With Butterfly Wings Game summary
The party for this adventure was:
- Halfhitch Strake, Goliath Fighter/Barbarian, played by Sid
- Jacques Wisebrow, Changeling Wizard
- Morgana Mistveil, Drow Death Cleric
- Owl in the Morning, Tabaxi Rogue
The characters are all street toughs from Xarth, who have run into each other and worked together in the past. They have been contacted by a fence operating out of the Sleeping Gnome tavern, who informed them that the Creed of the Clotted Pool (colloquially known as the Bleeders) was looking for a group of adventurers for a job, and they were to meet Sister Bronwen at their Bloodpool temple.
They report to the Bloodpool, the large formerly-abandoned temple that the Bleeders have taken over, at the designated time. In the front, they see a competent-looking and well equipped female dwarf inspecting two large covered wagons along with some folks in mismatched red-coloured clothes and matted hair. With some decent perception rolls the party is able to glean that the wagons contain some form of robust clockwork mechanism and that the hair of the red-clothed people is matted with dried blood.
The party proceed into the Bloodpool, where nobody seems to be paying them much mind so they sneak around and discover that the building is centered around a large sunken pool filled with what looks like blood. They then proceed to meet Sister Bronwen, who informs them that the mission is to capture alive certain dangerous beasts that the Bleeders wish to capture and tame - they are offered 50gp per beast captured alive for each member of the party. The dwarf outside is Nudibranch, an expert tracker, scout and woodsperson, and she has found the lair of the beasts and developed a plan to subdue them safely. After some discussion (including an agreement that the total fee will not decrease if any of the party die during the mission) the party agree to take the job and head out to get more details from Nudibranch.
Nudibranch informs them that the quarry is four bulette pups who are with their mother, a full-grown bulette. The wagons contain vibrating mechanisms of Nudibranch’s design which Nudibranch and her Unshorn (the aforementioned matted-haired folk) helpers will deploy to draw the mother bulette away by attracting her tremorsense. That is intended to give the party time to run in and subdue as many of the bulette pups as they can, capture them and escape. Nudibranch cautions that if the party stops feeling the vibrations from the thumpers (yes, shamelessly stolen from Dune) they should leave posthaste as the mother bulette will be returning. The party is somewhat concerned about babysnatching but are reassured by Nudibranch’s assurances that bulettes are dangerous and vicious creatures that are a threat to all the races of Loorou and are hardly endangered. They go back to Sister Bronwen and negotiate the usage of a wagon to carry the subdued pups.
The distraction goes as planned, Nudibranch giving the party some leadtime to position themselves near the clearing where the bulette pups are located. They attack, Halfhitch rushing forward to engage as many of them as possible, Owl in the Morning using her ability to move out of melee range to maintain range to the pups while Jacques and Morgana sling spells from range. The first pup is knocked unconscious by a combination of Halfhitch and Owl, while Jacques accidentally does enough damage with a spell to kill a second pup. Thinking quickly, Morgana is able to use the Spare the Dying cantrip to prevent it from dying. As the party subdues a third pup, they feel the vibrations from the thumpers cease. They grab the three unconscious pups and are happy to find that Sister Bronwen had brought their cart to the edge of the clearing and Nudibranch has made her way back. Through a combination of good rolls from the party allowing them to find a large rock outcropping that does not transmit vibration back to the bulette and a bad roll from the DM that meant the mother bulette decided to stay behind with its remaining wounded pup, the party is able to escape and make it back to Xarth successfully to collect their reward for the three captured pups.
Nudibranch is a female dwarf (class, if any, currently unknown) who is an expert tracker and wilderness guide operating out of Xarth. Her expertise is extremely sought after by parties wishing to make their way through the wild places of Loorou. She is extremely competent at her work and has a brusque, no-nonsense manner. She also demonstrates some expertise with clockwork mechanisms.
Another Bleeder NPC is introduced in Sister Bronwen. She is a matronly-looking middle-aged human woman who does not reveal anything out of the ordinary to the party. She does demonstrate some situational awareness in making sure the getaway vehicle is available at the right place to be useful to the party.
The Bloodpool was entered by the party, although canonically the Bleeders do not in any manner attempt to restrict access to it. In fact, residents of Xarth are welcomed to enter the Bloodpool and look around.
Creed of the Clotted Pool
This party have also now encountered the Unshorn and their blood-matted hair. At the end of this adventure, the Bleeders are in possession of three bulette pups.
+150gp to each party member, the Creed of the Clotted Pool gains 3 bulette pups