Lack Of Initiative

Act 1: Wolves in the Woods

Two days after clearing out the basement, everyone in the village attends a grand opening celebration for Glowkindle’s brewery. The party is held at the Underwillow Inn, with free food and a free first pint of Wizard Tower Ale for all attendees. Aribi performs again and Unruhk solves her night’s riddle (on a bit of a technicality). Amhatan gives a brief speech thanking everyone for coming and expressing his hope that Underwillow will soon become a major destination for people traveling to and from Neverwinter.

Suddenly, a loud crack of lightning interrupts the speech and the inn door bangs open. A young elven woman named Byx bursts into the inn, sobbing and yelling that her baby has been stolen from her. Upon questioning Byx, the party learn that her child is a little over a year old and that it was stolen from her backyard by several wolves (which walk on four feet and not two). Unruhk hurries off toward Byx’s cottage as the rest of the party ask a few more questions and gather their armor.

At Byx’s cottage, Unruhk rushes to the backyard and finds an overturned basket. There are tracks that belong to 10 wolves leading from the backyard into the nearby forest, and it appears that they were dragging something wrapped in a blanket. Unruhk follows the tracks into the forest, leaving arrows on the ground to indicate to the rest of the party which direction they should go. When the others reach the cottage a few minutes behind Unruhk, they see the arrows and Topiary picks them up as they follow the path.

Arriving in a clearing, Unruhk is confronted by two wolves, who are eventually joined by a third. He quickly kills one and is bitten by the second just as the rest of the party arrives. Topiary and Pamplemousse are able to quickly dispatch the third wolf. Then Aribi decides to speak to the wolf that has attacked Unruhk. This wolf identifies itself as ‘Barry,’ though it repeatedly tells Aribi that it doesn’t care what her name is. Barry tells Aribi that the wolves have not eaten the child and are not planning to eat the child.

As Aribi is speaking to Barry, a fourth wolf sneaks up behind her and attacks her, knocking her face-first to the ground. Pamplemousse leaps on top of the wolf’s back and quickly kills it. The party makes short work of Barry, with Topiary and Aribi taunting Barry before he dies.

Continuing to follow the tracks, the party arrives at a very large willow tree on the far side of a river. The tracks lead to a dark hole in the tree’s trunk, which is covered by braided roots. When Pamplemousse and Unruhk approach, even though they are stealthed, the roots part for them and show a tunnel leading down below the tree. Aribi believes she has heard tales of portals to strange places which are often found deep in forests like this one, and she specifically recalls a story about a path beneath the roots of an old tree. Pamplemousse hangs a length of string with a bell attached across the width of the tunnel so that the party will be alerted if anything tries to follow them down. Once everyone has entered the tunnel, the roots close behind them.

At the bottom of the tunnel, they find a 30×30 foot empty room. The ceiling is made of the braided roots of the tree, and the walls are covered with bioluminescent ivy that glows a soft gold. The ivy begins to part in three places – on the wall directly in front of them and on the walls to their left and right – revealing three wooden doors. The door immediately in front of them has a golden keyhole and is locked. Listening at the door, Unruhk can hear a woman singing a lullaby. Unruhk is about to attempt to break the door down when Pamplemousse stops him.

Topiary and Aribi investigate the door to the right, which is unlocked. Inside, Topiary sees two suits of armor standing in the middle of the room, facing each other, and also a pedestal close to the far wall. Aribi casts Detect Magic and finds that this entire room is filled with magic, but that the statutes themselves have an especially high concentration of arcane magic.


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