Campaign Diary: #2

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Ghost Boar!

The gang gets together and reaches a consensus on naming their new-formed company.

“The Curios Company” is open for business!

Having accepted a job from a well-to-do gentleman of NorthWood, Thelray Cavius to recover a beast of legendary quality, a Ghost Boar! Here’s the details Thelray provided them with:

A group of Black Cloaks (The Black Cloaks are a group of highly trained rangers, sort of a special forces for King Eleric, who rules the Eastern Kingdom from Capital City in the south of the Eastern Kingdom) were patrolling south of NorthWood in a stretch of dense pine forest known as the Shadow Groves. They were able to take a few young Ghost Boars in a hunt and ate them as provisions. The next day they were attacked by a singular (that’s what a group of boars is called, who knew?) of Ghost Boars and reported that one of the Ghost Boars was massive! Much larger than a regular Ghost Boar (Ghost Boars are already nearly the height of horses.) This one stood at least 12′ tall at the shoulder. Even a highly trained group of rangers like the Black Cloaks were forced to flee for their lives. Word of their harrowing tale made its way to Thelray, an avid collector of oddities and trophies, and he wants that massive Ghost Boar for his private collection.

The Curios Company provisions themselves, rations are purchased, Jung carves some talismans from boar’s teeth she acquires from a local butcher and distributes them to her team-mates (“For Protection”), Magnus takes some time to work on modifying a heavy crossbow he recovered so he can use it- he makes a breakthru but isn’t able to finish the modifications before the company sets out.

A couple of days of frigid, but mostly uneventful, travel brings the gang to the edge of the Shadow Groves. They make their way inside and find that the dark and thick needles of the trees keep the snowfall beneath them in check, only a foot or two of snow lies on the ground here. They plunge forward, Jung and Wolrf searching for any sort of tracks they may find. An hours walk brings them to the edge of a frozen pond, a dead boar (just a regular boar) lays partially eaten on the ice about 30′ from the shoreline. Wolrf’s keen senses catch the tracks of some beast that has skittered off the ice to one side of the frozen pond. He begins to make his way cautiously in that direction – senses on high alert, Torrik and Zattera follow behind for support. As Wolrf nears a thick patch of undergrowth a massive white wolf, standing nearly as tall as a riding horse, bursts out and springs upon him. Wolrf deflects the blow and the company springs into action!

Torrik closes ground on the beast attacking, Wolrf brings his great-sword down on the snarling beast, Zattura flings a blade from the cover of a tree, Sidron and Gax send firebolts searing into the flanks of this great wolf, Jung runs and sliding across the ice fires an arrow right into the beast’s chest- piercing a lung and barely missing it’s heart! The beast, battered and bloodied, inhales deeply, it’s chest wheezing with the effort- a cone of intense cold bursts forth catching Wolrf, Torrik, and Zattura in it’s icy grip, all three spring to the side avoiding some of it’s effects. The wolf turns to flee but Torrik grabs the massive beast by the back leg and planting his feet he holds it from fleeing.  Magnus digs through his alchemy bag and brings forth a bubbling greenish globule which he hurls toward the monster! It falls short and splashes Wolrf and Torrik with acid. Sidron fires another magical burst at the monster, it flies wide. Jung still sliding across the ice looses another arrow, this one finding a home a mere inch from her last and piercing the heart of the great wolf… The gang gather their wits and prepare for whatever other dangers the forest may have for them. Magnus doles out a few healing draughts, Wolrf de-pelts the beast and harvests some of the choicest cuts of meat from it.

Soon after, aided by Gax’s own wilderness survival skills the group begins to find tracks from regular boars and also sporadic signs of Ghost Boar. The Ghost Boar signs typically have no tracks leading into them or out of them, just a site where they dug up the earth to feed, or trampled brambles down for a place to bed for the night.

The next discovery the Curious Company make as they follow the sporadic signs of Ghost Boar activity through the forest is a large and open glade, snow is mounded high in the glade as the boughs of the Midnight-Pine’s don’t shelter it from the sky. Wolrf’s keen eye sees a brown hand just above the deep snow near the middle of the glade. He makes his way out to investigate and finds buried there a frozen Firbolg, by his dress apparently some sort of druid. Zattera joins him and digs the body free, his piratical instincts working he searches the body and finds a tiny bit of money, a flask of disgusting but potent whiskey, and the gem of this corpse’s possessions: a note-book detailing his studies of the Ghost Boar. A quick inspection of his body also reveals that he was gored and killed by some wild animals.

Sidron and Zattera both make good use of the journal that Zattera recovered and learn a great deal about the Ghost Boars: they are typically followed by regular boars as the Ghost Boars tend to dig up food-sources making life easier for the regular boars if they stay out of the way (this info is corroborated by Jung’s tracking of the area as well). They tend to travel in large circles 35-35 miles around. They LOVE pine nuts from the Midnight-pine that have fallen into water and fermented, the druid had success luring the beasts closer using any sort of alcohol as well.

The day is spent at this point and at Jung’s urging they move away from the path the regular boar have worn through the woods and make camp. In the 4th watch, shortly before morning, Torrik and Gax are on watch duty. Gax singing to himself as he stirs a pot of stew he’s making for the company’s breakfast. Gax hears a sound and turns his head towards it but seeing nothing returns to his stew. Torrik, being dwarvish and having better vision in the dark, sees just past the edge of the fire-light the pale face of a gigantic boar. It stares into the camp, barely visible even to Torrik it could be an apparition, of Torrik’s mind could be playing fearful tricks on him.
“Guys, there’s a boar out here…” Torrik says to Gax and his sleeping companions, afraid to move his eyes for fear of loosing sight of the beast.
“WANT SOME STEW?” Gax yells into the darkness, holding aloft a spoonful of his concoction.
The massive face melts back into the darkness and disappears.

The party awakes and gathers as Torrik moves cautiously out towards the sight of the boar. There he finds 4 perfect, and MASSIVE, hoof-prints pressed into the snow. No tracks lead to them, or away from them… The morning begins as the party packs up and discusses their options for capturing this monstrous boar.

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