Castles & Crusades Diary: Dragonclaw Barony Campaign, Session 19.

Summary:
Victorious from their previous adventure, the characters return to town, level up, purchase new equipment, and then set off on a new adventure seeking the Tomb of Thorin Zuse, a barbarian warrior-prince who died 500 years ago in a battle against an orc horde. En route, they encounter a pair of centaurs hunted by a vicious pack of wolves.

Game Diary:
Having cleared out Rodemus Keep, the adventurers brought Arlen, Sarah, and Galen Rodemus back to town. The town officials collected the materials and stories they brought back and there was a celebration. Multiple characters leveled up and several took a month off so as to train to acquire new skills and abilities. Several of the warriors in the group had heard stories of a great barbarian warrior-prince who, as legend says, fought off over a thousand orcs before being over-run by the horde. It took over 13,000 troops to halt the orcs and drive them back. The chieftains chose to lay Zuse’s body to rest in a deep, secret tomb hoping the orcs would never find his grave to desecrate it. So, the legends says. The warriors in the group made the case to seek out the tomb and the group agreed. The group took some of the treasure they collected from the previous adventure and purchased horses and mules for themselves and headed off toward where they thought the tomb might be based on the rumors.

A half a day into their travels they were hit by a terrible storm; the rain came down in sheets. Through the heavy rain and as lightning illuminated the sky, they heard the howls of wolves and the yelp of help. The gnome druid worked out that the yelp came from centaurs. The group chose to help the centaurs in need and galloped off into the forest. There they saw two centaurs located at the top of a 50-foot-tall hill, one was a male centaur archer, and the female – who was pregnant and just hours away from giving birth – was lying down and bloody from wolf attacks. Surrounding them on all sides were eight wolves slowly working their way up the steep hill, slick from the heavy rain. The centaur male had already taken down five wolves with his bow, but the remaining eight had him surrounded and at a disadvantage.

The adventurers moved in. Two of the spellcasters used sound burst to stun and damage three of the wolves. Archery and magic missiles took down other wolves, and Rok, one of the fighters, closed into melee. It briefly looked grim for Rok, as four wolves surrounded him and attacked. One wolf hit him and knocked him prone, but the other wolves on that round and the following round missed all their attacks! That was good for Rok, obviously, but I was a bit taken aback by how my dice failed me! The two rounds of failed attacks by my wolves allowed the other characters to move in and kill the wolves down.

With the battle over, healers in the group ascended the hill and provided healing for the centaur female, named Pronaris. Her partner, named Priaeon, expressed his appreciation and promised to offer the wolf hides to the characters as gifts for their help. As Pronaris was preparing to give birth, she used some of her sylvan nature magic (the centaurs were worshippers of Demeter) to reduce the rain coming down and prepared for a ceremony on the hill (named Halefoal). At this point 20 other centaurs that were part of this centaur family band emerged from the forest to partake in the birthing. The ceremony was elaborate with drums and chanting. The foal was born, and they celebrated into the night with bonfires and dancing, enhanced by some friendly local satyrs who turned up with their pan pipes. As the game session came to an end, the characters asked the centaurs if they knew where the great warrior-prince Thorin Zuse was buried. The centaur elder consulted the ancient branches he held onto, which were carefully treated to remain resistant to the elements over time and marked with carved runes. He was sure he could provide them with some assistance. In two weeks, we meet again and the adventurers will set off again for the Tomb of Thorin Zuse.

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