Again I found myself alone with Munin on Friday night. It was some time before Forto showed up – bearing a crock pot of chili and a growler of refreshment. I bided my time with some cheese and crackers. A few fish eggs washed everything down. Soon everyone was flowing in – all except the elusive Alazne – we waited and waited… we thought we were going to the prom, but we just sat there in our stupid borrowed dress…and he never came.
We set into bowls of chili – enriched with a nice selection of onions, cheese, and a couple of different kinds of peppers. Good and filling – but the third bowl was a bit excessive – and I wasn’t quite right for a while..still not quite right, as a matter of fact.
Regardless, we set in where we’d left off….
After your ferocious and somewhat pyrrhic raid on the battlements last session, you fled into the darkness and licked your wounds. Hours later, a singing arose from the iron fortress. It was Miria – a sweet and comely woman of the Kassen’s Rest – singing a song of the returning. Not to be fooled into a trap, however, plans were hastily made and Hilgari set out to cause a distraction, so the remainder of the group could launch an attack.
He stealthily scaled the walls, narrowly slipping between the wall garrison to climb the great central tower. He aimed carefully and threw several flasks of burning oil towards some bedrolls and started a conflagration inside – and then fled for his life. Unfortunately, he was tagged by a couple of the Marghuls’ black shafts before he got to safety over the wall. As he descended, wounded, two horrors emerged from around either end of the fortress and pursued him into the darkness – but to no avail. Hilgari is fast. Gau also came to assist, but he also was outrun by the fleet footed, iron-fisted wonder.
The master of the fort then addressed you through the thrall, Miria. All of the captives were to be slain, one every five minutes, until you surrendered. Debate followed. Eventually, you all decided there was nothing else to be done – except Ziru who was the designated shepherd and protector of all the released slaves. After being separated from your weapons and armor, being bound about elbows, ankles and knees, at last you came face to face with your new overlord – a spidery fellow by the name of Lord Trrrrrrkks. Some submitted easily to his powerful persuasive gaze, others required some softening. Draughts were distributed and most drank willingly – except Gau – who was a bit sloppy – but the third time was a charm and soon all were trundled off to a holding chamber.
Hours later, Trrrrrrkks returned and mentally dominated some of your band. Those of you who were consumed (Gau and Degroat) were taken for interrogations and trials. Their value did not disappoint.
Ziru fled with her flock – but it wasn’t long before she and the rest were overtaken by a band of Marghbulls and other soldiers. Ziru and a Mogadorian shaman-woman made a stand, but it was short. (did he take down a Marghbull?) Soon, she and the rest of the fleeing villagers joined the rest of the company in the slave holding chamber – dark and fetid as it was.
Soon all were packed into transport carts. Your group was shackled by the wrists to the roof members of the rickety wooden carts, two to a cart, and the rest loaded with the starving stinking remains of what were once your kith and kin. You trundled off, Marghbulls and other soldiers pulling and pushing the carts out of the fortress – past the strange helmeted knight, a finely dressed and comely woman with the air of a sorceress about her, and a charcoal-skinned man.
Hours into the journey, Gau pretended to faint, or die. He was hauled out by some soldiers and just when they were about to revive him – he disappeared. Invisible, Gau fled from the caravan and harassed it for a few rounds. He cast sleep on a few of the stragglers and dropped a couple, slitting the throat of one Marghbull before being struck by two enemy arrows and recaptured.
Perhaps a full day later, in the dark of the night and ever nearer to Sgubjugal Jadub Gura’s pleasure palace and The Pit, the team gave a last gasp effort to get free. Degroat was the first to free himself – and the butchering began – after he picked the keys off a weary Marghul Captain. Two soldiers fell, dead, to be rolled over by the heavy cart wheels – then the captain and Degroat began a desperate battle. Forto set out to free the others and Hilgari freed himself next. Soon, Gau, Ziru, and Lukin were free as well. The battle began to gain momentum. Marghul soldiers took it the worst – falling to Hilgari’s iron fist and to their own blades and arrows (and Gau’s sleep spell) left and right.
But it wasn’t long before the Marghbull’s engaged and in quick succession Forto and Lukin fell. Hilgari, Ziru, Degroat fled before the weight of their great pounding clubs. Gau disappeared once again – just as the horror from the lead cart emerged and began to search, with its obsidian faceted eyes, for you all.
And that is where we stopped for the evening. Forto and Lukin lie at the feet of four enraged Marghbulls. At the least, the great eyed thing pauses to consider the tide of battle – but there is the feeling of another presence, another malevolent will. …