Part Two: One Of the People
Dark of the Woods
On the fourth day of the month of Haring, Ser Russel, out on patrol with Bann Krole‘s men happened upon a lone rider. The rider was Andana, coming from the Ilashan Dalish with a message from Keeper Orellis. The keeper had asked the heroes of Vintiver to come back to their camp because something dark was still stirring in the woods. Andana told Russel and the group this over dinner and the fledgling knight, apostate chirurgeon and their Chasind companion agreed to ride out the next day. They went to meet the bann after dinner and he humorously told Russel that his moniker of ’Horrorbane’ is becoming famous in the surrounding villages.
The next morning the group set out towards Vintiver. The journey takes two freezing days but when they arrive in the village they are greeted as the heroes they are and offered food and drink. They spend the night in Vintiver and leave next morning for the Ilashan encampment. The forest is creepier than before and the heroes tread carefully. They arrive in the encampment around dusk and they are met by a dismal sight Avashin the young hunter boy, was found slain. At first the elves think it was suicide but the heroes uncover tracks pointing that the boy was killed by some sort of shape-shifter. They track the murderer through the night but they lose the trail. Lirresh who has been blaming Andana for the boy’s suicide and his weird behaviour (ever since he was nearly killed by a spider after being drafted into battle by her) is ambushed by the elven girl during the night and she threatens/pleas with him. He leaves in the morning to track the murderer on his own. The heroes leave as well after being told by another hunter where the bulk of the bloodcrows who had tormented them the last time nest.
The group makes its way to the ravine with the bloodcrows and the heroes drop stones and fire on the nest, smashing it. The resulting murder of tainted crows attacks the group of heroes chasing them through the brush. The heroes separate and escape while the murder disperses. However, Russel has a strange encounter with an eerie woodcutter of legend and gains an axe that magically returns to him after each throw.
The heroes go back towards the old Glory Age ruins and delve into another part of the ruins, an old basement chapel. Here they fight skeletons once more and are almost defeated then, after a bit of rest, face off against a shade. They defeat the shade and, in the sanctum of an ancient underground chapel they discover the body of a long dead Gray Warden and recover a magic ring and pendant bearing the symbols of the Grey Wardens. Andana confronts Russel about his changing character after the battle.
The group spends the night in the ancient chantry but Garrick (who slept outside) is awoken by a werewolf who tells him that ‘he smells like the child-killer’ who ‘stalks the night on four legs’. The beast then says he can ‘smell him on the wind’ then runs after something or somebody creeping atop a cliff.
Garrick and the party give chase but they find a dismal battle site in a small clearing. The werewolf had faced against something evil in the clearing and was destroyed by dark magic which causes Isaak to start worrying about their encouter with such a powerful mage. Ser Russel finds tufts of short bristly fur in the dead werewolf’s mouth. There are also wolf tracks leading away from the clearing. The party follows them until dawn and it takes them to a small cave. After fighting a swarm of cave beetles set as trap by the cave dweller the group uncovers the home of the so-called ‘child-killer’ which has strange drawings , symbols and phrases written in charcoal on the walls. Garrick, who was badly injured by the beetles resents Andana and starts a heated argument while Russel struggles to get his man under control. Meanwhile Isaak climbs the hill behind the cave entrance and at the top finds a split tree and a vortex of primal power. he taps that vortex and infuses himself with that magic, carving a peace symbol into the tree. To his horror he finds a strange fang or tooth symbol drawn in blood over and over on the tree bark. Everybody seems to remember the symbol from somewhere but neither can pinpoint where from. Russel remembers another tale of a last stand atop a hill with a split tree and after telling it to Garrick to raise his moreale the group set off for the elven ruin nearby.
They reach it in the afternoon and they have to fight a wild sylvan guarding the entrance to it. The group prevails and enters the ruins which are not the source of the corruption though thhey do uncover something quite strange. A strange Tevinter-made device powered by lyrium projects a force field in a large room. at the center stands a dead body with a small chest. Hours pass until the heroes manage to discover how to trick the strange device and pass through the force field. They recover from the chest a strange book of magic and a diary, both in Tevene as well as an enchanted short sword and a wealth of silver. However as Garrick and Isaak are finished studying the device around nightfall, Isaak exits abruptly and Garrick gets trapped in the field alone with the harmful Lyrium radiation while above, Andana and Russel get a glimpse of a strange frightening man dressed in a black fur cloak who just smiles when he sees the knight and drifts back into the shadows…
1400 xp + cca 175 Rpxp each
75 Sp Carving of Andraste
50 Sp Warden Pendant
Ring of Shielding
Returning Throwing Axe
Blood Magic Manual (in Tevene)
Diary (in Tevene)