>>> Nobody (including myself) wrote summaries for the last session in May, so here’s the overview of all for posterity! Hey, did you realize that ONE in-character summary by Rolen would most certainly catch his XP up to everone elses? ^^
The rescue of Agathius : 17 Gaia’n through 1 Ankara’n (mid-April to beginning of May)
Twin Valley, a ‘kingdom’ originally founded by two ruling families (Romeo and Juliet meet Frankenstein), is now terrorized by a lich-queen with undead and lycanthopic minions. One entire family and half the valley is completely gone, the western half reduced to a few imbred peasants huddling on the hilltop trying not to be noticed and a few ‘royals’ in an abandoned mansion up above them.
Hanging around the disappearing castle deep in the eastern valley until the next full moon, our group wandered in, grabbed Agathius, and ran completely out of the valley. Nobody followed them.
Travelling : 2 Ankara’n – 6th Ankara’n (early May)
The group went north – northeast – east along the road, following Angus’ nemesis pointer. After a few days on the road we passed Arlentown, where the local farmers huddling in a couple of homes, their barns and fields burned down by “white ghosts throwing fire” (THAT should ring some bells by this point). Upon hearing that a pair of (usually dangerous) Lyr priests (whom y’all met earlier) had gone in hunting several days ago and never returned, the farmers were left on the road and we continued east.
More Travelling : 7th Ankara’n – 12th Ankara’n (mid-May)
We arrived at Caerleon, where people were being torn to pieces in the streets (supposedly by adventurers, which sounds a bit unlikely). Upon entering the only lit building (a tavern) where survivors are huddling terrified of the dark, Rolen scared them shitless (technical term…^_^). Without remonstration or any attempt to apologize or comfort them (even fake a fix) we just offered a half-hearted ’he’s just fooling around’. Unwilling to stay or look around, the party camped by an abandoned house on the edge of town and left early the next day.
Getting on with it : 13th Ankara’n – 2nd Chloe’n (mid-May to beginning of June)
Nothing interesting popped up after that for many days. We travelled west along the road to Little Brindling (south as the crow flies from Reidoth the Druids ruined town high above in the Shadowland forests), over the hills by Keldon Keep, and along the edge of the swamplands until arriving at the city of Brindlingford. As Angus was still pointing west, we stopped for a couple of days R&R, sold much junk and updated much gear, took a quick tour, then headed out again.
Look, a gate! : 2nd Chloe’n – 15 Chloe’n (first half of June)
Unexpectedly, Angus was now pointing EAST, back along the trade road! WTF?! OK, retracing our steps east. Just before leaving the swamp region the last fishing town appeared completely deserted! As it had been busy a few days ago, we investigated. The fishing huts (raised on stilts) all seemed empty, abandoned. The small boats and rafts were all parked on shore, unused. The main hut (a wooden two-story in the center of town built above a mostly-solid lump of dirt and rock, unlike the rest of the building) was odd in many ways. First, it was the most truly ugly house anyone had ever seen;. It was painted cat-vomit yellow, with no windows downstairs and heavy overlapped-driftwood shutters closing the upper windows. The roof, originally nicely tiled with clay shingles, had sagged along with the settling walls until they had patched the gaps with heavy weedy thatch. Next, the front porch door (the ONLY door, apparently) had furnature, logs and trash piled against it, making it impossible to open at all. And lastly, it had burn and smoke marks around all the windows and roof gaps.
Carric started circling for tracks, Rolen climbed up to force open window shutters, and Aedesh and Angus began clearing the door.
Rolen discovered that a fire had raged within the building, gutting everything. The ground and upper floors had been burnt to cinders, along with anything inside. The pile of ash lying on the ground below also contained the burnt bones of 5 humanoids who apparently died in the fire.
Getting the door open, we found even more oddities: the burnt bones were BELOW the collapsed building, not within the rubble, and for some reason all seemed to be missing their right forearm and hand.
Carric found many barefoot humanoid prints outside going off in all directions, but some had carried things out of the fishing huts (deeper prints). Also, a small group of cats (2, 3…maybe 5) had walked away from the front of the door to the north, and apparently directly into the water! (Carric doubted this…unnatural behavior)
Everyone went north trying to follow tracks, cats and humans both going mainly north. A cave, with some surviving fishermen on the run from shadowy killers, but just before being surprised Aedesh detected demonic energies in some nearby Slizzards, but also ABOVE the cave moving down. A pair of albino stick humanoids and the slizzards (all obviously enchanted) were quickly beaten, but not before Carric destroyed on albino by dissication (Blight) and he returned the favor with a fireball into the cave, killing almost all. One of the white beings had been taunting and teasing Aedesh, but on dying simply said “You’ve won nothing, the caves are open and your lands are OURS!” before his light went out. Working quickly, we saved two of the fishermen, but only them. (One warrior, one really tough old woman who must have been scary when she was younger)
Leaving them to continue northwest to family, we decided to backtracking the albinos, following them into the hills to the west before losing them in the rocks. After the tracks petered out, some circling detected a strange cave in the cliffside. Remembering the albino , it was entered and explored. Climbing upwards through a wet vine-amd-mold covered crack ended in a wet cave with a glowing hole in the roof. A Gate! Deciding that this was a not-good thing, a druidic dispel-magic was attempted, and ultimately succeeded! Unfortunatly, the river which had been diverted by the gate reappeared in the cave and washed everyone down the cliff. Fun for all!
Afterwards, we pushed back southeast for several days and rejoined the road a few miles west of Kendel Keep.