Session 7 (7th July 2014)
Note if as a player your GM is likely to run Retribution by Raging Swan please DO NOT read any further. Retribution is one of the most superb adventures, very far from a standard dungeon crawl and would be truly spoiled to play by the information contained below. If you’re a GM I really recommend buying and running Retribution, so far it’s been a blast and even an entire session without once rolling for initiative hasn’t put the party off.
As Ythel finished his story and lapsed into silence the question of what to do next loomed large in our companions minds. While none of them was feeling in a forgiving mood having brought Ythel back round killing him now didn’t seem an appealing option Searching him and stripping him of his weapons and armour was an obvious start. Dvadi took the pragmatic view that as Ythel’s breastplate fitted him and anything hostile they met was there because of him, wearing it was the only option that made sense. While searching Ythel they also discovered a small key which they were correct in thinking might fit the chest they had found in a previous cave. The chest contained a variety of treasure including what was later identified as defaced icons stolen by Ythel from the Priory.
Eager to see if there was another way from the caves than recrossing the tidal pool the party questioned Ythel however he replied that he knew of no other way in or out of the caves. The party explored the caves finding Ythel had told the truth, the only promising passageway being blocked with an old cave in. Finding no way to avoid it they retraced their steps where, with more time and the lack of an attacking enemy they crossed the tidal pool almost without incident. Elorhir got swept off the rock by a huge swell that hit while he was half way across the rocks, luckily his strong swimming was enough to get him back out again before he was swept away.
At last the group, with Ythel well bound reached the safety of the Justicar Hall as the sky was lightening with the dawn. Skirting the bodies of the fallen zombies and goblins, now frozen where they fell, the group went to the guest quarters. The occupants were understandably nervous as Hederas knocked on the door, Malvenos and Adan opened the door cautiously and their relief was obvious as Armitage and Elrohir followed the cleric into the room. As they entered Ruan roused himself and Eiravel sheathed a dagger and relaxed onto her cot, Rossenn lay asleep in the corner. Dvadi waited outside keeping Ythel out of sight while the others explained their nights activities and broke news of the former monk’s story and betrayal. Malvenos’ outright anger at Ythel was tempered by Ruan’s concern and the party willingly handed their prisoner over and left to search the fallen and get something to eat before bedding down in front of the fire in the dining hall.
While the weather had broken and conditions improved it was two weeks before it was felt that the journey to Swallowfeld would be safe. The group spent their time helping repair the damage caused during the night time battle, reading in the library and training in the garth. Ruan spent much time with Ythel and all hoped that some healing took place on both sides. The effects of that night however had unfortunately snapped what was left of Rossenn’s sanity and even Ruan held out little hope that she would recover much. On a happier note during this time the party got to know Adan Keast whose injury was the reason that they had ended up at the Priory in the first place. Adan was a good solid man who ran a farm in Swallowfeld with his family and the whole group found that very quickly they picked up a rapport with him. He told them of his children and a little of the Swallowfeld life. He told of The Wolf’s Head (already patronised by the party) where the innkeeper’s wife was an incurable gossip, of the occasional disappearance of children at what is assumed to be the hands of goblins, of the strange and unfriendly folk of Oakhurst and the dangers of the roads. Adan was hugely thankful to the party for saving his life but completely genuine in his enjoyment of their company and his respect for them.
What to do with Ythel was discussed at some length during those two weeks and the party in the end agreed to take him to Kerensa’s Hold in Swallowfeld where Sir Talek Annear ran the garrison. Ruan also asked the party if they would take a message to Meylor Vosper, High Priest at the Justice Of The Light temple at Wolverton, advising her of what had happened at the Priory. Ruan gave the group sealed letters for Sir Annear and Meylor Vosper and when the weather was finally deemed suitable the six travellers set off with the donkey for Swallowfeld.
The journey passed uneventfully, the weather was clear and the snows thawed enough that the path wasn’t difficult. As they came into Swallowfeld itself Adan pointed out his farm on the other side of the river before leaving the group to rush home and let his wife and family know that he was still alive after nearly three weeks away. The remainder of the group approached Kerensa’s Hold where they were shown in to meet with Sir Annear and hand over their prisoner. The old fashioned warrior was most eager to hear their tale and listened uninterruptingly to it, obviously concerned by what he heard. He took charge of Ythel and having scanned the letter from Ruan asked the band to speak with him the next day before they left for Wolverton.
Taking their leave of the commander all were deeply relieved to reach The Wolf’s Head who had already been warned of the group’s return. The smell of cooking food, the good rich ale and the warmth of the fire after a long day’s walk through the bleak woodland was exactly what was needed and this is where we now leave them as bowls of rich meaty stew are being served in front of a roaring fire…