Using Hatheril for a heading, trouble still found them along the way. The Dragon's Crown had a caravan; few kids shy of a family. Crossed paths with a beast of untold terror, then took it down with flourishes I wish I coulda witnessed.
|10/25/998 to 11/01/998||Episode 3|
The party then decides where to head off to next. First, contacting Rock's tribe was to be alerted. The party agreed that this was a good idea, however a rather long trip to get there in the Talenta Plains. Next up was the Gatekeepers themselves off in the Eldeen Reaches, which was almost the same amount of distance. [[:horandon | Horandon]] brought up that the closest city with airship access, and possibly a courier's service, was Wroat, capital of Breland. The idea was to head there, speak to the king, send messages out the tribe, and speak with the Gatekeepers themselves. They found out Hatheril was closer, and could take a lightning-rail to get to the capital. And off they went.
Behind and Ahead
On the fifth day of travel, the party heard somewhat of a rumbling pop, followed by a rush of wind originating behind them. Once they turned around, a few knowledge DCs were rolled, they have deduced that the plume of silver grey smoke was emanating from the very cave the party came out of during the Cataclysm. Tahl further deduced that the explosion was from one or more artifacts that exploded. This fact troubled him. Given the option to abandon the current plan and find out what went on, the party decided to continue on. There was nothing that they could do for The Bastion.
Trouble at the Crown
The party reached The Dragon's Crown, and was slightly surprised to be met by a caravan. The members of the caravan were apprehensive at first, but was more than willing to divulged what troubled them. Seems a group of spriggans were stalking the caravan, and despite the mercenaries they hired to protect them, continued to steal their children and harass them. The caravan no longer has any children to give. And the mercenaries have been reduced to two members: the leader, Commander Mugon and a rambling warforged. The party decides to help the people retrieve the children.
Predator and Prey
The party camps out of earshot of the caravan to lure the monsters out. A small scouting party of spriggans try to dissuade the group, but inevitably fail. Unfortunately, Marux's life was also snuffed out in combat. May his soul find peace. The remainder of the party tracked the footprints back to a small den and stepped right in, thinking it couldn't get any worse.
Belly of the Beast
The two of them luckily found a room with cages first. A couple of them held the children, all of them seemingly accounted for. A third and sturdiest of cages held a hunter, previously hired in the same company as Mugon. The party breaks the children free. One child considered a savant of destroying locks with a bobby pin decided to do so for the hunter. No one saw that coming. The party, with help of the hunter, was escorting the children out. Then they heard a grumble. Rock told Steelback to take the children outside and protect them. This beast they saw looked like a large orc, with skin black as night, covered in a thin film of slime, emanating a lavender smoke, and possessed searing red eyes. Unable to tell what it was, it was considered an interloper. Which boded well for the Warden. Combat commenced, although not entirely as before with other beasts and adversity. The three of them seemed to be in sync. Attacking and dodging as if they rehearsed a waltz together. The beast, despite its toughness and ferocity, didn't stand a chance. After the beast fell, a trio of what looked like over-sized flesh toned maggots emerged from the remains, and were dispatched quickly.
Condolence and Comrades
The party buried the dead, and returned the children. They agreed to escort the caravan the rest of the way to Hatheril, and collected what was the share between the mercenaries. The hunter then said his goodbyes to Mugon, and wished to know what the party was up to. If there were others that could fight like that, then he had to know where they were headed. Perhaps to save the world. Or destroy it. Either way, it'll be the stuff of legends.
I asked them to backtrack for a moment. They took down a beast, looking or acting like nothing I could remember, while thinking along the same lines? They just met one another, it seems. And they just… knew… knew what to do? I'm familiar with kismet. It brought these men together, of that I've no doubt. But this sorta thing was something I couldn't believe. And before then, I coulda swore I heard it all.