We set out the next morning to scout around to see if anyone needs protection along the trade routes. There is an opening that would accommodate our whole party, and pay us each 1 SP per day. It would be a 4 week outing (2 weeks each way). Corn break… Kero gets more details about the job, and brings the info back to the party. The party agrees to take the job. We forget to ask where we're actually going. Kero goes back to confirm we'll take the job, and we find out after-the-fact that we're going to Vult'arihr. Meals are included! But we need to bring our own provisions otherwise. The city we're going to is a Dwarven city where Kero's sister lives. Stewart considers ditching his longbow since he hasn't had much luck with it, but there was a suggestion to create a lute/ bow combo for easier carrying and efficiency. Expect a crafting/ journeying montage… We also ponder gender changes, as a good portion of the party is now gender bent. We meet our caravan, Maynard and Howard (mid twenties / early thirties), and Answyn (10 year old girl). The caravan is only one cart with two horses. As security detail, we create a loose ring around the cart. First watch with Stewart, Jamie, and Bob is uneventful. Kador hears some rustling near camp on second watch. He tells Giles he's going to check it out. It's a Dire Wolf! Kador decides to sense the motive of the dire wolf, and finds it most likely wants to eat us. Kador attempts animal handling, but then books back to camp. Giles is oblivious to Kador's distress. Jamie and Bob awaken, sensing something happening. Jamie asks Giles, and finds out that Kador went off on his own. The wolf catches up to Kador as he reaches camp. It attacks Kador, biting and clawing. He goes down. Stewart tries to coax the wolf to our side, but it does not work. Kero heals Kador, and he's back up. Elleanna acid splash's. Jamie tries for a hit, but misses. Bob tries to hit with his staff, but misses. The wolf goes after Jamie and does 28 damage! Giles comes to, and hits the wolf. Elleanna sparks, and the dire wolf is now a flaming dire wolf. Magic missile, and the wolf is done. Elleanna "loots the body". Kador skins the wolf. We now have a wolf pelt and meat for eating. (171 XP each!). We have 4 uneventful days. The 5th night, Stewart is woken up by a Giant Spider. He pulls a dagger. That's initiative, folks! The spider does stuff to Stewart. Ouchies. Elleanna magic missiles. Kero heals Stewart, even though he's near the spider, and ew… The spider talks? But it's still set on eating us. And then there's another! And Elleanna sees another- that makes 3! Kero creates an obscuring mist around us, but the spiders are big, so we see them, they don't see us. But the spiders are… magic?! They cast dispell magic, and the obscuring mist poofs. Kador manages to cut off both mandibles of the spider descending on him. Bob magic missles Toothless. Giles is dropped by the one on him. Stewart gets hit by the one on him and goes down. Kero mass heals, and everyone is at least back up. Toothless somehow manages to cast Barkskin? Stewart hears Barfskin, but it does manage to cast it, and now it's harder to hit. Boo. Giles and Kador back away, and the one spider start off towards the caravan, and Maynard, Howard, and Answyn. Giles manages to kill the one on Stewart, and Stewart swiftly dodges being crushed by the spider corpse. Elleanna distracts the one heading toward the caravan, but it lashes back and injures her. Bob throws his staff at it, and does some damage. Kador gets so caught up that he stabs wildly, and ends up pretty critically injuring himself. The spider is amused, and also tries to hit Kador. Stewart's singing inspires us all, and we start to make some hits. Only "Gummy/ Toothless" remains. Kador makes up for initial epic fail, and comes back to majorly crit against Gummy. He ded. Way dead. (Another 257 XP (plus 50 for level 2 peeps)). We loot 86 GP, jade, peridot, topaz, 2 magic items (scroll of protection from evil, and a wand of flare). 7th day passes unevenfully. The next day, we come across a wolf that seems to be following our caravan. We realize it is a werewolf! Elleanna throws some of the dire wolf meat towards it, and it becomes aggressive. Initiative! Stewart uses Touch of Gracelessness against it, and it is now uncoordinated. It attacks Elleanna, and she's down. Stewart heals her up a bit, so she is stable, but still down. Jamie hits it for a bit of damage. Giles is down. Stewart inspires, and then manages a pretty decent hit (inspired by his own singing). Giles got up from unconsciousness and killed the lycanthrope. We loot. He has on armor (magic chain 1- magic). (200 XP to 2nd level, 3rd level 171 XP). A couple days pass. One evening watch, Giles hears rustling. Kador goes to investigate. It is something that is hungry, and tells Kador he is looking for a tasty morsel. We hear Giles shout at it, and a lot of the party is awakened. Giles moves quickly and does major damage to the unknown creature. We find out said creature is vampire spawn. Initiative! We flank. Elleanna sparks the vampire spawn, and it is set alight. Flaming vampire spawn! Kador kills it. We loot it. It has a potion, a scroll, and two wands. Potion of Certain Grip. Wand of Inflict Light Wounds (26 charges), Wand of Message (13 charges), Scroll of Bane. (171 XP for 3rd level, 200 XP for 2nd level people). We travel some more, and finally come upon the town we are seeking. It looks strangely quiet. We decide to camp outside of the town, in the woods. The night passes uneventfully, and we approach the town the next morning. It is still eerily quiet. There are no guards. There is a faint residue of magic. Elleanna finds that it is possibly remnants of something caused by a litch (that worshipped Asdan, btw). We drop Howard, Maynard, and Aswyn off in a guard tower, set them up with provisions, and decide to check underground. They are agreeable, and decide that if we do not come back for them within a week, they will head back to their town on their own. They do pay us 6 SP each for guarding them this far successfully. We head underground. We're in Hallway C, and we're suddenly covered by a net (except for Jamie and Giles who managed to side-step it). Jamie jumps up and cuts us free. We fall ungracefully into a heap. We head to Hallway A, but the ceiling has collapsed. We head towards the door for Room 13, but we're unable to get into the door by lock picking. It's a stone door, and we're at a loss, so we continue past it. Room 36 was also locked, but it's a wooden door that Giles was able to open. There are rats. Kero goes into a frenzy of sorts and kills them all (we each get 10 XP). We head to the next room (#14). Kero tries to push the door open, but bounces off. Jamie casually walks up and opens the door. There are demonic war masks on the wall and a monster. Initiative! Undead skeletal champion. There are several square holes cut into the ceiling and floor 1ft x 1ft, 6 inches deep. We begin to attack, and realize that slashing and piercing isn't very effective, We eventually manage to kill (rekill?) the undead litch. We find 5 GP, 60 SP, and a ton of gems and such that Elleanna has track of. He is also wearing Masterwork Hide. Elleanna also finds a wooden box containing 45 GP, 330 SP, 1200 CP, and more gems! Oil of purify food and drink, Scroll of Enlarge Person (Bob takes). Something happens (a trap was triggered) that Kador and Giles become befuddled. We struggle a little, but get the door open and move out into the hallway. We go into room 31. We see a ladder that goes up into a loft area, demonic symbols, and a Giant Spider! It's not a magical spider. (200 XP for playing so far) aaand, Initiative! We whiff a bit. Elleanna magic missiles it, and kills it! (57 XP). 21 GP, 150 SP, pearls, jasper, lapis azul, pyrite. There are lots of rooms in this underground. There are signs for a Merchant's Guild, but it is 4 floors below this one. We can get through the dungeon-y underground to search our the Merchant's Guild, or go back up to our caravan crew on the surface level. Before we go, Kero is compelled to scratch out the demonic faces on the masks. She does, and Elleanna senses a card in her pocket. The room becomes arid, and we find ourselves in the middle of a tribal village. There is a person seated in a throne, with a field of tall grass behind. The person seated in the throne is a mournful woman with a dragon tattoo on her face. She is crying, but also appears fierce. Next to her is some kind of projectile weapon (aka a modern machine gun, but we don't know this…). Kero offers a handkerchief. She gets a disdainful look in response. We attempt to converse in multiple languages. Kero finally finds that she speaks Celestial. She is not exactly friendly, but Kero pushes on to ask a few questions. We try to find out why we were transported here, but she is unsure why we would be here. She says we are okay to investigate the area, but should return to the throne area before the sun hits the horizon. We come back to the throne area, and find the village is back intact, and the woman no longer has a tattoo on her face (like a hard reset to the time before the event that decimated the area). There are people that she is organizing. She places us in a side area and suggests we can not be of assistance, and we should stay out of the way. There are mechanical horses that overtake the area. We essentially witness the battle and downfall, and she is the lone survivor. She sits back up on the throne. After being seated for a while, Kero asks her name. Her name is "She Who Breathes Fire". We come to understand that she relives this event every night (a la Groundhog Day). Once we understand what is happening, we try to think of ways to be of assistance. Kero has decided to take any furniture, etc. to build a sort of blockade, or way to impede the progression of the opposing forces. We decide to see if hiding a villager with us behind the battle line alters the battle at all. We find a little boy, 12ish, to stow away with us. His name is Sam. the battle scene resets with our ditches and barricades in place. The barricades helped somewhat. Stewart begins to sing, and it does raise the spirits of the villagers. There are 3 additional people alive at the end of this evening, as well as Sam. We decide to forage about after the last battle, and see that the ditches are still in place. The barricades are not, but we decide to expand on the ditches, rebuild barricades in order to bottle-neck the mechanical horses into one area, and use a few spells to aid the villagers in the battle. 2 mechanical horses do get stuck in a ditch in the next battle. The people in the mechanical horse come out and set out on foot. We use magic missles. Stewart sings to the aid of the villagers in battle. At the end of the night, we count 20 people saved (there are approximately 35 villagers that are part of this battle). We try one more round of battle, but we have lost some villagers this round, and only saved 13. We will need to reassess our plans.