The Grey Borderlands

Session Fourteen - Hard Lessons

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I’m not sure why I keep waiting until the last minute to write these recaps. I was literally just sitting around doing nothing all week… So again, probably forgetting a lot…

As it gets darker and the sound of thunder grows the party decides to move further into the thicket, perhaps find some shelter from the wind. Massar Silverleaf starts to work on a shelter when the rest of the group wait around and Zatha complains about there being a nice (allegedly) dry guard tower nearby they could have stayed in.

Eventually Massar finishes building an impromptu lean-to and windbreak and they all settle down to have a wet, cold nasty sleep out in the wilderness.

Massar Silverleaf: Welcome to chateau massar
here are the lovely slicket-made walls
Zatha: I’d say his nahmal place is nicah, but that’s a big fuckin lie.

There are a few shift changes through the night, but many hours later after the thunderstorm has moved mostly though and dawn is only a few hours distant Massar is on guard and hears a commotion coming from further in the thicket (which they have turned to referring to as “the slicket” now for whatever reason)

He wakes all of the rest of the party up and they head towards the sound. Sadly, it’s still dark and hard going through the thicket to eventually Eddock lights a torch. They continue moving towards where Massar heard the sound, and then there it is again, an almost guttural chanting noise that only Zatha and Massar hear.

Rihnan superstitiously gives Eddock a look that points out that we’re both the new people and the only ones that can’t hear it.
Massar Silverleaf: We should call ourselves Sons of the Slicket

Moving closer to through the wet and miserable brush suddenly Eddock rounds a corner and sees a horrible scene. A group of four man-sized humanoids are chanting before a hideous totem covered in bones and evil glyphs. As the warriors torch illuminates the area the porcine snouted creatures turn to see the party, and the shaman that was leading the ceremony squeals at them to attack!

Now it’s been two weeks and things are a bit hazy but I’ll see what specifics I can recall. Eddock tosses his torch behind him and charges right in, targeting the orish shaman. Rhinan moves up to support him with his polearm, blocking Massars shot with his bow.

Massar Silverleaf: Do you not see me aiming here?

The elf mage moves aside and Massar gets a good shot in and Eddock crashes into the an orc cultist that moved to intercept him before he could get to the cleric. The Fhokki warrior hits the orc for 18 damage but the orc doesn’t go down, but that was enough damage to trigger Eddocks Hacklust quirk and he just starts a-choppin’ at that orc.

Rhinon gets a few superficial pokes at some orcs with his polearm and meanwhile Zatha has been ever… so… slowly… sneaking… into position. Then something bad happens.

Whilst Eddock had been fighting with the orc the shaman had maneuvered to the side and begun to speak a prayer in its debased tongue which it finished, shoving it unholy symbol towards Eddock upon the completion of the spell. Visions of unnatural, impossible things filled the fighters mind, and even in his Hacklusted state a supernatural fear of a god of chaos and evil is a lot to take in. So even though I gave him a bonus for being frenzied, he failed the check against the Moderate Emotion: Cause Fear spell and felt the need to flee from the cleric for FOUR MINUTES of duration! Damn!

With a single spell the orcs had removed their toughest obstacle. Eddock ran from the battle to hide behind the shrine while the rest of the slow initiative rolling orcs started to move towards the rest of the party. Soon Rhinan and Massar were being double teamed by two orcs each. Zatha gets in and misses.

There’s a bit of give and take but Rhinan is a mage not a warrior, and then Massar gets critted by an orc in the shoulder and taken out! Eddock climbs down the slick and muddy side of the plateau away from the combat and falls the last ten feet or so taking some moderate damage. The elf and halfing know that the jig is up and book it into the thicket. Their ability to easily traverse such woodland environments lets them easily outpace the orcs but they are soon lost in the darkness.

The orcs only follow them for a while, but turn back. The rest of the night is spent along, in the cold wet dark, unsure where the humanoid cultists had gone.

Eventually the sun rises and a new day dawns, with it the rains are over and birds are chirping again. Rhinan and Zatha meet up in the “slicket” and they head down the trail some to find Eddock. They begin to discuss what they should do when the morning patrol heading back up to the tower encounters them. Sergeant Tesipo asked what happened as they all look quite haggard. After informing him that it was orcs the patrol from the Keep declares they’re going to go check it out – and the PCs follow.

The totem is still there in the daylight. Only now they see the ritually sacrificed corpse of Massar Silverleaf sprawled out in front of it as well. Of the orcs there are no sign, and their ranger is dead so following tracks looks to be out of the cards.

Now you see, quite conveniently (ahem) the patrol that headed up this morning was bolstered by a cleric of the Eternal Lantern named Valencio who had recently arrived in Frandor’s Keep and had also heard tales of this evil totem and wanted to investigate. He had asked around and found Sergeant Tesipo at the Broken Hilt and offered his services. Never one to refuse the free services of a cleric the Sergeant invited him along.

Now the cleric looked over the shrine & the script (nobody could read orcish) and wasn’t able to determine was deity it was dedicated to. Either way, there was both a burial for Massar and then the guards (and Zatha) knocked the evil shrine over down the Cliffside where Eddock climbed/fell down and spread the bones and symbols all over – disrupting it yet again.

Dejected the party headed back to the Keep for a quick stay at the Shrine of the Caregiver and then headed to Karinor Manor to plan their next moves. The guards from Falcon Eye Tower were insistent that the party shouldn’t say anything about the orcs – that it might cause a panic, but the party has been discussing taking it to the Keep Prefect. Either way it should be interesting.

Eventually though after Eddock described the things he saw when he was under the effects of the fear spell Valencio (who accompanied the party in their quest to do good ahem) was able to identify the holy symbol of the Riftlord, and thus know that stormy days are their holy days, making a possible ambush a plan for later on.

Rhinan studied the tapestries and books in the manor and theorized the existence of magical tomes or a wand which Zatha may or may not have verified. There is an ongoing dance of IC-OOC bartering to get the wand and spellbook found here in the mages hand where they can be most useful. But a halfing thief with a Greedy quirk can be quite the opponent…

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