Tom Annadale (SteveR) - Soldier (Man-at-Arms)
Jaina of Tessar (Tammy) - Messenger/Air Mage
Tanar Ranvek (GM NPC) - Ranger/Hunter
Japrian 22nd, 2556 GA (Galenian Age)
The dryad questions Jaina of Tessar, wanting to know why the characters have come to the area and what their numbers are, but she is not forthcoming with her answers. The dryad loses her patience, and Jaina notices that she's been entangled in vine-like substance from the scrub and brush in the area. She tries to shake herself free, but cannot do so, and the dryad "squeezes" with the vine doing damage [some 9 FT points worth]. In frustration and anger, Jaina uses her bronze dagger to cut through the vine, and the dryad traps her in a Hand of Earth spell, angering Jaina even more. She still refuses to answer the dryad's questions. Jaina notices that the whirlwind has resolved itself into an earth elemental that is some 9 feet tall.
Tanar Ranvek recovers his senses [after finally succeeding at a Willpower x 3 check], and talks to the dryad amiably. Koreth tells her that they are there to look for a camping spot, and that their numbers include those of a caravan as well. The dryad asks him if he knows a Master merchant Koreth, and when he tells her that he does, and that's the caravan, the dryad welcomes him to the camp, and says that Master Koreth's caravan is welcome here, and that they will extend Oakheart's hospitality as usual. With a wave of her hand, the dryad frees Jaina, who is beside herself, and asks why she didn't tell her who she was? They could have avoided all of this. The earth elemental dissipates.
Tom Annadale recovers his sense finally, and he, Jaina, and Tanar discuss who should go and bring the caravan to this welcome spot of respite. It is decided that Tanar will go, as he has the skills to do so, and he says that it should take merely 1-1/2 to 2 hours to bring the caravan back, so it will likely be dark by then. He tells Jaina and Annadale to find an area to set up for a campsite, and do the preliminary work, and he'll be back as soon as he can. After Tanar leaves, Jaina and Annadale begin to wander the area, in search of a suitable site.
Annadale wanders forth, and heads for the river that is located near to the tree, north and east of it. As he approaches the swiftly running water, he feels uncomfortable; he hears a melodic, watery voice say that they haven't her permission to take any water from this place yet, and must pay the price. He flees, and rejoins Jaina, who has found the old campsite used by Koreth and his people before. He doesn't tell her of what happened at the river.
The campsite at night. The double dice are wagons, the whiteish-brown dice are other guards, and the red dice are fires.
Two hours later, after dark has fallen, Tanar returns, leading the caravan to the site that Jaina and Tanar have prepared. Once the wagons have been sorted out and the camp established, the cook prepares to go to the river along with two of the guards to fetch water. Annadale tells the caravan master what happened at the river, and the annoyed Koreth tells him to go to the river and make the arrangements with the water spirit [nereid?] for the caravan folk to acquire water. It is a reluctant Annadale who heads back to the river.
Arriving at the river's edge, he digs the torch that he has brought into the dirt some few paces back from the edge, and asks the water spirit to allow them to gather and drink the water from her river. The water spirit demands that he pays a price, freely given. Annadale waffles and hesitates, all that he offers her proving his selfishness, and he annoys her with his attempt to make music with his mouth and hands (what she calls "body noise"). She angrily tells him to begone, a spout of water dousing the torch, and he leaves.
Returning to the campsite, Annadale admits his failure. Koreth's wife, Damira, chastises and embarrasses him before the entire company, and calls him a fool. The caravan master is annoyed with him, and says that he's docking him one day's pay. Damira asks for volunteers, but pointedly looks at Jaina. Jaina volunteers, though she declines to have Tanar or Annadale accompany her (the latter because she fears he'll make the situation at the river worse).
Jaina bravely goes to the river, travelling in the dark by the light of the campfire and the starlight available. She talks to the river spirit, and offers to tell her stories of her home river [the Tessarine, back on her home island in the Archipelago], and the river spirit is delighted with this, but says that she must talk the whole time that the caravan people are drawing water from the river. She does so, until Koreth's caravaners have taken what water they require - but suffers vocal exhaustion [losing 2 EN points, and the use of her voice]. The water spirit informs Jaina of the curse that she has placed on Annadale. The rest of the evening goes quietly, and there are no attacks on the caravan.
The next morning (Japrian 23rd) dawns crisp and cool, and it's raining. Jaina wakes to the smell of porridge, and sees that Damira and Taran are making the breakfast, having a laugh as they talk despite the weather. Tanar sees that she's awoken, and asks Jaina if she'd be kind enough to gather some more wood for the fire. Annadale wakes to find that he's being somewhat shunned by the caravan personnel, the guard Pasha telling Tanar and Jaina that it's no less than he deserved for his "disgraceful" performance last night. Guard Master Viranna Kolber addresses the camp members, and tells them they'll be leaving as soon as the wagons are re-packed and ready to go. It's a good couple of days before they reach the edge of Carazala.
The day's travel goes well at first, several hours going by uneventfully, though the dampness chills everyone to their bones. From her place on the wagon, Jaina spots what appears to be a group of armed men (bandits?) approaching the caravan, a fact confirmed by the guard, Rab. Master Koreth quickly orders the caravans to take up a more defensive position, and then the battle commences.
Ten bandits attacking the caravan. Tough times ahead!
The ten bandits are wearing leather armour, and are armed with knives, short swords, and spears. The battle is relatively quick, but brutal and bloody. Tanar fights a single foe, and suffers minimal damage [3 FT points]. Annadale faces an opponent, and manages to kill him with the help of the ever-present guard captain, but suffers serious injuries [22 FT points total]. Jaina faces a pair of opponents towards the end of the fight that break through the caravan guard lines, and is wounded somewhat [she takes 8 and 5 FT points, respectively]. Her opponents are dealt with by Damira, as she uses her magic to put both of them to sleep.
When all is said and done, the fight concludes with the characters and the caravan personnel assessing matters. Two of the caravan guards have died, of the others all have taken wounds, seven of the bandits (including their leader) are either dead or dying, and two of them are sleeping. The player characters breathe a sigh of relief.
Sunday's game session of the DragonQuest RPG campaign was one that went as well as I expected it to, though there were a couple of rough moments (notably spross's inability to deal with the nereid over a 35-minute period of time), but this was redeemed by the involved combat sequence at the end of the session. There was little character development on Tammy and spross's part, but that was to be expected.
In any event, I'm looking forward to next week's game session. Should be interesting, if everything goes as I expect it to.