A Brief Account of the Activities of the Party in the Year 640LB, during the Fourth Week of the 10th Moon, between the Day of the Frog and the Day of the Dog.
Barely four days have passed since the party that once called itself "The Eight" left the tricks and traps of the tomb of Sybil the Lachrymose and found themselves in the employ of the Brothers Jin and the collective wives, husbands, and families of the Jinstown Homestead. During this short period of time The Eight faced ambush twice, came in contact with the mysterious cult of Weavers, was hunted by owlbears, chased by dire wires ridden by goblins, and practiced the fine art of prisoner interrogation with both extreme predjudice and with what some might judge a touch of malice aforethought. And, as always, the lives of those who come into the employ of our adventurers continue to be brutally short.
As the evening of the Day of the Dog of the last week of 10th Moon set in, our wayfarers ended their long day of travel apparently under seige inside a lonely and isolated family homestead set deep within the Frowning Forest. Here, in a place the locals call Jinstown, they find themselves besieged by an unknown number of goblins who are hiding just beyond the pallisade of the homestead in the surrounding wilderness. And, most worrisome of all, our adventurers find themselves desperately short of escape routes and potential allies-to-the-rescue.
The path that brought them to this destination started with the decision by the magic users Finneas and Gwyd to leave the Boundless Buckle mine in County Cash and head toward the Frontier Region of south western Eime Island. While most populated areas of the island have been loosely organized into administrative units or "counties" by the ruling families of the Colony Trading Company, the "Heel" or Frontier Region has been largely left alone as it is considered to be too far away from resource or source of trade or commerce to make regular administration economical even if it were potentially profitable. A wild, river valley region, the Frontier sits between the unmapped vistas of the Eastern Mountains and the dark expanse of the Frowning Forest. It has much about it that is untamed and beautiful and precious little about it that could qualify as civilized or settlted. The only two true cities of the region - Gold Run to the north and Threshold to the south - are widely looked upon as dangerous and havens for the worst sorts of scoundrels. And while the continual prospect of a large strike or discovery in the Eastern Mountains draws new blood to the region every month, it remains the case that most of the population of region come here to escape something. Or someone. If there is such a place as the middle of nowhere, "The Heel" is easily located somewhere near its backwater. Or, if you prefer, it is the place where those who are already lost go to remain that way.
Moving on temporarily from the Boundless Buckle on the previous Day of the Mouse, and not wanting to have their faces seen so soon again in Colony Company Town 2, our party sought out the seasonal shanty village of Stonewell in the Frontier Region in search of new partners and hirelings as well as looking for interesting, new employment. During the course of an excited evening of chat and drink with several conversation-starved prospectors, The Eight observed a procession dedicated to the Leper God, along with several other would-be worshippers of new and second-rate deities lining the only road in town, prostilitizing to all who will listen. Finneas Cleg himself was approached by a member of the strange Order of the Weaver and offered a silver needle and brass wire "thread" in fulfilment of some unexplained vision.
Additionally, it was during that evening in Stonewell that our adventurers first became acquainted with the couple of Steevin Jin and his young companion Ila as well as gained three new full share members to their association - Lilyak, a female monk, a stout and steadfast warrior who calls himself Agro the Axe, and a woman fighter, Drin, who displayed a quick wit and deft skill with a sling. After some conversation, Steevin Jin offered The Eight short term employment as protection for a transport of recently captured wild white horses rare but native to the Island. The transport would take no more than four days and leave from the famiy homestead set deep within the Frowning Forest and travel to the city of Threshold at the mouth of the River Fingol.
On the Day of the Cat the party set out north up the River Fingol on an unnamed barge with both Steevin Jin and his young wife on board, as well six oarsmen and Captain Jaan. Ambushed at Misha's Ferry after a full day's journey, The Eight smartly and without hesitation dispatched several attackers using a combination of team work, melee assault, magic, and a final well-aimed cross bow bolt fired at an underwater target by Ayak Akai. Even more, The Eight learned through interrogation that the marauders were a section of the Iron Ring - a mysterious slaver gang composed of small, quasi-independent cells composed of "Hounds" (former slave foot
soldiers), "Reavers" (cell leaders) and "Bosses". Showing a bold and borderline malicious streak, the Halfling Horvan Graveltoes lead a series of escalating interrogations in which flesh was torn and eyes removed in order to attain information to his satisfaction from captives named Erle and Finbar.
In the end, these interrogations showed much about the mettle of our adventurers. From their would-be assailants they learned some odd details about the Reaver of this particular cell of the Iron Ring, a magic user named Goldmir, as well as about recent raids on local homesteads in search of "tapestries" at the order of Goldmir. And at the offer of good pay, a former Two Eye calling himself Milyx joined the party as it set out the next day into the Frowning Forest towards Jinstown. Milyx's tenure with The Eight tied or perhaps even bested a record originally set by the hireling Elbert for the shortest term with the party, with his death coming later that day as the razor-sharp beak of an Owlbear ripped his head from his shoulders.
As the party moved deeper into the Frowning Forest, they emerged into a large clearing extending for several miles to the west and north. Notable, too, was the change in weather, the first change experienced since our adventurers set foot on Eime Island, to a damp, cold, and wet. And, almost immediately upon entering the clearing, the advancing party was set upon by refugees from Steevin Jin's homestead called Horse Meadow. These refugees, mostly women and children with a few surviving men, lead a small wagon train in flight from their homes that were set to torch by a raid of goblins. In response to this news, our adventurers accepted Steevin Jin's request that they head swiftly towards Jinstown in hopes of aiding against any related goblin raids or attacks, leaving Jin himself behind to guide the wagon train.
Finally, no summary of our last session would be complete without mentioning the loss of Teenie Tenbar, the promised fiance of Cleg's faithful adjutant Smutty Booth, to a well placed arrow fired by a bowmen of the Iron Ring. Tenbar had served the party quite well as a hireling, and just how Smutty will take this loss in the long term remains to be seen.
Total XP per PC (not including individual XP bonuses): 533