5e WNW - Session 22 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 8/28. We welcomed Julia this week as a starring member of the group, upgraded from the special guest star role she's been enjoying the last few months.
The party consisted of the following:
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric 5 (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 5 (Nikki)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 5 (Erik)
Riia, Human Ranger 5 (Hanna)
Guy Noir, ½ Elf Rogue 5 (Nadia)
Anya Bowen, Tiefling Ranger 5 (Allison)
Egan Gorman "Bingles" Sharpless Rosenberg, Gnome Fighter 5 (Julia)
Zugun, Coffin-bound Human Priest (NPC)
Guy's success at capturing Jack was short lived. The white rabbit looked deep into Guy's dark eyes with his soft pink unblinking eyes and said, quietly but firmly "Put me down." Much to Guy's dismay, he found himself doing just that... Jack flicked his ear, thumped his hind leg, and dive through a bush and down the rabbit hole he'd been going for all along.
After some general complaining about how they'll never get back in time to stop the ritual, especially as now the mirror is smashed, they press on. Hours later, near time to set up camp, Anya hears a baby singing a lullaby. Investigating she spies a giant rose tree cradling a swaddled squirming form. Not knowing what to make of the situation, and not wanting all the XP for herself, she returns to the rest of the group, and reports on what she saw. Riia was ready to charge in instantly, and screams of pain hardened the resolve of the rest of the party. Blades flashing, they quickly chopped through the thick stem of the plant, causing it and the swaddled figure to plummet to the ground.
Once dethorned and unwrapped the small gnome introduces himself, and in spite of asking to be called "Bingles" is dubbed "Rosie" by the majority of the party.
Moving off a ways, they make camp. That evening, near sunrise, a figure appears at the edge of the firelight. Everyone but Guy is woken with a swift kick or nudge and the woman steps closer to the fire and introduces herself as the Princess Ildna. Riia quickly apologises for trespassing, but Ildna waves it off as immaterial. The land is contested anyway. Her pale skin and sharp fangs hint at her vampiric nature. She warns the party of her sisters, and asks them, should they encounter one, to cause her pain. And that they look like her, but dress in both white or black, as opposed to her red, and that they might appear as black kittens. Due to the late hour, she doesn't tarry, but invites them to visit her at Castle Poenari, as it is filled with mirrors.
As the sun crests the oddly squared horizon, Nessendra discovers that her prayers go unanswered... disturbed, the party continues to the Northeast, further away from the castle and (they hope) the weirdness. Such is not to be as they come across the site of a recent battle. Among the bodies are a herd of large green pigs, all grunting, snorting, and hurling insults. Once they catch sight of the party, the insults are directed to them. One in particular, a boar of impressive tusks, hurls equally impressive barbs at the party, and accuses them of not playing by the rules. The party responds, rather quickly, with a resounding NOPE, and hustle away as quickly as they can. The pigs give chase!
Eventually the pigs get board and wander off. Some hours later they come to a bridge, under which a troll reclines in the muck. She questions the party, and then jeers at them for not playing by the rules, and informs them the boars have spread the word far and wide throughout the forest. He also tells them they do not want to go to the Northeast, but they don't listen and continue on...
...just in time to come across a large lizard. It croaks at them. Anya casts speak with animals, and begins to chat up the lizard. He doesn't seem particularly interested in talking. "Hungry" he croaks, fixing his dead eyes on Guy.
"For what?" Anya asks.
"Just eat them!" Squawks a giant blue bird of paradise from a branch above.
"Hungry. Beef Stroganoff!" the lizard croaks more forcefully.
At this, Anya decides that she doesn't want to become lunch, shoots at the bird, and a brief scuffle breaks out. Guy, Anya, and Bach flee in 3 different directions, Guy vomiting all over himself as he runs. Meanwhile the bird flaps awkwardly from the tree, landing on the lizards back and says "You should have just eaten them..." The lizard croaks in reply.
Collecting their comrades, the party finds a nice spot for a camp. Once again they have an evening visitor, a black kitten that Anya finds curled purring on her neck. It bites Anya, draining some of her blood. At first it's a pleasant sensation, but quickly turns painful. She tears the kitten from her neck, and tosses it into the darkness with a yell. Everyone stirs at that, and a moment later a white clad vampire introduces herself as Princess Tizala. She apologizes for the discomfort, but was hungry. Guy quickly drains a couple of HP into a cup and offers it to the stunningly beautiful woman.
Tizala then invites the party to the castle since, in spite of what the boars said, they seem actually civilized. Plus, she'd really like for them to kill her 'sisters' if they should happen upon them. However then Nessendra insults her, and gets a lace glove across her face in challenge. There is then a significant amount of eye rolling as Tizala explains the eminently simple dueling rules. Rather than go through with the duel, Nessendra offers a most sincere apology and a cup of her own blood. Tizala sniffs it, lamenting that a rare treat such as elven blood would be so contaminated by coming from a holy-woman, and pours the blood out sadly.