It has been a two sessions since I last updated the blog. A lot has happened for our little party, and, honestly, doing a single write up has proven daunting. I may take this in smaller bites.
Last time we left off Suni had volunteered to enter the hole and investigate the groaning sound. She was joined by Sanjesh, with the understanding that they would not leave the vicinity of the bottom of the ladder. There was some delay, and they found only tracks in the mud from the collapse. Appeared to come up from the river, to the bottom of the hole and head back to the river. They were humanoid, but as if the human had been dragging themselves on their bellies. The legs did not appear to function. The river had subsided. Suni, ever impulsive, had called out. Surprisingly, someone replied..
Suni: Any one there?
Reply (female):Who wants to know?
Sanjesh: We are the way out..
So they went back up and pulled up the ladder. The rest of the night was quiet. In the morning Hrun took several guards and 10 slaves to town for supplies. Hrun had decided to leave the operation to Sanjesh, and get his own tuckus back to the comforts of Butrús.. Sanjesh decided to spend some time looking for Chnéhl signs in the vicinity (with the Beast handlers doing the same thing..) . They didn’t find any. When he returned he was met by a delegation from the Village by the Sákbe Road Tower. They were angry, and, in a subservient manner (being lower cast) demanded the party deal with the Chnéhl with all haste. Three children had gone missing in the past few days. They couldn’t prove it was the Chnéhl, of course, but it seemed a likely suspect to the village.
The entire operation moved to the village, leaving the camp open. At the village they interviewed the elders and found the children were last seen by the river, quite a way from the forest edge. Other children who knew the lost ones denied any interaction with strangers, and had not seen the Chnéhl The next morning the party split in two, one investigating the site of the disappearances, and one going back to the original campsite to look for Chnéhl signs, or other evidence. Both found tracks.
At the original campsite, they found tracks from several adults and one child. They came from the area down hill towards the Turin and headed towards the Guard Tower. They followed.
At the rivers edge they found human tracks, formed up into a marching column, headed downstream along the Berjádu. Once out of the village, they moved up to the trail, and were lost amongst the general wear and tear of a heavily used path. The tracks had a military air about them and, based upon the depth of the prints, the makers were either heavy, or burdened.
The party reformed, and in the evening, they decided to follow the trail along the Berjádu towards the Turin. In the morning, they met the boy who had accompanied them from the fishing village on the Turin after they had found shelter for the Guard who had been attacked by the Ghár. We gave him a name, as he is beginning to look like an important character to the plot. Hruku. He was with some adults from the fishing village, and they had also come to report the loss of a child, and they also suspected the Chnéhl.
So, they took a portion of the group.. The players, the Beast handlers, three Hriháyal Guards and 10 slaves, and set out along the Berjádu. Suni, with her exceptional balance, traveled the rocky rivers edge keeping pace with the group. Her job was to look for signs that their quarry had gone into, or across the river. When they reached the ford, they decided to cross and investigate, and, as they were close, to go down to the wreck of the barge again. Suni, Sanjesh and Mriga made this trip, leaving the rest at the Ford.
Now things got a little weird. First, they found the corpse of one of the drowned Hriháyal guards from the Barge, dead on the beach, near the wreck. That hadn’t been there on the last trip. More eerily, the only tracks leading to its resting place appeared to have been made – by the corpse itself. So, a bit of traditional stick poking, and satisfied it wasn’t going to move again, they decided to burn it. Sanjesh entered the Barge and heard a skittering chattering sound. He backed out. In a fit of glorious self preservation, they left.
Back across the Ford, they headed to the con-flux of the two rivers, and made camp. The night was quite, until last shift, when they heard a growing rustling in the trees. If I recall, Mriga was on watch, and he quietly woke the rest. The noise continued to grow. Gotta Love Suni. She threw a rock at the trees, but apparently missed everything. With torches in hand, they crept up, until they could see the source. Hu bats. Hundreds, perhaps thousands. The beast handlers informed them that, despite their numbers, they were “probably” not a threat. They were gathering to return to their caves. At first light they all took off, with a thunderous roar, and headed up toward silver mountain.