Over the Crown of the World

19: Fight for freedom!

Feast of Ravenmoor

Kaitlinn wakes to someone quietly (yet urgently) knocking on her door. Her late night visitor proves to be Viorec, who warns her of Khoren’s recent abduction by “Night Creepers” – stirge-headed humanoids believed to lurk in the swamps – and that he had seen the Magus dragged off to the old Chenowitz Place. Quickly dressing and grabbing her gear, she hustles over to get Atem but finds the Monk, too, is gone. Now more worried than ever she follows Viorec into the night to find her missing friends.

Viorec stays by the road once they reach the notoriously haunted farm, leaving Kaitlinn to sneak in on her own. As she approaches the main house she finds the effigy of Desna, a winged scarecrow standing in the yard, is no mere frightener of crows as it comes to life and pursues her. She looses it briefly in the corn field, but it quickly finds her again when she tries to slip past and pursues her to the door of the house. Slamming the door behind her and blocking it, she waits for a moment to be sure it can’t force it’s way in (strangely it stops it’s pursuit once she is out of view). Safe for the moment, she turns to find Khoren locked in a cage in the main room, and he is not alone – Aeryk, Shalelu’s student, is with him.

Each brings the other up to date as to how they arrived there. Aeryk, for his part, has spent the several weeks since they last saw him working as a guide for a caravan heading up to Riddleport, and had fallen afoul of the local “Nightcreepers” while passing through town a few days ago. Freed, the former prisoners had just begun gathering their weapons when “Nightcreepers” drop down a ladder nearby to attack. While they manage to drop two in short order the third manages to get to the door to let in the Scarecrow before dropping to their blades and arrows. Despite Aeryk dropping his alchemist’s fire to smoulder on the floor the gang still manages to break the animate straw-monster apart.

A cursory examination of the “Nightcreepers” reveals them as townsfolk wearing stirge-masks. A search of the loft above turns up only a very disturbing-looking quilt, while searching a nearby candle-lit room leads to disaster when the floor gives way under Kaitlinn, dropping her a short way onto jagged rocks. Amidst the rubble they find a small chest filled with a varied assortment of jewelry, a light salve for injuries so far incurred. Recovering, they head further in to the house. In the kitchen they come head to head with an ooze animate compost-heap, and learn the secret ingredient for those delicious mushrooms they ate at the festival. In the last room they encounter a massive spider in a room full of moths, which, despite it’s attempts to catch them up in it’s web, they manage to injure with the last of their Desnan Candles.

Unfortunately they soon find this is no ordinary giant spider, as it climbs to the ceiling and begins weaving enchantments. Soon they are all be-spelled, charmed into thinking this spider is their friend. The spider talks them into traveling downstairs, where they find, amongst other things, the horrible pig-monster that had escaped them during the great pig-chase the previous evening…

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