Drinking & Dragons

Wild:02 Hags, Slaves, and Prisoners

From Drinking and Dragons

Starring: Nathaniel-skull.gif Nathaniel, Pirate.gif Brilla, Fuelwen-icon.gif Fuelwen, Rake.jpg Rake, Bo-icon.gif Bo and Ko.gif Ko
Guest Starring: Ethyl, Captain Horace Kinaro
Challenge: Woodling Sea Hag
Location: Great Fortress, the Pink Priapism, unknown extraplanar location
Date Played: 05 Feb 2009

Battle at the Oasis


Fuelwen-icon.gif Fuelwen: My memories of the battle aren't as clear as I'd like. Ethel, now captured in the dagger, had a hold on my mind. At her command, I dove into the oasis only to be confronted by the Hag. Her gaze shook me, her magic drained my strength. I found myself unable to focus or fight.

At her side, the Hag had control of Rake, enslaved to her bidding, and a set of summoned hawks. A pitched battle ensued. Each of us used every ability we had at hand. Bo's guard dog was nearly killed and Rake had Brilla at his mercy when finally, Nathaniel (who wasn't much put out by being under water) and Bo finished the Hag off.

Freed, Rake introduced himself, and we set about collecting the Hag's treasure and returning to the inn. During that time, he explained the Hag's activities: she had constructed this elaborate trap to bring food to her. He was compelled into her service as her butcher. The bwarves were her henchmen.

I am quite glad we killed this Hag. She was a toothless coward that could not face her prey on equal terms. More than that, she was weak: even with everything tilted to her advantage, she still couldn't capture her prey. A pathetic specimen.

We're Still Trapped

Fuelwen-icon.gif Fuelwen: The problem, at this point, was that we were in an inn nearly devoid of supplies, injured and drained, with no clue how to get home. Our only clues were the Hag's notes, the most important of which were written in Elven and in code. As the only member of the party that could read Elf, I had to try to make sense of her notes, despite my dazed state. The other notes contained information about how the Hag located this pocket plane, and information about her other coven members.

It took nearly an entire day, which was also enough time for me to free myself from Ethel's influence. This meant that I could reveal her existence, and I did so when I had finally completed translating the Hag's notes.

The key to getting home was a special potion- applied to the doorknob, it would cause the tavern to return to Great Fortress. But not one of us had any ability to brew a potion. Ethel, on the other hand, was a talented artificer, and her room was equipped with everything we could need. With her guidance and several misteps, we managed to brew the potion. It was clumsy, but we got home.

I find it rather odd that a barmaid would have so complete a laboratory.

Ethel wasn't willing to do this for free, however. She made us promise to work to have her returned to human form. A promise I gave freely at the time.

The Police

Fuelwen-icon.gif Fuelwen: Of course, the tavern's absence had been noted. The local authorities were upon us in a flash, implicating us for the series of murders that had taken place there. We were placed under arrest and confined to the tavern, which was a good step up from jail, at any rate.

The charges were eventually dropped- we had evidence aplenty to demonstrate our innocence. But while the investigation dragged on, we had several days confined in the tavern to recover, and get a feel for our new companions. The most notable thing that transpired during this period was a brief interrogation of Ethel. She revealed that she had been in league with the hag, and that she had profited from helping to bait the Hag's trap. Bo is unconvinced by her story, and while I'm unsure, her story is weak, and I'd much rather trust Bo than Ethel. There are many other elements that don't add up.

At this point, I've reconsidered my earlier promise to Ethel- and without more information, I find it unlikely that I will work that hard to free her from the dagger. I haven't discussed this with the party, but I'm certain they will agree.

Free to go... where we tell you

Fuelwen-icon.gif Fuelwen:After the charges were dropped, the police returned to lay out a deal: as the finders of the will, it was our duty to bring it to Lull and to One Thumb's heir. Local custom promises a finders fee for this act. The others were eager, I... less so. This side trip doesn't bring me any closer to meeting Sekolah on the high seas. But, I found myself given an offer I couldn't refuse: the authorities had already booked our passage, and wasting city resources is a crime. It was either take the short trip to Lull or wait 5 days in jail.

Of course, 5 hours cooped up in a sailing ship is worse than any jail. I'll never understand why the land dwellers can't find some more... sane way to travel across the seas.

Lingering Questions

Fuelwen-icon.gif Fuelwen: This leaves some lingering questions:

  • If Ethel been in league with the Hag, why did she help us against the Hag? I can only assume that she saw that we were no pushovers, and chose the winning side. Or perhaps she pulled us together to act as a cat's paw against the Hag- but in that case, what brought on her betrayal?
  • One Thumb was slow, but was at least intelligent enough to read and write. Surely he must have known what was going on, even if he didn't know Ethel was involved in it.
  • Ethel's attempts to seduce one or more of us now seem even more strange. Was that a trap? Or would her chosen one have survived by her intervention? If it was a trap, the sudden change of alliances seems even more bizarre.
  • Ethel's transformation into a dagger speaks of great magical power wielded by someone. She claims not to know how it happened, which is entirely possible. But given her duplicitous and evil nature, I'm inclined to think that she intends to use us as a cat's paw against some other enemy, like she did against the Hag.
  • Even if I'm not savvy enough to always spot Ethel's lies, I know that she cannot be trusted. While I was the only one that knew of her presence, she told me to let her handle the work of lying, and told me she's quite good at it. This knowledge puts everything she says into doubt.
  • Obviously, there are co-conspirators on Great Fortress. Someone had to dose the dead gnome (and gut him, for that matter), and Ethel could not have done it. Presumably, those conspirators remain in the city, even as we depart. Should we return to Great Fortress from Lull, I can only imagine that we may come across them again.

Loot and XP

Moved to Slush

+500 XP each