Good job, guys! Our intrepid adventurers slogged through the swamp, stalked by a mysterious three-toed creature that has, thus far, kept its distance. It’s getting hard to tell time in the Brinestump, and they only just reached the home of Walthus Proudstump, the halfling ranger, before darkness overtook the marsh entirely.
Yet something was amiss, as the party’s two aasimar quickly surmised. Walthus, well-known for his love affair with snakes, was suffering from snake bites and venom and claimed to have chased a large snake out of his garden — yet had no idea what kind of snake it even was! Krezik the gnome witnessed a strange rippling effect on the halfling’s skin as the ruse began to come apart.
When confronted, Walthus shifted into a hunched creature with mottled red and black skin and attacked. Titania endured being grappled and drained of blood as her compatriots struggled to pierce the faceless stalker’s tough hide, but eventually prevailed with the help of a little alchemical bombing. The creature died on the window sill as it attempted to compress itself and escape.
Once the trouble ended, the real Walthus finally came out of his hidey-hole. The beast had attacked him as he’d tended his snakes. He and his precious pets wounded and poisoned the creature, but not before it had all but drained him of blood. Walthus managed to break away and made a desperate escape into his safe room. For most of a full day, the halfling waited in pain and fear, afraid to sleep lest the stalker figured out how to get to him.
In gratitude, the ranger made his best attempts at hospitality; he’s fed the party and given them a room for the night, and offered his home as a safe retreat for them should they need it in the swamps. He’s volunteered what information he knows about the Licktoad goblins and given the party the best route to get there. In thanks for the timely rescue, he’s given the party his cloak of resistance +1.
The party, in total, received 400 XP for defeating the faceless stalker and rescuing Walthus, with a bonus for keeping in-character and participating in the adventure. Besides the helping-the-game style of bonuses, I may provide more individual-based rewards down the road, but at the moment I’m happy with everyone’s level of involvement.
If anyone has feedback or suggestions, feel free to pitch them between sessions. Thanks for playing!