The second session picked up where the first left off, with the party gathering clues as to what aid they could provide to Turos Tem and the northern reaches of Estiria.
Leandro Rebes, Fighter 1, a Mercenary from the Bargainer’s League with a powerful grudge. (Matthew)
Guillermo Acosti, Grand Alchemist 1, a seeker of secrets from the far-off city of Candleton. (Delwyn)
Marit, Explorer 1, a skilled Monster Hunter from the violent hills of Estiria. (Catherine)
Maeralya, Elven Enchantress 1, an Antiquarian from the far-off Elven Courts. (Asha)
The party split up to consult with the various members of the fort’s staff. Leandro garnered written permission to recruit from the Centurion, along with a description of the bandit leader named Drusus for whom a bounty of 750gp was offered.
Meanwhile Marit consulted with the Merchant Aeropos about the missing merchants in the area. A purse of 250gp was on offer for the return of the merchants, while confirmation of their deaths was worth half as much.
Finally, Guillermo attended the Hospital and spoke with Genelen, Priestess of the Bringer of Peace, who informed him that the dreams which have intruded on his consciousness have wreaked havoc amongst the population of the fort and suggested it might be an “Omen Spike”, a time when the Ascendants of Gnosis and Fate would send revelatory dreams to the faithful to warn or guard them against evil.
Finally, the party put out word that they were looking for brave individuals willing to risk their lives with their band. They recruited three hirelings; two level 0 henchmen, and a mercenary Heavy Infantryman. With their new recruits, they marched off to attempt to locate the missing merchant caravan.
Leandro (Ftr 1)
→ Bertram (NM 0 / Heavy Infantry Mercenary)
Marit (Expl 1)
→ Bob (NM 0 / Hireling) (+1 Morale)
Guillermo Acosti ( Alc 1)
→ “Assistant” (NM 0 / Hireling)
Not long after leaving the fort, the heroes discovered an area where a caravan had very clearly been taken off the road and taken through a path cut through the forest. Travelling this way, they encountered the Elven Enchantress named Maeralya, an old ally of Leandro and Guillermo; learning of their quest, she offered the information she had lately charmed from the locals in the area and suggested she accompany them to help keep them safe from the beastmen.
Their next discovery was a bear’s lair, but they wisely decided to pay it wide berth and marked its position for later.
Further up the cut path, they discovered the wagon they sought; torn open and clearly looted, along with the remnants of what had been the wagon guards. The merchants were nowhere to be seen, and Leandro’s sharp eyes and nose for coin led him to discover a secret compartment built into the wagon. The compartment had, however, been forced open and its contents were missing. Tracks led away from the wagon deeper into the woods, so the adventurers followed them to the north-east.
Camping for the night, the adventurers saw little action until the next day, though several were assailed by dark and frightening dreams. The Elven Enchantress told them of the Elven concept of such mutually-disturbing incidents; in Elven culture, such things are known as World-Wounds, times when events of such hideousness occur that the world itself cries out in pain, manifesting as disturbing dreams and portents.
Travelling through the underbrush following the tracks, Marit’s scouting revealed the stench of a small pack of White Apes lingering in a clearing. Deciding to hunt the beasts for their fur, the party constructed a plan to surprise the apes… which was somewhat derailed when Leandro charged wildly into the fray. Catching up as quickly as possible, the party’s missile fire quickly persuaded the apes to retreat into the treeline, whereupon a number of the apes turned to attack the still advancing Leandro and caught him in a pincer movement. While the party’s snipers downed one of the apes as it fled, the others clawed at Leandro and almost felled him; yet his counterstroke wounded an ape and caused the others to flee his frightening presence as more arrows and slingstones whirled by. A bolt and a stone felled another ape as the rest of the pack escaped.
Skinning their fresh kills and removing their skulls for potential use in alchemy, the party moved on to find a safe camping ground for Leandro to recover from his wounds. During the night as Marit slept, the party were surprised by a gang of a dozen Dwarves, yet it transpired that they were not enemies, but trappers travelling away from a raid they had suffered at the hands of beastmen that were emerging from a cave system in a hill to the east. After giving the adventurers gold in return for their white ape pelts, they joined camp for the night, though their distrust of the elf was palpable.
The following day was one of rest. The journey would continue soon enough, but for now, only the beauty of the Viaspen Forest in early summer remained. It was there were left it for the week.
Treasure gained: 80gp (plus alchemical components that may not survive)
Experience Gained: 160