We didn't game this week, but we did the week prior, and I am one week late in the posts. So first the game..
Our Hero and party spent another very dull night hoping to trap our escaped Chnéhl. It was annoyingly quite. The next morn they decided to try to control the camps perimeter with an improvised Baily, and decided to march into town to round up some additional slaves, or labor. They all went, leaving the camp open with the hope the Chnéhl might take the opportunity to explore it, and get themselves caught.
While in the village they met a small party of four strapping young men from the Four greater Black Clans – Black Fear, Black Water, Black Moon, and Black Flame - Their Pachi Lei Guide and their 20 slaves. The four told them they would be hunting in the area, and asked about game. Our Hero explained about the Chnéhl, and asked they keep a distance, and both parties agreed that it would be best if the hunters were well aware of the location of the parties campsite, so no accidents occurred. With new slaves in tow and the hunting party along side, they returned to the camp and the traps were – of course – still empty. The hunting party moved on up the mountain side. The camp site had simple wooden palisades on one third it's circumference by sunset. That night, they had some action on the perimeter, but it turned out to be a few Kurukú who had become curious about the camp.
So, the next morning they decided the bait smelled too much like a slave, and the camp site might be too threatening, so our hero took the girl and one of the beast handlers down to the river to wash her up.
When they reached the trail along the river that leads up to the Sákbe roads, they bumped into a party from the temple of Avánthe, a priestess and a few Aridáni Temple guard. They were a bit taciturn, but that didn't seem unusual considering the nature of the temple and its relationship to Hriháyal. Still, a bit of chit chat, and our hero learned that this group was headed out to survey damage and offer help to the locals. What else could one expect of Avánthe anyway..
After bathing the slave they headed back, and quickly found that the Good ladies of Avánthe are not above lying. Rather than continue down the trail along the riverbank, they had cut in and followed the path that our heroes party had taken out. They appeared to headed straight for the camp. But they never actually entered the camp, instead, circumnavigated it and continued on, up the mountain side. Suspicion started to settle in. It didn't take long for them to conclude that someone who returned to Butrús had leaked the information about the new cave entrance. A plan was hastily hatched, to pack up everything and move the camp to the mouth of the cave, and sit on it. That way they could try to control access to the cave, and still try to catch the Chnéhl. Only problem was they didn't have enough slaves to move the cage and all the tents and provisions. So the rest of the day was spent preparing for the move while a small party ran back to the village to get more hands.
Pickens for slaves were slim (the Black Clans had bought up most available) and so they hired some locals for strong backs and set out. They didn't even try to attract the Chnéhl that night, as the camp now numbered around 30 persons. The next morning they made their way slowly through the jungle and up the side of Silver Mountain, with a growing caravan of labor and gear. But as they were setting out another party arrived. This consisted of Two Priests of Thúmis and their guards. They were forthright. They wanted to explore the caves that the party had found and felt it might serve both parties to join forces. Seems word was spreading quickly amoung the temples (as the rescue of a High Priestess is good gossip) and it was not unreasonable to expect the area to get a lot of attention in short order. It would only be a matter of time before the government got wind of it, and they would certainly send troops to “secure it” in the name of the Petal Throne.
When they arrived at the cave entrance they determined that someone had already been there, and entered. From the size of the camp they guessed it was the Team Avánthe. No sign of the Black Clans. Now it is time to remind our reader that the entrance to the cave was a sink hole, and a rather steep, slippery and deep one at that. So,they built one tent directly over the hole, (and placed the cage inside).
But that was not quite the end of the evenings session. They sent the day labor home, and set watch to catch the Chnéhl. Early in the first watch our hero, who was in bed, as he prefers the last watch, was awoken by a scream. The slave girl had come running out of the tent hysterical. She insisted the Chnéhl was in the tent. Swords drawn, our hero entered, finding nothing. He went back to the hole but could see nothing. He figured if it was Team Avánthe, there would be lights or at least the smell of torches recently doused, but it was black. But to be sure our hero tried to pull up the ladder, on the reasonable assumption that it really didn't matter who was first in the hole, but who was first out. “There is no Concordat in the Tsu'urum.” It was heavy. Really heavy. Then there was the sound of movement, and the ladder was light again. And with that we called it a night.