Another late start this evening, but this time around it was completely anticipated. In our last session a fair number of the characters ascended to Level 2 and had to complete the level up process. Some table time was also invested into looking up additional details on the site tonight as we started touching on a lot more content over the course of the session. This was a very RP and investigation heavy session, so we will be seeing more dialogue in this recap than we have in previous instances. It is important to note that the dialogue has been rephrased by the GM for this purpose as exact quotes can at times be hard to remember. This has been the same in all previous logs.
With the blight wolves dispatched and scattered, the newly assembled troupe takes a few minutes to gather themselves and refocus. Everyone was feeling a bit on edge and suspicious of one another, but they at least knew they had all just been on the same page even if it was only a temporary alliance. Of all parties present, Elora drew the most ire and suspicion. Arol quickly seized the moment to further his investigation.
A man that I have known all of my life lies dead in the fields, and no one in my village has heard from the family here in days. Tell me then, what brings you all here? What do you know of all this?
Roland stands and steps towards Arol slowly. As he approaches he keeps his eyes primarily focused on Elora, watching her movements carefully. He is suspicious of the strange Dalish, and keeps himself positioned between her and his companions.
As I told you earlier, my associates and I are here on behalf of the Wardens. We have been sent to look into the strange sightings and disappearances that have been reported in the area. Upon arriving we saw you and immediately approached you directly.
As he finished speaking, all eyes shifted to Elora. Though she was unable to read each of them directly, she had a sense that her worst fears were beginning to manifest. A gathering of humans all to eager to place the blame on the Dalish, despite her efforts to save them from the wolves. She shifted some on her quarterstaff letting it carry her weight, and addressed Arol specifically.
I was simply passing through the area on my way to go see a friend when I saw the wolves set upon you, and came to your aid.
Some senseless bickering erupted at this point, mostly coming from Ceanna. She was attempting to be skeptical of the knife-ear, but Elora could tell that it was all coming from a place of hatred. Arol was also no stranger to baseless hatred towards the Dalish, but it was a sentiment he never bought into. He quickly worked to diffuse the situation and try to get people back on track.
At this point, Cassius pulled himself up from the ground and started to walk away from the rest, heading for the fields out front to check on the body that Arol had mentioned. Arol noticed the young man begin slipping away and quickly shifted to address him directly. He kept a calm yet authoritative tone to his voice, and attempt to keep control of the situation.
Excuse me, sir – please wait here, I still need to investigate the body and check for any sentimental belongings that the family might want. If you would give me a moment.
Cassius was genuinely surprised to find himself compelled to comply with the request. A couple of weeks ago he wouldn’t have missed a beat, but he stopped and waited as requested. Ceanna on the other hand had not taken her eyes off of the knife-ear. The only thing worse than a knife-ear, in her opinion, was a wild knife-ear and she wasn’t buying the story she was giving.
Roland asked Arol what he knew about the odd events happening in the area, and Arol recounted the details for him to the best of his knowledge. He explained that in the weeks since the harvest festival people from the village had been reporting sightings of strange things in the woods of the Brecilian, and that villagers who had gone into the woods as of late had not been seen again. For the time being, however, he did not mention the suspicions of the villagers that a band of Dalish elves had placed a curse on them – an idea that he found laughable.
Cassius signaled to Arol with an exaggerated nod of his head, growing impatient and wanting to check out this body for himself. Arol excused himself from the rest of the group and began to walk off with the young Rivaini, Elora quickly followed behind them feeling more comfortable with these humans than the others. As the trio rounded the house and fell out of sight, Ceanna looked over to Roland as she pulled herself back to her feet.
Maybe we should go ahead and check out the house, see if everyone else is ok.
Roland nodded in agreement and they made their way up to the back door of the home. Roland walked up to the door and rapped hard on it three times. He waited for a few moments, then he pressed his ear to the door to see what he could hear. The inside of the house was dead quiet. He tried the latch and the door swung open without effort.
As Arol, Cassius, and Elora made their way out into the fields to the south of the house they kept their eyes about them looking for anything. As Arol glanced back at the farmhouse he noticed that the front door had been removed from the hinges. He quickly pointed this out, but they decided that it would be best to first check on the body as whatever has happened is said and done already. They came back upon the body of Keltin and each set into looking over the body.
The ground was sticky with blood, and Keltin had signs of bite and claw wounds adorning his body. Careful inspection showed that the wounds were inconsistent with that of blight wolves, and so the beasts could not have done this. Elora noted that the wolves were likely coming because of the smell. Meanwhile, Cassius had started to look around the area and came upon yet another body. Arol identified this to be Drul, another of the farmhands that worked for the Fuldor’s. His wounds were consistent to those on Keltin. Elora decided to come clean regarding her own investigations at this point.
This is not the work of simple beasts. I have seen the creatures that did this, they have been attacking my kinsman as well. Horrible creatures, humanoid yet bestial monsters with claws and sharp teeth. They seem to attack in packs, and they are clad in tattered remains of armor and clothing. I was coming to Vintiver in order to see if I could find out more from a friend of mine when I came upon all of you here.
This revelation brought forth a series of questions from both Arol and Cassius, but it was clear that Elora didn’t know much more than she had given them. Arol was now convinced he had been correct, whatever was plaguing the village had nothing to do with the Dalish—they were little more than victims themselves. The three started back to the house to meet back up with the others and continue looking for the rest of the family.
Inside the house it took little time for Roland and Ceanna to discover the massacre that awaited. In the main room they found a bloodbath, three women and three children – one no more than an infant – lie dead on the floor in a pool of their own blood. On the wall there was something written in the blood of the victims, a single word that read: Elgar’nan. They had to will themselves to keep their stomachs at the sight of it all.
Ceanna recognized the word as being the name of one of the elven gods, she knew that damned knife-ear was a liar. How could they be so savage as to slaughter innocent children and defenseless women. She felt the anger swirling inside of her, and motioned for Roland to follow her out. The pair made their leave of the horror show.
As Ceanna and Roland came on to the front porch, the trio from the fields were walking back up to the house. As soon as Ceanna set eyes on Elora she placed her hand on her weapon, and locked her gaze hard on the elf. She quickly and aggressively began to question her story.
So, are you sure you have never been here before knife-ear? You don’t know anything about all of this?
Everyone was taken back by the sudden assertiveness of the young woman, most of all Elora who found herself once again before the jury. A quizzical look came over the elf’s face, but she was sure to keep her posture neutral. The last thing she needed right now was a swarm of humans coming after her.
No, I’ve never been here before. Like I said before, I was passing through to go see a friend when I came upon all of you.
Ceanna burned the elf with her gaze, still not really buying it all. She pointed back to the house over her should and continued with her questions. She never pulled her had away from her hilt.
So you have no idea what is going on inside of here?
Elora again denied having any knowledge of what was going on. By this point, Arol was growing a little frustrated at all of the riddles and circle talk. There were lives at stake, and he wanted to get to the bottom of it. He pushed for Ceanna to explain what was inside, to which Ceanna told them to see for themselves. The trio made their way inside to check out the situation.
Arol sighed, that was eight of the ten people accounted for now and it did not bode well for the rest. They established that the word on the wall was the name of an elven god, casting more doubt on the young Dalish woman. Arol was still not buying it though, and simply wanted to try and find the remaining Fuldor members. He set back out to patrol the grounds and outbuildings for any signs, and Elora followed along feeling most comfortable with him out of the lot.
As soon as they set out of the house, Roland and Cassius began looting the place. Roland gathered up some of the food, finding roughly two days worth of travel rations to take with him. Cassius on the other hand gathered up the wedding bands off the dead brides, and found a small locket with a few coins throughout the rest of the place. Ceanna also rooted through the place, but was not as fruitful as her companions. Roland then stepped outside to look for Arol.
As Arol and Elora walked south to the barn, Elora inquired as to what the situation was like here in Vintiver. Arol explained that the locals suspected a band of Dalish that had passed through during their harvest festival had levied some kind of curse on them. There had been an altercation between the local smith and some of the elves, but it was settled by the town warden. He mentioned that she might not receive the best reception if she were to actually come into the village proper.
The pair came upon the barn at the south of the lands, and Arol gave the place a quick check. Nothing seemed out of place, and so he and Elora began to make their way back out. As they were leaving the barn, Elora notice a small patch of mostly dried blood on the ground in the hay and dirt. At the same time Roland called out for Arol who exited the barn to see what was the matter, muttering under his breath as he went.
Wonderful, the idiot wants me.
Arol rounded the corner of the barn outside and immediately caught sight of Roland a ways down the path walking toward him. Arol didn’t really fancy the prospect of speaking with Roland, having something of a bad taste in his mouth relating to the gentleman. They converged a little ways north of the barn, and Roland immediately started in.
So, what do you make of that elf? What is she up to? Where did she get off to?
Arol considered this for a brief moment, the litany of questions that it was. He still couldn’t exactly grasp what to make of these Warden associates. Regardless, he was going to have to at least humor the man with an answer of some sort.
Pft, it’s not my job to be keeping an eye on her.
Arol continued on his way, heading back towards the house with every intention of scouting out the northern fields. Roland shakes his head, frustrated by the lack of cooperation or consideration from the burly local. He turns on his heels and continues on down to the barn since the last he had seen of the elf she had been with the man, and he last came from the barn. As Arol drew up to the house, Cassius was stepping outside from his looting excursion and opted to following along with the local boy.
All the while Elora remained in the barn, the blood on the floor had caught her attention and she decided to give the place a more through look. There was a small loft up above that appeared to be a storage place for excess hay, thinking it worth a look she climbed up the ladder into the loft. As she reached the top a person suddenly bolted up from the hay on the loft floor and started trying to desperately crawl away, as though they were frantic with fear. In only a few short strides the person collapsed back to the floor.
Elora quickly ran over to the body with every intent of trying to aid them. The body was a young elven woman, clearly of Dalish decent based on the tattoos on her face and the markings on her clothing. The young woman was in a bad way to be sure, four large gashes in her side similar to those on the corpses they had discovered here on the farm. Her clothing badly torn and soiled with dirt and stray hay.
Elora knelt down alongside the young elf, laying her hands on wounds in her body. A well of emotion came over her, and suddenly her hands began to glow with a soft light. A sensation washed over Elora, like a pulsing wave rushing from deep within her into the young elven woman. As this happened the young elf noticeably relaxed some, though she remained unconscious on the floor as the soft light receded back into Elora’s hands. She could suddenly hear a sound coming from behind her, near the entrance of the barn.
Roland walked slowly into the barn, seeing Elora perched up in the hay loft kneeling and looking at something intently. As he crossed the threshold of the entrance Elora quickly snapped around. Upon seeing Roland she quickly called out to him.
You there, help me! There is someone up here, they’re alive but badly injured!
Arol and Cassius made their way past the farmhouse and to the northern fields. Arol was clearly keeping to himself, either he didn’t trust these people or he felt they were nothing more than scavengers looking waiting for him to leave to make their move. Either way, Cassius figured it would be better to try and iron out the wrinkles in their relationship.
Sorry about big, dumb, and bossy back there. He can be a real jackass sometimes. Anyways, I think we might end up proving useful to one another in short order.
Somewhat shocked by the gesture, Arol simply agreed with Cassius plainly. As he did the pair came upon the remaining two bodies that Arol was looking for. The whole lot of them had been slaughtered, ripped to ribbons like they were nothing. Strangest of all, all the animals and livestock were fine. Not a single scratch on a one of them that Arol had seen. He decided it was time for him to make back to the village and report his findings.
So, do you have a place in town or something? Where would I be able to find you?
Arol responded to the question from Cassius in kind, advising the young man he could find him at the Arbor Inn having a drink or at the local smithy paying off his debt. Without another word Arol strode off, heading back out to the main path leading to the village proper. Cassius decided to head back and track down the rest of the troupe, and as he passed by the farmhouse he was joined by Ceanna. They made their way back down to the barn.
Roland quickly bolted up the ladder and made his way into the loft above. As he approached it was immediately apparent that this was yet another young Dalish woman. A small suspicion crept up inside of him, but he agreed to help Elora get her down out of the loft. Between the two of them they safely moved the young woman down to the lower floor. Roland suggested it might be best to take her to the village to see a healer.
Elora was apprehensive to the idea, Arol had advised her the village was on edge regarding her people. She expressed as much to Roland in protest, but with no better ideas he convinced her that it would be for the best. At this point Cassius and Ceanna walked into the barn, and after taking things in Cassius piped up.
So that big local boy took off back to the village, and who the hell is that?
Elora explained that she had found the young woman up in the hayloft still alive, and that she had managed to stabilize her for now. She advised that the wounds she had suffered were consistent to those found on the bodies around the farm. Roland stated he felt it best to use one of the horses here on the farm to get her to the village for treatment as she was the only direct witness they had to whatever did this. Everyone finally agreed to this course, and Roland set out with Ceanna to gather a horse from the stables.
Cassius, now a little more suspicious about the presence of two Dalish here on the farm, decided it would be best to tie up the young injured elf. He pulled a rope from his pack and made towards the young woman, but Elora quickly stepped in front of him with her quarterstaff in hand questioning just what he was doing. Cassius explained that he intended to restrain her for both her and their protection, but Elora felt this was akin to her brethren being placed into bondage.
An argument ensued between the pair, both seemingly understanding of the others position while being unwilling to budge from their own position. Despite her best arguments, Elora could not seem to convince the young man to back down. Realizing that numbers were not on her side in all of this she submitted, and Cassius bound the young woman’s hands and feet. He then checked her over and took a dagger and small pouch from her person, he placed the dagger in sheath on his belt and opened the pouch to inspect it.
Inside of the pouch was a strange necklace of sorts. A large silver link, twisted and damaged at the bottom, hanging from an iron chain. As he did this Elora quickly called the actions into question, implying that he was now looting the young woman. Cassius argued he was taking them for now, but would give them back once it was safe. Elora pointed out the necklace posed no threat and he had no business taking it from her.
That is yet to be seen, once we know what it is I will give the trinket back to her.
Frustration and anger welled up inside of Elora. Were the circumstances different she would strike this shem down where he stood. But if she were to act, the others would see her and the other Dalish slain as certain as the sun rises and sets. She clenched her staff and spoke under her breath.
Ceanna and Roland arrived back at the barn with one of the draft horses from the stables. Roland, being the only experienced rider in the group, was mounted upon the animal and the others lifted the young elven woman up onto the creatures back. Though she was worried about what might come, Elora elected to travel with the troupe to ensure that they held true to their word.