Last time, our heroes found their first friendly local, Siois. He told them more about the dragon’s island and their surroundings. Time to put the information to use…
Read the first part of this campaign log here.
Lorin and Wisse return to camp and report what Siois told them. Based on Siois’s information, Wenning concludes their current location is unsafe: these are the hunting grounds of the trow and giants. These evil creatures know our heroes are here (they attacked our heroes’ camp last night) and might very well be amassing their forces for another attack. The dragon hunters agree they need to move. They discuss the other landing zones and decide to vote on it.
Wenning votes to land on the north beach (in hex 6; see the map in this log) and befriend Siois’s kinsmen, the people of Faire Ghealach, as they may need more allies. Whan agrees and casts the same vote. Sykke is in favor of trying the Pass of Blades (in hexes 13 and 14; see the map here): he does not fear the wraiths of the ulder that Siois claimed dwelled there. Aran the Coward is in favor of landing on the north beach and taking on Farhast the Bastardspawn: why kill one dragon when you can kill two? Our heroes cast their votes last: Ena is also for landing on the north beach and enlisting the aid of Faire Ghealach, while Wisse and Halred are in favor of taking on Farhast. Lorin has to break the vote. Ultimately, he chooses to side with those wanting to fight Farhast.
The decision made, the dragon hunters break up camp and push Wuraf’s Blessing out to sea. They spend the night on the ship.
After two days’ sailing, the dragon hunters land on the north beach. With the game hunted by Wenning, Sykke, and Halred and with the foodstuffs purchased by Lorin and Wisse, they still have thirteen days’ worth of supplies left. The group shores Wuraf’s Blessing and sets up camp. By the time they finish, the sun has set. Wenning decides that they will head east tomorrow morning and see how they can enter the northern pass and if they can find a trace of Farhast the Bastardspawn.
From their new base camp, the dragon hunters have a perfect view of the path leading up over the cliffs to the village of Faire Ghealach. The cliffs are said to be haunted, and indeed: our heroes see strange, wandering lights on that road at night. Having spotted the barrow of the warrior-queen when sailing around it, our heroes guess that these lights are carried by the ghosts of the warriors of Adhmadbaile that fell in the battle and still roam there in death. They watch the lights carefully, but the night is otherwise quiet.
At dawn, the group sets out for the Dragonwoods. Using Wisse’s Fold spell (see Core Rulebook, page 159-160), they have stored two sea chests of dried meat that should sustain them for five days. The going is much slower than they had expected. When they make camp at night, snow begins to fall; soon, the island is covered in a deep blanket of white. Our heroes camp in the wilderness.
The dragon hunters spend the entire day trudging through the still-falling snow toward the Dragonwoods. They camp out in the wild.
In the morning, the dragon hunters set out again. Thankfully, the snow has stopped. As they round the outliers of the mountain, they see that the pass (hex 34; see map here) has watchtowers on both mountain flanks. The towers overlook the Dragonwoods and the pass itself; it seems to be impossible to approach the pass without drawing notice from anyone in the towers.
Come afternoon, our heroes finally enter the Dragonwoods. Shortly after, they see a large shape lift up from the canopy. It is a massive, white-colored dragon, fire blazing in its enormous maw. Far out of bowshot, it surveys the woods, then swoops down again. For all but Wenning, this is the first time they see a dragon. The reactions run the gamut from fear, astonishment, to joy at the prospect of battling such a magnificent foe. The dragon hunters decide to venture deeper into the woods before they camp.
They find that the ground here is scorched in places, some trees are burned to stumps, and there is very little wildlife. As they proceed, the songs of trow break out all around them. Sykke sees movement among the trees and alerts the others. A moment later, a man steps out from between the trees. He is dressed in a clean tunic, has long black hair, a long black beard, and wears only a sheathed broadsword at his side. He holds up his hand as a sign that he comes in peace, and our heroes stay their weapons. He introduces himself as Sithirnik Halsk, and he serves the mighty dragon Farhast, who has sent him to negotiate.
Somewhat incredulous, the dragon hunters hear the dragon Farhast’s offer: mighty Farhast is willing to let them live, pass through his terrain, and even assist them. In return, they must give Farhast Jotte’s hoard when they slay him. Wenning does not accept, saying that if there is a hoard, it shall go to those brave men who slew the dragon. Sithirnik then makes a counterproposal: if they slay the giantess Huga to the east and the warrior-queen lich to the west, both enemies of mighty Farhast, they may keep the hoard. Sithirnik gives them the night to discuss among themselves. He shall return in the morning.
The dragon hunters quickly huddle together. Nearly everyone is in favor of following Sithirnik now: he can lead them to Farhast’s lair, and they can get the jump on the beast. The group casts a quick vote, but only Wahn is in favor of reviewing other options. So it is decided. The dragon hunters combine their skills to track down Sithirnik. They follow his trail for several hours until they come upon a wooden ringfort near the river. Built on a raised mount, with the trees around it felled, the fort seems a formidable location. Many trow are scuttling about on the walkway behind the palisade.
For the first time, the conviction of the dragon hunters wavers: how can they take on a mighty fortress such as this? They discuss for a while and eventually agree to use a ruse and call for Sithirnik, saying they are ready to negotiate. When he comes out, they’ll kill him or take him prisoner.
Lorin volunteers. He steps forward and calls Sithirnik’s name before the trow can attack him. From behind the palisade, Sithirnik answers: he requests Lorin come forward, closer to the gate. Lorin suspects a trap but complies anyway. He is immediately pelted with arrows. He quickly teleports back and out of sight. There is some more discussion and indecisiveness, but eventually Halred fires upon the trow, initiating combat.
We didn’t finish this battle during this session. Its details will be part of the next campaign log in
this series, so stay tuned!
This was a fun session. We especially enjoyed the many encounters and the growing dynamic with the NPCs. The players receiver 100 Character Points, bringing their total to 920. As usual, some points to consider:
- I may limit assists on ranged attacks: they should only be possible in the first range increment of a weapon.
- The assisting mechanic in general may need limits, considering it allows low-level enemies to combine their attacks and pack a lethal punch. A maximum on the number of assisting characters might also be useful, perhaps based on the skill level of the character that performs the skill check.
- The bonus for attacking from high ground may not be completely fair.
- I should consider if the Stage needs an alternative way of learning spells. Right now, it’s very much bound to civilization and requires a lot of attention from players and the GM.