By Jamey Martin
The Company of the Griffon
Thus, upon their return to Hap, Vandril and Hector set to researching a more advanced form of the speak with dead spell. When all was said and done they were successful in shaping a 5th level spell that could conjure up the very ghost of the subject, rather than relying on vestige memories, and thus overcome the time constraints. However, there was also a risk that the ghost would be angered at the summoning and attack the conjuror. And in the case of dragons, legend had it that wyrms have particularly dangerous ghosts.
As Hector and Vandril buried themselves in this work, Corwin, Tyros, and Brutus took the time to do some intelligence gathering in Yokeluk and Blackfeather Bridge. Soon enough they had identified the wood in western Battledale as most likely being the Yevenwood, and also learned that it's chief settlement was a Battledalian mining town called Brogunham.
Making their way to Brogunham, they next learned that the eastern reaches of the Yevenwood were dotted with the manors of wealthy Sembians, but that it's western reaches were largely wild and uninhabited. There was some talk of an adventuring company that had established a stronghold, called the Griffon's Nest, in the heart of the wood nearly 3 years, but they had not been heard from since the end of last season. There was also some talk amongst some local hunters of a dragon graveyard located in the far western reaches of the wood, though many locals discounted this rumour as sheer nonsense.
So, with the season slowly drawing to a close, the trio secured the promise of aid from these hunters, fetched the rest of the band, and then set out for the so-called "Dragon Graveyard". Within a few days they had reached the Griffon's Nest, where they found that the stronghold was in goodly condition. Ringing the gate bell, they were warmly greeted by the groundskeeper, who informed him that, in spite of distant gossip, all was well at Griffon's Nest. He went on to reveal that the "lords" and "lady" of the manor, the Company of the Griffon as they fancied themselves, were out about on their business at present, but would be back by evening at the latest, and bade that in the meantime, the band enjoy the hospitality of the manor grounds.
In due time, the Company of the Griffon returned to their nest. They were introduced as Sir Gaylin the Proud, Dennorond the Strong, Sam the Nimble, Synnylas of Lliira, and Andros the mage. And it could not be said that the Company of the Griffon did not receive their guests gladly. They ordered extra food put on, kegs of beer and mead opened, and rooms prepared.
Thus did the band eat and drink deeply that night, learning in the process that the Company had been so busy exploring the lands and ruins to the northwest, and were so well stocked, that they simply had had no need to venture to Brogunham or more civilized climes as of yet. And so things went, with Voldreena and Disciple Landrian retiring to their room at a right and proper hour, soon to be followed by Vandril, while Hector was himself led off to bed soon after that by the company's wanton Joybringer. The warriors continued to drink with the rest of the company on into the night.
Soon enough however, it came to pass that the Company of the Griffon began to transform into ferocious man-wolves, taking the band by surprise in a vicious assault. The heroes fought back with drunken vigour or the sheer will to live, with Hector left to fight his way out of a naked and prone position with the she-wolf on top of him. In the end, all were successful in slaying their assailants. All save for Hector. He had suffered some deep wounds, and Synnylas had escaped into the night.
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