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Sanctuary Adventures (cont)

After their first scouting mission, the players of the Sanctuary Adventures brought home unexpected consequences ... at least one feeling the sting, literally. Will going back to the woods solve the mystery?

(OOC: Rescheduling possible. This is for players who took part in the Sanctuary Adventures and have been drawn into the plot by the players of. Anyone who has interest in helping resolve the mystery and Lord Blackram, can certainly come along for the trip. ))

Date

Sept. 2, 2017, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Aiden

GM'd By

Aiden

Participants

Gaston Leola Eirlys Aiden Shard Shae

Location

Outside Arx - Eastern Approach - Gray Forest Outskirts

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Brier, a dappled grey mare arrives, following Leola.

Aiden has rolled 1 4-sided dice: 4

Brier, a dappled grey mare have been dismissed.

The adventurers are annoyingly up early to ensure that they've got the entire day ahead of them. Their gathering point is just outside of Arx walls, on the outskirts of the Gray Forest. It looks like while the day will be cold, it promises to be a clear day, without the risk of storm or snow in their way. However, they do have to deal with the amount that's presently on the ground, which will vary between terrian from soft and powdery, to icey and hard. Once again, they have a choice where to go. The road, which is the long way around and about 5 hrs. The woodland trails if they can find the right one again, which was under three hours. Or the river bed track, which would be somewhere between three and four hours. Sparte should have provided them with a map, since he was detailing the trip the whole way there. Hopefully, he did pass that along to those who are now present.

Well, the woodland trails seemed to work wonderfully last time, and so Gaston has likely recommended before they even left to take to the trails again, unless some unforseen obstacle hinders them.

Leola rides, watching the woods. She has something of a half-smile, though there's a wariness to her as she moves, idly patting Brier's neck. She talks a little, polite, but for the most part ... she follows the maps, she watches, a degree of tenseness and nervousness in her body language

Eirlys will follow Gaston and Shae's suggestions since she came into things halfway through lasttime (and it might have been nighttime but the player doesn't remember). She is on her elk and for once has a saddle with different supplies in the saddle bags.

Shae arrives bighteyed and bushy tailed! Smiling warmly, as they gather outside the city. The hood of her leather bodice pushed back, as she looks around at the others. "Morning!" Oh so chipper! Her puppy following along next to her. "The woodland trails worked just fine last time, I don't see the need to not take them again. As Gaston has suggested."

Shard is not one of the adventurers, but she's already here when they arrive, having set up a series of makeshift targets in the trees along the edge of the wood consisting of sacks full of hay. She's on a horse, a healthy looking brown courser mare, with drawn bow. It's almost as much tag-along as volunteer when she rides up to join them--a matter of pure, blatant curiosity.

Gaston checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 14 higher.

Shae has rolled a critical success!
Shae checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 70 higher.

Eirlys checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.

Leola checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.

The Crimson Seed is kept at hand, and Leola's voice is quiet as she rides; seeing the others know the way, content to allow them to go where they've been before. "Do be careful" She says quietly "We've found some of what is in the woods. Last night, we destroyed a patrol who called for the Horned God; the one who entwined the sylv'alfar. If his cult is responsible here, well ..." She sighs uneasily, looking about "Be most careful"

When the group turns to take the woodland game trails they used before, as last time, it was an uneventful trip getting there. Today, for the conditions, it takes them a good couple hours to arrive at the point of the Oriel Forest boundary. The large ancient trees that provided that enchanting feel upon their first trip, seem like any other tree now - other than they are quite large by comparison, they feel, less looming and less alive. The group, lead by Shae who never once faulted along the way, finds the path that leads deeper in.

Ravens are specifically keen on cawing their displeasure at Gaston, along the way.

Gaston, for his part, frowns a bit at the ravens, but... Bah. They'll get over it. Maybe. Hopefully. He follows the trails, along with the others, winding it's way to the great beech tree in the center.

Shard gives Leola a sharp, careful glance at her words. She pulls her cloak's hood up as they enter the wood and keeps her bow close to hand, but she's almost entirely silent despite the long ride, speaking only if addressed. Her horse is fairly sure-footed on the hunting trails, even, or perhaps especially in the snow, and between the two of them they're little more than extra shadows for company.

Shae knows she is generally not of the lucky kind. And chalks this up to having been here before, her own knowledge as well as that which Gaston has taught her, and perhaps some of the praying they have been doing to Petrichor. Shae takes heed of Leola's words though of course, and is carefully. Though the further they go the more she looks unhappy. Not much sunshine in her at the moment. Turning a little in her saddle to look at the group as she points out a few things to them. Mostly, "The trees, many of them have fallen, and some have even been logged." She frowns a little there, looking even a touch sad over that fact. "And the trails have seen a lot of use, not just from animals but people too." And then she is point that out as well.

Gaston checked dexterity + dodge at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.

Eirlys also turns to give a look at Leola, the hood of her cloak already having been up for a while. She is quiet throughout the trip trusting Shae and Gaston to get them back to the spot needed.

Leola has rolled a critical success!
Leola checked perception + animal ken at difficulty 15, rolling 129 higher.

Also, the elk and horses, if they get close to Gaston, will flick their ears back and try to nip at him. And as those who have been bitten by such animals before know, it's not a pleasant experience. One of the owls that had been residing in a tree branch actually swoops down and nearly rakes their talons across Gaston, but the man is quick enough to duck! Evidently, to get to where they're going, it's going to be pesky for Gaston.

Eirlys checked command + animal ken at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.

Shard checked command + animal ken at difficulty 30, rolling 16 lower.

Shae checked command + animal ken at difficulty 30, rolling 43 higher.

Leola soothes Brier, stroking a hand across her neck, and she instinctively checks her speed, falling back with the other riders, speaking quietly; her eyes flick to Shae, the mounts, speaking to each, her melodic and soft voice carrying in the forest "It's not Lord Blackram that upsets them" She says gently "It's the armpiece he wears. They think he's responsible" She murmurs, and rubs Brier's neck slowly "He's not. They'll realise soon enough, I hope." She taps Brier between the ears. Brier snorts "Hear that? Not him. Do tell your friends"

After Leola's words, for a while at least, there is a strange quiet in the forest. The ravens stop cawing and the mounted elk and horses, begin to behave, despite their earlier need to try and bite Gaston. The temporary peace granted to the party, can allow them to focus on traversing to the Great Beech. However, they're still about twenty minutes away from reaching it.

Shard only makes the mistake of going near Gaston once, but it's a /decided/ mistake at that. She's unable to stop the attempted nip, and it's only by seizing the reins and forcing her horse to stop in place long enough for Gaston to walk out of reach that she maintains any control at all. She hisses something in Northlands shav into the horse's ear, along with a few sharp clicks, but it doesn't do much to help. "Responsible for what?" she mutters irritably, as she coaxes her horse forward again.

Aiden GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + stealth(4) at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

"For breaking the wards," Gaston murmurs. "In place for ages, but now... Well, some Abandoned sent a group of bandits to weaken them, though the bandits didn't realize that was what they were doing at the time..."

Gaston checked perception + survival at difficulty 39, rolling 23 higher.

Eirlys checked perception + survival at difficulty 39, rolling 13 lower.

Shard checked perception + survival at difficulty 39, rolling 7 lower.

Shae checked perception + survival at difficulty 39, rolling 10 higher.

Leola checked perception + survival at difficulty 39, rolling 4 higher.

While Shae is not the Paladin of Groves and sadly unable to talk directly to animals, she still seems to be able to keep her Elk and her own puppy and raccoon in check. As Mal is pushed with a shake of her head back down into her coat. The puppy, Daegmund is given firm motion of her hand and he comes to heel quickly, tail between his legs. And her elk is clicked at, and pulled out of reach of Gaston.

Shard's right eye narrows. "Those aren't exactly two groups that tend to send each other on missions." She glances up toward the quieting birds.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(2) at difficulty 20, rolling 1 lower.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(2) at difficulty 20, rolling 0 higher.

At Shard's question Eirlys says quietly. "The destruction of the forest. Is what I would guess. This is all blessed to Petrichor I believe. I may have it a little wrong but because of the armband he has on they think he is responsible for what is happening to the forest. Is my guess from what Lady.." She turns to look at Leola. "The Lady said."

Mid explaining arrows fly and Eirlys feels one shoot past her and she curses in Oathlands Shav before pressing herself closer to her elk.

Gaston doesn't bother waiting. Deadly force has been brought to bear, and against people Gaston would call friend. While Gaston prefers to turn the cheek in the social arena, he's not one to do so here. No. The spear is gripped in hand, and into the group of three on the right he charges, headlong.

There sudden journey toward the tree is interrupted. Arrows start raining down on the group. To Shard and Eirlys, they can't see where they came from. The other's of the group have a better keener sense of where the attackers are hiding. Despite their ambush, the luck of the party holds and no one ends up inevitably injured by the whisk of arrow.

Shard is about to reply when an arrow cuts even closer to her--it actually slices into her cloak and skitters off of the leather plating beneath. She snaps around, bow in hand, arrow to string and already half drawn, looking for the source even as she brings her horse around, using her knees to direct it. The horse whinies in alarm, but this, it would seem, is not the first time she's been in combat, and the mare keeps her head, turning sharply as directed.

Gaston checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Leola chatters softly to the horses, to Shae, listening and watching her lead the way, nodding and attending to her words, considering her carefully. Then she starts as the arrows fly; a breath caught from her, twisting Brier's reins around. The horse quickly, immediately responds, the dappled mare moving surely and powerfully towards one of the hidden archers; a trampling charge, while she twists in her saddle, aiming at another, a quick, darting shot from the Crimson Seed

Leola checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 40 higher.

Shard wields a largely unremarkable rubicund longbow.

Shard checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.

Oh, look bandits. Her bow had been in her lap as they rode. As soon as she catches sight of them she is lifting it, and pulling an arrow form her quiver at her hip. Knees pressing into the sides of her elk as she turns it. "Three to the right, two the left." She calls out, so that thos that did not see the bandits are awre of them. The string pulled back and the arrow is let loose.

Shae checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Gaston GM Roll checked dexterity(3) + brawl(3) at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.

Eirlys slowly sits back up from where she was trying to make herself less of a target and looks around, trying to figure out where the arrows are coming from. She unsheaths her sword and waits till she knows where those that attack are so she can go after them.

Leola GM Roll checked dexterity(5) + brawl(5) at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Eirlys checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 51 higher.

Shard checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 37 higher.

Eirlys checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 7 higher.

Leola checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 16 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + archery(4) at difficulty 20, rolling 32 higher.

Aiden has rolled 1 5-sided dice: 3

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + archery(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 18 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 3 higher.

Eirlys takes moderate damage.

Shard is momentarily frustrated as she scans the trees, but it's Shae's shout that causes her eyes to find what she's looking for--a target. She snaps the bow back to full draw, and then releases, sending her arrow deep into one of their attackers even as she touches heels to her horse's sides, spurring her forward into a run away from the ambush. She's already pulling free a handful of arrows from her quiver, and fitting one to the string--it's not hanging bags full of straw, by any means, but the scenario is bizarrely similar to what she was just practicing for, hours earlier.

Eirlys spurs her elk towards the face she knows, Tild. She strikes but it seems that Tild was able to shoot another arrow before Eirlys could land the blow, which made the blow ineffecteive. She feels an arrow slice across her right thigh and knows she is going to need stitches but for the moment her upper body is working and she can still swing a sword.

A familiar voice shrieks toward the group, "I told you they would come back! Attttaccck!" As if they weren't attacking already, the banshee voice of Tild hisses over the group of bandits who have likely sat and waited long days and nights for the group to venture back into this part of the forest - on a sheer gamble. And those who came before, may wonder how in the abyss Tild got out of custody! The other man with her, shielding her, takes a hefty blow from Leola, but growls and fights on. The right side, isn't fairing so well. Johen is nearly cleaved in half and out of this fight before he started. Ayland takes a serious hit too. Sybell is doing her best to make Shard a pincushion!

Eirlys checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 18 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + archery(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 18 higher.

"You KNOW them?!" Leola asks Gaston; wheeling Brier as she continues to ride and shoot. Mobile, agile, using her knees and understanding of Brier to steer as she, nevertheless, nocks and looses another arrow at her same target as he aims back; no need to stop fighting just because they might know one another, after all!

Shard checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 9 lower.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 4 lower.

As Johen falls, Gaston, perhaps seeing red at the moment, roars out his anger, bringing the heavy glaive to bear on Sybell, in an attempt to smash it into her side. Sorry Leola. Gaston isn't home right now! Perhaps some of the others can help...

Gaston checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 31 higher.

Eirlys hears Tild and growls though they both manage to miss this time. Leola's words are heard and she yells. "These are the assholes that did the fucking damage! We tried to stop them!" She explains. "We don't exactly KNOW them!"

Leola checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 11 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 0 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + archery(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 25 higher.

As soon as her arrow is released, another is pulled from the quiver. Knees lightly pressing into her elk as she turns it around. Taking aim at Johen. "This is sucicide Tild!" Shae calls out, "Stop this or people going to die!" She commands, voice firm and demanding even as she lets an arrow loose.

Leola takes moderate damage.

Shae checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 2 higher.

Even as Shard rides directly away from the archers attacking her, she turns in her saddle and fires almost directly backward. It's a maneuver that may be familiar to those who have faced certain tribes, particularly those from the north, and again her aim is true, even if her shot isn't quite as powerful as before. Even as she speeds away from the fight, yet another arrow is fit to her bowstring. The several others she pulled from her quiver are gripped against the bow itself, kept out of the way of future shots. Several dozen feet onward, she clicks her tongue and presses one heel a little harder against the side of her horse, and it turns sharply back again, not stopping in its run. She draws. Aims.

Sybell attacks Shard, as Shard goes for Ayland. Sybell's shot at Shard goes wide because of the charging Gaston, who she cannot avoid and takes a staggering blow. Shard meanwhile delivers another significant injury upon Ayland who is trying to scramble back to get some distance between them. Johen, seeing death coming for him, tried to take out Gaston as the man turned for Sybell. That left Johen open for another arrow, delivered by Shae. Johen falls back with a spear wound and a few arrows in him, alive, just barely. He won't be fighting anymore, he's groaning though from his injuries - he yields by way of not being able to stand up anymore. On the other side of the path, Eirlys and Tild go at it, this time both of their skills see them dodging and weaving around eachother. Niether damage one another, but Tild howls out to Shae, "You got them all arrested! My family! You'll pay!" Because it really was the parties fault that these people were driven to banditry! Right?! Erwin manages to repay Leola with a successful hit.

Leola checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 8 lower.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + archery(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 7 higher.

Gaston checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 23 higher.

Leola takes moderate damage.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 7 lower.

Eirlys checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 9 lower.

Sybell seems to maintain Gaston's ire at the moment, the large Blackram continuing to stick to her, thrusting forward to skewer on his spear, face a snarling menace.

Shard checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 27 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 6 lower.

"No. That is untrue." Shae calls out to the woman. Turning in her sadle as pulls out another arrow and lowering it and aiming for Tild. "You are the one to blame for your family being arrested. You stole from the woods. You committed banditry. We told you what would happen." The string of her bow pulled back as she fires at Sybelle.

Shae checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 11 lower.

Leola lets out a heavy hiss as the second arrow strikes home, quite throwing her own aim off. The sunburnt woman is rather pale, below the light sunkiss, continuing to ride, furious and silent, now

Shard rides forward again, a rough charge that's not meant to trample, but to take her at a sharp angle toward the two still-standing bandits along the side of the trail that isn't Tild's end. She fires at Ayland again, and then, as he drops, and just as she passes, she snaps a second, deliberately fatal shot down at him. There's no change in her expression. She doesn't even look angry--merely focused. Very focused. She rides past, a light thunder of hooves.

Ayland meets his end... his body twitches once and his woodsman gear starts to darken with crimson. His chest stops rising and falling. He meets his end at Shard's hand.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + archery(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 13 higher.

Johen is still on the ground, moaning but unable to do anything, suffering the wounds of his choices... And Sybell tries furiously to keep the range between herself and Gaston far enough that she can utilize the bow. Gaston is successful though in striking with his spear, gashing a wound into her thigh. It slows her down significantly. On the other side... the two highly experienced bandits... rangers, whatever you wish to call them, seem to have the upper hand. Tild is one crazy warrior! She's keeping everything between herself and Eirlys... ensuring the distance between them rewards the ranger and not the swordsman. Apparently Tild is every bit a warrior trained in the woods as Eirlys was. Erwin grimaces as he continues his focus upon Leola, ending up rewarding her with another arrow for her efforts!

Gaston checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 27 higher.

Leola checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 12 higher.

Gaston takes minor damage.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + archery(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 19 higher.

Eirlys takes moderate damage.

Leola takes moderate damage.

Shard checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 8 higher.

Shae checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 8 higher.

Shae's eyes narrow, a faint grim look on he face as she pulls another arrow free from her quiver and fries an arrow at Eirwin. Hoping to assist Leola in dealing with him.

Sybell can see her end coming as she struggles against Lord Blackram. In desperation she gives her best war scream as she fires an arrow that skirts beyond Gaston's defenses and thunks... in a non-vital spot. But hey, she got him!

The Blackram doesn't relent, but eventually the woman manages to get some minor distance evades the man, sinking an arrow into him. Gaston doesn't even seem to register it, however.

Shard fits another arrow to string, even as she urges her horse off the game trail, into the trees. She's following the sound of voices more than her eyes at this point, using sight more to avoid obstacles than anything else, but when she spots the bandit leader--the one that's been making so much noise--is when she pulls to full draw and lets fly. It's a loose shot among all the brush and tree trunks, but she doesn't miss.

Tild hisses for an arrow that strikes in her side, but it's somewhere not vital enough to worry about. Her eyes are for Eirlys...

Eirlys checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 20 higher.

Erwin looks over his shoulder as he gets winded by a shot, sourcing out the individual who fired at him and for a moment... It looks like his aim is going for Shae this time ... !

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + archery(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 7 higher.

Shae checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 1 lower.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + archery(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 2 higher.

Leola checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 35, rolling 6 higher.

Gaston checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 36 higher.

Shae takes minor damage.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(3) + archery(2) at difficulty 25, rolling 7 higher.

Eirlys takes another arrow from Tild and for the moment she is able to grit her teeth and ignore the pain though later she will likely suffer for that. Right now she is going after Tild and she manages to hit. She does yell. "Any backup right now would be extremely USEFUL!" Since Tild has her eye on Eirlys it isn't as if Eirlys can fallback without possibly being hit so might as well try to hit back.

Aiden GM Roll checked dexterity(4) + athletics(3) at difficulty 25, rolling 43 higher.

Gaston's glaive hammers down into Sybell's neck, the Blackram's current berserk state leaving little room for finesse, the blood spraying across the mountain lord's scarred visage. As Sybell falls, feral eyes scan the woods, and land on Erwin, Gaston stalking towards him, bloodied weapon in hand.

Erwin's survival instincts kick in. He knows the numbers have flipped. He manages to slip out of Leola's direct path... so he can make a run for it!

Tild looks furious as Erwin books it, but she anticipates it. "ERWIN YOU FUCK!" Tild realizes that with his bolting, the rest of the party will be coming toward her... Range against swordsmen only lasts so long and she pulls out a light weight short sword. She huffs toward the group, "You all fucked us... We could've been living large and happy if you didn't interfer!"

Leola doesn't pursue. No, she reins in Brier, wincing, disengaging from the fight, trying to snap off the shafts of the arrows thudded into her, pasty-faced and shaken

Shard checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 13 lower.

There is a soft click of her tongue to her Elk as it turns and dashes off to the side, into the trees. Moving to circle around Erwin as another arrow is pulled from Shae's quiver and fitted to her bow string. As her Elk runs, she pulls the bow string back, quick aim taken and she lets her arrow fly. Sadly, it wiffs off to the side, just as Erwin manages to get a glancing shot on her shoulder, slicing it open. Eyes trailing after the man as he takes off, and spurrs her Elk forward to get in Leola's path to block her from being shot at. "No you fucked yourself." Pulling another arrow out as she says that.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + medium wpn(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 7 higher.

Gaston checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 1 higher.

Eirlys checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 24 higher.

Gaston takes minor damage.

Shae checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 11 lower.

Shard fires a shot at Tild's back, but unfortunately, this time, luck isn't with her and the shot goes wide. "Shut up," she says, voice flat. "Now you're going to die for a tree." But even as she says that, her head is turning, nostrils flaring, and she presses her knees into her horses sides, turning toward the sound of Erwin's fleeing. With others engaging Tild, her attention is clearly elsewhere.

With Tild's attention no longer solely on her Eirlys is able to hit the woman easier. She wields her sword with effiency, attempting to hit any area that would make it harder for Tild to fight. At this point Eirlys is growling like an animal and she is taking out the pain she feels on the bandit.

Erwin, not pursued, is able to get away. It speaks to his loyalty that he leaves Tild to her own devices at the end. While he's injured, he's not injured enough that it prevents him from getting out of there and making the choice to live than die with Tild's insanity.

Tild for her part, is an astounding and skillful woman, despite last time being beaten like a child. Whatever it was that spiked her ire and hatred, makes her battle like a demon! (She's not really one, just to clarify!). She does hold her ground, four against one. To keep the archers from scoring, she's on a constant pounce between trees and obstacles, dodging and weaving. Though her eyes narrowed on Gaston as he came toward her, because she notes the blood on the end of his weapon. She dances with him and scores a light hit, but opens her defenses to Eirlys... The woman doesn't balk though as Eirly's weapon tears through her leathers. Worn, she looks on and growls at them, before swinging at Gaston again - feeling he's currently the biggest threat!

Gaston takes another arrow, but the massive Blackram doesn't seem even to notice. Eyes boring into her, mouth forming a savage growl, he charges right into it... His own strike might miss wide, but he at least leaves her open for Eirlys's own strike.

Gaston checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 1 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + medium wpn(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 20 higher.

Gaston takes moderate damage.

Shard suddenly presses her knees into her horse's sides again, hard, and with a light whinny the animal is off, away from the battle, away from the others--and after the fleeing Erwin. There's no mistaking the direction she's taking, or the speed she's taking it at. Or that she's fitting yet another arrow to her bowstring as she goes.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + stealth(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 26 higher.

Shae checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 6 lower.

Shard checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 5 lower.

Eirlys checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 23 higher.

Tild continues to do all that she can to keep fighting, to end the lives of these people! She doesn't know their stories, or their goals, or really anything other than that they came into the woods and attacked the, arrested them, and took all hope for a decent future from them! Her people were arrested or now dead. Keeping Gaston off her, she pivots from a second and brutal hit from Eirlys... In her anger she moves to attack the woman yet again. She's still up on her feet, but she's looking quite beaten down, running on adrenaline!

Gaston checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 8 higher.

Erwin was always the survivalist. After running until his legs are burning, he finds a place to hunker down after he heard some hooves thundering in his direction.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + medium wpn(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 15 higher.

Gaston has eyes only for Tild it seems, and not in the best of ways. Not that he's doing a whole to her, but every little bit counts, as the attacks stack up relentlessly.

Eirlys checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 24 higher.

Shae checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 10 lower.

Brier, a dappled grey mare leaves, following Leola.

Gaston checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 21 higher.

Eirlys at this point is growling and attacking Tild with a vengence. She might not be a breserker but is acting very like one at the moment.

Shard, too, is a survivalist...but she can't find Erwin. She gradually brings her horse to a stop, eyes narrowed as she scans the ground, no longer spotting tracks or signs of passage, and no longer able to hear any sounds of a man fleeing. Her lips peel back from her teeth for just a moment, but then she pulls her horse around, retracing her steps for a few feet. And then again. And around. After a few minutes of searching the area, she puts the arrows in her hand away and settles her bow over the pommel of her saddle, in favor of loosening her sword in its sheath, but she doesn't leave, and she doesn't stop looking, even though it's clear to her that she's lost his trail. For now.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + stealth(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 18 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + medium wpn(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 16 higher.

Eirlys checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 5 lower.

Eirlys takes moderate damage.

Shae checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 9 lower.

Gaston checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 22 higher.

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + medium wpn(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 19 higher.

Shae checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 40, rolling 9 lower.

Eirlys checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 9 higher.


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The Darkwater Deeps have been an oddity as long as the Compact has existed. A bleak, desolate stretch of ocean in the far southeast seas of the Mourning Isles, there's rarely been any call for any ships of the Mourning Isles to pass by the strange black and forboding waters that some say are cursed. The Darkwater Deeps falls between no ports, contains no known resources or land masses, and with nothing to draw ships to the deeps it remains untouched and largely forgotten by most who sail the seas of the Compact.



So it was the result of unusual circumstances, a ship of House Thrax which had to route far off course to avoid a coming storm, that brought the vessel much closer to the Darkwater Deeps that would ever be typical, even if still it was plotted at a respectful day's sailing or so away. At first, the ship's captain believed that they accidentally sailed far, far closer to the darkwater than they intended, until they double checked their route and position in the stars and made an alarming discovery- the Darkwater Deeps has grown. It's unmistakable. It's simply wider than it once was, and the creeping growth has advanced towards the Mourning Isles.
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It was brutal. The woman was fighting for her life, fiending off two swordsmen and one archer... The way she moved though allowed her to keep the archer's arrows at bay, but it was the back and forth grinding team effort of Gaston and Eirlys that finally take their toll on the woman. She sags down to her knees with so may cuts and injuries bleeding her out that she might not live much longer if left to her own devices anyway. Her sword arm is useless, and her breathing is raspy, her face bloodied and bruised. She looks up toward Eirlys, anger still caught in the curl of her lips. Despite herself, she spits a gob of blood toward the woman...

Aiden GM Roll checked dex(4) + stealth(4) at difficulty 25, rolling 13 higher.

Shard checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 15 lower.

Erwin is aware of Shard's presence and watches her ride by, making his way onward to get away from the group.

Gaston is too far gone at the moment to listen to reason, and continues to attack Tild, and then her corpse, until his rage has spent itself. As it clears, he blinks, hands tight around the shaft of his weapon, staring the body before him, the blood covering his person. "I... What... What happened?" voice soft, and low, eyes flicking about, taking measure of who all was there.

At this point it is pretty much over, at least for Tild. The runaway will have to be found but for now Eirlys leans back against a tree and lets Gaston get his breserk on. She doesn't have the ability to fight him with the wounds she has taken. So she has to hope he will snap out on his own.

Shard eventually slides off of her horse and backtracks, in hopes of tracking Erwin's progress away from the fight, or at least away from where she initially lost him, but sadly, she misses his departure, being unable to find his hiding place.

Another arrow goes wide and there is scrunch of her nose. Eyes turning from Tild as she glances around, looking for Shard. If she is able to find the woman she will aid in her search.

A gruesome end for Tild but his first blow is enough to knock her out and spare her the long torture of slow death. The outcome is clear, the bandits tried to regain what was taken from them, newer faces than the last group, save for Tild. Now there's a decision to make... Go home and heal, or press on to the Great Beech Tree.

Eirlys looks around. "Roll call. Who is hurt and how bad? Can anyone patch up so we can get Gaston to the damn tree?" She asks. When Gaston asks what is going on she says. "We got attacked. You and I ended up tag teaming that." She points to what was Tild with her sword, flicking it and using the snow to clean the blood off it. "We need to get that damn thing off your arm and I don't want to have to come back here again."

Gaston is for pressing onward. They've come this far, and he's not going to turn back now. He nods numbly as Eirlys explains. "Ah, I see..." Another nod. "Yes. As you say. Who knows what might await us next time. Best to push to the end, at this point." A pause, and "I didn't... Only the bandits, yes?" in a lower tone.

Shae makes her way back to Eirlys and Gaston, a bit of a frown on her lips. As her gaze rests on Eirlys. Lips flattening again. "Gonna have to go see Reigna, once we get back." And then a shake of her head to Gaston. "Just the bandits, love." A soft little smile, to try and ease his worry. "Let's continue on. You ready Shard?"

Shard returns on foot, entirely unharmed, but decidedly irritable, leading her horse. "The one that ran still needs to die," she announces flatly, as she rejoins the others. The sight of what used to be Tild doesn't seem to bother her at all. "If they were stupid enough to attack you a second a time, they'll be stupid enough to try a third."

Eirlys already knows what Gaston is worried about, Likely Shae knows too given that they know the man. "Only..What Shae said only I am not calling you love." The Greenmarch teases. "You saved my ass." She says with a weak laugh. "Now if you are up for it, can you help me get to the tree?" She is bleeding from several spots.

Eirlys nods at Shard. "Likely. Need to tell someone about what is going on. So this area can be guarded better. Maybe the Graysons can put some guards around here to keep any of them from coming back." When she speaks it is slow and sounds pained.

It will take them all of fifteen minutes to get to the tree. The great Beech tree is where they left it. It is a dull white and gray thing now, with the remnants of it's former scars still upon the great wide trunk; the torment it received from burning and being hacked at. The tree, is, dead. It's clear now that and the forest doesn't feel as if it's inhaling deeply anyore, that the essence of some great spirit no longer dwells here; life just seems as normal as it would be in other areas of the Gray Forest known to those of the Arvum. Still, the irritating itch on Gaston's arms will lessen. If he brought the other items with them, it will be significant enough to notice.

"Prince Calarian has a bounty on that woman, dead or alive," Gaston remarks to Shard, in case the Prodigal should wish to collect. In the meantime, he'll assist Eirlys to the tree, the woman being fairly wounded.

Shae gets a festive favor bag from Hardy leather backpack.

Shard gives Eirlys a slightly strange look when she mentions guards, but her reply is to Gaston. "I didn't kill her. Doesn't that go to one of you?" She hefts herself up onto her horse, and rides on when the rest do. When they do reach the tree, she regards it with a critical sort of eye, but says nothing.

Shae dumps a festive favor bag and spills its contents all over the floor.

Shae drops a champagne silver keepsake pendant.

Shae drops an ornate tribal choker inlaid with colorful bells.

Shae drops Aged Praseodymium Pendant of Indomitable Spirit.

Shae drops Aged Rose-Gold Hairpin of Ignited Brilliance.

Shae drops Aged Neodymium Belt Buckle of Necromantic Glamour.

Shae drops Aged Praseodymium Brooch of Interconnected Roots.

Shae drops Aged Neodymium Ring of Swift Serendipity.

Shae picks up an ornate tribal choker inlaid with colorful bells.

Shae picks up a champagne silver keepsake pendant.

Eirlys checked intellect + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 55 higher.

"You might not have killed her, but you helped with the attack, certainly. Besides, I have Counties paying taxes, and you do not," Gaston rumbles towards Shard. "It's considered unseemly for a landed noble to collect on such," as they set the other relics on the ground, the Blackram taking to his knees to pray before the tree.

"Fair point," Shard says. "I'm certainly not going to argue it." For her part, she watches, expression mostly neutral, if partly curious, particularly when Gaston kneels. At that part in particular, one eye squints, and she leans against her horse's neck to observe a little more closely.

Gaston checked charm + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.

Shae slids off her Elk, pulling out a rather festive looking bag from her backpack. And heads to the tree with Gaston, and Eirlys. Kneeling down with the Blackram she leans over and starts to pull out the other relics and lay them out on the ground. A glance towards Eirlys, and then Gaston. Before she reaches for his hand and starts to pray with him. "Great Lord Petrichor, guardian of land and animals, great hunter, giver of food and sustence. We ask you for your help in fixing what has been broken here, by those who were ignorant and careless. And wish to offer up our gratitude and love, as well as desire to assist in restoring what was done."

Shae checked charm + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

Eirlys is basically using Gaston to lean against until they get the tree then she grits her teeth and waits for Gaston to kneel she says softly. "Pray and continue to do so until I say. Do not break your prayer." She looks at Shae. "Please put the items all together near Gaston and the tree. I have to try to release the spirit from his duty, it cannot be restored at this point." Her voice sounds tired and incredibly sad over the fact that this has happened. She points how she wants it set up then she starts to chant first in Oathlands Shav, a soft lilting chant that is likely a prayer she switches at some point and continues the prayer. "Oeric your duty is done. Your spirit is released. Please hear me, your duty is completed and your spirit is released." She relapses back into her native tongue as she starts to pray again.

Eirlys checked intellect + occult at difficulty 25, rolling 1 higher.

Shard remains on her horse, watching. Both of her eyebrows have gone up at this point, which contrasts with how both eyes have gone rather squinty. She's not saying or doing anything to interrupt, but it's quite clear she has no intention of joining in either.

Eirlys checked perception + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.

Shard checked perception + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Gaston checked perception + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.

Shae checked perception + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.

Gaston checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

Shard checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Shae checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 28 higher.

Eirlys checked perception + survival at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

A quiet breeze whispers through the area, with the warmth of spring upon it. It caresses by Shae and Gaston both, picking up a few dried leaves that had not been entirely frozen or snow covered and twirling them upward before in a release of wind, the leaves flutter and float back down. The time seems to melt away as they pray. The sun slinks further down on the horizon as it crosses the sky. The first indication that it worked, is the armband falls off Gaston...



For Eirlys, Gaston, and Shae ... they can see a soft glowing visualization of a slender figure wrapped in leather armor clearly not from this day and age, a spiritual transparent figure, his image a wavering one that if one blinks too hard or looks too long, shimmers and changes to a blur. His image stands among the items that were brought back. His hair is long and flowing and he has the beauty that one might associate with an descendant of the elves or perhaps those reborn of their making. When Eirlys lets him know his duty is released, an arm draws up against his chest and his silhouette bows. And as he straightens, he exhales a long breath, swirled away at last in another gusting twist of wind. It was a long guard and it had finally come to an end. There might have been something spoken, but it is so strange to hear... it gets lost to the whispers of wind, a mere hiss, however, there is a sense of gratitude in the warmth that leaves the cold for the moment, off their bones, and a gentle ease of their pain.



The entire party would notice the items before the tree lose a certain sparkle. Should anyone try them on now, it is apparent the curse has been lifted. They come on and off just like every other piece of jewelry!

Watching the twilight figure, Gaston gives a brief bow to the apparition, murmuring a silent thanks to the man, and another thanks to Petrichor. He reaches down then, lightly picking up the armband, to keep as a reminder of what has passed. And perhaps a cautionary device about recklessly charging into more than just combat.

Eirlys stands there watching this spirit and she puts her fist against her chest and bows back even if she wobbles probably almost falling, she does keep her gaze on him though. She whispers her Thanks for his sacrific. It isn't till it is all over that she literally crumbles down slides down to the ground on her knees.

Shard looks a little bored by the time the armband falls off, perhaps lost in her own thoughts. She even jumps slightly, and she's busy giving it a frown while the rest of them see the ghostly vision. She gives the others a weird look as they start saluting, bowing, and talking in the direction of the tree.

In Arvum, the world is changing at a quick pace and for Oriel Woodlands, it had seen the last of it's guardian. But perhaps... not the last.



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