Episode 27

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The Coven of Midvale Forest

June 24, 2020

The Heroes of Mid-Spring may have killed the Green Hag of Patruzo the night before, but the Night Hag had escaped. Still, the Baron felt like celebrating and invited them all to a feast that evening. Before that, the adventurers wanted to scout the region of Midvale Forest for signs of where to look for the coven they believed would continue sending hags unless they wiped it out.

Sir Typye took to the skies on Pegasus, scouting the region west and south of Patruzo, while the rest made their way on foot through the tangled cactus trees of Midvale Forest. A column of smoke drew the paladin’s attention and, circling over, he spotted Saria, last heard from a week ago heading off on an adventure with Zabrina.

The rogue looked worn out from her trials and claimed to have been captured with Zabrina by a coven of hags called Aunt Agatha and Molly Maggots, led by the Black Alice, the night hag. Saria told them the coven killed Zabrina but that she had managed to escape their clutches and could lead them back there.

This was a lie: in exchange for returning her to Hyracanum from the Shadowlands, Saria had promised to betray Sir Typye to Mad Mary, the night hag she encountered there. In truth, Mad Mary was keeping pace with the party while remaining in the Ethereal Plane where she could not be observed and giving Saria hints as to where to go so that she appeared to know the way, but really leading them into a trap.

Taking everything at face value from his trusted companion, Sir Typye was saddened by the news, but heartened to have Saria back. He led her back to the party and then the town of Patruzo where they were all honoured guests of the dragonborn Baron who served up his favourite delicacy: chicken-in-a-pumpkin.

The next day, Sir Typye woke from a restless sleep filled with nightmare visions. It looked like he was now the victim of the night hag’s nocturnal visits. Not wanting to risk his health getting worse by delaying their quest, the adventurers headed upriver under Saria’s “guidance”. Late in the day, they spotted a green hag and approached her, only to find half of the party mired in quicksand. The other half quickly threw them ropes and pulled them out, only in time to face the approach of a dozen or so Needle Blights, humanoid-shaped plants which threw handfuls of viciously stinging nettles, and a small army of skeletons.

Sir Typye turned the undead but then they were beset by Black Alice and her Nightmare steed as well as a two-headed Death Dog. Finally, a large toad-like Banderhobb loped toward the paladin and managed to swallow him whole before being killed by Scheff who then cut the monster open to save his friend. The hag ran off when she realized she had lost all her minions and couldn’t win the fight, but they had managed to slay one party member: Shuni’s loyal hunting dog Bonbon.

As the evening storms moved in, the party decided they didn’t want to push on and face the coven in an exhausted state, so Tharius created shelter for everyone with his Leomund’s Tiny Hut spell. The next morning they advanced, despite the suddenly overgrown terrain and being pestered by goblins and needle-blights along the way. By late afternoon, they had found the path up the cliff to the caved-in dome of the ruins the hags called home.

The Heroes of Mid-Spring were met with every defense the coven could muster, from the Scarecrow and the Cockatrice patrolling the grounds to flightless Gargoyles to the Twisted Sisters themselves and their Flesh Golem. The battle was a fierce back-and-forth, with Shuni appearing to be killed. Mad Mary revealed herself as one of them and turned Saria against Sir Typye, but it was all for naught. In the end, the Heroes of Mid-Spring prevailed.

In the aftermath, Saria was able to tell them that the death of Nanny Nox over a week prior had created a vacuum in the coven she shared with Aunt Agatha and Molly Maggots. This had brought several hags out to compete for the open space, one of whom was Black Alice, but in her failed bid to capture Sir Typye using the Banderhobb, she lost to Mad Mary. In any case, the Evil Coven of Midvale Forest was wiped out by Sir Typye and the Heroes of Mid-Spring and all was well once again.

Finally, Saria related the tale to her companions of Zabrina’s Last Adventure.

Episode 28: Agents of the Crown