Parallax

We opened the session with Walter and Esben finishing up their talk with Thanos, who graciously fed them breakfast and cooked extra for the rest of the party (who, later, were hesitant at receiving meat from a Necromancer until Esben and Walter assured them it was actual bacon).

 

The feeling of tension and dread continues to follow the party, except for Dru, being especially thick one night that Dru finds himself comfortably in the middle of last watch when a woman in a dress approaches from the forest. The party had a noisy camping area, being surrounded by crows drawn out by Garrison Red and oddly nocturnal. Dru noticed that when the woman approached, the crows suddenly turned silent where they had before been chatty. Dru invited the woman to coffee which she ignored, and asked him the odd question of what he was looking for in this land. After getting her answer she turns to leave, laughing at Dru’s suggestion of being careful in the woods. The crows, as one, take off as she begins to leave and the woman pauses to call over her shoulder that Dru should “get your companion to a healer”. After the woman leaves, Dru scrambles to Esben who is still sleeping soundly. Esben continues sleeping until being awoken by the party before leaving, and declines coffee.

 

The party travels, planning to stop at the next garrison along the way for more news. Dru fills the party in on the strange woman as they lay camp for the night and his companions are (understandably) frustrated that he didn’t wake them or mention this earlier. (Except for Esben, who is already asleep again, and has started coughing slightly in his sleep.) The party wrangles a promise out of Dru that he will wake them if the woman comes to camp again and they go through another tense watch, ending with Dru last. Dru is poking at the fire when he hears a voice beside him and turns to find the woman crouching next to him. She tells Dru not to stop at the next garrison because they do not have a Healer, and she walks through the camp of sleeping adventurers to put her hand on Esben’s chest for a moment. Dru notices that drops of blood trail on the ground where she’s stepped. She makes her way to Declan next, who is obviously having nightmares, and touches his forehead (leaving a bloody finger print). The touch dispels the nightmares, and Declan is able to sleep soundly. Dru doesn’t wake the party until the woman leaves, as she asked him not to. She also reveals herself to be the God of Blood, and when she leaves this time she vanishes from the camp. The blood trails remain, and Dru fills the party in as he wakes them.

 

Declan checks over Esben and finds that he seems a bit worse. The party decides to follow the God’s advice and skip Garrison Gray to move on to Garrison Yellow in search of their Healer. The God told Dru that Garrison Yellow is loyal, and is holding someone important to Declan. The party wants to travel quickly, but is trying to keep a pace that will be kind to Esben’s injuries and whatever sickness he is coming down with. During the travel, Esben suffers a collapsed lung and Sina rides ahead at a hard pace to inform Garrison Yellow that the party is bringing a sick man to them.

 

At the gates to Garrison Yellow, Sina picks up Dru’s old lie about being a travelling merchant with bodyguards and a guide, and gains access to Claus the Healer, a blunt but well-meaning man who begins to set up for Esben’s arrival and quizzes Sina about the symptoms while guards wait at the gate. When the party arrives they are ushered into the garrison and brought to Claus while guards stable their horses. Claus immediately begins to heal Esben and gives Dru something to drink for the stress. Walter quizzes Claus on medical problems and future help for them. Exhausted, the party one-by-one falls asleep cozy and warm in Claus’ healing room. Before he falls asleep though, Declan hears Claus telling the Captain of the garrison that he will not help with a certain project and that if they keep bothering about it he will stop healing them altogether.

 

The party wakes during a raid on the garrison by Nomads. There are three guards in the room with them and the Healer now, and the guards explain that they believe the Nomads attacking are Grisha and his band, due to the small number of them. The guards inform the party they can try to leave in the confusion, but it would be best to wait until the attack is over. When another guard comes yelling down the hall that the garrison has been breached, the party follows one of the three guards as he rushes out to help.

 

Out in the yard, the party sees that there are small fires everywhere set by flaming arrows and distracting guards as they rush to put them out. The party also sees a man scaling a fence with a captive over his shoulder, and Declan recognizes the captive as Arka. The party deduces the man with the bone mask scaling the wall is probably the infamous Grisha. There do not appear to be other Nomads inside the garrison walls, but there are a few firing arrows at those guards trying to kill Grisha. Grisha takes one arrow to the shoulder and makes it over the fence.

 

The party pursues despite Walter’s warnings, with Declan calling out Arka’s name and Dru yelling at Grisha in Nomadic to stop and climb on their horses because they’re on the same side. They chase Grisha into the forest around trees, catching up in a small clearing where he’s put Arka down and is waiting for them. He asks Dru in Nomadic sign language what Tribe he’s part of, which is a trick question, and Dru passes the test. Grisha’s companions drop from the trees where they had lain in wait to see if they should shoot the party. Grisha breaks off the arrow sticking out of him and picks Arka back up and they continue on as one party until she wakes up and Grisha has to explain who he is to her.

 

Arka then rides behind Declan, filling him (and the party) in on what happened to her since she was first sent to Garrison Black. Ciar accidentally-on-purpose steered them into rebellion when he refused to let their Healer, Soreza, be executed for treason (her crime was refusing to torture people) and her Nomad companion, Dima, put himself between the Captain (and his men) and her. Since then, Nomads had been joining the group at Garrison Black and Arka had gone out on a mission when she had been captured. They had tried to torture her a bit but she hadn’t talked, and then Grisha had rescued her. She didn’t know Grisha, but he seemed to be familiar with Garrison Black and the people there so she trusted him.

 

On the way to find a camping spot for the night, Dru sees the God of Blood materialize by Grisha and whisper something in his ear before smiling at Dru. Grisha tilts his head but otherwise makes no sign and keeps going. They find a place to camp and Esben, now recovered from the collapsed lung but still with a touch of “walking pneumonia”, helps Grisha set up camp before he’s dragged into the bushes by Dru. The party takes turns taking watch (Sina and Dru ecstatic to learn the Nomads have alcohol and are willing to share) and Grisha’s Nomads do as well before it comes for the time for Declan to wake Dru. Dru refuses his watch, saying that Grisha will make sure they’re safe. Declan gives in and goes to sleep. During Grisha’s watch, he wakes Delcan from nightmares and stops Declan as he goes for his sword. Declan decides to stay awake after that and the two take the last watch together, mostly companionably.

 

In the morning, Grisha drinks a fair bit of alcohol to start his day and then goes on a scouting mission. The Nomads with him treat him with a lot of touching, which Dru and Sina recognize as signs that he is in mourning or under some kind of burden. Arka assures Declan she doesn’t need to be looked at but says he may want to treat Grisha’s arrow wound before they move on. Grisha has agreed to lead the party to Ciar’s camp, or where it last was and then find them from there.

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