The Continent

The Autumn Hunt (Part 1)
Bards and farmers galore!

Arriving at the bustling festival of the Autumn in Lesserford, our party quickly formed.

Philleo Phisch earned a small purse of coin for his violin entertainment from the assembled unwashed and hired the young Ryyk soldier Grimes for protection. The priestess Lylah, here to help the unfortunate out of their squalor and also under the protection of Grimes, finished the trio.

Shortly after arranging payment for Grimes’ services, the group witnessed a procession of Lord Fairbrow’s Growlers being pulled down the trail into town, skirting the village to set up camp. A representative of Lord Fairbrow declared that the first inaugural ‘Autumn Hunt’ would be taking place, with great prizes for the winners. He showed the quarry – crested lizards.
Philleo had the wise idea to try and get as much information on the prey as possible. Grimes managed to convince the on duty Guards to escort Phil to one of the wagons where he took some notes.
They rest, and in the morning after being awakened by the shrill sounds of the breakfast trumpets the team decided to check for wagon trails leading out from the camp site- a Northern path to the village stream was decided upon.
On approaching the bank they stumble into an argument between a group of farmers and a burly man called Yidnig, flanked by his cronies. They dispute a kill claim, which Yidnig eventually walks away with. Grimes enlists the farmers into the team and fits them out with some of his arsenal. After setting up a net to catch fish a new path into a small forest is forged, where the team spy their prey!

A battle ensues, where the hunter becomes the hunted- fortunately with the help of Barnet Winterbrook and his courageous farmer companions they manage to take 3 lizards into their possession (2 alive, 1 corpse). They return to their fishing net and allow the valiant farmer team to return to Lesserford for the night; Barnet the farmer remained and trained with Grimes. In the night they are greeted by a Ryykaan by the name of Obenhoeff, who joins the trio to make create a quartet.
With the return of the morning the farmers reappear, announcing they have registered the team with the name “Team Farmer Powerhouse”. The farmers, led by Barnet, decide to venture to the orchards. Our team head to the hills, where they meet a panicked boy by the name of ‘Shiny’ Joe the boot shiner. He says that his friend Hank chased a lizard into an abandoned mine shaft and he hasn’t seen him since.

Braving the darkness, they discover an opening which descends into a deep cavern- light shining on the walls seems to make whatever mineral within ebb with a calming, serene glow. A lizard corpse is found, along with an entrance to a man-made room, with a blue, glowing orb at the far end. When Obenhoeff enters he seems to trigger the room’s defences in the form of 4 skeletal guards. Lylah made them cower in fear through the might of her Godly ways, and Grimes makes short work of their foes. Oben misses the stationary floating orb a number of times before he and Philleo force it into a sack. Hank’s body is found dead in the room, and Phil pinches his coin purse.

On leaving the mine they find Yidnig threatening Shiny Joe- Grimes stands up to the bully, starting a ruckus which ends with Yidnig yielding and leaving before much harm is done. The team return to Lesserford to register their Lizard tally, and ready themselves for the third and final day of the hunt.

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The Autumn Hunt (Part 2)
<may contain cold-blooded murder>

After registering the day’s kills, Barnet and co leave the heroes decide to seek an evening’s entertainment in the town’s lively cider inn.

Philleo made a name for himself, playing to the crowd with such famed tunes as “The bearded Lady of Botley”, “The mole in my bed” and the wonderful “How did that get in there?”- the result of which was to earn him a sackful of loose coin.
Grimes sought information on the contest, but no solid details could be ascertained due to the amount of hyperbole being spouted by the teams in the inn. He was instead approached by Jessop Forfar, who was eager to seek funding for a venture to procure an abandoned property in Terrandor. The team ultimately dismissed the gnome, much to jessop’s disappointment. As the evening wore on, the team decided to retire to their beds.

Bunking down for the night, their rest is disturbed when Obenhoeff wakes the team to alert them to a disturbance close to their camp- some defenceless folk are under attack from the wild lizard threat!
The heroes spring into action: seeing a young girl being dragged into the darkness by this beast, Grimes dashes into the fray, foregoing clothing and rushes to deliver an almighty blow to the animal. Obenhoeff follows in turn, striking with his cruel spiked morning star.
Philleo Phisch aids the cause with a well placed arrow and choice notes from his instrument, whilst Lylah tended to the stricken lady on the floor. After a series of worrying bites to Grimes’ loin, the lizard is vanquished.
Their startled neighbour turn out to be a halfling couple named Binty Butterbarrel & Mobin Butterbarrel; Binty was shaken and discovered to be in a pregnant state, but after Mobin saw her to rest he promised to repay the kind help of the heroes with breakfast in the morning.

With the new day the team tucked hungrily in to the delicious, juicy and irresistable meat sandwiches which were served to them by Mobin- Oben was so enamoured with the tasty treats that he even had seconds and thirds! Barnet appeared and offered to take the lizard in to by registered, which Grimes obliges by tagging along (in an ever increasingly bloody state).
Upon handing the corpse over they are told that all lizards are now accounted for, and that an announcement shall be made that afternoon regarding the winner.

The team pack up and head to the town square, where they also spy Yidnig awaiting the results. After the third placed “Furry footed Burrowers” from Rigeselle take their prize, the crowd discovers that both “Team: Yidnig” and team “Super Farmer Powerhouse” are tied for first place. After a short deliberation, the victory is awarded to powerhouse due to allowing 2 of their quarry to live. They are rewarded with a keg of Appleseed cider each, a voucher for Edgar’s Emporium in Thalanton, a purse of gold and a big ol’ egg. Phil clears his throat to begin a winner’s song, but is quickly ushered off the stage for the legendary Munroe Plumpkin to perform for the crowd.

As they began to depart the team are approached by two guards to request that they follow them to the Guard house for a discussion. They are delivered to a well-presented Guardsman by the name of Forza Larkin, who seeks their help in bringing a serial killer to justice. After providing details he asks them to head to Grate and investigate the killings, and he will meet up with them after he has finished with further business in the coastal town of Botley.

The team depart Lesserford with the Binty & Mobin, who have sought protection on their travels to Grate. Binty tells Lylah a story of bandits which appear to be stalking the roads, killing travellers, stealing their belongings and tearing their arms clean off!
The weather turns prgressively worse over the course of the next few days, coming to noisy crescendo in the form of a full-blown thunderstorm. They bed down for the night in the shadow of a small hill, and a watch is set.
Grimes is pounced upon during his patrol by a beastly bipedal rodent, who sinks it’s fangs into his shoulder. Courageously, he moves to the gypsy caravan to try and afford protection to the travellers whilst he shouts for his comrades to wake.
The heroes stir to a raging battle; Grimes’ strikes appear to be doing minimal damage, and another truely struck arrow from Phil leaves no indication of harm to the creature. Oben joins the fray, delivering blow after bloody blow to the animal, but no progress appears to be made. Grimes makes a tactical decision, and after trapping the enemy in a net hoists it off the ground where it is trapped and unable to escape.

As a heated exchange develops between Lylah and the group regarding why they are tourmenting a pregnant animal, Grimes investigates the caravan, finding evidence of everything not being entirely as it seems- man sized armour and clothes, a small pile of keepsakes and pairs of leather boots all hidden out of view.
Lylah investigates further, searching the cart from head to toe and makes a grisly discovery; in a sealed cupboard diguised as part of the caravan wall are a couple of hung human arms alongside some human arm bones- one of the arms has signs of it being peeled and prepped for cooking. In addition, she finds a peculiar shrunken head with a magical rune etched in the back of its skull.

This information is enough to condem the fate of the beast which, in the blink of an eye, somehow turns into Binty the halfling traveller. No amount of pleading was able to save the defenceless naked girl, and she was unceremoniously dumped into a hastily erected fire by Grimes and Oben. Philleo began making alterations to the interior of the cart to accomodate his sleeping needs while Binty wailed and screamed in pain as she became a charred corpse.

The team agreed to put the night’s events behind them, but to ultimately be on their guard- a long journey to Grate still remains, and with Mobin still missing and dark skies ahead who knows what further obstacles may present themselves to our heroes.

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The Bog of Stinking Misery
<Detecting Evil: A Beginners Guide>

With the sweet smell of charred meat in their nostrils and the ratbeast condemned to a shallow grave, the heroes set off with the hastily modified caravan in tow. The days remain cold, much to the chagrin of Grimes whose ordeal with the rat beast has left him with a curious malady which has weakened him at his very core. As the road continues before them the carrion birds circle above, but with the assistance of Lylah and Oben the sharp edge of the fever is alleviated- dismissing the hungrily waiting flock.

In a curious event, a solitary raven appears; after being greeted and fed by Oben it perches itself on his shoulder and beckons the righteous paladin to aid its mistress, a woman trapped somehow in the swampy marsh to the West. Interpreting it as a sign from his God Bonum, he seeks the team’s understanding by taking over the reins and moving the cart off-road.

The team hides the cart and take the two ponies with them as they travel West- the terrain becomes horrid, sucking at the team’s feet as they wade through a midge infested bog. After an hour’s squelchy progress, they see in a clearing ahead a small thatched hut, whose sight fills them with much hope for a speedy rescue so they can return to the critical mission of getting to Grate in one piece. As they traverse the last stretch of the cold, skin-chilling swamp they are greeted by the emerging presence of some cruel, dastardly beings.

Seemingly growing out of the bog around them, appear the figures of six crudely constructed swamp men. Covered in moss, branches and bramble and emitting a stench only matched by Grimes’ underwear, they seemingly glide across the bog to attack the intruding humans. A tightly contested battle ensues- Philleo is battered and bruised as a couple of heavy blows befuddle the young minstrel. Grimes, ever eager to test his mettle, rushes into battle only to lose his footing in the unforgiving terrain, his trailing foot sticking firm and surprised face slopping into the floor. Oben slays a number of mossy creatures, but as quickly as he is smushing them asunder a new foe appears close-by.

An old female face appears at the window of the hut, crying at them to run to the safety of her shelter; quickly and almost instinctively, Plan B (aka runaway) is instigated, and the heroes pile in to her tightly cramped home.

The woman introduces herself as Margal, and she explains that she has been trapped in the swamp by her jilted lover, a ‘God Blessed’ called Egris. She tells the team that as punishment for no longer loving him, he banished her to this pitiful place with only the company of the bogmen, her raven Neesto and a magical spoon of gruel to keep her alive. As a caring man, Oben subjects her to cross-interrogation and numerous magical tests (later to reveal that he discovered that Margal was in fact of an evil disposition) but does agree to save her from her plight. A plot is drawn up, where Grimes will potentially sacrifice his life to draw the bogbeasts away from the shelter and thus allow the rest of the team escape with the old woman.

Morning comes, and Grimes is strapped and booted and ready to battle. Margal offers him a token of her appreciation, a silver necklace with an inset emerald, which she hopes will afford her hero a modicum of luck. He is blessed by Lylah and given the protection of Tripos. He leaves the hut, and wades through the muck as the enemy gives chase. An incredible battle ensues, with Grimes ducking and weaving as the full fury of the swamp is spewed forth upon him. He takes a couple of minor scrapes but remains resolute, allowing the others to escape. As the bogmen vainly pursue Margal, Grimes doubly makes his exit from the fray.

Everyone returns to the cart to tend to their wounds. They begin to travel to Wickford, Margal’s home town, as they graciously agree to return her safely home. On their journey they spot a Zeppelin in the air, which Philleo informs everyone is a mode of transportation for the high-brows in society who choose to travel far above the dirty masses between the larger cities within the assembled empires.

On the final morning with Wickford just a few hours away, Margal goes missing before breakfast. A decision is made to try and follow a raven which appears to be circling in the distance, which in turn leads to Philleo and Grimes spying the town of Wickford. They approach and are greeted by the Guardsmen in the entry-tower, who after hearing the tale of the freeing of Margal rushes to fetch none other than Egris himself.
It quickly transpires that Margal had been terrorising the town, poisoning the livestock and more importantly, as mentioned by Benny, blowing the clothes clean off old people with a point of her finger. Egris shows his disappoint with Oben and the gang, and implores them to do what is right- travel to Widow’s peak and stop Margal. It is generally agreed to do so, and the team camp for the night to recuperate. With dawn they greeted by the peculiar site of a rain of toads falling from the sky, slamming into the village causing a great ruckus as roofs were breeched and toad- offal was splattered across the streets. This would not do.
The heroes travel to Widow’s peak, and see a gaping cave-mouth, inviting them to venture into. A winding, cramped cave weaves around to reveal a large interior room; a bubbling cauldron sits in the centre, flanked by runes dedicated to Duenna on the floor. Margal stands at the opposite end as parley is eked out. The ‘wildcard’, the ‘loose cannon’, the ‘uncontrollable’ Philleo tired of discussions with the heathen wench, and loosed an arrow which narrowly missed his quarry. Margal responded by asking for Duenna’s aid- the summoning of fire-spitting flying monkeys!

A fierce battle erupts- the monkeys do well to disrupt the heroes’ attacks, but they are unceremoniously dispatched by the powerful melee presence in the party. Margal tries in vain to cast the cruellest of spells on Philleo, lighting her ‘evil eye’ to diminish the bard’s power. Fortunately, Philleo had luck on his side and ignored everything she tried to do.
With her demise almost certain, Margal dropped the magical veil which covered her persona, revealing to Grimes and Philleo that she was in fact a gruesome, puss-covered shell of a woman. It was too much for them to handle, causing a loss of stability in their stomachs. As the team close in for the kill, Margal begins to plead for mercy- on Lylah’s request she denounces her God, but this is not enough, as Oben cuts her arm from her torso, spraying thick, black blood all over himself and the cave wall. As she lay quivering in a defenceless heap, Philleo dispatched her to the afterlife via a rapier through her face.

They return to town after looting whatever meagre items Margal coveted in life, and informed Egris of their success. They once more burn a body of a dastardly foe, and look to the North; Grate just days away, awaits them.

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This city is Grate- I mean Fantastic
<No, we shall not use punnery>

Within a few days of travel the team arrive at the famed city of Grate; known to some as the ‘Northern Rock’ and renowned as Lord Fairbrow’s second home, the vista was a welcomed sight.

Approaching the walled populous from the South Eastern trade gate with a wicked cauldron half filled with gruel, they hatch a plan- to provide free porridge to the masses! After stabling their horse and paying a rental fee for ‘docking’ their crude wagon, they are pointed in the direction of the ‘Workers District’ and proceed to enter; they are greeted with the sight of cramped, filthy living conditions, streets narrow and imposing, and an intense stench fills their nostrils.

Skirting the streets’ central sewage gulleys (and attracting a lot of interest from the local hoi polloi) they reach a church belonging to Tripos, the deity of our heroine Lylah. After much discussion and fevered organisation, order is brought to the rabble and the sweet (note: may not taste sweet) tasting gruel is dished out to the hungry slummers.

As the team high-fived and cleaned up, they were approached by a man declaring that Kenwyn Lightroot, Forza’s aid, required a meeting with them later that evening at the ’Hog’s Feast’ Inn, and that they should look for the man with thick, dark dreadlocks. Unsure whether or not to take this on face value, our heroes cautiously accepted, and then decided to conduct a smidge of retail therapy.
The road had been long and hard, lizards had been fought, witches burned and rat-beasts vanquished; the heroes had earned their rest and opportunity to visit a world- famous market place. They all had a prayer in their hearts that they would not meet a hard-talking merchant… but were sadly disappointed upon encountering Malama’had. Phileo managed to purchase a fine tent from the man after a long bartering process, which resulted in both parties leaving satisfied. A new cloak was bought by Lylah, and a new wooden shield for Grimes.

The night drew in, and their meeting took place. Entering the Hog’s feast, they quickly spied the man described to them by Daigon and sat away from him, allowing him the opportunity to approach at his leisure. A round of the finest liqour was ordered, which tasted somewhere between horse piss and spoon gruel, which quickly turned the noses of all but Phileo; the musical maestro was introduced to what the barwench called a ‘Dirty Rainbow’ (One Brown, One Green, One Clear, One unclean) and within minutes he was the life and soul of the party.
Whilst he entertained the other patrons in the bar, the team received some interesting details about the serial-killer who was causing them so much trouble. Kenwyn hinted at the possibility of the latest cult on the streets being responsible, and suggested they looked there as a first action. He informed them that Daigon had prepared lodgings for the team and allowed them to leave.

They rested soundly in the night, and were greeted in with the breaking of dawn to a message, scrawled on paper, passed under the door. It indicated that the cult would be meeting in the Northern square this midday and that they should seek the man with an eye-patch to try and gain entry to their group. Whilst Oben and Grimes went to do further exchanges of coin for goods, Lylah and Phileo investigated.

The Northern square welcomed them with a font of heresay and charismatic conjecture; a man in a loose toga started spouting well thought-out lines regardng their new God Chaccaronn, urging the crowd in front of him to join their cause. Many agreed and, upon noticing the man with an eye patch skulking in the shadows, Lylah and Phileo decided to tag along incognito to spy on the proceedings.
After following the man out of the town and through the surrounding fields, they were ushered in to a Grain silo which had a number of old wooden tables lay out like beds; more than enough for everyone, including our two anxious heroes to get comfortable on. The ‘Priest’ of Chaccaronn began moving from table to table, cupping the head of the recipient heeding his blessing in one hand, whilst gently stroking the top of their head. In turn, each person would rise from the table and move without hesitation off to the side of the room. The priest moved swiftly and elegantly, working his blessing throughout the herd, including our hero Phileo.
As he approached Lylah, with hands drawn and ready to ‘save her’ from her false God, a great commotion could be heard from outside, finishing with an almighty crash as toga-wearin thug burst through the door head first. Stepping through the doorway came the silhouette of a redeemer- none other than Grimes himself! Oben followed in his wake, and a stand-off ensued.

All the new disciples appeared happy to stay with the Priest, including Phileo, but after a quick and quiet discussion between him and the Holy Man he was free to continue on with the party. One other young girl followed along with the team as she had not yet been inducted into the majesty of Chaccaronn, and returned to Grate.

Puzzled and no closer to the serial-killer answer, the team returned to their lodgings to regroup, re-assess and rekindle their efforts to find the murderer.

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The one with the Plan
'Bee' aware- the plan is extremely evil!

Time had past; belts had buckled, skin had cracked, beards had grown.
Our team enjoyed the last of their RL downtime before setting foot once more into the strange and troublesome world of the continent.

Eager to continue in their good-natured ways, Lylah and the gang set up another food kitchen for the hungry locals to revel in. During the famous ‘Good cop/what cop?’ routine orchestrated by Oben, Grimes recognised a friendly and welcomed face in the crowd: the Leban from the Church of Datum-Lyn (Leban being a head of temple in Terrandor).
Our hero left Oben to keep the great unwashed at bay to seek parley: the Leban had been true to his word and found information which pointed towards a possible cure for the fever which had afflicted our poor Ryykan warrior. Bouyed by this turn in fortune, he left all thoughts of the ‘Murder Cauldron Maze’ behind and beckoned his team onwards to adventure!

After assembling at the Southern Market gate, they headed East along the North-Eastern supply road to the farmstead of Baron Halthswith; a wealthy land owner whose family history stretched back to the founding of Grate! The trail passed onwards through a small forest where, much to the dismay of the Priest of Tripos, Oben and Grimes heard an all too familiar sound rumbling through the trees- a writhing, enveloping swarm of wasps! Caution was thrown to the wind as Philleo made the sharpest of exits along the road, closely followed on his coat-tails by his comrades. The swarm pressed closer, yet thankfully they had the wisdom of a man of the forest on their side, andOben issued instructions to dive into a stream nearby and cover themselves for protection. After what seemed like an eternity in a cloud of anger and swirling hate, the swarm passed and the team were able to continue on their journey.

Leaving the forest in their wake they continued on until they reached the wholesome fields of the Halthswith estate- a large, white two story home greeted them in the distance, flanked on the horizon by numerous windmills and grain silos. The golden grain reflected the sun happily as the team approached, for them to suspiciously discover the imposing front door mysteriously open. Shouts inside were issued but without answer; cautiously, Grimes booted the door open and the gang burst into a peaceful entrance hall. Discussions amongst the group were short and it was decided that the ground floor should be explored.
Taking the first room on the left, they entered a large dining room; a table was set but no food was upon it, and the curtains were drawn. It was then in a moment of inspired clarity that the most heinous, devilishly tricky of traps was conjured by Oben: in his mind’s eye he could see the terror and madness it would instil in any enemy, the downright insanity of his plan would send any normal man to the grave- he grabbed a plate from the dining table, and sat it atop the slightly ajar front door!
The team moved onwards, discovering a kitchen whose hearth indicated it had been used in perhaps the last day or so- Grimes found a Halthswith family heirloom in the form of an engraved silver cleaver, which found the depths of his back-pack faster than Philleo gets tipsy on water. Finding no signs of a struggle, everyone continued searchiing, moving through to a study and then a sun-corridor before arriving at a room which appeared to be used for business. An impressive suit of old, worn armour gazed over a writing desk and a table set for four idividuals to discuss terms over. More interestingly, a large locked reinforced chest sat proud, hiding whatever delights may be within. As they examined it in a loot-hungry craze, movement was heard on the floor above them!

Grimes didn’t need telling twice- he rampaged through the sun-corridor, through the study and made it to the door only to have his world shattered: the plate propped against the front door had been somehow moved to the study door, and subsequently fell and smashed on the floor. The hunter had become the hunted! Grimes shook off the daze and confusion quickly enough to continue onwards, and somehow managed to avoid a bolt which managed to zip past him from the shadows at the top of the stair, crashing with a thunderous thud into the wall. He pressed on, reaching the top of the ascent to be greeted with two well placed bolts into his shoulder and leg- the battle was on!

No mercy was shown, and none needed to be administered- with one almightly throw from Grimes one assailant fell, the siler cleaver embedded in his chest. A satisfying spray of crimson fizzed agsint the wall, as the other enemy pressed. With subtle skill and deft movement the nimble fighter managed to cut himelf on his blade, strangely rendering himself unconcious. The opposition were bound and seperated into different rooms; during a lengthy interrogation process where neither prisoner was eager to talk (in a common tongue at least) some interesting discoveries were made- the body of an elderly gentleman who had a dagger twisted deep into his neck in the master bedroom and a playroom in which Oben found a 4 foot, pregnant talking cat. Bringing the newborn into the world, Oben claimed the kitten and quickly placed it into the depths of his satchel. Sadly, the mother did not survive the birth and joined the list of the dead that day.
Keys on the elderly gentleman granted access to the locked chest, in which Phil found a strange tool which administered a watery substance through a metallic rod into a person’s body; Lylah confirmed that she had seen such things in Rigeselle, and was confident in using the device to apply the supposed serum to Grimes’ buttock. With laughter erupting throughout the home, the team eagerly await their return to Grate.

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The one with the DarkHound
DMs crash flying boats too!

After pocketing the best bits of loot from the mansion (stealing is subjective) the team hatched a plan: Phil and Oben would ‘survey the grounds’ whilst Lylah and her trusted cohort Grimes would take the prisoners back to town. After selecting the best two dairy cows to tie the men to, they set off into the forest of bees, en route to Grate. [DANGER WILL ROBINSON- PARTY SPLIT!!]

Oben began to search the study for books on how to look after the wild kitten he had taken hostage (even the Lord of beasts needs a helping hand) when he heard a sudden, sinister creaking of wood from far in the distance; far beyond the habitat of the mansion. Rushing upstairs, he firstly discovered Phileo somehow humping the body of the dead Baron (kinky) and then looking beyond, towards the horizon, he spied the looming oncoming form of an out of control sky vessel- seemingly on a collision course with the building!
Phileo ditched the Baron like a pirate hooker before catching Oben’s glare- the two heroes grabbed the corpse and started to heave it out towards the courtyard as fast their loot-laden legs could carry them. Moments after exiting they turn to see the gargantuan flying machine banking to narrowly avoid any collision, hurtling past the with a deep, bellowing roar which shuddered the very ground as it passed. Moments later they saw it ditch into the forest with an impressive explosion, but not before the rear of the boat-shaped craft appeared to unattach and fall in to the trees at a dangerous velocity, but safe from the radius of the greater impact.

Lylah and Grimes witnessed the crash from a much more intimate vantage point- being in the forest must have concealed the approaching craft from their senses, but they certainly witnessed the low-flying skyboat as it lurched by above them and the resultant explosion, whose heat was fierce enough to be felt at their great distance.

Lylah’s good natured spirit sprang into action- she had seen the rear fall to the canopy ahead and she managed to quickly convince Grimes to assist her- the cows followed in wonder.
The crash site was a mess- shattered wood from both the trees and the vessel itself had splintered everywhere, with a number of passengers impaled on branches and timber. Many more lay dead from impact wounds and fire. The broken carcass of the once proud craft lay at the far end.
A quick recce of the site managed to find three injured survivors; an elf, a dwarf and a man with tanned skin. As Lylah’s healing hands helped them to stir Phil and Oben appeared through the tree line eager to find all the loot help the survivors.
Grimes grabbed the situation by the scruff of the neck- they needed to search the fractured hull for further survivors. Oben offered to secure the clearing and protect the prisoners/injured, whilst the remainder of the team climbed aboard the wreckage.

They climbed into the crash site, boarding via the cargo level in the waiting cross-section. Besides torn fabrics and spilled spices and exotic produce, Phileo the loot hoover quickly found another reinforced chest; quite sturdy with barely a scratch on its surface. A very hardy lock barred entry. Knowing he would return, he pressed on upstairs into the habitat level- searching the bedrooms yielded little besides more dead, but in a sealed door to the rear they made an unsettling discovery; a large iron cage lay open next to a guard, whose death was determined to be not entirely due to the crash.
Grimes climbed up to the viewing level where most, if not all, of the fittings and furnishings had been broken and lost in the descent.

Dialogue was sparked with the shaken survivors: they introduced themselves as Ralph- a dwarf en route to Maleurn, Connel- a man from the deserts and Mr Darkhound, an elf on his way home to Ornal, who chose to address the group only in Elven. Much debate was had- Grimes and Phil were sure that they might know Elven, but could not be entirely certain (there’s every chance they’ll be fluent next week) and Mr Darkhound made sure to endear himself to the party by refusing to help out and criticising the majority of all conduct.

Phileo remembered that loot was laying unclaimed; after Grimes demonstrated why his physical prowess has won him great renown by forcing the reinforced chest open with a crowbar, much celebrating was had. An electic selection of all weather clothes was matched by what could be described as a ‘disguise kit’; a myriad of chemical vials (one of which was identified as Desert Bloom by Connell), some sort of ichor, another elegant dagger with an accompanying ring wrapped in velvet, a coin purse and a scrawled note, sealed with some golden thread. Everything was briskly absorbed into the party and itemised, with the note being passed on to Oben to read.
As the scholarly Paladin unravelled the scroll and began to examine it, a treacherous piece of trickery occured; an amber-brown glow eminated from the parchment, enveloping the hero. In moments he was covered by the magic, and entirely unable to move. Grimes gave him a good slapping to try and break the enchantment, but for all intents and purposes Oben was in some sort of suspended animation!

The day was drawing to a close, so camp was set: Oben was designated as on watch for the whole evening with the rest of the team assisting for a duration. The prisoners were tied up to a tree on one side of the clearing, with the cows teathered for sleeping and grazing on the opposite flank- watch began.
During Grimes’ extended watch (selfless bugger) the evening peace was interrupted by a lit torch being hurled by an unseen adversary into Phileo’s tent, setting it alight. Panic ensued, and everyone moved to the ditched hull for protection. Nothing appeared to stir (Phil had luckily put the fire out on his tent prior to fleeing) and Grimes had the confidence to move out back to the camp fire to investigate. Reaching the area where the cows had been secured, he managed to spy the silhouette of a hulking, beast of a man; easily over 10 foot tall, with a muscular barrel body and powerful features he loomed out of the darkness and into full view, showing a covering of mud and moss on his skin which covered the majority of his distinctively tribal tattoos. Grimes, ever the peaceful citizen, tried to quickly parlay with the behemoth, but was rudely interrupted as a wayward arrows from Phileo’s bow glided past the enemy harmlessly.

Battle thus ensued! In anger the opponent slammed his fist down into the spine of one of the cows, making the animal buckle and crumple inwards. Agile dodging from Grimes kept his injuries to a minimum, and everything he took he gave back in spades: slashing and thrusting with his blade, he managed to deliver some brutal blows, but much to his horror the burly target in front of him somehow had a body which managed to heal its own wounds, closing them almost as fast as they were opened! With a spark of genius he tried to poison the man, throwing the entire container of Desert Bloom over him. Sadly, although he looked groggy for a moment, he shook off the effects of the chemical and battled on.

When all seemed lost, a hero rose in heat of battle: emerging from the protection of the vessel came a warrior whose battle smarts were ready to be put to the test: Oben, somehow free from his affliction, charged across the battle field to engage the terror.

Great wounds were inflicted on both sides, but with the help of Lylah’s magical touch they managed to force the creature into retreat. No such honor was afforded, and the battling duo hunted the enemy down and ensured he was put to the sword. A frenzy of rage overcame Grimes, and he continued to pound and tear at the flesh of the man, creating an eerie mist of crimson which floated through the night air.

As the team approached to tell our hero Grimes that the battle was over, he looked at them, revealing a face which was not quite as they remembered; with slight angular features, peculiar patches of hair and piercing yellow eyes! Speeechless, the team looked at one another: what in the name of the Pantheon was happening?

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The One With wasps and blind men
"For God's sake, just kill him!

After he dashed into the night bloody and terrifying, the peculiar incident with Grimes was quickly covered up. Stories were told to the other survivors that the hero was off ‘scouting’ for the evening- much to the bewilderment of Connell and company.

The morning came and sorrow was abound- Philleo had confined himself to his charred husk of a tent, sobbing like a girl into his sleeves. “What a cruel fate for a tent so magnificent!” he was heard to utter on more than one occassion. Ralph and Connell had departed for a morning stroll, which ended with a gruesome discovery: a naked, gore covered Ryykan lad huddled in a hollowed out tree. Grimes had been found! Adorning the pants from the murdered giant-man from the night before (pulled up to just below his chin) he returned to the camp, unsure of what had transpired.
Lylah was quick to suggest a retreat back to Grate to seek aid for whatever had produced such a malady in Grimes the night before, yet Oben (after the suggestion from Connell) was eager to seek out any further survivors in the front segment of the craft which had ditched further into the forest. A decision was made- to the action!

A path was forged through the scorched forest to the crash site- the trees had become charred and warped, with hardly any foliage to be had. As they approached what was evidently an impact crater, Grimes believed he heard a faint sound in the distance; one which began to grow into a deep rumble- climbing a tree to take in his surroundings he quickly discovered a giant flyiing creature: a wasp of abnormal proportions! Flinging himself quickly to the forest floor and updating the others, they pressed on.

Approaching the clearing they discovered a scene of destruction and carnage. Burnt, timber riddled bodies were strewn throughout, with the front portion of the ship entirely obliterated. The giant wasps were busily collecting the corpses and removing them from the scene, thought to be used as nourishment for their young.
One item which stood out from the mangled visage was a peculiar, hovering blue ball of presumed energy; around 6 foot in diameter and containing what appeared from afar to be the form of a loosely robed old man. A bold plan was put in place- dash into the clearing in full view of any winged adversary and check the bodies for life, whilst doubly procuring the orb with the man within. The plan went as expected- no other life was discovered within the corpses, and the orb seemed to be somehow solid, yet viscous- and also difficult to maneuver, showing much resistance to any force applied to it. As they began to haul it towards the treeline, a sinister presence approached- a wasp eager to take live prey home with it!

The fighting was fierce and debilitating- the wasp was a canny dodger of the hero’s melee, and it’s stinger was an ever present danger. On more than one occasion Oben was subjected to its poisonous properties, causing him to become lethargic and rusty in his actions. This would never do for a warrior from The North, and he finished the beast with a flurry of well-placed morning star blows to the beast’s carapace.

The orb was quickly (as quickly as the thing could be budged) away from the fight and into the forest. It was moved back to camp where, moments before arrival the energy dissapated and the old man floated to the ground. He was almost childlike in his demeanour, and seemed to be suffering from a horrid spell of amnesia. Oben took him to the camps fire to provide him warmth and food, whilst Lylah and Grimes informed the trio of Ralph, Darkhound and Connell of their findings.
Their report was met by an instant alarm by Connel and his elf friend; on observing the frail man sitting next to Oben, Connell made a dash towards him, drawing a dagger as Darkhound informed our heroes (yes, in common!) that the gentleman had to die!
A cagey stand-off appeared, where none seemed to wish to harm the other; this was of course barring Connell, who somehow missed stabbing the man, before ensuring he connected a second time with an expertly thrown dagger to the back. Oben quickly scanned for evil but could find nnone in the men in front of him, even upon the old man they were so intent on killing.
With the wrinkled corpse laying there, Darkhound instructed the team to help the return to Grate, where they would be provided with further information upon arrival. To everyone’s surprise (excluding Oben of course, who seemed to have some sort of clairvoyance throughout the entire adventure!) the body of the man rose from the ground, floating, and he turned to reveal a contorted face of hate and anger, adorned with two eyes as black as jet!
A fight broke out where everyone had to work together to overcome whatever this monstrosity was- Darkhound sent forth volleys of magical bolts from his palms,along with bolts of electrical energy to heap damage on the opponent. The melee stepped up and dashed to destroy- Grimes missed with a net which would of undoubtedly been the undoing of this caster, and then the whole team followed by missing over.. and over….and over.
The strange husk of a man cackled and began to weave his own necrotic magic to do his bidding-he drained the strength from both Oben and Grimes with volatile streams of ebony evil, and blinded both Connell and Darkhound, leaving them unable to continue in the fight. It was only when he let his guard down and began to move along the ground, decaying the plantlife with every step, that our heroes managed to finally deliver a killing blow, returning the fiend to whatever hell had spawned it.
The blind duo were challenged, but they could only stand by their word, and that upon their return to Grate everything would be brought together. It was agreed, and the team moved with much haste, eager to return to the safety of the city walls. As they approached the Northern Rose, they saw a train of Growlers entering the city ahead- Forza had returned, and some would say none too soon!

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The one with the Kids and Elephant Hill Walkers
"Yay! I touched her boob!"

With much joy the team finally made it back to the safety of the Northern city- having battled wasps, strange giant men and successfully cleaned-out an elderly land owner, everyone felt the need for a much deserved break!

Sadly no respite was afforded, as they sought an audience with Forza to debrief him on circumstances beyond his walls. Grimes passed on their Prisoners to the local Guard, who were surprised; not because the team had somehow bagged themselves 2 hardened assassins, but due to the terrible state the prisoners were in! Battered, bruised, stripped and shackled, some would imagine they were grateful to be released from the team’s care.

After a short wait, the heroes were escorted to the central estate which watched over the city from behind it’s interior walls- clean, spacious and boarderline extravagant, they were led through a calm summer’s garden in full bloom, through a set of imposing, sturdy wooden doors and along a small series of corridors to a large hall. Sitting proudly at the opposite end on an ornate throne-esque chair, flanked by the familiar figures of Connel and Darkhound (who had been cured of their blindness) was a man unknown to the adventurers. Slight in frame, but wrapped in thick animal furs, the gentleman introduced himself as Halas Gremmel.
He explained how Lord Fairbrow was still bound to the South with Terrandor business, and in his stead he was overseeing his affairs. The gang regailed their tale of assassins, vermin and exploding ships which Halas ensured was noted down in the records. He in turn, explained why Connel and Darkhound had to be so secretive- they were part of an organisation who specialise in ridding supernatural evil from the land and protecting the masses from servants of Jul, known as the Scarlet Shield. He continues to tell the team that incidents of such horrors are becoming ever more prevelant, and his resources are stretched as the land becomes overrun with danger at every turn. He then surprised the team by offering them a contract of employment to bring them into the ranks, for a gnerous 5 silver a week each. Reluctanly they accepted; Lylah instructed that her payment be sent straight to her church, and Grimes decided that he would become a property tycoon. Before they could finish drawing up a shopping list for their mass riches, Gremmel issued them their first task: an agent had been sent to the vilage of Half-Hill to investigate peculiar reports of children going missing. He had been gone a number of weeks without reporting back and Gremmel was eager to discover what had happened to his man. While providing a description and a name, the discussion was interrupted by a messenger who informed everyone that the Beaumont Famiy from Rigeselle had arrived, (who were eager to start bidding on the now vacant Halfswith estate)and the execution of the prisoners was to takeplace shortly and Gremmel was required to be present at the spectacle. He invited the party, but only the battle-hardened Grimes and Oben had the stomach to accept his offer.

The huddled hoi polloi crowded around the execution arena, the home of the Brazen Boar! Copper plated and ornately designed, the impressive hollow-grotesque was a favourite way to dispose of particularly violent or ruthless prisoners. The murder of a wealthy Gratian was more than enough to send the peculiar-tongued kilers to their ends; thrown into the beast’s chamber, naked and unable to escape, the pair were roasted alive as a roaring fire heated the metal to white-hot, the screams of the dying whistling out of the boar’s nostrils like a gruesome symphony. During the ceremony Oben spied a set of guests in the Ruby Box (reserved seating for special guests)- a family sitting proud whose traits of black hair and bright blue eyes were easy for him to recognise: the Beaumont Family. Besides the peculiar addition of a blonde haired girl sitting next to a young male, he knew that the family were famed as one of the major players in linen and exotic luxury goods. Alongside the Tellurs (slavers) and Raibanks (armour and weaponry) they were a significant power in Rigeselle.
The slop of human goo was flushed from the boar and the crowds departed- Grimes quickly found a chap who had a vacant property in the cheaper part of town and agreed terms on leasing with the aim to buy. He asked Ralph to stay and work on his inventions in the interim, offering him the cellar due to his prototype design diagrams sadly being destroyed in the crash, which he cheerfully agreed to. That afternoon, the team set out.

It was a weeks travel to Half-Hill, and the team quickly established that they would try and be incognito: Lylah was to be a wandering healer, Phileo an entertainer, Oben.. a Paladin… and Grimes an apple trader (without any apples). They arrived without incident, struggling to maintain their cover with a socially awkward Grimes. The team met with the town leader Malik, who offered them safe lodgings for a time whilst they made plans. The sleepy village was a stark contrast to the choking avenues of Grate, with a handful of erected buildings on a single main dirt path- there was also a bewildering amount of children, who streamed forward to greet the adventurers. The boys took a particular liking to the beautiful Lylah, who they provided with much attention before the young girls took her in for braiding of hair and girl talk. Whilst Lylah gathered information, the gang were taken to the local ‘tavern’, a single open plan room with a stair leading up to a further open-planned bed chamber.

Lylah had gleaned from one of the cockier boys that the children were playing in the forest near to the village when the last child was scooped up and taken away. Taking it as a good lead, she informed the teamwho set out to investigate. They searched the forest without much success, until Oben spied smoke coming from beyond the cusp of the hill to the North- a definite sign they needed to reveal. They pushed on, navigating the cooling terrain to reach a vantage point- they quicky spotted something entirely foreign lurking below; strange hulking men, almost animals, sporting tattered leather tunics. A set of prehensile trunks and ivory tusks struck the impression of an enemy far beyond it’s normal environment. The heroes set about dispatching this foe, which surprised them by being able to ascend a slope to attack them! Grimes took a stunning bow from one, cracking bone and winding the poor combatant. After a quick melee, the tides quickly turned and Oben, Grimes and Phileo managed to floor the beasts. As they looked into the cave which had been hidden from view, they were shocked and appalled to see a horrifying scene.

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The one with the Desert bound Hooded Heathen
"Guys... i did my shackles up too tight..."

Slowly turning their heads to gaze in horror into the cave mouth, they chanced upon a gruesome site: a series of children, naked and defenceless, had been tied by their ankles to an overhanging pole to bleed out like fish on a line. The tops of their heads had been dashed open and their brains removed, leaving a gaping cavity and hollowed-out sockets where their eyes should have been. In a ditch to the side were collections of simple shoes, sandals and garments which must have belonged to the unfortunate lot. The team were shocked and taken aback by the hideous acts carried out on innocent children, with Phileo, looking at the corpse of a young boy, particularly devastated.

Composing themselves quickly, Oben and Grimes led the team forward to ensure that the cave system was cleared of any further evil. Slowly, deliberately, they paced in single file, with Lylah summoning the power of Tripos to shed light as they slowly slid into the throat of the structure. At the first junction they moved left into a room with a number of crude wooden cages; all empty bar one which housed the shivering shell of a young male child. Locked and seemingly impossible to open without creating a ruckus, Oben used his years of strategy and wisdom to forge a silent piece of apparatus to prise the lock in two, releasing the boy into their care. It was quickly established through questioning the lad that he was in fact mute, and unable to do provide more information besides pointing in the direction he wished the team to go and making noises. Following his guidance, they pressed on down the main corridor in search of any remaining children and came to a wide, open chamber.

The wide cavern shone and impressed in equal parts; the walls glittered with a mineral Oben quickly defined as Traxium, which was a costly commodity used for enhancing objects with its beauty. The swirling patterns and chaotic twinkling almost felt like they were staring at a night sky on a distant plane of the Gods. In the centre, surrounded by what the team could only assume was some sort of drainage gutter, stood a peculiar round stone structure (much akin to a round doorway in a Dwarven settlement) with what appeared to be a painting of a sandy, desert vista. As the heroes observed it, they quickly realised that the image shimmered and shifted, much like picture being projected onto falling water; quickly they realised that the image itself was seemingly moving! A stone was thrown which passed through the watery visage and landed in the land beyond, but the team were worried about trying it themselves. Phileo, ever the courageous and selfless beacon of the group, answered their troubles: he summoning a being from the celestial plane, a thing so good and courageous it could make a grown man cry- a celestial monkey. Proud and brave, it waited for its orders; within moments it was booted by the hasty Phileo through the portal to land in a heap on the other side. It turned, dusted the sand from its fur, and slowly raised its middle finger as it phased back to its home plane.

After discussion about keeping the boy safe and the pros and cons of taking him to the desert land, they passed through without fear. Breaching the shimmery veil they were instantly hit with an aching, exhausting heat which no one in the party was accustomed to; the boys from Ryyk’vaan looked at each other with that certainty and dread of the impending chaffing in their armour. The boy pointed ahead, seemingly knowing the direction the other children were in, and the team pressed on.

As the hours passed the heat became evermore heavy on their shoulders; the adventurers wrapped themselves up as best as could be done with the materials they had at hand to shield their skin from the scorching sun, and water was created and passed around by the generous Lylah. As they neared their goal they were shocked and surprised to be ambushed from the sand by a family of scorpions! A couple of large beasts looked like they could be a worthy test for the hardy warriors, but sadly they must have been from the lower end of the scorpid gene pool , and were killed without a sweat being broken- much to the DM’s chagrin.
As dusk quickly approached and the climate began to cool, the team set their eyes on a small camp- supposedly what the boy had been pointing toward. A larger, grand tent was settled in the middle of a sporadic placement of much simpler abodes, with a small fire in front of the entrance. A handful of armed humanoids patrolled the perimeter, much at home in this environment.

The team huddled and brainstormed possible plans- stealth was mentioned, but quickly dismissed due to inconsistencies in the ability to be quiet. However, after much cajoling a plan was forged- the boy and Phileo were to be used presented as prisoners who were to be sold into slavery, the group would then approach the camp, barter a trade and make a daring escape with the rest of the children from behind enemy lines! With a group smile of satisfaction and head nodding at such a devilishly cunning scheme, they set out. Approaching the camp they quickly surveyed the scene: a handful of the humanoids looked savage and feral, with a few dog faced men in their ranks. The perceived bandits quickly came together to respond to any potential threat and as our heroes made it into a dash’s length of the tent, they were halted in their tracks- from the folds of the larger tent emerged a tall, spindly figure, wrapped in fabric and concealing his face under an oversized hood. It moved gracefully, almost like it was floating about the sands. It eyed up the team and, after Grimes made the offer of selling the two into servitude, a voice could be ‘felt’ in the young Ryyk’s mind. It commanded Grimes to let the boys be given to the tall man, with the price paid: the rest of them would not be slaughtered. Obviously, for a man with Grime’s bartering know-how, this would never do.

As a whimsical Phileo started to lurch acceptingly towards the figure, Grimes presented his counter-offer: In moments he was in battle range, sundering limbs and smashing heads. The bandits were no match for his superior fighting prowess and after a blistering start things quickly got very worse- swords clashed and blood was spilt on the sand from both parties. The robed adversary started to open up with bolts of energy being projected from his hands, sending combatants flying around the battlefield such was their ferocity. After a number of volleys, it returned to the safety of the tent, clearly satisfied with the havoc it had caused. Phileo, snapping out of his stupor, activated hero mode and dashed into the tent cloth fortress to show whoever it was never to mess with a Phisch! Realising that he had actually fastened his shackles rather than loosely wear them, he threw caution to the wind and pressed headlong in pursuit!
Moments later, Lylah had to duck and dive as a charred husk of a man flew out of the tent, body crumpling with the force of the electrical blast which had taken the floor from his feet and the breath from his lungs. Lylah tried to tend to his critical injuries as Grimes sliced with unprecedented force, cleaving two foes in one awesome blow from shoulder to waist. Their innards were scattered and chunks of offal and flesh splattered on the beige terrain. He too charged in to be met with the same unbridled force which floored Phileo, sending him flying out of the tent in tow. Lylah, ever the brave, decided to peek in the tent, only to see the hooded heathen ‘slice’ a cut into the air, like a Rigeselle dead collector cutting into a cadaver’s chest. With an effortless movement he moved into the ‘pocket’ as the tear sealed behind him, leaving the tent vacant. From outside she could hear the tell-tale howls of a man ravaged with pain and inner mayhem, and looking back to the ruddy deathfield could see the familiar guise of Grimes sprinting beyond to the horizon, his physique contorting and buckling as he moved.

The mute boy sped past Lylah and to the rear of the sanctum, quickly pushing boxes around and searching in chests. The realisation that there were no other children to be found here quickly dawned on Lylah, as her eyes took in a bare surroundings. The boy let out a muted cheer as he took a small, worn lead box from inside a chest, and forced the weak lock open- unravelling a dirty linen rag he revealed a beautiful red prism, a jewel so dazzling that even a lady from Lylah’s previous life was impressed. Within moments her face of delight twisted into a face of confusion, as the object sprouted legs and wings and began to scamper around the boy’s physique, much to his giddy glee. She put her hands on her hips to consider her situation; a ragdoll of a bard unconscious on the floor, a boy with a jewel which had somehow come to life, a Paladin who had gone missing in action prior to battle and a beast-man ally speeding into the unknown. There’s always a silver lining she surmised- at least my new cloak is pretty!

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The One With The Man of the Desert
"I promise, your home is right through that portal over there..."

Dawn broke with the return of a refreshed Oben, briskly jogging over the horizon with a sense of renewed vigor. A cheery smile at the motionless Phil and a wink at Lylah were met with glares of much disapproval from the Rigsen.

Lylah took time to explain the peculiar night which had passed to her then-missing colleague and together they hatched a plan to try and find their absent Ryyk warrior. The idea: walk. Walk long, and walk hard. Walk across the sands until they find him! Oben placed some debris from the battle to form an arrow, pointing in the direction of their travel in case he happened to return to camp, and with ropes attached to the ankles stricken Philleo they set off.

The day was blistering hot, and the going was tough. After many hours of plodding through a dune sea they (literally) stumbled across a potential spectacle. As they breached the crest of a particularly large dune, they saw at it’s base a large, stocky individual; shoulders as broad as he was tall, dark, baked, hairless skin and a wickedly large falchion thrust into the earth. He seemed to be tending to fresh wounds which had sliced his stern hide, and sat close to a body whose upper torso was covered by a filthy sack. The body’s identity could not be discerned, so Oben was on hand, being the upright bastion of good, to parly with the behemoth.

He moved with purpose down the sand, slipping and sliding before gaining it’s attention. Through careful and thoughtful negotiation of information he discovered that a weird beastman had attacked the man in the night, but luckily he was more than a match from a frenzied assault lacking guile. This man, Asdag, had become lost after following an evil magician through a portal to these lands. Oben declared he knew the way for Asdag to return home- through the portal they themselves had blinked through. Asdag was overwhelmed with glee and offered to return the body (which the gang had luckily discovered to be Grimes) in exchange for passage with them to the portal.
Much converse was exchanged en route- on many an occassion Grimes nearly exposed the grievous lie that Oben had told to assure co-operation, but luckily the trusting man of the desert did not read into the Ryyk boy’s ramblings and was more than happy to spin a tale of his homelands.

They reached the portal and parted ways with the disappointed Asdag- he explained that the temperate lands that Oben had tried to lead him to would not be suitable for his physique and he would more than likely perish if he spent any length of time there.Saddened, they bid farewell and leapt through the watery passage.

The return to Terrandor was… chilly. It was late afternoon, cloudy and a complete polar opposite to the sunny climate they had just been exploring. They returned to town as dusk claimed the day and were met by Malik who was eager to hear the situation. The mute boy was returned to the townsfolk and they were offered the stay of the inn’s guest room for the evening to recuperate before further movements to return to Grate.

Grimes, loathed to let his guard down, set a patrol of the outskirts of the village on his treasured steed whilst the others slept. It was Lylah’s slumber which was interrupted, as she woke with a start to see the mute boy standing at the foot of her bed. Within the cavity of her skull she somehow ‘heard’ the child speak, alerting her to danger. She shook Oben to alertness, and looked from their window to the street below; Standing motionless, eerily in a line, were men and women of the town, all whose gaze were drawn to the window. Panic set in. Oben pushed the lone wardrobe up against the door to bar entry whilst plans began to be formulated.

Slowly trotting into town, Grimes spied some folk lining up- perhaps they had seem something interesting to watch? Joining their queue, he peered. He peered with a smile. He peered with a grimace. He peered so. Very. Hard. But to no avail. He nudged the fellow he stood next to, seeking advice on what he should be oggling. With one uniform motion they all turned their heads to look at Grimes, and then their foreheads opened up. Pushing forth from their cranial recess stretched a long, slimey length of muscle; a writhing, undulating feeler which began to seek out our boy Grimes.

Instincts took over- he assailed his mount with the grace of a wounded gazelle, and turned towards the inn. Moments later, he had smashed through the front window and found himself in the bar area of the inn. The freskish beings pursued as he ran up the stairs, banging on the door to be granted entry. As his thumps rang out and echoed through the very structure of the building, conversation broke out. A discussion about whether or not to let him in did actually materialise.

As the votes were being tallied up, Grimes began to let out cries of pure anguish as he was splashed with acdic spray from the beasts. He had enough, and bowled through his adversaries with little remorse, severing limb and head from body to remount his horse and make a tactical retreat- all in effort to save the team who refused him safety. As he drew the enemy away, the team made their escape: Oben pushed Philleo’s body out of the second storey window and followed soon after. Lylah gracefully made her way down to ground level and then began running, leaving Oben to pull the still delicate Phil in his wake. The two disappeared into the crop fields of the night, sending prayer to the pantheon that somehow they might be delivered from their impossible plight to safer ground…

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