Today we played a double session (or "marathon session") so I've broken it into two sessions.
Carrying forward from last weeks game the party split in two to gain help for their lost and trapped friend, Silas the gypsy. Half the party went south to the tiny Hamlet of smithwald to gain the help of its Lord, the aptly named "The Bear", last of the Pagan knights. The other returned to the main town of Corroc to fetch the wizard and halfling minion.
Upon returning to the shrine they discovered someone had come, and taken the baby but none of their items. Shrugging for now they went into the earth.
Then we did a bit of a rewind and worked out what had happened to Silas. A few hours early he falls into a dark area. Using flint and steel he lights a few sparks and pulls a root of the wall. The tinder dry root of the JuJu tree went up quickly and he realised it was a fire hazard. Using it as a torch he realised that the zombies were after him. After fumbling and dropping his sling he ran. Looping around he ended up in a dead end at a jail cell containing two zombies. He deftly picked the lock, and then went into the cell and locked it behind him. Drawing his saber he slew the two zombies easily, but found they launched deadly spores upon death. He saw some puffball mushrooms in the corner of the cell, but decided to wait it out as his torch died, slowly singing a song to drown out the groans.
Angus the dwarf shoved hot coals down the quicksand/hole/portal and then jumped through. His excellent darkvision gave him enough info to see around. Giuseppe and Bear followed soon after, bringing cedar tinder and torches. Angus saw a goblin scamper off with a sling, but couldn't catch him so let him go. They followed the singing of Silas and saw the twenty or so goblins.
Giuseppe used the roots of the tree and some fresh cut raspberry branches as spell components to cast a wall of thorns and split the zombies in half so the party could get to Silas, being too cramped for his sledgehammer Angus switched to a torch, while Bear hacked with an axe. Giuseppe used a large amount of mana on a powerful bee swarm that damaged many of the zombies, causing them to explode into spores. Silas unlocked himself and hacked into the fray.
Retreating back to the rope they saw the zombies cut off had doubled back and brought friends. Giuseppe used his last mana for a second wall of thorns and they escaped up the rope as they heard baying coming from the last open path, and spotted a spectral dog heading their way.
Investigating the alter and the tree the party discovered the altar held warnings that below was a gate to hell and that the tree was a corrupted "tree of life", a druidic holy tree. Returning to the druid grove they realised the groves elven guardians were missing, presumably in the hole and the druidess was caring for the baby. The party agreed to help the elves restore the tree in exchange for as much healing as the druidess could manage (not enough to fully heal the dwarf, but almost). They also got information and what is going on.
The caverns are full of a sentient demonic fungus, the fungus has within it many prized treasures who's sole purpose is to draw in treasure seekers. The fungus then infects the unwary and turns them into zombies, who unless burned will return to life. The party then returns underground.
They head to the supposed heart of the tree (ignoring the option to loot for items in the fungus infected chambers), and on the way encounter a trio of goblins hacking up and eating fungal zombies. Electing to talk to the goblins it turns out they are immune to the fungus (and an enemy of it for that reason). They hire the goblin archers to fire a volley of arrows in the first round of combat for a bag of apples.
Upon reaching the heart of the tree they see a Myconoid with burning coals for eyes, the goblin arrows do nothing. It doesn't even dodge, it just absorbs them, the goblins immediatly flee. The halfling hireling fires a flaming arrow, it misses but the myconid does dodge. Using this fact Giuseppe takes his prize possession, a crystal decanter of whisky (the only spirits in the whole area) and passes it to Angus the dwarf, with a single tear they throw it to the ground at the myconids feet, mixing with the burning arrow and creating a flaming mess (with the tinder roots).
Looking around the rest of the party see's two dismembered elves and two tortured elves. Silas and Bear head down and start dragging them from the flames. The myconoid casts sleep, everyone but the halfling makes their save. Giuseppe uses the mana from his familiar to cast bee swarm, but is instantly countered (The problem of using a "public" spell). The next round Giuseppe is knocked down and unconcious for a potent bolt spell (Acid Blast) with a failed dodge while Silas and Angus throw their torches and both get natural 20's and maximum damage. This kills the evil myconoid as the two torches hit directly in the eyes.
Moving to the center of the room Angus discovers amidst the tangled roots a glowing green gem that whispers for him to kill. Using his trusty spork he pries it free and passes a magic save, the tree instantly begins to heal and regrow. They bypass the now lifeless zombies and escape to the surface.
Bear departs and returns the injured elves. The party decides to curry Bear's favour and use their new political capital to remove the priest in Corroc and convert it back to a Pagan town. They first stop at Farmer MacDonald's farm (the wealthiest Yeoman) and through social combat get Marylin MacDonald (his oldest daughter) to confess to an affair with the priest. Anastasia then barters for the right to sell Marylin's right to marriage and hire her as a servant, bartering down to a mere three gold and the right to execute the priest in town.
Riding into corroc they immediately accuse the priest of being in cahoots with the demon cult and bring up his affair. Through social conflict they get the townsfolks support, start a riot and execute the priest. Silas sneaks into the church and loots its antique bible and research books while Angus and Giuseppe loot the inn of its beer and wine. They then decide to head to the king's keep as the town riots.
Thus ends session 1.
Angus gained a trademark item, Giuseppe got a lucky item and Anastasia gained two henchmen (personal items). Fate and XP were gained by all.
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