Session Report (September 5)
The adventurers meets up with Arne on the morning of their departure. (All but Drex, who told them to go without him suddenly, the night before. “I have some business to take care of,” he said. “If I am done in the next few days, I’ll catch up…”)
Arne drops to one knee and holds out his hards. “Come, let us kneel together and pray to Tyr for a safe journey,” he says. “Hold hands.”
The party looks at each other and shrug. “Okay…” They kneel with Arne as he prays loudly looking towards the heavens.
They set off towards Logiheimli, again taking the faster path of the plains between the hill country and the Greniheim forest. At first they are in civilization — farmsteads cluster together along a road worn into the earth by centuries of foot and hoof. As the day wears on, the farms and other structures become more sparse, the trail less distinct. Eventually, the trail disappears into the undergrowth.
It is late afternoon. The last sign of human habitation was a single cottage, a thin smudge of smoke visible from its chimney and animal pelts and hides stretched over frames outside, visible on a ridge a mile away, over two hours ago.
Shae’s cat ears swivel towards the righthand side of the trail. “Do you hear that?”
“Yeah. Thounds like cryin’,” Grend says around his tusks. They decide to check it out.
The party tracks the sounds to its source: a small human girl, clothes dirty and torn, sits on a fallen log, her face smudged with tears. She looks up as the party approaches and jumps behind the log. They can see the top of her head as she peers over the log towards their approach.
“It’s okay,” Shae tries to sooth the child. “We can help you. What’s wrong?”
“I’m lost,” the little girl says. “And it’s getting dark.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll get you back to your home,” Shae says.
“Do you know which way is home?” asks Arne.
“That way, I think,” the girl says. She points vaguely West.
“Mebbe you can find her twacks and follow ’em back to her home,” Grend suggests to Shae. She agrees and they quickly find her footprints leading West. The party takes off along the tracks, Shae in the front, tracking with Grend’s help, Findley and the girl in the middle, and Enok and Arne bringing up the rear.
They follow the tracks for a while. At one point, Grend puts one foot down on the path when a swarm of hornets flies up from the forest floor and attack — to no avail. Grend’s skin is too hard for the hornets to pierce. They quickly move away from the angry insects.
A while later, they are passing through an old forest section of the trail, when a rotted log that was leaning against another tree, and overhanging the trail, collapses just as Enok is beneath it. He takes minor damage from the collision. After he picks himself up and clears the fallen tree, Shae says, “Don’t you think it’s weird that these things started happening after we found this girl?”
The party is silent for a moment as they digest this information, but continue following the girl’s trail. The trail takes a turn into to low-lying land ahead. As they pass into it, they suddenly stop. Their feet seem stuck to the ground. The girl, apparently unaffected, skips merrily off to the side, then turns back to them. As she does, two things happen: she morphs from a small human child to a tall beautiful humanoid with elfin ears. At the same time, the ground at their feet vanish to be replaced with thick, viscous mud rising over their calves. She laughs delightedly at the immobile adventurers.
“Oh but you amused me, until that one –” she points at Shae “– spoiled it! What am I going to do with you?”
Shae holds up a hand.”We don’t intend to do you harm. How could we? You are so great and powerful — we are but cowering and lowly mortals before your might and beauty.” The faerie stops at these words. Shae continues, “Perhaps we can offer you something of value in exchange for our pitiful lives?” Shae removes a bronze long knife from her pack with the other hand. “Please accept this gift.”
The faerie laughs. “You’ll need to offer me more than this,” she says. She looks at them speculatively, until her eyes rest on Findlay. “You’re a handsome one,” she says to him. “Perhaps I will take you home with me, and there you will serve my pleasure until your too short mortal life is ended.” She begins to dance seductively, eyes locked with Findlay’s. Findlay looks dazed for a moment, but seems to shake it off.
The faerie creature screams in frustration. “How dare you resist me!” she says. She looks menacingly at them and begins to move forward.
Findlay speaks. “You are beautiful beyond words, my lady. And I am sure your singing voice is transcendent!”
“Indeed, mortal. There are few who can surpass my skill in singing.”
“As much as I would like to serve you, I cannot, for I am sworn to aid my companions,” Findlay says. “But I have also sworn to serve any who can sing better than I. I propose that we have a contest. If my voice somehow surpasses your own, you let me and my friends go.”
“And if not,” says the faerie, “you will come willingly with me to serve me until you die. So be it!”
“Who will judge?” Enok asks.
“I shall,” says the faerie.
“Silence!” the faerie says. “It is decided!” With that, the faerie begins to sing. The fae’s voice is indeed good, but she also tends to rely on seductive looks and body language as much as vocal skills. As she sings, unnoticed, both Grend and Arne begin using brute strength to free themselves from the muck. They slowly make their way through the mud, reaching the edge of the mire just as the song ends.
Findlay clears his throat.
“No ‘Wonderwall’”, Shae hisses at him quietly.
Shooting Shae a scathing glance, Findlay begins to sing. He sings an ancient, sad, romantic ballad. His voice is incredible. As he finishes, there isn’t a dry eye amongst those listening, including the faerie. She lowers her head.
“You are free,” she says. She slowly vanishes (perhaps stepping through the Veil?).
(This was a Quick Contest of Singing skill. The Hulder makes its skill roll by 3. Findlay, who has Singing-19, makes his roll by 10!)