003 - The Road to Hillvon
Sunrise, and Wazo once again is up first. She hears the kenku moving around, making themselves at home in the windmill.
Aaron and Tegan join her, and the group leafs through Baldir's Journal over a breakfast of bacon and eggs. (Wazo skips the eggs.) They realize the note from the chest wasn't from Baldir , since the handwriting is totally different (gruffer?). It seems like Baldir was being pursued, probably by the Dawn's March.
As the party is standing up from the table, Doctor Vance comes bursting in, and gives them a blue vial, a three-use potion of water breathing. A "free trial". When they express skepticism at its trustworthiness, he emphasizes that Elina was the one who worked on it, and he has already confirmed that it works.
The Search For A Horse
From Demetrius they barter and purchase:
- a horse (a brown mare with white mane/hooves, healthy and in its prime)
- a cart (a little broken, fixable)
They pay 75 gold: 10 from Wazo, 33 from Tegan, 32 from Aaron
Demetrius shows them how to tie up the horse and set up the tackle and cart. Tegan fixes the cart with Mending.
On The Road
They ride towards Hillvon, with Aaron driving. The horse remains unnamed.
After a while she stops and is looking to the left, where 40 ft off the road a bear is rooting in the underbrush. As the party talks over what to do, the bear smells them and attacks. Initiative!
- The bear bites at Aaron and hits his arm, then tears viciously at his shoulder with its claws.
- Wazo rages, then chops at the bear.
- Tegan casts a blessing
- Aaron blasts the bear with green energy and shoves it away from the cart
- horse runs full-out, 60 ft of movement, pulling off the road to the right
- Bear watches Wazo and waits for her to come low enough
- Wazo attacks bear with her talons, slashing its jaw
- The bear swipes but misses, but it bites her and pulls out some feathers
- Wazo moves out of its reach
- Tegan hits the bear with a chill touch
- Aaron hits it with another EB
- horse moves another 60 ft
- Wazo flies towards the cart, eyeing the bear
- Bear follows slowly behind
- Tegan hits the bear with one last chill touch
- Aaron calms the horse
Wazo skins and dresses the bear, now they have a perfect bear skin and nine rations of bear meat
As they continue, they see interesting stone formations, groves of trees, and woodland creatures The sun is starting to set.
Dusk and the Centaur
They make camp in a clearing off the road, a short distance into a small forest.
While they are rolling out bed mats and other camping gear, Aaron notices through his invisible familiar's eyes an ethereal creature with elk horns with gently flowing hair 60 ft away in the forest, peeking out from behind a tree. Aaron starts curiously walking towards this creature.
Wazo, "What are you doing?"
Tegan, "What is he doing?" Sees the creature and points it out to Wazo.
They both follow.
They notice she is a centaur with a large horse torso and 4 hooves. Aaron says "Hello" telepathically with Awakened Mind.
She looks at him as if she understands but cannot respond and motions that he follow.
Aaron has his familiar use Heartsight.
He learns that the creature is overwhelmed with sadness and that she is a neutral celestial.
The female centaur leads them around a slate boulder to a small moonlight-soaked glade. In the middle of this glade of glowing purple flowers is a dark patch. She gestures silently towards the dark mass.
Aaron steps closer, careful to avoid the flowers, and sees the centaur's physical body, dead. Wazo leans in and sees that the body is not decayed, but it has been there a very long time. Aaron can feel that the body is preserved with magic.
The ghostly centaur looks sadly at the body, paws at the dirt, and looks to the party in desperation.
They use their weapons to dig a shallow grave for her, and together they lay the body in it. They cover the body with the dirt. The specter looks at them gratefully as she fades away into the mound of earth. Then there is a burst of light, and the flowers magically grow over this mound. One larger flower shines with sparkling light, and there is a sapphire resting on it.
Wazo, being attracted by shiny things, takes the gem and inspects it (worth 50 gold).
Dangers At Camp
They head back to camp in a contemplative mood. They then cook some of the bear meat. Wazo smokes the rest into jerky, then shows Tegan how to tan the bear skin.
Tegan recites a prayer of healing, restoring some health to those who were injured, then they arrange their night watches.
Wazo takes first watch, then Tegan, then Aaron.
Wazo has a quiet watch. Tegan has a quiet watch. Part way into Aaron's watch, he feels a tremble, and hears a grunting sound. Suddenly a giant ogre wearing tattered hide armor and wielding a giant spiked club comes ROARING in. Initiative!
- Tegan pops a bless and moves 30 ft away from the ogre.
- Wazo rages. She grabs her glaive and jabs it in the leg.
- Aaron ducks away from the ogre 30 ft, then has his sprite become visible, and uses it to cast invisibility on Wazo.
- Tegan tries to use chill touch, but misses.
- Wazo goes into a frenzy, slashing madly. She cuts deeply into the ogre's abdomen.
- Aaron uses eldritch blast, slamming the ogre in the chest and staggering it back 10 ft.
- The ogre swings at Wazo, but she nimbly dodges out of the way.
- Tegan bends his magic and uses subtle chill touch, and gets a good hit.
- Wazo tears into the ogre, hitting it twice, once in the chest and then in the neck. It's badly hurt.
- Aaron unleashes a blast of magic, and the ogre is shoved back 10ft.
- With its last strength, the ogre slams Wazo with his spiked greatclub, smashing into her right wing.
- Tegan flicks his dagger directly into the ogre's heart, and the ogre staggers forward, then topples onto its back, dead and bloody.
Afterwards, Wazo and Aaron rest for an hour to recover from the fight while Tegan cleans up camp, and the group is on the road by sunrise.
The Change of Plans
Around noon they hear a cheerful tune being sung. They see a cart on the side of the road, and next to it three half-elves and an elf. One of them is singing about a paladin warrior, "He swung his sword and slayed his foe --". The singer stops suddenly...
They are heading to Feldmar for the Faeries Harvest Festival. Shore, where they usually perform, has had strange occurrences lately, and people aren't going out as much. It just felt like trouble, so they left.
Hillvon (to the East) and Feldmar (to the Northeast) are 1 or 2 days march apart. Both are 1 or 2 days from here. Leofyr invites the party to join them in Feldmar. After some discussion the group decides Hillvon can wait a little bit, and they join the performers on the way to Feldmar.
Leofyr and Tegan catch up on their lives. Tegan discusses how he's experiencing the world and how he's slain goblins and ogres and even saved a woman! Leofyr is impressed by this new side of his brother.
As they are about to leave Leofyr asks Tegan, "How's Sophinia ?" The memory of her hits Tegan like a sack of bricks. He vividly remembers her long black hair, lavender perfume and her golden locket engraved with an intricate Irish knot type design.