5/23/15 Bringers of Light
Party has rested for a few days in the temple of Shelters from the Storm. Morgan wants to take the chance to soak in the nearness of the Divine. Damakos is uncomfortable, but everyone else is at peace.
16th of Pum, 2345.
After discussion, the best guess we have for where to go next is the circle of standing stones in Bai. Between us and that location lie the Copperas mountain range. Our best estimate is 8 days of travel to the mountain range, then the climb and journey across the mountains, then ten more days of travel.
Because Damakos has been so uncomfortable while in the temple, he has spent a good part of the time the party takes to rest to wander around and explore the area. As the time comes to leave, he realizes that there are three columns of smoke, indicating that the Legion soldiers are near.
The party leaves at night, under the dim red glow of the moon we have a skills challenge to escape the city without being seen by the legionnaires. Bara calls upon Stillness within the Storm to provide a blessing, Roland coaches us all on how to be stealthy, Damakos bluffs a sentry, and we discover that the legionnaires are inside the city walls. Understanding this, Morgan realizes that there will be more than just a few scattered guards, and forced marches the party as fast as possible toward the walls. The skills challenge moves along smoothly until an impressive cascade of failures. Damakos, Morgan, and Bara all choke, and the fight is on.
The party emerges from the city walls to be confronted by 8 soldiers, armed with crossbows, longspears, and wearing chain. The enemies are split into four groups of two, which makes a challenge because we can’t concentrate force without leaving some enemies open to our back and flanks. And, of course, concentrating force isn’t one of our strong suits, anyway.
(Note: Brandis makes everything sound dirty. Or maybe that’s just Brian.)
Arrows fly. Blows are traded. Damakos shouts out a howl of doom – “’Wycie Zaglada!” and is most awesome in driving baddies away from Brandis, who has been knocked down.
After spending time in the healing solace of the temple, most of the party spontaneously decides to incapacitate rather than kill their enemies. Roland doesn’t get the memo (Memo from DM: You can choose to incapacitate if you want no matter what attack you are using. Roland: I can’t incapacitate with an arrow. DM: That’s not what I said.)
One of the legionnaires manages to run away. Bara talks the last two standing into surrender. Morgan tells them that they are being shown compassion, and that they should pass this on. Damakos gets flame-y and intimidates them, and the party flees.
The party moves on, traveling toward the mountains. Interpersonal questions and answers occur. Roland questions Bara about how she is handling the new power she has; he feels that he would be corrupted. Bara tries to put into words her feeling that the grace she has been shown is cannot be corrupting. Damakos doesn’t understand why Morgan chose to show compassion to the soldiers. Morgan doesn’t fully understand either; she’s not sure it was the right thing to do, but she didn’t want to kill the soldiers if she didn’t have to They are legionnaires like she was, and perhaps they aren’t all ruthless and dangerous . Bara Is wants to know more about Damakos and if he really is always angry and full of rage. Damakos’ answers to her questions are vague; he’s not always angry, but he is uncomfortable. Hiding something? From himself, or his companions, or both? Bara starts trying to strengthen her body with exercise, does it wrong and smacks herself in the head. Morgan teaches her calisthenics, and then promptly sprains her ankle moving forward to scout. Brandis chats with Roland about where we think the next holy places may be. Unfortunately, they don’t come up with any ideas.
Travel to and through the mountains. Roland tries hard to get closer to Morgan. He tells her that he thinks she is special, and that he is following and protecting her. She is still pretty clueless about his affections. She also can’t understand what Brandis does. Brandis explains that he has always had some ability to understand and sense what people feel, but he can’t really explain his newfound powers.
After days of grueling travel up through the pass, the party reaches the top of the mountain pass. Interfering with their feeling of triumph, two Tieflings step out from the rocks to confront Damakos. “We knew we would find you eventually, Damakos.” They are resplendent in Scath Runda armor and weaponry, and they look quite confident.
Some of the party is observant and gets to act during a surprise round. They do a bit of posturing and attacking, and are sad when another Tiefling steps out from the shadows and summons fallen warriors to claw their undead way out of the ground and into the midst of our heroes. Turn undead and abjure undead are used for the first time. Tiefling enemies throw fire and cold, and Morgan feels the pain. These are tough skeletons, and the Tiefling who summoned them heals them before vanishing from sight. Smiting continues – fire, ice, curses, slashing, and damage all around. Bara Is blesses the party so that we all get bonuses. The Necromancer calls out, “Kill the Infidel!” and sic’s the skeletons on Damakos. Much to our dismay, the Necromancer continues to bring back the dead to fight against us. The fight is long and vicious, and when the Necromancer is finally slain, he calls out, “May the curse of the Scrios find you.” Morgan shouts at the one remaining, “How did you find us?” He replies that the Scath Runda can find anything, “that’s why the Emperor has the Scath Runda. We tell him what is happening in the world. You are doomed.” Before their messy demise, the Scath Runda warriors prove that they ‘know everything’ by showing off their knowledge that the adventurers are headed to the Stone Circle.
Our heroes are now in quite a quandary. No matter how powerful they have become, they have all heard terrifying tales of the Scath Scrios. The stories always involve no survivors, and whatever the Scrios is has destroyed whole towns in the course of a single night, and can enter rooms that are locked from the inside. If the Scath Runda know the party is heading to the stone circle, and can send the Scrios after them there, they must go elsewhere. There is one other possible place of sacred relics, if they can only remember where it is.
Of course, if the Scath Runda really do “know everything” it won’t matter where they run, will it?