Campaign Notes 11.04.09

   Posted by: Blackbird   in Campaign Notes, Dawnfall

Tracking through the woods at night is a dangerous occupation.  The group begins to discover more evidence of previous civilization in the woods and wonders how far they will have to go to try and rescue the Saul family.  Previous Session: The group was standing guard last night with the help of two of the town’s guards, Dun Hollis and Evander GoodwellMen came in the night again.  Godric slayed 3 while the others dispatched the rest.  After the battle the group smelled smoke and rushed back to the Saul family farm.  They arrive at the farm clearing to find the cabin and house in flames.  Acting quickly in the continual rain they round up the horses and rally the group.  They see no signs that the Sauls were killed so they assume that they must be taken captive.  Dun and Brock begin to track the kidnappers while Godric bandaged his wounds.

With Brock in the lead tracking the group they follow the motley assortment of tracks that lead into the woods.  Brock feels that there are at least 8 men in the group but it’s hard to know for sure. The trail leads deeper into the woods.  It’s slightly erratic avoiding fallen trees, there appears to be no trail that the attackers took.

After about 1/4 mile the group crests a small tree covered hill and descends.  after the hill the trial breaks apart in 10 different directions.  Unsure of which to follow Brock chooses the trail that seems most trampled.  The trail leads upward climbing up onto a larger hillside and begins a traverse of a the hill. At one point the trail gets very vague Brock closes examines the direction the tracks were heading and decides that they should decend and start going down hill.

The group climbs down with some slippery and uneasy riding with the 3 horses.  At the bottom of the hill they find Stillwater Creek swollen wide with rain.  The creek has broken free of whateever little banks held it and tree roots are covered in moving water.  Godric and Evander who are on foot decided to hold back a bit while the three ahorse cross.

Dun leads guiding his horse skillfully through the flowing water even as the water gets up to the horse’s chest.  Clyde has less luck with his old plow horse.  The stubborn mare is not used to having a man with pointy metal armor on it’s back and Clyde isn’t used to having several hundred pounds of horsemeat under him.  The horse seems to sense Clyde’s uneasiness with the whole crossing and he struggles with the mount.  Aeron manages to do well until she’s nearly across then Clyde ends up moving his horse into an unseen hole in the river floor.  The mare’s head disappears under the water and Clyde loses his hold on the animal and goes into the cold dark river.  His torch immediately goes out as his armor floods with water.

Aeron’s horse rears nearly throwing hear at the sounds of Clyde’s horse frantically splashing behind her.  Aeron manages to get her mount under control and then dives off also losing her torch to the river.  She swims strongly over to where Clyde was last seen.  Meanwhile Clyde is pulled under by the weight of his armor.  Clyde hits the bottom of the river and tries to push back up to the surface but the soft muddy bottom fills his boot with sucking mud locking him down.

Brock sees all this happening and drops his torch and charges in.  Fortunately, Dun still has his torch so there is still light at the scene.  Aeron finds Clyde under the water and tries to pull him up but he’s too heavy.  Clyde is still struggling under the water and can’t get free.  Aeron ends up dropping down and grabs a tight hold on him and kicks off the bottom wresting him to the the surface.

fethDun tows Clyde to shore using his mace and Aeron manages to get her horse.  Brock finishes his swim across the river and Evander and Godric grab Clyde’s horse and ride it across.

On the far side the group dries off as best they can (it’s still raining) and begins to search for tracks.  The find no sign of the men they were persuing but they do find a road stone.  An old moss covered rock the size of a tombstone has some faded writing on it.  The group works on the stone for a bit rubbing mud on it and cleaning it off to try and figure out what the stone says.  They conclude that it says Feth, Dun mentions that there’s a family in town with the last name of Feth but he dosen’t know much about them either way.  The sign points in a direction giving an estimation of a half a day’s ride from the stone.

DM’s Note: I like characters that are lost, too often in games it seems like there’s always a clear way back to home but woods in the dark are a constant changing maze.  One tree looks much like another and other landmarks like fallen trees, rocks and small clearings are all too common.  My thought with introducing these roads was that it would give the players a since of time passing, that once men did live and travel here and once it was safe but that time has passed.

guarded_hillThey follow the old forgotten road in the dark, those that lost their torches pick up whatever wood they can find that dosen’t appear soaked to get some more light.  The road has fewer fallen trees than the untracked wilds and saplings are growing up in the road.  As they march on the road climbs up a hill and in a few places it’s washed out.  At the top of the hill the party breaks through the tree line and sees that the road descends back down into the forest.  The wind and rain on the hilltop are draining but sharp eyed Aeron spots some small collections of stones near the base of a few large boulders.  These stones seem to be wind brakes for some sort of burrow that goes under the rock.  In each of the four burrows the group finds there is a big briar bush growing out of them.  Brock manages to convince Evander to let him borrow his sword and he hacks away at one of the briers making little effort to protect the blade from the rock.  Evander is less than pleased.  They party decides that while this is interesting they don’t have time for it and they descend the hill continuing to follow the abandoned road.

As they move another half mile down the road the group sees more evidence of the great bear passing through the area.  Several tree trucks are split and cracked from a great beast rubbing against them.  Massive claw marks are raked across the trees as Aeron stops to check the tracks Dun quietly mentions “The road ahead appears to be downwind, if the beast is in front of us it may know we are here.”  A few of the party members make note that the tracks on the ground seem fresh but none of them wants to say anything aloud.

Another mile down the road the group sees the dilapidated remains of an old road house.  The group looks around it for a bit and finds another old road sign that reads Dus and shows more time to travel.  They also find what they think is another old road long abandoned.

The group is tired, cold and it’s been a long hard night.  Godric is still fatigued from the battle earlier and the others are either soaked or exhausted.  It’s been 4 hours since the battle where the sheep were.  Despite the fact that the heroes are well away from civilization there is that nagging feeling that they are far from alone.

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