Saturday, January 11, 2020

Chasing a Blaze in the Northern Sky Session 11 Summary

Despite being competent enough to capture a saber tooth tiger, the Combative Companions lacked the basic foresight to actually make a prior agreement to motivate their efforts in the first place. So, the party returned to the merchants for their journey to Skyfa, with a bound, and very aggressive beast on the ship and the back of the head thought that they'll deal with the whole"getting money" part at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Continuing their trend of doing work for ambiguous pay, they now have a new task given by several merchants as they enter the Island of Samarta. There are five villages on this island with them already arriving to the village of Yahzi. The remaining four villages however, they wish to be mapped out and guided to for the sake of selling their goods. Of the four villages, three exists in the general direction of east through the island's swamps. So, the party set off east in hopes that they don't somehow miss all three villages. They party also does something that they've been holding out on for a while, and makes sure that everyone, even the more miserly members of the party, have a horse to increase their rate of travel. A task tougher than they'd assume based on the natural instinct of the horses available to scatter at the sight of the frogish abominations that compose parts of the party.

Once they managed to equip the party, they set off along the eastern shores in a mostly uneventful series of days, finding nothing more than the occasional rubble of what was once a building or a stray statue. Klaatu was verbally roasted to death by someone in a group of men that they met however, which doesn’t help them in any way, but is worth noting regardless. It isn’t until their third day of travel that something notable happens as the party finds themselves ambushed in the middle of the night by a group of men claiming to be the "Sword of Marduk", which they’ve heard before as the weapon of the man they had a riddle competition with. These men do not seek riddles however, only wishing for the blood of the “unclean”, referencing the frogmen that can be found in the party.

Thinking quick, Matthias, one of the only holimen in the party, tell the men that he and his fellow holiman Halthor have come to this island in search of a cure for the condition these cult-worshipping mutants face, which manages to calm them under the assumption that the party did not make a pact with a frog demon, and were merely cursed. With them less inclined to murder everyone, they are actually willing to talk with the non-frogmen and provide some valuable information. They tell the party that there is a not too distant temple the party can reach that will “cure” the mutated condition of their party members. They give directions to the village of Athorsi. And the party learn that the Oogi, who is also one of the frogmen that they were going to kill, is considered a scoundrel with a reputation so bad that it's transitioned beyond Lestryhonia. Good thing he goes by Paul now.
With a reevaluated sense of direction the party heads to southeast Athorsi.

As they’re traveling, the party comes across a group of devils who they assume were associated with the stories they were told of devils who held the secrets of making tar, and may be able to sell them something. First impressions were poor however, as they did not take kindly to the priest, and found the worshipers of Lord Zaba to be laughable more than anything. It was clear these demons showed little interest in supplying tar with them. It did not matter however, as the party quickly learned as they approached that the pit they were gathered around did not contain tar, but rather held a men begging for mercy, that was being tortured by these devils.

Most of the others cared not for the man’s fate, but Matthias was not going to let this man be doomed to the fates of devils and made a bold gamble for his life. He was going to play a game of dice for the man’s life, and if he lost, he would denounce his fate, and submit to the will of Satan. Confident in is faith however, Matthias agreed, rolled his dice, and then promptly lost...but with the power of the lord he accidentally spilled a bottle of his holy water onto one of his dice, miraculously transforming it into a better roll before anyone noticed.

Defeated, the devils kept with their agreement, and freed the man who tells the party he’s a villager from Athorsi, and with his guidance, the party makes it to the first of four villages.

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