Spine of the Dragon: Session 17 — “Death by Wolf”

corona

SESSION 17
“Death by Wolf”

DRAGONS

The She-Wolf lashed out, striking fear into the hearts of the warriors. She was toying with them, keeping them occupied until reinforcements arrived in the form of a giant, flaming spider. Arthur fled north, Byron and Togo fled east, and Edmund followed after Fletcher and the wolf.

firespider

shewolfThe She-Wolf fled south, coursing back toward Byron and Edmund by way of a side passage. Arthur stayed well ahead of the spider, racing through the caves, while the others stumbled back out in the entry hall only to discover Laylah lying there in a pool of blood.

Byron investigated the door to the north while Edmund sought to aid their companion, but as he lowered himself down to her she rose up from the dead and attacked. The She-Wolf used this distraction to attack from the south corridor, but Edmund was able to lash out, dealing a deadly blow to the fiend. Severely wounded, the She-Wolf fled back into the shadows, while Edmund and Byron suddenly felt thick tongued and foggy.

IMG_3385Was the She-Wolf not a lycanthrope at all, but a woman wearing a wolf-skin headdress? Laylah was gone now and in her stead lay a dead wolf? Confused beyond measure, Byron and Edmund set themselves to making their way past the locked north door. Once Byron had picked the lock, they opened it to discover Captain Artemis Graille, chained to the wall inside a small cell.

Freeing her, she told them of how her and her unit had come from Stewart to Brigand’s Rest and had barely settled in when she was taken captive. She had briefly met with the other Watch Commander, from House Archer, and was making her way deeper into the keep when the lights went out as she entered the mushroom cave.

Freeing her, they armed her with a long sword and set out to hunt the wolf-woman.

Meanwhile, Arthur had led the spider on a merry chase through the cavern and finally made his way back to the entry by way of the wall breach. Rejoining his companions, he was shocked to see the Graille woman go mad, attacking the wolf corpse, obviously seeing it as something it wasn’t.

The Bordermen were convinced they were all somehow under the influence of a powerful hallucinogen and Edmund was convinced it was the gaslight. Arthur made his way over to the controls and plunged them all into darkness.

As they lit torches to find their way, Captain Graille was dumbfounded to see she had been fighting a dead wolf rather than a pack of vicious goblins. Arthur, turning his attention to the flaming spider saw through its glamour as a pack of wolves entered the hall.

wolfpack

The party fled swiftly south and west, on the trail of the wolf-woman, staying a step ahead of the pack. They discovered another cell and found two of Graille’s unit chained inside, one dead, the other severely wounded.

Holland GrailleArthur tried to heal the wounded man with the potion they had received from Holland Graille, the alchemist synthesizing the fungi and mushrooms in the caverns above. This nearly killed the man and Byron was quick to come to his aid, supplying a portion of his Purple Lotus.

As they mentioned Graille, Artemis took issue. She said her brother was still in Stewart and her description of him did not match that of the man running the mushroom still above. Something was amiss. Someone was impersonating her brother? But to what end? Could she have been eliminated so quickly to protect his ruse?

Then, before they could discuss it further,  the pack was upon them. Fighting valiantly, they felled the wolves but not before Captain Artemis Graille, still weak from her painful captivity, was drug down by them. She succumbed to her wounds quickly, her throat torn out by the wolf-woman’s pack.

The soldier they had freed, Fergus Bruin, gathered up her belongings and made his way toward the exit while the Bordermen pursued the wolf-woman deeper into the underground complex.

What transpired was a desperate game of cat and mouse, or rather Borderman and Wolf, as she used the darkness, and their torchlight, to her advantage. But as she took even more damage, it was Togo who rushed in to deliver the killing blow, tearing into her and ending their misadventure.

Examining the body, she was indeed all woman. Clad in quality armor and an expensive wolf cloak and headdress, she possessed a House Forrest Longbow and a House Tull pendant. She also bore an ancient arming sword decorated with the sigils of House Buckhorn, surely pilfered from one of the crypts.

Faced once more with questions and few answers, the Bordermen gathered their gear and made their way topside, intent on confronting the wizard Graille and to find their footing once again. They still had the matter of their northern trek into the Borderlands at the behest of the Duke, but they knew Brigand’s Rest must need come first.

to be continued

 

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