Secret War

Mandragora

Young halfling Rita needed rescuing from bandits. Companion, Job turns into plantlike monster. Baron Baltac invites the party to his castle and explains the Mandragoran curse. Party agrees to retrieve the heart of a mandragora tree in exchange for 15,000 gp and a cure for Casca. Rebels break in and take her. Party follows them but their leader, Duncan, explains that they need their help to fight against the tyrant Baltac who wants to use the extract to weaponize His soldiers. Undead rise in response to Krough’s brand. Casca heals them.
At mandragora town, a nun stops the fighting and pleads for their case, telling the story of Nikoli who brought the disease to the villagers. Claims these people live happier lives because of it. Despite this, the party kills the tree, but the nun, Estereth, take the heart and flees outside only to be met by Baron Baltac’s guards. She burns to death in the fire rather than give up Nikoli. Before any fighting can begin, the Goristro, Nosferato Zog, arrives telling the party how Lord Griffith has returned and summoned him to retrieve something from the ruins of Zhentil Keep. He leaves after Krough cleaves one of his horns off.
Casca has been captured so the party fights their way to the throne room, using a young girl they found in the keep as a hostage. She turns out to be Baltac’s wife, kept young and innocent through the extrac. Baltac drinks it himself and changes and is killed by the party. Casca is inside a mandragora monster. Iados frees her as the others destroy the creature. The villagers are freed from the curse. Rita bids them farewell.

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Harried in Hillsfar

Prophecy of old crazy man leads the party to the outskirts of Hillsfar, which you learn has ejected all non-humans from the city. Strange things are happening, woman having sextuplets each with an extra digit on each hand and foot, goat having six kids with red fun and one with two heads. Giant beats at the Farbough Farms, along with an Underdark disease . Jackalweres infesting the forest near the Spring of Blessed Life. A faerie dragon named Zook decided to stay around Casca to protect this innocent. Rothe’s being turned into undead beasts by a cult to Jergal. A poor innocent priest being possessed by a shadow and then killed by Rhygar and Iados. A Goristro being summoned successfully by an elf who discovered the ancient fey’ri (elf/demon hybrids) but died for his efforts. The party has the respect of the villagers surrounding Hillsfar, and the Red Plum Guards are a bit wealthier after taking all of Krugh’s treasure; and a bit of animosity remains between the party and them.

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