One by one, the party began to wake from their paralyzed state. As they woke, they noticed that Miri’s tattoos had “bled” away from her. But as she woke, the ink reformed the shapes covering her body as though it had never moved at all. They saw they were all clumped into one of the makeshift jail cells. Three cells with bone and metal bars were scattered around the small cave room. In one was the young woman Olasatra. She was dragged away by a hag (not the one they had seen at the house).
Bardo and Miri and Theo got to work making some lockpicks and creations in order to help bust them out. As they worked on that, Ellie, Torinn, and Siobhan spoke to those still in the third cell. There was an unconscious man (Caul), an extremely pregnant woman (Ulayra), and an older half orc adventurer (Elceran). Elceran greeted the group and quickly explained what he knew. Though it wasn’t much, he had been taken by a hag from the road. His equipment had been taken, and without going into too many details he explained he was worried for his fellow captors.
With their lore background, the party remembered that hags were known to take pregnant women and convert their pregnancies from normal babies to hags. The babies would be born with the appearance of normal children, and near their seventh birthdays they would be stolen away from the parents (who often bore no memories of what had happened). But Elceran was quick to make sure they didn’t panic the woman with them because she was so pregnant that any additional stress might cause an early delivery.
The group managed to get the doors open. they decided a quick escape would be best. Ellie looked for traps, while the orc helped them navigate out. With a lot of skill and a touch of good luck, they managed to get to the store room where they found their equipment and a few trinkets worth note as well.
Now they just had to get out.
On the way, Theo and Bardo worked to set some traps so that if they were followed the hags might be slowed down a bit. Elceran offered to provide a distraction as he was dying from a poison inflicted by the hags weapons. Torinn managed to stabilize the poison in him (buying him several days), and they woke the young man from his injuries. They were slower so they started out as the party worked on their plans. The others headed down the hall to see if they could spot Olasatra and see if they could rescue her.
The scene that played out before them was ghastly. Several hags stood around an unholy altar. Olasatra (whom no one had suspected was pregnant) was screaming as the hags worked their evil ritual on her. It was a sight that no one would ever want to see, and no amount of time would completely erase those images from the minds of those that saw them.
Sadly, the group knew that in their current state, they were far outmatched by this coven. They regrouped with the others and decided that they had to abandon Olasatra to her fate. It was a hard decision, but they felt that there was no choice. Fleeing out of the cave they were in, they reached the surface and got their bearings.
To say they were far from where they’d started their journey would be an understatement. A lush jungle stretched out before them. Their party had to move fast, so they started in the direction that seemed to steadily climb up. About an hour into their hike, they heard a soft boom behind them. the traps they’d left behind them must have worked and they saw a plume of smoke rising from the direction they’d come.
Making their way to higher ground, they got their bearings. All around them they saw unstable magic crackling. The island seemed to be completely shattered by these magical explosions and the strange creatures that had been born of it. They took a moment to get to know their acquaintances better, and they decided to head south toward the only indication of civilization that they had been able to see from where they were.
After a few hours of hiking, they were ambushed by several plant creatures. Bardo took the brunt of the attack as the creatures lifted him into the air and lashed at him. The others were quick to come to his defense as Caul and Elceran helped get Ulayra to safety. They managed to fight off the creatures and just in the nick of time.
Something was coming through the trees. Something big…