Mysteries of Mystara 004

After more searching the curse of the banshee's tower is finally laid to rest. Also some strange geese and mischievous Fae. The on-going GURPS saga of five unlikely companions attempting to unravel the mysteries of Mystara.
Mysteries of Mystara
Session 004

A Family Reunion


After the remains of the two children are committed to the earth, the group prepares to head back to the ruined tower. The banshee’s wail can be heard echoing through the forested hills. Ilya thinks that some great tragedy must have killed the whole family and caused the banshee to manifest to haunt the tower. Lucky says that all the old tales and songs say that the entire family must be put to rest to lift a curse like this. Panya uses her inner strength to heal Lev while the others talk about recovering the family’s bones. On the way back to the tower, another sound is heard, the distinct honking of geese nearby. 

Despite it being after 5pm and the sun beginning its descent, the group is distracted by the unexpected cacophony of geese and heads off to investigate. After a short while, they discover a whole gaggle of geese acting very strangely. Lucky uses his bardic magic to alter his voice to sound like that of a goose. It is painfully annoying to everyone, though it does attract the attention of the geese, who surround Lucky and honk and flap their wings all around, acting quite aggressive, but not actually attacking. Lucky starts playing a song to try to calm them. 

Malachai calls upon his druid magic to give him the ability to speak to them and quickly finds out they are not geese after all, but in fact some soldiers from Castellan Keep that have somehow found themselves turned into geese. They are confused and scared and worried that they are slowly becoming geese and will not be able to return to Human form. They were searching the area after reports of some harpy attacks, but ended up like this. Ilya tries to dispel the magic and finds out that it is fairy magic and quite out of her area of expertise. Malachai tells the soldiers they will try to help them and the geese return to the bushes and settle in for the night. 

The group makes their way back to the tower and searches around the base of the tower, hoping to find the Lady’s remains, but do not discover any bones. The Death Vulture flaps back down from its roost on the top of the tower and watches the group intently. The group then heads back into the tower and heads up, bypassing the banshee’s chamber, straight to the open top of the tower to search the vulture's nest. As they approach the disgusting mass of sticks, grass, and debris, the vulture flies back up and attacks by spraying a beakful of vomitous decay over several of them. The battle ranges back and forth across the top of the ruined tower for a few moments until Malachai whips out his pipes and plays a sleepy melody that puts the winged scavenger to sleep. Talyn and the mercenaries quickly leap forward and dispatch the creature. The stinky nest is searched but nothing of much value is discovered, just a few small trinkets, including a small carved weasel and a small red scale (possibly a dragon’s) the size of a guitar pick.

It is decided to return to the cellar to look for the remains of the Lord and Lady of the tower. Lesaro surprises them at the back door with one of Panya’s chakrams that had landed in the courtyard during the fight. The blink dog joins them as they descend into the cellar. They immediately head to the prison cells to confront the shadow that claimed to be the Lord of the tower. He again confirms he is the rightful Lord and his remains rest in a watery grave. The shadow is dispatched. Next, Lucky picks the lock to another cell, this one had some human remains in it. Another shadow attacks and it too is destroyed. The remains of what are believed to be the Lady of the tower are recovered. 

The group then makes their way back to the cistern and much debate is had over how to search the disgusting pool of stagnant water and slime. Several options are discussed but none agreed upon as no one wants to actually get into the water and magical options just don’t seem effective. Finally, the mercenary Cass agrees to go into the water and search around. After just a few minutes of searching, she discovers what appears to be human remains at the bottom. She dredges them all up and they too are wrapped in a blanket to be taken to the cemetery nearby.

It is nearly dark when the group emerges from the cellars beneath the tower. In the courtyard, they are accosted by two ghostly children singing spooky children’s songs. They approach and demand to be taken to their gravesite. The group attempts to flee but the ghostly twins catch up and one of them jumps on Panya’s back and demands to be taken to their final resting site. Talyn turns and picks the other child up and agrees to take them.

As they travel through the darkening forest, the undead children’s demands become more fierce and mean. They pinch, pull hair, scratch, and call Panya and Talyn horrible names. Panya, already exhausted by the events of the day, begins to slow as the child on her back seems to become heavier and heavier with each step. Talyn also starts to feel weighted down by the seemingly light child. The closer they get to the cemetery, the heavier the girls become.

Once at the overgrown gravesite, Panya and Talyn both realize that their feet are somehow sinking into the ground despite still moving forward. Malachai grabs Talyn’s mace and holds it to the back of the child now grappling with the young Celestial. She screams and threatens to kill him as well. Their wails and screams and demands become more and more vicious as they demand to be taken beneath the earth and promise to take their benefactors with them. 

Malachai manages to use his magic to dig two graves and Lucky deposits the remains of the Lord and Lady as quickly as he can. Panya finds herself up to her neck entombed in the earth. As Malachai magically moves the earth to cover the newly dug graves, Lucky plays a song of mourning and in the distance, the banshee’s wail trails off into silence. The two undead girls look sad as they slowly sink into the ground saying, “We just wanted someone to come with us.” Everyone sinks to the ground, exhausted but relieved to have seemingly lifted the banshee’s curse. Panya is dug out and the group discusses returning to the tower.

Back at the tower, it now seems quiet and peaceful, the room where the banshee had taken up residence is searched, revealing a few gold coins, a necklace of animal teeth, some pretty ribbons, and the crumbling old deed to the tower and grounds itself. None of the items seem magical but all are stowed away. Cass and Lev state their need to return to Novaci and offer to escort Ilya back there as well. Dak states that he needs to return to the village as well, but says he will try to catch up with everyone sometime the next day. Talyn gives the mercenaries a few extra gold coins for their work and they depart.

In the morning, the group heads out to try to track down the fairies responsible for transforming the soldiers into geese. They start by finding the soldier’s campsite and determine that they must have disturbed a fairy mushroom ring and angered the fairies. Malachai does his best to repair the damage using his druidic knowledge. His work is interrupted by a high-pitched voice calling out. A conversation is had with some invisible fae. Lucky tries to appease them by playing a rendition of A Merry Pluck on his mandolin using the found dragon scale as a pick. 

The fairies show themselves to be Pixies, 2-foot tall winged beings native to the area. The mischievous pixies admit to cursing the soldiers because they trampled all over their magic ring. They reluctantly agree to try to remove the curse if the party helps them track down and deal with some strangeness going on in the forest. They explain that they believe some aberrant animated plant creatures are attacking and killing animals and plants nearby. The group agrees to help the pixies and the fae give their thanks and then disappear.

Session Notes

Completed the first real adventure arc of the campaign. Everyone was awarded a character specific [5] point reward on top of the regular character points. Sadly we were missing a player again for this session. We sure hope Dak makes it back to the (virtual) table.

Cast of Characters:

Malachai, Faetouched, Wilderness Defender - played by JeCorey H
Talyn Dilectus Vanyilam, teenage Celestial warrior on the run - played by Don K
Panya Masika, a bronze skinned Nithian monke stranded out of time - played by Carol C
Vlajic Savago, the Lucky Savage, a Traladaran bard - played by Dan E
Dak, a Makai islander fluid mage - played by Ben L

and GMJasonGURPS as the DM

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