They waited cautiously for only a moment before continuing into Thundertree. Gribendr approached the buildingto the north of them. It was easy to make out a weathered signboard by the door of this large building that showed the faded image of a workhorse holding a flagon of ale; this used to be a brewery. The building, while sagging and dilapidated, was more intact that the ruins across the street.
Opening the door, a thin layer of ash covered everything in the room. It had not been disturbed for some time. Within the building lie several ashen figures. Entering cautiously Gribendr and Alyriia approach the doorway within. The room began to grow darker, dust and ash were swept up as suddenly the ashen figures came to life. Lurching their ash-covered bodies forward, attacking whoever dared to disturb their tavern tomb. The other four party members (also Droop) remained outside, hearing noises of raspy groans, and the sounds of arrows piercing through the still night air. Without hesitation, Rahm, still in the form of a Dire Wolf, crashed head first into a wall of the building, going right through it and attacking the first thing in his sight. As his Wolf jaws clamped down on one of the Ash Zombies, the layer of ash that coated the creature shook free from the corpse, blinding Rahm. Threx charged into the tavern and bashed his axe into another charcoal corpse, another cloud of ash drifted off Threx’s target, but was unable to blind the Dwarf. Gribendr cast Turn Undead on the beings, sending them into a panic to get away. Clumsily stumbling, one after the other, they made for easy targets and the group executed them one by one.
Leaving the, now empty, tavern, Alyriia stealthily crept along the road, heading south deeper into town when a light caught her eye. Meushi, following the Drow ever so closely, saw the same light ahead. They slipped into a ruined building, finding a chest lying within the roots of a tree that had sprouted in the ruins. Alyriia opens it, with Meushi still annoyingly close behind. They walked away from the open chest, leaving the goods inside, and Alyriia sent Meushi to collect the rest of the group. Creeping closer to the building the flickering light was coming from, Alyriia waited until everyone was at her side once again.
Meushi, feeling a spark of hope inside, pushes through the group to the front door, not noticing the shutters open beside her. Before Meushi even had the chance to knock, the door swung open abruptly. Before her stood a tall, white haired, older looking man who hastily ushered everyone inside. Telling the party that it was far too dangerous for anyone to be wandering these parts. Alyriia taking a little longer than the rest but everyone made it inside.
The man introduced himself as Reidoth, the Druid (the Druid they have been searching for). Meushi was quick to ask him what he knew of what happened to Thundertree. He shook his head in reply, that the town had been burnt down for nearly a decade now. Those in the area claim that it was the fiery eruption of Mount Hotenow, the volcano, that spelled the end of this town. However, the volcano is many miles away, and he did not believe that the volcano’s lava even reached Thundertree. In fact, several of those consumed in the blaze roze again, as undead not long after. He then inquired as to whether or not the party had taken note of the signs he had posted (“DANGER! Plant monsters AND zombies! Turn back now!). He warned them of the many threats, including the poor souls who once lived and died here who have overrun the village, risen as zombies coated in the ashes of all that they once loved. He told them of the area’s mutated plants, the giant spiders lurking within the ruins, of the folk in black masks and cloaks, but he is currently most concerned by the fact that a dragon has moved into the tower since the last time he was here. After warning the adventurers of these threats, he suggests that they leave Thundertree before they get themselves killed.
They continued to talk, and he provided them with much and more. How he visits Thundertree annually and the cycles of life. How these ruins, though as tragic as the fire was, were now thriving with green plant life. Meushi stepped back, deep in thought. Threx jumped in, telling Reidoth that the Party came here seeking the Druid, because he was said to know every inch of this land. And they needed his help to find a place known as Cragmaw Castle. Reidoth replied that he did know of the place, and would happily mark it on their maps if they so desired. Once again advising them to leave this place, and continue on with their journey, that no treasure to be found within this town would be worth dying for.
It was Gribendr who then stepped forward with one more request. He told the Druid that they were concerned that the captors of their companions may be in a place known as the Wave Echo Cave, and beseeched the Druid’s great insight to these lands. Asking if he had any information about the caves and if he would mark the location on their map as well?
Reidoth took a moment, deep in thought. He told Gribendr some of the older tales he remembered hearing about the mines, that in addition to its vast mineral wealth, the mine was believed to contain great magical power. Stories claimed that there was a “Forge of Spells” within, where magic items could be crafted. Reidoth assured the Dragonborn that he had no idea if there were any truth to the tales, having never entered the mines himself. His gaze lingered on each of the travelers for a moment before he answered the second part of the question. Telling them that he would not mark the location of the caves on a map, but would lead them to the cave’s entrance himself, if they…He paused. Reassuring them that even asking the party for such a favor weighs heavily on his heart, before continuing. That he would lead them to the cave if they chase off the Dragon in Thundertree.
The group grew silent, slaying a dragon was the last thing on their minds.
(((Im almost positive we kinda ignored this request…sooo yeah… Ben – We didn’t ignore it, we just decided we’d come back when we could handle a dragon.)))
The group thanked him for his time and kindness, hoping to make their way out and maybe find the Herbalist’s shop before sunrise. The Druid offered them a safe place to stay for the night should they wish to rest before leaving town in the morning. They kindly declined, and headed back out into the night.
Once outside they began slowly walking east, Meushi crept up to Alyriia in the lead, whispering the directions to the Herbalist shop. The Drow looked suspicious of the Tiefling’s directions, but the directions without saying a word. From behind them, they heard the noise of Threx removing his axe and slicing through the air, and the sound of splintering wood, as Threx shouted out that there were more plant monsters. Gribendr, spying large spider webs on the building in front of them, lit a torch and attempted to set the house ablaze. Unfortunately, his throw was woefully unsuccessful failing even to singe a single strand of the web.
About that same time, from inside the ruined house, lanky, black, hairy, legs poked their way around the edges of what once was a doorway. Right before Alyriia and Meushi crawled a huge atrocious Spider. Then from around the corner, another one approached, followed by another!
more plant monsters
more ash zombies
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