Lead

Apr 19 08 10:26 PM

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The following day, a crowd gathers outside the town for the hanging. The group are meeting with the Judge at a secluded spot. On a hill, the gallows are waiting. A woman is being made ready to be hung. The crowd goes crazy as the rope goes taut. The Judge arrives with a guard and two other people in cloaks. The palladin is not with them. He has been sent on a errand for the Judge. The Judge tells the group they have to go on a quest for him. The Judge tells them the quest will help them with theirs. “Part of the map is missing, finding Avalon will help you find the other part of the map. It’s a cave system. Bring me back the ruby, the size of this chest. It’s perfectly formed. You will find it at this place and you must bring it back for me. Whatever else is there is yours to keep. I have brought two people to help you.” A half ork steps forward and Sinthia reveals herself. The group look towards the gallows and wonder! “It will be wise for you to go as soon as you can” the Judge tells them.
Tuco thinks to himself, ’I can get more money, do I need to do this?’ “Assassin, don’t think that!” the Judge tells him.
Tuco studies the map and passes it to Thanatos, and starts to check his supplies. Thanatos memorizes the map and puts it inside a pocket. ’Go to river along road, come 2 forest going upwards, trodden road way.’ Tuco pulls his cloak around him and starts to walk. The group walk off after him, it’s 12 noon, the sun is out warming the day. They are on a busy highway out of town. Merchants are coming in, shepherds are going to market with their sheep. An odd stagecoach passes them.
They come to a small turn off towards the mountains. Farnier is at the front of the group with his shield on his back. Thanatos is at the back. Tuco stops and listens. He can see a farmer, an odd shepherd about. He gets his kit ready. A bloke is sat on a rock, by the side of the road. His knee in the air and he is about 100 yards ahead of the group. Thanatos pulls his cloak around him. Farnier notices a dog at the side of him. Sinthia is skipping along whistling ’Survivor’. Thanatos notices the bloke on the rock is playing a lute. He keeps his eyes on him. Khahil notices nothing out of the ordinary. Orkus can hear the bloke singing. The song is mournful, about a death that shouldn’t have been. Tuco hears the song, Farnier is blind and deaf to everything. Orkus, as he gets closer, can hear the song better. About a hanging in the town, that was wrongful. He tells the group. “The songs about me” says Sinthia. She unsheathes her sword from over her shoulder, and heads towards the bloke. Thanatos hears the sword coming out, looks towards the bloke, the bloke looks back at him, he’s not human, then he vanishes into thin air!
Thanatos tells the group what he’s just seen. Khahil goes up to the rock, he senses magic, and sees a blue haze coming from the rock, he informs the group. Tuco catches ’the glow is blue’ as does Thanatos. Tuco carries on walking. He hears two people talking, and chopping noises. Farnier and Orkus walk on, the rest of the group follow. They round a corner in the road, and see four cottages. Woodcutters, cutting wood, a couple of women are washing their clothes, a man carrying a wicker basket crosses the road, a typical woodland scene. Tuco walks past, nods a greeting, then asks if there has been problems in the forest. “No, tis bin a normal day” a woodcutter replies. Orkus asks one of the women if she has some food to spare. She tells her hubby to give him some fruit and a chicken. He thanks her and shares the food. Khahil has an apple. Thanatos is hanging behind the group. Asking the woodcutter if he has an axe to spare, Orkus is told he hasn’t. Walking on, Tuco notices the wood is getting denser. He gets out his sling in readiness. Tuco hears some rustling on his right side. Thanatos sees a deer jumping. Tuco thinks ’ there’s game to be had here’. The group walk on for about three to four hours. Tuco leaves the path and goes into the bracken. The group follows. Orkus is getting tired and wants to rest. Sinthia is already getting comfy on the woodland floor. Khahil listens to the birds singing, and views Orkus, Sinthia and Farnier. He thinks he hasn’t seen Tuco for a while. He lies down. Everyone is quiet for about half an hour. Tuco notices it’s getting dark. He can see a low mist creeping across the wood floor. Thanatos can see it as well. Tuco climbs the nearest tree, Thanatos does as well. Orkus, on guard, sees the mist also and wakes Farnier. Farnier tries to wake Khahil, shaking him awake. Orkus shouts to Sinthia, who wakes up grumpily. As Sinthia stands up, the mist starts to recede. Thanatos gets comfy in his tree, roped up. Tuco is nice and snug in his. Farnier complains about getting woken. Tuco sees Sinthia being woken, sees the mist recede and checks his crossbow. Thanatos checks his armoury, gets out his daggers, and hugs them to his chest. Tuco, thinking to himself, puts together the happenings of the day. Sinthia, not getting hanged, the bard on the rock, the blue glow, now this mist. What is going on? He unstrings his crossbow and tries to get some sleep.
Farnier tries to climb a tree but fails. Orkus leans against a tree, and falls asleep standing up. Sinthia gathers some bracken and makes a bed up. Khahil settles back down.
Night passes, the group wake to a thick fog surrounding them. They have less than 2ft vision and the sounds of the forest are distorted. Tuco stills himself. The fog is getting thicker. Thanatos is munching on some bread. Tuco checks his equipment, then climbs down. Thanatos packs up his stuff. The group are all awake now. Sinthia stands up. Tuco looks for tracks from night before, but he can’t find anything. He’s trying to find a way out to the road. Tuco turns, ‘shit, wrong tree’. He thinks he knows where the road is, and thinks he’s heading towards the group. Farnier stay where he is. Orkus can hear some rustling, and thinks someone is walking around the camp, “Mummy” he cries. Khahil shouts to him to grow up! Thanatos and Tuco hear this. Tuco heads towards the voices. Thanatos keeps low, and tries to be silent, moving towards the group. Sinthia asks if the group should try and find the road. Orkus whines and makes squeaking noises.
This goes on for about 2 hours. The fog gets thicker. Tuco tries to light a fire but the atmosphere is too wet. Orkus sits and waits it out. Thanatos closes his eyes, concentrates and soothes himself. Sinthia draws her sword, and cuts into the fog. The fog parts. She pulls her sword away in amazement, and the fog starts to retreat. Thanatos finds himself 10 -15 ft away from the group. Tuco is about 40ft away. Listening to the forest, Tuco thinks it’s too quiet. He puts his sword away and gets out his crossbow. He can feel vibrations under his feet. The group are on their feet. Tuco and Thanatos hide. Farnier thinks it’s horses hooves, whispers ’cavalry’. He lays down and covers himself with his shield. Orkus moves further back into the wood. Sinthia hides behind a tree. Khahil hides himself as well. A whoosh goes past Sinthias ear, and lands with a thud in a tree, from behind. Orkus thinks their in the middle of an ambush, but he can’t see anything or anyone. Sinthia turns quick, but can’t see nowt. Thanatos can see the rustling of branches and undergrowth. Hears the cavalry coming form behind his back. Khahil stays put as he can’t see or hear anything. Farnier looks out from under his shield, like a turtle coming out of his shell, and sees a cloud of dust, takes his head back in. Sinthia can hear Orkus and Khahil bickering about Orkus being a girly! Orkus looks and realises it’s not horses running, it’s more like big wolves. “F****ing Wargs!!!!” he shouts out. Tuco, Thanatos and Khahil hear him.
They can hear human screams behind them. Tuco thinks ’Bye bye villagers’. Thanatos shrugs off the screams. All goes quiet, Thanatos is on edge.
The group hear shrieking, followed by laughter and obscenities (not human sounding) going off in the distance. Tuco picks out a few words, goblin language, hears the word ’Tikara’. After a while, Tuco cautiously emerges from his hiding place. Orkus wonders how they are still alive. He notices a track amongst the others, that’s not warg. Tuco notices Farnier is still hiding under his shield. He gets a branch and bangs it on the top of the shield. “Get up you [dog and cat]!” he tells him. Thanatos and Tuco walk over the shield. Farnier is squashed into the ground. Orkus apologises for screaming out. Thanatos warns him, “Give away our position again, and I’ll kill you!” Tuco asks who’s got the map? Thanatos brings it out and hands it to Tuco. He looks on the map for ’Tikara’ but can’t find it. He rolls the map up. “We better make a move” he tells the group. Thanatos has found a couple of bodies, one human and one goblin. He searches the goblin and finds a ripped map in a pouch. Thanatos pockets the map sneakily. He checks the human and finds part of a ripped map in their fingers. Thanatos asks Tuco for the map. Tuco asks “Why?” “To see where they came from” replies Thanatos. Thanatos puts the map away back in his own pocket.
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