The party consisted of the following:
Verdt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 3 (John)
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric 3 (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 3 (Nikki)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 3 (Erik)
Riia, Human Ranger 3 (Hanna)
Guy Noir, ½ Elf Rogue 1 (Nadia)
The vampire lay staked to the ground by the rotted haft of the “magical” shovel, the gaping hole of the tree dripping a blood-like ichor, and leading down into a narrow tunnel lined with roots, and similarly dripping with ichor.
With two of their number badly injured and unconscious, the standing members of the party decided that heading back to town for healing was the way to go. They didn’t even make it as far as the gate when a procession from town arrived, headed by the creepy Sister Gri-Gri of the Ladies of Mercy. Each was clad in full black, with their faces painted like skulls. They walked silently past the party and into the garden. Sister Gri-Gri, with a glowing staff, healed the two fallen party members.
Behind the Ladies of Mercy was a large contingent of townsfolk, including the mayor. The party told of the vampire, but denied knowledge of the children’s whereabouts. They then followed the Ladies back into the garden to witness Sister Gri-Gri’s ritual to dispose of the vampire’s corpse, and the rotted flesh of the children, leaving only their bones. Each body was collected by a black clad silent sister. They reformed their line, and without word, left the garden.
The gaping hole into the tree continued to bleed. Around this point, the party noticed that 2 of the individuals who’d come up with the townsfolk and the Ladies had joined them in the garden. After a brief discussion, it was decided that they could join the party in their exploration of the tunnel under the tree. The the ichor slick tunnel quickly expanded out into a large root lined cavern, with a thick but broken tap root running from roof to floor. The top half was wilting, but the bottom half whipped around, sending out a blast of energy which dropped Bach, hurt Nessendra, and barely scratched Guy.
The root tried to reach out toward one of the more distant party members, but Riia locked it down with a thorny entanglement delivered via arrow. The rest of the fight was a slog, but the root had already lost. 7:1, immobilized, and taking constant damage (even if the party was delivering on average sub-par amounts), it added up quickly. In the sludge around the root the party found the vampire’s treasure, including a magical hat and cloak.
Collecting their hard won loot, they returned to the town and rested.
This ended up being a shorter session than usual do to spending some time on character creation for the new PCs. I used a blue dragon wyrmling stats for the root.