posted Jan 30, 2021, 12:20 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Propyltina 16th, Year Two of the Reign of High King Ran

The trio has been wandering the Barbarian Plains for about a week, guided by several different scouts, some from other tribes. They have been making observations of the droughts spread and effects and listening to the stories of the tribes they have encountered along the way.
Rael Octavius: This place is getting desolate.
Fennimore: I think I liked "The City" better.
Perri Elastime: It is not pretty.
Liufr: It is growing worse by the year.
The common thread of all the stories and observations is that the land has been drying out over the last decade since the great battle that transpired to the east concluded with the simultaneous destruction of three powerful elves that fought against each other, disrupting day and night as a result.
Perri Elastime: Did it start in an area and spread?
Liufr: Not really. It has been widespread and constant.
Fennimore: Where is all the water going?
Liufr (points to the mountains): Up there. The glaciers have been growing ever since, as well.
Fennimore: Hotter and drier down here. But, if the glaciers are growing, it must be colder and snowier up in the mountains.
Perri Elastime: So, it is falling on the glaciers as snow?
Liufr: Yes.
Fennimore: Maybe we need to hire an efreet to melt the glaciers and send runoff down into the valley.
Perri Elastime: I wonder if we could melt some of the glaciers so their melt could nourish the plains.
Perri Elastime: Should we go up to the glaciers?
Fennimore: Oh, do you think there's a frost giant up there that is hoarding the ice?
Perri Elastime: I don't know. I haven't been to a glacier before.
The trio notices the clouds over the mountains are heavy and streaming precipitation most of the time.
Perri Elastime: Maybe something is attracting the water.
Liufr: The winds on the plains carry into the mountains when the sun is shining.
Perri Elastime: Perhaps the Winter Queen?
Liufr: Winter Queen?
Fennimore: If she has established a foothold here, it would be bad news for everyone.
Perri Elastime: The Fae Queen.
Liufr: Oh, the elven queen from the battle was the force of good. She was called Theirastra, I believe.
Perri Elastime: She likes to make everything over into snow and ice.
Fennimore: I think you're right. We need to get into the mountains to see why all the water is staying up there.
Fennimore: If it's the Winter Queen, she is more powerful than the three of us can deal with, and we need to get that news back to King Ran.
Perri Elastime: Snorri mentioned that there had been a Fae presence around. Have you noticed this?
Liufr: I would blame the bad weather and drought on the elven king from the battle, Enialis.
Liufr: He is the one that cursed The Hierophant with undeath.
Perri Elastime: The near-constant sun is sure to upset weather patterns.
Fennimore: Four stars means it's always been sunny around these parts.
Liufr: The Hierophant was the third elf in the battle. His name is Beleshtash.
Perri Elastime: What were they battling about?
Rael Octavius: I have heard that name before.
Liufr: Beleshtash?
Rael Octavius: Yes.
Fennimore: Theirastra, Enialis, and Beleshtash? They are all new to me.
Rael Octavius: He has been mentioned in conversations with High King Ran.
Perri Elastime: The Hierophant is part of a druid order, right?
Rael Octavius: It is common knowledge in court that the High King witnessed this battle to which you refer.
Fennimore: Did he partake in the battle?
Liufr: Oh, Chieftain Ran. Yes, he was almost killed when he approached Enialis.
Perri Elastime: I guess it wasn't like sharing a skin of wine.
Fennimore: And probably not like your sparring sessions with the King.
Liufr: The battle was a confrontation of Enialis' evil. These three elven lords wielded powerful artifacts that caused the cataclysm when they were each destroyed.
Perri Elastime: No. I have never gotten close to killing him.
Perri Elastime: It sounds to me that we should investigate the site of the battle and the glaciers.
Liufr: The battle raged far to the east between the tip of the Dragon's Tail and the inland sea.
Perri Elastime: I think we should at least scout the glaciers for Fae presence.
Rael Octavius -> Perri Elastime and Fennimore: Our guide is starting to seem distracted.
Perri Elastime looks around.
Liufr begins to wander.
Fennimore looks to see what has caught the guide's attention.
Fennimore sees gazelle moving in their direction.
Perri Elastime looks for Fae.
Fennimore: Perri, look over there. Beasts of the plains are running towards us.
The trio is approaching another nearly dry stream bed with a few nearby fading trees.
Perri Elastime: That's different.
Fennimore: Maybe they are thirsty and are seeking out the stream.
Perri Elastime: Maybe.
Fennimore: Guide, if we kill one, can you dress the carcass? It would provide food for days.
Liufr: Something for dinner tonight. I will bring one of them down. You should take a look at that stream.
Perri Elastime: He doesn't want our help hunting.
Perri Elastime heads toward the dry stream bed.
Fennimore joins Perri.
Liufr starts to trot off towards the gazelle.
Perri Elastime: Coming, Rael?
Rael Octavius: Right behind you.
Rael Octavius: That was a strange bird call. Did you hear that?
Perri Elastime: I didn't hear anything.
Rael Octavius pulls out his staff.
Perri Elastime looks around. This seems to be a good place for an ambush.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: Something is going on.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Did you see something?
Dulgulachared -> Perri Elastime [Elvish]: I feel surrounded.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: No, but my rapier senses something.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Better listen to it.
Perri draws her magical weapon, starting a bladesong, and readies for trouble.
Perri Elastime -> Rael Octavius: Something is going down.
An arrow flies from the tree to the west and narrowly misses Perri.
Rael Octavius emboldens his friends and gurgles with a spell in his throat.
Another arrow comes from the tree to the east and would have struck Rael if not for his magical shield raised at the last moment.
Fennimore: Look out! There are a whole bunch of warriors in the stream bed!
Tribal warriors begin to charge out from the stream bed.
Perri Elastime: Hey, I don't want to hurt you. We are here to try and help you!
Perri Elastime moves away, avoiding the attack of the closest warrior, and adjusts her stance to defend against the onrushing warriors.
Another arrow sails past Perri.
One barbarian launches a javelin at Rael as they approach, which passes between his head and outstretched staff.
Fennimore: These guys don't seem to want to talk.
Perri Elastime: I noticed.
Rael Octavius breaths fire upon two of the warriors.
Rael Octavius blasts the same two warriors with a second gout of flame, dropping their flaming corpses to the ground, and then runs away.
The remaining warrior stabs Rael as he retreats.
Hjotr rushes forward and swings his greataxe at Perri but misses.
Another arrow almost finds Rael again, but he blocks it with his magic.
Fennimore moves to flank the barbarian and slays them with one thrust before moving up to Perri and hiding behind her.
Perri produces a shadowy blade and strikes the big barbarian next to her. She then maneuvers around this barbarian to set up a flank for her next attack.
Rael is hit, and his breath weapon fails.
Another arrow nearly strikes Perri, but she blocks it with her magic.
Another barbarian attacks Rael with a greataxe, cutting him with a glancing blow.
Rael Octavius recovers his breath weapon and breathes fire on the barbarian who just struck him and then quickens a firebolt and burns the barbarian some more.
Hjotr aims his greataxe at Perri, but she miraculously dodges the blow and the follow-up swing as well.
Another warrior jabs a spear at Rael but misses.
Fennimore: Dodge those axes!
A warrior thrust their spear at Perri and misses.
Another arrow from the east tree strikes Rael and breaks his concentration on his breath weapon again.
Fennimore slides over to flank the barbarian harassing Rael and slays them with a thrust of his rapier. He then slides behind Rael and hides.
Three of the tribal warriors stab at Perri with their spears, only one manages to injure the bladesinger with a lucky thrust.
Perri Elastime, now surrounded by barbarians, conjures spectral blades that whirl around her, striking at her opponents. Two of the warriors fall while others sustain wounds.
A warrior threatening Rael misses with a thrust of their spear.
Two more arrows fly from the west tree at Perri, but her shielding spell blocks both.
Rael Octavius heals himself with Lehnbor's divine gift and then quickens another firebolt that strikes one of the warriors threatening him.
Hjotr ineffectively swings his greataxe at the elusive elf.
The warrior just set aflame by Rael's firebolt thrusts at him with their spear, but the sorcerer blocks the strike with his magic.
A warrior threatening Perri misses a thrust with their spear.
Two arrows fly from the east tree, both striking Rael despite his magical spell's protections.
Fennimore slides around to flank the uninjured warrior harassing Rael and guts them with a single thrust. He then slides back behind Rael again and hides.
Another warrior misses Perri with a spear thrust.
Perri Elastime conjures her spectral blades again, striking down one of the three remaining barbarians and heavily wounding the others.
The scout in the west tree fires two more arrows at Perri, but they miss their mark.
Rael Octavius turns toward the east tree where another scout has exposed themselves and launches a firebolt at them. It smashes into the archer, and they fall dead from the tree. He then erects a divine defense about himself.
Hjotr continues to try and slash Perri with his greataxe but fails.
The last warrior threatening Rael attempts another thrust but misses.
The tribal warrior still standing against Perri misses with a spear thrust, as well.
Fennimore sneaks up behind Hjotr and knocks the barbarian leader out with a well-placed, debilitating thrust.
One of the two remaining warriors and the last scout relent, seeing their leader fall.
Perri Elastime knocks out the warrior next to her before he has a chance to run.
The remaining scout puts away her bow and climbs out of the west tree.
Rael Octavius whacks the remaining aggressive warrior over the head with his new staff, knocking them unconscious.
Fennimore ties up Hjotr.
Perri Elastime ties up warrior Rael just knocked out.
The scout approaches with hands in the air.
Sabine: I surrender.
Fennimore: Very wise of you.
Rael Octavius ties up the last warrior.
Fennimore: Lay down your weapons and step away from them, and no harm will come to you.
Sabine: Are they dead?
Rael Octavius: Most of them are.
Perri Elastime: These three still live.
Fennimore: Let's keep it that way.
Sabine: You should just kill Hjotr. He will not live anyway once the chieftain hears what he did.
Perri Elastime: You attacked us. Why?
Sabine: Hjotr was protecting the treasure he found.
Fennimore searches Hjotr for weapons and sharps.
Perri Elastime: Treasure? We don't want your treasure. We are here to help the people of the plains.
Fennimore glares at Perri.
Fennimore (sarcastically): Yes, help. We're here to help.
Dulgulachared [Elvish]: What?
Rael Octavius [Elvish]: Quite, Dulguachared.
Fennimore: Where is your chieftain's camp?
Perri Elastime (bewildered): What is wrong with you?
Sabine: Towards the mountains.
Fennimore: We are headed into the mountains ourselves. We would like to meet your chieftain.
Sabine: This can be arranged, but you do not want to go into the mountains.
Perri Elastime: You want to check the binding I did, Fenn?
Rael Octavius: What is wrong with entering the mountains?
Fennimore: Aye, I'll be sure your knots are good and tight.
Sabine: There have been avalanches and prowling dragons.
Perri Elastime checks the prisoner Rael tied up.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: If someone tells you they have treasure, you don't go leaving it laying around.
Fennimore looks to Rael.
Rael Octavius: More dragons?
Perri Elastime: To solve the plight of the plain people, we must investigate all areas.
Sabine: What are you going to do with these others? The dead should be buried.
Fennimore goes to the other two warriors and searches them for weapons and disarms them, piling their weapons, along with Hjotr's a distance away.
Sabine: Leave Hjotr for the hyenas.
Perri Elastime -> Fennimore: I won't steal from those that are struggling to survive.
Perri Elastime: The chieftain should deal with his treachery.
Sabine: Chieftain Bjorg would say leave him to the hyenas.
Fennimore (to Sabine): We will help you bring your wounded and your treasure back to your chieftain.
Sabine shrugs.
Fennimore: Hjotr's punishment should be meted out by his own people, not visitors like us.
Sabine: It is in that big tree over there by the stream.
Perri Elastime: I'll look.
Perri Elastime runs to the tree.
Sabine: The people of the plains are warriors. You are impressive warriors. You should finish off the defeated.
Fennimore: That is not our way. We only killed out of the necessity to defend ourselves.
Perri Elastime looks in the tree.
Sabine: There is no place for treachery, and they deserve no mercy or have us waste food on them.
Perri Elastime finds an old iron-bound chest stashed in the hollowed-out tree.
Fennimore: We came to the plains seeking knowledge and to share what knowledge we have with you.
Perri Elastime: Hey, there is a chest over here.
Sabine nods.
Perri Elastime tries to drag it out.
Fennimore: Breaking bread with another is the greatest act of kindness we halflings bestow on those we meet along our travels.
Sabine: Hjotr knows what he did. He will fight if he wakes up. He is powerful.
Perri manages to drag the chest out of the tree.
Fennimore: If he continues to fight, he may die. He cannot defeat the three of us together.
Fennimore: We have a guide, another of your brothers hunting among the gazelle. We will share that feast with you tonight, and then we will all go to see your chieftain.
Perri Elastime sees that the chest is elvish.
Perri Elastime looks for writing on it but finds none.
Sabine: Very well.
Perri Elastime opens the chest.
Perri Elastime: Wow, this is a treasure indeed.
Sabine whistles.
Sabine: We have horses nearby.
Fennimore looks at Sabine.
A minute after Sabine whistles, three horses approach.
Perri Elastime: I, for one, do not want to stay close to this field of carnage.
Sabine: This is Hjotr and his seconds' horses.
Fennimore: Let's load up the treasure and the wounded and find our guide.
Sabine: We can go to our camp away from here once the dead are buried.
Perri Elastime: Better start digging then.
By the time the dead are buried, and you have had a rest, your guide returns with a gazelle draped over his shoulders.
Fennimore: You missed the excitement.
Liufr: What happened?
Perri Elastime: It was ugly.
Liufr: Sabine?
Sabine: Hjotr happened.
Fennimore: I don't suppose you knew these guys were lying in wait for us when you told us to check out the creek. So you know her?
Liufr: Oh.
Fennimore is suspicious that Llufr was in on the ambush.
Liufr: No. I had no reason to think Hjotr would be this far from the mountains.
Perri Elastime: I tried to talk with them. I told them I did not want to kill them.
Fennimore: Sabine tells us she has a camp nearby. Let's leave this bloody field behind and take our rest in her camp.
Sabine: Why not, Liufr? The danger near the mountains is driving us all away from there.
Liufr: He is the last one I thought would give up.
Perri Elastime watches the exchange between the two Plains People.
Sabine: Follow me. The camp is south, just over that rise.
Fennimore: Hjotr didn't surrender willingly, and nine of your kin paid the ultimate price.
Fennimore looks south.
Perri Elastime: A terrible waste of lives.
Liufr: There will be more for the rest now.
Perri Elastime: Which horse is Hjotr's?
Sabine: The one with the battered shield.
Perri Elastime: I'm pretty sure we should not put him over his own horse.
The trio sling the unconscious over the horses, straps the treasure to Hjotr's horse, and heads south towards the camp.
Fennimore searches the horses for weapons, finding none.