The Valley

A Baaaaaaaad Trip

As the party tries to rescue Finethir Shinebright

As the party recovers from their battle with Finethir's pursuers, they question the transformed mage to determine how they can help him. The sheep baaaaables a bit about leading them to his home, rewarding the party with the magics at his disposal, and that there are guards that will have to be dealt with.

The party scouts ahead and discovers Aldarbar hidden in a bushy hollow in the forest. Cop and his raven scout ahead but the raven gets distracted by a crow and they fly off to take care of some bird business. Sheepishly, Cop sneaks into the hollow and discovers the nature of Finethir's home. 

There were three outbuildings, including two barracks and an outhouse. The main structure consisted of three main buildings that seem to have been grown from living oak trees rather than built, with walls crafted from interwoven branches and leaves. The entrance was in a raised open garden. A walkway connected this to the largest building, with a second walkway leading to the highest and smallest building.

Three apes were monkeying around on the lawn, gambling with dice, with greatswords close at hand. As Cop watched, a brown bear emerged from the outhouse, answering that age old question. 

Cop reported his findings back to the others, quickly forumlating a plan. Finethir hid in the bushes while Cop snuck back down. Using his mage hand, he attempted to trick the apes into thinking that one of their number was stealing from the others, but was not subtle enough. This led to money being thrown up in the air to fall like rain and a shout of alarm being raised. The apes rushed around and spotted Cop in the bushes and a fight ensued.

The apes were quickly dispatched, but the brown bear and Finethir's apprentice and now master of Aldarbar appeared and they proved to be tougher fores. Noke hasted the bear, who mauled Cop badly, before falling to Stent and Artur. Noke, angered, called into his room for help and started raining magic down upon the party.

Wall-climbing and jumping and bashing of doors resulted in the party entering the main building of Aldarbar, only to be met by an outlandish creature the likes of which the party had never seen, a bed dragon. It's splintery breath proved nearly deadly for Artur, but the party managed to trap it in the main building whilst Stent chased after Noke. Noke hasted himself and leapt down to the ground and started to run away with Nor in hot pursuit. The bed dragon managed to eventually break down the doors keeping it trapped and started to chase the party around the grounds. Stent made a heroic leap down from the upper walkway and like a mightiest of lumberjack, split the dragon from head to tail.

Nor, meanwhile, eventually caught up with Noke, but due to some polymorph magic, any connection he had with Artur was cut off and his fate, uncertain. In the meantime, the party rested and searched Aldarbar. A few potions and coins and another scroll of speak with animals was the extent of their discoveries. The scroll did allow Finethir to express his gratitude for the party's help, but also the knowledge that the Wand of True Polymorph was nowhere to be found.

Comments

We decided to keep a low profile in town until we learn more about the locals. So we’ re going away for a few days, looking for a place called Aldarbar. Artur has reason to suspect a mage known as Finethir might know something about a clockwork insect device. The place is only a days journey so we leave in the morning hoping to make it by nightfall. We had to cross the river and head towards a forest in the distance. As we reach the forest a sheep comes running down the track. It has a scroll in its mouth and is acting most unusualy, as if it has some sense of inteligence. Artur wrangles the sheep and takes the scroll. It’s “Speak with animals” which Artur promptly casts. You wouldn’t believe it. The sheep is the mage we’re actually looking for. His own apprentice used a powerful wand to polymorph him into the sheep. He’s escaped from his home, and is being hunted by a half-orc.
You can guess what happened next. The half-orc arrives with a pack of wolfs and a bear dressed in robes. He demands the sheep back and we end up in a fight.
The half-orcs pack are pretty tough but we soon get the better of him.
I do however get a great looking bearskin.
The sheep, Finethir, leads us to Alderbar. When we get closer I scout ahead. More animal guards. Apes playing dice, another bear in robes.
I figure if I can trick the apes into fighting each other it’ll make our jobs eaiser. Using my Mage-hand I try to mess the apes’ coins while they’re looking the other way. My plan failed and I end up getting spotted. The apes call out and Noak, the apprentice, comes out along with the bear.
Noak magicaly boosts the bears speed who quickly runs up to me and savagely mauls me before throwing me aside and continuing on a rampage of destruction.
I slowly crawled over to the tower to hide. I’m so lucky to be alive.
Artur and Stent finish off the guards and chase Noak upstairs. From my vantage I use the mage-hand to swipe the wand from the little punk.
Yes, I have the wand! But on closer inspection I realise that this isn’t the wand we’re looking for.
Noak must still have the polymorph wand because he crafts a dragon from his bed. The dragon runs wild. I get a few good shots into it before Stent jumps onto it from above and smashes onto the ground splintering it. It all the commotion Noak managed to escape. We’ll have to track him down but we need to rest first.
The tower is stocked with standard mage crafting stuff. It reminds me of my time back in Daggerford. It looks like Noak has left this place in poor shape. Not much treasure to speak of and Finethir is still a sheep.

A Baaaaaaaad Trip
 

Again I have let my passions cloud my judgement. So the sheep is the friend of Artur’s father? Does that mean he is the victim in this situation or is the half-orc simply the jailor of a viscous criminal wizard. I don’t take the time to find out and end up being party to a slaughter of the half-orc and his animal companions.

We then go to Fenthir’s home which has been taken over by his apprentice and some animal guards which seem to have human intelligence. Again, showing loyalty to my companion rather than taking the time to find out the truth of the situation I find myself responsible for mass-murder. The wizard escaped, but now it seems I am hunting him down.

Is he evil or good? I based my judgement on the bleating of a sheep. Once more I find myself on a path of slaughter. Will I find redemption, or am I damning myself further?

A Baaaaaaaad Trip
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