Mu

Getting Through the Mountains

Reaching Davout

The party continued its trek through the mountain pass, on its way to Davout. On the way, Lythor endeavored to get to know the Skull, Zyklon, better. Lythor even set him atop his staff for a while. Zyklon seems to be magical somehow and is interesting to the wizard. Plus, the Skull seems to be a nice guy.
Small incursions of rats were occasionally noticed during the night-watches, night after night. The vermin always seemed to be making their way toward Zyklon, wherever he was placed during the night. It started out as a suspicious irritation, but then turned into a brawl when the giant rats appeared.
Nine two-foot long rats and hundreds of normal rats poured forth from the woods, making their way toward Zyklon. The isolated Lythor fled the coming infestation but lost the Skull in his haste. The rest of the party woke themselves and plodded toward the fight at the side of the caravan.
Zyklon screamed and screamed at the coming rats, tried to bite them as they approached. Celestine risked he life by sprinting into the masses of squeaking creatures, grasping Zyklon out of the rat’s very teeth. She was bitten several times but did manage to save the skull.
More party members appeared on the scene, drawing bows, slings and swords. One by one they were able to pick off the giant rats. Those who did slog in with swords found the attacking difficult as rats ran up their legs. Very distracting. Through the bites and harassment, the party was able to slay the giant rats, causing the rest of the vermin to flee. Celestine and Gresh followed them into the woods, killing scores of the creatures.
Healing was given to the bitten and the journey soon continued.
Several days passed without incident, although the small appearances of rats continued. Zyklon could not explain the rats although he did admit that, “there were always rats.” The Gnoll outposts conducted their checks as always, standards kept efficiently. More days passed.
The party members found activities to pass the time: Celestine played her instrument while Zyklon sang along, Lythor read from his various books, Gresh perfected some wood-workings, others hunted and tried to stay comfortable. It was boring work thanks to the defensive efforts of the Gnolls. After twenty days of travel, the caravan approached Davout.
Still two days out the assembly was set upon by bandits and an archer ambush. Several of the guards were brought down by arrows that flew in from the woods. Three party members fell within a few rounds as they were attacked by experienced thieves. Once again, Lythor’s Sleep spell proved invaluable, putting three rogues asleep before they could cause more damage. The lead rogue was still active, however, causing Sarrah to join the fray. He too was almost taken down by the sharp sword of the leader.
Gresh, Adrian and Rellim pressed the attack and eventually the threat was ended. Gresh chased one of the fleeing archers up a tree and allowed the others to interrogate the wretch. With the uninformative interrogation done, Gresh slew the man.
Closer to Davout, the party noted an old tree with three figures hanging from its branches. Some approached and found the desiccated remains of three women. Were they witches? Are Magic Users really facing deadly persecution in Davout?
The party got paid once in town and said their goodbyes to Sarrah. The magically inclined decided to stay outside the town. Others entered and found that yes, magical practitioners are being persecuted and that “The Seven,” apparently a pack of witches, has indeed taken control in Karlstadt, a city half a day north. A bounty of 100 gold pieces has been put on each of their heads – or 1000 if all Seven heads are collected and delivered to the King in Davout. There was also a 1000 gold piece bounty put on the head of a murderer named K’emwar Uskum.
It seemed that the people of Davout were not that concerned about the coming Bastillian army. They doubted the forty-thousand solider figure that had been around and figured that the coming Ranlilians would have to get through a number of cities before laying any kind of siege to the walls of Davout. Confidence was high although many were still concerned. War does that to people. The Bastillians are about a week away from the outlying areas of Davout.
The rest of the party that did not enter town held up in an abandoned barn near the city. By random chance a band of Bastillian soldiers approached at almost the same time. They had planned to sleep the night away inside the barn. The leader of the band asked a lot of questions about Davout, and anything around that deals with magic. He asked about Selangod as well but Gresh pretended ignorance regarding magic. Lythor hid in the back. The Bastillian patrol moved on, ceding the barn to the party.
So what’s next?

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JoMoRising

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