Mini Adventure: The Vines of Doom I

The party, including Elan the Elven Bard, a Cleric, a Mage and a Barbarian with his pet dog, are hired by a village to find out what's happened to the food convoy that is late and is thus causing consternation amongst the public as supplies run out. We head off on the five-day trek to where the food is harvested and find that this farming village has been overrun by vines. With the Mage thinking that these are simply normal vines, the Barbarian decides to wander in to see if he can find any of the villagers, with us fairly close behind.

He gets about twenty feet in to the vines before some different-looking vines start attacking him and his pet dog, who follows faithfully by his side. The dog gets attacked and runs back away from the vines, panicked somewhat, so the Barbarian, who shrugged off a couple of attacks, goes to try to calm it down. This provokes Attacks of Opportunity from the vines, which violate the Barbarian, sticking in to various crevices, and he falls to the ground, under some mind-affecting influence. His dog is now in the same state.

The rest of us decide that this isn't a good thing and we start to try to get the bodies out of the area where the vines can attack, as well as getting the vines out from the bodies. In dragging them out, the Mage gets attacked and violated, leaving just myself and the Cleric conscious and unmolested. Well, until the dog wakes up and starts attacking us. And by 'us', I mean 'me'. My poetry isn't that bad, stupid mongrel. But I didn't want to attack it back, so whilst the Cleric went to get the Mage I tried to get the vine out of the dog, after I'd successfully managed to get it out of the Barbarian before he woke up and started attacking us. He was probably a bigger threat than his dog. Or, at least, he had better be.

The vines, it appeared, were in control of the bodies of their victims, although not the minds. This became clearer when the Mage awoke and started trying to club the Cleric with a rock he picked up from the floor, shouting out that he was sorry but was no longer in control of his body. As such, when I went to remove the vine from the dog, it dodged out of my way and I couldn't grab it. As the mutt had all ready hurt me and I, sadly, couldn't take another couple of hits from it, I decided to fall-back behind the Cleric, who was now fighting the Mage, in a move I had learnt from a certain Paladin.

The Cleric managed to strike the Mage with a hefty blow that sent him to the ground, bleeding, after he missed attacking the vine sticking out of the Mage. I guess whatever doesn't kill him makes him stronger, and it's easier to get the vine out of something stationary. Flush from this near-death blow, the Cleric makes an Attack of Opportunity at the dog that's hounding me as it tries to attack me once more.

The DM asks if he's attacking the vine with the Attack of Opportunity. 'No', he replies, 'the dog.' I suppose he either learnt something from missing the vine in the Mage, or he just didn't like the dog much. Either way, he sends the dog in to the land of nod, blood oozing from it as it lay still.

After the Cleric finished laying the smack-down on most of our party members it was left to the responsible member of the party, i.e. me, to get the vines out of them and return them control of their bodies. I guess that makes me the hero. It's all in a day's work for a Bard.

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