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Yuletide (5 Levels Later...)
Tim plays Bubba Watson with faithful animal companion Titleist the hawk. Human Ranger 7th level, bow is his specialty.

John plays Borsh, human fighter 7th level. The lawn mower. 2 weapon fighting.

Luke plays Flavius, half-elf 5th level thief/2nd level Assassin.

Kelly plays Livel Elf 4th Cleric/ 3rd Wizard

David plays Joachim Eibe (N), a human druid of the seventh level, with his wolf companion Ghost.

One day as the rugged band of frontier mercenaries returned to the town of Augustus, Flavius the thief took notice of a raven following the group at a distance. Livel sent her raven companion to follow the other in order to trace it back to its origin.

After welcoming the druid Joachim Eibe at the Bed & Belly Inn over drinks, the elf's raven returned to provide a location- a remote farmstead 20 miles out of town. The group rested and prepared for a scouting mission.

After a 3 hour hike by foot, the group came upon a large stone and wood farm house and stable. The fields were untended, the property over grown. Flavius moved silently to investigate the house more closely while Bubba Watson kept watch nearby, bow at the ready. Joachim set Ghost on a Guard command as extra backup while he moved swiftly across the grounds to the stable, using the blighted orchard as cover. The elf and Borsch the lawn mower man kept cover at a distance under an old oak tree, Titleist and the raven familiar perched atop watching the approaches.

The thief quickly took note of the fortifications made to the otherwise unmaintained home as an arrow shot forth from one of several windows converted to arrow slits, narrowly missing him. Ever quick to act, Flavius called to torch the house with flaming arrows while running to the north side of the building, out of Bubba and the wolf's lines of sight. Reaching the stable, the druid heard the sounds of horses and made to open the stable door but not before taking an arrow. Once inside, Joachim set to harnessing the four riding horses, leaving the draft horses, cargo wagon and very posh hearse alone. Livel and Borsh held their position, disagreeing over the course of action, the elf for diplomacy, the fighter for a bonfire. It was fire in the end as the ranger set to launching flaming missiles onto the wooden roof, the thief quickly following suit.

Hearing the commotion outside and smarting from his wound, the druid decided for a quick dash on horse back to the oak tree gathering point, leading all the horses back through the orchard. Several rounds of flaming arrows landed on the house but there was no further reprisal from the house.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Flavius was struck from behind and in the same instant, several brutes burst forth from the stable, which the druid had just dashed from not a minute earlier. The biggest of them was a berserker brandishing a greatsword and was set to take down the ranger, which he did to devastating effect. Luckily Ghost was within range, his attack keeping the massive foe off balance and bleeding. Borsh and Joachim set into motion a trained maneuver, the druid granting a barkskin then setting off an entangle spell and the fighter using his ring of free action to close in on a pair of thief/wizards brandishing short swords. Livel cast a defensive spell then followed up with a pair of magic missiles to help balance the odds for the fighter.

The elf and fighter had the fight in hand, so Joachim dashed across the grounds to aid the thief and ranger, both of whom were in dire straights. The heat of the burning roof beat down on all combatants, the intensity of the battle rising in accord. A couple of thrown fire balls from the druid landing their mark helped equalize the situation for the thief, who then set to helping the ranger take down the berserker. Livel and Borsh finished off the the thief/wizards in a dynamic fashion, with a raven delivered buff spell and a well aimed Scorching Ray from the elf and the fighter shredding through mirror images until at last he saw blood.

The druid cast an ice storm spell to quench the flames of the burning roof and helped the elf with healing the injured.

A search of the barn revealed a secret door and tunnel leading to the basement of the house. No treasure was discovered in the buildings but a spell book was discovered on one of the bodies. Another secret door was discovered in the basement along with a small diameter hole nearby, leading to a room beyond.

The group quickly put together the clues (hearse; no magic weapons; hole for gaseous form) that they were dealing with a vampire!

Alarmed at the realization, the party frantically reviewed their options and it didn't look good, despite some creative tactics involving a bag of holding!

Hope its a garlic farm 'cause trouble's coming!!!
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Epic!
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Homebrew (3.5)
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