When we last left our heroes, they were trapped on a mountainside in the middle of a terrible thunderstorm. The road ahead of them is washed out, and goblins are spotted on the ridge!
The caravan barely gets a warning as a pack of goblins descend upon them. Sir Duncan and Iladekonion are pulled with Degas and his men to defend the rear of the caravan, while the PCs are left to deal with the goblin forces in front.
The goblins attack en masse and Dierdre leaps out to meet them in panther form with claws extended. Sir Calidore and Anae are swamped by the little green buggers, and Na’Yumi duels it out with a Goblin Hexer. Calsar, Wyk, and Marid move through the shadows to slay goblins.
With a turn of bad luck, a series of hits from some hidden goblin sharpshooters bring Dierdre down to 0hp, and Anae rushes across the battlefield to lend Elohim’s aid. Na’Yumi slays the Goblin Hexer with an Acid Arrow (disolving it into a puddle of steaming sludge), only to be dropped to 0hp herself by a goblin Blackblade from behind.
Meanwhile, Calidore and Marid are finishing off the remaining goblin cutters and blackblades as Calsar and Wyk hunt down the few stragglers.
The Battle turns out OK for the PCs, as they are alive. Diedre has one strike against her, and Na’Yumi has two. This is going to be a long day.
After the Battle
All told, none of the Pilgrims were harmed. Three of the eight wagons were burned to the grown, with magical green fire, and very little remained. Worse yet, the PCs learn that Sir Duncan has been killed—and not by a goblin!
Upon inspection, it appears that Duncan has been stabbed in the back, and the blade was caught in his armor and left there. The blade belonged to Degas! Enfuriated, the PCs look for Degas, but he and his men have fled the scene of the crime.
The caravan is reduced to five wagons, and worse still, they have less provisions than when they started out. Certainly not enough to complete the journey through the mountains even if the road hadn’t been washed out.
Out of the Rain
Putting their heads together, the PCs discover the following:
- There is a Ford in the Norwood that can lead us south
- The Ford is currently washed out, we should try tomorrow
- The Ford is usually avoided, for the high risk of traveling to the FeyWilde
- Without Duncan, the people are looking for a leader. Calidore steps forward.
- Duncan can be revived, but it will take a rather high level cleric.
- The town of Tredville may be able to help us. At least they can put us up for the night.
So the PCs journey back to Tredville, and it is now evening, as the journey back was hard through the rain, damaged wagons, and mud. All told, it was only the Endurance of the PCs that kept them going.
Along the way, Calsar’s foster mother breaks down. Calsar, however, gives such a stirring and encouraging message that it not only lightens her heart, but also the hearts of everyone in the caravan.
No room at the Inn
Unfortunately, finding the caravan room at the Inn will be difficult. Like the rain drives rats up from the sewers and gutters, so did the scum of the Borderwood flock to this town during the storm. The town has taken on a completely different nature, and many people have boarded up their homes against the influx of ruffians.
The town is dark, amidst all the rain.
- Flagon’s Fable: As the PCs enter this Inn, they discover that even the tavern floor is being converted into cots and mats for people to sleep. Even with a sob story that would break a Balrog’s Heart, the PCs cannot bargain for what doesn’t exist. The Innkeep turns the PCs away with a heavy heart.
- Prancing Pony: The Prancing Pony, as the PCs discover, is nothing more than a pile of ash. It, along with the adjoing block of houses, have been burnt to the ground! This must have been one of the establishments hit by the fire this morning.
- The Dark One’s Own Luck: This hard establishment doesn’t look like it will accomodate anything other than your purses and your corpses. As the PCs turn to leave, they are interrupted by two Strange Men.
”—I can smell it” one says as they approach the PCs.
“You there,” the other says, “What business do you have in the town of Tredville?”
“We are travellers,” says Marid.
“There was a knight with you earlier…”
“Duncan” the other interjects, “Ah, yes… Duncan. What has happened to him?”
“He gave his life in defense of the caravan. We were ambushed by Goblins.” Sternly Replies Calidore.
Snarl “Then it is true!” “Yes…”
They turn to leave, drawing their heavy broadswords. They bolt down the street and out of sight. Off in the distance, The PCs hear the blood-curdling howl of a wolf. It is only now, that the PCs notice the Inn has gone dead silent and all eyes are focused on them. Now would be a great time to leave!
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
As the PCs turn to go back to the caravan empty-handed, a scream erupts from a nearby alley. Looking down the alley, they see the a group of thugs beating up an Old man. In the glint of their torchlight, the PCs make out a face amidst the thugs – it is Degas!
“Revenge!” screams one of the PCs, as they rush the traitor Degas.
The fight is quick and brutal. Anae and Calsar are taken down to 0hp by archers. Na’Yumi displays her versitality in giving First Aid to Anae before unleashing a storm of magic! Marid’s powers come to light as his cursed enemies drop one-by-one and he moves about the battlefield, concealed. Dierdre and Calidore hold the frontline against Degas and his Ruffians.
Calsar, however, delivers a critical “Hunt’s End” and ends Degas for good. Degas will be wearing a nice new set of feathers right between his eyes at his funeral.
After the fight, the old man gets up and scrounges around for his belongings. He picks through Degas’ corpse, and retrieves a golden amulet. Those of keen eye, note that the amulet is that of a woman dancing in fire.
“Allow me to extend an arm of gratitude to you, fair folk. My name is Garid D’Man, but you may simply call me Garry. You wouldn’t believe what lengths these scum will go to for a copper or two. But ah, where are my manners? You are drenched to the core. Follow me, I have a manor on the outskirts of town where you can stay dry.”
“But we have a caravan as well, good sir.”
“Yes, ah, yes. You folks are with the caravan that passed through this morning. After the fire incident, I completely forgot! But yes, yes, I have accommodations for all of you. Let us walk and talk.”
The PCs and the caravan arrive at Garry’s Manor, unharmed and grateful for the dry house.
“Where is, ah, I don’t see that charming fellow with you. The Knight-Captian? Duncles? Dougle? ... ah! Duncan, yes, thank you. Where is he?” Garry asks.
After being told of Duncan’s fate, he shakes his head. “Ah, but that is a shame. I know a cleric that could raise him, if his spirit wished it to, but it is several day’s journey from here and not in the direction you good folk are traveling in. Please, let me take care of him, as you have taken care of me. I can see to it that he recieves the best care. Jalin?” He summons his assistant, “Gentle Repose if you would.”
“Yes sir.” Jalin replies, and gathers the necessary salves.
As the PCs approach their rooms to get settled in for the evengin, Wyk stops before his door. He sense a cold draft coming from the room beyond, and the creak of a floorboard…
Crimsonites in your Closet
Hiding in the rafters, a bunch of Halfling Prowlers dressed in Red Robes attack Wyk. He is struck by several poisoned crossbow bolts, and it is only seconds until he succoms and drops to 0hp. The rest of the PCs respond in kind, and attack the Halflings with prejudice! Anae delivers the final blow, running across the room, praying down holy fire, and administering aid to Wyk. One halfling escapes, but shifting into a wolf, Calsar hunts him down.
Wyk survives, but just. After some investigation, the PC discover that the Halflings were dressed in Crimsonite cloaks and one of them wore a Guildmaster’s ring. Wyk, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ ta do!