Cauldron, The Shackled City

Session Thirty: April 14, 2011

Wherein our heroes venture into lands fantastic...

At the request of Captain Skylar Krewis, the group set out from Cauldron to investigate the whereabouts of a missing and much needed supply train from Sasserine. A couple of days out from Cauldron, they discovered the wreckage of the wagon train. They tracked the attackers to a clearing deep in the woods, with additional wreckage from the wagons and several dead bodies laying about. As the party moved in to investigate, the fallen bodies rose, shedding off their disguises, revealing themselves to be dryads. Accompanied by hidden harpies, the dryads attacked.

As the Eldritch Blades felled each of their foes, they were met with a bizarre sight. Instead of dropping dead, as expected, the body of their enemy became ashen and seemed to hang in front of them, as if hung from lines like a puppet. The enemy would lash out one last time before finally collapsing. The Eldritch Blades quickly defeated their dryad and harpy foes, but could find no explanation for their odd behavior.

The group continued tracking their quarry, leading them to another clearing with a strange arch of trees filled with hazy smoke. Stepping through, the group found themselves in the Feywild. They continued their search through the lush, vibrant forest of the Feywild, eventually emerging at the edge of a large natural rock wall rising in front of them. A cave in the wall seemed seemed to be the only way past. A strange riddle was carved into the stones around the cave. They group took note of the riddle and proceeded in.

Inside the cave, the way through was blocked by a set of three statues, one of a young lass, one of a mature woman, and another of an old crone. They stood together atop a large pedastal, blocking the exit from the cave. Each had her right hand extended out, palm up, as if asking for an offering. The party struggled with how to proceed past the statues, trying to gleam clues from the riddle they’d just transcribed. They grasped the hands, singly and all three together. Each time, the crone would animate, attacking the party. Once the crone was destroyed, she would reappear back with the other two statues, whole and blocking the exit again.

Like lustful swain or panicked child
Who beg another’s gentle hand,
The fool delves heedless through the wild.
The wise are not so soon beguiled.

Keying to this passage from the riddle, the group decided to make an offering to the statues, first placing a coin in the old crone’s hand (avoiding the path of “the lustful swain or panicked child”). As soon as this was done, the three statues animated and cleared the way from the cave exit. They party collected themselves and left the cave to find what awaited them beyond.

Comments

I’m amused by the recount of the statues… because while we considered what the riddle might mean, when we succeeded at passing the statues, we tried putting coins in all three hands at once, and it just happened that the Crone got her coin and let us pass. I don’t think we had a clue how to interpret that riddle. Actually… I still don’t see how that bit from the poem suggests putting a coin in the hand of the old-woman statue.

I still want to go back and smash the statue.

Session Thirty: April 14, 2011
 

I specifically remember a coin being placed in the hand of the crone first. I also recall Tony focusing on the crone and may have been the one to suggest making an offering. It may have been Eugene or Dina, too.

Session Thirty: April 14, 2011
 

I did, and we started with the Crone, but the ultimate decision was to do all three at once. THAT was the needed stanza? Man, I was way off. Mainly because that’s not what, “swain”, means. I call shennanigans on the riddle.

Session Thirty: April 14, 2011
Mardigan

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