The three party members awake in the night in Barrier Town, to the sound of a woman’s cries, outside the Sea Wench Inn. Malkovich and Raz will not wake (their players are absent!). In the light of the full moon, they see a figure stumble off the end of the wall gangway, and rush out to investigate. The woman appears battered and pleads the party to aid the logging encampment on the far side of the wall. The party see there are several torch lights on the far side of the lake’s channel, and immediately row across in a canoe.
Half way across the lake, something very large begins to beat upon the barrier, from the other side. A massive, dark form is detected beneath the water’s surface. After several rams, a wooden pylon splinters and sends a section of the gangway above crashing into the water, narrowly missing the canoe. The party hastily paddle to the encampment, ahead.
The logging camp is reached as dawn breaks, and the denizens are clearly recovering from an incident. Mrs. Buttersworth, a camp resident, recalls the frightening events of the night: a terrible, viscous beast attacked occupants of tents, in their sleep. The camp guards saw nothing enter the camp.
Just then, Karraak arrives, having run across the water barricade and using incredible dexterity to hop across the failing pylons where the gangway collapsed. Karraak brings attention to huge paw prints in the soil around the camp. Unfortunately, they are too obscured to determine their path of origin. Pressing Mrs. Butterworth further, they party learn the beast resembled a massive wolf, but was clothed, at least in part, and walked on its hind legs. She noted that it seems only select tents were attacked, instead of those adjacent to prior attack.
Hayward recalls legend of the Curse of Lycanthropy: the cursed individual transforms in part or whole into a beast. Also, those bitten or otherwise attacked by a lycanthrope and survive also fall under the curse. Looking at the 20 injured survivors, laying in the common area, the party quickly grow concerned and are determined to locate the attacker. They decide to search the area surrounding the camp.
Nearby, they encounter a huge, human lumberjack named Brawney, returning to camp from the woodland. An interrogation reveals Brawney is intimately familiar with the Curse of Lycanthropy; he himself is a bear lycanthrope (werebear). His massive size, alleged, bearlike appearance, and paw prints prove he is not the attacker. He hails from a generational line of lycans, who have apparently embraced their misfortune and have long learned to manage their periodic transformation.
Brawney reveals not all lycans are dangerous; those who resist the curse and are unwilling to surrender to its power retain some means of self control and are unlikely to spread the curse. Those who surrender themselves become truly beastly, wild, and dangerous. He has also pursued his great-grandfather’s vision of creating a disposable towel somehow made of porous paper.
Upon returning to camp, the people beg the adventurers to provide safe passage for the injured, to return to town, to receive medical attention. The party are concerned that come nightfall, the injured will become feral and ravage the remainder of the camp. The injured must be de-cursed by Malkovich, as soon as possible.
(To be continued!)