Day 4, Month 9, 2 After the Night of Fire (ANoF)
It has been approximately a week since Phedrin Mor's death. The villagers of Keveli are still in shock, but they are dealing with their grief in a muted fashion, as they are concerned about the warband that threatens the village, and what they perceive as a relatively imminent attack.
As is her wont of late, Krenai "Blueeyes" Denshawni is out on patrol some two days from the village, with Sandor Frecks and a relatively young soldier who has been trained in the village, Lev Treyhi. At the end of what feels like a very long day, Sandor decides that they should camp in a small copse of nearby woods. As they reach the edge of the copse, Lev spots what appears to be a body, and he and Sandor cautiously approach it, Krenai moves around a bit so as to approach it from the flank. They come upon a blond-haired man in his early twenties, wearing rough spun clothing, who appears to be dead. There are a large number of belongings scattered about the area.
Sandor pokes the body of the blond man with his spear point, and the man wakes with a start, having been recently unconscious. While they learn his name, Currin Tullock, they barely have a chance to question him further, as Krenai warns them of the scavengers coming towards them after Lev tells them that he feels something is wrong in the area.
Three scavengers armed with clubs attack the player characters. Lev deals with his attacker rather quickly, handling him with ease, but is distracted as he spots the danger Krenai is in. Sandor is able to dispatch his scavenger attacker with alacrity. Meanwhile, the newcomer, Currin Tullock, attempts to distract the attacker on Krenai, who is having his way with her combat-wise, but only mildly distracts him. Krenai is saved by Lev, who dispatches her attacker, and then returns to the fight he was engaged in with the third attacker. When the man sees his two friends have been killed, he begs for mercy, and Lev and the others grant it to him.
When the skirmish is done, Currin goes over to check on Krenai, but is brusquely sent away by Lev, who examines her and realises that she is merely unconscious from her club wound, a bad crack to the head. Sandor tells Lev to tie up the remaining scavenger, and he does so using some nearby vines. He and Sandor turn their attention to the newcomer, Currin Tullock. Currin tells them that he was Cushu farmer who spent the Long Winter in the Shagg'rekh mine. He left the mine after the Long Winter during the late stages of the Thaw, and came upon a group of travellers. He joined them on their journey south in search of their own people. After emerging from the Sarav Forest, they encountered a terrible creature - a large, great cat, with the heads of a ram and a serpent, winged, with a stinger tail, that breathed fire. The creature decimated the group, and Currin fled. He doesn't know for how long, but he reached the copse, and doesn't remember what happened to him after that. Sandor and Lev don't believe his story, but Sandor tells Currin to help them out by gathering up the salvagable goods in the copse, and tells Lev to keep an eye on the scavenger prisoner. He tells them that he's going to check something out, and leaves the copse.
Krenai wakes up, and even though she is still dazed and confused from the club blow, learns Lev's version of the events, and then she questions Currin. She gets various ramblings from his dazed and scrambled mind, but the story he tells her is basically the same as the tale that he told Sandor and Lev. She also questions the scavenger prisoner, and learns that he is part of Sabina's group, and that he had knocked Currin Tullock out about one day before.
Krenai, Lev, and Currin are startled when a voice says, "Hello." They see a figure approaching them, that resolves into a woman wearing somewhat tattered leathers and clothing with a sling on her right arm. It turns out the woman's name is Sabine Tok Cheng, who recognises and is recognised by Currin Tullock; she was one of his travelling companions. She comes towards the group, followed from behind by Sandor Frecks. Krenai gets her first full look at Sabine - she looks exactly like Sabina Gwyn! - and immediately points her sword at Currin's throat. Sandor explains that Sabine is Sabina Gwyn's twin, and that she is one of Currin's travelling companions, the only one who survived other than Currin, as far as they can determine. He had found her on the other side of the copse, with the broken arm that Sandor has managed to bind. Krenai notices that Sabine appears to have webbing between the fingers of her visible hand. Sabine explains that she survived the attack, watching the creature that attacked them flame two of her friends, incinerating them on the spot, and blindly fled. She hasn't had any food for some three days. Sabine notices the captive scavenger, and in a fury runs up to him, kicking away and shouting about how he and his two friends left her to die. Not only that, but while she was lying in the depression where Sandor found her, they took her possessions and left her for dead.
Over the next several hours, Krenai, Sandor, and Lev talk and debate about what to do with Sabine and Currin. Sabine tells them that she is a Rover entertainer. Perhaps there is room for one of her kind in the village? She learns that there are several other Rovers in the village (but in fact, there is only one other Rover). Currin tells them that he is a farmer. The three from Keveli feel that he would have a definite place in Keveli, but they are not sure they can trust the other two.
Finally, Sandor, Krenai, and Lev make their decision. Sandor tells the scavenger, whose name they learn is Brek, that they will let him go; they tell him to tell Sabina of their mercy and leniency, and Sandor says ghey'll allow him to scavenge items from what is left in the clearing, other than their belongings and those of Sabine and Currin. Brek does hear Sandor and the others discuss with Currin and Sabine about the presence of the Warband and their potential imminent attack on the village before he leaves.
Sandor and Krenai inform Sabine and Currin that they have decided to take them back with them to Keveli, and to let the Council decide their fate, as they have information on Sabina, the cat-like creature that attacked them, the Rover troupe, and the dwarfish mine which they can impart to the villagers. They will camp in the copse for the night, after disposing of the bodies of the two scavengers that were killed, before heading back for Keveli in the morning.
I was pretty pleased with the game session for the most part. The game session ran a bit short, as I needed to reintroduce the two players to the game world and mechanics again somewhat, but they were both cool with that. spross had a bit of trouble explaining Currin Tullock's story to Sandor and Krenai, but managed well enough and I filled in some of the bits for him in that regard. The fight against the scavengers was pretty basic, since we hadn't played Desolation in a bit, and I wanted to re-introduce the combat mechanics with something relatively simple. Besides, the scavenger attack brought the two player characters together in a manner of speaking, and that worked on multiple levels, so all was good. :) Both Tammy and spross told me that they had a pretty good time, and Tammy was happy that the introduction of the new player character wasn't dragged out, as I really didn't want to do that. All in all, a good session.