Parallax

Episode 15
Disarming Zombies

The party said their various goodbyes to Ciar's group: Sina said goodbye to Isya. Walter learned that Ciar hadn't realized Walter was pledging himself to Ciar's service and he gave permission for Walter to leave with the group, and just asked him to check in with the person in charge of the Moat Rebellion camp for him and let him know they're willing to meet up—he told Walter that Esben would know the location that Ciar's camp will be travelling to. Dru said farewell to his Nomad friends. After saying goodbye to (and expressing his interest in) Inok last session, Declan took this time to say a goodbye to Arka and, surprisingly, Grisha. Declan admitted that when he first heard the rumors of Grisha he had a bad opinion, but that Grisha has been nothing but helpful and caring to Declan and those he cares about. Grisha pointed out that all the rumors of his deeds are true, that he is still that person, and Declan said that sometimes they all had to be monsters (surprising Grisha and Soreza, who was nearby, both). Declan offered Grisha a hug and Grisha accepted. 

 

With their goodbyes out of the way, the party travels toward the place the Moat Rebellion Camp is supposed to be. They are laid up in a cave for a day as another hail and thunder storm passes through, and so it takes two and a half days to approach the place. They rein in out of sight of the camp when they spot smoke, and Esben and Sina try to scout ahead. 

 

Sina realizes someone is sneaking up on her, and she turns and pounces on her stalker, punching him in the face. They end up wrestling on the ground, with Sina trying to stab him before she is disarmed and kicked in the face, pinned to the ground with her own knife. Esben and a Nomad appear after this scuffle, and while the Nomad tries to attack Esben, Sina's attacker recognizes him. He gets off of Sina and stops the Nomad. Esben pokes some fun at Sina's opponent, commenting on his bloody nose. Amends and introductions are made, and the man is introduced as Cairbre, the Guild Master to an Assassins branch. He introduces the Nomad as Sashok. They are both a part of the Moat Rebellion group. 

 

Meanwhile, Declan, Dru and Walter had stayed behind with the horses and hear someone approaching. When the person is close enough he calls out to the group so he doesn't get attacked, and it is revealed to be Lir. When Lir finds out that the party sent scouts ahead he runs into the woods, telling the party to stay there. Dru, of course, follows at a leisurely pace. They come across the group in the woods and Cairbre says if they collect the rest of the party they'll lead them into the camp. Dru recognizes Cairbre as the one he stopped on the road a long time ago to deliver a message to Esben. 

 

The camp is trashed. There is a lot of blood spilled in the grass and four graves dug (one with blood poured on it), and a large dirt pit with the bodies of enemy soldiers burning in it. None of the party asks who died, but Dru does confirm with Lir that Rioghan is injured but okay. They are informed there was an attack two days ago, and that they believe a Nomad sold them out. Sashok gets upset when this is brought up, showing a lot of anger and some guilt.

 

After the party surveys the camp, they are brought to the place where it has been moved. Most of the people there are injured, and there are two medics and one Healer milling around camp tending to the people. There are also three captives, and Walter recognizes one of them as Isadore Lovett, a childhood fencing friend. Walter keeps his back to the captives so as not to be recognized yet.

 

Esben goes to speak to someone and Walter finds out from Cairbre that it is that person who is in charge. He and Sina wait until Esben is done talking to him. Dru finds Rioghan immediately and asks her what happened while Declan listens in nearby. As far as they can tell, a Nomad betrayed them—but everyone is shaky on the details because no one has heard of a Nomad ever going against the Tribe before. They cannot fathom a reason one would do so. Four members of the camp were also taken captive, including Rossi and another Assassin Guild Master.

 

After Dru gets information from Rioghan, Declan takes him aside to inform him that he suspects Sashok may be the traitor, due to his reaction at the previous camp site. Dru believes that the traitor was probably a part of Sashok's group, rather than Sashok himself, but told Declan he can continue to be suspicious if he feels Sashok may be the one. 

 

Once Esben is done speaking to the leader, introduced as Shad (another Assassin Guild Master), Walter does so. He makes sure Shad is filled in on everything and it appears Esben has filled him in. Walter also tells Shad that he knows the captive Isadore (Walter also told Shad and Cairbre that Isadore had to be a captain, though the captive had not declared himself so). Walter offers to question Isadore, and Shad agrees. 

 

The questioning does not go well. Isadore is convinced he cannot be allowed to live as he has seen the inner workings of the camp. Walter wonders why he was not blindfolded and the answer he gets is "we were busy". Isadore teases one of the onlookers, who is revealed to be the Captain of Garrison Teal, Damhnait Lund. Isadore admits that he isn't sure if the others would keep captives alive as he doesn't know the ones in charge of the enemy force. He refuses to give any other information. He then tells Walter that if he really wants to talk, he should send the others away and talked privately. 

 

Vanja and Bedelia (the others guarding the captives) move the two soldiers away and everyone gives Walter and Isadore space. Isadore asks Walter about his issues (since Walter gave hints that he was not pleased with his situation on the other side). Walter explains what happened with Moat and the refugees, and Isadore remains unconvinced that Moat was not working with Nomads as they've been charged. He also says that Garrison Gold (his garrison) was staying out of things until Teal joined the rebellion. Isadore also informs Walter that Silvain Battier was killed in battle, and Ashby Keswick is Captain of Garrison Green. Isadore says he is not a Captain because he didn't want the job and refused it. He gives Walter a tempting offer: set him and the other soldiers free and he can help Walter sort out this "treason" business. Walter is on the fence at the end of their conversation, but when he returns to Shad he mentions he could pretend to set Isadore free to travel with him and infiltrate the other side of the conflict. (He also offered to be traded along with the soldiers (making the trade for captives an even one-for-one), but Shad immediately shuts that down.)

 

Meanwhile, Dru is visiting with Lir and Rioghan and Esben, and invites Sina and Declan over to enjoy the fire with them. Declan has offered his services to the medics and been directed to an injured soldier named Berit who has a leg injury. As far as Declan can tell it will heal as long as she keeps the weight off of it. He joins Dru, Sina and Esben at the fireside after that. 

 

While the group is enjoying the fire, Dionisia comes out of the woods, with a Nomad joining her. As soon as one of the medics (the youngest of the camp, around 15) sees the Nomad, she begins to scream. Dionisia doesn't respond to the questions she's asked and the Nomad charges forward and stabs the screaming girl. While the group at this fire prepares to fight, two more people appear out of the woods by the other fire. The party soon realizes that the attacking allies are most likely zombies. They begin to fight, with the attackers showing no sign of feeling pain. 

 

During the fight, two more people sneak into the camp closer to the captives, and by the time Walter spots them the two guards have been shot and are down. As he watches, Damhnait is also shot with an arrow and falls to the ground. The other figure begins to untie Isadore, and Walter doesn't say anything—no one else seems to notice. 

 

Sashok runs from Walter's fire to the other, throwing himself at the Nomad and dragging them both to the ground where he starts to rip into him with daggers. "Granny", the other medic, has pulled the girl away and Bjarke had pulled Rioghan out of the way of combat as well, since she is still injured. During the fight, Rioghan noticed the captives being freed and moved to stop it. She was struck by an arrow as Dru turned as well, and Dru screamed for Lir as he charged the bowman. 

 

The captives escaped, and the bowman retreated last with his bow trained on Dru. Walter set himself up to intercept, knocking Dru to the ground and shielding his body with his own as Dru threw a dagger and leaped into an attack. The bowman shot but missed both Dru and Walter, and then he escaped while Walter held Dru down. Lir, meanwhile, went straight to Rioghan. 

 

As soon as he was let up, Dru ran for the horses. Sina and Declan met him there, and Esben rushed over to hold a hand up and stop Dru from chasing the enemy party. He didn't try to grab the reins, but he did tell Dru that he might get Sina and Declan killed rushing into what may be a trap, with no idea how many enemies were really out there. Dru decided not to give chase.

 

None of the people shot with arrows were moving, and the medics and Healer went to work immediately. In the middle of it, Dru leapt at Walter in a rage, trying to hit his collarbone with the hilt of a dagger. Walter blocked with his sword and managed to smash Dru's head with his pommel. The young medic then yelled at them to "get the fuck out of the way". Esben waded in and grabbed Dru from behind, dodging the blow Dru tried to land on him before he realized who was grabbing him. 

 

Esben dragged Dru away while Walter (with Declan) retreated across camp. Esben pulled out his own dagger and offered Dru a blood duel and take his grievances out on him, but Dru turned his back and walked away to sharpen his blades at the fire. Esben went to offer his aid to the medics, with whom the Assassins were comparing notes on poisons. 

 

While this was going on, Sina was comforting Sashok who had begun to vomit and sob after the Nomad's corpse stopped moving. He muttered that it was wrong for the Necromancers to raise the bodies of his people without express permission. Sina learned that a ritual would be performed and some blood given to show the Necromancer had a right to claim the body if needed. Sina also got the name of the Nomad who had betrayed the group: "Olezhka". The Nomad who had been turned into a zombie, Kolyan, had been a friend of Sashok—as had the traitor.

 

After calming, Dru made his way to Walter and Declan and fell on his knees, crying and apologizing. Sashok told Sina to go to him and she did, and both Declan and Sina put a hand on Dru's shoulders to comfort him. Walter just glared coldy at Dru and said “You’re welcome”.

 

Session ended, we’ll maybe find out if the fallen allies will live next week!

 

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Episode 14

This session began with Declan's dreams. He was standing near a battle, close enough to see but apart from it, and without the usual fear he feels in such dreams. The God of Blood appeared to him, but since only Dru has seen her he didn't know who she was. He started reaching for his sword but she laughed and asked if he would challenge the God of War to battle. She revealed that she has many aspects, including blood, war and redemption. 

 

She spoke with Declan for a bit, lamenting that humans were fickle things and discovering Declan hadn't really believed in gods until she started appearing. Declan also discovered she is the source of the Nomads' superior strength and battle prowess. She also confesses that she doesn’t have any active plans to slaughter Declan in particular, but death isn’t really her domain. At the end of the dream she told Declan he should wake up now, because war was coming. Then she snapped her fingers and he awoke, sober and without a hangover despite his drunkenness from the night before. 

 

When he awoke Soreza was in the party's space waking Dru, Esben and Walter, and he told her his dream. Soreza was surprised that Declan had dreamt of the God of Blood, but didn't seem to disbelieve him. She informed the party that Urik had not come back from watch, and they were waking everyone and sending them off in groups. Each group would leave at a different time and take a different path, but they would all converge later at a landmark about a day away (by a Nomad grave of sorts). The group started packing and they were told they would be notified as to when to leave.

 

Meanwhile Sina was being awoken inadvertently by Grisha shaking Isya awake across camp. She startled and went for a weapon when she saw Grisha right after waking, but she didn't have any with her. Grisha asked Isya if he was sober and told him Urik was missing. Grisha wanted Isya to take Stas and go scouting. Sina volunteered to join, and Grisha answered that he was only sending Nomads out because they could be quiet, and said he didn't know how quiet she could be. Sina answered that she had gotten much better at being stealthy, and Grisha allowed her to go. He told Isya to use Sina as bait if she drew attention, and he glanced at Sina to make sure she agreed with the plan. She did, and parted ways with Isya to pack what she would need.

 

Sina filled the party in on her plans when she got back to their area and hastily donned her Scout gear and weapons (leaving them with the impression she had been assigned to the mission).  Dru tries to mark on Sina’s map where the army will meet but Sina stopped him in case she is captured. Sina packed quickly and left with Isya and Stas, surprising them both with her stealth. Grisha also sent out Inok, Tolik and Erva in a group, and Dima, Zannochka and Vika. Grisha went out alone, and when Sina saw this she asked Isya about it as Nomads typically don't travel alone. Isya answered that Grisha uses this tactic sometimes because it's expected that Nomads travel in groups. 

 

While out scouting, Sina's trio comes across Urik's body. Isya approached cautiously while Stas and Sina stayed hidden in case it was a trap, but nothing happened. Isya let the others know that Urik had been shot with an arrow, but had mostly knife wounds. They didn't see a sign of anyone else and brought the body back to camp. While reporting to Ciar, they learned that none of the other groups had spotted enemies either. 

 

When Grisha returns most of the camp has cleared out, and he comes bearing a body as well. This one is a female soldier, and as he drops her on the dirt they realize she is still alive. Ciar mentions this fact and Grisha tells him that he was tired of being chastised for bringing them back dead. Grisha mentions asking the soldier questions, and most of the party realizes he's probably going to torture her if need be. 

 

Soreza pipes up and tells Grisha not to torture her, and Ciar says "Oh, you're against that now?" to which Soreza replies “I always have been” and walks off. Dima follows her after telling Ciar “Drop it, or I’ll drop you”. Grisha remains behind, looking very pissed at Ciar. Viggo comes to check the captive and ask Ciar if he wants her awake yet, but Ciar says not to wake her and to take her somewhere and hold her for a bit. Viggo and Grisha carry the body together, and a bit later Soreza is approaching the group when a cut-off shout and some thudding is heard in the direction the captive was taken. Soreza turns back to investigate and so does the group. Sina, Isya and Stas were still reporting to Ciar, who turned at the noise also to investigate and they follow him.

 

The captive is awake and on the ground, Grisha wrapped around her with one hand over her mouth and one holding a dagger to her—she had woken up earlier than expected. When Ciar arrives they decide to question her there after Ciar declines Grisha’s offer to “put her back to sleep”. Ciar asks how many are with her and the woman (looking completely unfazed by her predicament) answers “Anders says hello. He wonders when you’ll stop playing war and go back to your real job”. Ciar does not look comfortable at the idea of this “Anders” person and tells Grisha to knock her back out. Grisha slams her head against the ground and she’s out again.

Ciar mentions that she will be the only enemy in the area, also implying she took Urik down herself, when usually it takes 2-4 people together to best a Nomad. He tells the rest of the groups to get ready to go, and says the captive is coming with him.

On the way to the meet-up point, the group gets caught in a thunder/hail storm and since Dru knows the area very well he leads them to a cave that is uninhabited for them to wait out the storm. While Declan is tending the horses, Aggro breaks free and Declan jumps on Swan to chase him down. Declan catches Aggro, but gets lost.

Meanwhile in the cave Sina is embarrassed that Esben and Dru start stripping off their wet clothing and decides to face the other direction until they’re dry/changed. The group chats while they wait for Declan and Esben makes tea.

Declan still can’t find his way back, and starts going into hypothermia. He huddles down in a place that offers a tiny bit of shelter and tries to wait out the storm.

The group leaves Esben in the cave and ventures out into the rain again to rescue Declan. They find him just in time as he passes out as they approach. They put him up on Aggro and bring him back to the cave. Dru brings all the horses inside and to the back of the cave and Sina tells the group someone needs to cuddle naked with Declan to keep his temperature up. Esben volunteers as everyone else is once again soaked and freezing. Esben suggests that Sina draw all of the party members maps of the area based on the ones she carries, so that they don’t get lost as easily when separated.

Declan wakes up confused in Esben’s arms and Dru tries to pretend Declan is after his boyfriend, at which Sina and Esben scold him. The group waits out the storm and while the next day is a bit windy at least it isn’t wet.

The party beds down in the cave and sets watches, although a little changed to let Declan sleep longer. Dru takes Declan’s watch and plans to wake Declan for the last one. His plans do not pan out though, as he only had an hour’s sleep the night before and promptly falls asleep on his watch. In Dru’s dream, he is in the cave with only the God of Blood for company. The rain outside is actually blood in the dream. The God of Blood jokes that Dru should tell Declan his almost dying wasn’t her fault, and he assures her he will (during this, Declan appears briefly in the cave and disappears again). Dru talks about how he should be awake on watch right now, in case anything was out there and the god says she can wake him up, but jokingly mentions it’ll be the only help he gets from her. He stops her then and says he’d like to save the favor for another time if that’s the case. She is surprised, and then laughs and says “very well, call on me sometime when you are in need and I shall help you”. She seems very amused he tricked a favor from her. He then wakes in time to wake Declan for watch without anyone the wiser that he slept through his.

Upon meeting up with Ciar’s army at the designated place, Soreza checks in with Esben about the tea she gave him, and it is helping with his pneumonia (and thus Dru learns it tastes terrible because it is medicine—though it can also be taken to help stay strong against illness). Dru tries to gather more information from Soreza about what’s going on and she mostly tells him that he’ll find out at Ciar’s announcement shortly.

The party waits for more of the sections of the force to arrive, and passes time at a fire with mostly Nomads around it. Sina cuddles against Isya and when she sees Declan she waves him over. Feeling it would be awkward to walk away after that, Declan joins when Tolik makes space for him between himself and Inok. They pass the time while they wait.

Ciar actually has a few announcements to make (and the captive isn’t seen, but no one asks about her). He asks Esben to join him for the announcements, as it was mostly Esben’s news being shared. He tells the gathered forces that the Prince is no longer missing. He has been found and he’s throwing in with the rebellion. He also informs those present that Oran was indeed killed—but because the King put a Contract out on him. Now, however, Oran is alive again thanks to a Necromancer who somehow resurrected him. Ciar asserts that Oran is also siding with the rebellion. There are plans to meet up with these figures and let them decide how to organize the forces. Ciar also informs everyone that the Assassins have joined their cause as well.

While Dru is a little upset that Esben kept all this news to himself, he understands that Esben couldn’t discuss it until he had delivered it to Ciar per his orders. The party prepares to depart from Ciar’s forces, their destination set on the Moat camp where Esben will check in for duty and Rioghan and Lir supposedly wait. Part of Declan's preparations include finding Inok and having an awkward conversation with her before finally giving her the Nomad signal of being interested. She accepts it and they embrace (and kiss) happily before saying their goodbyes.

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Episode 13
Dance Dance Revolution

Our party sleeps through the thunderstorm with Ciar's army, taking advantage of the multitude of guards and not taking turns on watch. They have a space out of the rain for themselves, and as the thunderstorm continues through the next day and night they stay in their space and pass the day quietly—like many of the soldiers.

 

On the third day with the "army", Dru begins to search for old Nomad contacts and finds a few friends and previous lovers. Meanwhile Esben goes to speak to Ciar about some business. Sina, Walter and Declan enjoy breakfast until a crowd begins gathering and drawing attention. Propelled by curiosity, Walter and Declan investigate and find a Nomad and soldier fist-fighting in the center of the circle. Walter offers bacon to the two people standing near him and they explain that this is a blood duel—the way Nomads clear the air of grievances between them. Typically, they do it with knives, but Ciar has outlawed the use of knives when a Nomad is fighting a soldier as the soldiers are not as skilled in knife fighting and Ciar prefers to keep them uninjured. 

 

Walter continues talking to the soldiers, who introduce themselves as Jocosa and  Bjorn. They are from Garrison Purple, and joined the rebellion when their Captain gave his soldiers the option to choose their own sides in the war. Having had to be present for a couple of torture sessions, they decided to choose Ciar's side and appear to have parted on good terms with their Captain (whom, it is discovered, Walter actually went to fencing school. Their Captain was Silvain Battier). 

 

Sina, having finished her breakfast before letting curiosity get the better of her, asks a soldier near her about the duel. She recognizes the Nomad in the fight as Isya, and gets nearly the same explanation that Walter and Declan did. She also asks if this happens often, and learns Isya doesn't often have duels with anyone. After the duel has concluded and Isya and the soldier have spoken a bit, Sina secretly follows Isya back to a camping area where a female soldier, upon seeing him, immediately jumps up and fusses over him. They appear very familiar as she cups his face in her hand and checks over his wounds, and Sina, heartbroken, turns away.

 

When Sina returns to the group's space, she finds a Nomad she doesn't recognize tending their abandoned fire in their absence. He introduces himself as Stas and tries to cheer Sina up with some success, and she tells him about her first encounter with Nomads (Isya) without giving any names, and then the second time they met a couple of years later. Stas entertains Sina until Walter and Declan return, and then Dru and Esben file in as well, Dru toting two Nomads who he introduces to the group as Zannochka and Miksa (Miksa looks about 12). Dru informs the group that he wants to have a party that night. Someone comes to tell Stas that Ciar needs him, and Dru tells Stas he is also invited and to bring friends.  

 

Zannochka and Miksa leave the group to acquire alcohol and music in preparation for that night. Declan and Sina aren't in the mood to party, but Dru tries to make them promise they'll each dance with one Nomad at least. He also teaches the group the supposed Nomad signal for asking for a dance, which he explains as placing a kiss on someone's open palm. Unfortunately for Dru, Sina knows this signal actually means to declare romantic interest in the person whose hand you are kissing. She calls him out on it angrily, and the group tells Dru that they've learned they need to be honest with each other. Sina walks away from the little group and Declan follows as she is visibly upset. He asks if she is just as unsettled around the Nomads as he is, but she just doesn't want to party, and she tells Declan to be careful with Nomad alcohol.

 

Before the party, Dru had some arrangements to make. He went to speak to Ciar about food and Ciar assured Dru there would be enough as hunters had gone out. He also mentioned to Dru that he was commandeering the party a little, so the whole camp would celebrate Arka's return and blow off a little steam. Meanwhile Stas approached the campsite again to warn Declan and Sina that the party plans had grown larger. He was careful when approaching, having noticed how uncomfortable Declan can be around Nomads. Declan and Sina thanked him for the warning, and Walter decided to go have his own talk with Ciar. 

 

Ciar was relaxing by Soreza as she checked on an injured soldier, and when Walter asked to speak to about how the war was going Ciar answered that he runs the rebellion with Grisha, who should join them. At Walter’s acceptance, Soreza fetched Grisha. As he spoke with Ciar, Walter learned that the leader had believed they could win the conflict before Artedin troops go involved, but he wasn’t so sure now. Nor would he press anyone into service unless they chose to pledge to him, so Walter’s party was free to go as they pleased. He does say he has some things up his sleeves and he would announce a couple before the army moved again—most likely tomorrow.

 

Walter told Ciar a little of his troubles and also offered his services as an inventor (disclosing his identity) and as someone teaching himself about engineering. Ciar thanked him for the offer.

 

When the time for the party came, Sina was surprised as Stas led Isya and the woman from earlier (introduced as Rohelia) over to their fire. Isya was stunned to see Sina, and hinted that they should dance. While initially very awkward with each other, Isya eventually renewed his declaration of interest in Sina and after dancing a bit the two snuck off with each other.

 

Walter, who had convinced Declan to dance with Jocosa, decided he didn’t’ need to keep an eye on Sina anymore when she and Isya started making out instead of dancing. Instead, Walter took cups of hot coffee to the perimeter guards on watch and passed his time chatting with them. He also found a few Nomads willing to teach him some of their crafts in bone jewelry.

 

Soreza cleared Esben for a couple of dances, so Dru and Esben share a few until Esben sits by the fire again to nurse his pneumonia. Dru dances with some Nomads before making Esben a plate of food and joining him to eat. Later, Dru sneaks off himself with a few Nomads, letting Esben know he’ll be back in the morning.

 

Declan keeps dancing, and ignores Sina’s warning about the alcohol. (Drunk Declan is best Declan.) When he spies Grisha, he asks where Inok is. Grisha tells him Inok is scouting, but should be back soon. Drunk Declan tells Grisha he’s pretty cool when he’s not cutting hands off of people and Grisha says “thanks” and moves on.

 

Grisha goes to check in with the soldiers on watch, running into Walter. Declan waits and sees Inok not too long after, asking her to dance. She agrees and they dance and then go eat together. While eating, Inok reports to Ciar that Urik has taking her place scouting and then makes to leave, suggesting to Declan that he should drink some water. Unfortunately, he goes for the alcohol, not being able to keep track really of which is which at this point. Grisha and Dima are both near the food at this point, and Grisha points out to Dima that Declan is going for more alcohol. Dima takes the cup from Declan and gives it to Grisha instead, supplying Declan with water. They see Declan wave enthusiastically at Inok and grin at each other.

 

Grisha doesn’t want to drink because he wants to stay vigilant, but Dima makes him down three drinks before he leaves him alone about relaxing. Grisha gets emotional, and Dima slings an arm around him. Ciar even comes up to rest a hand on Grisha’s shoulder. Declan tried to cheer Grisha up by telling him to have fun like him because it was a party. Soreza joins in and decides to escort Declan to bed.

 

Grisha decides to go check on the soldiers and Nomads on watch again, and Walter notices his face changed from crying. He asks Grisha if he’s okay and Grisha replies “I’ve been better”. Walter offers him a hug, surprising him, and Grisha accepts and thanks Walter. Grisha tells Walter about Declan’s drunken state and Walter returns to the group’s fire to check on him.

 

Esben is still awake when Walter returns, telling him that Declan is in bed thanks to Soreza and that Esben will watch a few more hours before turning in himself. Sina doesn’t return to camp, and eventually both Walter and Esben go to sleep. Dru rejoins a few hours later, snuggling up to Esben to sleep.

 

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Episode 12

Once Grisha returns from patrolling in the morning, the Nomads pick up camp and disguise it so that whatever traces remain appear aged as if no one has camped there recently. Tolik wraps Grisha's shoulder wound and Grisha says it's fine as it is. The group continues to travel through the woods, where various foot paths trail through the dying autumn grass. Grisha seems to be following such a foot path until the afternoon, where he branches off and makes his way to a small space in the trees. One of the Nomads gestures that the party shouldn't follow too closely, and they stop. Grisha approaches a large tree with a mound below it that the group recognizes as a Nomad grave. Grisha takes out a small dagger and opens a line on his arm, bleeding onto the mound. The party can see there is also blood on the bark of the tree, though it is older. As Grisha bleeds and prays, many crows and ravens gather in the tree above him. The party, except for Dru, begins to feel the unease and tension again that haunts them through their nighttime watches. Tolik sees Declan watching the birds uneasily and explains that it just means "she" is present. Some of the party thinks he is referring to the dead woman buried there, and others think he's referring to the God of Blood. Inok chimes in with "she remembers the fallen". Dru decides to pray as well, pricking a thumb and bowing his head in prayer. When he looks up, all the birds and all the Nomads are watching him. Grisha questions his actions, but is thoughtful rather than hostile, and seems satisfied with Dru's answers. As Grisha turns away, all of the birds take off at once and leave. The party and the Nomads continue to travel.

A good spot is found to camp for the night where large trees have been uprooted and form a wall to sleep against. There are other fallen trees that serve as benches to light a fire between, and the Nomads set up camp—trading off on chores. Grisha drinks against a fallen log, watching Inok build a fire. Declan asks Inok what he can do to help and she says he can do whatever he wants as they aren't used to having so many hands around to help set up. She mentions that Tolik went hunting, and Declan decides to do that as well. Erva collects some firewood and Dru teaches Grisha how to throw knives (Grisha isn't very good at it, but improves with Dru's help), while Esben watches and offers tips.

(In Nomad woods, deer hunts Declan.) Declan is startled while following some tracks in the woods by the deer he is tracking running straight at him. He gets a shot off with his bow, nailing it in the chest, and it alters its course enough to knock him off his feet instead of barrelling into him as it runs by. He sees it has another arrow in its back and Tolik chasing it on foot. Tolik stops to help Declan up and tells him he got a good shot on it, and teaches Declan to follow the blood trail to find the dead deer. Once they reach the body, Tolik teaches Declan how to gut it and then carries it back to camp where Grisha helps Tolik hang it in a tree. They cut the throat to drain the blood but also carve some off for dinner right away. (Inok is glad to have something aside from rabbit stew.)

Dru leads the Nomads except for Grisha in a rousing Nomadic child song about cooking, and teaches Walter enough that he can get half of it. Tolik tries to teach Declan but the latter is obviously not interested, so Tolik teaches him the art of butchering a deer instead. After the deer is eaten, both groups take normal watches so there are two on watch at all times. During Sina and Tolik's watch, a new person enters the camp and Tolik talks to her until it is time to wake next watch. Sina lets Declan know about the newcomer, and her suspicions that this one is also a Necromancer as she is wearing things similar to Thanos (and also has moss growing on her clothing).

Inok begins cooking for the stranger and Declan hangs around, overhearing that the newcomer wants Grisha for something but that she'll wait until Inok's watch is over rather than waking him early. Declan asks for some of the food Inok is making and the three share the deer, Inok making enough that the Necromancer can take some with her. Declan begins talking to the Necromancer, whose name he learns is Delia, mentioning that they ran into "another of [her] kind". He makes it clear he's creeped out by animating the dead and Delia gets a bit of revenge by letting him know there are bodies buried under their campsite. Declan apologizes, and Delia is friendly. Delia dozes against a tree through the rest of Declan and Inok's watch, and then Inok wakes Grisha and Declan wakes Dru but forgets to mention the Necromancer.

Dru makes coffee and tells Esben to sleep rather than joining him on watch. Dru offers coffee to the Necromancer, who warily takes it after looking to Grisha for confirmation. Dru listens in on enough of the conversation to know that Delia is being followed and is hoping Grisha can do something about it. She doesn't know if it's soldiers or Order but she's pretty sure there are four pursuers. Grisha says he'll take care of it and Dru interrupts to ask if he's sure he should go alone. Grisha says he'll be fine and wakes Erva early to take over the rest of his watch as he leaves with Delia. While Erva is up, Dru pulls out his mini shrines and begins to pray for Grisha's safe return. Erva is very interested and starts asking Dru who each of the figures are and correcting him on them. Erva explains that Nomads and people of Dru's country came from the same place in the beginning but have split off since then, and it's no wonder Dru's country is so messed up since they've messed up what the gods actually are. Dru is tolerant and Erva insists that the next time Dru sees a god he should ask about the others, because the gods know the true way of things. Erva does join in on the prayer for Grisha by cutting his thumb and bloodying the symbol Dru made for the God of Blood.

The rest of the camp wakes and Grisha does not return in the morning. Declan asks if the camp should go after Grisha but the Nomads say they should wait. Dru entertains the Nomads (mostly Inok) through magic in the camp to pass the time and Walter reads more of his engineering book. A bit into the afternoon Grisha returns, carrying a bloody sack and covered in blood himself. Dru asks Declan hurriedly to go into the woods and gather more preygrass for him. He tries to tell Arka to do this as well, but she plants her feet and crosses her arms over her chest and glares at Grisha, watching. Inok builds up the fire and Grisha lays four hearts into it, along with the cloth he was using as a sack. The cloth is part of a black standard-issue garrison tunic. Arka is very, very pissed off as it looks like Grisha has killed four soldiers.

Declan returns with the preygrass but not before the hearts have finished burning and the smell has left camp. The Nomads prepare to move, burying the parts of the deer they don't pack to bring with them. More deer is cooked over the (hearty) fire while camp is dismantled. Declan notices Grisha is favoring his shoulder more and motions to Tolik. Tolik takes a look, smacks Grisha upside the head and wraps gauze around the wound again. Once camp is deconstructed, the group moves on.

During travel, Erva leads and Grisha stays in the back, still covered in blood. Arka walks at the back with him and they argue. Arka fills Declan in that they argued about the fact that Grisha killed four soldiers just for following orders and hunting down a Necromancer (as all Necromancers are kill-on-sight to soldiers and guards). Grisha explained that he gave them a chance to back off, but any soldier who tries to kill an ally of his (which the Necromancers are) is going to be killed. Arka tries to explain to him that all soldiers have those orders and he basically says "don't let me catch you doing it, then". While all this is going on, Dru is entertaining his companions with a raunchy tale about a mermaid and an old sailor.

The night gets closer and when a certain area of the woods is reached Grisha and Erza speak for a few moments (Grisha coming from the woods where he had snuck off to scout ahead). Sina points out to the party that where they're standing used to be a camp site. Grisha takes the lead and steps up the pace, and the Nomads stick with the group instead of ranging like they usually do. Despite darkness falling, Grisha keeps the party moving, tracking. Soon he has Erza lead again and he runs ahead. Later, as the party continues they come to a point in the trail where two people are standing. One is Grisha. The other one is a Nomad they don't recognize, but Arka launches herself from Declan's horse and into the other Nomad's arms. He swings her around and kisses her face as they hug. The new Nomad introduces himself as Dima. Grisha's company leaves the party then, forging ahead after each greeting Dima. Dru gets off his horse to greet Dima in the Nomad way as well, and introduces the party. Dima and Grisha lead the party into the rebellion's main camp as a thunderstorm brews ahead and shelter is hastily constructed.

As they enter the camp, the group is accosted by the Healer Soreza who tries to greet Grisha but is turned away as he is still covered in blood. She asks for any wounded and Dru and Esben follow her over to a fire so that she can check Esben over and make him a tea mixture. Soon she has him under a blanket by a fire and is lecturing him while Dru makes mock gestures behind her. The rest of the party is introduced to Ciar, the Corporal, who is very glad to see Arka alive and well. He introduces himself to the party and tells Grisha to go get cleaned up. Grisha leaves, and the party learns a bit about the rebellion from Dima and Ciar.

Declan is very uneasy as the camp is filled with both soldiers and Nomads, and they seem to be mingling easily in about even numbers. Ciar is also very easy around the Nomads (especially Dima), though there is tension between him and Grisha. The little group is discussing Grisha a bit before he returns, freshly cleaned, and checks in before making his way to Soreza. Grisha's presence makes Dru decide to stop playfully mocking her and he sits down with Esben while Grisha drapes himself over Soreza and she turns to hug him. The hugging quickly turns into scolding when she catches sight of his shoulder, and she calls another soldier ("Viggo") over to help her tend to the wound without magic. Grisha is completely docile under her, and when bedding down for the night the party notices she sleeps between Dima and Grisha, with the latter basically wrapped around her.

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Episode 11

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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Episode 10

Our heroes follow the trail leaving Garrison Black and make their way closer to the Moat raiding party’s camp. While many smaller trails branch from this one, our heroes do not deviate from their main path. As they camp at night some of them hear noises in the woods and Esben confirms someone was there, but none of them can make sense of the very light foot prints left behind.

 

Upon reaching Garrison Blue, Dru lies up a storm about being a hapless robbed merchant and discovers Garrison Blue is the one that burned Garrison Black to the ground. The party is warned to be careful who they do business with and told that Garrison Green nearby is still loyal, and they go on their merry way.

 

Skipping over Garrison Green, the party camps for the night and everyone except Dru (and Esben, who sleeps instead of taking a watch), feels a very tense, foreboding atmosphere.

 

The next day they arrive at Garrison Red and discover the population slaughtered, Esben checks the bodies and informs the party that most of the inhabitants were taken by surprise. Declan looks over each face searching for Arka but doesn’t find her. With horror, the party realizes all the corpses are missing their hands.

 

Dru finds a letter on the body of the Captain which contains a light rebuke for the garrison’s reluctance of disposing of Garrison Black. The letter also reveals suspicions that Garrison Black may have ties to the Nomad nightmare, Grisha. The group decides to leave immediately but before they can a masked man and woman run in through the gate and over to a some of the bodies. The party hears an exclamation of how the bodies will be useless without hands before a group of five Order of the Dawn members come through the gates in obvious pursuit. The man begins raising the corpses to do battle with the Order. He yells to the party that he’ll leave them alone if they leave him alone.

 

While initially our heroes did not want to get involved, Dru realizes the masked woman is fighting like a Nomad and rushes in to help—effectively dragging the whole party into the fight. The Order of the Dawn members are killed and the party is able to witness Necromancy for the first time.

 

The Necromancer, whose name they learn is Thanos, was able to raise and control a few zombies pretty quickly. He thanks the party for their help. When Dru questions the woman about her fighting style, Thanos tells them she’s a mute but she learned to fight from the Nomads. The party figures out that the woman, Agape, is also a zombie; though she passes for human very well. Thanos explains they were partners when she was alive, and a bit of her soul is still in her.

 

The party, mostly thoroughly creeped out, bids farewell to Thanos and sets up camp a little way away when Walter decides he wishes to question the Necromancer. Esben volunteers to join him, as Declan doesn’t want to. We left Sina, Declan and Dru in the camp and Walter and Esben speaking to Thanos in his camp, guarded by Agape and four Order corpses. Thanos has revealed that Grisha is responsible for Garrison Red, and that he took the hands because the soldiers “touched something they shouldn’t have”.

 

 

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Episode 9

Dru and Sina diverge from the plan of waiting in the Capitol for Declan and Walter and head to Summerloch, Esben in tow. This is good, because Declan has gotten himself jailed by admitting to treason when Boniface stopped him at the gate looking for Walter (who, with hair butchered by Declan, snuck away).

 

Walter skulked around Summerloch under the guise of a cheap weirdo who sleeps in the woods (where he conveniently hid his horse), waiting for Dru and Sina and trying to find out what is going on with Declan. When the trio arrives at Summerloch, a plot to free Declan is hatched.

 

Sina prepares forged documents, with an assist from Dru on the seals, deciding to pose as a Scout with mercenaries hired to transport the prisoner to another location. The party also decides to tip off the Mercenary Guild that their man has been imprisoned on "trumped up" charges. Esben slips into the Guild and leaves the note with none the wiser.

 

Declan is questioned by a soldier from Country 1 before it's interrupted by a guard for breach in protocol; the prisoner is not to be questioned without Summerloch guards to witness. Declan was fairly honest with his inquisitor however, informing him that he was involved with smuggling Moat refugees into Riften because Country 1 soldiers razed the city and were cutting down citizens on the road with impunity. Declan does not reveal any names in his tale.

 

After this, Ailin, Ailbhe and Ruaidhrí storm the jail, demanding information and a visit with the prisoner. Ailin is allowed to enter and gives Declan the sage advice of speaking to him next time before confessing to treason. Dru and Sina had followed the Mercenary group in while Esben checked out the perimeter and Walter staked out the front of the jail. Dru and Sina being seen with Ailbhe's Guild, however, puts a snag into their plan.

 

Outside, Ailbhe and Ailin return to the Guild while Ruaidhrí lingers. He is filled in on what happened in Moat and offers to help spring Declan from jail using brute force instead of careful planning. The jail break is set for night and the party rests while Ruaidhrí packs (and leaves a note).

 

That night, Esben is relegated to the position of horse thief (third time's the charm for Declan's horse Aggro) while Ruaidhrí takes out the perimeter guard with one punch and gets the group inside. Meanwhile, Ainsley and Suibhne prepare for the escape by explaining to the guards that a company of mercenaries needs to urgently ride out to aid against bandits and the gate needs to be opened for them. (Suibhne collects the horses from the woods and readies them.)

 

Inside the jail, the group makes short work of the two remaining guards and frees a very grateful, and contrite, Declan. Ruaidhrí's group breaks off from the party outside, with Ruaidhrí on his way to Moat with a score to settle. (No one destroys the town he grew up in and gets away with it, no matter how many soldiers they have.)

 

The party, now with more time since Dru knows Esben is safe, makes its way to Garrison Black to discover the fate of Declan's friends who have been out of contact (and perhaps to learn a little about the garrison rebellions rumored to have started there).

 

Upon arrival they are met with the burned-out shell that used to be Garrison Black. There is evidence of peaceful Nomad occupancy, but someone obviously tried to destroy the garrison—even resorting to hacking down the trees and flowers used as memorials to the fallen. Among this desecration, Declan finds evidence of Bannon's demise.

 

Dru finds a trail leading from the back of the garrison that seems well-used and is headed in the direction the group needs to go in general. Our intrepid heroes decide to follow it.

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Episode 8

Before leaving the Capitol, the group stops in the Scout Guild branch there only to discover it completely empty of Scouts and mostly empty of small furnishings and other such evidence of occupancy. Puzzled by the emptiness but finding no sign of struggle, the group moves on.

 

As the group enters Eastborne they realize there is a fire going, and lo and behold they discover the barracks on fire. There is also a large fight going on outside of Rowan’s place/the Assassin Guild between soldiers/guards and Assassins/Scouts. The group spots Rowan and jumps into the fight to bolster his ranks. After the fight is won, everyone congregates outside of Eastborne where Dru is given letters by Esben’s Guild Master, Zephania.

 

Everyone disperses and our heroes head back to Riften, where they discover Dionysia’s bar has been burned down, along with Vanya’s shop, and the tunnels between destroyed—effectively sealing off Rossi’s headquarters (“secret base that everyone knows about”).

 

In a hurry, the group decides to steal horses from the barracks—conveniently stealing the same ones they stole earlier, to Declan’s delight. (Except for Walter, who bought a horse and waited outside the wall.) Declan assisted Dru with the improv while Sina snuck into the barn and saddled up. They bust out, the boys grabbing onto their horses as Sina rushes by with them, and they are not chased very far outside the city gates before successfully escaping.

 

The group then sneaks upriver of Moat and Dru is about to swim to Moat proper when he’s stopped by a Nomad scout who reveals the battle is over and Esben, along with a larger group, is in a Nomad camp further north. The Nomad also reveals that Garrison Teal helped in the assault. Kirusha is also there and is to serve as their guide to the camp, but when the group decides they need to get more affairs in order before going to the camp, Kirusha elects to stay behind with the Nomads. The Nomads will patrol for a bit longer with an eye out for ally stragglers.

 

The gang finds itself again making its way to Podunk where Birgit urges Walter to leave before he gets caught and tells him people are looking for him. She gives him some money, assures him she’ll have Horace check in with his parents and shoos him out the door. Dru goes over the finer points of being a vagabond with Walter and how his promissory notes are meaningless as most likely his accounts are frozen. Walter learns the art of the hair beard.

 

Dru also concocts a plan, which involves Sina’s undergarments, to fake Walter’s death and puts it into practice when the group reaches the Capitol. Sina and Dru head off to do this and check in on a place for word of Esben. While Dru doesn’t expect anything to be there he finds Esben himself waiting for him. Dru tells Sina to rent a room and there they prepare to wait until Walter and Declan’s business is concluded. (Walter had said if they had no word in a week to go without them and assume they were captured.)

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Episode 7

Our adventuring party started the session with a mad ride on stolen horses through a bad storm. They safely reached Skystead and Skyhold where they interrupted an argument Blythe was having with some town guards. Blythe dismissed the guards and allowed the group to borrow the Guild’s Healer, Majken (Mie-ken), who rode back with them to Riften and was able to close Lir’s wounds and take the edge off his infections. (Sina forgot to let Blythe know about Ashton, the dead Scout, in all the rush and excitement.)

 

The next day Lir was spotted up for breakfast and the Healer said she could take herself back home while Dru frantically got the party ready to go back to Eastborne to seek answers from Rowan. This time on their journey, our heroes realized they were seeing soldiers from Country 1 everywhere now.

 

Once in Eastborne, the party learns that the Assassins Guild there is on lockdown and no one is allowed in or out. It is also being watched at any time either by town guards or Country 1 soldiers. However, inside Rowan’s house they find an Assassin named Faolán. When Declan inquires if he can send a message to Aldus, Faolán informs him that Aldus is out on a mission. When Declan becomes worried, Rowan chimes in to let him know that the mission should be comparatively safe and that the task was actually set by Rowan—it is a retrieval rather than an assassination. It is also strongly implied that there are tunnels connecting Rowan’s house to the Assassins Guild that the town isn’t aware of.

 

Rowan reads the letter Morighan wrote for Dru and informs him that Dru’s uncle is the one after him, and that his family is originally from Country 3. Rowan warns Dru not to go there as it would be dangerous for him. Rowan also doesn’t have all the answers, or at least doesn’t appear to.

 

Next the group takes a detour to Podunk so Walter can check in with some people. He learns Frode Albertsen has passed away, and visits Birgit Albertsen and Horace. From Birgit, he learns Horace fancies a woman in the town, Idella.

 

Next, in the Capitol, Walter visits his parents with Sina where he catches up on his mail and learns that more orders have been placed for the Dane Stone since the foreign soldiers have arrived. He and Sina also learn that some Nomads have started using guerilla tactics such as ignoring the garrisons to gut the towns beyond them or to kill soldiers in their sleep while leaving no trace. Walter also visited the Artisan Guild to pick up books on watch-making.

 

Meanwhile, Dru learns Esben is out on business by someone in the Assassin Guild and after asking for Vibeke (and proving his identity is Dru) is lead to “Serenity”, the Courtesan Guild where Vibeke works. There, she and Dru have a chat and Dru gets some leads on where Esben might turn up while Declan enjoys the services. At the end of speaking with Vibeke, Dru and the group decide to go to Eastborne again.

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Episode 6

The group spent some time in Summerloch where Walter received a name from the woman who runs The Golden Smith in order to further his interest in watch-making: Bate, in Woodburn. Dru played a bit of a prank in the shop, unnoticed by the group.

 

The adventurers hit the road again to go back to Moat. On the way, they were followed by a child named Kirusha who approached Dru a day outside of Moat, seemingly drawn in by Dru’s singing. The child appears as if he’s lived on the road for a while, and said something about his mother singing Nomad songs before she had to go away. He appears anywhere from age 9 to 12 and he told Dru that “Moat isn’t there anymore” as it “had an accident”. Kirusha also said that the destruction of Moat was being blamed on the Nomads but it isn’t true.

 

Kirusha led the party away from Moat, letting them know that survivors are being hunted. He led them to a group of survivors where “scary man” said they could join the camp. “Scary man” turned out to be Lir and Dru was reunited with Rioghan, who gave him a letter from Morighan and informed him of her (and probably Fiachra’s) passing. Rioghan blames the troops from the parent country on the massacre, stating they also collapsed Morighan’s compound on top of them and that they targeted Scouts first who were fleeing. According to Rioghan, one Scout made it out and was rushing to Rowan in Eastborne. There are also hints that people may still be corralled in Moat, alive. Troops from the parent country had been coming through for a couple of weeks before this happened.

 

Rioghan’s band of survivors wanted to sneak into Riften, so Dru and the party did some scouting with Kirusha. There are some parent country guards there, but Dru’s contact Dionisia at Dead Robber’s Inn agreed to help smuggle the survivors in. Sina asked for a contact at the Thieves Guild and Dionisia passed her a piece of paper with the name Rossi written on it. Sina was told to go find someone named Vanja and give him the note. Once she had done so, Sina was led by Vanja into a network of tunnels under Riften until she was brought to Rossi who, after flirting, agreed to help with the distraction to smuggle Rioghan’s people into the town.

 

On the way out of Riften, the group was passed by a soldier of the parent country riding a horse quickly with someone else slumped in the saddle. He asked to speak to a Captain immediately as it was urgent from Moat. The party kept going.

 

The next day dawned windy and with lightning and thunder storms. The group saw smoke rising from Riften and feared the worst. Upon arrival, however, they realized Rossi’s idea of a distraction was to set the barracks on fire. Sina ran to check it out and found Rossi there helping to put out the fires, which were being spread by the wind and blamed on the lightning. Dionisia filled the group in on the “official” story of Moat: Moat was helping the traitorous garrisons as they rebelled against King and country on the front lines.

 

Rioghan’s band was smuggled into the Dead Robber’s Inn  and down into the tunnels, where Lir collapsed with infection to his wounds from Moat. The group realized he needs a real Healer and fast so Dionisia ran to tell Rossi to “rescue” four horses from the barrack stables and get them to our heroes so they can ride to Skystead with all haste and “borrow” Blythe’s Healer on retainer.

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