Date Met: July 27th, 2009
Attendance: No JP, No DD, Nate fills in as Par, Henry covers Kamina
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Without haste – but not unduly so – the Blades set out for the distant city of Oreme. Before leaving, a squire approached the group as they saddled their horses and loaded their provisions in their pocket dimensions. The boy spoke slowly, chastened by fear. The old healer on the edge of town they had earlier sought had been found cold. Her tongue removed and missing.
The trek through the mountains south of Sundabar was uneventful. The frigid weather had kept the precipitous jumbled paths clear. Two days later they were soon afoot the long road Delimbyr, heading southward. Achmed, with his pleasantly high diplomacy skill, conversed with some traveling small-scale merchants and their three hired swords, traveling from a village off the beaten path. They warned of small bandit gangs, and were given hope of good things to find at Sundabar in return.
A week of travel later, the party was assaulted by terrible moans of despair. Tracking the source, the Blades found a pillaged caravan. Inside, an old woman clutched her dead husband, petrified by grief. The party consoled her, then ran down three bandits which the trails lead them to. The old woman herself finished off the last ruffian as he cried for mercy. The aged human woman introduced herself as Agaleena, the wife to a merchant in Oreme. The party gleaned useful tidbits of information about the city from her, including its exports and the ruling Grey Council.
Travel became slower has the Blades changed direction to the east; off the road and into marshland. They traversed bridge after bridge. One bridge in particular mattered more than the others.
A tattered old thing. Probably left unmaintained since the Wailing Years. Carefully, the Blades crossed, reinforcing any questionable gaps or rotten wood with their pouch of ice.
A haunting and beautiful song rose up about them. The world became a soft haze, and the sun dimmed as if covered by a sheet of wool. Most of the party became dazed. Agaleena was gone. In her stead, drifting along the cracked boards above the placid green murk, was a true hag. Long gnarled arms, pointed teeth, wrinkled purple skin – a beautiful song that drew them deeper into nightmare. Her sisters crawled onto the bridge beside her. Two moss covered, putrid human shapes cackling in shared sadistic glee.
After seemingly an eternity, the song ended – yet the trance remained. She told them she had tracked them since their contact with Lady Saharal. She saw the threads of fate which entangled them, and told of her intention to severe them. As the hag spoke, she unraveled a sack from her waist with clear intention. A cursed grin crossed her lips, “A gift from a friend,” she said.
From the pouch spilled a torrent of sorrow. Severed head, after head, after head – hundreds – a relentless stream into the green waters beneath. All of them fey-touched air genasi; the family Achmed-Sol would never know.
The blood and movement attracted the Hydra which slumbered beneath the depths. It emerged in a cacophony of dark water. A pinkish mist showered them from above as its jaws worked savagely through skulls.
Combat commenced. The party emerged bloody and triumphant. The night hag retreated into the wilderness screaming, “The Shadovar will end you!”