As the walled town of Ramsey burned, Varna sauntered after Dory, his black ooze, stepping over what little Dory left of its victims. His fire elemental was leaping from rooftop to rooftop, gleefully setting the town on fire before his master could change his mind. Varna recalled Dory and then headed for the south gate to look for Finnoula and Kjarik were supposed to be. He was spotted by the disappointed mob there, and two arrows struck him. Despite one being a critical hit, both were only minor wounds, and Varna ordered Dory to attack. Dory killed another 11 before being recalled, bringing the total dead in town at Varna’s hands to 29. It was perhaps the small girl that Dory ate last that may have spurred his conscience. He also recalled the fire elemental, who pouted a bit but enjoyed watching the flames spread. He then left town in hopes of finding the others.
Quinn had meanwhile been guarded to the north gate and released there by Nelson and his compatriots. He circled east looking for the others, and eventually met with Varna. Unable to locate the others, they headed into the woods to the south and waited for morning.
Finnoula and Kjarik ran south and then circled to the west and back to their old campsite before Quinn and Varna made it to the south gate. Kjarik tried to light a signal fire and cover it with green leaves. Finnoula fought this and Kjarik acquiesced. Kjarik tried Telepathy that night and the next day, but was unable to reach his friends. Quinn and Varna circled eastward to near the north gate, and were considering searching for their friends in town. Luckily, Finnoula was circling the town counter-clockwise and found them. “Where is Kjarik?” they asked. “Up at our old campsite,” she replied, pointing at the hills to the west. “Damn!” she said, after spotting the smoke from Kjarik’s signal fire. All three sighed. Quinn was sent to fetch him, while Varna and Finnoula headed north.
All four eventually met up. Exhausted, they went to sleep. On Kjarik’s watch, a grizzly bear entered camp. Kjarik failed both his Notice roll and his Sixth Sense roll, and since he had no weapon skills, he swiftly collapsed when the bear swatted him in the abdomen for a major wound. Kjarik’s screams woke Quinn and Finnoula, but Varna was very tired and snored blissfully away. Quinn tried to scare the bear away, which didn’t work, and Finnoula attacked with sword and shield, doing only a minor wound despite dealing 17 hp of damage. Finnoula then retreated near Dory, hoping to engage him with the bear. Luckily, Dory ignored Finnoula and the bear and Dory did indeed engage. The bear could do no harm to Dory, and Dory could only give the bear minor wounds, so they were at a stalemate. Finnoula poured a healing potion down Kjarik’s throat, while Quinn pressed cloth against Kjarik’s substantial wounds. Luckily, the battle finally awakened Varna, who healed Kjarik and sent the fire elemental against the bear. That did the trick, and the bear finally fled. After that, Varna did a random summoning (without telling the rest of the party) and bound a M:6 air elemental. Since air and fire elementals are very dangerous to keep together, he bound the fire elemental into Finnoula’s sword, making it a flaming sword.
They then went to the ring of Standing Stones, seemingly the last treasure spot on Tarak’s map. After an interminable period of gazing, touching, breathing, and tasting the grass, the stones, the sky, and anything else that stood still, Kjarik finally followed Finnoula’s suggestion to dig in the center of the circle. A stone box was quickly revealed, with 100 s., 3 witchwood teas, 20 bottles of fine wine, 10 broadswords, 5 daggers, and a lot of rotted pemmican and other items. They uncorked a bottle to toast their victory, then reburied the box after shaping the words, “Sorry Nelson” on its exterior. The party then spend an even longer period of time debating what to do next, exploring everything from living in the wilderness for the rest of their lives, to investigating Silverbrow, Rialdo, and Faery Hill, to learning to build ships, etc. As the referee, that gave me about an hour to work on other materials. Finally they decided that Quinn and Kjarik would go to Halfway to get some sandwiches and supplies, and then would meet Finnoula and Varna at Tarak’s cave.
The party had forgotten that the best sandwiches were at Aravan, not Halfway, and that the Frontier Patrol was often in Halfway, which indeed they were. Quinn and Kjarik were not noticed, and bought their supplies and left.
At the cave, they hid the waftwood under a false ceiling of rock that Kjarik shaped. They also broke off some of the hole in the roof, and left another “Sorry Nelson” inscription on the wall, along with rope fragments and the like. Really, it was their best chance to keep the waftwood, since Nelson was on his way to tell King Anurell of Garst all about it, and a large expedition would be sent north to recover it long before the players were going to be ready to do the same.
The party then headed north, buying a covered wagon and horses in Chirk. Dory was told to stay in the back of the wagon and the rest of the party was warned not to get in the back in case Dory got hungry. By the end of the gaming night, they were in Ironpit, enjoying the town’s magnificent inns and the local brews. They were just in time for the annual opening of the sacred grotto of the Monastery of the White Wolf, and again enjoyed the monastery’s famous liqueur. Varna tried to get into the library there, but was refused because of his reputation. Quinn was able to research there, and discovered much about the origin of the monastery.
The evening ended when the party was begged to help the monks, who were fighting off an assault by demons in the sacred grotto after one of their number had stolen the Abbot’s signet ring and opened the sealed lower caverns. As the party entered, the monks were demonstrating their fighting prowess, while a youth choir sang hymns that weakened the demons. One of the choir boys was struck in the eye by a dart from an imp, and the choir faltered. The party entered combat to reinforce the monks.
And that’s where we’ll pick it up next time.