Something Big

Ep 20: Farming For Clues

by GuyFall

Burrow_Mound_1_.jpg

8 Kythorn, 1489DR

Gorbek, Wraith, and Gorm Tanglehair head a few hours northeast of Westbridge to investigate rumors of fire cultists causing trouble at the Nettlebee Ranch. The halfling family’s claims of a “fire witch” living in an ancient barbarian burial mound on their land, are actually part of a conspiracy between the head of the family and the earth cultists. The desecrated remains of the barbarian king found in the burial mound comes to life, and he demands those responsible be put to death. Fortunately, the party is able to negotiate for the safety of the innocent family members, and revenge comes only to the patriarch and first-born son who were responsible.

  • The Party arrives at Nettlebee Ranch and interview the family concerning the burning of the ancient burial mound of the Uthgardt barbarians. They learn that the stone blocking the tomb has been moved and that their livestock is being branded by a fire witch. The symbol on the livestock is recognized as that of the fire cult. They say that the tomb has been entered by the witch. Though they talk of a witch, nobody claims to have actually seen her.
  • The party learns that the son of Bertrum Nettlebee, Watson, has fallen in love with a blind human woman and plans to wed her against the wishes of his parents and grandfather. Feeling suspicious, Gorm tests the woman’s blindness but learns nothing. Meanwhile, Wraith, feeling randy, lures the rancher’s daughter with his box.
  • Deciding that there is nothing more to be learned from the Nettlebees, the party decides to enter the tomb. Indeed, the tomb has been opened and a line of torches light the passage inside. Gorbek casts a detect magic ritual to determine if there are any magical traps and Gorm sends his crab familiar inside to detect any invisible enemies. They learn that the torches are in fact everlasting flames but no sign of traps or ambush.
  • The passage moves directly to the heart of the tomb which has been desecrated. The remains of an elk tribe chief have been scattered about the tomb. 3 altars with the symbols of the wolf, tiger, and elk are in different sides of the tomb. Wraith convinces the party to touch each altar at the same time. Suddenly a tall ghost of a long dead Uthgardt chief appears. Gorbek attempts to parlay with the ghost. The ghost says his name is Javor and wants vengeance for the desecration. Gorbek offers to help the ghost.
  • Suddenly the entrance collapses and the party is trapped. A creature made of stone and earth erupts from the passage and charges toward the burial chamber. Gorm casts bolts of force to push the creature back and Wraith charges. Gorbek cast a whatchamagoo and did a whatchamacallit. Being a creature of elemental energies, Wraith’s attacks are largely ineffectual. Gorm calls for the wounded Wraith to withdraw so he can trap the elemental in the Fey Waters. The elemental escapes into the ground and continues to charge. Gorbek lays his healing hands on Wraith but he is still in bad shape. Luckily, the combined martial prowess and magic of the party is enough to take the elemental down. During the battle, Javor the ghost observes quietly.
  • After the battle, Javor begins to dig a path out of the tomb. The party follows not wanting to be trapped inside the burial mound. Outside they are surprised to meet 12 members of the Uthgardt tribe led by their chieftain. They have been called to the burial mound through strange dreams. They plan on taking revenge on the Nettlebees but the party convinces them that they will do the deed for them. Javor ignores the negotiation and walks toward the ranch to have his revenge.
  • The party follows the ghost to a cellar where the Nettlebee family is huddling in fear. After confronting Wiggan and Bertrum, they confess that they made a deal with the Black Earth Cult to lure the heroes of Riverguard to their deaths. Gorm, losing patience and annoyed that his Fey presence failed to cower them decides to take the direct approach and kill the family patriarch, Wiggan. Gorbek, revels in the ultraviolence and vigorously smashes Bertrum’s head with his maul. Not killed instantly, the two halflings begin casting spells but to no avail as Wraith joins the fray and slices the evil farmers into pieces. With the killing done, the barbarians leave.
  • The party search Wiggan’s office and find a chest containing Javor’s burial treasure and some other loot. Watson, the surviving son, declares that the party should take the treasure for saving the rest of the family from the barbarians’ wrath. The party takes the burial treasure back to the mound and bid farewell to the Javor and the 12 barbarians.
  • Wraith insists on returning to the Nettlebee ranch in order to box the box. Gorbek and Gorm retire to a tree to keep a watch on the blind woman. Gorm sends his familiar to spy on Watson and his blind human girlfriend in order to see if his suspicions are true. He discovers that the blind woman is not actually blind. She storms out of the house and begins walking down the path away from the ranch. Gorm hexes her with a curse and she immediately charges him and dishes out a can of medieval whoopass. Stunned and wounded, Gorm expects to die but is saved by Gorbek who calls forth angels with razor sharp wings, fangs, and switchblades. Wraith hearing the commotion rushes to help his comrades after failing to plug the gap in his halfling heart with the farmer’s daughter. Gorm recovers and tricks the monk with an illusion buying time for Wraith to arrive. Proving that 3 demihuman males are just as tough as a human woman, the heroes dispatch her with angelic, box battle, fey vengeance. Wraith explains to Gorbek and Gorm that he suddenly remembered that he saw her inside the lair of the Black Earth Cult. Her name was Hellnrae and she was a level kerbillion bad ass. Gorm feels relieved that he didn’t just get beat up by a blind beggar girl.
  • The party decides that it is time to delve into the Dwarven city to get to the heart of the problem plaguing the region.

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