It's recappin' time! Last night, we caught up with the characters from NuNeng. How new are they? So new, they don't even have a decent name for their party or their campaign yet. How about “Swiftside Story” for the time being?
When we last left our intrepid party, they had agreed to carry a message to the Enchantress of the Burning Forest. (Or, rather, Thamon had agreed, and hired the others to come along.) The previous session ended on the cusp of an encounter, and as we pick up the trail, an encounter there was….
Our party found the path through the forest blocked by a trio of men, whose shambling gait (and the fact that they were on fire) revealed them to be fire wights. Thamon quickly pulled out the charm he had from Chedorlai, which gave the wights pause, but quick empirical testing indicated that while the wights hesitated to approach it, it didn't provide a physical barrier, nor did it enable the bearer to command the wights. Since the wights didn't want to surrender the path, it was time to fight.
Joshohai struck first, burying a throwing knife in a wight's eye, but it didn't go down. Josiah managed to take one out with his sword, and Joshohai finished off the others with two more throwing knives. Tobias got his licks in, but ended up receiving a bear hug from a wight, which set his shirt on fire. His “stop, drop, and roll” technique wasn't terribly effective, but fortunately Joshohai was there to smother him in a wool cloak. (Evidently, smothering her younger brother was one of Joshohai's hobbies as a wee lass.)
Flush with victory, Joshohai was disappointed to learn that fire wights don't go out when they die, and can't be extinguished with water, either, so she was unable to retrieve her knives. Aware of his sister's thrifty nature, Tobias offered to replace the knives at his own expense, in gratitude for the loan of Joshohai's cloak. Thamon heaped praise upon his employees' efforts, and the party set out again (with Joshohai aiming some impolite comments about sheep at Tobias).
The group soon came to a fork in the road, which struck them as odd, since they had been informed that there was only one road in the Burning Forest, and it went straight to the Enchantress' tower. Fortunately, Thamon had the presence of mind to try the charm on the paths, and found that it tugged to the right. A couple of uneventful hours later, the party found themselves at the gates of an imposing stone tower.
The party was suitably impressed with the tower, from the courtyard full of non-burning plants, to the gates that opened by themselves, to the spacious interior floor plan that didn't match the outer dimensions. The Enchantress herself was no less impressive, a tall, striking beauty with long black hair. She accepted the message with grace, and invited the party to feast and stay the night before returning to town. As the hour was late, the party agreed.
Tobias cautioned Joshohai against stealing silverware from an enchantress, and Joshohai gave him a noncommital reply that didn't ease his mind any. She was too busy stuffing her pockets with food, in any event, despite Thamon's warning that the food would probably vanish once they left the tower. The party retired to separate rooms, decorated more sumptuously than the three commoners had ever seen before. Rumor has it that the Enchantress entertained Thamon more personally during the night, but if so, he's not saying.
In the morning, the Enchantress gave Thamon a return message for Chedorlai. She then thanked the party for their service, told them they were welcome at the tower any time, and gave them each their own charms, for which they were grateful. The party set out quickly, hoping to get back to the tavern in time for lunch.
Back in the forest, Joshohai was pleased to note that the food she'd “set aside” the night before didn't vanish, but she was frustrated that Thamon wouldn't let her examine the Enchantress' letter. She didn't have much time to stew about it, though, as a clothyard shaft landed between Thamon's feet. A voice from the woods proclaimed, with much profanity, that the voice's owner was an assassin, looking for the Enchantress. He'd spent all night wandering confusing paths in a forest that was supposed to have one straight road, and he was tired of it. He demanded that the party divulge the secret of how to find the tower. When Thamon tried to prevaricate, the assassin chose to continue negotiations with arrows. Tobias proved to have some skill with profanity himself as he readied his bow and challenged the assassin, but Josiah was faster, flinging a “cloud your sight” curse. Instead of venturing into the forest to face the assassin, Thamon opted for the better part of valor, and the rest of the party followed their employer.
After a quick discussion, the group decided that delivering the letter to Chedorlai took priority over warning the Enchantress about the assassin, and that they could head back to the tower later, if they desired. Most of the party headed back to the tavern to wait for Chedorlai, except for Tobias, who, after a gentle reminder from his sister, headed off to the smith to commission a set of three throwing knives.
Next time: Will the party go after the assassin? Will Joshohai get her throwing knives? Will Chedorlai get her letter? Tune in and see!