Swords of Valor

Eighteenth Game Session

The scene opened with a confused and naked Childress asking the rest of the party how he came to be on the stairs of the tower.  Warwick quickly explained the situation and the battle with the witch and her Orc henchman.   Childress in turn related how the three witches transforming him into a cat but was unable to recall what transpired during the time he was a cat.  He quickly got dressed and inquired about his arms and armor.  He was relieved that his equipment was not buried in the collapsed tunnel but was eager to retrieve it so as to be ready for the encounter with Sir Henry’s troops that was likely to follow.  There was, however, no time to retrieve the items so Childress borrowed some equipment from his cousin and made ready to confront Sir Henry.  Grom took a concealed position in the bottom of the tower and made ready to aid Childress should combat occur.
Seeking to avoid confrontation; the party implored Sir Stephen to convince Sir Henry not to come up the stairs to see the Baroness.  Sir Henry, ever impulsive, decided not to wait and ascended the stairs making a confrontation inevitable.  Childress confronted Sir Henry near the top of the stairs and made it clear that Sir Henry was to advance no further.  Sir Henry inquired as to the Baroness’ well being and confirmed through Sir Stephen that she was safe.   The confrontation did not end in bloodshed because Sir Henry made a face-saving exit to rejoin his troops with the knowledge that the Baroness was in good health.
19 – Leitermont 6pm
Sir Henry rejoined his troops and retreated through the tunnel.  The party discussed spending the night at the tower and decided that it could be the best course of action despite the fact that two witches could reappear at the tower to avenge their slain sister.  In the midst of the discussion one of Henry’s scouts comes running from the tunnel and called for Sir Stephen.  Apparently, there was yet another Troll under the bridge that needed to be dispatched.  Wryde went with Sir Stephen to see if he could gather any information while with Sir Henry and his men.  Grom did not like the evil feel of the place but he made sure to investigate it for any hidden treasures that might lie in some obscure corner of the tower.     
While on the way to confront the troll, Wryde noticed soldiers and a man in black picking through the ruins of the house near the foot of the tower.  The Man in Black turned out to be one Kontavious of Drosen (what is he a noble?  Why is he important?)  There were also a large number of peasant women and children huddled in blankets.  These were the same women and children that party had saved from the burning house.  Henry, his personal bodyguard, Sir Stephen the Crusader and Bramble departed to dispatch the troll.  The other half of the troops stayed to comfort the women and children.  The troops quickly ran into the troll which rose from the water at base of the new bridge.  
Sir Stephen, surprisingly, declared it not to be evil as he called upon the Trinity for aid against this new foe.  Wryde instantly became suspicious as trolls, by their nature, tend to be evil and vicious creatures. The troll did not attack and it retreated back into the water which seemed plausible given a host of well armed men that confronted it.  Nonetheless; Wryde investigated the troll to see whether or not it was real.  He was convinced that it wasn’t possible for both Trolls to be identical.  Kontavious of Drosen conferred with Wyrde and they discussed the possibility that the Troll was somehow an illusion cast by Rossick.  Wryde gathered his courage and walked across the bridge.  The troll rose from the water, as expected and attempted to stop Wryde.  The troll attacked and missed.  Wryde walked on across the bridge and Wryde noticed that this Troll was exactly the same as the troll that had been slain by Sir Henry’s men in the tunnel.  Wryde was now convinced that the troll was an illusion and he took no defensive actions as the troll attacked him again.  The troll illusion sank back into the water and all saw that it was not real.  The Exeter troops cheered Wryde and he explained to Kontavious about Rossick and told him to beware of other illusions that might be encountered in the area with Rossick afoot.
Wyrde, Sir Henry, Sir Stephen and half of the Exeter host returned through the tunnel.  They nearly encountered Childress who went to retrieve his items left in the tunnel.  Childress evaded them and got back to the tower before them.  A fully equipped Childress again met them at the top of the stairs.  Sir Henry, his personal body guard and Sir Stephen again confronted Childress and Grom.  Henry decried treachery and declares that everyone needed to leave the tower.  There was a tense moment at the top of the stairs.  Henry was rebuffed and for a moment, all were sure that violence was inevitable.  Again, Henry backed down and rejoined his troops.  Kontavious then came to the tower and attempted to act as the voice of reason in the Exeter host.  Not only were there women and children to escort back to a new home, but there was the safety of the Baroness for which all parties were concerned. A discussion ensued.  After much discussion it was agreed that the safety of the Baroness was most important and that she needed to go to Suddler.   Both sides wanted the glory of rescuing the Baroness but there was also the important hunt for the remaining witches.  It is agreed that the party would escort the baroness and the Exeter troop would escort the women and children back to Suddler and go and hunt the witches.
Dusk of 19th Leitermont
The party, Sir Stephen and the Baroness then headed for Suddler.  The party makes camp.  At midnight the Baroness got up and started sleep walking.  She reached the edge of the fire light and disappeared.  The party quickly rallies and notices the baroness on the top of a hill where she is grabbed by a large winged creature.  Wryde rallied the party but the creature made off with the baroness before the party could react.  Wryde noticed that the Crusader has a symbol of the Burned House on his mess kit and asked him of his relationship to the doomed house.  The Crusader seemed quite troubled and did not immediately answer.
20th Leitermont
At first light, the party tracked the winged fiend to a nearby valley.  The party first encountered a destroyed standing stone.  It had obviously been there a long time.  The party noticed a dreadful pall fell over the woods and the very light of the sun seemed somewhat dim in it’s environs.  The party also noticed that all of the animals encountered in the woods had no eyes in their skulls, though some had remnants of what had been their eyes hanging from their heads.  First the party encountered a group of three blind squirrels.  Grom was unnerved at the sight and promptly shot one.  It died easily and that convinced Grom that it was not some evil fiend but a victim of whatever ruled the woods.
The party then encountered a garden gnome atop a rock near an old barn.  Wryde noticed the foundation stone also had the symbol of the burned house.  Warwick asked Sir Stephen for the tale of his family and Sir Stephen revealed that this area had belonged to the Stanhope family.  The party was then attacked by a blind wolf.  Childress killed it with a mighty swing and brought the beast’s suffering to an end.  The party noticed that there was a harpy in the distance that she seemed to be summoning these creatures to observe and attack the party.  Once the wolf was dispatched, the harpy flew away.  
A few minutes later the party encountered another broken standing stone.  The party then was attacked by a blind bear.  The party slew it and as before and the party again noticed that a harpy was near.  The party quickly pursued the harpy and they came to an area of twisted trees which was obviously a harpy lair.  No sooner had the party come to the copse of trees than the harpies began to sing.  Grom and Childress became entranced and wandered towards an uncertain fate.  Wryde slapped Grom to shake him out of it and Grom was temporarily free of the harpies’ charm.  Childress also fought free of the charm and his sword answered the foul creatures’ song with a funeral dirge for the harpies.  
Unfortunately, Grom lost his will yet again to the harpies’ song and he wandered aimlessly towards the harpies’ eager talons.  Warwick took control of the situation and cleverly cast a web in Groom’s way that prevented him from going too far astray.  Wryde summoned a bat swarm and called lightning which overcame the harpies’ swooping attacks on the earth bound party.  In the end the party dispatched two of the harpies and the third harpy fled. Grom then regained his senses and the party went towards the harpies’ nest intending to rescue the Baroness and slay the final harpy.
The party traveled a short distance and saw the craggy area that was likely the harpies nest.  They also notice a gnarled, evil looking tree.  Grom was about to advance upon the tree with flaming sword in hand when Wryde motioned to him to stop.  He smote the ground with his staff and commanded the tree to assume it’s true form.  4 old people fell from the branches.  Wryde and Sir Stephen stayed with the old people to protect them and Wryde began preparations to use the nearby hinge as a means of transport back to Hanoverian territory.  The rest of the party made for the crag and the Baroness. 



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