Session 31/08/2013 – Alex was absent, his character was played by Jaroen.
…after a night rest in the Fort, Irann and Hardok have more or less recovered, but Varnag is still having problems.
The group begins to make some basic repairs to the fort in preparation to the arrival of the rest of the caravan. Varnag, Cor and Hardok fix up a bit the fort tower, and reorganize a bit things.
This is also the first time they manage to get a good look at the fort and its surrounding in daylight.
The tower looks a lot older than they expected, obviously was built long ago with defense intention and has then been re-used by the trade houses as an outpost. From the fort there is a nice view of the entrance of the valley beyond, the valley begins quite rocky and then it becomes more and more green until the visible path disappears in the trees.
After some repairs the group takes a short hike to the mountain’s ridge and has a good look at the valley and maybe look around if there is a water source, but none is obviously visible.
Of course nobody has ever seen a real forest ridge or a forest before.
The valley is covered in clouds, like a dense fog that impede the vision. But the sun is warming the area, making the clouds rise.
In the distance to the east, the group can see a very huge tree, something that really stand out taller than the rest of the forest, in the west they can also see some body of water, like a pool or a small lake. Judging by the distance, the giant tree is probably half a day march from the outpost, but is unclear how good the terrains is in the jungle, more or less the same distance for the pool of water. Waiting a bit, the group witness a thunderstorm rolling down the valley in the distance, pouring rains into the valley. Rain is quite rare in Tyr, so they look in amazement while small trickle of water turns into huge roaring rivers in the distance.
There is a path, going from the Fort towards the forest, but the path disappear almost immediately in the forest, if there was a path has been completely overgrown.
Based on the informations they have, the group assume that Jadeite Tiger is somewhere in the general direction of the other mountain ridge, but exactly where is not clear.
The group assumes also that the giant tree they can see is a fabled Forest Colossus, and that the entire forest is under some sort of ancient anti-Arcane Magic influence that protect itself and is strongly affecting any attempt at Defiling, also, Arcanist in the forest should have an hard time using their abilities.
After observing a bit the environment, the group can safely assume that the weather cycle they have seen will repeat every day, so the day starts dry but foggy, then the fog lift and a thunderous downpour will follows, flooding part of the forest, then the water will surmise but the humidity will be really high and in the end the forest will became again dry for the night.
At the end of the day the rest of the caravan arrives at the fort. No major problems and everybody seems in good shape.
Discussing things with l’Tok, it seems that both the Tree and the Pool have some significance for the villagers, and they actually do travel regularly between the village and these two places. There is (allegedly) a trail or a path, leading from the pool to the village and also there is a small river connecting the two. There was a road (or path) going more or less in a straight line from the Fort to the Village, but that has been in disuse for about a decade, so nobody really knows what the status of such road is anymore.
The group decides that the best option would be to try to reach the pool and from there follow the stream to the village.
So the next morning, pre-dawn, the group is ready to take off again for the next leg of the journey. Varnag has enjoyed a full night rest and is in much better conditions than before, but Hardok is still suffering of a bad headache that impede his focus, so he has problems in reacting as fast as he should. But in any event, is time to leave the safety of the fort.
Traveling in the forest is immediately a bit awkward, the environment is alien for everybody, the lack of visibility and the possibility of dangerous animals lurking around are a bit disconcerting. Along the path the group notices traces that they interpret as Gith traces, it seems Gith have been using this same route in the recent past.
After a while, due to the strange environment, nobody is really sure anymore what the right direction is anymore. So Irann, Hardok and Varnag climb some trees and have a look in the distance. Irann uses here psionic capacity to have a bird’s eye-view of the forest, with this simple stratagem they see a dry riverbed not too far away, the group realize that the riverbed is going to be filling up with water as soon as it start raining and the water will flow directly to the pool, so just following the stream they will get to the pool, they also see that the rain has started to fall in direction of the far mountains range.
The group suddenly ears thunders rolling from the mountains, so everybody decides to stop and organize some sort of shelter, arranging tree branches, leaves etcetera. The downpour passes, leaving the group wet but not drowned. And indeed the flow of the stream reveal the direction to follows.
The environment is now ultra-humid and also ultra-unpleasant, that taxes the strength and endurance of the group. But by mid-afternoon, the group is approaching the pool. Along the road they also notices some carcass hanging in a tree, it seems some sort of animal, whose remaining have been left hanging there by some predator. While approaching, the group ears some known voices: Giths are there already!
Now the group is traveling in the denser part of the forest and Therai begins to feel that the Arcane potentials (the force he uses to perform arcane magic) is completely sapped by the powerful anti-arcane energy of the force, and using Arcane magic here would certainly damage him.
Approaching cautiously they notices 4 Giths, busy around some sort of “camp” near the side of the pool, the terrains around the pool is flat and open, but the undergrowth around allow some concealment. While considering the options, the group is joined by the rest of the caravan, so 3 mercenaries armed with bows joins forces.
The group decide to attack on two front: Cor and Irann will try to sneak around while Varnag, Therai and Hardok will try to attract the 4 Gith in their direction allowing the other two to attack from the side/back.
So Irann and Cor begins to sneak around the pool, but Cor is a bit distracted by the impression that something like a large animal is stalking him. Hardok enters the clearing and roars a challenge to the Gith that react surprised but not concerned.
They move forward to attack, and at the same time 2 of them uses some sort of psionic projection and generate 8 more “Gith-like” creatures (knowing that they are nasty but weak the group isn’t too surprised), the effect is that suddenly the whole clearing seems to fill up with Gith, the little projection run up to Hardok, surrounding him and inflicting a couple of hits, but the damage isn’t great, also one of the Elite Warriors attempt a psychic attack but isn’t much strong. Therai attempt a Disheartening attack that also blast Hardok in the process, the attack succeed and vaporize 3 of the projections but also damages Hardok weakening his attacks so Therai attempts an Healing action but that also damages him because of the weird magic effect in the forest. Varnag attacks one of the elite guards scoring an hit. In the meantime, Cor and Irann are waiting for an occasion to attack, but while in the forest, Cor has the distinct sensation that while he is stalking the Gith, something else is stalking him… something like a big cat… One of the mercenary shot an arrow to one of the Gith, hitting him in the shoulder. Hardok jumps into the fray, sweeping his sword and dissipating 2 of the projection with one blast. At this point, Irann decides that is time to do something so she burst out of the tree and attacks two of the guards with a wallop to the head for one and a flurry of punches to the other, the guard staggers back, Cor sees an opportunity and charges out of the trees, jumping the Gith and slashing him in the back with his sword, then he knocked him on the ground and finishes with a knife to the throat. Two of the “projections” now realize that Cor is in range, so they unleash a psionic blast at him, the blast is enough to push Cor back. The two guards hit by Irann recover from their surprise and attacks her, one hitting her hard an knocking her on the ground, this however throw the other one off balance and make him miss the attack. Therai pushes with his mind-thrust attacks against the surviving guards. Varnag jumps forward, swinging his Trikal around in a menacing way, at the same time he uses his healing word power to heal Irann. The Merc shoot another arrow against the same guard, that now has 2 arrows in his armor. Hardok charges one of the last remaining “projection” dispelling it. The Gith responds with a javelin at Cor, but he ducks and the javelin goes nowhere.
At this moment, something like a huge black cat jumps out of the trees and grab one of the mercenary at the back, biting his leg, knock him on the ground and begins to drag him away.
Irann springs up and hits the guard with her spear, pushes him in the rubble left by the pool and then she moves away. Cor approaches the remaining Guard, but he feels dizzy in getting close, the Gith is using his psionic power to create an “aura” that makes concentrating and hitting more difficult at close range, however, since he is on the ground, the attack still hits the target. To boot, Cor smashes the pommel of his sword against his back killing him on the spot.
In a flash, the group has wiped 10 enemy from the clearing, leaving only 2 Gith and one “projection”.
The Giths try to react, the one that was pushed in the rubble gets out of it and lashes with his spear at Irann, wounding her, the projection attempt at shot but misses and the last Gith attacks Hardok but misses the attack, and his spear stuck on the ground with huge force.
Therai attacks again with the mindtrusth, Varnag takes advantages of the distraction and swipe the guard with his trikal, slashing and tossing him back in the rubble and killing him, luckily the psychic backlash doesn’t hit anybody.
Meantime, the merc that was being dragged by the panther (or whatever), wriggles out of the grab, while another merc let lose an arrow that doesn’t hit anybody and the last one shot the last projection that dissipate.
This leave only one surviving Gith, Hardok advances and hits him twice swinging his sword and then swipe quickly his legs out, knocking on the ground.
The panther in the meantime, attempt another bite but doesn’t stick, then decides that the merc is not that tasty anyway so disappear in the jungle.
Irann jumps in and pummels the lying Gith that finishes him, the psychic discharge from the dying Gith hits Hardok, but the fight is over.
The group quickly regroup, bandages up the merc that was attacked by the panther and patches themselves up.
The Gith don’t have much stuff on them, but they have caught some forest’s animal and they were preparing it for eating. So everybody thinks that is a good point not to leave it to rot… Everybody start to look around if this is a good place to camp and marveling at the amount of water in the pool, that is not that much but definitively is the largest body of water that everybody has ever seen.
The apparent “camp” remaining are actually remaining of “vessels” something that looks like it was used to navigate the waters, by the size of the remaining they were used by very small peoples, and they have been burned. It seems that they have been burned and there are traces of paint on the vessels. The group wonders about the use of such vessels, something like some sort of ceremony. They also discover a small trail going towards the giant Tree they saw from the outpost.
Closing in to the water, Hardok notices that there are lots of bones washed up near the shores. Wondering what’s about, he grabs one of the Gith’s body and tosses it in the pool, there is a violent bubbling of water where the body has entered the water, and they can see something like small fishes jumping in and out in a feeding frenzy.
Climbing the tree where the carcass is, Hardok confirm that is a Gith, it seems that the panther is strong enough to grab and drag the body up the tree.
The group decides that not many creatures will came at night to drink the water and by keeping watch there shouldn’t be too many problems, so they decide to spend the night near the lake. Unfortunately, the place is not really “safe” so healing surges and daily powers aren’t regained (sucks).