Our fifth session of Madness at Gardmore Abbey started with the party heading back to the village of Bree. They needed to find someone to perform the Raise Dead ritual on their slain comrade, Silas.
While the rest of the party checked in with Lord Eric Harkness, Blake headed for Hoyt’s Inn. He thought perhaps he could sharpen his budding bardic skills on the inn’s patrons, but instead he had an unexpected run in with the rival group of adventurers (Special B).
|The Rival Adventurers|
Sister Linora at the village temple was able to take Silas’ severed pinky finger and restore the fallen adventurer to life. Once the resurrected eladrin vampire rejoined his companions, the party once again made the trek back out to the ruins of Gardmore Abbey.
Rather than return to Dragon’s Roost, the top of the hill where they had been clearing out the catacombs underneath the temple, the party decided to explore the mysterious Feygrove. There they met Berrian Valfarren (Encounter 13: Font of Ioun), a noble fey knight searching for his long vanished father. Several hours before our heroes appeared, he had also apparently lost track of his sister, Analastra.
After chatting with Berrian, the party went to investigate the watchtower that looms above the south end of the abbey grounds. Our heroes, though, couldn’t figure out how to actually gain entrance to the tower (Encounter 14: Watchtower Entrance), so they eventually gave up and headed back to continue scouting the Feygrove.
The party came across the shell of an old fieldstone cottage which had been the home of the abbey’s former groundskeepers (Encounter 12: Groundskeeper’s Cottage). Rumors say that the groundskeepers had received the aid of an eladrin when planting the grove and gardens. Our heroes were prevented from searching the cottage by two owlbears who have taken up residence in the ruined building.
Rather than take on the oddly apathetic beats (and perhaps tipped off by the fact that I didn’t immediately have them roll initiative), the party decided to carefully back away from the cottage and see what they could discover in the rest of the grove.
As they approached the bell tower near the temple mount (Encounter 11: Bell Tower), our heroes saw a pale, slender figure with long silver hair fleeing through the dark grove, her desperate footfalls making hardly a sound. Behind her and to either side, two feline monsters pursued her in eerie silence. Their black, six-legged forms were hard to focus on clearly.
Spiny tentacles whipped forward from the back of one of the beasts and lashed the fleeing figure, who dropped to the ground with an agonized shriek. A rustling at the top of the tower signaled the presence of a nest of stirges (DIRE stirges!), awakened to the scent of blood. On the ground, the tentacled beasts moved in for the kill.
With closing time at Total Escape Games fast approaching, we had to break off this encounter about halfway through, so we’ll pick back up at this point at the beginning of our next session.