AN EVENTFUL TRIP
As the group gathers up the supplies, Rymie and Issan both have private talks with the terribly ashamed Mae. Rymie chastises her to think more logically, and to avoid hasty behavior that puts herself and her companions in danger. Issan, on the other hand, slaps the girl on the back and congratulates her. “I didn’t know you had it in you!”" he laughs. Both interventions have the same effect: Mae is determined to behave less rashly in the future. To Rymie’s great suprise and discomfort, Mae bursts into tears and wraps her arms around the Pterran, promising not to let her temper get the best of her again.
A Strange Coyote
The group loads up the wagon with the weapons and supplies from the willow tree, hitches it to Thrice’s kank, and sets out back to Hadrian’s Well. Issan and Rymie ride their kanks, and Thrice stays in the wagon with the prisoner. Mae roams ahead, behind, and to the sides of the group on her crodlu, keeping watch for raiding elves.
After a few hours, Mae notices that a coyote is keeping pace with them off to the right. The creature seems unusually intelligent, and appears and disappears a few times in the landscape. Finally it comes fairly close to Mae, and barks and yips, clearly inviting her to follow it. Mae, anxious lest she do something rash, rides back to the group and alerts Rymie. Together, the two decide to trail the coyote, despite some concerns that it may be leading them into a trap or trying to separate their group. They leave Mae’s battle horn with the wagon in case of trouble.
It’s a Trap!
Rymie and Mae follow the coyote for some distance when it suddenly disappears behind a rock. When they arrive at the rock, the coyote is nowhere to be seen and the two adventurers start to investigate. Suddenly Rymie hears voices and Mae catches the sound of some footsteps. While Mae tries too late to signal Rymie for silence and rides around the rock to try to hide, Rymie continues talking loudly and unconvincingly to himself.
Arrows and chakra fly and and a battle begins: Four or five Shidow raiders have either found or trapped them. Rymie and Mae (who is trying hard to be thoughtful as she rushes into the fray) engage the enemy and kill a couple of them but two manage to escape. Mae starts to give chase, but realizes she’ll never be able to catch up to them, and so lets them go. From the dead raiders, they gather the following:
- hokori (1)
- arrows with insect baskets (3)
- elven leather armor (1)
- chakra (10)
- kukiri (1)
- small gems (3)
- longbows (1)
- quiver (1)
- arrows with obsidian heads (40)
- studded leather armor elven (1)
- silver (15)
Rymie and Mae then ride back to catch up with the others, and head on toward town.
GIFTS & REVELATIONS
The group makes it back to town without further incident, and Mae rides in to fetch Jeren. She wants to make sure he pulls out whatever he needs from the cache before the rest is presented to Jeselah.
Unsurprisingly, Jeren recovers the shotgun, bullets, and some gunpowder for himself. He grumbles about how long he’s left these things uncared for. Then, in a touching scene, he presents Mae with the iron dagger. He tells her it was a gift from someone special, but that she’s special to him, and he wants her to have it. He apologizes for its rusted state, but thinks that if she can find a skilled blacksmith she should be able to have it restored to its former masterwork quality.
Rymie Lets Something Slip
Mae is all set to head to Jeselah to present the rest of the weapons, when Rymie stops her. The Pterran mentions that Thrice has been speaking to a faction of fighters in town. Unlike the town guard, these fighters are willing to pay for weapons. Mae is annoyed that the dwarf has been wheeling & dealing, and feels that they should keep their promise to Jeselah, but she’s not averse to making a profit. Rymie intelligently points out that the weapons should probably go to the most skilled fighters, while Mae irritably mutters that any able fighters should be prepared to work together to defend the town.
Healing Remedies & Aethora Advice
Mae and Rymie decide they need to speak with Thrice before they can decide how to proceed, but the dwarf seems to have wandered off on an errand. Instead, they decide to stop in to see how Gnnet is doing with his healing remedies, and to pick his brain about the Aethora.
The healer greets them cheerfully and presents them with a supply of healing remedies. For each adventurer, Gnnet has prepared two light healing remedies and two regular-strength remedies. In addition, he gives them two salves that will, according to him, cure any disease or neutralize any poison.
Rymie then asks about the Aethora, which Gnnet examines carefully. He’s impressed with its power, and can feel it curiously touching his mind as the others have. He regrets that he knows nothing that might help them unlock its secrets. He suggests that perhaps one of the academies might be able to, if they didn’t steal it in the name of learning or from sheer greed. Thinking, he then mentions that, while he doesn’t know anyone trustworthy in Tyr, there is a man there named Bhen in a small town on the way there. Gnnet encourages Rymie to seek him out and speak to him – he’s a psychometabolist with no love for the academies.
A QUIET NIGHT
The group rests the night through, and awake in the morning to a surprise: There was no raid during the night. Everyone is remarking on how unusual the situation is; the elves have raided every night since the first attack in the area. The adventurers discuss this turn of events quietly with Jeren, wondering if it’s possible that the elves at the aprig farm and the coyote rock were the only ones in the band.
Jeren says when they raided the farm it seemed like dozens, but it might have only been a handful. And the guards haven’t ever been able to get any kind of count during the night raids. On the other hand, it seems likely that there must be more to attack a city so large, and so everyone is a little on edge, suspecting a trap or more forceful attack. It’s possible that the Shidow Mae and Rymie encountered were the ones tasked with that evening’s raid, but that doesn’t mean that the village is safe. Once Thrice wakes up he can interrogate his prisoner for more information.
Jeren also mentions his surprise when Mae relates the story of the intelligent coyote. Coyotes are very rare around Hadrian’s well. Usually they keep to the badlands.
TRACKING THE COYOTE
Finding a Tracker
Rhymie and Mae are now more curious than ever about the mysterious animal, and decide to return to the area and attempt to track it. However, neither of them has any skill in that area, so they seek out Oov. After discussing the lack of a raid and sharing the news that they killed several raiders the day before, they ask how the trackers are coming along with their cilops. It turns out the training is going well, but the psions are resting at the moment. Oov recommends that they try hiring a woman named Marion. She’s a skilled tracker who works at Rikard’s. Rymie, Mae, and Issan go there to find her.
After an amusing escapade involving Rymie’s first attempt to drink alcohol, the group asks Rikard if Marion is available. A tough woman shows up in response to his summons wearing leather armor, a short sword, and a small buckler. After some haggling, Rikard offers to loan Marion to the group for free as a gesture of good will – he’s the one who has been dealing with Thrice and is hoping to buy weapons for the fighting faction in town.
Marion, Rymie, and Mae set out and eventually make their way back to the rocks where the coyote disappeared. Although Marion has a difficult time picking up the trail, she eventually finds the coyote’s tracks.
They really do disappear at the rock. The threesome search the area, and Marion finally finds some feathers on the side of the rock. She identifies them conclusively as falcon feathers, or at least definitely a small raptor, not a vulture. Marion is more puzzled than ever, having never seen a falcon in the region. They begin to discuss the possibility of a shapeshifter, and sure enough, Rymie finds faint traces of divine magic in the area. It seems to the Pterran to have been spirit magic, which is typically used by druids or rangers.
No wiser as to whether the coyote led them into the raiders’ trap, or whether they were being led elsewhere when the raiders happened upon them, the group heads back to Hadrian’s Well.
June 30, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house
Characters & Players