Note: If you are in my Sunday gaming group, please do not read this post, as there are spoilers in it for a future scenario that you'll be playing in. Thanks. :)
Earr 19th, 907
The player characters manage to overcome their surprise and revulsion at the animation of the skeleton (with Mazeo gaining a point of Hardening), and attack the creature, Guirec (Nick) and Mazeo (David) leading the way. The characters are surprised when the skeletal warrior doesn't seem to be affected by their weapons, but a lucky strike by Nolwenn (Joanne) with her staff shows the characters that certain weapons can harm the foul creature. Corentin (Tom) and Guirec pick up solid tree branches, and together with Morvena (Angela) and a somewhat reluctant Nolwenn engage the skeletal creature and smash it to pieces with their weapons.
With the fight over, the player characters catch their breath, and take stock of their wounds. Only Guirec was seriously injured, and Corentin does a good job of healing him, and binding his injuries, while the others examine the skeletal remains. The perceptive Mazeo spots what seems to be an odd stone among the creature's bones, and decides to pick it up and keep it for the moment. Meanwhile, noticing the strange look on Nolwenn's face (it is fear, tinged with regret), the other characters learn from the Ionnthén that she suspects this has to do with Morcail, as she believes they are the only ones capable of using the dead in this way. This worries the other characters, both for their own sakes but more for Nolwenn's.
The player characters decide to travel on, and stop after Morvena notices that Nolwenn is still shaken up. The characters eat a bit of food and have some warm tea, and that seems to bring the Ionnthén out of her state of stupor. Once they have warmed up somewhat and after Mylofa (Kathy) reassure Nolwenn, the player characters set off once more. They travel for another couple of hours, and Morvena spots tracks that she cannot identify, although she suspect that they are made by some type of Feondas. The player characters decide to camp for the evening, as dusk falls, and Morvena tells the others that while they set up the camp for the night, she and Guirec will make a few traps for the unwary. Guirec asks her why they are doing this, and the varigal says that she believes they are being stalked. While they work, the former Reizhite soldier flirt with Morvena, but her cool-headedness gets the better of both of them. It is an uneasy sleep that the characters get that night.
The characters waken to another somewhat bitter day, that gradually warms up as the day progresses. Spring is fully in the air this morning, but the player characters find the weather offers other threats to them. As they proceed through the overgrown terrain, the characters are attacked by a pair of dogmen. These minor feondas are quite strong and have good resistance to the elements, and an extremely good sense of smell, and are capable of using large weapons; this pair are using battleaxes and large tree clubs. Taking a defensive posture, Guirec quickly realises that they'll be killed if they don't jump to the offensive, and informs the others of this. Moving to the attack, Guirec's longsword, Corentin's spear, and Morvena's short bow prove the most effective weapons against the dogmen, but the player characters take severe wounds (most notable being Corentin and Guirec). With the dogmen dead, the characters treat their wounds as best they can, and loot the bodies - they get three wolf pelts, and some 12 Embers out of the fight.
The player characters decide to camp, and get as much rest and healing in as they can for the rest of the day and night. Corentin, Nolwenn, and Morvena do the best they can to heal themselves and their friends, using the last of the healing balms and ointments, and the characters spend some time hunting for food, talking, and bonding a bit more among themselves. Guirec and Morvena are somewhat forthcoming about their pasts, and the characters learn something of Guirec's past in the Reizhite military and the skirmish with Talkéride forces that led to his deciding to seek a more quiet life. Morvena shares with them how her life was changed by a Feondas attack and the acquaintance she already has with Mazeo Balcarin. As the characters talk, it becomes apparent that Mylofa Kranet is hiding something, while Corentin seems rather mundane and unworldly for the most part.
The next morning, the 21st of Earr, the player characters set off once more, somewhat rested, though Guirec is still suffering from his wounds as is Corentin. The player characters travel for several hours, the terrain becoming more lush as they move on. Morvena advises the characters to exercise a bit of caution, and Nolwenn agrees with her for reasons best left to herself. The player characters come upon an overgrown stone circle, and a number of partially worked mounds. The area looks and seems untouched except possibly by bird and beast, for many decades, possibly even longer. North of the once road they traverse, Nolwenn brings to the characters' attention a series of crudely carved stones, pointing out there are two raised areas there. The player characters decide to head in that direction and check out the place, as the map that they are using seems to indicate this is what they're looking for. The player characters cautiously move in that direction.
This game session of Shadows of Esteren went pretty well, I thought, but other than the two skirmishes against the creatures involved, was rather sedate and had a lot of good chat and dialogue between the players. Nick, Angela, Kathy, and Tom did a really good job in one memorable sequence, and shed a good deal of light on their characters to the other players. The players are getting the hang of combat quite well, and are limiting the risks they take at this point, something that I commented about to the group. Their response was something along the lines of, "Yeah, John, it's *deadly* in this game, we don't want to die!". Seems they've learned one of the basic Shadows of Esteren lessons well. :)
In any event, looking forward to Friday night's game. :)