Campaign Log: 1.10 – Murder Hobos

Campaign Log

Forest Encampment 1Last Wednesday at Pawn & Pint was summed up by Gemma as “two went cross-dressing and one got peed on.”

Wibly rejoined the party after their success at the forest encampment. A short discussion on the merits of returning at least a portion of the money to the villagers ensued and eventually, Howl agreed. They also decided it was safer to release the branded horses they had taken from Lord Erwel. With the seven they had taken from the bandits, the party had plenty. However, it might be best to sell the new horses instead of keep them.

Once they were done at the village, they continued toward the forests so they could use that as a guild to move along the edge of the mountains. They still needed to get Ishen to the front so she could warn the King of the potential threat from the Queen.

After several days of travel, they came across a small community on the edge of the forest. Wilby hoped to find some arrows and sell some of the horses. Wilby, Gemma, Howl, and Ishen went into the small community of waddle and daub buildings when the others remained behind.

When they grew close to the center of the small group of buildings, they found a crowd had gathered around a burned and charred stone pillar. A woman in her her early twenties was being forcefully bound to the hot pillar, the remains of a fire and a burned body lay at her feet. Two people, one man and one woman, wearing chain armor appeared to be directing the events.

The four of them, heavily armed and on horse, drew the attention of all those present. Gemma, dressed in the stolen clothing of the woman from the encampment, asked what had sparked the burning and Heltros, the man in chain armor, declared the two accused are spies and witches. Then irritated by the delay, said, “Stand aside and we will be done shortly. Her brother was burned and now it is her turn. They were reporting to soldiers that have been seen in the woods.”

Howl, still dressed in the quality garb of the Senzar that attacked them in Gevton asked how they were confirmed these two were witches because sometimes mistakes are made. This set off Heltros, and Kuri, his assistant. “Who are you to challenge witch hunters?”

Gemma offers Ishen up as a priest of Felis and Howl demanded that Heltros prove that he, in fact, has the power of Felis. Heltros, getting angrier turns his attention to the woman that was still held against the burning hot stone by two villages. The hunter called out to Felis to burn the woman. However, Howl nullifies Heltros’ magic and nothing happens.

Kuri, having seen Howl’s actions, demands that the speak truth and casts her own spell, but all four members of the party resist her power. Kuri knows they resisted her and says, “They are witches and warlocks!”

Howl and Ishen pull out their holy symbols and Gemma challenges the witch hunters that perhaps Felis does not want this woman burned. Almost immediately the town starts to side with the party over Heltros. Heltros turns to the town and declares that “You called me here. I tested them and declared them as witches and warlocks!”

The gathering of people are not convinced and they turn over the woman, named Ali, to the party, who all decide it is best to leave. One of the people in town ask the party about the soldiers that were seen, but little is know of the soldiers and the five of them leave the small community with haste.

Outside the community, Ali says that they killed her brother Mitch and planned to kill her because her parents came from Comir. The soldiers that someone saw in the woods were supposed to be from Comir.

The party splits up where Unferth, Rowan, and Simon take Ali further away from the community where she can be safe while Howl, Wilby, Gemma, and Ishen camp out in a copse of trees. Howl, crafts a dome of magical energy to keep them comfortable through the night and in the morning, while they prepare to leave, Wiby scouts of the area and notices two people concealed in the tall grasses watching their camp.

Howl and Gemma turn themselves invisible and Wilby relies upon his own skill to stay hidden, while Ishen remains in the copse of trees with the horses.

The three of them approach the two watchers from different directions and work their way as close as they can. Wilby puts a hunter’s mark on the woman while he waits for the others to take action. Howl and Gemma hold, waiting to see what the two hunters will do.  Eventually, Heltros starts to move toward their camp.

Gemma unleashes a blast of energy at Heltros and strikes him in the chest. Howl then sucks some of Heltros’ life away. In response, Heltros throws a blinding light at Gemma, but the sudden appears of the two people only 30 feet from him causes him to miss.

Wilby tries to shoot Kuri and splinter his arrow in mid flight, but misses his target. His second shot, however, strikes the woman in the leg. The witch hunter responds by blasting Wilby with a burst of bright light. Wilby then calls upon Felis to offer him protection from the Witch Hunter. Although safer from attack, when he tries to shoot the woman, he again misses his mark.

Gemma blasts Heltros’ a second time with her powerful blast as he charges her and slashes her with his sword. Unfortunately for Heltros, his attack sparked a magical response from Gemma and the Witch Hunter is burned and thrown back with a broken neck.

Howl, targets Kuri by drawing forth grease under her feet, sending the woman to the ground. She responds by attempting to attack him with Felis’ magic, but Howl cancels her spell and Wilby delivers a fatal arrow, sticking her to the ground.

After the quick encounter, the three of them discuss who attacked first and what that means. Wilby sums up the situation as:

We are not monsters, merely murder hobos.

They search the two witch hunters and their nearby campsite and discover a journal that describes in detail a number of burnings as well as some coin and goods, but there is nothing of a magical nature save for their holy symbols of Felis.

After they bury the two witch hunters, the four of them head off to the southwest to look for the reported soldiers. It takes the better part of the day, but Wilby is able to come across signs of the soldiers’ passing, finds their encampment, and scouts out the threat.

Comir Soldier CampThe camp has six tents, two are quite sizable. They setup in the middle of three large stones that stand over five feet high.

Wilby finds at least seven people around the camp, though the tents could hold more. There is one man in chain armor and a couple more in studded leather. While the other men appear to be dressed as commoners without armor, those that are armored are dressed as Comirian soldiers.There are two men watching the cook fire on the western side of the camp.

The party decides the odds do not favor an attack and so they decide to try and capture a person at the latrine pit. To that effort, Howl becomes invisible again and approaches the trees due north of the campsite. Wilby keeps to the northwestern side of the camp and Gemma watches from the southwest.

It takes some time, but eventually, someone goes to relieve themselves at the latrine pit. Howl, decided to traverse the distance in a single bound, using a misty step instead of approaching invisibly. The startled soldier turns and Howl’s leg suddenly becomes wet.

Go tell your friends you saw a large snake and then take a long walk alone in the woods.

The force of Howl’s will is strong enough that the man finishes his business, walks around the stone, tells his comrades, “I saw a large snake. I going to take a long walk alone in the woods,” then he turns and heads off into the darkness going past Wilby. Howl quietly follows the man into the woods.

The soldiers at the cook fire immediately start investigating what has happened. They summon several more of their number and report the event to their commander. Additional soldiers come out of the tents and now there is close to a dozen men around.

Three soldier head into the woods after their oddly behaving comrade. Wilby follows behind them while Gemma keeps watch on the campsite. After some distance, Wilby starts throwing rocks to distract and startle the men who are struggling to move in the dark. It is not long before they turn back and return to their campsite. Wilby leaves them to that effort and continues to follow the lone soldier Howl commanded to go into the woods. With Wilby’s tracking skills, he quickly catches up and remains behind Howl.

Back at the camp, Gemma notices how worked up everyone has become. While she does not know what Howl had commanded the man to do, she knows she wants to keep the soldiers from following after her companions and the man. Using her powers, she projects an image of the missing soldier over her own and then runs past the edge of the camp. Several people move to go after her and one even commands her to halt. She fells the power of the man’s voice, but shakes off the commandment.

Once she is out of sight of the soldiers, she turns herself invisible and heads back to the designated meeting place.

Back in the woods, Wilby moves to get ahead of the soldier and alters his own appearance to that of an old crone. He comes out of the woods and startles the soldier, who is a bit confused about why he felt it was a good idea to go for a walk alone in the woods.

Wilby approaches him, demanding to know why the man is in her forest. The soldier, with his sword drawn and held before him, tries to intimidate Wilby, but Wilby is not having any of it and continues to demand an explanation. The soldier eventually caves to fear, especially as Howl sends his owl flying over the soldiers head. He confesses that they are an expeditionary force to see the state of Cothel and her defenses.

Satisfied with the man’s answer, Wilby tells him to leave her forest and never return. Scared and alone, the soldier rushes back to his companions as Wilby and Howl return to their own campsite where Ishen awaits.