Tuesday, October 18, 2016

To Ground in the Snow.

     At first Harrick thinks to the take the battle outside, but the quick realization that they are far outnumbered, and that the mysterious Dragonborn sorcerer is present, changes his mind. While Cawyn's eagles manage to inconvenience the wyvern for a few moments, they are efficiently dispatched and the wyvern lands with a powerful beat of leather wings. One or two Draci are brought down before the group is forced backward into the house.

      This proves to be only momentary safety. Snap is brought low by a rush of Draci warriors in the back of the mission. The General calls down a hellish ice storm within the mission house, catching most of the group in it's painful path. As the Wyvern gets set to follow up the magical attack, Harrick wearily shuts and bars the door, for what little good it will do.

      As the others continue to hold the back door against the Draci, the General calls out above the throng. In heavily accented common he gives the group an ultimatum: "Lay down your arms and come out of the building with your hands raised. This is your one and only chance to survive this day!"

      The group takes a moment to consider their chances, deciding to fight rather than surrender. As the door bows with the heavy blows of an enraged wyvern, Sorsha emerges from her hole, staggering forward. "You cannot die here! I will give you the opportunity to escape. When the doors open, close your eyes and block your ears. With luck, I will catch them all."

     Harrick argues that she will be killed, but Sorsha insists, claiming she may well hide if the Gods are with her and cutting off any further protest by lifting her voice in a defiant Syvani song. When the doors break a crescent rainbow of dazzling energy arches above her. The party quickly covers their eyes and ears as the enemy is momentarily stunned into immobility. When Harrick thinks to resume the killing, Sorsha warns him such action will break the effect. With heavy hearts they gather themselves and escape through the back, taking a few seconds to dispatch the Draci there before disappearing into the woods and down the hill toward their canoes.

      They are met near their boats by a small fox who quickly transforms into the Lady Sariah. The Witch promises to help them escape, but seems to be suffering from some unknown illness herself. She explains that "Grandfather will take you to safety," motioning to a huge Crog waiting in the waterway. Though Calder notices something off about Sariah, they have little choice but to follow her commands. As they allow the giant Crog to pull their canoes into the fog and snow, they ask Sariah to help Sorsha if she can.

      A half candle's fast travel finds them somewhere to the south of the Mission. As the Crog departs, they huddle on a small, treed island, once more lying low, in hopes of eluding pursuit. The snow continues to fall thickly, and the heavy fog covers them like a blanket.

      As the hours tick by, it appears the group has made their escape.Throughout the day the weather continues to worsen, quickly turning into a heavy snowstorm that covers their already well hidden camp. They see to Snap's head wound, with Cawyn taking the time, and the last of his magical energies to properly heal the wound, and prepare for a long rest. In that time, Calder attempts to make crystal comm contact with Mudton Flats, but fails. He does manage to pick up a broken comm signal from some other nearby Crystal set, catching the words, "-torm is blinding us. Call your men back to the camp. We will continue the search whe-" before the signal is lost. The voice isn't recognizable as that of the Dragonborn, and sounds like a man with an Argosian accent.

      They stay put throughout the remainder of the day and night. When the weather finally breaks, Calder attempts another crystal transmission. He's able to get through to Sharpe in Mudton Flats and reports their progress. Sharpe reports that he's having doubts about the Woag attack, and thinks the agression may have come from the Neran side. Cawyn attempts to question the fish, but without much luck. They decide to try for the Woag camp.

      It takes them awhile, but Cawyn is able to retrace the bird's path, eventually finding the great Tangle. Unlike the Bloodroot's domain, the Woag's tangle appears to be in much better shape and has somehow resisted the cold far better, though it lies closer to the center of the Murk. Steering clear of the Draci scouts at the waterway entrance, they opt to pull their canoes into the trees some ways off.

     After Calder sends a spy bug to check the nearby terrain, Cawyn makes contact with one of the many birds, this time a crested northern jay and makes his Druid's bargain. He learns that the Draci have moved into the Woag's home, and darkness resides where the Guardian once dwelt. From this, he gathers that the Tangle is possibly a Place of Power, which would explain it resisting the cold.

      When he travels along with the bird's senses, he's able to see the Woag's hometree in the center of the Tangle. It's a massive Southern Oak over two hundred feet tall. In it's branches are wooden houses and walkways. At it's base is small, warm lake. Off to one side is a hot spring, surrounded by constructed docks and buildings that hum with machinery. Draci and Woag's are industriously carrying barrels to and from the buildings.

     To the other side of the tree is a massive chunk of ice, easily thirty feet across. Attached to it are three machines that hiss and sputter, ducts traveling away from them and along the base of the tree. Before the bird flies back, Cawyn counts two to three dozen Draci and at least a dozen Woag's, who appear to be under guard as they go about their work. Crog riders man the docks at the base of the tree.

      In the shadows at the edge of the tangle, the party discusses their options.

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