Dolmenwood Tales #5: Visit to Vivimancer and the Owl Cave

Here we go with the fifth write-up by our beloved DoronTheElf on our Discord server about the last session of the Dolmenwood campaign with OSE.

The Happy Vivimancer

PCs:

  • Mallomahr, the Dolmenwood Elf
  • Baldrick, the Friar
  • Vardast Blackwall, the Paladin [My character]
  • Crinkledink, the Woodgrue

Henchmen Hired:

  • Theune the ‘Tome Keeper’, 1st-level magic user. Graduate of the the Royal Institute of Physicks and Sorcerers in Castle Brackenwold. Loyal to Mallomahr.
  • Breyir the ‘Headlopper’, 1st-level fighter. Trained in Prigwort. Loyal to Crinkledink. Personality: prankster.
  • Griya the ‘Braggart to Burn’, heavy footman. Personality: braggart.
  • Mannog the ‘Grim’, light footman. Personality: kill-joy.

24th of Lymevald, day 12 at Dolmenwood

After the fight with the animated human skin you decided to camp in the forest. The night passed not completely uneventful. The weather changed during the night watch of Baldrick and freezing rain started.

25th of Lymevald, day 13 at Dolmenwood.

You spent the morning drying your clothes, foraging, and hunting. Suddenly, Vardast started hearing noise coming from the bushes (north of your camp). A 3-metre tall creature with frog-like limbs started pursuing Vardast. You later learned that the locals call this creature ‘Boggin’. The fight lasted long, but you finally managed to subdue the creature…

You headed towards the house of the vivimancer. A skeleton greeted you. You saw this mass of flesh (nerves, muscles, vessels, internal organs, etc.) clinging together and speaking to you… Merridwyn explained that he had a gruesome magical accident involving the casting of a faulty scroll of the spell ‘divide body’. Regarding the contract from Lord Barrathwaite, the vivimancer said that he was in the process of researching a new spell to help the Lord’s grand-child. The notes and experimental paraphernalia for this spell could be completed with several weeks’ further research.

Regarding the goat features in humans of this region, Merrydwyn explained that intermarriage between aristocratic goatmen/goatwomen and humans was a respectable tradition in the past. Lord Malbleat has brought this practice back, and occasionally Lakshorn is raided and men and women from the village are kidnapped by goatmen and goatwomen. There is a feud however between Lord Malbleat and his sister who disagrees with these practices.

Regarding his condition, he said that there are two people who could potentially help him. One is a wizard in Prigwort, the other is a hag/witch who lives close by (in the marshlands that the locals call Hagg’s Addle). He noted though that he wouldn’t trust the Hag because the price that she would demand would be very high and definitely not monetary… So, he asked you to send a message to the wizard in Prigwort. In return, he can give you the location of a lost treasure.

Regarding the Fiddler in the Dark, he told you that he is based in the northern shore of the lake (he can sometimes hear the Fiddler’s songs). Lord Malbleat is displeased though that the Fiddler has recently started to operate close to Malbleat’s estates.

Finally, regarding the creature that attacked you, he told you that they are called Boggins. There is possibly an underwater lair of them, in the shore of the lake close to Merridwyn’s house.

You returned to Lankshorn for shopping. You bought tents, two more mules, and other equipment. You left the cart at Lankshorn.

You headed west towards the Owl Cave in the woods. After about a mile into the tangled wood, you came upon a pine glade dominated by a dark stone plinth and a pair of guardian monoliths. You continued west, entering into the deep wood, and you found the cave.

Inside the cave you were attacked by a group of tall, milky-white owls with violet eyes. Vardast and Mallomahr were at the front bringing the owls into a bottleneck while one of your party could still fire with a missile weapon from the back.

In the first round both sides acted simultaneously…
Vardast dealt a massive blow with his sword in the owl on the left.
Mallomahr attacked with his sword but missed.
Baldrick attacked with his sling and hit one of the owls.
Meanwhile the owls flew close to you and looked at you with their violet eyes…
Vardast fell into a trance wherein awareness of the waking world faded, his soul instead entered an eerie dreamworld where the witch-owls are masters. In this vision, Vardast was a mouse lost in a haunted wood, hunted and eventually torn to shreds by owls under the gaze of the moon.
Two of the owls also tried to attack you with their claws but missed.
At the same time, the third owl left a screech which paralysed Theune and Breyir.

Mallomahr as fey creature and Crinkledink as demi-fey creature are not affected by either the gaze of the owls or their paralysing screech.

More flapping sounds came from the back of the cave…


Commentary

Here the things I really enjoyed about this session:

  • We have planned a strategy to deal with the Boggin: the other party members hid while I hooked it inside the clearing; then we have surrounded him and beaten him to death with the magical sword and bows from distance.
  • I like to uncover the lore of the world like in a Souls game. I had tremendous satisfaction when we as Vardast and Crinkledink have guessed why the Merridwyn has disappeared and did not report back to Lord Barrathwaite.
  • I would like to deal with the Boggins as soon as possible before the situation will worsen.
  • I want to check on Lord Malbleat and stop him in case the rumours about the kidnappings are true. And the Fiddler in the Dark could a piece of this puzzle.
  • We have interrupted the combat with the owls while it was still raging. So, we will see tonight what it happens. At the moment, we have bottlenecked them at the entrance of the cave to avoid to be surrounded. Fortunately, we have checked the entrance before, and we decided to have a careful approach in delving into the cave despite we have not found any danger. This attitude has paid back when we proceed in line and spotted the owls. We had the time to arrange the line of defence above since we proceeded step by step with no rush. The first lesson to learn when exploring caves is to use the natural conformation at your advantage: ambush the foe or avoid being outnumbered if a fight is inevitable.

One thought on “Dolmenwood Tales #5: Visit to Vivimancer and the Owl Cave

  1. Enjoyed reading this post. An animated human skin and using hired henchmen sounds like some old-school fun.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s