Worms In Your Brain

Session Three
The Baker's Wife

So the heroes were tired, injured, and in some cases had been eaten by frogs for a short while… and then the rescued locals made demands. The frantic baker wanted his wife rescued. The pretty girl wanted to be safe. The farmers wanted to go home. So the heroes went after the wife, took the pretty girl along, and here we go.

The Gnoll trail led to a ramp descending into the ground in the ruins, and came under archery attack from slits high up on the wall surrounding a wooden door. The heroes crashed the door, slew a one-armed Gnoll, wiped out the gnoll archers, and stormed across a rope bridge while a large group of Gnoll archers fired volley after volley into the PCs with some seriously insane melee fighting Gnolls tearing into the heroes' ranks. All the while, the pretty village girl April wasted no time cleaving to the human wizard, who seemed to her the most cash-rich of the heroes.

Low on healing surges, the heroes pushed on and interrupted a ritual where a Gnoll witch was busy implanting one of those worms into a human victim… the baker's wife!

Sadly, the heroes failed to stop the implantation, and the baker's wife rose as some kind of gaze-attack powered evildoer… they were forced to strike her down in self-defense as the baker screamed her name in vain. She was taken alive, but suicided much like the dwarf Ankheg master before her.

While the heroes tried to calm down the distraught baker, the local master of ceremonies entered, and tried to telekinese a box of writhing worms that had been left behind by the now-dead cultists. An epic battle, Gauth Telekinesis versus Mage Hand, took place, with the heroes eventually gaining the upper hand… the box in their hands, and the Gauth dead as dead.

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Session Two
A Drunken Lord

PCs met some new friends on the road, also with the failed worm implantation (how do you bring new PCs into a game without spending 4 hours role-playing why a bunch of paranoid killers, who fear bad guys who are controlled by worms in the head, would automatically add strangers to their ranks…), killed some kobolds, then went to town.

Lord Padraig is a drunk with little or no influence outside his town's walls.
The locals turn to the visiting adventurers for help with an Ankheg problem.
The PCs visit the site of a recent Ankheg attack. Farmer Brown missing. All fear the worst.
A little detective work, and the PCs determine that burrowing giant insects with acid reflux don't usually eat farmers in established farmland – so why are these here, now?

A little fighting, and a little tracking, and the PCs find the culprit – a dwarf in a large cart with cages, using the Ankhegs to capture farmers alive (they carry the farmers back to the nest in belly pouches), to force them to sell their land (the farmers here are landowners) – They overcome him, capture him, and try to bring him back to town, but he just sort of keels over dead, and a worm erupts from the back of his neck – and the PCs stomp it dead.

PCs saved Farmer Brown, and his neighbors Pink and Orange are pleased. The PCs are now trusted enough to be told that the nearby ruins of an old keep are a constant source of evil monsters, and was built centuries ago to guard against something within – a portal to a bad place? Having established trust, the local sage Valthrun consented to tell the PCs about the Keep, 2 miles to the North.

A little trip to the ruined keep. It's a huge place, easily a couple hundred yards long. Mounds of rubble. Nothing growing. And a lair of loathsome humanoid frogs called bullywugs. All but one of the strikers get swallowed by giant frogs, and the party nearly loses two rogues… but the bullywugs are slain, and a smal portal to a plane of mud is sealed. But this is not the Big Bad Portal the heroes were looking for.

Back out to the ruins, and a fight with Gnoll slavers who were waiting for them.
Tough session, but the PCs prevail. All are 2nd level now.

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Session One
Who Am I?

 

A party of heroes came to their senses in a dark cave. They were unable to act as they witnessed one of their number getting a hole drilled in his skull by a Kobold, and a worm implanted within. The victim sat up and welcomed all of them to their new bodies.
Each hero felt a stabbing pain in the back of the head, and saw one of their companions stagger, blood streaming from the back of their heads.


Apparently, all of them had been implanted, but for some reason… the possession had not taken.
The heroes were free to act, and as one, they rushed to where their weapons were stacked, and proceeded to destroy the kobold doctor, their erstwhile friend (whose possession had been successful), and a whole nest of filthy kobolds.
After the fight, they realized that none of them knew where they came from or who they were…


The heroes were an eclectic mix… Wizard, Fighter, Avenger, Warlord and Cleric worked well together and emerged from the lair (hidden behind a waterfall!) and took on the kobold guards who lounged outside.


Tracking the few that got away, the heroes found an archeological dig manned by a shifty gnome, some human thugs, a couple of Guardian Drakes… and the missing kobolds.
A stiff fight ensued, and the heroes made the acquaintance of a spectral projection of one who might possibly fit the bill of ringleader for this sordid worm-implanting operation. The captured gnome revealed as much when prompted – the boss' name is Kalarel, and he is currently trying to open a ancient portal sealed over a thousand years ago. What's on the other side of the portal? The characters used their imagination, and they figured it would be a good idea to bring that plan to a halt.


The gnome was found to have a circular scar on the back of his neck – an implanted worm? When the cleric attempted to slice the gnome open to check it out, there was a hissing sound, and the worm made a break for it while the gnome's body died.
A few quick stomps, and the worm was also slain.
Rooting through the camp, the heroes found gear and possessions apparently belonging to each one of them, so presumably they had been working at this dig site before they were abducted and implanted with the worms.


Also among the items found was a map of the area, showing a small town only a couple of miles to the North – Winterhaven.
When we last left our heroes, they planned to head to this town to see if they could find out more about a certain Keep and also get some info about themselves.

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