it is the 19th of Coldeven, 576 CY
Lucian (NPC) human initiate and junior Knight of Pelor;
Dracon, human initiate of Obad Hai, Beastmaster of the Wegwier;
Ivan, Suloise initiate of Norebo, psionicist, and appraiser of quality goods (Duchy of Umst);
Kaganost, wemic apprentice shaman, originally from Hepmonaland;
Kalik, halfling initiate of Avoreen (Duchy of Umst);
Milik, halfling sorcerer (he wasn’t always a halfling, though…)(Duchy of Umst/Nyrond);
Murray, nalshavel orc wizard,
Torias, avariel apprentice hawk shaman, exiled ducal heir of an unnamed avariel city high in the Yatils
As the evening commenced, it was the 19th of Coldeven, and the group was finishing their training and beginning to think once again of travel and adventure. With their sights set on Greyhawk City, Torias and a few companions ran into Lucien while looking to sign on as caravan guards, and he informed them of his current plight.
It would seem that while in Veluna, he received word that a friend of his in Greyhawk city, one Lord Myron Henway, had lost a caravan to a bandit attack, with which his son and daughter-in-law had been along traveling to Hardby. The bandits were offering to ransom the young couple back to Lord Henway, but after several years of caravan raids, Lord Henway was willing to pay a group of adventurers the sum of his son & daughter-in-law’s ransom if they would both rescue the pair and deal the bandits a sharp check – whatever wealth the party could obtain from the bandit’s lair was fair game, in addition to the ransom.
Their travel to the city was uneventful, except for a stop along the way to view the bones of two hill giants who had been slain near the city two summers before (an aside to the prior campaign most of my group had been a part of). Once ensconced in the Green Dragon Inn to await Lord Henway, however, Ivan had a ran in with an old flame of his named Melisande and her new beau, Rufus. At one point, Ivan told Rufus that he was welcome to Melisande, which sent Melisande running out the door in tears. Ivan refused to be dragged into a confrontation with Rufus at that time, but prudently declined to venture outside in the dark (Rufus being a somewhat shady character, whose professed line of work was “personnel readjustment” (i.e. assassin).
The group met with Lord Henway sometime afterwards, and agreed to take on a commission to rescue his son & daughter-in-law, and to bloody the bandits in the process. They made arrangements to ride out the next day with a competitors caravan, hoping that it would be the next target.
As the party retired for the evening, Ivan was struck in the chest by a crossbow bolt while closing the shutters on his window, and was knocked unconscious by the poison on it. The sound of his body hitting the floor drew Kalik to investigate (as he figured that something of the sort might occur), followed shortly by several other members of the party (except for Torias, who had flown off to the temple of Celestian, seeking answers to a half-buried memory from his past). Murray administered first aid to Ivan, closing the crossbow wound, and Dracon worked his magic, neutralizing most of the venom still in Ivan’s system.
The next day dawned with Torias notifying the Watch of the attack on Ivan the night before, and Ivan’s consternation at having the Watch pay him a visit (thankfully neither of the Watchmen recognized him…) Once everyone completed their purchases for the road, the party set out to catch up with the caravan, as it wound it’s way south towards Hardby.
Approximately two days out, while passing through some low hills, the caravan was struck by a hail of arrows, and when Torias flew up to gauge the enemy forces, he saw twenty archers (most of whom found the winged elf an exciting target). Half the caravan guards and most of our party rode up the hill to engage the archers, but once they achieved the crest of the hill, another twenty horsemen came over the hill on the other side of the caravan, and began to make short work of the remaining defenders.
Lucien called upon the rest of the party to follow him in retreat from the carnage, as it was their mission to rescue Lord Henway’s son, etc., not trade their lives for a caravan they were only riding with. (I ruled that the recovery of the young couple outweighed taking on 2-1 odds at a disadvantage in his mind).
Dracon and Milik continued to keep the bandit’s plunder of the caravan under observation, and once they departed, the rest of the party rode up to arrange a funeral pyre for the dead (this Lucien would not be talked out of). Once alight, the party put as much distance between it and themselves as they could without losing the bandit’s trail…
Once they made camp in a grove of trees several miles away, Torias watched as Ivan went slightly up a nearby hill, to relieve himself behind some rocks. When Ivan’s head suddenly vanished, Torias was the first to arrive and assist him in exiting the large hole that had opened up beneath him. As the other party members turned to see what the commotion was about, only Murray and Kaganost had night vision good enough to detect the large, inky-black form that began issuing from the hole. As it drew itself up and out, it took on the outline of a 20’ tall cloaked figure, which soon began to outstretch it’s arms (at which point, a fair percentage of the group, who had been alerted to it’s presence by the behavior of Murray and Kaganost, began showing it their heels) and then suddenly leapt into the air and flew off to the north.
When the group finally reassembled itself the next morning and investigated the hole, they could see a stone floor and arching stone walls beneath them, but little else. It was decided that the spot would be marked on their map for the future, but that locating the bandit’s hideout was paramount,.,,
…and so ends another evening,,.