|5th – 20th of Pelor, 560 QC|
The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Murray Redwing, and Adanna Fionn) continued their trek through the Golgan Mountains, eventually finding themselves in a deep valley overrun with wolves. They spent a full evening running from, communicating with, and battling a large roving pack. They were able to do enough damage to drive them off, but Raquel was nearly eviscerated in the process. They hastily made their way out of the valley, and continued on their journey. They found the rumored location of the Astillican a few days later, and were accosted by a pair of massive sabre-toothed tigers. Murray was able to communicate with them, and was led away by one. He returned a few hours later with a hazy story, a muddled mind, and directions for how to find Gunnar. With few other leads, the party followed the mysterious instructions for eight days, eventually arriving at a remote outpost somewhere along the Golgan’s northern foothills.
We found ourselves in yet another cave; this one in the Golgan mountains after narrowly escaping some vicious vines and a torrential storm. It was there we first felt the effects of our Warders’ rings, needing only two hours of sleep to feel rested and much less sustenance than normal.
The weather continued to improve throughout our journey, which helped us in our fight against a wolf pack led by a massive, ten-foot-tall wolf. Horros attempted to take one as a companion afterwards. But as predicted by the rest of us, that plan did not work out as he had hoped. And poor Raquel suffered the consequences.
Near the end of our journey down the mountains we met a magical, larger-than-life, saber-toothed tiger. It stood as gatekeeper of a beautiful, serene clearing that seemed to be an area of sanctuary. Another life-sized leopard, which we found out later to be the spirit of Rheanille, led Murray into the sanctuary. The rest of us were not allowed entrance.
Leaving us with the enchanted tiger for almost four hours, Murray returned with information from Rheanille. Apparently, Gunnar had left on sudden notice to help a friend in an emergency. He left Rheanille with directions for us on how we could find him. Another few days’ journey led us to the end of a river, where we found the first sight of civilization that we had seen in weeks.
Murray was very proud of a ring given to him by Rheanille, one twisted into a crown of thorns and potentially with magical ability. He insisted that nothing inappropriate had happened in the time he spent with Rheanille, but suspiciously forgot the details, and insisted that we return to see her after we saw Gunnar. I made it very clear that next time he chooses to go off on an interlude of a questionable nature, he needs to consider his friends first, and more importantly, what Pelor would think.
With the Warder rings providing us with added stamina we pushed through the valley, following the river for safety until Horros noticed that we were being followed. Although we attempted to prepare we were quickly beset by wolves and in a desperate gamble for safety turned into a tree. Well, at least one of us did. It was pretty chill until Raquel had to ruin everything by cutting off my pipe with her axe.
Horros captured one of the wolves with the intention of taming it, but it spoke of an army of brothers and domestication was going to be the least of our worries. Despite making haste through the night we were attacked by an even larger pack, this time lead by a dire wolf. The resulting battle was long, but we were able to persevere with the assistance of an Earth elemental and Adana’s magic spiritual beacon of female empowerment.
With victory came dawn and a respite from violence. We eventually reached a peaceful grove where we encountered a large saber toothed cat that, although not accepting of my communal pipe, did not prove to be an enemy. I proceeded ahead of the group and was met by a second tiger, this one smaller and albino. She lead me deeper into the grove as I tried to signal the others to join me. I do not know why they didn’t follow, but they missed a most magical view shared by the tiger who seamlessly transformed into Rheanille. Like the mountain, I think.
She told of Gunnar’s recent departure to assist his friend and gave directions where we might find him. As I left she gave me a ring and requested my return after meeting Gunnar. Sadly, Adana quickly spoiled the mood with her usual pleasantness. Following our new directions we traveled for a few days before arriving at the trading post where we were told we might find Gunnar.
5th Day of Pelor
After the horrible plant attack, we sought safety in a nearby cave. As usual, Murray lit his pipe up and passed it around. As un-usual, we did not feel tired or hungry. I wondered what the reason was for our unusual alertness despite just being one of strangest battles. Adanna said that it must be our Warder’s rings. We were experiencing “viligence.” Cool.
6th Day of Pelor
Early in the morning, we continued our journey to find Gunnar. Horros was behind us, interested in the wood noises. I thought nothing of it but Adanna and Murray, were also interested. The three of them convened, something was up. They thought demons were following. They couldn’t decide whether to run or to confront them. I was all for taking them out. A wolf appeared a moment later. Demons, really- I’d take a wolf any day over a demon. Murray freaked and tried casted a spell on the wolf. Adonna casted a spell but on herself. What was with the spells? It was just a little wolf. I casted a one level swing of my ax and decapitated the wolf. Just. Like. That.
But then, another one that ran towards me. I saw the rest of the pack popping up into sight. Where they there the whole time? The wolves targeted our most vulnerable point, i.e. Murray. Adanna and Horros began to chase after them, doing what looked like they were… reprimanding them? Oh geez. I got this. I chopped off one of the wolves’ head. One down, four left. Wouldn’t you know, just then, Murray turned into a tree? I didn’t know he could do that! It was enough to distract me in mid swing and clip a branch. Hoped it didn’t hurt. Adanna attacked another wolf, which turned it to jelly. I was impressed yet again. People were getting creative. One wolf was left and we were almost done with our work, when Horros stepped up to claim him for a pet. That wasn’t so impressive. Not even the captive wolf was impressed. After much bartering and basically begging, Horros convinced me to help him carry the wolf.
It wasn’t long before sounds of movement in the trees were heard again. This time a direwolf with glowing red eyes appeared before us. I put Horros’ wolf down and put myself ahead of the rest, ready for the new battle. A wolf bounded out into the open with seven more behind it. Three surrounded me and a fourth bites me in the neck. Now I’m pissed. As my anger began to consume me, I felt the earth tremble beneath me. With pure reckless abandon, I grabbed the wolf off my neck and ripped its jaw in two. I let it fall dead at my feet. Its brothers and sisters begin to attack me all at once. My ax fell as I fell. With my now free hand, I grabbed another and ripped its throat out. I felt twinges of pain that I knew were deeper than I perceived. F*******A*******! I grabbed at another, then another, and another. They clawed and scrap, bite and even chewed. And in that flurry of blood, ripped flesh, and splintered bones, I felt Adanna’s magic wash over me and boosted me from my near-unconsciousness. Twice. Adanna had once again proved that she is my only friend.
After the battle of the direwolf, Adanna healed us. Murray broke the news to Horros that having a wolf for a pet was not meant to be for it ran away. I tried not to look at him when I took a head of a dead wolf to fashion into a victory trophy. He was a sad sight.
12th of Pelor
We are able to travel a bit before we approached the druid grove where Gunnar made his home. The landscape began to change. We walked along a plateau, with mountains in the distance. Horros pointed out a saber-tooth tiger resting on a tree limb. Murray approached it, and offered it a pipe. The saber-tooth tiger jumped down from the limb and whispered something to Murray. Murray extended his pipe again and said we were seeking Gunnar. Again, a voice whispered and I heard Murray say we were Warders from Echeron. A second, smaller albino saber-tooth tiger jumped down from a tree. Murray holds out his hand, and is led by the albino saber to somewhere. We followed them. It seemed the thing to do. Adanna was super suspicious of everything and casted spells trying to figure out whatever it was she thought she had to figure out. We came to a point where the larger saber did not want all of us following anymore. Murray was the exception in this case and he and the albino went ahead. Four hours passed by without sight or sound of Murray. Adanna, Horros, and I waited under watch of the saber. Adanna explored as best she could. You could tell her patience had run out and she was anxious for news. Possibly she was jealous that Murray had an in with the sabers while she did not. Watching her simmer and eventually boil over was kind of entertaining. Finally, Murray reappeared with information that Gunnar had left and is a few days away. Wow. Four hours to get one sentence. He must have turned himself into a tree to have that conversation.
We traveled according to the directions that were given to Murray, which weren’t much. We had to find a glacier. We had to follow the river to the foothills and valley. In end, finally, we saw the first signs of civilization that we had seen for a long time.