- Monolith is tall and thin, very old, no markings at all.
- Uryens Arcana – latent magical power in it that might have helped us during an encounter. Sometimes power available in it to use. Arcane power of some kind.
- Things have changed slightly; tress are the same but no more warping effect making it hard to find our way. Still dense, but naturally. Alourm friend stays with us for a way, but gets anxious and wants to leave and go back.
- Alourm stick generally to a small area and because they don’t have individual identities (even names) community is very important to them. Dane’s insight tells him that the departure of the Alourm is honest, due to his internal motivations and not malicious or deceptive.
- Walk for a while, arrive at a farm. Small clearing, giving way to grasses and small trees. Was holding feed animals but is empty, fence smashed, something something.
- Wall of bookshelves, fireplace, pots, pans, small knife. At table is a figure, aged, hard use has aged him. Skin and clothing replaced with hard red barklike substance. Table, small deck of cards, four lie face up in front of him.
- Thinner handmade books were written by Naldemar, subjects that were of interest to him.
- Thicker books are references by Druids from a long time ago.
- Cards, left to right: The Tangled Briar; The Betrayal; The Twin; The Empty Throne
- Shield, lower left; crown lower middle; crown center; crown upper left
- Bone box for cards.
- Decide to go back to Gruinhaval, with Naldemar’s corpse/tree, minor encounters on the way.
- Nearing the outskirts of the hamlet, can see lots of fruit trees, spike trees, bushes. Heavy-laden with fruit, normal for this time of year.
- During fifth watch, Eric wakes Dane because of commotion south of camp; humanoids approaching from south and southwest; sneaking, 500 yards away.
- We arrange a sneaky defense; they approach with arrows nocked; after we surprise attack, Dane asks who they are; they say we will regret attacking them.
- Bandits; surprising that they were this close to Gruinhaval. Normally very safe here. Even natural threats here are rare, safety for so long.
- Capture both, interrogate; they claim to have taken the town. Won’t talk about leader even after bluff to “turn him into” something like Naldemar’s corpse. Says some of the Red Guard have joined them, after enough time is better than resisting. Didn’t kill many; not many killings or hangings before people gave in. Hundreds killed. Say they are just getting paid, don’t know much. Druids haven’t come yet. They talk to each other, it is surprising the druids haven’t come yet.
- Boar’s Head Inn is next, outside town at a crossroads.
- Spike-root bushes?
- See standing lanterns near Boar’s Head from a distance. Ambushed! Bolts come at us from the trees. Five with crossbows and spears; guy at back intimidating, terribly scarred, uses longspear. Other three are men with maces, more capable than untrained crossbow.
- Scarred guy is clearly older, veteran of many battles, carrying 20 cp. No uniform among the group. Older one is branded on left inside forearm. Dagger and a horn (stag’s horn) beside each other brand.
- Boar’s Head is a huge in, ringed by low stone wall in disrepair, five tall lampposts creating warm glow in the fog surrounding them. Old boar sign stills hangs, smoke streams from one chimney, place seems pale and deserted.
- Common room empty, lamps on tables.
- Enter the inn, woman’s voice says no more food at the inn, she stops when she sees us (recognizes Eric). Gressa. Fairly beautiful youngish women has grown more plump and cheerful, long dark hair with grey streaks. Trying desperately to keep things clean. “How did you get here? Get out of the light!” Takes us to a second floor room, up ladder through hole into attic (empty).
- All of this has been going on for about three weeks. She tells us the leader is “Pannon”, he won’t talk to her, his face is horribly burned, he is much changed.
- In town was another group training Order of Thorn and Talon (Myconid Company, we were Cockatrice Company). Pannon was a warrior, but soft-spoken and not very confident, pushed around easily even within his group. There was a rivalry. He was not the type to lead this sort of thing; doesn’t make decisions on his own. Something more must behind him.
- Naldemar: “Why did you bring that here?” No druids around, won’t get help there. Lots of questioning from conquerors, might be looking for something, getting food at inn.
- She brings warm biscuits. No way to lure Pannon out to the inn. Get rid of him and this might all be over. Pannon is outside of town as far as she knows.
- We hide during the day, sneak out a hidden back way that only Dane knew about. Head for tower where Pannon supposed to be hiding out.
- Fields well farmed, corn, taller than most of us. Moon half risen before we leave.
- Come to a set of ruins along the way, Dane hears subtle sound from far off, slithering scraping sound in the ruins, 100 feet out
- Try to go around, slathering voice says “it doesn’t matter if you hide your light, we hear and taste you moving”.
- Grey skin, long glistening fangs, long narrow tongue, only in the dark. One more muscular than the others; five thinner and shorter than the others. Maws grow hideously large when attacking.
Session 3, 2010-10-09