22nd Ascending War, before sunrise.
Sikram rises from the broken glass along with his opponent. The killer and his quarry face off. Before they can duel, Almorn appears with Salob Locin and Reyacrogen. Almorn appeals to the assassin’s desire for self-preservation, “You’re outnumbered. Put down your weapon and we may let you live.”
The assassin complies but before they can do anything, one of the missing assassins rejoins the battle. Not wanting a repeat of the scene inside the inn, the bruised Rey and Salob hop on the back of their bear companion, and the party flees to the nearest guard post a quarter mile away, yelling for the guards the whole way.
The assassins give chase, joined by the third one as they put distance between themselves and the inn. The chase goes poorly for our adventurers, slowed by carrying the wounded. The assassins manage to land a few weapon strikes but it’s not enough to stop the group from reaching earshot of the guard tower. Realizing they’ve failed, the assassins drop into the shadows to evade capture.
Hoping for relief, our adventurers accept the guards’ offer to let them stay in the jail cells for the rest of the night.
22nd Ascending War, after sunrise.
The yesterday’s events must be investigated, so the party heads back to the inn to look for clues. The innkeeper is none too happy to see them, let alone in the middle of cleaning up the mess they left for him. He quickly convinces them he knows nothing while insisting they pay him for the damages. Almorn haggles him down to 3 gp for his troubles.
Our adventurers finally depart for Umbarton.
On the road to Umbarton
Each night Rey and Sikram get in touch with their animal sides and howl at the moon. One night, the call receives a responding howl. Rey is compelled to investigate, with the rest of the party too curious to stay behind.
Tracking proves easy, and the group quickly locates the beast. It’s perched atop a rock formation, its silhouette visible in the moonlight. Rey informs the group he must go on alone, as he wants to engage the animal in a test of wills, a ritual he must engage in to move forward on his spiritual journey. Rey climbs up to meet the wolf, who either doesn’t notice or fear him. As Rey closes in, a clear look at the beast triggers a memory in Rey: he has seen this wolf before. “But I watched her die… didn’t I?”
The wolf shapeshifts and Rey’s world is turned upside down. She takes a humanoid form, that of the mysterious half-elf Melisande. Melisande speaks,
I never dreamed I’d see you again and have to explain what I did. We met all those years ago on the plains and as a bit of childish mischief, I stayed in wolf form. After we spent so much time together I developed strong feelings for you and I did not know what to do. Worse, I knew the path my life was taking and I could not allow you to get drawn in. I faked my own death to free you from the burden.
Our meeting in Albany tracking the same abomination proves our lives are forever intertwined. I must confess that seeing you again brought up feelings I’ve tried hard to forget and now I simply cannot anymore. I love you, Reyacrogen. I can’t stand that you’re involved in this foul business as deeply as I am but I couldn’t ask for a better companion. I want you to take this cloak I had made. It is magical and will protect you from harm.
She further explains that she was looking further into Yannick Hondros and discovered he hired assassins to kill them. He will not let this failure go. She will return to Albany to follow up on what they’ve discovered regarding The Order and keep an eye on Yannick.
After returning to camp, Rey explains what happened to the rest of the crew. He includes the part Melisande left out about their meeting: when he was young he had a wolf companion that ended up saving him from the same doom as his tribe. He’d thought it had died saving his life.
The rest of the trip to Umbarton continues without incident.
26th Ascending War
The party arrives to the town they once visited, to find it in ruins. As they travel closer to investigate, they are set upon by a group of zombies. They quick work of the undead and move closer into the town. They locate a survivor, the proprietor of the general store whom they interacted with in their first visit.
She tells them that they were attacked by a horde of undead and it left no one alive. Setting off to render judgment for this tragedy, the party finds what they’re looking for to the west, in a magically darkened area. Magical darkness proves to be little more than a setback, until the party discovers the ruins of a city with more undead guarding it. As they move to attack, our adventurers steel themselves.
Absent from this session was Frambard Dimble’s player, Joe. Frambard moved to the background.