The Usurper's Fang

Act 1
The Baron's Reward

Act I

Our heroes find themselves on the road heading to their home village of Two Rivers (The name was Inspired or stolen, depending on your point of view, from Wheel of Time) Nathan our commoner, along with Robert (a.k.a Bob) our NPC were heading back to town from a hard day of tilling the land. When a small halfling appears on the roadside, (Branden) the halfling offers greeting, while Bob accosts him about where his parents are. The awkward meeting is interrupted as the smell of smoke falls over the land.
The Tulls farm, our heroes run to find the house in flames and farmer tull and his wife dead upon the ground. Arrows piercing their body. But where is Arafina, their 17 year old daughter. Out of the black flames another local appears. A monk who has spent the last seven years training for his first level of monkdom. (Shawn) is now returning home but the rising smoke has pulled him toward the group. Perplexed the group follows muddy tracks to a treeline, where Bob the heroic runs away to rouse the village.
The wind carries the sound of keening goblins and the cries of a young woman. "Back, off, get back, and so on.
Imbert our commoner seizes the opportunity to prove himself and charges through the treeline and out the other side onto an open field where the young woman is surrounded by green goblins, prodding her with spears.
Her eyes burn with defiance, and she wields a deadly frying pan. The halfling maneuvers his way through the woods with the monk flanking Imbert’s charge. The battle is fierce but ends with 6 goblins sleeping soundly, Imbert with a not quite mortal wound, but has gained the sympathy of young Arafina. And a quick footed monk who disarms and crushes all his goblin foes.
The town arrives to find the halfling standing upon one of the sleeping goblins and the new friends are proclaimed heroes. The farmer and his wife are put to rest and the party is taken back to the tavern where their heroics are celebrated with wine, song and laughter.
Alas, poor Arafina Tull has no one left but the strong commoner Imbert to comfort her.
As the party in the tavern begins to wind down a hulking guard of the Baron enters. The Baron hearing of the parties deeds and poor Arafina has invited the group to his manor. A large man weighing over 300 pounds (not muscle) welcomes them to his home and tells them of the poor plight of the people, the treacherous king and his evil tax men. He offers them a chance to make wrong those rights. But the party is hesitant, the halfling does not appear to trust the baron, the silent monk remains a mystery. And the commoner Imbert well he’s focused on the plight of Afrafina and her huge tracks of land. (forgot to mention that last night) So what will happen next, who knows the game continues next Tue at 8:15. So if you missed this week your welcome to join in next.

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Act II
Of Thieves and Ladies

Act II

Our Heroes after a short meal with the Baron are joined by a not so famous Highwayman (Jeff) Who once was a noble lawman has turned to ruffing up the rich with the guise of giving it to the less fortunate. And as the Highwayman makes his passionate plea for the downfall of the corrupt government our Heroes, well are less sure. But the Baron assures them that it’s a way of striking back at the powers of evil while at the same time adding some heft to their pockets. In exchange for the gold to be redistributed at the heroes leisure all the Baron asks is for the King’s Jewel. The Heroes take that evening to decide.
Not willing to just jump into this mess without first exploring the creepy mansion our heroes full the friendly guard Taugh into believing they are having a reunion of sorts where he should wait patiently outside. Our heroes then bar themselves in and slip out the back, in an attempt to understand what is really going on. They find a servants stairway which leads down into the cellar or up into the main house. Of course they choose to go down into the darkness where they discover wine, rats and …
Something scratching, no someone scratching behind a freshly made wall. As they chisel out a whole they are greeted by a not so sound of mind man, the Cobbler from Two Rivers. He is infested with a disease and unsure as what to do they lock him back up in the darkness. Leaving him with a torchlight, and a fond fair well the group heads back up where they appease the guard with chicken, and then go back to their “reunion” where they head upstairs discover the Baron’s room. Realize he is sleeping in there, and go back to bed. Leaving the poor man in the basement to spend the night crying in misery. (Oh wait you don’t know that)
Anyway in the morning the group has breakfast with the Baron, and they just happen to mention that they “accidentally” stumbled into the wine cellar, where they “accidentally” chiseled a whole in the baron’s wall, and found a man walled up inside.
Oddly the Baron doesn’t seem upset and quickly explains that, "I know it looks bad, but it isn’t. It’s for his own good, and I really have done the best that I can do, for this poor sick man. Baron reminds them of their real reason for being here and the group after a couple of drinks agrees with the Baron that yea, walling a sick man in is a good idea, and they would be happy to serve. (I admit, I’m putting my own spin on the story)
The Heroes rush out to Rob the Tax man. They set themselves up, and wait on the road, ambush in place. After bickering between the best method to stop said caravan, between Morgan’s Legs or the not so famous highwayman’s bows they go with the, “shoot an arrow at the driver plan,” The driver is indeed intimidated, and begins frantically whippiing the reigns, The commoner (Nathan) Charges out of the Brush, attacking the horses before they can get off any steam. The horse team tears the tongue free, and charges away. Marty the 1/2ling (Branden) puts three of the guards to sleep, leaving one still standing watch in back. Morgan charges out from her side putting the fear of God into another of the Guards, While the Highwayman jumps down from his tree limb, crashes upon the commander where they go tumbling into the dirt. A cry from inside the Cabin echoes out, and a noble figure emerges from the carriage, the terrified guard accidentally gives it away, for the King’s Jewel is the Princess. Horns begin blaring from the roadside as the White Lion Banner crests upon the hillside. It’s the Son of the Baron, Sir Jaken Arsalam and his Bloody Brigade, the heroes can only assume that Jaken has come to save the Princess from the evil Brigands.
Now the not so famous Highwayman has just acquired some fame, and he jumps over puts a dagger to the Princess throat. The rest of the group run like hell back to the woods and William drags the princess behind. (The one quote I really wanted to shout out but held back was, “It’s a Trap”) Ahh now our heroes, wait are they heroes they just kidnapped the princess. Now our villains are fleeing into the woods cursing the day they ever visited the Baron’s mansion. So what will happen next. Only time will tell.

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Act III
On the Run

Act III On the Run

Our Heroes kidnap the princess and flee to the shelter of the woods. William throws the princess over his shoulder as, she kicks screams and bites. The guards in close pursuit charge into the thick brush harrowing after our heroes. Sh A, our not so silent monk, makes a move to gag the princess where she pulls a concealed dagger (Where was she hiding it?) and flails at him. The monk knocks her into unconsciousness and the team plows ahead. Down a steep gorge and into the River. Some are better swimmers than others and they fight the wild currents. Eventually a quarter mile downstream pull themselves out and begin the process of drying off. The princess lost and now confused stops fighting and starts sweet talking.
The team using the lull in her spirit do their best to win her over. As our Barbarian Arafina actually bonds with her somewhat over some girl talk. (So, how’s the kidnapping? It’s always hard at first but it gets better.) The princess is pacified. They bed down for the night but the guards have not caught their scent.
The group decides to make their way to a small village called (small village) where they planned to leave the princess and make their way back to the Baron’s mansion. One hiccup the village is being canvassed by soldiers. Our ninja like team breaks apart, with William the Ranger, Sh A the monk, and Marty the sorcerer, nimbly make their way to steal the Horses of the Guards. With some quick witted speech, William fools the page boy who is watching the horses into running back to his commanding officer, and with a flash the group is gone. Meanwhile, Arafina our Barbarian and Imbert play good cop bad cop with the princess. Arafina continues to tell her that everything is all right and life is good and it will only be a few more minutes till she is free. Imbert flashes his rapier at her (read that how you choose) and continues to threaten her into silence. (Must say not doing much for public relations.) Anyways, the stealth team has almost made it back without notice when William the Ranger notices the page boy’s harsh punishment and cannot resist but to put an arrow in the officer beating the boy and alerting the guards to their presence. However, those guards have no horses and the group does. So with a nighty night princess from the sorcerer (sleep spell) They leave her behind and head to the mansion to unravel the mystery of the Baron’s plot, or to just beat him down depending on the character.
First stop, they head to the stables to find Taugh (Who I just liked to much to turn evil, darn my conscience) but he too has fallen ill to the wasting and as the group enters into the Mansion it seems deserted and even more broken. As they slip in they soon discover that they are being followed, the man who was once the cobbler has now felt the full effect of the wasting and appearing something like a cross between a burnt body and a zombie clings to the ceiling and walls following behind with odious warnings. Our heroes mostly ignore him (Once again still getting used to this group, my other group would have attacked on the spot, well played, all I can say is it would have been ugly) They come to the Baron’s chamber where in undramatic fashion they knock and he lets them in.
The Baron, Jabba the hut like, promises them their due reward, enters into his sleeping chamber and summons 3 goul like creatures and locks himself in his room. With great agility and strength the group heroically fend off the minions of death. While the halfling figures out a way into the other room by jumping from window to window. He watches as the Baron slowly shoves furniture up against the door in an attempt to barricade himself in. The halfling sneaks in, (and I kid you not decides his best approach is to tickle the Baron, by far my favorite part of the whole story)
Marty tickles the Baron while the heroes outside fend off the blows of these deadly diseased creatures. The monk takes a vicious wound but our commoner hero kills the beast with a thrust of his rapier (once again interpret how you would like) The Barbarian Arafina beheads a second creature with a double chop of her two axes then passes into unconsciousness (oddly enough she did not seem to have any wounds.) William, Sh A continue to battle the last minion of death. While Marty waits for the Baron to stop laughing (true story)
Finally our commoner hero Imbert (Don’t think that’s right either) lashes out with speed and grace his rapier striking true kills the last of the beasts.
As the Heroes force open the door and push their way into the Baron’s chamber they discover that the halfling has him backed into the corner as he threatens the baron with a vial of Alchemist’s fire.
With the door open and being the biggest one in the room the Baron makes one last desperate attempt to escape. As he tries torun but the building itself turns on him as the floorboard breaks beneath and the Baron falls hard upon the ground. With William’s blade at his throat the Baron finally comes clean. “It’s all there,” he cries pointing to his desk and Marty begins to unravel the puzzle of the Baron’s treason.
Baron Arsalam has been dabbling in the darkest of magic and was working on a way to control people like a necromancer controls the undead. His experiments it seemed had unlocked a dark disease but finally after trials and errors he had perfected his worm he would be a true puppet master, and the princess his puppet.
Yes our heroes have indeed saved the day. The Baron still claims that his son knew nothing of his plot, his son Sir Jaken Arsalam has been in the south hunting Goblin raiders when the Baron sent word that princess was in danger of brigands. Our heroes now have the blessing of a grateful Princess Arianna ForgeDawn, and of course the Baron’s Gold. Yes, good has been done by a ragtag lot of unsuspecting heroes. And yet there are still other questions that need answering. Where did this Baron obtain his magic and from who? Is there a cure for poor Taugh? What happened to the Barons House Mistress? Only time will tell.

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Act IV
The Storyteller

So as our heroes begin to put the pieces of their life back together after the set up they spend some time meeting with the princess who gives them her blessing and the charge of bringing back a healer. As the group is discussing the logistics of this mission the door bangs open and The Captain of the Princess Guard bursts through the door. (If anyone remembers his name post it below) The Captain obviously cares for the princess and is quite distraught to hear about her kidnappings. The Princess is more difficult to read as she maintains a dignified and royal posture, but excuses herself from the heroes to meet with her Captain. As the group leaves Jeff and the Captain make faces at one another and mild threats are whispered. (It’s a little fuzzy exactly what happened) needless to say Jeff isn’t making friends. Our heroes then go to bed to clear their heads.
In preparation for their journey they are given access to the traitorous baron’s armory. When as the group is coming out, Sir Jaken Armsalam comes riding up, demanding to know why these peasants are treating his father’s things like a candy shop. Jaken and William (Jeff’s Character) almost throw down, William planning to take on all thirty men on his own but cooler heads prevail as the halfling wanders through the men offering them liquor. Liquor procured from Jaken’s father’s stash but Liquor none the less.

Jaken the son of the traitor returns to the mansion where William tries to follow but Jaken bars the way. Painful as it was William turns back to the gathering of soldiers who have spent the last years protecting the border of the Kingdom from Wyldlings and Jundar Hordesman. The halfling begins to win the men over with his wit and alcohol, alcohol the most prevalent sort of winning over. Our commoner Imbert and the monk also make their way through the gathering where men seem happy to be in a civilized land.

Not long after entering the mansion Jaken is escorted back out by the princess where he apologizes to William for his treatment of the heroes and offers them horses to carry them on their way. The apology is most assuredly sincere.

The group then heads north to Tarlon Ferry, their upon the road they come across a wagon that has fallen down the side of a ravine. They lower the halfling down who soon discovers that a Gleeman (bard) is stuck under the wagon. With some work and some muscle they free the gleeman who thanks them with his scattered dinner. As night falls and the gleeman is in need of healing the group decides to camp. Where stories are shared and rest for the weary comes.

One story shared was such.
“You know the Forgedawns have not always ruled this land. But of course you know that, everyone does. But not everyone knows the why? You see before their was King Forgedawn their was King Beowyn, now Beowyn it is said was a good king. The Jundar Hordes swept up from the south and Beowyn’s while greatly outnumbered issued to them defeat after defeat. He and his High Lord General Raveen. Together they crushed their foes one after another. But it would not be the Jundar that would be their undoing. No. Their greatest foe was a woman. You see, Raveen was betrothed to the Lady of Roick. It had been that way since he was a child and the king had told him that after the war was won then the marriage would have his blessing. But when the war ended Beowyn took Lady Roick for himself. He should have banished him that day. But he didn’t Raveen was allowed to continue serving the King and his new bride. Raveen was a patient man and stood by for years. The King had a son and Raveen and Raveen realized he could wait no longer. He began to gather his allies, forging secret alliances, and on his son’s second birthday. Raveen struck, The King fell, his son died, but Raveen wanted to kill the Lady of Roick himself, this was no deed that he would allow another to do. Now whether he planned on killing her, or planned on letting her escape no one can say. Personally though, I like the story of when he opened the door and saw her tear stained face, he could not find the strength to lift the blade. Only realizing then what he had done, how he had betrayed his closest friend, how rage and jealousy had crippled his heart. Some say it was Raveen himself who led her out into the night setting the Lady of Roick free to return to her father’s lands.
Raveen ruled for six years, and in that time Nobles rose and fell, but in the end it was the dagger of the Lady of Roick that found his heart. She marshaled her father’s soldiers, found help in the Northlands, rallied the Forgedawns and married the heir apparent. Together they dislodged Raveen’s men. And Lord Denarian Forgedawn sat on the throne next to his new bride The Lady of Roick. King and Queen. When it was all said and done the South was in shambles, broken and bloodied from two wars. The House of Raveen was no more and new nobles, Nobles like this Arsalam were raised. Nobles loyal to the King. Now with Denarian gone his son Thalleon continues his father’s legacy.

Yes friends we live in peaceful times, but peace bought and paid for with the blood of simple folks. Folks like you and me.

After that story their were a couple others but the night grew late and heroes found themselves needing some sleep.

It was at the nearing of dawn when they came, the guard that was set by the heroes did have time for some warning but arrows began raining down upon them and in the shadows of night the Heroes danced with death. (Dramatic yet) They fought hard and when it was over a few men had died, some had fled but four were captured. Men of the Bloodied, Jaken’s men. Come to take back the gold. While they never said for sure that Jaken had sent them it has become apparent to our heroes that Two Rivers is no longer a welcoming place. One man whom the halfling recognized did ask for a favor, before the heroes set them free, the captured Bloodied now planning to return back to the border asked. “If by the dawning light you do ever come across the king, tell him, we need more men. The Jundar horde is growing and we do not have enough to hold back the swelling beast of the Wyld.” The heroes shook their head and went on their way. Hoping to reach Tarlon’s Ferry by daybreak.

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Act V
Avarice

As our heroes make their way to Tarlon Ferry they come across a small boy who has climbed to the top of the tree. Just under that tree and shaking it viciously is a large bear. Oddly enough a dead Wyldling and a saddle was found just up the road from this small catastrophe waiting to happen. In an attempt to save the boy William pulls out his bow and fires at the hungry creature. The now enraged bear releases his tree sending the boy flying. Imbert snarls and charges, Mary attempts to catch the boy with magic and a fight ensues where the bear ends up running away.

After a quick greeting the boy Styx offers to take the group to the Pinnacle where a priest by the name of Valton presides.

Upon arrival the Heroes are welcomed by Lady Sarn the priest’s acolyte and it doesn’t take long for Hayden to reveal his true nature; it almost seems as though he is playing some twisted game. The priest and him exchange words and Hayden leaves.

After a couple of minutes trying to take measure of this motley crew Valton decides that the group itself is not a threat. He tells them that years ago Hayden was banished from the order and was outcaste, he twisted the One Power and destroyed his arm in the process. All the while convinced that he now saw the true purpose of the flame. The true purpose had allowed himself to be born again. True Born is what he was named, and while not officially a heretic eventually his actions led to the death of a smith and he was banished from the order.

Valton then preaches some about the One Power and how it should be used to the benefit of all mankind. That it is one all binding power that connects and flows through all living things. Hayden’s abuse of that power corrupted him and he will be happy if he never sees him again. The group though decides to move forward though with Hayden now gone.

They begin to study the book where it becomes apparent that the priest recognizes some of the book is of the Old Ways the religion of the Ancients written in a script that he himself can barely read, however it becomes obvious that the book itself is sacrilegious to his order, mixing the old religion, that of the Elemists, with the new, the One Power. The Heroes then try to convince the Valton to return to Two Rivers. But the priest seems insistent on staying. Instead they compromise on a plan to seek out the Cobbler who has been keeping to the shadows following in their footsteps in an attempt to bring him in.

Sh A and William promise to find the Cobbler only to be attacked as soon as the doors of the Pinnacle open and discover that the village is crawling with Red Veiled Lorkylan (known as the Teeth of the Maw) Elite elven soldiers and Hayden once again twists the Power using it for destructive purposes. (such as setting Sh A on fire) A gout of flame blasts Sh A back into the Chapel while 5 other Lorkylans blasting the chapel from all sides preventing escape, shattering windows and forcing the others to take cover, except the halfling who isn’t tall enough to be seen through the windows. William slams the door shut and the group realizes that they are trapped. Hayden after putting on a pretty dramatic display offers to parlay. He says there is no need for the town to burn in the purifying flame of the One Power. He then monologues something like this.

“You ever bathed in the flames of purity. It hurts at first, the fire licking your skin, agonizing, falling over your flesh consuming you from within, purifying your soul and licking clean your wickedness. Some survive the Power, and learn the purist of truths but most burn… for most, there is nothing left but Ash as the rot consumes. Do you wish for this village to be made clean? Or do I have permission to enter your pathetic shrine? After all I only want to talk.”

Shaken the group allows him to enter. He has come for the book and the Mindreaver (which now that I’m thinking… was that a GI Joe name?) anyways they hand the book and the misty black worm over and Hayden slashes a line in the air with the One Power and steps though outside. He tells the group that he has no interest in curing the Wasting and turns the power on the building in an attempt to bring it down. William fires an arrow and it strikes true, forcing Hayden to slip away into the night. Leaving a wrecked Shrine and several dead inside the village. Some are crying for loved ones, others are calling for war, others protection. The priest does what he can for the people, while our heroes rest. it now becomes apparent the Priest cannot leave the village, he is needed here.

The Next morning it is decided that the Heroes still need to bring healing to the south, perhaps now more than ever. Sh A, Imbert, and William go to flush out the Golem like cobbler and bring him back to the priest in hopes of finding a cure. Marty spends his morning examining the cold iron rod that he took. When the priest touches it he feels as if he has been cut off from the power. Separating him from the very source of his own strength.

The three track down the cobbler who has buried himself in a whole. Imbert tries to go in and almost gets eaten by the cobbler when Sh A pulls him out. They spend the afternoon constructing an elaborate trap that involves, a tent, some here kitty kitty, and we have some good food for you to eat… oh, and a torch. The torch wins and the creature comes scurrying up out of the hole. Where the three of them wrap him up like a present and cart him back to the Pinnacle Shrine.

In the meantime, riders from south flying the King’s Banner, the Black Hammer and Golden Anvil arrive. Marty flags them down by throwing himself on the road and since he wasn’t crushed and had been helpful before he got himself an audience. The Princess, Faux and Marty spend some time talking about old times, (Remember that time we kidnapped you. Oh we were so crazy back in the day) continuing the conversation with conspiracy theories and ending it with an awkward Goodbye. Faux tries to convince the princess that the priest here is just some backwater guy who can’t be trusted along with the halfling. Marty informs them of Hayden and his sinister plans for her life and then Faux is asked to leave.”

She basically says that she is thankful for his concern but there are always enemies moving against her father. They will use anything they can to leverage their positions and unfortunately that is the nature of politics. Hayden Rue was officially ousted by his family and his church, so attacking the House of Rue is out of the question. However she also knows that no one in politics can be trusted. Please continue to serve your kingdom well, if you can find a cure for this disease that would be a good place to start. But she also charges him with another task, the villages of the South need to be warned?

What will the heroes choose, where will they go? Who knows, only they can say for sure.

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Act VI
Wyldlings afoot

Priest Valton
Lady Sarn (Acolyte)
Hayden Rue (Twisted the One Power)
Teeth of the Maw (Elven Elite)

While waiting for the priest to determine the sickness plaguing the cobbler Daine, the heroes decides to go out and search around the gnoll body that they came across the day before. While leaving town the heroes are accosted by nervous town folk but with some diplomatic talk and a few subtle hints that said, “back off man we are bad ass” the town folk stopped harassing and instead invited them to stay at their inn.
The invitation, too little too late, the heroes move on to search for the gnolls body. As they begin to investigate they come across a wicked 2 handed sword, believed to have belonged to the gnoll and a curious women. Who is shoving the dead dogman into a cart to wheel away.

When the group approaches she warns them off with the wasting but the group ignores those warnings and approaches anyways. The woods begin to fill with the sound of howling creatures. The old woman it turns out appears to be more like an elf, and she abandons her find and sprints off into the thick of the brush. However, the group does not abandon the dead gnoll and continue stuffing it into the cart and make a run for the town. The howling picks up as the dogs pick up the chase in full. The carts wheel breaks and Imbert flings it into the woods. Only later would they think, “Huh…could have used that…” and the howling men are upon them snarling. Some entangling spell and a few of the gnolls are caught. The Heroes have Imbert pick up the slain beast and carry him back to town while the rest hold off the imminent onslaught. Unfortunately the Pack leader, a hulking creature of nearly 9 feet has flanked them and comes out of the brush swinging. A two handed blade that the creature wields one handed. It nearly cleaves Imbert in twain. But through some dodge, duck, dives and weaves Imbert fights the beast back. Eventually the group overpowers the creature and it falls into unconsciousness. And as the Giant wolf falls begins to transform into a human like woman, with an amulet around her neck.
Her wounds begin to heal over, when she is mostly recovered the group decides to sever the chord of the amulet….

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Act VII
The Two Headed Wolf

Leaping Fang of the Night Hunt Pack
She weeps bitter tears her soul she claims has been severed from her God, she is nothing now, broken away from her home, her father, mother murdered, and she was beaten by Northmen. She begs for death in the old tongue.

The Priest Valton helps to calm her down

He explains that the sickness grows more dangerous by the day, he can cure some of it but not all of it. Rumors come that another man, from the south has come to town, pale and sick, ashen skin and sunken eyes.

The longer the cobbler is exposed the more feral he becomes, by the rising of the full moon he will be more beast than man. He regenerates in his blackened skin and his teeth are sharpening. He is a danger to himself and to others.
The girl may of be of some use. “She is a wyldling of the Jundar after all.”

Valton can’t cure the wasting only slow it. There will be little he can do for the Wyldling once the transformation is complete.
But Valton knows nothing of the Old Ways, they need a keeper of the old ways, a shaman. This magic has long been abandoned in the Southern Dominance.

(Leaping Fang explains the Gnoll)
He was a good cub, Wyld Eye. He had come at your request, the Kingdom dwellers. Your pact leader called for us and so our pact lords gathered. They discussed the terms presented by your master. Wyld Eye was loyal and true. He was our envoy and your people slew him, now his song has ended.

She points to the banner, the Two Headed Wolf one Red on Black the other Black on Red. It’s the banner of the Usurper. A banner found with the fallen Gnoll.

Valton says something like, “House Raveen, this land belonged to Raveen before his treachery, before Lord Raveen turned against the King. House of Rue now Rules where Raveen once conspired against the King. But the house of Raveen is no more, and yet here is their banner.

Well the group decides that with the wasting spreading they can linger in Tarlon Ferry no longer. They must seek out a cure in the Wyld. Imbert convinces Leaping Fang to be there guide and the next morning the crew leave.

They leave cobbler Daine in the hands of the priest to be cared for as best as they can.

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Act VIII
To the Wyld... ok not just yet

Journey into the Wyld. Ok not quite. First they have to make a couple of stops. As they travel south they enter several hamlets warning them of the Lorkylan’s in the south and asking them to take shelter. Afraid for their lives and with this new threat the populace grows ever restless and bitter toward the crown. They believe that not only does the king steal from them, but now he abandons them. He takes their strongest sons and sends them north to die in the dessert and leaves the south all but defenseless. With the exception for House Rue and the bloodied. They have become rallying points for the people. Many have turned to the larger settlements for protection and House Rue has been well prepared to receive them.

Our Heroes though didn’t figure this out until they started flashing the King’s Signet and announcing themselves as legitimate couriers of the King. Oops. Well they ditched the ring, well stopped flashing it and relied on diplomacy to proclaim the warnings of the princess. Which worked well until they returned to Two Rivers. Yes coming home just didn’t feel the same with the town over crowded and blatantly hostile to the Wyldling woman and the halfling.

Just as a fight was about to break out with a huge man from House Rue known as the mountain and the party a voice of reason cuts through the tension. Yea, our Heroes don’t have to die. It’s William’s old boss the Sheriff who tried to get him to kill innocent people. They embrace warmly with a hug. Well not so much, but Jeff does try to talk his way out of a confrontation and Haran tries to help as well. I mean all he has to do is hand over the Wyldling and the halfling. It will satiate the masses and every thing will be ok. Of course, William explains that the Wyldling woman while not his best friend can’t just be handed over. She is taking him to a cure for the wasting.
Good news a cure has all ready been found. Simply kill the people with the disease and it doesn’t spread. So he can hand over the woman and the halfling and have a beer on him. Well, one thing leads to another and total anarchy breaks out. William tries to take off the head of the Mountain. Doesn’t quite work. But there is enough effective confusion that the group is able to escape up the stairs to the lookout station. Marty throws the crowd all there gold. Which causes enough confusion that the fighters can’t actually get to them as they escape, and accomplishes the goal of redistributing the wealth that was hordes by the old Baron.

They jump for their freedom and decide that maybe they should run fast to the protection of the Wyld?
Horns blare from the south, the Jundar Horde is advancing on the city. No longer safe behind the walls our Heroes nimbly maneuver around the horde and find an abandoned farmstead. They lay down for a peaceful night of sleep only to be attacked by a dangerous spirit. The dangerous spirit turns out is controlled by a magic wielding Lorkylan and the Heroes subdue him, tie him up, and then are forced to subdue him again. This time they gag him so as to neutralize his nasty venomous spit. And yet now they are left in a dilemma, what do you do with a dangerous lorkulan, with venom spit?
Oh I know we strip him of all his stuff? uhh now what?

I guess we will find out in a couple of weeks.

Ok a couple of mistakes from last time that I want to retro in.
When you entered Two rivers they were flying the banner of the White Lion (the symbol of the Bloodied and banner of Arsalam, your favorite Nobles) but above Arsalam, flew the Red Bear. The Banner of House Rue, The House that Hayden had been kicked out of. The Mountain and Haran Hadfell (Billy’s old Sheriff) are House Rue’s men.
In the story I may have made the mistake of saying that the Usurpers flag had been flying, but that flag has only been seen in the Wyld. The Gnoll you found a while back had one. Ok so hopefully that cleans up the story a little.

She challenges the Tame Wolf, more like a dog really. Lapping at the crumb of his master.

Now the Belly Crawlers have attacked the Life Tree with the help of your Red Priest wielding the sky fire from his fingers and darker powers, creatures that neither breathed nor lived fight beside them.

They killed the Keepers of the Pact of the Bloodless (Pact that kept the Wyldlings out of the North) Now the Belly Crawlers claim to rule. They scream for the blood of the Northmen and gather.

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