The Heart of Winter
With the trial-at-arms over Ser Russel and Andana rest up and prepare for the journey back to the Ruswold. Meanwhile Isaak and Garrick take the elves to Bann Krole who berates them for the move and shows Isaak a letter from the Chantry, that says Templars will be coming at first Thaw.
Russel and Andana et off on a difficult journey meanwhile with the big man hungry, cold and exhausted through most of it and Andana doing her best to ease his pain and help out. The journey that usually took at most two days took them an entire week through the snow and cold and all that only thanks to their training and discipline. Meanwhile Garrick and Isaak had work to do, organising the elves in hunting and fishing parties, preparing healing brews for a mysterious disease and keeping the peace between disgruntled Ruswolders and jaded elves. Isaak had further business taking care of a sick merchant who came with his daughter to bring food to trade in the Ruswold. Things nearly fell apart when several villagers, angered by the death of one of their kin from ‘the elven plague’ wanted to lynch an elf but Isaak’s swift intervention and Russel’s shivering return pacified the situation. A great party, prompted by Russel’s return, the next day’s celebration of the first day of 9:30 Dragon Age and the hunting of a great boar heated up the atmosphere that night but despite it and the wine Andana chose to stay at the inn while the rest of the group partied in the compound, some more passionate than others. Despite the alcohol and merriment Russel realised that his man, Ansel was nowhere to be found and Isaak spent the night talking to the recovered merchant, who seemed quite well-spoken.
The next day, Ser Russel rode with Bann Krole to Logerswold for the First Day feast, while Isaak rode a cart with the strange merchant girl and Russel’s belle. Garrick followed with the lorekeeper Orellis in tow. Russel asked around about Ansel and the people around town told him that he had gone to get some of his distant kin from a farm a half an hour down the road. The Bann dispatched Russel to find those people and bring them to the ceremony and the group of heroes joined him, along with Jet the dog. Upon arrival at the farm, the group found it deserted and all the footprints in the fresh snow leading to the brecilian. They followed them through the cold and they made good progress,and found the trail once more on the other side of the river, into the depths of the brecilian. Unfortunately a pack of hungry wolves had also found the trail and the heroes fought the beasts. Jet the dog was injured but gave chase to a small cub and savaged it, then disappeared into the dark to eat it.
The distant sounds of a clash between beasts signalled, however that the dog had been ambushed by the Apostate and the heroes found the site of a battle and tufts of the dog’s fur. They followed a trail of blood and then the footprints of the missing people up towards a precipice with an old abandoned tower, visible in the distance. They stumbled upon a campsite where they were ambushed by a sinister ash wraith that was nearly the end of them then fought the wraith’s remains coalesced into three shades. After further forced marching on slippery surfaces uphill they made it to the waterfall-side tower, an ancient tevene construction.
Inside, a gruesome sight. Ansel had mesmerized the villagers, two adults and four kids, and was using them in some strange ritual, the dog possessed at his feet. A fierce battle ensues with the villagers turned into rage demons. The heroes manage to slay Ansel but hte battle rages on, they destroy braziers that looked part of the ritual but it was no use. Andana was gored twice by the dog, possessed by some foul spirit then Garrick almost murdered her by flinging her off the tower after being possessed himself somehow by some entity. Russel held his own valiantly against the demons and killed one or two but in the end it was revealed that the mastermind, the demonic Apostate was actually Jet the Dog who had mind controlled Trumhall, had tried to do the same to Russel and settled for Garrick. With the rage demons slain the apostate jumped off the roof, with Garrick’s throat’s in his hands but Garrick survived and flung the apostate to his death. Isaak wanted to make sure the mage was dead and dove into the water, dragging the corpse out. The child-murderer was nonetheless alive and Isaak and Andana finished him, bringing peace to the Ruswold and vengeance to the elves.
The group returned through the night, traumatised by everything that had happened. They were weary after this inauspicious start to the year but when they arrived in Logerswold they were not going to get any respite. The two traders, revealed to be Templars in disguise were waiting for them…
1400 Xp + cca 170 RPXP each + 50 Xp for Preda
Compound Funds 15 sp