Later that night around midnight or so both heroes, Bers the fighter and Dead-Eye the Ranger, remained hid whilst a large creeping shadow (spotted by Dead-Eye initially but seemed unconcerned with staying hid as it neared the increasingly panicked cow) silently moved closer. The shadow kept getting bigger and as it got close enough for them to charge it they did erupting from teh bush that hid them. The caught a full glimpse of the creature revealing itself to be a Were-Bear. They both failed their Courage saves and Dead-Eye froze in his tracks and Bers immediately fled having rolled a Natural 1. The Were-Bear attacked Dead-Eye and they battled. Somewhat. Dead-Eye ran after getting hit and was actually able to outrun the beast by a narrow margin as Bers continued to flee for the next 2 melee rounds. Dead-Eye eventually turned and stood his ground suffering some decent damage (he was fighting with his Longsword and bowie knife) though the beast went into a rage (it was in hybrid form btw). Bers spent the next 2 rounds after successfully overcoming her terror and rejoined the battle and dropped her spear (the one embossed with Dragon Metal) on her first attack that round. They ganged up on the creature with Bers taking lead and Dead-Eye slinking back to shoot with his silver-tipped arrows. The battle continued for another two rounds before Bers landed a Power Attack on the last and 7th round (about 1 minute 45 seconds) causing the creature to bolt at full speed of course they didn’t pursue. Actually Dead-Eye convinced Bers not to try to chase it down since he was in pretty bad shape and she had suffered a critical bite attack leaving her more wounded than she had at first thought.
The next morning they at least returned the cow intact and drank down their remaining healing potions though Bers awoke less wounded than she thought she should be. They endeavored to rest for the next day and a half. Their rest turned into about 3 days. During that time Bers had increasingly strange nightmares of running through the wilderness nude tearing aprat animals with her bare hands (it doesn’t take a genius to realize what Cris [Dead-Eye’s Player] did). On the fourth day at morning they went to pick up the trail and began to investigate where the creature might lair, the Light Wood was immediately to the West across the Trade Route. As they reached a ranchhouse closest to the road approaching from the West. In front of the ranchhouse was a small plaza with a well at the center. From the South along the road they spotted the dust cloud of approaching riders, at least 8. They ducked into the tall grass and laid flat watching. They saw the riders were members of a Berserker Coven all with tattooes of crossed flaming axes on their chests. The eldest and biggest guy appeared to be the leader his second, a half human/half faun hybrid with fresh scabs, stood besides him as they muddy with road-dust and sweat as the rest began to harass the nearby farmers. They tormented the farmers for a few more minutes before moving along the road traveling North. Bers and Dead-Eye arose and decided to continue to the Light Wood.
They crossed the road and encountered the druid whom had road madly into Fertum Dreyhawk about a week previously praying at an old worn stone, the miriad carvings upon it barely visible due to age-long wear. He introduced himself as Siamnecca and asked them to pray with him and they did (basically just playing along both characters being on the atheistic side). They asked a favor in the form of a cure for Bers (for the Therian contagion) adn the druid dutifully removed the curse. They eventually asked if he could help them hunt down a Were-Beast, he agreed ecstatically to help extinguish “that offense against nature”. They traveled back to the Ranchhouse.
They skulked about the farms and houses later that night and stumbled upon the Were-Bear. Dead-Eye hit teh beast fairly hard with a silver-dipped arrow and Siamnecca the druid hit it hard with a Lightning Bolt spell. After only 2 actions/attacks the creature bolted for the road. They followed but after it hit teh Light Wood they lost its trail and decided to wait till morning to try to pick its trail back up. They camped without a fire in the forest and come morning they began again after a breakfast of trail rations. SOmetime in the morning they were come upon by an Otkid scout armed with a shortbow and behind him followed 3 Otkid savages. The battel was more of a single round slaughter. The scout was killed by single arrow from Dead-Eye’s bow, he engaged a savage with his paired weapons (longsword and bowie knife) and Bers clobbered the remaining 2. The fight lasted only a single round even though the druid simply sat out the fight in a defensive stance.
Dead-Eye was able to pick up the beasts trail after criss-crossing from where they last saw the creature to the edge of the woods. Its trail led them to the Berserker covens encampment from which they wisely kept a safe distance and stayed hid. The encampment sheltered at least 20 berserkers and the banners exhibited the sign of crossed flaming axes. They moved back into the woods and decided to lurk about the perimeter of the coven as they were certain the beast is one of the berserks whom probably hold it to be holy. During the night they were attracted to the sounds of battle and were charged by 2 berserkers foaming at their mouths one seemingly wounded. The battle was intense and Dead-Eye had to use a Recovery roll to saty alive on his first action in the second round, Bers was also grievously wounded and the Druid assissted by casting Mage Armor on both of them. The battle turned when the wounded berserk rolled a Natural 1 and threw his ae 20 ft out of reach and then tried to grapple Bers in order to rip her axe from her hands, it didn’t work and his belly was opened spilling his entrails all over Bers’ boots. SHe also took down the second berserker overkilling him to the extreme and covering herself and Dead-Eye in the splatter as the berserk’s corpse fell to the ground in two pieces. They quickly retreated to a nearby ranch-house and waited for the next night to continue their hunt.
The next night after having been fully healed by rest, potion and druid they met the beast in the fields it was plaguing and vanquished it with little difficulty the battle lasting about half a round. Basically Dead-Eye shot 3 silver tipped arrows into it and Bers chopped it into pieces. The next day they collected a 50 gp (gold piece) reward from the farmers and Siamnecca helped them to fully recover and then took his leave as the mission was completed. Bers and Dead-Eye traveled back to Fertum Dreyhawk and after spending the night and paying for baths and food they decided to travel to Northspur in the morning to check out the mystery of the missing girls in the area. It would take 4 days to travel from the Fertum to Northspur in the far North-East. They bought mounts and left on a new adventure.
They traveled about 8 miles on the Old Road with the Eagle’s Grove to teh North and a hill bordering the South side of the road. There they were robbed by a group of highwaymen in camo-painted cloaks. They lost their mounts and a bag of coinage. Teh highwaymen consisted of a Barbarian Hill Giant with a Bipennis Axe (the main reason that they just handed over the bag of coin), a Human Ranger and an Arborean Druid, all Westlanders. They continued walking East taking Miller’s Fork road to Miller’s Bridge. At the bridge they found several farmers with wagonloads of harvest camped out as in their words, “a crazy Ivoran Knight won’t let anyone pass.” They waited until morning to approach the bridge and found an Ivoran knight full-armored mounted on a war-trained sleipnir at the entrance to the bridge and his like-mounted squire on the other side with crossbow.
To Be Continued…