zondag 17 februari 2013

Across the Plains of Prax

Jhonen's caravan en route to Swenstown
Our heroes have felt the wrath of GimGim the Grim and escaped with their lives, albeit with some help from Sun Lord Yelanda. That is an achievement in itself. Their loyal newtling sidekicks have escorted them out of the town, and out of harms way, with the aid of some riverfolk friends and a reed boat. The party decides to seek refuge at the dwarf knoll oasis, where the run into Jhonen, a merchant seeking protection for a trek to Boldhome. Our adventurers decide on the spot. They wil escort Jhonen to Swenstown, then travel south to the Old Wind Temple. From there, they will head to the Ernaldori lands and liberate Herculon's captive brother.
The party heads west from Dwarf Knoll, using Tada's as a reference point, and steer clear of Moonbroth and the ever-increasing Lunar presence there. They make it to Pimpers block in one day, then decide to press on to the hamlet of Thorsen, on the road to Swenstown, so they can have a good night's sleep. Jhonen the merchant is no unknown in Thorsen, and his arrival causes some excitement from the locals. Jhonen's goods are eagerly inspected, and business is good, and the Issaries merchant invites his guards for a drink in the Obese Hog's Inn that afternoon. Of course our heroes accept, and Raiko once again ends up rather drunk by sunset. In order to get his head clear again, he orders a banquet, a clear indication of the level of luxury this party has become used to during months of training and no adventuring.
At dinner Giomanach notices one of the locals looking at Jhonen in a funny way, and that same evening there is some noise in the hallway. Giomanach investigates and finds the same local threatening Jhonen with a knife. The sorcerer intervenes, and the local scurries off.
The next day, travel goes a lot less quickly, and the mountain roads prove hard to negotiate with four wagons of goods. When the road is blocked by large boulders, the party has no choice but to clear the road, and before they are back on their way it is getting dark. They decide to set up camp on a clearing on the top of the mountain. As they do this, they notices a pack of wolves on the slopes, and during the night, the wolves stay near the camp looking for opportunity. The party sets up a perimeter of torches to keep the canines at bay.
The next day, after only an hour of travel, the party is attacked by a group of archers. They quickly deploy, only to find out there is a second half of robbers attacking them in the rear. The situation is less than ideal, and things would look ugly if not for the hardened adventurers: Giomanach quickly dispatches some crowd control, and Herculon, Daerius, Raiko and Jaya make the thieves see the error of their ways. They are no match for the veteran warriors and are quickly dispatched. If Jhonen noticed the use of vile sorcery, he does not let on: after the fight he congratulates the group for their efficiency.
The chaos monster unleashed
The last village to visit before arriving in Swenstown is Aylesford. The party arrives at the village perimeter and notice corpses everywhere. Clearly something is very amiss here. As they roll into the market square, they notice the buildings, with the chapel being particularly gruesome. The door has been pulled out of the hinges, and inside lie most of the villages women and children, brutally slaughtered. Giomanach starts barking orders to Jhonen's men, in order to create a safe zone quickly, while the rest of the party start tracking. They find weird tracks leaving the village and follow them. After a few minutes they run into a clearing and notice a group of men around a crackling fire. Two leather tents are standing near the fire. Our party manages to sneak forward and launch a sneak attack, and within seconds several of the warriors are dead. Still, one manages to open a large cage, liberating a chaotic being halfway between a bear and a human. The monster charges out, howling, and runs into Herculon. In the same second, a shaman crawls out of the tent.
A fight ensues, the shaman summoning his fetch, a spider- like spirit, and several haunts. The players have a lot of trouble getting the better of these guys, and it takes the arrival of Giomanach on his speed enhanced mount to make it happen.

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