- Alefa Frigeldötter, Human (Hältlander) Fighter (Sarah)
- 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)
With Emma and Gavin getting married next weekend and Sam having double-booked himself at Continuum, their characters were run as NPCs by the rest of the party.
Wren Dre quickly led the party off the northern slope of the mound and round in a large arc back to their original campsite. As the other party members collapsed into heaps on arrival; Wren Dre removed a pouch from his pack and stalked off into the darkness.
Prior to entering Baleon Nakt, the part had located a rocky fissure in which to store their non-essential items. Alefa went to collect her kit from the fissure only to hear a hissing noise from the fissure. Kneeling to take a closer look, she saw a small lithe-bodied creature with a pointed muzzle and black/brown spotted coat.
Once again, there is a hissing sound not too dissimilar to an annoyed feline and the creature turned to present its uplifted tail to the party. Alefa decided at this juncture to grab the tail and pull the pesky feline out of the hole but as she goes to grab the tail, there was a growl and the creature began to spray a foul-smelling musk over the campsite.
Ah, I love it when players do this. Without their ranger around (he’s making sure that they cannot be tracked back to the campsite), no-one was able to identify that this was a civet cat protecting what it considers to be its territory. Result: a Stinking Cloud in the campsite with Alefa at ground zero.
Most of the heroes fell to their knees, retching violently as the foul musk seared their nostrils and unsettled their stomachs. The hardier members of the party moved as far away as they could before they too succumbed. It was this sorry scene that greeted Wren Dre on his return.
As he’d approached the campsite, he’d gotten a whiff of the musk and had sensibly covered his mouth and nose with a makeshift scarf. He found his companions littered around the campsite, retching and coughing. Spotting the civet cat as it glared at the woman who had dared to grab its tail, he gently persuaded it to leave the fissure and take up residence a bit further to the west.
By the time he returned, the majority of the heroes were back on their feet but it was not certain for how long. Alefa, having been the focus of the musk spray, was coated from head to toe in the stench. Fortunately for her, her sense of smell had been thoroughly ruined; unfortunately no-one else’s had as she discovered when she tried sitting next to either Hrodan or Solomon.
Once again, Wren Dre’s knowledge of the wilderness proved invaluable as he identified the creature and explained its defences to the group. He also located several bushes of a sharp-thorned pungent flower that would reduce and eventually remove the musk. Alefa quickly grabbed a bush with one hand, Hrodan with the other, and disappeared around a spur of rock to a nearby stream.
Working under the ranger’s directions, the rest of the party made alterations to the campsite; including a curtain across the main opening to hide any campfire from a roving patrol.
The following three days were tense; everyone was bathing to remove the musk from their skin and clothing, everyone took a turn on watch, and everyone was injured enough to just want to rest up.
As the party rested, they observed the return of the patrols and the aftermath of their expedition. The goblins of Baleon Nakt boiled out like a swarm of green ants from an ant hill that had just been kicked. Wolfriders and foot patrols were sent out in every direction, eager for blood and vengeance.
There were a couple of moments when the heroes thought that they would have to face down a patrol but the lingering scent of musk seemed to cause any wolves to think better of it.
On the third day as they observed goblins deserting in singletons or pairs, it was decided that everyone had had enough rest and that they would make their move to get back to Malforten and thusly back to civilisation.
As the moon rose that evening, Wren Dre began to lead the group southwards, skirting the low hills to keep below the crests and avoid being seen. It was decided that the team would head south for the first half of the night then would veer eastward to cross the Old Imperial Road towards the Drunderry River.