During their transit towards the city of Caer Y Syl, the adventurers had joined a caravan for quicker travel, and quickly grew accustomed to each other. They took a break from their journey near the famed mountain pass because of an illness that sweeped through the horses. The leader of the caravan, Halgar, asked the four travelers to look for a scout that hasn’t returned with the waterskins yet, and to look for a certain berry that would ease the horses’ stomach issues.
They were eager to help since Halgar was willing to forgo the price of the journey for them. The druid called Avis, managed to communicate with a nearby stag to locate the berries and concluded they were north-west of the camp. She pleaded with the animal to guide them, but, for unknown reasons, it was hesitant and denied the request.
As they walked past a stream, they noticed a bridge but decided to continue northward for the berries, and they quickly arrived at an ominous looking cavern. Halgrond, a nomadic Arak’Thar, carefully snuck forwards noticing a pile of bones. After inquiring with the Druid they realised it were merely the bones of small animals. However, the Paladin and the Warlock (Heimdal and Rhazien) argued the possibility of the scout’s demise and proposed the search of the cavern. Avis, in a spurt of ingenuity, cast her Faerie Fire into the cave; her spell lit up three wolves in a prowling position.
Despite the Halgrond’s careful sneaking, they had been spotted!
One by one they readied their weapons, or defenses. Avis raised her shield; Halgrond, a monk, grabbed his curved sword and crouched in a stance; Heimdal, the Paladin, brought his shield forward while keeping his sword ready to strike; Rhazien, arrogant as warlocks tend to be intended to rely on his Eldritch abilities.
With a sudden snarl and growl, however, the Alpha of the pack lunged at Halgrond from behind a nearby bush, not afflicted by the Druid’s Faery Fire. Either with uncanny awareness, or preternatural reflexes, the Monk attempted to struck first and failed while avoiding the attack altogether. The Paladin advanced to help Halgrond, while Rhazien and Avis kept their distance preparing their spells.
A thorn shot out from the same bush the Alpha wolf appeared from, but the beast managed to avoid it. Rhazien’s Eldritch blast was off the mark too because he couldn’t quite aim at the wolf.
The rest of the wolves charged from the cavern, weaving past each other. One wolf towards the Druid and Warlock, and crashed into Rhazien but missed his bite. In the scuffle, Rhazien managed to quickly roll away from the wolf. Meanwhile, the Monk had failed multiple times to strike the Alpha and suffered a clenched jaw around his calf for the effort. The Alpha tugged on the taut and sinewy calf, dragging Halgrond to the ground. Before more damage could be done, however the Paladin struck the wolf’s back, severing the spine.
After the demise of their Alpha, the remaining two wolves ran, their tails between their legs.
Heimdal, having proved his martial prowess, also offered aid to Halgrond and eased the damage of the wound while Avis continued her search for the berries. She found them and the group decided to head back with Halgrond carrying the corpse of the Alpha wolf. When they arrived at the bridge again they crossed in order to find the missing scout.
Instead of the scout, they found his pack with filled waterskins, and his set of footprints walking towards the edge of the nearby forest. Puzzled as to why the scout would head into a forest, rather than return with the water, the group attempted to see if they could spot the scout. Aviss wished she hadn’t exhausted her Faery Fire, while Rhazien sent his familiar upwards. The creature could not spot anything through the thick canopy.
Both the Paladin and the Monk decided to edge closer, and as they did they saw a human shape emerge from the forest. The scout clutched his shoulder, divided by a huge bleeding gash that threatened to discard his arm.
“Run,” the scout croaked as he crashed forwards, an arrow jutting from between his shoulder blades.
Once again, Heimdal readied his shield and as he did so a barbarian rushed in a frenzy from out of the forest, both his weapons raised. And an arrow whistled past, barely missing the Paladin. In response, Avis’s control of nature caused another thorned root to lash out towards the approaching Barbarian. A lack of experience with combat caused her aim to falter. Rhazien’s aim was also lacking, but luckily the Monk – with the wolf’s corpse still slumped over his shoulders – threw one of his darts in the man’s heart and he dropped in his tracks.
Heimdal, annoyed by the earlier arrow, took a defensive position in case of another missile and Avis, hoping to improve her aim, paradoxically shot a blast of fire into the forest. She had guessed at the archer’s location based on where the arrow was shot from. Her guess proved fortunate as her blast was replied with a cry of pain.
Heimdal ran into the forest, dodging another arrow and impaled the archer on his sword. His second kill.
As if on cue, the weather seemed to shift.
The wounded scout was already halfway to the realm of Cwddwan, and all Avis could do was ease his passing. As a group they decided to take his body with them to the camp for a proper burial. Approaching the camp they noticed billowing smoke that was too thick, and too voluminous to be of a campfire, and they feared the worse. Through careful movement they managed to inch closer unseen.
A group of four Barbarians were amidst the corpses of the travelers that had joined the caravan for a passage to Caer Y Syl with a survivor being held up by the throat.
“You’ve trespassed the lands of Bahl and for your crimes you must die.” the Monk and Paladin, clad in heavy armour, overheard as they had managed to loop around one of the wagons and remained hidden.
Meanwhile, the Warlock had decided to incapacitate the Barbarian leader with an incantation that would throw the assailed in a fit of mad laughter. Unfortunately, the spell had no effect except to tip the Leader off with their presence.
“Who’s there? Show yourself!?” he bellowed and signaled the other three to search.
One came too close to the wagon and the monk suddenly, whacking the barbarian on the side of his head before stabbing him lethally. Heimdal, spurred on by his previous, succesful skirmishes charged headlong towards the Leader, his sword grasped firmly with both hands. His swung went wide, as the Barbarian Leader managed to side-step and struck with his Greatsword against the Paladin’s armour. As a Kaessar, he was wearing a type of stone-armour, and despite being a head (or more) taller than the Leader, the force of the blow managed to crush a large bit of the armour.
Winded, he staggered backwards. The druid remained apprehensive of giving her presence away.
“Idiots. If you are not a part of this caravan I will grant you a chance at your lives.”
“For what reason did you slaughter these people then?” the Monk asked, approaching the Leader unarmed.
“For crimes against my Patron Bahl, they were condemned to death as my god ordered.”
“Your god spoke to you then?” the Warlock quipped, revealing himself. “That’s interesting, since my familiar communes with him quite frequently, and explained to me that Bahl does not appreciate wanton murder.” He dripped with arrogance. “I doubt any god would speak to the likes of you.”
The monk intervened in an attempt to salvage the deteriorating situation.
“What punishment befalls the survivor?”
“Same as the others, same as you all: Death.”
And in that instant the Barbarian Leader greatsword swung towards the Paladin who managed to deflect the strike, but was unprepared for the martial prowess he was going against as his attacks kept getting swat to the side by the greatsword.
Avis, finally providing her aid in combat forced another thornwhip to shoot out, this time inconveniencing the Leader who still managed deliver a second strike to the Paladin that crushed parts of his armour and broke a rib or more.
Perhaps feeling slightly guilty, Rhazien let fly a Eldritch Blast that hit the Bandit Leader square in the chest and with such a force that lifted him off his feet and send him backwards with a crushed chest.
The other two barbarians frenzied, but one was struck down by both the Druid and the Warlock, while the last one was dispatched by the struggling Paladin while the Monk caused the distraction.
Breathing and heaving heavily, the Barbarian leader managed to position himself on his knees. He stared out in front of him, a blank stare coloured his eyes.
“Good. Good. The god is just.”
The statement brought a puzzled expression to the monk’s visage. And then the wind started blowing and the caravan leader who was propped up against the wagon with mortal wounds told the group to run as the wind began to pick up.
Avis sensed instinctively the danger the coming storm would pose, and the Paladin decided to not risk anything. They both ran towards the mountain pass while Rhazien and Halgrond followed. The latter two failed to make it in time and experience the starting brunt of the wind; the sensation of a thousand needles shredding the flesh but dove to the safety of the shelter escaping the preternatural weather.