Saturday, January 31, 2015

Shattered Star: Are You A Good Witch Or A Bad Witch?

Game Date: 1/31/2015
Location: The Game Keep
Campaign: Shattered Star, Session 14
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Bjertha Brawlbaker (Matt) - Dwarf Fighter
Maruca (Daniel) - Human Ranger/Cleric/Rogue
Slancio Brioso (Thomas) - Human Bard

The Session:
Last session we left off preparing to enter the swamps, to make our way to a lighthouse called the Lady's Light.  Today we entered the swamps, led by the doomsayer Jasper.  We noticed that it was unusually cold for this time of year.  On our first night, Bjertha took the first watch.  A Half-Orc came out of the woods and approached the camp, but he was peaceful enough.  He warned Bjertha not to wreck the swamp, and left us alone.

The next day we saw some smoke in the distance.  We headed that way until we came across a small cabin, and heard sobbing inside.  The door was partly open, so we peeked in.  A woman was crying on her bed.  She told us name was Grizelda, and that she had just given birth, but a witch named Hassani stole her baby.  Some party members started searching the grounds for Hassani's tracks, leaving only Slancio, Jasper, and Bjertha alone with Grizelda.

Slancio attempted to give Grizelda a medical exam, but due to a bad die roll ended up offending her greatly.  She barred the door and turned into a disgusting old hag.  Jasper cast a "Calm" spell on her, and she apologized.  She claimed she was just hungry.  We unbarred the door and left.

Later we found a camp full of grubby children.  In the distance we saw a Tengu about to slay a newborn baby.  As we closed the distance, Slancio called out, "If you harm that child, your life will be forfeit!"  The Tengu put down her knife and answered, "Don't be alarmed! It's not what it looks like!"  She turned out to be Hassani the witch.  Her modus operandi was to kidnap the children of evil races (goblins, trolls, hags, etc), kill them, and resurrect them as kinder races (elves, humans, etc).

It was a hard concept for us to accept.  It's a different type of morality, and each of us had to think long and hard about whether we should accept it.  Yes, she was making the world a better place.  But she was also killing infants.  Sure, she was also bringing them back to life, but still...  We finally decided that it wasn't really our business, and that the issue was between Hassani and Grizelda (and whatever other monster parents Hassani had stolen from).  Maybe we'd have felt differently if Grizelda hadn't tried to eat us.

Hassani offered to let us stay for the night, and we accepted.  We spent the evening playing with the children, telling them stories, and teaching them how to sing, fight, and pick pockets.  Because we're good influences that way.  The next morning we continued on our way.

We came to a clearing full of quicksand.  We saw a path around it, but there was a very poorly-hidden Manticore preparing to ambush us.  While we debated on the best way to attack the beast, he started shooting spikes at us.  He flew at our faces, and hit Jasper with a confusion spell.  Bjertha kept held the Manticore back from the party, and the rest fired at it from the woods.  Maruca dealt the monster a particularly powerful blow, and it soon surrendered.

The Manticore offered to give us his treasure if we would let him live.  Bjertha and Maruca got on his back, and he took us to his nest.  He gave us a box which included a gold ring (with a ruby), a spyglass, a pouch containing 150 gold, and a potion of water breathing.  He brought us back to the party and flew off, and we made our way around the quicksand.

Later we came to a sign that said "Chalos the Sage".  We followed a path from the sign down to a bog, where a hydra was resting.  One of the heads was rational and polite, and was a bit embarrassed by the actions of his other heads.  We chatted with Chalos for a while, asking him questions about this area.  Slancio payed him 100 gold for a romance-related prophecy, but unfortunately Chalos predicted bad luck for Slancio's love life.  Eventually Chalos asked us to leave; it seemed he was having trouble keeping his other heads from attacking us. 

That night Bjertha was on watch when several Lizardfolk walked past.  Bjertha let them pass peacefully.  One of the Lizardfolk was holding up a frog adorned with jewels.  Bjertha asked them if the frog was sacred, and they said it was their god.  Bjertha bowed respectfully as they passed.  Later, on Maruca's watch, it started to rain heavily.  Lightning struck the ground nearby, and the party rose to find better shelter.  We finally found a cave at the mouth of a river.  We had to tie ourselves together to avoid being swept away.

The rain died down, and by morning it was feeling a little warmer.  As we resumed our trek we were soon able to see the Lady's Light off in the distance.  The lighthouse was a giant statue of a woman holding a lantern, facing out to sea.  We ended the session there, with our destination in sight.

XP: 300 each

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