Earr 6th, 907
The player characters decide that they will have to get by the skorons, if they can, to get to the seriously wounded caravan personnel. Tifenn (Tammy) attempts to slowly make her way closer to the burnt out wagon and the bodies, but this triggers an attack as a skoron jumps at her. She takes a claw wound from the creature, but manages to kill it. Leonor (GM NPC) manages to kill one skoron, without taking any damage from it, and Dogmael (Doug) manages to kill one of the skorons, but is somewhat hurt. Urien Lorn (Steve) is hurt pretty badly by one of the skorons, and is actually unable to kill it. The skorons flee once they have taken losses, leaving their dead behind.
While Tifenn goes over to check out the various bodies at the site of the burned wagon, Leonor takes guard duty and keeps an eye on the perimeter, while Dogmael goes over to where the sorely wounded Urien is. The varigal finds the tracks of the two wagons and caernides that were taken by the brigands, leading deeper into the forest. Dogmael heals Urien of some of the damage he has taken with one of Urien's healing salves, but cannot heal all of it. Tifenn checks the bodies, and finds that they are predominantly caravan guards, as well as several others who were likely attached to the caravan. She finds that two of the caravan personnel are alive; they are both only alive because of the winter conditions and the low temperatures. She is able to stop their bleeding from the wounds, and applies healing balms to assist in their recovery.
The two caravan personnel come around, and the characters learn that these are Faroe Mac Toran, the caravan master, and his guard commander, Eswion. Faroe Mac Toran sees Tifenn and asks her if she is ionnthén; she replies that she is. He tells her that the caravan was attacked by brigands, that they burned one wagon, and took two others. He believes that it was Teress's band. When Urien hears this, he is able to tell the group something about Caitine Teress and her brigands, information that worries the characters somewhat.
The characters discuss the situation, and Tifenn and Leonor tell the others that Mac Toran and Eswion need proper medical care, and that they won't survive a trip on a travois back to Bläs, let alone Tálesh. Leonor volunteers to go back to Bläs and get some men with a wagon to take the injured back to the village. Meanwhile, the rest of the player characters will remain here, clean up somewhat, and take care of the two men. While the player characters work and go about their business, Urien's motives for looking for the missing caravan are brouhgt up, and Tifenn becomes suspicious about what the Reizhite is really doing there.
Tifenn goes about doing her business for the moment, and makes the two men comfortable, while Dogmael moves the bodies of the dead to a relatively nearby snowdrift where they can be disposed of, and Urien continues to make the rounds, and guarding the perimeter. He stops to look over the burned out wagon, and is somewhat surprised to see movement from the collapsed wagon. While Urien demands to know who's there, Dogmael goes over and removes pieces of the burnt wagon, to reveal a young Tarish girl with dirty silver-brown hair and emerald eyes, wearing somewhat ragged clothes. She screams when she sees the Reizhite, and leaps to attack him with a dagger that only Tifenn sees. She shouts a warning to Urien, but too late. Both Tifenn and Dogmael are shocked by the events, and Urien takes a serious dagger wound that seems to have not been so bad when Tifenn checks it out [spross rolled a critical success on the Stamina roll]. The girl, Dunyasha, is hostile and belligerent, and tells the characters that some of the brigands were Reizhite and that *he*'s (Urien) a Reizhite, too! She says that she and her mother were travelling with the caravan, heading for a place called Tálesh, when it was attacked. The brigands took her mother and another woman who was travelling with the caravan. When she learns that the merchant, Faroe Mac Toran, is still alive, she joins the other survivors. And she tells the player characters that she's hungry.
Tifenn goes and starts to skin the dead skorons for supper and to make some broth. Dunyasha goes over, and helps her, and Tifenn can see the young girl has some skill at skinning animals with the dagger and knows something of cooking. Urien commences to make a fire, and Dogmael goes off once more to pray to the One God. When Tifenn checks things out, after Dunyasha screams about where he's placed the fire (and failing to bring Dogmael out of his prayer meditations), she discovers that Urien's fire is poorly laid out and in a dangerous spot that could bring the brigands down on the party, not to mention set fire to the forest. She wonders whether Urien is working for Teress and the brigands. She puts out the fire with the help of the others, and starts to create a proper fire pit in a safer spot. After they reset the campsite up and have some food, Dogmael goes back on perimeter duty while Tifenn goes to look for the tracks that Leonor had found earlier of the wagon directions.
Some time after early dusk sets in, Leonor returns to the section of road where the characters are with some of the men from Bläs, and a wagon with a pair of caernides. Leonor doesn't seem pleased to meet and see the Tarish girl, and he avoids her. Tifenn asks him about this, but he won't say anything to her. The Bläs men and Leonor eat a late supper, and then everyone beds down for the night.
The next morning dawns bright and somewhat warmer, and Faroe Mac Toran and Eswion are loaded into the wagon, and the Bläs men set off on their return trip. The tension about the young Tarish girl travelling with them continues, however, as Dunyasha refused to join the Bläs men and the injured merchant, insisting that she wanted to help find her mother. Tifenn takes her aside and tries to convince her to go with the merchant and guard captain, even going so far as to tell her about her own experience with feondas and the deaths of several good people, but the girl is extremely stubborn. She asks if anyone is willing to tie the girl to the wagon, but realises that it wouldn't make a difference as Dunyasha is too slippery. She spots Dunyasha trying to hide so that she can follow them, and tells the girl to come and join them so they can go and find her mother, as well as to keep her warm. Leonor lays down the rules to the girl about her demeanor and behaviour on the trip, and Dunyasha acquiesces. There is also some tension around Urien's cooking breakfast that morning, specifically about his Reizhite cooking of the morning meal.
The player characters, Leonor, and Dunyasha set out on the trip, following the trail of the wagons and caernide tracks deeper into the pine forest. While the girl is physically fit, Leonor sets a good pace and Dunyasha eventually asks when they will take a break. The varigal decides it is a good time to do so, and the characters break near a small easing off in the vegetation. As Tifenn takes the opportunity to check her boots, she leans down just as an arrow whizzes past her and thunking into the tree. The characters are under attack!
And that wrapped up this session of Shadows of Esteren. I thought the game session went relatively well, and to be honest, there was a bit of good roleplaying in this session, though with spross's character still not properly set up in terms of his History and Personality material, it's difficult to tell whether he's roleplaying the character or not. Tammy did a good job as usual, and the interplay between her and Dunyasha was quite good. Doug was more active with his character this time out, and that is always a good thing. I actually had Leonor, the varigal NPC, take the two injured caravan folks back to Bläs so that the three player characters would have a bit of time to roleplay off each other, but that didn't happen too much. Oh, well, perhaps next time.