Upon returning to Wilhelm’s residence, Wilhelm shared some news with the party. Their companion Winterwolf had been found raving mad outside the village. When he was approached by Florentine he attacked him with a wild look in his eyes. Florentine defended himself and was forced to end Winterwolf’s life. Wilhelm offered Winterwolf’s belongings to the party as well as the item that had been taken by Florentine and Daygon as a small conciliation for their companion’s death.
The party made the decision to leave for Wisner immediately. Frost left to gather supplies at the inn. It was a seven day walk from Tempest to Wisner and the party would need to be prepared for delays. Frost determined that trail rations for 10 days would be sufficient. Also, as the party intended on bringing the Halfling Girl they would need a way for her to travel. Frost purchased a pony that would serve as the girl’s mount and the pack mull for the party. The villagers even threw in the bridal and saddle as this was in the best interest of the village.
Saileach departed to have a few more words with the caravan master about the mercs he picked up in Wisner. For his efforts, Saileach was rewarded with the name of the “agent” that the caravan master used to vouch for these particular mercenaries. The caravan master felt that he had been treated fairly and seemed to bond with Saileach. Should they meet again, the caravan master assured Saileach that a favor waited for him.
Jett also headed to the inn to gather a few supplies. He was met with even more inquisitive looks, but eventually he was able to barter for some ritual components. Wolferd helped to gather up his belongings and the few items the girl had and adamantly told the group that he would serve as their scout.
Wilhelm met briefly with Victor and handed him a large pouch that jingled. Victor saluted and then prepared of the journey by adjusting his armor straps…again…
The party left with little fanfare. True to his work, Wolferd scouted ahead and would report back periodically. The group decided to set a moderate pace, nothing that would push the limits of the pony but also nothing that would hide their passage. As the village disappeared behind the party, Frost doubled back to collect his “package” outside the wall. He had no trouble locating the leather luggage and stuffed the contents into his travel pack. He then took his blade to the leather bag, mangling it.
The road north to Wisner was pleasantly quiet. For four days the party traveled, choosing to camp in wooded areas if possible. The further north they travelled, the flatter the land became and the trees became sparser. In the afternoon of the fifth day, Wolferd noticed a column of dust ahead and pushed forward to investigate. Ducking in the tall prairie grasses, he got sight of armed horsemen coming down the road. They were grouped together, so their numbers were difficult to ascertain. Rushing back to the party, he relayed what he had seen. Seeing no strategic place for cover, the party moved off the road and waited.
Moderately armored horsemen came over the horizon, metal armor reflecting the sun’s rays. In this climate, a person could only remain in such heavy metals for a short period of time. The front line of the horsemen carried long spears. Behind, the second and third lines were more lightly armored and carried weapons to be used for skirmishing. From the front line, a man raised his hand and the column slowed down. At approximately 20 paces, he raised his hand again and the column stopped.
The leader identified his patrol as having been hired by the city of Wisner to patrol the area and maintain the peace. He identified his company as “Griffon’s” and also identified himself as Griffon. When pushed on the need for patrols, he did mention that the northern units had come upon a caravan that had been attacked. Most of the dead appeared to be Halflings and there was no sign of the attackers. An investigation was being held, and more details could be gathered in Wisner.
He inquired as to the party’s destination and starting point. When hearing that the group set out from Tempest, Griffon proceeded to imply that the party were simple and country. Frost took to the role perfectly and began to tease the captain. To teach him a lesson, Frost summoned Smoke near the good captain. While it set the unit on edge, many of the Elves caught the joke and loosened up. Griffon’s company set out south, the glint of their armor and thundering horses more than enough of a warning to allow bandits to hide.
The party pushed forward and arrived at Wisner in the later afternoon a few days later. Wisner was a large settlement for the region, though still a frontier outpost. Stone walls surrounded the town and guards were posted outside to question those who entered. As the party approached, they noticed that the preferred method for looking for contraband was for the guards to use their swords to “probe” any cargo that was entering. From the worried looks on the merchants’ faces, they did not approve of this barbaric method when dealing with some of their delicate wares. The guards barely acknowledged the group as they entered.
Jett offered to lead the group to inn he had previously stayed at but the group decided that a more family friendly environment would be more appropriate. Getting directions from one of the guards, the party entered the city proper. Jett explained that he had some errands to run and left the rest of the party. The others continued on and found a cozy inn with only 4 rooms. This particular place did not allow people to sleep in the commons, thus making it a bit more family oriented. The party would need two rooms at each room had 4 beds. While not the best accommodations, many in the party had slept in far worse.
The party settled down and waited for nightfall. Best to explore the city during the day.
No watches were set, though many of the party were not accustomed to the sounds of city life and were barely able to get to sleep. As many of the inns kicked out their more intoxicated patrons, the party stirred from the sound. Laying on the floor, Saileach heard someone coming up the stairs. As it was the middle of the night, he knew that person could only be up to evil. Little did the would-be intruder know that Smoke lay in wait at the top of the stairs. Hearing the intruder move down the stairs, Saileach tried to wake the others before exploding out of the door to catch the intruder.
The battle was joined by Frost, Jett, and Wolferd, many without weapons or armor. Victor blocked the door to his room and guarded the young Halfling girl. The intruder fleeing down the stairs was engaged by Saileach, though their location created a bottleneck. Archers peppered the party from below forcing them to jump over the banister and fall to the ground level. As Jett tumbled to the ground level, he earned himself a new nickname based on his golden yellow appearance. As he landed, one of the small green humanoids dropped down from the rafters and attacked him. Wolferd also dropped to the ground and attempted to engage the enemies.
A hard battle was fought, leaving the party panting to catch their breath. As the final assailant ran for the exit, the party surrounded him and knocked him unconscious. Taking stock of the situation, some of the party moved to retrieve their belongings while others began to search the invaders.
Soft clapping started from the front doors. Inside the doorway was a large human man, larger in size than Saileach. He was dressed in fine metal armor, polished to a fine reflective surface. His hair was slicked back and he was clean shaven. On his back he carried a hand-and-a-half blade of intricate detail. He moved into the room and began to pull on his gauntlets. As he did so, he stated “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself” and drew his blade.
As the party moved to engage him, Saileach transformed himself into his hybrid Willow-Human Form. Seeing this, the new enemy smiled and began to transform as well. His new form was of stone, metal and shadows. Chains lashed out at the party, similar to the way thorns would lash out from Saileach towards his enemies. The shadowy creature danced between the party members attempting to grab and restrain them with his chains. As he would grab members, he would pull them along side. As Saileach dug deeper into himself to find more energy, the life force he would have gained trickled down the chains and seemed to feed the shadow creature.
The party cornered the creature and began to beat it down. Sensing his own failure, the shadowy creature pushed forward to look outside. Once he was able to see through the doors, he disappeared into the night, dropping a small pouch behind.
Saileach reached down and opened the pouch. In it were small figurines carved from various materials. Wood, stone, jade, metal; each was in the shape of a different animal. Frost went to the backroom and discovered the inn-keeper tied up and gagged.