Day 28, Month 9, 2 After the Night of Fire (ANoF)
As the player characters sit and rest, Sandor Frecks points out that there is no razorgrass to the north. He takes out enough food and other stuff for a bit of a meal, while Kahyr Argolun goes to check the northern perimeter. He sees grassland and hilly terrain, but in the distance he can make out the ruins that they are making toward. He hears the normal noises that one would expect in the wilderness, but sees no signs of life and finds no tracks. Kahyr heads back to the others and tells them what he has seen.
The characters continue travelling, Sandor leading them towards the northeast. They see the ruins in the distance, and comment on the fact that they must be quite larage to be seen at such a distance. They see ssome small animals, and as the terrain becomes more lush, more animals of various types become visible. As Krenai Denshawni talks to Currin Tullock about what he plans in terms of his farming, Sandor tells Kahyr that he needs to check out something based on a smell, and heads off to scout ahead of the group. Krenai questions Kahyr, and learns that he has no motivation to travel with them, and is travelling with them merely for the protection that they offer. When the characters reach the edge of the nearby woods, Sandor returns and beckons them over to where he is. They see that he's found an old fire pit with rocks, and there are faint prints present. Sandor and Krenai discuss the prints, and they conclude they are Oruskan. The two believe these may be scouts, but the discovery that Sandor made of a pouch with the Fiery Stars tribe logo embossed on it (the pouch contains some Ascondean coins) leads them to worry about the warband still being out there, even if none of them can remember how they eliminated the warband. Sandor expresses his concerns about Kahyr's less than cavalier attitude towards Keveli, and the two make their conflicting statuses and opinions clear. The characters continue towards the ruins, continuing their discussions about who made the prints.
With Sandor leading the way, the party arrives at the lip of a huge valley. They see a vast, deciduous forest before them, the ruins in the distance on the lip at the far side of the valley. There is something odd about the ruins, but none of the characters can figure out what it is due to their lack of city experience. The valley seems to bear crater impacts in places, and there is a pair of rivers and streams that wind through the valley. Sandor leads the characters down into the valley, noticing that there appear to be Warp Weaved areas and places within that shift at random. He is somewhat worried, but says nothing to the others.
As the player characters enter the woods and descend into the tree line, the effects of the shifting landscape around them become more pronounced. Krenai's wolf side and nature is intrigued by the forest, and the desire on her part to run through the trees increases as she continues to walk. Stopping behind a tree, and failing to notice the forest changing about her and the fact that she has lost Sandor, Currin, and Kahyr, she casts a spell to give herself the senses of the wolf - but the effect of the Weave distortion causes her to begin transforming into a wolf, and there is something different about the Burn she suffers, but she is so wrapped up in the new sensations and senses of the transformation that she fails to pay it much attention. Krenai the wolf is overwhelmed by the sensations, and she discovers that she cannot smell Sandor anywhere. As the transformation to the wolf is completed, she shimmies out of her clothes, and happy about her new-found freedom, wolf Krenai runs off into the forest.
Elsewhere, Kahyr informs Sandor that they've lost Krenai; the latter stops walking, and goes to sit against a tree that changes into a rocky boulder as Currin watches in horror. Sandor tells Currin and Kahyr that while he knows little of magic, he believes them to be in a Warp Weaved area where the wood keeps changing and shifting due to the magic. The three characters watch in awe and shock as the woodland landscape changes around them. The player characters sit and rest a bit longer, and then Sandor is able to lead them to an area of normal terrain, where there seems to be no magical effects. Sandor has them make camp and gather firewood, while he goes to do a bit of hunting and scouting.
Kahyr decides to see what he can learn from a height, and climbs one of the nearest trees. Something slimy touches his hand, and when he tries to reach for a dagger, he is bitten by some sort of tree lizard. He scrambles down the tree, but before Currin can treat the wound, Sandor races back towards them, shouting that there is a pack of five wolves on his tail. The player characters make a good, relatively quick fight of it, and are forced to kill all five wolves, with Sandor and Kahyr killing two wolves apiece.
As the player characters prepare to deal with the wolf carcasses, a new wolf charges at them from a different direction, and Currin watches as the wolf transforms back into Krenai; she barely avoids being spitted by Currin as he had planted his spear. The naked Krenai lands on the ground and rolls, and the collapses in a heap.
Krenai smells the wolf blood all over the area, and sees the bodies of the wolves, and Sandor about to butcher one of the wolf corpses. Oblivious to her nakedness, Krenai hauls Sandor away from the wolf body, and when Currin tries to intervene, she shrugs him off, pushing him away. Sandor tells her that she knows he has to butcher the wolves for their meat and pelts, as it's the Law of Survival in the After. She seems to calm down, but seems to be suffering from an...emptiness in her soul/spirit. Currin gives her a cloak to cover her nakedness once she realises her condition. She hears the slice of wolf flesh and the sound of Kahyr flensing one of the wolf bodies. When he asks Sandor what they're going to do with the wolf pelts, Krenai loses it and attacks Currin with a rock (doing 3N damage). When she hears another rip and the tearing of wolf fur, she lunges for Kahyr with the spear that Currin dropped, but when Sandor tells her to get it out of her system, she turns her fury on him instead. He grabs the bloody pelt of the wolf that he was working on to use defensively and shock her out of her rage, but it seems to infuriate her even more. The two circle as she tries to strike him, and when she manage to hit him with the spear and draw blood (a 1L wound), Sandor swings the pelt at her as a weapon and spatters her with wolf blood. Krenai loses it completely and accidentally spears the wolf pelt. Shocked, she finally loses her anger, pulls away, and drops the spear.
Currin picks up the spear and gives it to Kahyr, who goes back to work on the wolf pelts at Sandor's barked out order. Currin leads the semi-naked Krenai off to the edge of the area. The angry Sandor tells Kahyr not to ask questions about what just occurred with Krenai, and then says, "This is on her head" as he tosses the wolf pelt that she marred towards her, where it lands with a wet splat sound. Krenai cringes when she hears the sound, huddling under the cloak.
As you, the reader, can see, this game session of Desolation was somewhat different, and featured some really good, if at times over-the-top. roleplaying on the part of Tammy as Krenai. I don't believe that any character like hers, faced with the bloody wolf pelt in front of her face, wouldn't have been shocked back to reality, but that's not the way she chose to play it. In the meantime, poor Doug looked shell-shocked and totally surprised at times in the session, notably when Tammy's character attacked spross's Currin and then later when she attacked Sandor so savagely. The trip to the ruins was seemingly forgotten towards the half-way point of the game sesion, but there was enough stuff going on with spross's Currin and Doug's Kahyr that the gamers all had a pretty good time of it. All I know is that I was emotionally drained by the time it was all over.