The group relayed the news of an invasion and the motives of the Bandit King to the Abbot, as well as analysed their findings from the Volkar corpses. Amongst the things found were wooden idols of a demon warrior-like creature, which Tregan recalled a familiarity to. A successful check brought the memory of some documents he had scanned over in the monastery library. A collection of writings that he had passed off as inconsequential fiction. Drawn onto one of the pages of the collection was the image of a demonic head, very similar to the one depicted by the wooden idols. Tregan began to draw some connections to the writings and started to formulate that they were not mere fictional stories, but perhaps documentation of a long forgotten cult. A cult not dedicated to any deity but in stealing power to further their own motives. He also found hints of a demonic source but nothing conclusive. Tregan expanded on his findings with his own theory about what is going on, stating “these cultists must be stealing our power and using it against us.”
With this theory in the air, those whose magical abilities had not been functioning quite so well as of late began to focus their attention to this, rather than their own shortcomings or lack of favor with whatever source they drew their power. Abbot Tarlos was especially excited at this news, for he had thought he and his clergy had lost favor with St. Cuthbert over the failure to bring the Bandit King to justice. Despite the Abbot’s elation, Raiffen remained grim-faced at the revelation, reminding the Abbot they still cannot cast spells very well.
The Abbot then gave the group a new directive, if they so shall choose to take up the new quest:
-Scout out the Volkar movement and try to interrupt them as much as you safely can. -Discover the source of the magical power void. -Seek out the Bandit King and bring him to justice.
While the group formulated a plan, Tregan recalled some information about the local tribes to the north. The Volkar, are mountain-dwelling warriors of orcs, half-orcs and savage men. They live in the middle regions of the blackroot mountains. They are known to worship Odin, the god of battle, an aspect they focus solely on. It is unknown whether or not they know any of Odin’s other aspects, such as magic or wisdom. Also, further to the east and higher in elevation is where the frost tribe barbarians live. They too worship Odin and are typically more goodly in nature than their Volkar rivals, but care little for outsiders. The monastery knows this all too well as several missionaries have not returned from missions to convert these barbarians.
Dhakwan was resistant to further action without compensation, but the Abbot promptly reminded him of his contract to deal with the Bandit King, one the dark-skinned man insisted be penned out in writing. With that contract yet to be filled, Dhakwan decided to remain with the group for now and carry out his contract.
With all matters of business, healing, and planning out of the way, the group set off, with a plan of tracking down Jelkir, the bandit king, while making their way north to the blackroot mountains, to possibly seek an alliance with the frost barbarians.
Raiffen was able to track humanoid movement from a scene of a previous fight with the mercenaries, leading north westerly towards the river and Gray Sands. They arrived just as a besieging force of Volkar was launching an assault! They launched a volley of ballista fire while Volkar on horseback charged in! All the while a robed man in a chariot followed behind, unleashing a fury of fire attacks on the village. Streams of fire spewed from his outstretched hand cutting down several men at a time. The heroes saw a large group of civilians running down the dock to a small ship. As they ran down the dock to board, a ball of fire soared through the air above them and crashed into the timber of the boat. It burst into a fiery explosion and the ship went ablaze. People on fire ran about frantically, diving into the water for reprive. Others not so fortunate burned alive on the ship, while others turn and ran back down the dock only to be met by Volkar who aimed to cut them down.
The good heroes unable to stand idle and watch the massacre firmly resolved to help, despite the overwhelming odds against them. Tregan worked quick, telling the party to move in and wait for his signal, then in an instant he rocketed off into the air, flying out of site! Just as he took flight, a familiar figure emerged from the trees, warning the group that their effort was foolhardy and suicidal. It was Jelkir, of course, and under the hasted circumstances the party struck a deal with him. He was tossed a bag of gold and the promise at helping gain lost fortunes and revenge against “Remskaw”. In return he and his mercenaries would aid the group against the Volkar attack. He disappeared into the woods and the rest of the group wasted no time and rushed in along the river bank.
As they came upon the town Tregan swooped down like an eagle snatching its prey, and nabbed the robed man unleashing hellish fire, and immediately disappeared in a flash only to reappear over the frigid river, dropping the man at a tremendous velocity! The robed man skid across the water like a skipping stone and slammed into the opposite bank! Tregan circled back around, one hand at his hip, the other pointed straight ahead as he flew by the group, giving a knowing wink and grin. Understanding that to be “the signal” the group exploded into action! Raiffen, Pelic, and Dhakwan tactically moved into the fray, engaging the first group of warriors, while Telemacus took up a position outside the town, sniping. Arek, the surly dwarf monk, sprinted ahead building up for a tremendous leap across the 30 foot wide river! His target was the robed man, who was now regaining his head and climbing out of the river.
The melee group widdled down the first group of opponents with quick efficiency, but soon another group emerged, shouting out their battle cries to the Shadow Lord. It was another big and nasty Volkar, wielding a massive dire flail. They crashed into the fray and back and forth blows were exchanged. Meanwhile, Arek had plans of wrecking the squishy robed-man’s day. As he approached, the man tightend his fist and closed his eyes momentarily. As he did so, his skin began to ripple then harden like stone. Being a dwarf, stone excited him and he rushed in, launching a flurry of punches! The first punch slammed into the man’s face, but the impact was a dull thud, like fist on stone. Arek followed the punch with a right hook which had similar results, but this fist carried with it the stunning energy of his Ki! The impact stunned the man which had him reeling back, dropping the contents of his hands. Out fell 2 stones, a piece of graphite and a sparkling red one, and the man’s skin returned to its normal fleshy texture. Arek’s third blow, a wicked uppercut, brutally smashed into the stunned man’s jaw, shattering it! Outside the clearing, Telemacus watched closely and took the opportunity to fire a dead-eye shot at the disadvantaged foe. His aim was true and the crossbow bolt ripped through the throat, killing the man dead!
As the momentum of the heroes died out and the battle begun to turn back towards the Volkar’s favor, a shrill whistle sounded and streaks of arrows rained in, stinging the Volkar warriors! While the fighting waged, soon massive ballista shots began to fly through the ranks. Pelic was on his guard though, and quickly took to the defense, batting away the massive projectiles with his sturdy shield and amazing agility! Dhakwan and Raiffen, now in a snow leopard form, were hard at work to bring down the Volkar general. They inflicted some grevious wounds to the brute, but his assault did not relent! That is, not until Tregan landed from his magical flight and approached the man, babbling something about a woman, seemingly totally disoriented and “in a different place”. He approached the wounded general, squeezing his fists tightly, steam rising off of him.
“GIVE HER BAAAACCK!!!” Tregan shouted! His voice crecsendoing into a rage! The steam about him began to take on a faint blue glow which grew outward to that of a burning orange fire! As the mage vented his rage the fire suddenly snuffed out as his eyes flashed open, and but a moment later a burning column of fire ignited and engulfed the Volkar general! The blast of the sudden flame forced those around it to shield their eyes. The barbarian screamed and flailed about, but the intense fires made quick work of him and he fell to his knees, crumpling down in a heap of charred material.
Soon the route was over and the few remaining Volkar were cut down, except for a pair that fled back down the road. Unfortunately many civilians and guards of the town were dead already, but a small number of about 20 survived the onslaught. As the group regathered at the center of town, Jelkir and his mercenaries slowly creeped in from their hiding spots, bow strings taught and nocked as they moved.
“You were lucky. Obviously Remskaw was not expecting much resistance, but they will be back. With a much larger force I assure you” Jelkir says, looking over the scene with distaste.
The sky has begun to darken and the cold mountain wind picks up, chilling your sweat of battle.
[That’s the end of my recap – feel free to add anything I might have missed from the live game. I’ll leave actions open until I can get more posted]