- Asanaria Quickrok, Halfling Bard (Emma)
- Baras Gouliou, Human (Tagean) Pankratiast (Sam)
- Hrodan, Human (Hältlander) Paladin of Augustus (Alex)
- Brother Solomon, Half-Elven Cleric of Toth (James)
- Wren Dre, Wild Elf Ranger (Gavin)
This session suffered slightly in that several people turned up late and one person was missing. Such is life and cannot really be helped.
’twas a grim sight that opened today’s play. Baras was coated in gnoll blood from head to toe. Whilst both he and Asanaria were unharmed, the others were not so lucky. Hrodan and Wrendre had sustained minor injuries but poor Solomon was only on his feet through some divine act of will. The arrow that protruded from his rib cage was testament to his wounds, his pale visage a testament to his courage and tenacity.
As Baras sluiced himself off with water, Wrendre hopped down off the cart and made his way into the nearby trees whilst Asanaria and Hrodan examined the poor cleric’s injuries and made him as comfortable as they could. Almost an hour later, the wild elf emerged from the trees with several plants in hand. He called for someone to start a fire and begin boiling water. Hrodan called upon the divine favour granted to him by his patron Augustus and eased poor Solomon’s suffering somewhat, the cleric’s colour looking healthier as a rib settled back into place.
Wrendre quickly pulled a mortar and pestle from the cart and set about crushing several of the flowers before throwing them into the boiling water. He explained that the flowers were known as Seras to his people and were known to be effective in healing once crushed and brewed into a strong bitter tea. There were enough flowers to make approximately three small cups of tea so he proposed that he and Hrodan should take one each, leaving them with just bruises, and that Solomon would have the third to begin his recovery so that he could call on his god for healing.
The rest of the party agreed, although Solomon raised a couple of points. Firstly that the healing magics would leave the arrow still in him so it would need removing first, and secondly that his god Toth was a god of Death and thus restricted the use of healing magic dramatically.
Thankfully, the arrow in Solomon was not barbed although Wrendre did look shocked at the familiar fletching on it. A quick slice with a knife opened the wound further to allow the arrowhead to be extracted without further injury to the unhappy cleric, Solomon quickly nodded and slugged back the bitter-tasting tea as Asanaria deftly pulled the arrow from his body. Much to everyone’s relief, the arrow came cleanly and they could see the wound starting to close. With closed eyes, Solomon muttered a brief prayer and a pale golden glow caused his wounds to close even further.
Whilst the Aenochian got to his feet, Hrodan and Baras wandered over to the log that was blockading the path whilst Asanaria and Wrendre prepared the cart for departure. The log was certainly large, it was as wide as Baras’ hip stood from the ground, and was almost certainly going to be heavy. The footprints in the dirt told of a large group of goblins that must have dragged it into place, following orders from the gnolls.
Baras made his way to one end of the log. He set his feet firmly and grasped the log. With a muted growl, he slowly lifted the end of the log from the ground, veins standing proud of his arms, legs and neck. For a moment, he could feel his grip loosening as some of his shoulder muscles began to spasm until he could set his balance properly (can you spell Hero Point, children?). Seeing this feat of strength, Hrodan blinked in surprise before setting his shoulder to the other end and pushing the log into the roadside ditch.
Once the log was out of the way, Hrodan and Baras sat wearily on it and waited for the cart to reach them. When it did, the pair stood up and trudged alongside the cart as it made its way to Malforten. Wrendre took note of the two footprints that were sunk into the packed earth of the road. Only about an inch or so but they were precisely where the end of the log had been; he took careful note of this, looking over at the Tagean who now walked beside the cart.
It did not take the party long before they began to see signs of habitation and farming. There were herds of cattle grazing, watched over by rough, hardened men and their dogs. As the cart came into sight, the herdsmen began calling to one another, passing a message down the pastures towards a small town in the distance. As the cart came ever closer, the party could see the fields of wheat with the farmers labouring away and a small collection of wood and stone houses. Before the cart had left the fields, everyone could hear the tolling of a bell ahead of them.
The cart eventually rolled into the town square, a roughly circular area of packed earth surrounding a well. Aside from the general housing, there were four major buildings of note. On the western side, facing the river, was a single storey wooden building with a thatched roof. Hanging from the wall was a sign of an upside-down drinking mug. On the southern side was a stone building, a sign of a wooden barrel wrapped with hemp rope is hanging from the wall of this building.
To the north, somewhere on the outskirts of the town, can be seen a strange pagoda-like building. The north and south faces of the building are open to the elements and there appears to be a statue in it. Wrendre identifies this as potentially being a shrine to Wenafar, goddess of the Fey.
On the eastern edge, bordering the river, is a small blockhouse made of sturdy logs with a metal grate for a door. Behind it at the river’s edge is an old oak tree, a frayed rope hangs forlornly from one of the lower branches.
The party first try the southern building, reasoning it to be a general store. They meet the proprietor, one Walker the Shrub, a grizzled old man with an unkempt beard and a disgusting habit of chewing tabac. They learn that it is called the “Rope & Barrel”, he only keeps farming implements and basic sundries in stock, and that the townspeople have so little coin that they operate by barter.
He directs them to the western building, explaining that it was the local tavern “The Empty Flagon” and it served as the hub of the town. Most likely the town council were on their way, having been forewarned by the bell and the party would be more comfortable there.
The party enters the Empty Flagon, finding it to be a single large common room with a dirt floor, stone fireplace and a single bar across one wall. Along the back wall can be seen numerous doors that probably lead to sleeping room, save for one that is open and looks to lead outside to a building opposite. The party is met by one Kerrywyn the Yellow, a short gentleman with a full head of straw-blond hair that flows down over his shoulders. There is a young lady cleaning the tables in here, she is introduced as Kerrywyn’s daughter Mereli.
The party do not have to wait long before the town council arrives.