Title: Two Towns to a Mountain
Date: Late Trilan to Early Vor, 1332 Avard
Synopsis: The lead ME team passes through River Crown and Rustos on its way to the Dragon's Bones on Mount Breakhammer.
Morning of the 22nd of Trilan, 1332 Avard.
Greff was paralyzed. The toxic cactus spines had touched every member of the team, but either he had reacted poorly to the toxin, or taken significantly more of a dosage than the rest of the team. It took all of Greff's considerable effort just to open his eyes, and his eyes and lids were about all he could control, despite desperate, repeated attempts.
The team wrapped up their business at Atterley's ruins, and waited the rest of the day to see if Greff would recover, or relapse. Greff showed small signs of improvement throughout the afternoon. The team made camp under a small overhang, and Dert found out that the overhang led into a narrow cave that opened out into a rounded chamber. The chamber was covered in black soot – save where odd 'paintings' stood on the walls, their feet tapering in towards the middle. Corrin realized that the paintings were the shadows where people had stood when some powerful fire burst outwards. Only one of the figures was in profile, but the images revealed very little.
By the morning, the team decided to arrange for a travois to haul Greff behind his horse, Buck. They checked on Greff quite often, and he continued to show small signs of imrovement as they moved through the old growth forest. By evening of that day, Greff was able to move, albeit either very slowly or very sloppily.
Midway through the afternoon, the team spotted smoke in the distance. The thin trail of smoke arose from a point not too far from the entrance into Cairne's Pass. Dert and Corrin were sent in to assess the smoke, while Arkhan and Greff waited nearby in case of trouble.
Corrin, mounted on Demon, crawled along a nearby cliff face until she had a good vantage point. She saw an elven woman in a distinctive cloak, sharing the reserved company of three fighting men ill-suited to the woods. The woman seemed somewhat at home in the woods, the presence of the men who were apparently her mercenary escorts distracted her. She was so distracted that as a flask of alcohol went around the fire, Dert accepted the flask and took a shot of it.
The kobold, mounted on his coyote Fleabit, had inched his way into the ring around the fire without the others being conscious of it. The spirits may have helped.
The mercenaries and the elven woman were ready for combat, crossbows and spear ready, but a lone kobold with a stick riding on a coyote was not threatening. Dert whistled loudly, and Arkhan and Greff made their way forward, Bergeron and Buck making plenty of noise and becoming visible quite quickly under the thick canopy of the trees.
Arkhan's holbraces turned the elven woman from wary to friendly, and she accepted the ME team without qualm. She introduced herself as Fe'a Nilithira, a priestess of Rahne, the Goddess of War and Strategy. Her escorts were from Kashin, named Brus, Case, and Dulce. Fe'a was to become the Vicar Rahne for River Crown; she would be the town's priestess, and help train the militia in the event of trouble.
The ME team stayed the remainder of the night with Fe'a and her escorts, and then they altogether moved out on the morn. The trip through Cairne's Pass was relatively uneventful, although the sheer number of kobolds out working on improving the pass took the team by surprise.
The rather snooty son of the baron escorted the team into River Crown, where they were put up at the miller's. The team made some new friends, such as Aelar Wildstep, who bred Buck to two of his mares for a princely sum.
After a night in River Crown, the team moved off towards the south. Near midday, they reached the Clan of Caerne's farmhold, where Aelar and his relatives lived – Aerlar being a grandson of Caerne himself. The party ate a lunch with the clan, cautiously exchanging information as Meridian Explorations and Maleah's Mercantile could either be business rivals or business associates. With no real business agreements broached, the team parted ways, heading south again.
Near sunset, they were met in the town of Rustos to glad cries of welcome. Greff and Corrin were welcome figures, as was a paladin and his escort, no matter their race. Sir Turon was quite welcoming of the party, and asked if they were heading on to Chasadan, or other destinations.
The team had a brief discussion, in which they realized that Chasadan was only a day's travel away. They could return to report to Hershel and William, or they could continue on to the Dragon's Bones up on Mount Breakhammer. After some hestitation, they decided to continue on to the Dragon's Bones before finishing up their report. The time they had made in using the Eye of Galgiran made the team confident that they were ahead of schedule, and would not be missed.
They stayed that evening with Greff's friend, Donald the Miller, comfortable that they were safe in the town of Rustos.
Evening of the 2nd of Vor, 1332 Avard.
Dinner was sloppy joes with pulled pork, and I don't think anyone went home hungry. Bill having missed last week made for an excellent opportunity to leave Greff paralyzed for a bit. Many game systems tend to limit the kind of longer term effects and physical impediments that can occur to heros – such as broken bones, illness, and the like. I know fantasy games are supposed to be fantastic, and removed from reality, but by the same token we need those same obstacles as reference points for the drive of our heros.
RPG System: Dungeons and Dragons, 4th Edition.
All characters were 14th level.