Scorching Dawn

Episode 3

First Contact

The story so far…

  • Jorn realizes that Hanurai is most likely headed to the North towards his Liferock. At sundown the party ventures forth from the cavern entrance and begins to head north, following the dried out river bed at the bottom of the ravine.
  • Scouting ahead, Stubbs discovers a stone structure set up as some kind of marker. Inspecting the structure Jorn discovers that there are markings and view ports built into the structure and decides it must be some type of navigational marker. Stubbs marks down the symbols and rough directions from the marker and they continue on their way.
  • Late into the night Stubbs spots what appears to be a sleeping man near the base of large boulder in the hills above the ravine. Alerting his companions Stubb then sneaks up the hillside, approaching the figure from behind. Darrius and Jorn follow at a distance.
  • While Stubbs gets into a hidden position and readies his sling Jorn decides to cast his Light spell in front of the man in an attempt to blind him and keep their location secret. A sphere of light bursts into existence above the figure as Jorn calls out to the man to identify himself. The group is startled when instead they hear a loud inhuman cry from about 20 yards behind them. The figure beneath the boulder doesn’t move and as Jorn approaches he realizes that the man is dead.
  • Darrius draws his weapon and cautiously backs down the hill in search of the source of the sound but after searching the area he finds no signs of the creature.
  • Meanwhile Stubbs and Jorn search the dead ork. He appears to have died nearly a week ago and the corpse has been baked by the sun and is armed and wearing a tunic with a hand-painted, red bird crest on it. Jorn speaks some words of respect to the ork then takes his sword and buckler. Stubbs decides to take the ork’s tunic as well in case it becomes useful later. As he pulls at the tunic a pouch falls out.
  • Looking in the pouch he finds some copper and couple of silver pieces as well as a piece of parchment which reads Your name is Ignar. Don’t sleep.
  • Darrius returns and examines the body discovering that the ork died of dehydration. No other wounds appear on his body. The party spends a few more minutes looking around the area and then decide to continue on.
  • They travel for a few more hours until dawn breaks on the horizon. Up ahead, over one of the hill crests, they see a cloud of dust. They cautiously approach, keeping hidden. In a clearing of what may have once been a small lake that has since dried up long ago they see a wagon and four men near a small hill covered in large stones with an old tree stretching out from among the stones. The men appear to be preparing for something and are well armed. One of the men readies a bow and moves up into the boulders to hide. In the back of the wagon is a large crate.
  • Darrius decides he will approach the men and ask for directions and information. Stubbs and Jorn stay hidden though Jorn casts a Displace Self spell that makes Darrius appear to be four yards from where he is actually standing in case the men prove hostile.
  • Darrius walks confidently out to meet the men who snap to attention as soon as they see him. Their leader calls out to Darrius to stop and identify himself. Darrius calls back that his name is Darrius and that he has recently left his kaer and is looking for any information about the world and directions that the men can provide. The leader calls back that Darrius is in the wrong place at the wrong time and tells him to just walk away but Darrius persists.
  • As they are talking the Displace Self spell wears off causing Darrius to appear to suddenly teleport four yards to the left. Startled, the men go for their weapons and the leader demands to know if Darrius is an adept. Darrius says he is and again asks to speak to the man insisting he means them no harm. Persuaded, and appearing to want to avoid a fight, the leader agrees that Darrius can approach if he leaves his weapons behind and Darrius agrees.
  • Darrius and the man meet face to face. The stranger asks a few more questions about where Darrius is from and Darrius decides to lie and say his kaer is called Dorren Hills instead of Broken Hills. The man then tells him that he should continue North where he can find the city of Thadizar.
  • Darrius thanks the man and turns to leave but notices a muffled noise coming from the crate in the wagon. One of the men casually leans on the wagon in an attempt to hide the noise. Darrius leaves, collects his weapon and returns to Jorn and Stubbs.
  • Darrius passes on the information from his conversation and mentions that he may have heard someone in the crate. Jorn feels that if there is even a slim chance that someone is being held prisoner that he must intervene. As the group has been traveling all night and it is now morning Stubbs and Darrius discuss setting up camp nearby assuming that the men must be here to meet someone. They want to wait and see who shows up so they can further assess the situation.
  • Jorn refuses, and insists that they act now. Darrius and Stubbs decide they will let Jorn do what he wants but they are not ready to act yet. They decide to start heading North without Jorn. Jorn casts Displace Self on himself and then walks out boldly towards the men.
  • The leader calls out to Jorn warning him to leave now or they will attack. Jorn continues his approach and they rush to attack him. Hearing the commotion Darrius decides to help Jorn while Stubbs circles around the back in an attempt to sneak up on the archer (after securely tucking his family jewels into his loin cloth —HA!)
  • While the men swing their weapons at the illusion of Jorn the real Jorn dashes towards the wagon. From above, the archer fires a few arrows at Jorn but they pass harmlessly through his illusion.
  • Darrius maneuvers around one of the men and attacks with a crushing blow that fractures the man’s spine. The man collapses to the ground in pain. Meanwhile Jorn begins to climb onto the wagon however one of the men realizes that he’s been fooled by an illusion and after a moment of surprise moves to attack the real Jorn. Fortunately the shield Jorn picked up off the dead ork ealier that evening allows him to parry the man’s blows.
  • Stubbs climbs up the hill towards the archer but the archer notices him and turns to face him. Stubbs motions to the large rock in his hand and points at his head. Confused the archer points to one of his arrows and then points to Stubbs. Alarmed, Stubbs turns around and backs down the hill.
  • Darrius moves to attack the leader of the band of men calling for him to surrender but the man looks unsure and continues to move in to attack. Jorn smashes the lock on the crate and flipping the lid open discovers a young human girl bound and gagged inside the crate. Enraged Jorn turns to face the man still attacking him. He brings his sword down on the man slashing into his collar bone and drawing blood.
  • As Stubbs walks down the hill he spots another dust cloud over the hill and realizes that another party is approaching and is only minutes away. He turns around and rushes back up the hill leaping onto the archer while shouting to his friends to “Wrap things up cause trouble is on the way”
  • As Stubbs and the archer wrestle atop the hill Darrius and the leader square off. Darrius easily counters the man’s attack and pierces his chest with his sword. The man looks heavily wounded but struggles to counter attack. Reluctantly Darrius attacks with a fatal blow nearly decapitating the man who collapses in a pool of blood. Angry Darrius turns and calls out for the remaining men to surrender.
  • Stubbs continues to wrestle with the archer and demands to know who is approaching. The archer looks worried and breaks free from Stubbs and starts running away. Stubbs chases after him and begins to sling stones at the man as he flees calling after him “I’m not actually chasing you, we’re just running in the same direction and the only reason I’m pelting you with rocks is because you didn’t answer my question.”
  • Seeing that their leader is dead and one of the men has passed out from a crippling injury the last man drops his weapon and flees.
  • Jorn unties the girl who is desperate to escape the crate. As she clambers out of the box she asks Jorn and Darrius who they are and if her father sent them. Darrius uses his First Impression talent and tells her they are travelling heroes who have come to save her. Dazzled by Darrius’ charm she thanks him. Jorn is unimpressed that Darrius has stolen the credit for the rescue from him but can’t afford to dwell on the matter and gets ready to steal the wagon.
  • Stubbs manages to knock the archer out with a few well placed stones. He proceeds to sit on the mans chest and slap him awake. As the man regains consciousness Stubbs shouts WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!” and again demands to know who is approaching. The man tells him that a slaver named Cassius is coming and that they had a deal with him but now Cassius will kill them all.
  • Realizing they don’t have much time Darrius helps the girl onto the cart as Jorn climbs into the driver’s seat. Jorn drives the wagon over to where Stubbs and the archer are and they load him into the cart as well and then start driving off in the opposite direction of the approaching party.
  • Darrius remains behind. He collects some supplies from the fallen men and then revives the injured man whose spine was fractured. Questioning him he learns the man’s name is Horaloth [GM note: Not sure if this was the name]. Darrius then gives the man some food and water and carries him over to the boulders telling him that if he ever finds his way back to civilization to change his path and give up the slave trade.
  • The approaching party is only seconds away…

3/120

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