Day 22-24 (Travel 4-6)
- Ended at 8pm IGT
Kriv sees Lux, Gunn, and Zell’s forms flicker in existence and is immediately suspicious. The trio are suddenly strangely cheerful and are wearing odd red hats and carrying new magical objects. They do their best to convince Kriv that they are real, saying they had been whisked away on an adventure by Santa Clause and were now back. Lux manages to vouch for Gunn and Zell. Gunn offers Kriv some Egg Nog as proof of where they had been. Kriv takes a sip and is disgusted by it, but grudgingly trusts that they are who they say they are.
The adventurers decide to hold a funeral for their fallen guard Sulesdeg the Pole. Gunn says some moving words and Lux sets the funeral pyre ablaze with magical fire. Meanwhile, Kriv convinces Tirigan to go pay his respects at the funeral while he keeps watch over Tirigan’s wagon. Kriv enlists Zell’s help to break in to the lock box under the wagon’s seat. He succeeds with difficulty but there is not much time before everyone returns from the funeral. They find several bags that jingle and a folded letter. Kriv quickly reads the letter, then replaces it and Zell locks the chest again. Tirigan returns to the wagon none the wiser, as far as Kriv can tell.
In the middle of the night, Zell has another horrible nightmare. This time he dreams of viciously killing members of the caravan. He wakes up the next morning shaken and tells Kriv about it. Kriv asks Lux and Gunn about their experience and knowledge of dreams. He suspects it could be some magic or a magical being causing the nightmares. Lux asks the Sweetbellies if they have had nightmares but none of them report anything out of the ordinary. Gunn asks his guards. Some of them report nightmares about the fight with the ghouls, but nothing really stands out.
Lux gives the Halfling children the toys she had gotten from Santa’s toy machine and tries to talk the oldest girl into giving her the necklace she suspects the girl has stolen. The girl cries and Lux drops the subject, for now.
Kriv has decided to keep a close eye on Zell for the next night and ends up sensing a fiendish presence on top of Zell’s sleeping form. Zell does end up having another nightmare, dreaming of killing Orvustia Esseren, one of the hired guards, over and over again. Eventually the dream takes hold of Zell and becomes real. Zell stands up and draws his dagger then heads toward where Orvustia is sleeping. Kriv sees this and follows Zell, tackling him to the ground when Zell tries to stab Orvustia. Zell wakes up and doesn’t know what’s going on. Kriv senses that the fiend has moved away and wakes up Lux and Gunn. Lux does a search for the presence of magic in the area and makes note of a few spots that glowed in caravan wagons. Her search also points to magic in the direction of the fiend. The adventurers all run in the direction the fiendish presence was last seen and find a beautiful woman lying naked on the ground.
The woman spouts lies about who she is and how she got there that no one really believes until Kriv runs out of patience and threatens the woman’s life. The woman gives a screech and transforms into an ugly hag. The adventurers immediately attack, but before they can kill the hag she disappears. No one can find any trace of where the hag went and the adventurers hurry back to check on the caravan camp. Everything appears peaceful and normal.
Zell drinks away the night and falls asleep in the morning. He has no nightmares this time. Kriv and Lux remain on edge and Gunn doubles the amount of guards on watch and increases patrolling.