The Eye of the Dragon

On to Himartys

Arriving back at the at the point where the Orc trails divided, the group is somewhat surprised to learn from the eagle-eyed Cedrick that the trails are now nearly a week old. Despite this, they are still able to follow them as they run parallel to the road heading west down the valley. A couple of miles from the village of Voices the trail is lost as the Orcs headed over the rocky outcrops.

The group head into the village intending to catch the ferry across the river. Unfortunately, the ferry is out of action. The ferryman tells how his ferry sank about a week ago. He was woken up in the middle of the night, by two Dantha e’Tan banging on his doors demanding passage. There were seven in total in that party: the two male Dantha e’Tan; a female Dantha e’Tan; a young adult male Varanganni; two young adult male humans; and a young adult female human. And their horses. He did as they asked, as gold exchanged hands but on his way back, the ferry sank. The new ferry has just been finished but the guidelines are missing and the river is too swollen for anyone to risk swimming across.

Considering what to do, one of the boatmen pipes up that they could use the old gully bridge. Another tells him to hush as the bridge is guarded by a troll. Rinjiminee Haltergirdle suggests they could always take some goats with them over the bridge. Willis on the other hand, makes a decision to swim the river with the guide rope and is already stripping off. Rinjiminee asks if they can have free passage if they manage to hook the rope up again. The ferryman, grumbling a little, agrees.

Willis proves to be a strong swimmer, and easily crosses the river with one end of the new guide rope. A feat that is remarked upon by the boatmen. With the line secured, the ferry is loaded up with the remainder of the party and their horses. It takes far too long to cross, in Willis eyes, as he stands around naked trying to keep warm.

A few more days sees the party ride through the mountain passes and down the other side towards the town of Himarys. It’s the obvious place for any travellers to head, being the nearest settlement of a reasonable size.

With the town in site, the group notice four tents pitched a couple of miles out of the town. There are four men, armed, armoured and wearing whitecloaks. A banner flaps in the breeze, depicting a red griffon on a white background. Willis informs his companions that they are the Cult of the Griffon. They believe in human superiority and look down upon the other races. Varanganni and Bin’Eria are barely tolerated but they hate the Dantha e’Tan with a passion.

As the group approaches, the men line up across the road and one demands that they state their names and business in Himarys. Without thinking, Rinjiminee introduces himself as does Cedrick after some prodding. Willis also states his name and asks if they are in need of any water. Without further to do, he starts his ceremonial dancing – not easy from horseback. Somewhat confused and less than amused by the antics, the men decide to let them pass. He warns Willis that they let his companions through on his honour. If they had been travelling alone, they would have stopped them going further.

At the town gates, the group as the guards if anyone else has passed through this way in the last week, such as three Dantha e’Tan with a group of youths. One guard does remember such a group. He believes they stayed at the Deer and Hound. He only remembers this as he thought it strange that the Dantha e’Tan didn’t head to their own quarter in the town.

With directions, the group head to the tavern to find it warm and inviting, the common room busy with only a handful of free table and chairs. Willis goes to sit at one of the free tables. However, Rinjiminee and Cedrick make a dash for the rear of the inn. As they entered they noticed a young woman studying them. Her eyebrows raised after a moment and she gasped. With that she made for the kitchens and the back door of the inn.

Rinjiminee manages to catch the woman in the kitchen, grabbing hold of her arm. An action that doesn’t go down well with the woman who draws a dagger. Rinjiminee releases her and apologises. He states that her actions were suspicious and it looks like she recognised them. The woman replies that she has never seen them before nor recognise them. She adds that she doesn’t think they’ve been sent for her.

Rinjiminee talks to the woman for a while learning that Reminamorenatheral did pass through the town leaving about five days ago. She reluctantly tells them why she ran. She got scared with what she saw. She has an ability to see glimpses of people’s futures, although she’s offended at the suggestion that she is a medium. She tells them that whatever she sees always comes true. For the group, she hadn’t seen such bright indications of glory other than the youngsters that travelled with Remina. She also see the Griffon and the Dragon on either side of them. As she turns to leave, she gives one last warning that at least one of them will be close to encountering death.

The innkeeper arrives and asks if the party require rooms for the night, food and drink. The party agree and sit at a quiet table wondering how they are going to pay for this as none of them have any money. Cedrick seems insists that it will be okay by morning. As the stew is brought out and the group munch through it, they consider making a run for it. The two burly men standing by the door though puts them off that idea. As the crunch time almost comes, there is a scream from outside that is suddenly silenced.

The group run outside, as do the burly men. They indicate that it sounded like it came from down the road towards the cemetery. The group head off cautiously examining all the buildings and the road for any signs of trouble. They reach the monument at the centre of the town with no sign of anything. As they turn to walk back to the inn, a Bin’eria pokes his head out of the enclave and asks if that was them making all that noise. Rinjiminee questions the fellow quickly and learns that the scream came from the cemetery itself.

Agreeing that it’s best not to split up the group, they start a slow search of the graveyard. With nearly, half of it done, Cedrick finally spots a trail of something being dragged. It leads out of the cemetery, across the road and into a group of ruined buildings.

The group cautiously explore the ruins, seeing nothing beyond the remains of the ground floor and piles of rubble where the buildings collapsed. They are about to give up when Cedrick spots that there are basements underneath. He finds a gap large enough for them to squeeze through.

The group head into the basement below, the darkness swallowing the light from their torch. The explore around and find a large pile of bones. As they examine, they hear a rasping breath from behind, turning they are greeted with a foul creature. It is human-like but very thin, it’s bones visible through it’s tight grey skin. It has a massive mouth, too big for its head and its hands end in claws.

Cedrick rushes into the fight. Willis takes time to carefully place the torch down before too heading into melee. Rinjiminee fires off a shot from his slug-thrower inflicting a wound on the creature. His second shot goes wide, nearly hitting Willis. He puts that away, and he too enters the fray.

The fight is tough going, especially for Cedrick, who is near to collapsing from his wounds before the creature is finally killed. Dragging the corpse outside, they are taken aback to find a crowd in the street, including the town guard. There is a cheer as it becomes evident that the party have killed the creature. It was responsible for two other deaths recently. Rumour has it that it is a Wendigo.

The three companions return to the inn and find Grim still at the table, finishing off the last bowls and ales. He informs them of the good news that they are being given free board for the night. He tried to pay with the gold coin given to them by Remina but the man hastily refused and told him not to go showing that thing around. As they are trusted friends of hers, they are of course free to stay for a single night on the house.

Comments

looks like Cedric was the one who got closest to encountering Death.

On to Himartys
davew

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