The use of fast horses up the daughters road, and then following the good roads on the south bank of the Black Eel River made for quick safe travel.
Players discussions centred around what did they about their employer? why would a rebel sword lord of Humakt turn up at an obscure lunar outpost 12 years after his disappearance?, what was the link between the two? and if they were going to be eaten by dinosaurs?
They decided that their employer probably had given birth to a child of someone important and been paid off, they had no idea about where Krogat had been, but after some thought they mused with the idea that their employer maybe Krogarts daughter. Thinking back Eimar was able to pick out some hints of a Western Pelorian Orlanthi accent disguised under Xara’s very polished lunar demeanour.
As regards the dinosaurs Reader informed them it was a serious possibility, the rest were not sure but they carried on anyway.
Arriving at Holay Fort their contact was waiting for them, some petty cash for expenses, 2 boxes of pigeons for messages, a new set of horses and some trail rations, all ready for them to leave next morning, someone was throwing money at this little venture.
Balazar was different, the road was barely a game track. There was no sign of farms or herds, actually no sign of anything but trees, long grass and rolling hills really. In the day it seemed silent, though at night noises which are unusual for this city bred party kept them awake as they feared dinosaurs coming to eat them.
Two days into their trip towards Elkoi sitting adjacent to the path are large group of what the players assume to be locals. A larger group milling behind three older gentlemen sat waiting next to the trail.
They are hailed in stilted Pelorian and after the local clan declare their allegiance to King Glyptus and to the ‘Great Red Mother’. They address Vaughne and say that they wish to make a complaint against the followers of the Great Red Mother. Vaughe just looks confused until Aelia steps forward.
It transpires that the ‘Great Wolf Clan’ has had its hunting grounds spoiled by ‘foul pig men’ who claim to server both King Glyptus and Red Goddess and are under the protection of the Empire. The was also a fight were one of the clans young braves was killed and has been subsequently eaten by the intruders.
The clan are demanding the King and the ‘Great Red Mother’ sort the issues out and make reparations to the tribe, as they are loyal and makes sure that there youngsters pay proper homage and are not following the teachings of Namara. (players being players completely miss that plot element) .
Much smoothing of the Elders bruised egos is done, explanations are made that the characters don’t work for the king or directly for the ‘Great Red Mother’, but they will pass this important message on as soon as they arrive in Elkoi.
Just before dusk the players sense they are being tailed, they spot 3 young locals and hunting dogs presumably from the Great Wolf Clan stalking them. After one poorly thrown javelin from the hunters, some bold intimidation from Vaughne and a couple of befuddle spells the potential fight is calmed down and youngsters sent on their way tails between their legs.
Arrival In Elkoi
The players arrive and Elkoi to be struck by number of things its smell, its busyness contrasting to the surrounding lands, and the size of old citadel. Reader points out that it had to be that big to protect the locals from dinosaurs.
They approach the Lunar compound first, passing through the newly constructed gate to see a small courtyard, with recently constructed lunar temple and barrack blocks and army building filling the rest of it. The guards weren’t that bothered as they were obviously from Holay , had a quick check of them but told them to go across the compound as the garrison commander would want to see them.
A few minutes later they were ushered to see Euryptus the Bold. The short grizzled warrior starting to ask who they were? and why they were here? But the conversation quickly turned to events on the road in, and the story of imperial tusk riders eating the local tribesmen.
Much swearing happened ‘Von Enkorth’ whoever he may be, was a ‘no name tosspot of a meddler’, King Glyptus was ‘good for nothing useless lard arse of a king’, and the party were left feeling that Euryptus thought himself the only competent man in all of Balazar.
Even when asked about the temple Euryptus could only say he liked the old priest before she died.
‘Von Enkorth’ was sent for, and the conversation, Euryptus seemed to calm down and the questions focused back on the party. They asked about Krogat and Euryptus claims to know nothing about such a person and says he has never been in Balazar.
“There are some foreign Orlanthi in Trilus, and there was a Humakti Duck thing, but he got slaughtered by trolls a few years aback. But no Humakti in Balazar since then, defiantly none in Elkio I would know. Anyway Krogart … you don’t mean the warrior for Aggar? Right bastard he was…..” The party were then assailed with old campaign stories from the “Aggar campaign of 1608 or was it 1606?” … Euryptus was kept talking by the Eimar and confirmed a number of stories they had heard about Krogat already, and a few others from the campaign that seemed fanciful.
Euryptus wanted to know who their employers was who thought a Humakti was in Elkoi, but the party demurred to say, and after a while seemed to accept the fact.
A knock on the door ended the meeting as he was told that Von Enkorth was due, he wished them all the best, asked to be informed if they found a Humakti Sword lord lurking in Elkoi out of sight, suggested they stay at the Kings inn in the main citadel, before warning to stay of trouble.
They left as an uptight young lunar gentleman dressed in black swaggered across the courtyard, with 4 mercenaries in to as bodyguards. The party looked at each other and said yeah he was right……
Off Panel – Lots happening
Halycon Von Enkorth has hired tusk riders as mercenaries and brought them to Elkoi lands, this is causing a major headache for Euryptus, and has reheated along lasting dispute between the two of them.
Euryptus is wanting lunar citizens and allies onside with him. Most of his interaction was an act to make that happen and maybe be recruitment them to him camp further down the line.
Euryptus has a good idea who Krogat may but has not told the party as he wants to see how they perform. He also tells Halycon of the characters questions to watch what happens and to see if his suspicions are confirmed.
Lots of social and research rolls going on and working fine. Battle magic system got some light testing and worked fine.