Following Mercas` Footsteps

Into the woods!

Session three and four

The party decides to pound the pavement and ask around if anyone seen anything of interest.
Unfortunately, they find a lot of interesting things, but none of them pertain to their quest, to find Amaril Silverleaf.

Strangest thing though, whenever someone speaks that name, the wind seems to pluck it from your mouth and carry it deep, deep into the woods. Stumped by this strange occurence, the party decides to turn to the friendliest watchman, they know. But first they need a place to sleep. Their guide chooses a nice little inn called the Hollow Tree. there they encounter the gnome innkeeperMiknok and his overly slavish half orc servant.

Grokk is furious at the fellow orc`s treatment and scowls and questions the hapless gnome. Even though Miknok is frightened out of his skull, he continues to proclaim his innocence. The group finds out Grorr was a foundling by the base of the statue of Meryl Ward, a Hero from a great war, long, long, long ago.

The party decide to rest and take a break until their appointment with Jakk is due.

Later that evening, at the Broken sword they meet Jakk and his lovely daughter. They question him about Amaril, the boxes and why the name is plucked from their mouths. His eyes grow wide and he looks around furtively.

He tells them that means the Queen of Shadows and Pleasure is interested in her.

Curious they ask who she is and what that means. For one thing, Amaril Silverleaf is a fey, second, they can expect a ‘visit’ soon. After that ominous news they do what all adventurers do when finding out something is ‘interested’ in them.

They have a great evening out.

Grokk Ironbiter tries to seduce Jakk`s sister. Which leads to an exchange of kind insults and ends in her kicking him. Ahhh… Orcish courtship.

The next morning, some of the group find their luggage tampered with. Nothing has been taken, just… moved around a little. At breakfast they conferr and find only Grokks and Lara`s luggage has been rummaged through.

Then their guide enters, with a message from Isa from Fairhold. It tells them that ‘they’ questioned the baggageman further and he recalled Neris Isegrim was the one the boxed Amaril had been sent too.

But before they can act on this information a man, dressed in white pants, white boots and a very very short white vest steps in. His cloak is made out of white feathers. He heads straight for the party and engages them in conversation about the lost Amaril Silverleaf. After he hands them a letter that will not open until the opener says: “I am pleased to receive this message from my Queen.” Oskar fears a trap and tries various ways to unseal the letter, but none work. In the end he ‘takes one for the team’, reluctantly. Inside is an invitation to the ball given in honour of Amaril Silverleaf`s return.

The party and Empyrean Voyager talk and negotiate, Oskar and Grokk deal out slights about his name. Outwardly Empyrean Voyager, now “White Feather”, is calm and collected. The party does find out that the Queen is preparing a “welcome home” feast for her. The heroes are invited.
Both parties agree to work together and Empyrean Voyager gives them a White Feather to contact him with.

After the white fey leaves, the heroes gear up to find this Isegrim. Oskar finds out that The Isegrims are usually found in the forest, and that The Druid should know where they are. She is at the Bright Birch.

They find the druid is a female elf of indistinguishable age. She is soft spoken, slow and more then a little aloof. Once more the group manages to annoy the local, still she sends them to one of the traveller cabins in the Low Wood, where the Isegrims were last.

On the way Lara, the parties ranger is visibly distracted, which excuses the mistakes she makes. Oskar asks her what is wrong and she mumbles: “nothing.” Oskar doesn`t accept that obvious lie and nags her all the way to the cabin.

At the cabin, the party have just moments to realise something is wrong. Then BIG HORRID APES charge them! Two from the cabin, two from the forest on the side. Glorfinmadd heroically charges the ones coming from the cabin and wreaks havoc on them both. Oskar does his best to elude his ape and shoot it dead, but it takes a long while for it to die. Grokk and his ape duel visciously, neither side getting the advantage on the other.

Then, in a devasting show of force, Glorfinmadd kills the first ape. Enraged, the other ape gets lucky, gets a good hold of the Elf and tears him apart. Literally.

Shocked, Oskar turns and places a single bolt right between the eyes. The rest of the fight drags on as Oskar runs and shoots and Grokk and the Ape fight to last blood.

Then, just a minute later, everything is calm and peacefull again.

Quickly the heroes rush to Glorfinmadd`s side, but even the most incompetent medic can see there is no hope for him. The brave warrior is dead.

Dejected the party goes into the cabin and looks for a good way to bring their comrade back to civilisation. In the disaster area that is the cabin they find two humanoids, in full armour with a strange triangular sigil on their chest, there is an “m” shape in it. They are also wearing two gold rings with scribblies, and a Guissarme of Cruel Mercy and a Trident of Helplessness

More interestingly they find a pair of large boxes that look just like the ones Amaril was transported in, lending credence to the thought that The Isegrims are involved in this smuggling. They take the loot, make a stretcher for Glorfinmadd and return to Bright Birch in a depressed silence.

Once there, the druidess appears when they call. The party ask about Elvish funeral rites and she makes a play for the body to put him to earth right. Yet the party is uneasy about that and instead take the body with them and ask their guide for an Elf. He knows one and offers to bring a message to him.

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Douwe

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