Grand Duchy 88

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 88
April 30 - May 14, 2016

What Now?

Nytdain 1 Klarmont


The rain of the previous day has passed, but not the uncomfortable feeling that Griffin, Remar and Ree experienced when they saw the dead and mutilated body of Firewild laying on a wet hillside just a half a mile from Ronkan village. The horse had died miles behind, falling down the side of a mountain. Quite a bit of speculation was going around as to how the lost mount had ended up in the valley. Undead reanimation and the manticore, Shifirax, are the top contenders.

The bigger question is, though, what is the Grey Company going to do about trying to help these poor, fearful Traldar people with their undead problem. Filling the ritual bowl with water from the Singing Pool and placing it on the altar in the Temple of Pflarr is the answer, but getting to that point seems to be the trouble. The bowl was not on the altar in the temple and the temple seems to be controlled by some powerful undead. A pair of Ghouls wielding unusual power seem to be directing the roving packs of skeletons, zombies and Ghouls that inhabit the temple.

Then there is the matter of the water, which resides in a pool more than a day’s ride to the south. The Traladar have been so kind as to offer the use of their lizard mounts for such a trek in the valley and the Grey Company spent most of a rainy day learning how to ride the strange beasts.

The final topic of conversation remains the trailing threat of the Yellow Wizard, Golthar, and his Iron Ring slavers. They had been spotted several times on the journey here, most recently a few days behind on the high trail leading into the valley. Just another dangerous threat that would have to be dealt with in time.

Griffin pulls the group aside for a chat away from the ears of the Traldars. “I don’t know about you guys, but it feels to me like there is more going on here than we have discovered so far. Ree said she was helped when they were attacked outside the temple, but she didn’t know by who. I searched around and found Hutakaan tracks. If they’re the bad guys, why help us?”

He hunkers down, finger moving over a crude map of the area they had explored in the hidden valley. “The Traldar say the magic pool is down this way - and the Hutakaans have to be around here somewhere. I’d like to go try and have a talk with them. Now if we go chat with their enemies, the Traldar may not like it, so I think we should all go. No sense leaving hostages behind. Since there seems to be a problem with undead, I think setting out at first light should be our plan. Any thoughts?”

Frowning at the mention of hostages, Remar looks to Griffin and the others.  “I’m definitely not staying here then.  I’ll go where you all go for sure, but what if there is something more going on here as you say Griffin.”  Remar draws his brow down a bit and closer together as he considers.  “For instance, what if there is more than one group of Hutakaan here:  One harrying the Traldar and us by extension and another that sees what it is we are trying to do?  I can’t imagine they like their dead walking any more than the Traldar.”  Remar pauses in thought then adds, “What if someone is actually controlling some of the Hutakaan and making them hostile?”  He shakes his head a bit.  “I’m all for deeper investigation, but not at the risk of walking into something more insidious.  I mean, peely-skin back there batted my spell back at us without a second thought when I last thought to tempt my luck and jump in with both feet.  Forgive my hesitance, but is there some way we could try to gather more intel before walking right up to them?”

Griffin nods, “Absolutely. More intel is good, of course, and I’m all for knowing what sort of hand my opponent is holding before I bet.”

He continues, “But right now we don’t know anything. We need to find the Hutaakans before we can learn more about them. It’s that hurdle we have to clear before we can really start making heads or tails of the mess in this valley.”

“So yea, I want to go check this out. We get out from under the watchful eye of the Traldar, then see who or what we can find outside where they’re patrolling.” He shrugs, “Which would seem to be further than a half-day’s ride out.”

“We also keep an eye out for this magic pool, and whatever critter was messing with my horse.”

“Better?” He eyes the mage, questioningly.

Remar slowly walks forward and angles his head so he can look at the map alongside Griffin.  He points.  “We think the bowl is way out here.  Do we head that way, look for tracks to find, and gather intel along the way out there?”  He points to the Traldar settlement they are in now and then starts spiraling his finger outward from it.  “Were you thinking of more of a detailed search of the entire area around the Traldar camp?”  Finally, he puts his finger back on the Traldar camp on the map and traces routes that path northeast and the others that maps south, and southwest out to a few days away.  “Or do you want to plan along one of these other routes sort of randomly?  “Whatever we do, I suggest we plan a route that allows us to set up and fortify camp by nightfall in case we don’t find anything.”  He looks toward Marcel and Draven.  “What do you all think?”

After spending a good amount of time in deep thought, Draven finally stirs himself. “I’m at a crossroads myself, my friends. What could be more auspicious than to set out on a quest to aid these poor souls, the long lost ancestors of the Traldaran people who are our countrymen,” and with a nod to Marcel, “and our friends, on this the high holy day dedicated to Halav, protector of the Traldaran people? And yet, there is a mystery afoot - perhaps these Hutakan people aren’t the precursors to our troublesome gnolls after all, and have their own side to this well-worn coin?”

“Either way,” he finishes, “we’ll be helping both Traldar and Hutaakan if we can cull the undead problem, and perhaps with such a victory under our belts, be in a position to bring both sides to a peaceful table together, for at least long enough to find out what’s really going on. We need the water from the spring, and we’re pretty sure we know where to get it. So why don’t we start there? Who knows what we’ll learn along the way?”

Remar nods.  The mage then looks around for Marcel and Iris.  Oh, gee, I thought they were here the whole time.  Digging into that tome really has me a bit scatter brained.

Hahaha...no comment needed!

Remar scowls and folds his arms.  Seeing Draven look at him questioningly, as if wondering if something he said put Remar off, he readjusts his posture and beams back at him as if nothing is amiss.

As the members of the Grey Company converse, Marcel excuses himself. “I'm not feeling too well,” he explains, “I think it's the local cooking or something. I'm going to sit this one out. You all go on, go get that water. I'll be here when you get back.” The stubborn Traldaran heads back to the building that had been given to the Grey Company for their temporary residence.

As everyone’s attention is now thankfully distracted on Marcel, Remar takes a deep breath to clear his head.  What is it with this voice in my head and this horse I’ll see occasionally?

Surprised that didn’t get any sort of response, he then clears his throat.  “OK.  I like the option to go look for the water.  Those Hutakan know this area and seem to be aware of our movements anyway.  Maybe if they are really friendly they’ll approach us peacefully along the way.  Nonetheless, I still think we should try and avoid being out in the wilderness as much as possible at night, due to undead and...well...the possibility of unfriendly Hutakan.”  He looks at Griffin, “What’s the best route out there that lets us stop somewhere relatively sheltered by night if available?  Whatever route that is, I vote we take that one.”

Griffin shrugs, and raises his hands. “That’s the problem. This is a new area, and we don’t know the terrain all that well. I think if we head out, we look for a base when we pass the halfway point, around noon. Maybe we don’t get as far, but we are aware of a bolt hole if it gets dark.”

“As for the Hutaakans, they could very well be hostile. We did lay into them pretty hard with the Traldar before. If there were any survivors we missed, they could have already reported us as ‘not friendlies.’ Iris, any hopes that you could talk to them if we do run across them?”

Cast of Characters: 

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

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

Remar Umerusan Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army currently marshalled by +Patrick Kelly 

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure, now guided by +Stephanie Kelly 

and +Jason Woollard as The DM

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