told him of the miracle. He agreed to accompany us back to the temple and drank the glowing water, restoring his hand. He thanked the “foreign gods” for this miracle. In thanks for our telling him of this possibility, he agreed to train slurks for combat riding for us. While the boggard luxuriated in the pool of glowing water, Raj attempted to sing another song for him, but was unable to intentionally recreate his poor performance from before, resulting in a piece that the boggard did not like. However, Garoom gave him instruction on how to sing ‘well,’ and the boggard sang an ear-curdling song while Raj accompanied him.
- 370 arrows
- 120 small darts
- 12 small spears
- small masterwork cold iron sickle
- masterwork cold iron long sword
- x7 +1 flaming bolts
- 3 silver Stag Lord pendants
- deep green spinel (90 gp)
- shard of blue quartz (25 gp)
- iolyth (50 gp)
- Tuskgutters head
- black dragon head
- polished wooden case with 8 bottles of liquor (worth 160 gp)
- 273 days worth of rations
- Dire Boar Pelt
- bear pelt
- dragon scale to make x2 small Hide Armor
- black dragon scales
- dust of illusion (3 uses worth, IIRC?)
Party Gold – All rings, statues, gems, etc. sold and everything converted to gold
250gp trade script at Olegs
51gp owed to party by Raj