Ashes of the Empire

Collateral Damages

Session 29 Recap

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  • Knowing that time is not on their side, the heroes make ready to journey back to the Vistani camp with “Handsome” Jack, so they can then make their way as quick as possible to the city of Gloomwrought. It is there that they believe the Taru Maaj, the grand library of Vor Rukoth, was transported nearly a thousand years ago.

  • The party bids farewell to the Vale, as Jack leads them back into the shadowdark. It isn’t long before they hear the baying of the hounds as last time. This time, however, the party’s presence is not only known, but judging by the direction of the sounds, they are being herded into an ambush.

  • At the direction of the rest of the party, Jack tried to find favorable terrain for the inevitable battle, or at least neutral terrain. After a bit longer, he does indeed find such a place, and the party makes ready for battle.
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  • Only moments later, from the dark shadows strides an androgynous half-ogre looking creature. It calls out its hatred for Jack’s trespasses and promises an appropriate punishment. From the other direction, strides an enormous ghostly hound. The party tries to reason with the creature, but it refuses to accept anything less than Jack himself.

  • Battle erupts, and two more smaller hounds join the fight. The battle is tough, but eventually the party is victorious over the creature and its minions. Three party members, however, were afflicted with the hounds curse of ill omen: Geigan, Neighl, and Lu.

  • After taking a bit to bandage their wounds, the party heads out again, following Jack as before. A few hours later, they round a tree and discover they have left the shadowdark and are a short distance from the clearing where the Vistani make camp. Unfortunately, the smell of death and the light of fires can be seen from the trees.

  • Rushing to the clearing, the party discovers that the Vistani camp was attacked. Bodies lie strewn about the place, tents shredded, and wagons aflame. In a panic, Jack begins to root around the camp, looking for survivors, but moments later the party discovers that it is not alone.

  • From the ashes of the camp stride a succubus as well as several pain devil minions. The she-devil boldly states that they are here on behalf of Lady Najala to retrieve the Varrik heirs and that the Vistani were simply collateral damage. Battle erupts a split second later.

  • The party fights valiantly and eventually overcomes the devils, but not before Jack suffers a mortal wound and dies on the battlefield, amongst the bodies of his people.

  • Once the enemies are vanquished, the adventurers search the camp for survivors and to ensure no more enemies are lying in wait. At the southern edge of camp, the party discovers that some Vistani seem to have escaped into the woods, evident by their tracks. However, there are also tracks belonging to the devils who seem to be in pursuit.

  • Leaving Jack’s body behind for now, the party follows the tracks for about an hour before noticing that the Vistani seem to be very good at evading pursuit. Since their resources are a bit spent, the party decides to return to the camp in hopes that the devils will not find their quarry.

  • Once back at the camp, the party retreats to a space just inside the tree-line of the woods in order to rest for the night. Night passes uneventfully, and Lu is able to shake off the effects of the hounds’ curse. Later, in the light of false dawn the devils come back into camp dragging a bag filled with grisly trophies; it appears they got their quarry after all.

  • The party, taking advantage of surprise, rushes from the woods and lay into the devils. The battle is easily won by the fully-rested party, and the Vistani avenged.

  • After a brief and silent meal, the party begins the task of gathering the dead in order to give them proper burial. They also begin preparations for a ritual to bring “Handsome” Jack back from the dead.

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