It Started with a Chicken

Dangerous Travel
A sorrowful time and equine vengeance

The party emerges from the crypt carrying the body of Sir Sneaky. We head to Poverty’s Bethel and in the late morning of a chilly, overcast day, we lay Sir Sneaky to rest.

Bert says these words: “He was a brave lad, first fighting the shadow, and then got his face smashed in by a zombie. He will be missed. We shall never see his like again.”

Nothing remaining for us in Lessef, we say goodbye to Almary, load the wagon with oats, water, and our gear, and head to Fairhill.

Around midday, just after a lunch of dark bread and goat cheese, a harsh shout from the trees slows us. Three armed green-skinned creatures dressed in ring mail charge us.

Before Cath gets the wagon up to speed, Snarf and Bert leap from the wagon to the hard-packed dirt of the roadway to give battle.

with a scimitar and two with spears. 

Cath snaps the reins and the wagon lurches forward, heading up the road. Bort jumps out and hurts himself. 

One of the savage creatures, sunlight glinting off the blade of his raised scimitar, charges Bort. Seeing Bort engaging the creature and clearly outmatched, Snarf charges to save Bort. 

Solstice, from the back of the wagon, scores a few hits with his arrows, but inflicts little damage. Cath’s cries for everyone to get back in the wagon go unheeded.

Outnumbered two-to-one, Bert charges the savages, almost daring them to score a hit with the spear each carries.

Solstice’s missile fire damages one of the spear wielders, but in the same instant, the creature’s scimitar cuts across Bort’s throat, killing him.

Moments later, Bert is likewise brought down. 

Snarf runs and with his great strength manages to pull himself into the wagon as it leaps forward, gaining speed.

The orcs taunt us as we go. We hear the name Tavik in the orcs’ guttural gibberish. The wagon turns the corner as the Orc with the scimitar waves Bert’s magic sword, still shouting curses and taunts. 

We make it to Fairhill late that day. 

We are greeted at the temple. Cath delivers his report to Shandrill regarding our foray beneath Poverty’s Bethel.

We have a service in absentia for Bert and Bort (no relation), whose crumpled bodies we left in the road. 

Shandrill, reads from an old tome and relates that long ago, 8 churches came together to create the Scepter of Faith. It was used to disrupt the magic in Akruel’s heart. The heart is missing from the scepter, and hence Akruel walks again. 

We are healed. We rest at the Drunken Cockatrice. We are put upon by a Halfling named Lannet, who insists on joining up with us. Everyone knows that halflings are horrid little rodents best killed on sight, so we resist.

We meet Ernie, Bert’s brother, and at his behest, we set out the next morning to recover Bert’s body. 

Lannet stows away.  Along the way, he tells us that he thinks the Orcs have plans, but are waiting for something. Also, he knows the orcs speak of an amulet. 

We reach the site about a half day out of Fairhill. About high sun.

Solstice follows the drag marks and we find the bodies of our companions, stripped and left and the mercy of halflings. I mean scavengers.

Three sets of footprints lead further into the woods. 

Lannet says he knows the ruin where the orcs are headed. Discuss that orcs can’t travel the road, so we might be able to cut them off. 
Ernie summons a warhorse, naming it Karry. 

Snarf drives the wagon back to Fairhill, his only company the scavenger-ravaged dead.

Off we go to return the favor of an ambush.

Days later, as they approach our hidden positions along the trail, the raiders are wary, and approach with caution and weapons drawn. They look haggard after hard travel, and still bear the wounds from our earlier battle. 

Ernie charges the Orc wielding Bert’s sword, but misses with his blade. As Ernie charges by, a hoof lashes out, catching the Orc leader in the skull, killing him instantly. 

Lannet drops behind one and kills him. Karry kills the remaining Orc. Go Warhorse!!! They should make a movie … er … a song. 

They held the funeral until we got back. Shandrill does a nice service, even though we are not followers of Freya. 

We’re back at the inn. Downstairs for a meal. 
Next day is market day. 

We sell the ringmail, spears and scimitar for 69g, 3 silver. 

3 sets of ringmail. 
Two spears. 
Nothing else of value. 

Lannet claims the sword, Ernie offers his share of the gold for his brother’s sword as his share if the spoils. Ernie keeps the sword. I’m not sure that was truly in doubt.

We purchase gear, preparing to head to Bard’s Gate. 

Horse: 2hd, 15hp, AC 12, Move 18

Thirty Days in the Hole
It seemed even longer to me

It was overcast in the late afternoon when Sir Sneaky and Snarf returned to Lessef riding on our creaking wagon. Pulled by our creaking Horse.

In addition to supplying Sir Sneaky and Snarf, well, Sir Sneaky anyway, with information, the Priestess of Freya in Fairhill sent along companions.

Bert and Cath were sent to get the whole story on the hole in the hill. Or perhaps to asses the threat. Or search out lies.

Desperately Seeking Chicken
Session the First

My name is Solstice. Well, that’s what I go by, anyway.

I write like I talk, which ain’t too good, but Bort’s been telling me he’s gonna copy this here journal and put some fancy words in and make it make sense. So, if this here narrative don’t make sense – well, that’s him’s doing most like.

There’s a song that warns about pulling on a thread – it undoes the whole weave. Which means that the whole cloth can come undone, and then folks freeze that winter.

Least wise you’d a sung that if you was from Potter’s Pitch, where I hail from.

Anyways, we didn’t so much as pull on a thread as we pulled on a chicken. Well, the absence of a chicken, really.

Some time ago, having little or no money in my pockets, I was traveling toward Bard’s Gate. I was counting on good fortune there or on the journey to show me an honest way to earn a few copper or even a silver or two.

I had some companions along, of course, and we were about a fortnight out of Reme when we came by this village.

Later we heard it was a town called Lessef, which was awful generous. Calling it a town that is. It looked like a dreary picked-over corpse of a camp. I was surprised to hear it had a name, truth be told.

Tired shacks, sagging roofs, and skeletal frames of what might have been cottages or smithies seemed to plead for the mercy of a spark.

There were some hardy souls still about, though. There was smoke from a few chimneys, and a tiny chapel with trimmed hedges hunched on top of the hill overlooking the town and nearby forest.

There were some voices, and someone shouting about “a fox had got my chickens.”

Well, I hadn’t seen fox tracks in a few days, and there wasn’t like to much game of any kind desperate enough to be coming around this sore spot in the road, so my curiosity got piqued.

We came up behind an old feller in brown breeches and a shirt that looked more like a grain bag with more dirt than his garden yelling to himself more than anyone else about chickens.

He was yelling about this fox, and I only saw prints of the beast that walks upon two legs, and I ain’t talking about crows. There weren’t no blood or feathers spread around neither.

This feller tells us that if we catched that fox for him, he’d give us a bushel of potatoes. Now, I wasn’t quite that desperate. I’d been hunting pretty good along out journey, but old Bort gets himself all excited.

He’s jabbering on about spuds like they was a sow from the king’s own larder cooked and dressed by the king’s own man. Bort’s more used to watery gruel twice a day up in that library castle near Winterberg that he’s from. Snarf was drooling, as usual, and Sneaky was somewhere “around.”

Before we get on the trail of the fox, we go up to the chapel to acquaint ourselves with the lay of the land a bit. It’s a temple to Freya.

Sure enough, except for them kids living with the priest up there everyone and every thing in this whole town looked like it had been stomped on by time. Even the goat tied up outside looked worn out.

I’m tuckered as I think about it.

Almary tells us about buildings in town being scavenged for firewood, and warns us against Scabby, the dishonorable owner of the pub.

The priest was friendly and offered us a healing potion. It came in handy later when the four of us ambushed two men. They passed our hiding place in the forest and came back a little while later with a squawking sack.

One was killed in the ambush. Bort was mortally wounded, but the potion brought him back from the brink. The other we took back to the priest.

Early the questioned next morning, we questioned our thief. He was part of a gang of men that was doing some mining, hidden behind the hill opposite Lessef.

We went to talk to them later in the day.

Their camp was empty of life, but there was a lot of mining equipment, and a wagon and bedrolls. However, that was all we saw on a quick look before it was our turn to be ambushed.

It was a hard fight. I and Sneaky took cover by the wagon while Bort and Snarf charged the archers. I won’t make a big deal of it, but I took a near-fatal wound to my shoulder. A hair better placed and it would have struck my heart.

We had another prisoner, unconscious, so we looked around a bit.

They had removed four giant slabs of stone that had sealed a cavern of some sort. We poked our heads in, but lacked the courage to explore further. I don’t think it was a mine, though.

In hopes the priest or our attacker might give us more knowledge, we packed up their wagon and gear and went around and up the hill to the church.

My recollection of the next part is a bit hazy, as a hands-length of arrow stuck out my shoulder.

The chicken-thieving group had been hired to dig under the town. I thought I heard talk of a necromancer wanting to get into the cavern. The stone slabs indicated to me that it was supposed to stay shut.

We also found that the stone the church was built on contained a message. Read it we did, but it was a riddle about a battle, a wand-thing, and evil sealed away.

We turned the thieves and would be killers to Lessef for justice.

Bort and the other fellers went up to Fairhill while I’m recovering. There’s another temple to Freya there. They are gonna see what they can learn about the writing on the floor, the man who hired the group, and the history of the area.

My drawing arm is stiff, but it’s getting better. I reckon I’ll be right as rain by the time they get back.

I don’t really want to go crawling down in some rat hole. I’m for sun and the caress of a light breeze. Trouble is, I got too much pride to have it known I was a coward to some hole in the ground, so I reckon I’ll be going down there.

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