9th of Erastus, 4718 AR
Stagholm, The Northern Reaches
Sen Tse has been pondering ways of reaching self-perfection and enlightenment, and he wonders if becoming more connected to nature and more spiritual will work. Having seen Nomen Spirits at work, he browses Ervil Pendrod’s notes on the spirits. He notices that Imbuzi is the spirit of Afterlife, honor and the hunt. A stag of immense proportions, apparently he’s supposed to reside in the Narlmarches. Ervil noted ties to the god Erastil, and the Narlmarches contain two locations with relevance to Erastil: the Temple of the Elk and a statue of Erastil close to Tatzlford. He decides to go to the statue as people would have noticed such a giant stag in Erastil. When he arrives at the statue, he sits down and meditates. When he opens his eyes, he’s in a blasted plain, surrounded by standing stones and dried up trees. A thirty foot tall stag made out of vines and wood is fighting a batlike demon. As Sen reaches to intervene, he feels a sense of danger and decides to fetch the rest of the party to help him.
When the party arrives at the statue, Sen urges them to meditate. Unsure, the sit down and close their eyes. When they open it, they are back in the blasted plains. The giant stag is now doing some sort of ritual at a standing stone circle, while four smaller versions of the stag fight off red, slimy demons armed with spears.
Stonewilds, The Worldwound
Aldous recognizes the place as the Worldwound and deduces that this must be the Hierophant’s Circle in the north. He recognises the stag as a herald of Erastil, and realises it’s reactivating the circle’s wards with its ritual. The party helps the smaller stags fight off the demons. After, one of the stags explains they are Cervine Protectors, the minions of the Grim White Stag, herald of Erastil. They need to guard the Grim White Stag, or Imbuzi as the Nomen know him, until he finishes his ritual. They expect a few more waves of demons before it’s finished. It explains that the druid circles have become corrupted by demonic influence. Aldous and Rachim both have the necessary knowledge to reverse the corruption and set to work on a few of the circles. Soon though, another horde of demons arrives. Dretches and two clouds of smoke close in. The first cloud of smoke turns into a giant toadlike demon with a blast of profane energy, engulfing Sen and Isabella. In an instant, Isabella takes aim and shoots the demon between the eyes, felling it in one shot. Aldous’ and Rachim’s combined effort take down the other toad demon too after it materialises.
The wave after that consists of more of the slime demons, supported by a vulture demon and one of the batlike demons Sen saw. The vulture demon screeches and stuns Rachim, who gets surrounded by the red slime demons. The party takes out the bat demon and the vulture demon and then shift their attention to the pesky red demons. After a long fight they manage to slay them all. Soon after killing the last demon, the Grim White Stag lays down on the ground and with a flash he powers the guardian circle, transforming himself into a table filled with venison dishes. The party eats from the feast. Sen stays and meditates through the night while Aldous teleports the rest of the party to Stagholm to sleep.
In Sen’s meditations, he walks through a forest on a giant mountain. In front of him is a clearing, where the Grim White Stag is waiting for him. It thanks him for his help in warding the area, praising his valour and willingness to endanger himself to help others. Sen pledges his support to the Spirit’s cause, swearing to help the spirit in his holy endeavours. Imbuzi blesses him and appoints him its agent.
At sunrise the Grim White Stag reappears at the circle, only minutes after Aldous teleports the party back. The Grim White Stag thanks them for their help in fighting of the demonic horde. Since they’ve freed up its time, it will return to the Narlmarches, maybe hang around in the forest around Erastus.