If there is one thing I have learned in my short time with our company, it is that Adventuring is a Dirty Business…
We continued South, through Harken Wood. Over soiling mud through thrashing brush we went, in search of this ‘Ranme the Hermit’ (or ‘Ranme the Mad’ – depending on whom you are speaking with).
To say that ‘we’ found ‘him’ might be a bit stretching, although certainly we were aware of the beasts of the wood which tailed and flanked us through our search. Even now I’m unsure what my final assessment is of the man, although I will say in his favor that he was able to cure our goliath of his diminutive situation in addition to providing us assistance.
In fact if it wasn’t for Harriet, I would say I was quite fond of the fellow…
Ah Harriet… The one item Ranme ‘forgot’ to mention. One would think a monstrous turtle with a temper for trespassers would be an important fact to include when sending one on a mission.
Perhaps in the long run it is a lesson for us to learn about reconnaissance and preparation. I must say I would very much to have liked to see Jub-Jub successfully calm that reptilian beast!
Heading back, we once again found tragedy in Harkenwold; several building were ablaze – including the good Inn of the Slumbering Serpent! While we found Belba alive, Ollwyn was apparently taken in the night by several fiendish creatures… ghouls by the description. A hag’s beard, more ghouls?!
Deciding to pursue, we headed North – riding nightmarish steeds produced by our warlock. North, in the direction of the Raven Roost, the location indicated by Ranme as the source of the taint which has cursed the barony. Sehanine was with us that evening, and by moonlight we caught up to the creatures, galloping ahead of us on all fours. At the head of the pack was a mysterious robed figure, whom we found to be Priest Abramo!
The creatures halted as our party bore towards them, and Jub-Jub launched the first volley whilst standing atop his steed. Fearless, the creatures advanced, raking claws grasping at both horse and man. It would be a lie to say that each of us did not feel the numbing sting of ghoulish claw.
How we survived that ordeal is a mixture of Avandra’s grace and Bahamut’s wing! (And if I might add, a bit of draconic healing…) Even I felt a moment of despair when Abramo banished our warlock, effectively removing him from the latter half of combat. Justice was meted however, as one-by-one Abramo and his fiendish minions were felled low. All praise Bahamut!
Tattered but alive, we now face a decision: do we forge ahead, battered and bruised, to the Raven Roost? Or do we turn back to replenish, knowing full well our actions may create dire repercussions for the residents of Harkenwold…