Kira hears rumors • Quimbly “heads” back • The Bard & the Druid meet an elf and kill an orc • More orcs have the villagers in a pen • Orcs are ferocious • Vanished into thin air
Several days prologue, Kira Bly heard through her network of informants that her friend Quimbly had run into some trouble in Tamran. She had some minor business to conduct there, so she thought to check in on him. By the time she arrived, Quimbly and the rest of the group had left for Crystalhurst. Kira’s underworld contacts informed her of the two lycanthropes sent to kill the group, so she also raced for Crystalhurst, hoping to warn and aid Quimbly.
5 Kuthona, a Moonday
After the previous evening’s fight with were-creatures, the group finished an evening of rest as best they could. The following morning, Quimbly left with the severed heads of Porter & Grestle, hoping to collect his reward from the Pathfinder Society representative in Tamran. Auzhek journeyed with him, fearing that a halfling with two severed heads could easily be misinterpreted. He hoped that being a paladin of Iomedae would let him vouch for his small friend.
Maccus, Karandrahan and Hilda Martoum had only a short journey left before arriving in Crystalhurst. The first residence they encountered was abandoned, and appeared to have been looted. Karandrahan briefly imagined he heard a woman scream, as if embarassed, when he looked in a water closet. A trick of the mind, or something more? Moments later, Maccus noticed an elf examining another nearby tree house. Galador, a resident of Crystalhurst, had returned home to find the city abandoned.
Maccus and Karandrahan ducked out of sight until they could sort out Galador’s intentions, when an orc strolled up a nearby path. The creature was lost in whatever passes for thought amongst its kind, and didn’t notice the others. When the orc started into a house, Galador shouted a warning for the creature to move along. The orc bolted, crying out for “Rorg!” Not wanting him to escape or warn others of his kind, Galador loosed his arrow. Maccus also emerged from hiding and fired his crossbow. Both hit, bringing the orc down. At that very moment, Kira arrived on horseback. The small band agreed to work together to find the missing townsfolk of Crystalhurst.
Moving towards the center of town, the group managed to sneak up on more orcs guarding a small pen of villagers. The orcs leader, Rorg, spotted the unstealthy members of the group and a pitched battle ensued. The orcs proved capable combatants, and dangerously difficult to dispatch. Both Maccus and Karandrahan’s cheetah were nearly slain, and everyone else suffered substantial injuries. In the aftermath, an orc child was discovered nearby. The group seems determined to foster the girl, perhaps to assuage guilt over killing the first of the orcs, who may or may not have been minding his own business.
There were only six villagers in the pen, out of hundreds or even thousands that used to live in Crystalhurst. These survivors were able to relay their tale to the group:
A few days ago, a wedding was supposed to take place in the city. However, the groom died in an accident the night before the wedding. The day became one of mourning, and the wedding guests gathered for a funeral instead. At that service, a ghostly figure appeared and screamed. When the apparition vanished, much of the congregation disappeared as well. The city was in chaos over the loss of some of its most important leaders, and unsure of what to do. The following evening, the apparition appeared again, and more villagers vanished. That was enough to send most of the remaining citizens of Crystalhurst scattering. Within a few hours, the city was abandoned. A small band of orcs was passing through the area, and noticed the undefended city. The orcs captured a few stragglers in the area, and that is what put them into conflict with Maccus, Galador, and the others.
Injured, battered, low on spells, and ammunition, the group collects itself before moving on….