Wandered Roads 44

Wandered Roads of Varisia
Session 44
October 17, 2015

Campaign Timeline

Dwarf Knuckle vs Moose Plate! Kapow!

Wealday 10th Neth

The Grand Ballroom

After the exhausting battle against the sorcerous Sinspawn and her demonic deputies, the Heroes head down the side passage out of the chamber instead of the stairs that the demons all approached from. The hallway hooks around to the right and makes its way back to a cavernous hallway made of marble and decorated with expensive finery. The room was full of people wearing masks and enjoying a spirited party. A full orchestra sits on a stage at the far end of the room and none other than Runelord Sorshen, scantily dressed, sits on a ruby throne directly in front of the musicians facing the ballroom. As soon the Heroes enter the room, Sorshen rises from her seat and signals for everyone to stop. She addresses the Heroes and then instructs her partygoers to attack and kill the “cold and bloodless” intruders.

The crowd surges forward but as soon as it reaches the Heroes’ position, they all disappear, including Runelord Sorshen. It was apparently all an elaborate illusion. The room is now empty, though still quite grand. The group spends a few moments searching the room and find that a doorway at the top of a balcony to the east leads to the stairs that connect with the previous chamber they had been in. Vexeron’s magical sight detects only one other exit from this room, past where the illusory Runelord’s throne had been.

The next room is an eight sided chamber with a colorful mosaic pattern of snakes and disembodied arms on the walls, floors and ceiling. Vexeron and Daellin sense some sort of magical energy in the room, but cannot figure out exactly what it is. The party moves to the stout oaken door at the far side of the room and prepares to enter.

More Maidens to Dance With

As they enter, they realize that some enemies were alerted and waiting for them on the other side as several Grey Maidens leap out and attack. The Heroes struggle with the Maidens, falling prey to their magical commanding powers granted by their helmets. Daellin, Ehlyna and Samad are all compelled to drop their weapons at various times during the encounter. Vexeron attempts to even the odds by using some of his movement hindering Glue magic.

The Heroes spread out into the room, engaging their foes with whatever weapons they have ready. Daellin loses control of each of his weapons: his sword Maellos, two knives and his bow. He has to rely on his magic to keep himself safe from Maiden attacks. Likewise, Ehlyna ends up with all three of her axes on the floor nearby. Undeterred, she presses her attack, using nothing but her fists, feet and forehead to assail her opponents. Her armored foe fights back, but Ehlyna gets the upper hand by punching her directly in the groin, knocking her unconscious despite the plate armor covering her delicate parts. “Dwarf Knuckle vs Moose Plate!” Ehlyna cries as she turns and looks for her next opponent.

Session Photos

The Grey Maidens spring an ambush!

The Heroes of Sandpoint are always ready for trouble!

The battle is joined.

The Heroes quickly enter the room, hoping to gain an advantageous position.

The battle spreads out around a large spiral stone staircase.

The Maidens start going down.

Session Notes

This was only a half session, but still a good one. We spent the other half of the session creating characters for our upcoming GURPS: Star Wars campaign. A blog post on that should be forthcoming!

Characters Present:

Kallin Hawkril, Half-Orc shaman and budding Priest of Pharasma - played by +Daniel Ernst
Calina - Varisian Human archer and scout - played by +Carol Coburn
Daellin Silvanthalas, Elven Farstrider Ranger - played by +Ben Lipe
Vexeron, Human wizard - played by Don K
Ehlyna Fuzziface - Dwarven Warrior - played by +Jodi H
Samad Aldhul, Human ex-mercenary - played by +JeCorey Holder
and +Jason Woollard as the DM


Grand Duchy 70

Grand Duchy of Adventure
Session 70
October 22, 2015

Battle at the Bridge, part II

Tserdain 20 Yarthmont

The Battle at the Bridge Rages On!

Undaunted by the presence of a giant war boar, Draven moves forward as the porcine behemoth wheels around for another charge. Draven smashes the beast's hindquarters as it passes, which only enrages it further. The boar slows and turns, then lurches forward, trying to gore Draven and trample him under hoof. The young priest is able to bring his shield to bear just in time to save himself, speaking quiet prayers as the boar's long, sharp tusks rip through his battered wooden shield. Stephan deals with some Gnolls nearby as Remar manuevers his horse to stay in position to best use his magical bolts in support of his companions.

Iris and Ree are in for a big surprise as an Ogre reveals himself on the far side of the river, flinging skull sized rocks in their direction. Iris loses consciousness and Ree begins dragging her body back up the trail, trying to get her out of range from the Ogre rock tosser and Gnoll archer that are trying to pick them off from the far bank. Marcel and Griffin finish off the two Gnolls they were dealing with and quickly move toward their pinned down friends. Marcel charges straight down the rocky embankment, making a beeline for the bridge and the Ogre while Griffin is called over by Ree, who has started casting a spell. As Marcel reaches the bridge, Ree smacks Griffin on the shoulder and yells, "Fly you fool!" 

Suddenly Griffin feels weightless and he leaps into the sky, flying up and over the raging mountain stream. Marcel rushes out onto the stone bridge, taunting the Ogre and managing to make him mad enough to abandon his ranged attacks and draw a huge knobbed club. 

Griffin takes aim and shoots at the Gnoll archer, hoping to take out one of the ranged combatants while Marcel faces down the charging Ogre. As the Ogre approaches the bridge, Marcel yells at him, trying to scare him into leaping into the rushing river. The Ogre just roars and leaps down onto the slippery stone bridge but manages to loose his footing, slip and plunge right into the water!

Just then, several more Gnolls appear from the west, another group that had apparently moves up stealthily on this side of the river. Four Gnolls advance with spears, moving from cover to cover and throwing their projectiles when they had good shots. A fifth Gnoll was with them, a huge Gnoll, nearly the size of the Ogre they had just faced. This Gnoll carries a huge battle axe in one hand and quickly moves to engage Marcel. Griffin harries the other Gnolls and tries to help his companion against this monstrous foe.

Eventually, Draven and Remar manage to finish off the Boar with several well placed mace strikes and magical bolt blasts. Stephan also drives off the remaining Gnoll on the near side of the river. Draven charges to assist the battle across the river by throwing a massive Sunbolt that strikes the Gnoll leader while Stephan and Remar try to gather up the scattering horses in hopes of getting them across the river before the main force of Gnolls arrives within the next few minutes.

Griffin and Marcel battle the Gnoll leader and his spearmen with some ranged support from Draven across the river until finally they are defeated, either killed or run off. During the battle, Marcel sustained some heavy wounds from the Gnoll leaders axe and falls to his knees, barely able to hold on to his own consciousness.

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 

Marcel Maasa homely but sincere wielder of spears aspiring to cooking greatness commanded by +Christian Blouin 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer 

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure guided by +Alex Safatli 

and +Jason Woollard as The DM


Wandered Roads 43

Wandered Roads of Varisia
Session 43
September 19, 2015

Campaign Timeline

Tricking the Tricksters

Moonday 8th of Neth

A Much Needed Rest

After their dangerous encounter with the Sea Hag and her Gremlin minions, the Heroes of Sandpoint return to their temporary base, reuniting with Samad and the Grey Maidens, some of whom have now “switched sides” and are allied with the Heroes. The heroes spend the rest of the day resting, identifying magical items, talking with the Grey Maidens, planning their next step and making some basic defensive improvements on the camp.

Toilday 9th Neth

More Rest

After being refreshed the previous day, they decide that it is in the group's best interest to spend an additional day resting and doing much of the same as the day before. They plan to return to the Golden Gallery and trigger the teleport device after using some magic to give the party some advantages in the fight to come.

Wealday 10th of Neth

Teleporting is a Slow Process

After using some magic to buff key members of the party, the Heroes of Sandpoint prepare themselves to activate the teleportation magic in the Golden Gallery. Samad, under the protection of an Invisibility spell cast by Daellin goes first. It is quickly determined that only one person can activate the magic at once and it takes between 10-15 seconds to do so. Daellin then casts Great Haste on Ehlyna just as she is ready to teleport next. The crafty Elf then teleports himself to the room while the others follow along, activating the teleportation and joining them in the room “above.”

Samad arrives “above” first and sees a long, luxurious hallway stretched out before him. Four armed and armored Sinspawn guard two doors in pairs, one off to the left and the other far off at the other end of the chamber. He quietly moves into position, waiting for his companions to arrive. Ehlyna arrives next and quickly charges to engage the closest two opponents. The nearest Sinspawn move to attack while one at the far end calls some sort of alarm down the hallway behind it and the other starts advancing slowly. Daellin arrives a split second after Ehlyna and begins flying down the hallway toward the far Sinspawn, nearly running right into an invisible Samad in the process.

The battle rages on for some time before Calina appears in the room and lends her bow to the fight. Vexeron follows some time after that and by the time Kallin manages to trigger the teleportation magic, the fight is nearly over. As the Heroes are busy checking their downed foes and beginning a search of the room, a long troop of disgusting looking demons is spotted headed down the stairs and hallway at the far end of the room.

The party quickly takes up positions around the door, ready for another fight. Calina begins shooting her arrows down the hallway to great effect. Ehlyna tries to position herself to take advantage of her Whirlwind Attack, hoping to catch as many unwitting demons within her reach as she can. Daellin hides out on the wall above the door, his flying magic still intact.

The demons erupt into the room in a flurry of chaos. Several of the demonic foes manage to summon even more demons for the fray while some emit clouds of stench and filth, nauseating some of the Heroes. As the battle rages on, Daellin is in for a surprise when he is attacked by an invisible Sinspawn sorcerer wielding a large polearm. The assault nearly takes the Elf’s life and quickly the team responds and directs their attacks at the new and dangerous foe.

The Sinspawn sorcerer quickly turns invisible again and the party’s attention is turned back toward the attacking demons. After a few moments, the Sinspawn reappears and makes a devastating attack on the party before turning invisible again. Samad and Ehlyna battle it out with the demons, though Samad finds himself at one point grappled by several demons and pulled to the ground. Daellin, still reeling from his wounds, makes his way to Calina and manages to cast a spell on her that allows her to see invisible foes. As Kallin moves to heal Daellin, Calina takes fire on her newly acquired target. In just a few more seconds, the battle is done. The demons are dead and the Sinspawn sorcerer has several arrows protruding from each of her eye sockets.

Session Photos

Vexeron surveys the scene before him, pondering where an exploding fireball can do the most damage!
An invisible assailant gets the drop on a flying Daellin.

Many foes have beset the Heroes of Sandpoint!

Samad is surrounded by demons as Ehlyna comes to his rescue

Calina finishes the sorcerous Sinspawn off with 2 more arrows to the eyeballs!

Dan plans Kallin's next move.

Jodi has been waiting for a LONG time to do this!
So many dice couldn't even be held in one hand!

Dual, All-Out Attacks (Double)...

...while being Great Hasted!

Think this was over 100 raw points of damage!!!

Characters Present:

Kallin Hawkril, Half-Orc shaman and budding Priest of Pharasma - played by +Daniel Ernst
Calina - Varisian Human archer and scout - played by +Carol Coburn
Daellin Silvanthalas, Elven Farstrider Ranger - played by +Ben Lipe
Vexeron, Human wizard - played by Don K
Ehlyna Fuzziface - Dwarven Warrior - played by +Jodi H
Samad Aldhul, Human ex-mercenary - played by +JeCorey Holder
and +Jason Woollard as the DM


Grand Duchy 69

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 69
October 8, 2015

Run the Valley

Tserdain, 20 Yarthmont

The Grey Company manages to get about a half hour of rest, which is just enough to get the exhausted horses moving again. From a lookout high up in the craggy hills, Ree spots several groups of Gnolls moving, two groups to the south and east and one group on the other side of the river, heading for what must be a crossing nearby. It appears that the Gnolls are still enroute to the Burial Mound, called by the shaman's drum signal. 

As the Company prepares to depart, Ree alerts them that she has spotted a small group of Gnolls heading in their direction. The Company rolls out, still making an attempt to remain stealthy, but after a short time, it is clear that the Gnolls are on the trail. 

At one point, when the Company passes a narrow part of the valley, they can see a large group of Gnolls on the far side of the river, heading north. The river looks to be uncross-able by horse, as it passes through a steep sided, rocky ravine through much of the valley. Another small group of Gnolls pursues from behind, moving quickly but trying to maintain cover as it goes. The larger body of Gnolls is assumed to be somewhere further to the south, but no doubt on the trail as well.  In an attempt to shake them, Marcel sacrifices some of his pepper to spice up their opponents tracking.
Trying to sneak through the valley is more difficult that expected!
Eventually, the Grey Company makes it to the north end of the valley. Then can be seen, a high, narrow waterfall cascading down from hundreds of feet up in the black rock peaks to the north. Some angular lines in the cliff side indicate some sort of structure to the west of the waterfall. Possibly some tower or way up into the mountains.

The Company seems to have outpaced the troupe of Gnolls on the far side of the river, but another, larger band has been slowly moving up from behind, threatening to catch up with even the slightest missed step or shortest rest. The Grey Company push their mounts and head toward the river, hoping to find a way across the deep cut that splits the valley in two.
Making a break for the end of the valley
Finally, a crossing is in sight. The Company wastes no time in approaching with the Gnolls hot on their heels. Griffin and Marcel head forward to check it out while Iris and Ree began readying the horses. Draven, Remar and Stephan hang back to keep an eye out for Gnoll outriders. 
The only way across is a narrow bridge
After only a few steps toward the rocky bridge that spans the river, several Gnolls reveal themselves, hiding in the rocks on the near bank. Griffin and Marcel move to engage while Iris and Ree try to calm the now terrified horses. Draven and the others spot several Gnolls accompanying a huge, armored boar break from some nearby trees and begin charging the party as well

The Company checks out the bridge and sees some Gnolls nearby
Remar sends several magic bolts into the oncoming Gnolls and boar, though his magic does little to deter their savage charge. Draven summons a bolt of pure sunlight and aims it at the oncoming beasts while Stephan aims and fires his crossbow, hoping for a lucky shot. The war boar takes the brunt of the attacks but keeps coming, eventually reaching the rear defenders. It slams into Stephan's mount sending it to the ground and sending Stephan flying through the air. Draven dismounts and engages in an approaching Gnoll while Remar remains on his horse, riding around the battle, using his magic to harass their foes.
The War Boar takes out Stephan and his horse!
Meanwhile, Marcel and Griffin battle it out with two Gnolls near the path leading down to the river crossing. They can hear the battle raging behind them, but neither seems to be able to get the upper hand on their opponents.
Griffin and Marcel engage the Gnolls
In the confusion of the fighting, Iris and Ree gather up the mounts and begin leading them down the narrow trail to the chunk of stone that juts out to the other side of the river. The worn trails nearby suggest that this is a commonly used location for crossing the river. When she makes it about halfway down the path, Iris lets out a surprised yelp as a loud splash comes from the river. "We have company on the other side," she loudly informs the remainder of the Company. "Whatever it is, it's throwing big rocks!" Iris can be heard trying to call out something else, but her statement is cut off by a grunt and a call from Ree. "Iris is down. She's been shot again! Gnoll archer on the far bank!" 

Iris leads the horses down toward the bridge...
Cast of Characters: 
Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 

Marcel Maasa homely but sincere wielder of spears aspiring to cooking greatness commanded by +Christian Blouin 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer 

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure guided by +Alex Safatli 

and +Jason Woollard as The DM


Grand Duchy 68

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 68
September 28 - October 6, 2015

The Gnolls Know

Tserdain 20 Yarthmont

Little Drummer Gnoll

As the wounded Gnoll tries to crawl away, Griffin steps up and follows him. As he follows, everything around him goes silent. He leans above the slowly fleeing Gnoll and thrusts his sword down, severing the filthy creatures spine. The expected crunch is missing as is the loud exhale often heard when something dies. He turns and looks back to his companions. Everyone has gathered on the top of the mound. All of their faces look weary after the challenging battle with the Ghouls followed immediately by the Gnolls. Suddenly each of their eyes go wide and looks of surprise fear appear on their faces. As one, they all turn to the left, looking past the burning sphere of darkness. Griffin tries to see what they are looking at, but the black smoke and remaining fog of the valley blocks his view. He walks back toward them, sheathing his sword. Just as he gets back to where they are standing, he hears what they are looking at.

::BOOM:: ::BOOM:: ::BOOM::

The sounds of a deep kettle drum fill the air. Just past the base of the mound, about 30 yards away, the source of the drumming can be seen. The Gnoll shaman is standing in front of a crude hut banging on a ceremonial drum of some kind. The deep notes of the drum echo off the unseen valley walls all around.

::BOOM:: ::BOOM:: ::BOOM::

Marcel, very wounded after his encounter with a Gnoll’s axe to his neck, sits on the ground, Draven approaches him. Ree and Remar stand behind Draven, looking on. Nearly everyone in the Company had sustained some type of serious wound during the battle and is in need of care. Against his better judgement, Remar tries his hand at healing magic again and heals Ree and Stephen back up to full health while Draven decides what he is going to do for the others and whether he is going to do it now or after the Shaman is taken care of.

::BOOM:: ::BOOM:: ::BOOM::

Iris couldn’t help it. Her body was shivering in fear. It seemed as though the Company has been through a lot before, and some of those times have been at the skin of their teeth. But this time, she is truly terrified this may be the last time she’ll get the chance to reflect on their group’s deeds. She looks to each of her friends and tries to memorize their faces. She doesn’t want to forget.

She strengthens her resolve and begins to slowly make her way down to the drumming gnoll. After a few steps, she looks behind her with the strongest and most courageous face she could muster. Smiling tentatively, she says to the others who are watching the scene behind her, “I’m going down there, unless any of you have any better ideas?”

::BOOM:: ::BOOM:: ::BOOM::

Griffin’s face is grim, but he pulls his shoulders back and tries a smile. “Actually, ma’am, I think I do have a better idea.” He walks past her, then says, “If you can wait just a second.” He picks up his crossbow, calmly loads a bolt and draws a bead. He takes a deep breath, exhales, and lets fly.

::BOOM:: ::thud:: ::rip::

Griffin’s bolt flies true and pierces the tightly stretched skin on the top of the drum. The Gnoll shaman’s hand slaps down on the striking surface and tears right through it. He lets out a loud, angry growl and shouts something toward the Company that sounds none too nice. He spins and disappears inside the small hut.

“There. That was getting on my nerves.” He looks around at the crew. “How we doing? The plan was to sneak until the alert was sounded. Looks like that has happened. We can grab the horses and start racing, or pull back. Golthar is on his way. Part of me wants to pull back and let him be greeted by a valley full of grumpy Gnolls. But he’d probably make it through anyways.” He squares his shoulders. “Are we still up for this? If so, let’s get our mounts and get going!”

Remar and Draven finish up some healing magic on their companions as Griffin smiles at his shot. Everyone looks at each other, their eyes saying Now what?

Quickly evaluating the situation, Draven distributes his last two potions to Marcel and to Iris. “This is more likely to work than further invocations from me.” Turning to Remar, he offers to trade. “I’ll need someone with a steady hand to pull this arrow and heal as it passes. Are you up to it?”

::boom:: ::boom:: ::boom::

As the group contemplates their move, the distant booming of other drums fills the valley. Griffin notices some movement in the shaman’s hut and suddenly a glowing black bolt of magic flies out, headed directly for him!

Iris beams at Griffin. Looking back towards where the hut is, she sees the beam fly out and feels time slow down. Oh no!

Griffin dives for cover, rolling out of the way of the bolt. He swears. “I am really getting tired of that guy. What say we get the heck out of here!” He cautiously gets up and dusts himself off, then starts making his way towards Firewild. “Everybody mount up. I don’t think it’s gonna get any easier if we stay around here.”

While the others find their mounts, Griffin reloads his crossbow and keeps a close eye on the shaman’s hut. If that smelly old Gnoll pokes his nose out, he’s going to see what Griffin’s magic bolt feels like!

As the Grey Company begins gathering their horses, the distant drums sound off again, this time the sounds come distinctly from the east then from the north.

::boom:: ::boom:: ::boom::
::boom:: ::boom:: ::boom::

Griffin starts waving his arms and whistling for the horses. Firewild tries to ignore him by sticking his nose into what looks like a tasty patch of grass, but is startled by a rabbit hiding in the same patch. He gallops away, right to Griffin!

Being mindful of the Gnoll shaman hiding out in his hut nearby, the Grey Company gathers their horses up quickly, though Marcel nearly scares his mount away again. Within a few minutes, everyone is mounted up on the southern side of the mound and ready to move out. The drums still echo around the valley, sounding closer and closer every time they are heard.

::boom:: ::boom:: ::BOOM::
::boom:: ::BOOM:: ::BOOM::

Stephan looks around, listening to the drums. “So what’s the plan? The way forward looks, um, challenging, to say the least, but the way back looks doubly so. We’re a little more than 10 miles from the end of the valley, if Gren’s recollections and map-making skills are up to snuff, anyway.” He gives Griffin a sidelong glance. “I say we make for the river, and head north as fast as we can. When we get to the bend, we either look for a place to cross, though that puts us right at the base of those hills, or we veer east and continue following the water. It’s longer that way but might keep a barrier between us and the Gnolls.” As he finishes speaking, his words are punctuated by a series of very loud and presumably very nearby drums from the north.

::BOOM:: ::BOOM:: ::BOOM::

“Well, it’s time to decide,” Stephan says as he rears his horse and starts angling toward the river somewhere to the west, turned back in his saddle waiting for everyone else.

Iris has her horse side up near Stephan. She looks to the others carefully and with fear in her eyes. “I think we should go east. What do you think Griffin, Draven, Marcel?” She tries to keep her voice steady in light of the tension.

Griffin tries to see through the fog, to no avail. “We can save some time if we head northwest,” and he points off into the mists. We’ll either hit the river or the side of the valley. Then we can follow whatever we hit around. We should stay on the east side,” and he gives a nod to Iris, “Any way we can make it harder for the Gnolls is good, in my opinion.”

“Aye, to the water and north as quickly as we can. As much as I want to end that foul shaman, we’re outmatched here,” Draven replies.

“Well, that sounds like we are committed. Excellent. Probably no chances to back out past this point, so that’s good to hear.” He pulls Firewild around so she’s heading northwest. “Visibility is not great, so stay close. We want to be where we can help each other out if we run into something.”

Old Gren’s map

The Company heads north-west as fast as they can, riding into the swirling mists, as they leave the area, one final magical bolt flies from near the shaman’s hut and strikes the rear flank of Firewild, who is lagging behind considerably due to overexertion. After a moment, it is clear that Firewild cannot keep up any pace more than a slow walk. Visibility in the mists is limited to about 20 yards at best. The ground continues to slope down gradually to the west, though to the right (the north) it seems to rise toward the small run of hills that rests there.

A Not So Fast Getaway

Griffin calls for a halt and dismounts, “Firewild can’t keep this up, we’ll lose her, and we can’t afford to lose another mount. Were gonna have to walk for a bit.”

deaths head valley riding fog.jpgStephan looks around in the mist, “Maybe we could find someplace to hole up for a bit, let the horses, and us rest then make a run for it.” He looks at Griffin and the others, “You think we should follow this close to the hills north of here? Gnolls live there. We heard the drums coming from that area.”

::boom:: ::BOOM:: ::BOOM::
::boom:: ::boom:: ::boom::

As if to highlight his comment, the drums are heard again. The first blast of drums comes from behind the Company, back to the east and another set of beats can be heard, this time coming from farther off, to the north west.

Ree interjects, “We need to know if we’re being followed, right? Need to know where the Gnolls are, right? I can take care of that, hold on a minute!” Before Griffin can say anything, Ree has spoken her magic words and performed her ritual. The young Elf girl slowly rises up out of her saddle and begins floating straight up into the air. “Wait right there for me, I’ll be back in a moment,” she says as she disappears upward through a swirl of mists.

Less than a minute later, Ree comes floating back down. She begins her report before she even reaches the ground.  “Yep, there’s Gnolls and they’re coming this way! I could see a pretty big group of them out past the burial mound, probably about a half mile away, maybe a little more. There were at least 30 or more in that group. Saw some big ones too, possibly Ogres. There’s another, smaller group, that just came down out of these hills to the north. They went back toward the mound. Must have been responding to the shaman’s drums. Only about 10 or so in that group, but it looked like they had some animals with them, couldn’t tell what they were though, pretty big but obscured too much by the mist. I couldn’t see the river up ahead, but could definitely tell where it was, the mist is pretty thick around it, though the surrounding areas are becoming clearer as the fog is burning up in the daylight. I saw quite a few campfire signals coming from them hills just across the river, so it looks like there might be a sizeable force of Gnolls there. I think getting a move on and staying on this side of the river for now is our best option.” She lands back on the saddle of her horse.

Looking gravely at Griffin, Draven asks “at a brisk walk, then? Or do we double up and,” he looks at the ground as he suggests it, “leave Firewild to find safe passage without so much weight to carry?” My horse is sturdy and strong, and barely notices me on his back, Iris or Ree could ride pillion with me, freeing up another horse for you…”

“Either way, the decision must be made, and made swiftly.”

Griffin makes a face at the thought of leaving another horse behind. “I think doubling up will just leave us with two exhausted mounts in short order.” He moves to take Firewild’s reins. “A brisk walk for now. Hopefully, the mists will be as much of a handicap for the Gnolls as for us.” He checks his crossbow, making sure it is loaded and ready for action. “Let’s get moving. We don’t want them to have catch us.”

As the group gets moving, Ree adds, “I didn’t get too good of a look, but the terrain around the western edge of these hills,” she points directly to the north, “is pretty rough where they meet the walls of the valley. Maybe there is somewhere over there where we could get a little bit of a rest, maybe just a half hour.” She looks around at the others. “It seems that our way back is blocked, so we must go forward, but what if we set out a false trail to the west from here, and somehow went north instead, hide out in the hills there, then make a break for it?” By the time she finishes talking, all of her confidence has evaporated, turning her suggestion into nothing more than a weakly asked question.

“We’ve more than one spellcaster amongst us, and while my own gifts do not go well with subterfuge, surely you all can come up with some ideas of how we might leave a trick or a trap for our hairy friends to follow as we sneak off for the northern hills?” Draven intones

Griffin smiles at Ree. “Good plan.” He turns to the rest. “Okay, folks let’s do as she says. We head north until we hit rocky ground. That’ll hide our trail and let us throw out some trouble for anyone trying to find us.” He starts walking immediately, wanting to use the time as efficiently as possible. “Ree, Remar, Iris, can you put your thinking caps on and come up with some sort of magical trap or surprise for our pursuers, as Brother Draven has suggested?” He nods to the priest.

Griffin tries to come up with a way to make it appear that a group of horses has gone a different way than the way they actually went.  After a few moments, he snaps his fingers.

“Okay, guys, line up. Ride single file - it will hide our numbers.” There is a bit of jockeying but eventually everyone is heading the right way. He looks at Ree. “Get ‘em started towards the rocky area you were talking about. I’ll be right behind you.” He starts walking Firewild back and forth, in a generally westerly direction, as the rest of the party heads off to the north. His ears strain to detect any sound of approaching trouble. After a decent attempt to create a lot of hoofprints leading west, he leads Firewild to the northerly trail and starts covering the other tracks, making his way after the rest of his team.

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 

Marcel Maasa homely but sincere wielder of spears aspiring to cooking greatness commanded by +Christian Blouin 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer 

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure guided by +Alex Safatli 

and +Jason Woollard as The DM