After finally making contact with a keep that had similar keel boats to those used by the humans and bugbears making their escape, The Four made camp one final time with the intention of visiting the next day.
That evening the party was attacked by 4 Ghouls and a Ghast. The hideous creatures came right in to camp having smelled the scent of the living. Kareep was roosting and everyone else was asleep down beneath his tree. The night was pitch black and although Templeton was awakened by the noise of their movement, he could not see the undead. He was hit a few time by the ghouls and could feel the icy grip of their evil try to paralyze him. He somehow managed to resist and fired a heavy crossbow bolt blindly into the nearest ghoul.
Quintus and Puck were also attacked. But Puck was the only one who could see. Quintus did not fare as well against the evil paralysis. There was also a notable stench from the ghast. Templeton was so overcome by it that he was at disadvantage on his attacks. Kareep finally realized what was going on and lit the driftglobe to illuminate the battle unfolding below him.
Quintus managed to shake off the ghoul’s paralysis and tried to turn the creatures by using the holy power of Tempus. The ghast actively resisted, however, bolstering the ghouls and himself with a foul unholy power. Only one of the ghouls was affected and ran away at top speed. Quintus got an opportunity attack but missed.
Puck used his shield magic to protect himself and his teleportation magic to put some distance between him and the undead. From the safety of the longer range he unleashed a series of Aganazzer’s Scorchers by expertly winding the fire around his friends and only striking the remaining undead. Between that and Kareep’s lance attacks and Templeton’s deadly crossbow shots, eventually the undead were all destroyed.
Quintus and Kareep doled out much healing magic to get everyone’s strength back up. The group then settled down and managed to complete an extended rest. The group had to sleep in a bit in order to make up for the time lost to the undead attack but everyone had all of their resources back. A place found to hide the horses and ponies with only one way in. That way was covered by a hunting trap laid by Templeton. Quintus moved some heavy tree limbs and thorny brush in front of the only way in to deter any predators.
The four then set off to reach the keep. Kareep flew them across the river one by one out of site of the keep and they crept up quietly. Seeing that the approach was too difficult to sneak up, the group took the direct approach. They walked right up to the front door (gate) and knocked loudly.
The door was answered through an arrow slit above the gatehouse by a human man. Templeton asked for shelter as they were recently attacked by undead in the wilds surrounding the keep. He said the four were travelers from Beliard making their way to Red Larch. The gatekeeper was reluctant to let them in until Templeton offered him some gold to which he happily accepted.
The huge gate was opened and the gatekeeper said his name was Holgar. He took Templeton’s 5 gold coins and brought them through the keep into a large room with a short and muscular human man with nasty scars and thick bristly hair writing in a large book on a table. The man introduced himself as Jolliver Grimjaw. Another man was off to the side in finely guilded blue robes behind him.
The party approached and Templeton began explaining that they were travelers seeking shelter when Jolliver cut him off and demanded that Quintus tell him what was happening. Quintus obliged and said essentially the same thing with some more colorful language. Kareep then suddenly thrust back his cloak to reveal his feathered head drawing everyone’s attention to him. Templeton used the distraction to catch a glimpse of the writing in the book open on the table in front of Jolliver. Templeton managed to read:
inventory list = wagon load of flour on B
But before he could read further the book suddenly slammed shut by itself. Kareep went on to explain that the group had cut some bugbear tracks and were following them for a time before losing the trail. He stated definitively that he hated bugbears. Jolliver said, ‘Bugbears you say… well I am afraid that means only one thing… Kill them! Kill them all!’ Jolliver grabbed hold of the table and broke chunks of it off in his fists as a transformation overtook him. He suddenly turned into a wereboar hybrid form, took two steps back, and charged Quintus. He slashed down with his claws into Quintus and raked his terrible tusks in an upwards arc goring Quintus. In a dramatic splatter of blood and gore, Quintus went down hard losing all his HP in 1 attack.
Templeton, having read a thing or two about lycanthropes, already had a firm grip on his heavy crossbow. He quickly switched out the bolt for one made of silver with one fluid motion and let it fly. The silvered bolt buried itself deep into Jolliver Grimjaw‘s flank. The beast howled in rage as the silver seemed to burn like acid. Templeton then used his bonus action to control his mage hand spell. The invisible hand took his potion out of his pouch and poured it down the throat of a battered and bloody Quintus lying on the ground at Templeton’s feet. Templeton then moved to a flanking position.
Kareep flew up and struck hard with his lance. But his inexperience with lycanthropes showed as the metal spear glanced off the hide of the were-boar without doing any damage at all. Seeing this raised the alarm for Puck. He pulled out his wand of magic missiles and unleashed every charge he could spare and pounded them into Jolliver Grimjaw. The little gnome then ran under the table to hide.
Holger the gatekeeper came running in at that point, grabbed the table Puck was hiding under and flipped it over. The robed man in the corner disappeared suddenly, probably turning invisible. At the same time two large men with longswords came running down the stairs to flank Templeton and Kareep. The longswords were lined with what looked like shark’s teeth and seemed quite viscous indeed. Templeton had to use his shield spell to keep them at bay but Kareep took a nasty hit.
Quintus now conscious from Templeton’s potion of healing stood up and used his bonus action to cast a spiritual hammer right above Jolliver. He brought the hammer made of pure force down hard on the wereboar. He then used his action to heal himself with a cure wounds spell.
[Notes = Quintus cast 1 second level spell and 1 first level spell. He has 20 HP currently.]