With two of their members branded by the dreaded VVitchmark, the Band of Cawks decide to hunt down the VVitch of the Woods to release their comrades of the curse.
Coen Delgado, Claudia Var Attre (Specialists) played by Bruno
Sir Gludius Maximus (Fighter) played by Joey
Dr. Frunkenstein (Magic-User) Egad Stones (Fighter) played by James
Fiddlesworth (Fighter) played by Pedro
BumBuff, Bearslayer (Alice) played by Bryant
Pip (Specialist) played by Jose
Sir Jones (Magic-User) played by Mahiliani
Yaluk (Cleric) played by Alberto
The Band of Cawks spend five days making preparations to combat the mysterious VVitch of the Woods. The following is detailed a accounting of those days.
Yaluk, the Native shaman asks for a loan of 500 silver pieces to construct a temple to his heathen god. After some deliberation among the Council of Cawks, Yaluk’s request is approved, and the holy man immediately begins construction with in the walls of Al Pastor.*
With Frunkenstein‘s magical revelation of the Wall of Iron spell construction of the Band’s forge begins to smelt the conjured iron down to bullions for mass distribution. The magic-user expedites the budding forge with more slaves in order to buffer Al Pastor‘s ever dwindling coffers. Frunkenstein‘s past man servant Egad Stones arrives at Al Pastor. A letter is written and a slave is sent to town to promote a new Iron distributor under the pretense of a newly discovered mine under Al Pastor. The assassin Pip, who received instructions from his old master regarding a new target, sends a spy with the letter courier to gather intelligence on his mark.
The quiet Sir Jones elects to brew a potion using the newly constructed laboratory & assistant alchemist. Progress was slow but promising.
Fiddlesworth awakens from his sleep in a cold sweat and a aching vvitchmark. The rooms seems to drastically drop in temperature allowing the man’s breaths to be seen as a eerie vapor.
Delgado wanders the halls after unsuccessfully attempting to build a Iron maiden using the non existent forge. His vvitchmark aches as he sees shadows darting from his peripheral vision. He ignores it, claiming it to be his eyes playing tricks on him.
The budding drug-lord Bumbuff tends to his cocaine plants using a small portion of the slaves. Tomorrow he will go to town to complete the blood deal with the general goods shop owner.
*Al Pastor- The cleared out dungeon the Band of Cawks renamed, now serves as their headquarters.
Bumbuff takes two slaves with him into town to tend to his drug trade and reap his silver.
The fighter Fiddlesworth manages to claw his way out of bed partly thanks to his vvitchmark spurring him to commit violent acts. To mitigate the blood-lust he begins to construct a arena for fighting tournaments.
Once more the hunter Delgado finds himself wandering the halls of Al Pastor, when he sees the shadows again he eggs it on, calling it a “bitch”. He wasn’t expecting the shadow to react to his words however and it steps out from the wall. A familiar form appears, the spirit of Marcus Aurelius sans head, and it attacks. Delgado is frozen from fear as the wight screeches and swipes his enormous ethereal blade at the woodsman before dissipating in a black smoke back into dark-laden corners of Al Pastor. Delgado collapses to the floor with one hand on the wall, the other holding a large gash on his chest closed, he cries out for Claudia, the barber surgeon of Al Pastor. After his wound is stitched into a heart-shape, Delgado and Claudia share a tender moment.
The shaman Yaluk finds Fiddlesworth in the newly dubbed arena and challenges him to a sparring match, the fighter agrees and the two assume combat positions. A crowd forms and the slippery Pip takes a seat in among the slaves. The fighter & cleric begin to spar with the two exchanging glancing blows & parrys, however the vvitchmark senses the rising adrenaline and pumps Fiddlesworth full of blood lust causing the fighter to loosen a devastating blow on his spiritual friend knocking him out. As he stands over the cleric’s body he seethes with rage and just as he wraps his hand around Yaluk’s throat he’s able to snap out of it, sparring the holy man’s life. When Yaluk comes too, he casts a minor miracle healing himself and tells his sparring partner not to fret. Pip whispers to a slave next to him spreading a new rumor of a homosexual love affair between Fiddlesworth & his now “ex lover” Delgado.
The other Band of Cawk members continued to train or make potions.
When Bumbuff arrived in town he immediately barged into the general goods store where he brokered a deal to sell the Norse god Jormungandr’s blood. Unfortunately the shop owner’s daughter is tending to the shop and tells Bumbuff she hasn’t seen her father in days, and that he left in a hurry, with a “crazed look” in his eyes. Irritated, he asks around town and after a couple hours finds a young man who tells him that he saw the shopkeeper wandering the woods, making strange noises and motions. Using his peyote fueled senses, the bum is able to track the shopkeeper to a clearing in the woods, and is able to sidestep the now monstrous snake man who leaps from a tree hissing and tasting the air with a bifurcated tongue. Bumbuff orders his slaves to capture the man-snake but they hesitate a moment before doing so. The shop owner lurches and struggles to get free, Bumbuff screams at the man to calm himself then reminds him of their “deal”. Clement the Man-snake, eases and begins to weep, he didn’t mean to become a monster, he says as tear stream down his pale scaly skin. Bumbuff placed a hand on the abomination’s shoulder and whispered into what used to be the man’s ear, “there’s always room at Al Pastor…”
After having the shopkeeper write a letter to his daughter (giving her specific instructions regarding the shop and that he is leaving town) Bumbuff, his man servants and the man-snake Clement leave the colonial town of Gethsemane and begin their journey home.
The magic-users almost complete a single healing potion with the help of their alchemist Al Bund.
The fighter Gludius hones his fighting spirit in preparation for war with the VVitch of the woods.
Fiddlesworth & Yaluk once more spar in the depth of the arena only with the shaman casting a protection against evil spell, the two men are bewildered as Fiddlesworth is unable to lay a hand on Yaluk. The surmise that the curse mark is registering the fighting man as “evil”.
Delgado rests from his fight with the specter of Al Pastor and continues to see his tormentor’s shadow mocking him from the darkness.
The magic-user Frunkenstien tends to his mutated man-snakes down in the oubliette, notating the effects of the god snake’s blood and pouring droplets of the magical blood in their slithering mouths. He beckons his man slave Egad to gather the Band of Cawks & slaves to the arena for the annual meeting.
As the meeting begins Frunkenstein stands at the center sweetening the crowd with lies and deceit before dragging out four horribly mutated man-snakes.
“Hello everyone. You know that we are doing great things here at the Band of Cawk, I consider all of you to be cawks… And we truly have discovered something great.” -Frunkenstein
The crowd gasps at the sight of the snake-men who turn and hiss at the crowd. One of the slaves is over taken with fear and attempts to flee, he is quickly apprehended and made an example of by Frunkenstein who drowns the man in snake-god blood and is subsequently transformed into another man-snake who attempts to lap up the spillage on the stone floor.
“THIS, THIS IS WHAT WILL MAKE US RICH. I’VE PRODUCED IRON FROM THESE MINE AND THIS, THIS VIAL WILL ENABLE US TO RULE THE NEW LAND!!! YOUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN SHALL INHERIT riches…. Unless you are like him here. Jeffery, come along we shall continue our experiments. Ooh and we are having potatoes tonight, extra bred for all slaves!! Thank you for your timelessness.” -Frunkenstein
That evening Bumbuff and his entourage arrive at the gates of Al Pastor making sure to cover up their newly captured man-snake away from the prying eyes of the workforce. The drug dealer briefs the Frunkenstein of the going ons’ in town and the situation with the shopkeeper, as well as the troubling fact that the townsfolk are beginning to display characteristics of snakes.
INTERLUDE (Referee’s perspective)
On the “fourth night” the players decide to go shopping in the Ghoul Market, which I pulled from the LotFP fanzine Vacant Ritual Assembly #1. I’m enthralled with the idea of black market run by demons & monsters and always insert the market into my world, its now infamous among my players. That being said I don’t feel like writing what amounts to a glorified shopping spree (I’m a
lazy busy man.) Just know my players spent a shit load of money & ability score points (the ghouls take coins and ability score points as currency) to buy some magic items, and the cleric gave up some of his “seed of a holy man” which I’m sure won’t come back to bite him in the ass.
Delgado is able to complete a wooden iron maiden to hold the VVitch.
Bumbuff is given command of the strike force and issued four man-snakes for the battle. He is asked by Frunkenstein to capture the vvitch alive in order to feed it to Faluk.
Frunkenstein sends his fighter Egad in his stead to fight.
The men stock up on rations and strike out into the wilderness to war.
Three days & nights later…
The Band Of Cawk begin to take notice of the changing landscape, exoctic flowers of bright and vibrant color dot the woods, the further they go the thicker the bramblewood gets. Eventually they come across a large archway made of blue roses that leads down a long road which ends at a mansion made of wood, leaves, & flowers.
The war band see dozens of terrible, shriveled rabbit-men six feet in height tending to the various flowers & plants. With no other plans, the warriors turn to the age old tactic of burning things. They send one of the man-snake warriors with torch in hand to ignite the garden. However before it’s able to char anything the rabbit-men begin sniffing at the air and all turn to face the looming disaster in unison, with unnatural speed they gap the distance and tear the band’s monster limb from limb. The remaining warriors stow themselves and pull their firearms positioning themselves in the back with their man-snakes in front. The rabbit-men squeak & squeal then charge, the front lines are immediately gunned down from the first volley, with the others jumping over their brother’s corpses coming into melee.
Claws and swords, blood & screams. The Cawk’s monstrous man-snakes are taken down but not before striking down 3/4ths of the opposing foes. The Band is able to take control of the battlefield, Gludius cleaves skulls with his mighty axe, while Pip sends arrows flying through knees. Painting the colorful garden red with blood. When the scene grows quiet the band take account of their remaining forces. All but one man-snake remains and themselves are injured but alive, then they hear the VVitch’s shriek.
The doors to the mansion swing open with horrid force and the VVitch emerges with a terrible scream as she sees her children slaughtered across her garden.
“MY BABIES!” she screeches as she flys over to the intrepid men.
The VVitch stands at least six feet, though she seems taller as her pale feet never touch the ground. Her long milk white hair mires her face and covers her pale modesty before touching the ground.
The VVitch demands the master step forward and explain themselves, before Bumbuff can, Delgado steps forward.
The two parley and discover a terrible misunderstanding. The VVitch wasn’t the one who marked Delgado & Fiddlesworth with curses, and after inspecting the marks she names another, the duchess of Savannah, Annette Delacroix. The Cawks curse at this new development and the Pale Lady demands retribution for her slain children, someone will have to spend a night with her to produce more rabbit spawn, Delgado volunteers.
While the men wait in the lobby of the Pale Lady’s mansion, Fiddlesworth spies a familiar face, the horrid Rabbit familiar that had assaulted him weeks prior, it now serves them tea wearing an elegant suit. Before it walks away it throws a taunting wink at its former spat sending Fiddleworth into a rage fueled tantrum, however he is held back by his comrades before he can confront the familiar.
Five mins later Delgado descends the circular ivory stairwell, he’s visibly aged at least a decade and now sports silver white hair, he wears a huge grin. The Pale Lady descends shortly after and is visibly pregnant. “It is done,” the huntsman says with the tone of manhood.
The Pale Lady and the Band of Cawk come to an arrangement in exchange for help reproducing her rabbit-men army & another small research related task, the band receives magical aid and knowledge. The research involves one of Words of Creation which the Pale Lady managed to get a hold of, though she is reluctant to give much details she only asks for a volunteer for her “research” of which Yaluk agrees too.
Down in the cavernous basement of the mansion past a makeshift laboratory lies the Word of Creation, a 20 foot tall & wide, jet black cube, a circle of salt lies around it. The Pale Lady hands the cleric a totem which she explains will allow him to travel inside the cube, see the word, then exit. The rest of the band stand around watching the coming spectacle. Yaluk breaks the totem and is confused when nothing happens.
Yaluk opens his eyes inside the cube and witnesses the word of creation written on every inch of the walls as well as a elongated skeleton with milk white hair propped against one of the walls. The shaman becomes enlightened and aware of the intricacies of creation, he then notices the unbroken totem in his hand and once again breaks it.
The men stand in shock when they see another Yaluk standing outside the cube, the two clerics stare at each other and are deeply disturbed. The Pale Lady begins to explain as she wraps herself around one of the shamans, “the totem is actually a cloning spell that clones you inside the word, then clones a version of you that knows the word outside of it, there’s’ no other way to enter the word.” She says “As you saw, I myself saw the word once and do not wish to seek out the others.” “Hence why I needed someone for my research, now I will keep one of the shamans for myself.” Neither the men nor the two Yaluk’s seem particularly upset at this development.
While walking the men outside, the fighter Gludius is stopped by a talking mirror. A seven headed demonic dragon appears in the mirror and claims to be Lucifer, it states it will answer any one question for the price of the asker’s first born. Gludius ponders for a moment, then declines. The mirror flies into a furry and curses at the men and the vvitch, who dismisses the mirror with a wave. Bumbuff asks the Pale Lady to identify his silver spear, who demands upfront payment, another night in the sack. Bumbuff agrees and ten minutes later he descends older with silver hair. The vvitch states the spear is a ghost slaying spear, perfect for taking care of a certain ghost haunting Al Pastor.
3 days & nights later…
The Band of Cawks arrive back at their Fortress Al Pastor. While everyone settles in, Bumbuff begins to taunt Aurelius’s ghost in the arena, a crowd forms as the Specter of Al Pastor manifests opposite to his taunter. The two size each other up before they charge at each other, they dodge and feint as the crowd gasp and each almost fatal blow. However the living man is struck by the paralyzing screech of the phantom who is able to get a couple good strikes in before the fear wears off. The bum calls upon his strange power and a random donkey walks into the arena to watch the fight. The fight ends when Bumbuff manages to get feint a hit, then impale his polearm into the spirit’s heart. Aurelius clenches the spear and begins to dissipate into the air. A sense of peace settles into the air as the last of the Ghost of Al Pastor fades away.
Also Delgado fucked his fifteen year old retainer Claudia, I guess.