Dawnrunner

Full Circle, Chapter 23: Dance Party Ending

Last time on Full Circle, the party beat the final boss by unequipping their Sparkly Rocks and closing all the portals, which somehow caused Avalon to get magically nuked. What happens after game over this time? Find out after the cut.

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Ghost Wolf, Chapter 21: So, What’s Our Quest Again?

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is the last half of Chapter 17.)

The party returns to Ravenswood after a hopefully exciting day in Philadelphia. After a quick Wolfsong, Tweek confirms that Adriane has leveled up: her Wolf Stone is now officially a Wolf Stone +2, and she is bonded with a very powerful paladin.

Kara teases Adriane about her crush on Zach, which eventually culminates into Adriane asking Zach to come to an upcoming school dance. But that’s not really important.

What’s really important is that Tweek tells the party what their quest entails! And what the party has to do is considerably different between editions. Originally:

“Tweek, was Avalon really destroyed?” asked Emily.

“From what the spirit pack told Adriane, it would seem so.”

“I saw the island,” Kara said thoughtfully. “But it was all under mist.”

“Even if Avalon was destroyed, the magic still runs strong. And that means it can be rebuilt.” Tweek regarded the mages as the animals of Ravenswood gathered around. “There are several ways to control the magic of Avalon, theoretically. The Dark Sorceress tried to control it through magical animals. The Spider Witch wants to re-weave the entire web. But the only sure way is by returning the nine crystals.”

Believe it or not, the original edition gives us the only clue as to what is inside Avalon. And it looks like obtaining all the Power Crystals and returning them to Avalon (or what’s left of it) gives one control over Avalon’s magic.

Things are slightly different in the new edition:

“…If the Spider Witch plans to reweave the web, she’ll be going after Avalon’s magic to sustain it.”

“But what’s inside Avalon, Tweek?” Emily asked. “Everyone we met seems to have a different opinion.”

“How do we even know there’s magic in there?” Kara added.

“Oh, there’s magic in there. You can bet your twigs on that.”

“Yeah, but what kind of magic?” Adriane asked.

Tweek regarded the mages as the animals of Ravenswood gathered around. “The only sure way to find out is by returning the nine crystals and opening the gates.”

So nobody has any idea what is inside Avalon, other than that there’s magic inside. And obtaining all the Power Crystals allows one to open the Gates of Avalon and find out what’s on the other side. Hmm, I’m starting to wonder why everyone conveniently forgot what’s in Avalon, and if that’s on purpose.

Anyway, Ozzie comes up with the best plan ever: find all the other Power Crystals, then worry about everything else later.

Tweek then gives a quick party status update — which, if you’ve been following this blog, you’ve probably already figured out that two-thirds of the main party have leveled up, and the party has two out of nine eight Power Crystals. We do get some interesting information on Ozzie, though: he’s an important party member because he’s an example of “elemental transformation”. The Fairimentals probably chose him to help the party because of his strong magic.

The mistwolves then depart for Aldenmor via the portal. Before leaving, Dawnrunner reveals that she’s pregnant. (Hmm, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea for her to participate in that boss battle!) This is apparently cause for the entire party to dance.

Once the mistwolves leave, Adriane realizes that both Stormbringer and Dreamer hold special places in her heart. She can now feel Stormbringer in the forest around her, since Stormbringer is now the guardian of Ravenswood. Oh, and Adriane’s finally moved on from Stormbringer’s apparent death.

Status Update!
Adriane is bonded to: Stormbringer (paladin version)!
Adriane learns: Summon Stormbringer!

Next time: the party gets some unexpected assistance.

Ghost Wolf, Chapter 16: Oh Great, It’s Boss Time

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is Chapter 13.)

Remember that giant cocoon that suddenly appeared in the last chapter? Well, it explodes and spreads webs all over the place. Adriane starts to feel sick, but manages to tell the party that Stormbringer is alive and well.

The mistwolves realize that Stormbringer is connecting them with the Spirit Trail. Adriane wants to return to the Spirit Trail so she can find Dreamer, but Tweek tells the party that they have to find Orenda before she steals Ravenswood’s magic.

Wait … what? Why would Orenda want to steal Ravenswood’s magic now?

Whatever, the party finds Orenda’s trail, and they follow it. Suddenly, Tweek explodes, and a tree bursts open. Out comes Orenda … but she’s not the sweet humanoid sentient willow tree she used to be. Nope, she’s now:

Boss: Orenda
The guardian sylph of Ravenswood, corrupted by the Spider Witch. Wants to steal Ravenswood’s magic.
Attacks: Nothing really special, oddly enough.

Orenda is one of those annoying teleporting bosses. She starts the battle by absorbing some of Ravenswood’s magic and taunting the party. Zach and Kara cast Magic Missile, and do enough damage to force Orenda to move to another tree.

Adriane is totally useless in the battle because of her connection to Ravenswood. All the damage Orenda is causing to Ravenswood is hurting her as well. So the mistwolves, led by Dawnrunner, attack Orenda in the next phase, and do enough damage to drive her out of the tree. Adriane realizes that the party needs to keep Orenda in one location long enough so that they can cast Heal.

So Zach, Drake, Lyra, Ozzie, and the mistwolves herd Orenda into the topiary gardens. This was not a Good Idea, because Orenda possesses a brontosaurus-shaped topiary! Drake quickly defeats it by casting Fireball. Orenda then possesses a T-Rex topiary. Zach fires Magic Missiles at it while the rest of the party runs to Ravenswood Manor.

The party reaches the edge of the forest behind the manor. Dawnrunner tells Adriane that she has to ask the trees for help. So Adriane and the rest of the party fire magic into the trees, which lures Orenda out of the topiary. Dawnrunner attacks Orenda before she reaches the trees. Apparently, the attack is super effective in the original edition:

Adriane felt the evil spirit meld with the tree, sinking its venom into the rich veins. She grabbed at the demon, twisting her magic around it like a rope. Dawnrunner’s brave act had weakened the creature.

In the new edition, however, the attack is not very effective, because nothing happens. Either way, Dawnrunner is knocked out after attacking. Emily casts Heal on Dawnrunner while the rest of the party casts Shield on the tree Orenda is currently possessing.

Adriane then casts Heal on Orenda, but discovers that it’s not very effective because Orenda is completely corrupted. She gets so pissed by the spell’s failure and Dawnrunner’s pointless attack that she just fires pure magic at Orenda.

And then Adriane is suddenly sucked into another astral plane.

Just one question before I close: Why hasn’t anyone outside of Ravenswood noticed that trees are exploding? Ravenswood is right next door to a public park, and Emily’s home is somewhere nearby. So why hasn’t anyone from the park, or maybe Dr. Fletcher, wandered into Ravenswood during the boss battle?

Next time: Things start to get weird.

Ghost Wolf, Chapter 10: Reinforcements!

(If you’re reading the original edition, this is Chapter 7.)

The next day at school, Joey, the Catty Girl Posse, and a bunch of other students ask Adriane about Ravenswood. Now they’re all concerned about the preserve closing down, because they put so much work into organizing the tours and setting up that fundraiser. They decide to start a grassroots campaign to keep Ravenswood open.

Kara and Emily arrive to save Adriane from her sudden surge in popularity — and just in time, because Ozzie contacts them. The Ravenswood portal is opening, so the party has to get back quick!

Once back at the portal field, Ozzie explains that something is trying to break through the portal. The party attempts to strengthen the Protection from Evil dreamcatcher, but quickly realize that a spider’s web is blocking the portal. Adriane senses something trying to break through the web. Suddenly, the party hears howling from the other side of the portal! Adriane thinks that it’s a pack of ghost wolves, so she starts firing Magic Missiles. Unfortunately, she has no control of her magic, so she fires those missiles all over the place.

Eventually, the web covering the portal is completely destroyed, and out come Zach, Drake, Moonshadow, and a couple dozen mistwolves. Everyone gets reacquainted with one another, and Moonshadow introduces the party to Dawnrunner, his mate. Zach also shows off his new, pimped-out modern Earth outfit, which Kara apparently sent him via dragonfly — I mean, “Fred-Ex”. Argh, stupid pun.

Moonshadow explains that he brought some of his wolves to Ravenswood to protect the place from the field of dark magic that’s surrounding it. Drake was the only one able to break through the web blocking the portal, which explains why he and Zach are with them. And as if on cue, that web re-materializes over the portal, blocking their return route to Aldenmor.

Turns out that the mistwolves also have problems with missing wolves: the Spirit Pack is lost, and without them, the mistwolves will lose their magic and become normal wolves. Adriane promises that she’ll find the Spirit Pack for them.

Zach tells the party that the Dark Sorceress and Spider Witch have escaped from the Otherworlds, which they already know. The only new stuff they learn is that the Original Party located another Power Crystal, and that the guardian sylph of Ravenswood is being corrupted by dark magic.

Moonshadow reveals that the Spirit Trail, which the Spirit Pack follows, runs through Ravenswood. Adriane tells Moonshadow about her world walking abilities, and her misadventures with the David Bowie wolf. Turns out that Moonshadow knows this wolf: his name is Chain, and he refused to join the Spirit Pack when he died because he was betrayed by his human partner, Henry Gardener. Chain’s bad experiences with humanity is the reason Moonshadow originally forbade any contact with humans. (But wait, I thought Moonshadow hated humans because he thought Zach got his mother killed! Argh, continuity errors.)

Anyway, Adriane tells Moonshadow that she found Stormbringer while world walking. And while everyone is talking about wolves, Emily puts Ozzie in charge of finding places for their new guests.

Unfortunately, Adriane’s mom shows up, and she may have seen a giant dragon hanging out by Adriane’s house….

Next time: Adriane’s mother acts like a smart human and posts pictures of Drake online.