Dragons in the Dark

S1E12: Ingrid & Warwick Sitting In A Tree

 

Tags: H.A. E.B. S.B. E.C. A.J. O.R. Aranna Weaver, Astrologer Ser Aust Booker, Knight Lane Weaver, Soldier Selina Milos, Assassin Slane Milos, Charlton Wrenn Milos, Apostle Raw Skull, Wildling Squidward Tentacles, Hedge Wizard Perrin Juno, Assassin The Waking of Willowby Hall OSR Ben Milton The Black Wyrm of Brandonsford Chance Dudinack


Spoilers Ahead for Ben Milton’s “The Waking of Willowby Hall” (OSR)

Quick Recap: Jarrod bequeathed Willowby Hall, the Milos summer vacation home to the Milos siblings – – Selina Milos (EC), Slane Milos (LC, played by EC), and Shorin Milos (EB, deceased), but when they got there, it was being destroyed by a giant with a church bell screaming for “Mildred!”. The party discovered that Mildred is a goose that lays golden eggs and three adventurers stole it from the giant, Bonebreaker Tom. The Snack Club snuck past the giant, into the house in order to find the thieves and the goose so they can return the goose to said giant and get their home back.

At the beginning of the session, the Snack Club is split four-ways: Selina and Aust Booker (OR) are in the dressing room, Raw Skull (EB) is rummaging in a museum, Slane is wandering in the upstairs hallways, and Aranna (AJ), Wrenn (SB), Poggy, Helmut, and Squidward (HA) are searching the library. (Lane Weaver is still in Lankhmar, we assume).

There’s some more dungeon crawling. Raw Skull picks up a mummified head with black enamel teeth. He yanks them out of the head and sticks them in his pocket. Selina and Aust get attacked by the death knight. They run. Wrenn, Poggy, and Helmut walk into a bedroom and the floor collapses under them. They fall into the kitchen below taking a ton of damage. Raw Skull tries on some armor in the tomb room, takes it off, runs to the weapons room when the giant peeks in (after almost getting grabbed), wanders into the former tapestry room. Aranna and Squidward discover a chest under Jarrod’s bed. They try picking the lock with a needle, it breaks. Squidward casts entangle in hopes of crushing it, it misfires, and he grows a tail.

Finally, Selina and Aust find the two thieves who stole the goose in Shorin’s old room. There’s a short wizard named Apocalypse Anne with shifty eyes and a thief named Lisbet Grund, who has a hook arm, a dagger and a bag of tricks. Selina attempts to convince Apocalypse Anne to give up the goose. Apocalypse Anne convinces Selina to help her escape the house with the goose. She’s pointing her wand at the Snack Club the entire time. Aranna and Slane head over. Raw Skull and Wrenn and Squidward head over. The two thieves are cornered and not happy about being outnumbered. I forget if it was Aranna, Aust, or Wrenn who instigated the fight, but Apocalypse Anne is not happy that the Snack Club is not helping her steal this goose from Bonebreaker Tom. She fires her wand at the lot of them.

It’s not pretty. The fireball engulfs the Snack Club. Wrenn, Poggy, and Helmut die of burn wounds. Everyone else is severely injured. But seeing how they outnumbered these two rascals, the Snack Club fight. Aranna fires an arrow at Apocalypse Anne. Aust flies in with his magical flighty sword, stabs Anne, flies back. Lisbet attacks Raw Skull. Rolls a 1. Aranna looses another arrow and kills Apocalypse Anne. Aust dive-bombs Lisbet now. Selina, with 3 HP, decides to gets into the melee fight. She cuts Lisbet. Lisbet swipes back. This could be the end of Selina. There was no reason why she would put herself in danger like this. Lisbet… misses. Aranna fires an arrow and the thief is dead too.

Meanwhile, the goose had flown off and is nowhere to be seen. Everyone is injured and in dire straits. Aust and Squidward decide to sit down and do nothing for six turns hoping to get some HP back. Raw Skull was downstairs the entire time looking at tapestries. Selina, Slane and Aranna track down the goose in the library. Smartly, they close all three doors into the library. They surround Mildred and catch her and clasp her beak shut before she can honk.

Bonebreaker Tom moves to the front of the house. Selina rushes out to the south balcony, throws Mildred out, then runs back into the library. Bonebreaker Tom drops the church bell he’d been swinging the entire time, grabs Mildred and leaves. The Snack Club have officially saved their mansion from total destruction and gotten rid of Bonebreaker Tom without combat.

They go to Ool Krut to find laborers, carpenters and blacksmiths to repair their house and townsfolk to retrieve their bell. The people of Ool Krut thank The Snack Club for dealing with the thieves who had brought this giant into their lives. They estimate that repairing everything would cost a good 5,000gp, but gives The Snack Club a 2,000gp discount for returning the bell of Saint Olvard to them. The reconstruction will take a full month.

At this point, Aranna decides it’s best to pay off the old gambling debts of her late husband, Thork to the cult of Loki to resolve that old plot point. Snack Club is spending money like no tomorrow…

While retrieving money from their banker in Ool Krut, Allahb hands Selina a package along with a letter.

A Birthday Package from Aunt Juno

Selina opens the letter and reads…

My dear Selina,

Once again, the month of the Lizard and day of the Eel is upon us. It was only one-score-and-three years ago when I first held you in my arms, my darling niece.

I haven’t been around much, as I’ve travelled far and wide in search of treasure… But your mother always wrote to say how proud of you she is, and what a self-possessed and clever woman you’ve grown into.

Well, Selina, I have recently retired and settled down in Earth’s End. The life of an adventurer is a young person’s game. I’m too old to fight monsters now. It was good while it lasted. I’ve opened up a small tavern called Juno’s Folly. You should come visit! But I know you’re busy, as you’ve followed my path as a treasure-seeker. It’s terrible what Jarrod did to the three of you, and I’m saddened to hear of Shorin’s passing.

I hope you had a wonderful birthday. I’ve included a few relics from my past life as a gift. Figured I’d keep these in the family. Inside the package you’ll find a ring of telekinesis (S1, Q3), a cloak of defense (S1, Q3), and my trusted dagger, Stone-Biter (+2, S1, Q5).

If you visit Juno’s Folly, I’ll teach you a little trick that got me out of many a nasty pickles in my day.

Love, Your aunt, Sorella Juno

P.S. People still come to me with rumors of treasure. Apparently, there’s a dragon in Brandonsford near Kleg Nar guarding a hoard of gold and jewels. I’ve included a map of the local area.

The Snack Club now have yet another adventure to go on… in addition to dealing with the Redclaw gang and the Dolmenwood Drunes. Selina wants to go to Earth’s End to visit her aunt. Perrin Juno (SB), son of Sorella, cousin to Selina, who was retconned into the game to hunt down Aranna after hearing rumors that she had murdered his sister, Surina Juno (in reference to all the way back in session one)… but is convinced by Aust that Aranna didn’t do it, after some telekinesis and crossbow at Aranna’s head situation… decide to join Surina on her journey to Earth’s End.

Meanwhile, back in Willowby Hall, Raw Skull, Aust and Lane Weaver are exploring the mansion and taking what’s useful before a host of construction workers come in to renovate the place. They find the four plate armor Slane had found last session but didn’t listen to me reading about what they do and try them on. Lane puts on the armor with the fish and waves on the breastplate. It gives him the ability to scry a mile away when he sticks his head in the water. Raw Skull puts on the armor with vine etchings on it. He can now command vines to grow at his bidding. Aust puts on the armor with broken chains on it. He’s feeling all loosey-goosey and now has the ability to escape any restraint, grapple or hold. They still have an armor with a moon on it. Raw Skull discovered that it becomes invisible and silent at night. But nobody can wear it because the rest of the party are supporters, marksmen, thieves and wizards who can’t wear heavy armor and need every item slot they can get.

Back in Earth’s End, Selina and Perrin have drinks with Sorella and mourn Surina’s death, daughter, sister, cousin. While there, Sorella teaches Selina and Perrin, (both assassins) a tactical move called sneak attack. It is a very profitable journey.

The Snack Club reunite in Ool Krut, and decide on what to do next. At this point, SB brings up the fact that they need to buy a tavern in order to establish more predictible, recurring income. I wholeheartedly agree that The Snack Club should start a real estate portfolio and promise them to have “stronghold” rules by next session.

With that said, they’ve decided it’s time to travel to Kleg Nar and visit the town of Brandonsford to slay a dragon and take its treasure.

SIDE NOTE: Almost forgot. At one point in Willowby Hall, Raw Skull violently pried open a cabinet in the alchemist lab. Three bottles fell out. Raw Skull tried to catch them, failed and they shattered on the floor. Aust got on his knees and licked up all three. He became super strong, then one-third his size, then polymorphed into a snake. Selina work him around her neck like a scarf until the spell wore off.

Spoilers Ahead for Chance Dudinack’s “The Black Wyrm of Brandonsford” (OSR)

The Snack Club arrive at Brandonsford, and upon seeing two different taverns, the Clumsy Fox and Golden Egg, split up to gather information more efficiently. At the Clumsy Fox, they hear rumors of a witch who lives in the woods and can turn you into a shrub with the wink of an eye. At the Golden Egg, they hear of how the town’s alchemist cavorts with the witch who lives deep in the forest. They also hear of the rumor of how Carmelo the Cursed, a pirate, buried his treasure in the woods. The Snack Club comes across a few adventurers hanging about as well, Lady Hilda, a fighter. Squints the Halfling. “Drop Dead” Ned, thief. And Malzazerick the Magnificent, a wizard. They talk about hiring them, but ultimately don’t.

Eventually they get sucked into the small town drama. Quinn, the proprietor of the Golden Egg thinks Bentley, owner of the Clumsy Fox is stealing his beer. The Snack Club buys a mug from each one and does a taste test. The Clumsy Fox clearly has better hops while The Golden Egg has watered down swill. They talk to Bentley and he laughs at the notion. They confront Quinn about his watered down beer, and he gets mad at them for accusing him of crappy beer. Aust is about to punch him when Perrin and Selina stop him. Aranna is raring for a fight with the locals too. Perrin and Selina both use their telekinesis to take her crossbow away.

The Snack Club talk to Eric the Town Reeve. He offers them 1,000gp to deal with this dragon business. It’s preventing shipments into the town. Eric then goes into a rant about how everything is probably because of the witch who lives in the forest. It’s all her fault. They visit the town priest as well, who’s subtly racist towards non-humans and definitely against all witchery and witchcraft. He thinks Ingrid the alchemist is in cahoots with the witch in the woods and they probably have a coven together. Perrin makes a comment about how you can’t have a coven unless you have three witches. Father William eyes him suspiciously and goes, “so you know a lot about witchcraft, do you?” Perrin shuts up. Perrin telekinetically moves his beard to tickle him. Selina telekinetically moves her dagger and cuts Father William’s beard off. Selina and Perrin run out of the church. Very mature. Aust comes in and tells Father William to not be racist.

Not Every Old Woman Is A Witch

The Snack Club go to Ingrid the Alchemist. She’s a thin, sheepish, socially awkward woman. Selina asks if Ingrid can help her identify the black fruits they found in the Hole in the Oak. She agrees. Selina asks her about this witch and how there’s rumors about town that she’s also a witch. Ingrid laughs. Ingrid tells Selina that Vivian (the so-called witch) is her friend and she’s NOT a witch and is the nicest person ever. She also tells them that Vivian can probably help them with this dragon as well. They ask Ingrid if she’d be willing to visit Vivian with them (because the Snack Club are still afraid of being turned into shrubbery I guess?). They agree to visit the next morning.

The Snack Club visit the blacksmith and this guy hasn’t slept in days. He’s got horseshoes, rabbits’ feet and clovers all over his wall. He says he’s been freaking out about weird presents and letters left on his doorstep. He thinks fairies are tormenting him for some reason. He shows Selina some of these letters. They’re love letters. Warwick the blacksmith can’t read and that’s why he thinks it’s magic or something. The Snack Club agree to help him figure this out.

The next morning, Ingrid reveals to the Snack Club that the black fruits have healing properties, but can be addictive. And then, they travel to Vivian’s house in the woods. There’s a pond there and nixies approach The Snack Club and extort them to throw their weapons into the pond or the witch will turn them into shrubbery. Fortunately, the Snack Club has Ingrid with them and Ingrid tells them the nixies are idiots and to ignore them. Vivian comes out to greet her friend. The Snack Club discover that Vivian is just an old woman who has decided to retire to her own little house in the woods. She’s too old to care about dumb rumors that she’s a witch, and also doesn’t care to clear them either so she can be left alone. Vivian tells the Snack Club about some tree sap that’s highly poisonous and could help them with the dragon. She also tells them about how three dwarf brothers, who used to visit her a lot, last came by and bragged about finding a hoard of gold in their mine. They haven’t been seen since. The Snack Club thinks it’s the Dragon.

The Snack Club head over to the Fauns’ Grove to get the sap. On the way, they’re pranked by tiny invisible sprites. Raw Skull slaps at one of them that’s tickling him. The sprite curses Raw Skull and now he has donkey ears. So now we have a wildling with donkey ears and a hedge wizard with a tail.

At the fauns’ grove, Raw Skull is excited he has pots and pans with him because nobody else thought to bring containers to carry of the sap. But when they start filling up, three fauns appear and tell them to go away. Aust offers gold, but the fauns don’t care for money. Perrin throws down a smoke bomb he found in Willowby Hall and the Snack Club run away.

It’s great. The Snack Club are finally learning to not fight every fight and run when necessary.

The Snack Club Plays Cupid

It’s been a day. They head back to Brandonsford. Everyone stays at the Clumsy Fox, but the sneaky ones, Selina, Perrin, and Aranna decide to figure out Warwick’s “Secret Admirer”. They hide themselves in a tree. Selina falls asleep in the middle of the stakeout. Perrin wakes her up. They see Ingrid the Alchemist sneaking about and leaving another gift on Warwick’s door. It’s a love story. Selina blurts out, “I knew it was Ingrid!” They debate who to tell first. Warwick or Ingrid. They talk to Ingrid and let her know that Warwick is illiterate and doesn’t understand her missives. They convince Ingrid to talk to Warwick. And just like that, The Snack Club are matchmakers.

As a token of appreciation, Ingrid gives The Snack Club her Firelight Citrine. It’s an amber stone that glows as brightly as a torch when shaken, but can violently explode if exposed to fire. Nobody in the Snack Club wants to wear a small bomb around their neck.

It’s getting late in the session. The Snack Club want to make one last excursion and start heading to the Dragon’s lair so they’re ready for a big fight next week. They make plans on how they’ll fight the dragon. They’re planning tactics. I admit, I kinda tuned out when they were planning partly because I want to be surprised when they actually execute the plan, partly because I didn’t want to influence their game plan.

They hike up the river with little to no random encounters. Perrin helps a leperchaun untangle himself from a fishing line and they received a gemstone as thanks. They come across a burnt overturned wagon where goblins are salvaging. I remind them that this isn’t 5E and not all goblins are evil. These goblins aren’t. They’re just scavengers who steal stuff. They talk a bit, and The Snack Club, sensing no danger, walk away. They head into the forest, more total lack of random encounters. They come to a ruined temple. The four goblins they met earlier arrive at the same time. They invite them in to talk to their king, Hogboon. He tells the Snack Club he’d like the dragon captured alive and in return, he will give them a “rope of unburdening”. The Snack Club try to negotiate more stuff out of him. Hogboon will not have any of it. At one point, Aust scopes out the entire room and counts twenty or so goblins. I think he had intentions of murdering all of them, but seeing how outnumbered they are, he frowns in disappointment. Perhaps Aust Booker is growing up too?

/end session

The Snack Club’s Portfolio

Stored in Wyrmskull Vault
(Deposited Year of the Worm, Month of the Eagle, Day of the Fox)

  • 19 Ice Necklaces x 200gp = 3,800gp
  • 12 Ice Jewels x 150gp = 1,800gp
  • 9 Chests of Gold = 252gp
  • Chest of Gold from Hole in Oak = 1994gp
  • 5 Opal x 200gp =1,000gp
  • 1 Ruby x 800gp = 800 gp

SUBTOTAL: 9,946gp

Hidden Cache in Great Forest b/w Mlurg Nar & Gnamph Nar
610gp

TOTAL: 10,256gp

The Snack Club’s Real Estate

  • Willowby Hall

Chekhov’s Ticking Time Bombs

NEW

  • The dwarves miners went missing. Why?
  • Who’s really stealing Quinn’s tankards?
  • What does Hogboon, the Goblin King want with a dragon?
  • The bag of old ancient coins they dug up in the Hole in the Oak has a face on it that looks remarkably similar to Aranna Weaver. What’s up with that?

OLD

  • Emma Frog is dead, but her infamous mass prison break in Ilthmar will have consequences.
  • The Redclaws are allied with the Dolmenwood Drunes and HQ at Redclaw Castle

DM Notes to Myself

No major notes. The Snack Club are planning, retreating and gathering intelligence now. It’s good.