Day 48, continued:
With the temple now cleared everything feels clean and pure, the artwork returns to normal and the exits clear. Pennyworth inspects the site of the portal to make sure it’s sealed and is satisfied that it is. He cuts off parts of the genasi corpses, which Sparky Jr. is alarmed at, but explains that it’s to preserve part of them for resurrection rituals.
We then depart the temple and exit the underground cavern, back into daylight. Sparky Jr. is not used to this plane and is intrigued by all the sights and substances. The rest of us smell cooked meat and, upon investigation, find a campfire and half of a cooked horse in the entrance to the cavern. Nearby we locate ogre droppings and discover that our horses are missing. Théorn finds the tracks for about 5 to 10 ogres leading our horses away. Since it’s only around noon we decide to head after them whilst we still have some light. About 5 or 6 hours later the sun is starting to set but we feel close so press on. Towards midnight Max starts to get worn out as we realise we’re heading for the village of Renit, but the trails are much fresher now and we can still follow them in the dark.
Approaching, Max hears grunting noises ahead and a horse whinnying, and spies signs of a campfire over the crest of a hill (Skill Challenge). Pennyworth sends Chardonnay to fly over and scout. She returns to report seven ogres roasting a horse over a fire, one of these is standing guard looking away from our direction, a couple are dozing by the fire and the rest are eating and talking. We try to manoeuvre into position for a surprise attack, but make too much noise at the last minute so rush in before they can regroup too much (Encounter 1).
After the fight we march on the short remaining distance to Renit. Despite the late hour the guards allow us in and offer us free accommodation in the inn when we explain that we’ve dealt with the ogres. They seem a little suspicious of our shifter companion, Théorn, but not problematically so. When we arrive at the inn the owner recognises Hollan’s name and says he has a message for him. He gives him a note from Clementine warning us that Cezar has put a bounty on our heads after receiving a letter that rattled him, and that Feam Tortress’ gang are waiting to ambush us in Bridge. We rest here for the night.
We decide to send Max and Sparky Jr. to scout Bridge as they won’t be as easily recognised. They cross the bridge, passing a wagon going in the opposite direction, and look around town. They identify about 3 or 4 people that look threatening, one of whom chats to them for a while. He seems mainly interested in a warforged, and unconvinced by their stories. They notice that the wagon they saw earlier is just going back and forth across the bridge. Max and Sparky Jr. go into the inn, where Max asks about the wagon. The innkeeper knows little, but mentions that the group are paying for rooms for 9 people.
Max and Sparky Jr. continue along the road to Gosfair to avoid arousing suspicion, but look for a suitable place to cross to return to the rest of the group. Eventually they settle for Max weighing herself down with rocks and walking across the river, heading to find the rest of the group and inform them what’s going on. We march along the river to Gosfair.
Upon arrival at Gosfair, Sparky Jr. manages to bluff his way past the guards, pretending to be human. They try to recruit him, directing him to Knight Adjunct Levia or Knight Sergeant Ulrich. The rest of the group comes to a ferryman who will carry them across the river but charges extra for non-humans (50gp). Hollan teleports over and pays him for the rest of the group. We ask the ferryman where we can find Knight Adjunct Levia, and he directs us to the paladins’ compound.
On our way we are approached by 3 paladins looking aggressive. They recognise Hollan though, and ask if he will vouch for the rest of us. He does so, and they escort us to the compound. Hollan asks them about Johan, the paladin he tried to convert after Goblinfest. The paladins say he is now an apprentice training with the Wheelwright family, and do not seem impressed with this.
At the compound we see Ulrich outside, training new recruits. Another paladin motions us inside and we enter to find Levia waiting. She assumes we failed in our mission until Hollan produces his vial of the purified water as proof. She is clearly upset, seeming to think it was her destiny to do this, but genuflects before Hollan and calls for Knight Saviour Stewart. He is happy with the news and Hollan asks if the paladins will resurrect the genasi that helped us. Levia offers to double our reward for the mission (2000gp) and put it towards the rituals, and we accept. Stewart wishes to offer Hollan something extra and asks if he might borrow his brooch of Bahamut, which Hollan agrees to.
We’re offered rooms for the night and go to rest, but once the others have left Pennyworth approaches Levia and gives her Sparky Jr.‘s father’s finger. We spend the rest of the day and the night in Gosfair, relaxing. Hollan spends time with the Wheelwright family and Johan, and we stock up on healing potions. Knight Saviour Stewart brings Hollan’s brooch back to him, strengthened by the power of Bahamut, and we ask him if he’s heard of Feam Tortress. He has, but knows little beyond that they’re a group of human adventurers (one member uncertain). In the evening, Sparky Jr. is brought before his father, alive again, after Levia used the finger to resurrect him. They have a tearful reunion before we rest for the night, but Sparky Jr. says he will continue to travel with us for a while longer since his father has to recover his strength.
In the morning we ride for Bridge and spy out what we can see of Feam Tortress and his crew. We sneak in from the side of town, away from where their snipers are watching, while Théorn strolls in along the high street as a distraction. He swaps jibes with Feam for a few minutes, until our sneaking around is heard and a fight ensues (Encounter 2), which burns down the inn and sets fire to some of the surrounding buildings. We manage to prevent any buildings besides the inn from getting too badly damaged, but the inn is beyond repair. Hollan and Napoleon donate some funds to have it rebuilt, and some of Feam Tortress’ surviving crew say they’ll stay and run the inn. We drink with them for a while and press them for more information. They don’t know why Cezar sent after us, but do recall he was shaken by the letter he received before doing so. They also mention that Elkovar is Cezar’s new bodyguard. We rest in town for a while and then head to Ravensburgh.
We arrive at Ravensburgh and head directly to The Orc’s Head. We spot lookouts going ahead to warn of our arrival. We stand well back from the inn and someone comes out to negotiate with us. Max sets fire to the whole front of the inn in response. Cezar shouts as us from a window on the second floor, and guards pour out to attack us followed by Cezar and his bodyguards. In the ensuing fight (Encounter 3) many are knocked unconscious, some are killed, including Elkovar, and Cezar is eventually forced to surrender and is taken captive.
Character status at end of session:
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