A BUSY MORNING
The Second Attack
The adventurers make an encampment near Gnnet’s, but are awoken early by the sounds of another raid. Mae immediately tries to get into the healer’s to check on Jeren, but Gnnet’s gate is locked. The attack ends as suddenly as it began.
Mae and Rymie dash toward the main gate, where they talk to the guards. It happened quickly: Arrows out of nowhere, and the guards couldn’t tell how many raiders there were. “Could have been four, could have been 400,” says one of them. Mae talks her way into a climb up the gate, but even with her synethsete powers, she can’t see or hear anything in the pre-dawn darkness.
Thrice heads to the noble gate, where he finds a soldier who’s been shot through the neck. Like the others, he’s unable to gather any useful information on the raiders’ numbers.
An Amiable Trade
Thrice & Mae, in a remarkably civil interaction, trade mounts, so Mae ends up with a crodlu and Thrice a kank. Mae purchased two water casks the evening before, and she gives them to Rymie to carry on the green kank.
A Visit to the Alms House
Rymie and Mae head to the alms house. It’s completely overrun with refugees and nobody seems to be in charge. While questioning a few of the crowd, the two adventurers hear the name Barak surface; apparently he’s a young human with unusual sandy hair who helps out there regularly.
Mae jumps up on a table to see over the crowd, but can’t spot anyone by that description. She’s about to climb down and head toward the closed back room when Rymie jumps up as well and starts shouting for Barak quite . . . emphatically. A sandy-haired fellow emerges from the back.
Barak is utterly confused by Rymie’s appearance and demeanor, but apparently is just as impressed by Mae’s looks. He invites her into the back room for some fresh water. To Mae’s embarrassment, Rymie is asked to stay outside, and Mae softens the blow by suggesting that the Pterran help those in need of healing in the room.
Despite Barak’s clumsy and transparent flirting, Mae manages to get some information on Poros and a cup of ice-cold water. Barak considered the elf a pretty affable guy, very generous. He was usually talkative, but once the elves showed up he locked himself in his room and wouldn’t come out. Then he was gone. In fact, Barak broke down the door to Poros’s room after the elf was unresponsive for several hours, only to find that he had disappeared.
Barak apparently aspires to be a shaman, and Poros taught him in his spare time, but Mae can see that he’s unlikely to succeed with the distaste the youth has for the “unwashed masses” he serves.
While Mae is in the back with Barak, Thrice and Issan enter the alms house looking for their companions.
The Shaman’s Room
Mae gets permission from Barak to look around Poros’s room, and finally manages to slip away from him and explore on her own.
The room is small and spare with a low bed, thin mattress and a chamber pot. There’s a shelf on one wall with a couple of small books – meditations on nature of water. There’s also a small window that leads toward the cliff. Outside the window is a little storage area with chests and casks. It’s overrun by refugees. Mae conducts a quick but thorough search of the room, then heads out the window in order to avoid the embarrassment of encountering the amorous Barak again. She pops in the front, gathers Rymie and Thrice and Issan, and leads them around back, blushing and brushing off Rymie’s confident assertions about Barak’s mating intentions, and Thrice and Issan’s related commentary.
The Hidden Spring
Mae suspects that Poros may have slipped away down the cliff, and she suggests that the group look around to see if there are any likely spots for a descent nearby. They scout a bit and Thrice eventually finds a set of handholds embedded in the rock, mostly hidden behind some crates. He doesn’t volunteer the information until Mae notices that he’s spent a rather long time behind the crates.
Mae briefly tests the handholds, then heads down. They descend only about 15 feet to a large crevice, where Mae pauses and hears lapping water. She heads back up and tells the others. Rymie psionically detects thoughts, and finds an intelligent creature hidden below in the crevice, but the Pterran can’t figure out what it’s thinking.
Rymie, Thrice and Mae decide to descend, and Issan will stay at the top “to make sure nobody messes with the rope.” This probably has nothing to do with the two embarrassing slips Issan made on his descent into the canyon the previous day. Mae quickly ties rope harnesses as a backup for Thrice and Rymie. Although they’ll only be descending 15’ down a sturdy set of handholds, the drop to the canyon floor is still deadly.
The three make their way down to the crevice and slip through it. It turns out to be a narrow opening that leads a wider, curving passage. The passage is utterly dark, but they’re reluctant to light torches since they don’t know who – or what – they will encounter. About 70 feet in, the passageway opens up into a small room.
Rymie and Mae are totally blind, but Thrice is able to see a figure sitting in a small room next to a pool of water. Rymie begins to try to light a torch, while Thrice moves slowly toward the man, apparently unnoticed by anyone. Eventually the torch is lit and the three adventurers encounter the elf.
The elf is very surprised to see the adventurers, and seems genuinely distressed that they’ve jumped to the conclusion that he is assisting the raiders. He seems to feel he is at the visitors’ mercy, and tells them everything, swearing them to secrecy as he does so:
When the elf raiders came, Poros hid out in the cavern where he had been harvesting water unbeknownst to the dowsers (who own rights to all water) for quite some time. He was worried that people would associate him with the Shidow; in fact, he used to be one of them.
He swears that he is no longer associated with the raiders, though, and that he’s not assisting them or in contact with them at all. The shidow worship fire, and Poros left them a few years ago because they were too vicious for his nature. He thought that working with the alms house while following the path of the water shaman might help redeem him.
About the Shidow
When pressed for details about the raiders, Poros shares his dated knowledge.
“The shidow tend to change leaders rapidly, but it’s a little unusual for them to attack a village like Hadrian’s Well. Usually they go for softer targets. This sounds like the work of Erendahl. Man, if he’s taken over . . . he has something of a temper. If he thought there was something or someone of value – like a military commander he could hostage, he might do something as foolhardy as this.”
According to Poros, the Shidow usually travel in small groups, but there are hundreds, maybe thousands of them. It’s impossible to know how many have joined together. Their favorite times to attack are evening and just before dawn. They tend to make camps within ravines like those located south of Hadrian’s Well where the land breaks up.
Poros warns the adventurers to be careful; the raiders put out watches and often will lay traps in the form of snares and nets.
The Blessing of the Water Shaman
Once Poros has shared all he knows about the Shidow, the adventurers explain why they’ve sought him out. The elf is wiling to help his friend Gnnet, but not willing to give up his location.
Mae runs back up to Gnnet’s to find out how much water is needed, and the healer responds that he requires about 3 gallons. Mae grabs one of their new water casks and brings it to Poros. The elf takes a few hours to bless the water, and the group delivers it to a grateful if perplexed Gnnet.
RAIDERS AT THE FARM
The adventurers decide it’s time to set out for the weapons & supplies cached at Jeren’s farm. They start with a conversation with Jeren, who says that Mae need only ask the tree for the cache and it will reveal its secrets. He also asks that the group bring the cache to him before handing it over to the town marshall so he can sort out items of personal significance. He estimates there are probably three kanks’ worth of materials, but if the wagon is still intact or can be repaired, it would probably be easiest.
The group heads out on their mounts, keeping careful watch for traps and raiders. Rymie thinks he spies a group keeping pace, but they aren’t spotted again. After a quick conference as evening approaches, the group decides to continue on to the farm where they can set traps and prepare for an attack.
As they approach the farm, Thrice hears voices ahead. Rather than share this knowledge, though, the dwarf tells Rymie he’s going to peel off and go around the farm. The rest of them crest the rise, and are surprised to see an elf encampment set up in the yard.
Mae is furious about the takeover of the remains of her home. She kicks her crodlu to dash directly into their midst. She tries to overrun an elf, but fails; he slashes at the crodlu with one of his two large kukiri.
Rymie casts doom on the kukiri-wielder, but then Mae falls prey to both doom and fear – it seems the elves have a caster among them, as well. She runs for a round and winds up behind the barn, but her mad dash clears her head; she dismounts and begins climbing the barn. She’s hit by a chotchka and is in dire shape, then falls when she tries to finish her climb. She’s knocked unconscious.
Meanwhile, Issan and Rymie fight, and Thrice sneaks through the burned out house and casts some sort of suggestion on one of the elves, convincing it to defend the dwarf. The adventurers, minus Mae, finally gain the upper hand and vanquish the encamped raiders, keeping the one who is in thrall to Thrice as a prisoner. Rymie restores a severely ashamed Mae to consciousness and heals everyone up somewhat. Exhausted, the group makes camp.
The Loot & the Cache
The next morning, the group finds the wagon, which has managed to escape the initial raid unscathed. They loot the dead elves, recovering the following:
- chakra (2)
- kukiri (4)
- chakra (3)
- elf hokori (1)
- small snare traps (4)
- elf-sized leather armor suits (2)
- elf-sized studded leather armor (4)
- kukiri (7)
- elf chiton shirt (1)
- heavy spiked wooden shield (1)
- wooden holy symbols for fire (2)
- healing remedies (2)
- small pouches of choria (6)
- small gems (5 banded agate, 3 turquoise, 4 jasper, 2 rose quartz, thrice knows their worth)
- distillation kits (2)
They then recover the cache from the willow, which Rymie reaches out to psionically, and which seems to reach right back with a curious probing. It has been hiding:
- 16 athgari longswords
- 8 stone hammers
- 8 bone daggers
- 12 longbows
- 250 obsidian tipped arrows
- 6 suits of leather armor for humans
- 4 suits of hide armor for humans
- dagger wrapped in a soft cloth. it’s an iron dagger!! it’s beautifully crafted, but it has some rust spotting. it was at one time a masterwork item, but it is no longer.
- rifle. it’s old and in poor repair.
- 50 lead bullets
- 3 sealed casks of gunpowder (2 lbs each)
- several parchments & papers (inventories, bills of sale, etc., a parchment with a recipe for naptha – greek fire, requires crude oil, wood resin, and sulfer, and creates a highly flammable sticky material that burns at very high temps and can only be extinguished by sand or vinegar – water has no effect)
- joray attached to the end of an athgariwood stick. rymie finds it has 9 charges of daze.
- 8 changes of clothing
- 4 pairs of boots
- 3 crates of dried aprig meat & flour – rations for 20 soldier for 2 weeks
- 6 sealed amphora (ceramic jugs) labeled water
June 21, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house
Characters & Players