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Session 11

The party reconvenes at the Shepherd’s Crook, where they go over the information they’ve received and form a tentative plan for the following day. Dorrin and Quaesitor speak to Leanor about if their services may be used to assist any villagers, seeing as how Wellton is lacking a blacksmith. She eagerly directs them across the street to the bakers, where the two heroes work together to help mend some pots and bowls. As they’re working they speak with the baker’s wife. Quaesitor in particular asks if there is anyone in town or nearby who may help him increase his ability to help protect the group. The baker’s wife directs them to Granny Titchwillow, who makes trades and bargains with those brave enough - or desperate enough - to go to her home in the woods. This catches Quaesitor’s attention, and he resolves to make the journey the next morning before the group heads into the forest to track the wolves.

When he shares this with the rest of the party, they agree to accompany him, except for Gribble, who has fallen into a deep slumber and refuses to be roused. Halbard takes a rest, and before it gets too late, Coratana asks in Leanor has a cloak that has been left by a previous patron that he may use. She brings him a dark grey cloak sized for a dwarven figure; it’s short on Coratana, but serviceable.

The adventurers set out a few hours before dawn, with the goal to arrive at Granny’s home right around the time the sun rises. They begin to follow the directions the baker’s wife gave them: head East, out of town, then follow the road as it turns North. When you get to the old graveyard, turn East and head into the forest. Granny’s home is about two hours into the forest from that point.

The group finds the graveyard with no problem, and a curious Quaesitor leads the majority of the party inside to investigate the old mausoleum. Unfortunately, their arrival during the dark hours rouses the ire of three ghosts inhabiting the graveyard. Dorrin and Halbard are possessed, unable to control their own bodies, and Quaesitor and Nightbane are so horrified at the terrifying visage of these spirits that they literally have fifteen years scared off their lives. In a moment, little Nightbane ages into his fully adult form and grows to be not-so-little anymore. Dorrin and Halbard turn their skills against the rest of the group, and Sulyex calls upon his deity for the power to Turn Undead, managing to send one of the ghosts fleeing to the limits of the graveyard, but unable to leave the grounds. Without any other recourse, the group attempts to knock Halbard unconscious, succeeding in banishing the ghost from his body and quickly striking it down. Noticing the other ghost’s inability to flee from the confines of the graveyard, Halbard directs Nightbane to grab Dorrin and start pulling him towards the gate, signalling the rest of the group to precede them. As Nightbane carries Dorrin through the gate, the ghost is forcibly banished from his body, protesting the entire while. As soon as the last person in the party exits the Graveyard, the ghosts disappear from view, the party having successfully escaped.

The band of adventurers decides to continue on their trek through the forest, heading East to reach Granny Titchwillow. Audir and Halbard spend most of the trek working with Nightbane in his new, larger form, accustoming him to carrying Audir as a rider. Coratana remained aware enough to keep watch and noticed something odd and wispy in the trees above them. He had Kaira fly up, grab it, and bring it down to show to those more experienced in the woods. Audir identified the wispy material as spiderweb, and noting the size, location, and density of the web, concluded that the group was just on the outskirts of a Giant Spider nest. Under her direction and with Halbard’s guidance, the group detoured safely around the nest and continued on their way.

A few hours after beginning their journey, shortly before the sun begins to rise, the group spots a glimmer of light ahead. They sneak closer to investigate and discover a small cottage nestled in a small clearing in the woods. Nightbane, still not accustomed to his larger form, accidentally cracks a small branch, revealing their presence. The door to the cottage swings open and a thin, aged voice calls out a greeting. A few moments later, the figure of an elderly woman emerges from the building. Wrapped in a dark gray robe, long greying hair hanging loose, the woman asks how she may be of assistance.

Sulyex divinely senses that she is fae, and Halbard and Audir - both familiar with fae creatures in general - advise caution in this encounter. Quaesitor steps forward and makes his request for a way to aid the party better in combat, and Halbard also seeks information about the situation with the wolves. The woman refuses to give information for free, and suggests a bargain. In return for the service they do in dealing with the wolves, she gives them the location of the wolves’ current den, informs the group that the wolves chased out its former occupants. The roaming of these larger predators prevents her sisters from returning home. Quaesitor clarifies his request to her, and she steps into the cottage for a brief moment, returning with two softly glowing clear crystals. Granny offers these crystals to Quaesitor in return for his dying breath - that last moment before his soul is taken into the care of the Matron of Ravens. Quaesitor - inquisitive and curious but also cautious, pauses to consider the bargain. The crone turns to the rest of the group and asks if there are other ways she could be of assistance.

Fairly quickly, Coratana strikes a deal with her: in return for a small bit of luck once per day, he agrees to do the crone a favor of her choosing at some point in the future. Some day, she will call upon him to complete a service for her, and he agrees to do so. Granny seals the deal with a kiss to Coratana’s forehead.

She next turns to Audir, and during their interaction, Dorrin quips a joke, accidentally revealing Audir’s true name (or at least the first portion of it) to the crone. Granny’s eyes light up, and she engages with Audir to complete a deal. After a short period of bargaining, a deal is struck. For her true name, and for the use of her voice for one twenty-four hour period, the crone awakens a fearsome wild shape within the young druid. The deal is sealed as the woman briefly hovers her hand over Audir’s heart.

Overcome with guilt, Dorrin tries to accept the deal on Quaesitor’s behalf, offering his own dying breath for the enchanted crystals. The crone passes over him, allowing Quaesitor - the first to initiate the deal - to choose whether to accept or deny the bargain first. After a bit of back-and-forth, Dorrin and Quaesitor both strike deals with the woman. For their dying breaths, Dorrin receives the crystal designed for a melee weapon and the crone awakens a savageness within him that he can harness during combat. Quaesitor receives the ranged weapon crystal and a pendant that will make his armor more effective. These deals are sealed with a kiss on the lips.

Sulyex and Halbard decline to strike bargains with the crone, though Halbard does try to see if she has any more information. Granny won’t tell them more unless they make a promise to resolve the situation with the wolves so that her sisters can return home, but if the group promises, she will also provide rest and restoration for them before they head out. Unwilling to make the promise, Halbard leads the group to the edge of the trees to take a rest before heading off in search of the wolves.

Right before Granny heads inside and closes the door to her cottage, Coratana makes a telepathic connection with her and agrees to resolve the situation with the wolves, making the promise to Granny.

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