Session 3a: Tracking the Monster

The adventure began on the 9th day of Gaol, in the year 1275 LP.

When the party awoke the next morning and broke camp, Valdis was eager to start tracking the creature that had escaped from the tower. The sound of it’s painful cries still in his mind, he tried to comprehend how the creature might be tied to the word, “Surnereth.” He made his case to the party that their next steps lay to the west in pursuit of the monster.

Raz pointed out that carrying the severed heads of the bandits across the Lorathian plains would become very unappealing very fast. The blood from the heads had already start to seep through the bags they were in, flies were buzzing around, and the stink of the heads had already started to become noticeable.

Rigg and Marlin questioned whether it was worth going back to Hillbarrow since Dentros did not appear to be the most trustworthy of folks. Raz said he was sure Dentros would honor the bounty, since the money would barely put a dent in his coffers. Besides, he was pretty sure that Dentros would be surprised that they survived the assault on the Salaran’s Tower. At this point Valdis became upset and asked what Raz’s relationship to Dentros was, exactly. How did they know he wasn’t in league with Dentros and would double-cross them at the first opportunity. Raz calmly explained that his debts to Dentros were his own, and they would be repaid in due time and that was all anybody needs to know for the time being. Marlin pointed out that if Raz was in league with Dentros the best way to get him out of their hair would be to send him to collect the bounty. If he returned with the money that probably meant everything was legit. If he didn’t return they weren’t going to get the money anyway.

It was decided that Raz would travel to Hillbarrow and collect the bounty that the crew had earned. The rest of the crew would track the creature. They agreed to send a message to Hillbarrow telling Raz where to reunite and the party would meet up in five days time.

Rigg, Marlin, and Valdis headed west after the creature, with Marlin leading the way. The lack of rain over the last several weeks, combined with the creatures large size and lack of subtlety, made the trail easy to follow. The movements of the creature were unerring for miles at a time, and Marlin found the trail easy to follow.

As the party crested a hill, the trail became easier to follow and more horrific at the same time. Where large footprints once marked the creatures passage, now fresh pools of dried blood marked the scene. The party gazed in horror at the body of a young shepherd boy with his skull smashed in. Pieces of an animal carcass were strewn about the scene. Slowly, the characters realized that the shepherd had died trying to protect one of his sheep. No doubt the creature had decided to stop for food and had found easy prey.

As they were investigating the body, villagers came upon the scene to take the body of the boy back to their village. They explained that a hunting party was in the area trying to track down the barbarians responsible for this murder. Valdis and Marlin tried to explain that this was not the work of the Korum tribes to the south, but foul magics that had been unleashed in the tower. Wary of being accused of being responsible for the death of the boy, they spoke in vague terms and the villagers dismissed them as being ignorant of how savage the barbarians could truly be. After a few minutes to wrap the dead shepherd, and assuring themselves that the party had not looted the body, the villagers decided that the characters were no threat and told them to stay out of the way of their vengeance.

After another day of travel they came across a more terrifying scene. Apparently, the village hunting party had come across a Korum woman traveling alone, or had separated her from her people. Her clothing stripped off, she had been flogged and beaten and nailed to a tree by tapping spikes through her hands. As Valdis and Rigg stared on in horror, Marlin checked to make sure the woman was truly dead and beyond assistance. Marlin shook his head as he turned back to the party. Looking at Rigg’s expression, it was apparent that the woman was still alive when she had been nailed to the tree. The party took off on the trail once again, now determined to spend as little time in the wild lands as possible.

It wasn’t long before they were overtaken by a Korum war party on horseback. They found themselves encircled and forced to surrender to the justice of the Chieftain of the Bear Claw Tribe. The Korum leader suggested they could await justice in the south in front of the chieftain or have it handed out by sword point where they stood. The chieftain’s daughter had been killed and the blood of a hundred Lorathians would serve as justice. Rigg and Marlin began to plead their case, explaining that they were on the trail of the killers as well. Marlin offered their assistance in bringing the killers to justice. After a few moments of tense negotiating, the barbarian agreed but told them that if they thought of double crossing the Korum their death would be swift and merciless. They set off in search of the murderers, Valdis looking back longingly at the trail of the creature that they were leaving behind. Along the way the characters chatted with the barbarians, probing for information about the creature that they were after. The barbarian warlord explained that the Korum legends tell of a demon that roams the plains dispensing justice on those whose ancestors had done a terrible wrong. This creature is called the Dorum-Nore and some believe that it has` returned to the plains.

After a few hours hard ride, a scout came back and told the warlord that the villagers responsible for the murder were encamped just over a hill about a mile away, and they were unaware of their presence. The warlord turned to the party and told them to prepare themselves for battle.

The barbarians charaged over the hill, screaming war cries and reigning arrows down on the villagers. The warlord decapitated a villager before his victim could even get his sword from his scabbard. A villager managed to take down one of the Korum with a well placed arrow, and the battle was joined.

As the party realized that the intent of this attack was not to capture the villagers, and they were in the midst of a brewing power struggle that they had nothing to do with, Valdis urged them to flee while both sides were locked in battle. Rigg and Marlin agreed and the characters took off at full gallop for safety. Realizing their only chance was to make it to the city walls of Sembaline, they abandoned the trail of the creature and fled towards the city. After a half days ride at full speed, they made it to the walls of Sembaline. Their horses were panting and on the verge of collapse as they entered the city gates. After inquiring in town for a place to stay, they made their way to the Fox & Finn, a pleasant inn run by a fiery woman named Eurid. The party cleaned up and Rigg went to the rookery to send a message to Raz while Marlin and Valdis went to the market to stock up on supplies. Valdis also made arrangements to meet with a sage at the temple to uncover more about his past and the crest that his father had given him.



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