Savaged Kith'takharos

Session 37

Mistress Bianca’s life hangs by a thread as every living and dead adversary presses for her annihilation. Rikard stands near to protect but unable to stem the vicious assault. Bart is finally able to control his own destiny as whatever magic compelled him is no more. Of the final member…Darren, his status and whereabouts are unknown.

Round 6

2 skeletons shoot at Bianca, but both miss!

Darren looks for an applicable target from his hidden position.
Darren sees a target and lets off a bolt.
Darren shoots a poacher in the back from the trees. The poacher falls over unmoving on top of Mistress Bianca. The shot was silent and deadly amongst the combat up near the water.

The 3rd skeleton shoots at Bianca, but misses, due to her new ‘cover’.

A zombie approaches Rikard, drawing a preemptive strike!
Rikard Castleberry’s strike proves true, disabling it before it can do any damage.

A poacher fires at Bianca, missing, and instead hitting the dead poacher covering her.

3 zombies surrounding Bianca all attack her, but all 3 miss!

Rikard Castleberry moves in closer to Bianca, attacking those he can reach, attempting the impossible.
Rikard Castleberry attacks 2 zombies 3 times, destroying both of them!
Rikard Castleberry: “Hang on under there!”

3 poachers shoot at Bianca, but both bolts land into the poacher on top of her.
A zombie swings at Bianca, but misses badly.
A poacher moves up and gets a blow in.
The sword lands, but does no additional harm to Bianca.
A zombie attacks Bianca, but hits the poacher covering her.
Yet another skeleton fires at Bianca, but the shot goes wild.

Samsolon Constantine: “Ready to beg yet, Bianca?”

Bart runs to his downed companion, calling to the spirits of the swamp with a great urgency and the great goose comes to his and Bianca’s aid.
Bart channels the spirits; the spirits answer, Bianca is healed, and regains consciousness!

The remaining poacher attacks Bianca, but misses.

Round 7

Rikard Castleberry attacks a zombie within his reach. He decapitates it in 1 blow.

A zombie rakes at Bianca, but doesn’t do any more than cut her clothes a little.
A poacher takes his crossbow and smashes it into Bianca’s right arm. The pain is too much, and she collapses again, her right arm broken!
A poacher shoots at the downed Bianca, but the bolt lands into the poacher on top of her.
A zombie swings at Bianca, but only hit air.

Bart places his back up against Rikard and swings at the zombie
Bart’s strike is true, but only does minor damage to the zombie.

A poacher stabs down at Bianca, leaving a battering wound to her guts! Can she take much more of this?
A skeleton and a poacher both fire at Bianca’s prone body. Somehow both miss!

Rikard Castleberry surrounded by zombies, he keeps up his assault, fighting for his life, and for the lives of his friends!
2 of his hits land, and he obliterates one of the zombies near him.

A poacher stabs into Bianca, who takes yet another shot to the guts. How is she surviving?
4 remaining skeletons all fire at poor Bianca, but all 4 manage to only turn the poacher into more of a pin cushion.

Darren sees another poacher appear in his sights. With silent skill he pumps, aims and fires.
His arrow strikes true, but the poacher manages to soak the worst of it, leaving only a shaken result.

Round 8

A zombie rakes his claws at Bianca, but hits only air.

Bart continues to try to damage a zombie.
Bart hacks wildly into the zombie, flaying it into pieces.

Darren pumps in another bolt, and takes a bead on the same Poacher. With a twitch of his finger, silk lined parts glide forward and carry his shot forward.
The shot is accurate, and does lethal damage to it.

3 skeletons simultaneously fire at Bianca, but none land their shots.
A zombie rakes at Bianca, but his aim is poor.
A skeleton tries to club Bianca with his crossbow, but fails.

Rikard Castleberry attacks the 2 remaining zombies that he can currently reach.
His strikes cleave the zombies, and the pieces fall to the ground, unmoving.

Two poachers swing at Bianca, but miss horribly.
A zombie approaches Bianca, earning a free attack from Rikard!
The attack hits solidly, but does little more than stun the creature.

Rikard Castleberry raises an eyebrow, surprised it didn’t die.

One of the poachers regains his composure.

Mistress Bianca is still bleeding out, hanging on by a thread!

One of the skeletons takes careful aim, and lands another bolt into Bianca’s abdomen.
A poacher shoots at Bianca, barely missing.
The final poacher rakes at Bianca’s body, but hit the body covering her instead.

Round 9

A skeleton shoots at Bianca. The shot hits her and sinks into her flesh.
The last shot proves true through the pile. Bianca’s body involuntarily gasps out and stops moving. No one could survive that.
Suddenly all of the undead and poachers stand idle.

Bart places Bianca across his shoulders and moves to a clearing.
Bart: “Rikard – Finish them.”
Rikard Castleberry walks through the remaining undead and poachers, dancing a swathe of death and destruction to those that hurt his friend.
Bart looks at the condition of his unmoving friend. She is clearly dead. Never has he seen someone sustain so much and hold out hope.
Darren continues to fire at each enemy until there is none standing.

Bart notices a skiff approaching their location from the water. It is manned by one person with a lot of gear. Is he a friend, or a new enemy?

Rikard Castleberry: “Well Bart, it doesn’t look like we made it in time, but we tried.”
Bart is frantically applying his considerable skill to Bianca’s limp, bloody, mangles, dismembered form.
Darren quietly moves closer.

Bart, as you work over the body, hoping for some miracle, Mistress Bianca spits up a huge gob of blood into your face.

Bart: “I have seen worse pull through. A dingo that was half eaten by a gator…”

And her chest begins to heave, up and down again, weakly.

Bart: “We need to get her to safety. What happened to Samsolon?”
Rikard Castleberry: “Ran off, last I saw.”
Rikard Castleberry: “Well,”
Rikard Castleberry: “Disappeared, then left.”
Rikard Castleberry: “Dunno where Darren is either.”

Reess Whitesmith pulls up with his skiff dressed in his brown robe covering his head. You recognize this man with the shaved face.
Reess Whitesmith looks very beefy underneath and to Rikard’s eye it appears as he is wearing a great amount of armor.

Bart: “We need the skiff to get her back to town.”
Darren approaches the party, his crossbow held at his chest.
Darren: “She looks bad, Bart, really bad.”
Reess Whitesmith (gruffly): “…put her in.”
Rikard Castleberry picks up Bianca, and puts her on the skiff.
Reess Whitesmith: “Was it Hoyt?”
Bart: “Careful, I have her bound but I don’t know how the patches will hold.”
Rikard Castleberry: “Not this time. It was someone else.”
Rikard Castleberry: “He’s still here.”
Bart: “The scum will pay. “
Darren steps up.
Reess Whitesmith (coldly): “Of course they will. They all will.”
Darren: “No, if you guys keep being this careless, you will pay, like Bianca has.”
Rikard Castleberry: “Reess, how did you find us?”
Reess Whitesmith: “I have been poling around this swamp over the past weeks looking for signs of Hoyt.”
Bart: “Aren’t you the one who led us here? Missed the poachers and ran when it got tough?”
Reess Whitesmith: “Those flares hitting the water were a nice touch. It drew my attention.”
Rikard Castleberry: “I suppose our flaming skiff was a good a sign as any.”
Reess Whitesmith: “Well, there was that too. Fire, common, Flares, Rare.”
Darren: “Ran? That’s what you think? I was picking off who I could Bart.”
Rikard Castleberry shoots a glance at Bart, and then looks back to Reess.
Reess Whitesmith: “Argue after you get on my boat.”
Rikard Castleberry: “We should probably get her back asap if there’s to be any chance.”
Bart: “Let us get moving. “
Bart doesn’t leave Bianca’s side.
Reess Whitesmith: “But remember I push people overboard who argue on my boat.”
Rikard Castleberry: “I’m not going to forget what happened here. There’s a growing list of accounts that need to be balanced, the hard way.”
Rikard Castleberry: “Let’s go back.”
Darren gets in and moves to the back
Reess Whitesmith pushes the skiff off and poles it away from the island.
Reess Whitesmith: “So what was the name?”
Bart: “Darren, Watch the water, the dead can approach from underneath.”
Bart tries to reign in his anger
Rikard Castleberry: “Samsolon Constantine, if I remember correctly.”
Rikard Castleberry helps propel the skiff off.
Reess Whitesmith: “Wasn’t that one of your former companion’s relatives?”
Rikard Castleberry: “Yes. Family, it’s a bitch, no?”
Reess Whitesmith: “I wouldn’t know.”
Rikard Castleberry: “Anyways, we can discuss him more as we get into the water further.”
Darren watches the water but keeps an eye on Bart.
Reess Whitesmith looks over the new passengers
Reess Whitesmith looks down at Bianca.
Reess Whitesmith poles faster to Kith’takharos.

Several hundred yards off shore, Reess turns in the skiff to the north, towards the channel home.

Bart: “She’s a tough broad.”
Darren: “She will never again leave Kith’takharos; she will never be as she was.”
Bart: “You are wrong. She will exact her vengeance on the one who did this to her.”
Reess Whitesmith: “She is alive. That’s all that matters. I need her to continue to teach me.”
Rikard Castleberry: “That may be about all that is possible.”
Darren: .It was her lack of understanding that brought this on.”
Reess Whitesmith: “I will not tolerate you speaking ill of her on my boat.”
Bart: “No, it was simple betrayal.”
Darren: “How do you mean, betrayal? She attacked this Samsolon.”
Darren: “And he was the more powerful foe here.”
Darren: “I think he proved that.”
Rikard Castleberry: “He ran from me, just the same.”
Reess Whitesmith: “Darren. Get off my boat.”
Darren: “And yet he caused so much…this.”
Bart: “He was more powerful then I today but he was prepared. Next time I will be.”
Darren: “I will not, I do not know who you are but I have a report to make about what happened.”
Reess Whitesmith: “I said no arguing and no speaking ill of Mistress Bianca.”
Rikard Castleberry: “Bart, I’m more concerned about what will happen if he shows up with Hoyt. That would be a whole nother scale of problems.”
Reess Whitesmith: “Obey these rules or get out. “
Reess Whitesmith grips the pole hard.
Reess Whitesmith (grumbles): “Hoyt…”
Darren: “I was there….what was your name again? Our lives were in danger.”
Bart: “I agree. We seem to be one step behind them. I would know more about those weapons. “
Bart points to Rikard’s spear.
Rikard Castleberry: “It does appear to be similar to the sword.”
Bart: “It was its twin that controlled the undead.”
Rikard Castleberry: “I’m sure back in town we may find an answer, to that and the other items.”
Darren: “Well, that’s not all, the ones I took down did not disappear in a black puff of smoke and ooze, that spear…and something about them.”
Darren: “It’s this something that makes the difference.”
Rikard Castleberry shrugs.
Bart: “I do not know yet.”
Rikard Castleberry: “I don’t claim to be an expert on undead things.”
Rikard Castleberry: “I seem to be ok at killing them though.”
Rikard Castleberry: “Rekilling? Unkilling?”

The sun is getting low on the horizon as you reach Poacher Bay.

Rikard Castleberry: “What’s the right word?”
Rikard Castleberry: “…”
Bart: “Destroyed.”
Reess Whitesmith nods.
Rikard Castleberry: “Sure, that works.”
Darren: “You do realize Bart; if they were not so obviously so focused on Bianca; it might have been both you and her we are carrying back to Kith’takharos.”
Rikard Castleberry: “This seems like a good enough spot to stop for the night.”
Reess Whitesmith: “No.”
Rikard Castleberry: “I’m not sure how well we will go in the dark.”
Reess Whitesmith: “I will get us home tonight.”
Reess Whitesmith: “I see fine.”
Bart: “The battle could have gone many different ways.”
Rikard Castleberry: “Oh, well then, I’ll just keep propelling us?
Reess Whitesmith: “I will if you want to rest.”
Rikard Castleberry: “I am uninjured.”
Rikard Castleberry: “I can do this for a long time yet.”
Reess Whitesmith: “I suggest silence. Your eyes are all weak and you will need your ears to hear things.”
Darren: “And that is why I do not stand out in the open like the two of you to be mauled by hordes of undead.
Rikard Castleberry: “I wouldn’t go trusting me to hear something. Not my strong suit.”
Darren yawns.
Bart: “We protect our own.”
Reess Whitesmith: “That’s fine. Bart or Darren if they shut their mouths should do fine.”
Reess Whitesmith sneers.
Darren shakes his head, lays back and closes his eyes.
Rikard Castleberry: “How long will it take to get back to town?”
Reess Whitesmith removes his cloak and draws free his great sword, scabbarded to his back.
Rikard Castleberry keeps the skiff going.
Reess Whitesmith pokes Darren with it stirring him.
Bart: “Do you have a spare oar?”
Darren tilts his head up at him.
Reess Whitesmith: “No. another skiff ahead. May be friendly, may not be.”
Darren: “If you touch me again with that blade, your head will be a pin cushion.”
Rikard Castleberry: “Should I send flowers?”
Darren tilts his crossbow up a little.
Bart: “Hail them to find out.”
Reess Whitesmith sets the sword down and resumes poling the skiff.
Rikard Castleberry: “So, they aren’t pirates, then?”
Darren looks over.
Reess Whitesmith: “Looks like a Jade Leaf boat by the silhouette.”
Darren (loudly): “Ahoy!”
Rikard Castleberry facepalms.
Darren: “Praise, the lady Salmissra!”
Reess Whitesmith: “Moron.”

From over the waters you are challenged, "Hail there friends, we hear you approaching. So there is no misunderstanding this area is quarantined by order of Lady Salmissra. If you are peaceful, cross us to your left.”

Darren: “We need only pass thru to Kith’takharos; we bear news and a woman, badly injured.”
Reess Whitesmith does so.
Rikard Castleberry: “On your left or our left, which is your right?”

All of you can now make out silhouettes on a skiff. You hear a heavy crossbow swiveling too.

Darren keeps his hand ready to draw and fire
Darren gets low in the boat.
Bart: “All of you recognize Rikard. Lady Bianca is hurt we need to get to the city.”

As you pass the skiff some of you realize that the spider cave is very near this location.
Several hours before dawn you arrive at Kith’takharos.

Bart: “Let us go to the Leaf.”
Bart hails a man at the gate.

A few men rouse more guards and the gates are opened for you once you are recognized.

Bart stays with Bianca, tending to her wounds.

After all is said and done, just before dawn Bianca is in the care of Bart and the town Doctor.
During this time you realize that the celebration and speech is this day, at noon in the market place when Lady Salmissra makes her speech.

Reess Whitesmith: “Now that we are safe. You can resume your arguing. I am going to sleep a few hours. I will be in the sheltering fond, Bianca’s room if you need me.”
Rikard Castleberry: “She has a nice room. Enjoy it.”
Reess Whitesmith: “It is our arrangement; she didn’t want to risk sharing it with someone she didn’t know or trust.”

Everyone in Kith’takharos must be crowded into the market, abandoning the rest of the village to insects and stray animals. Jade Leaf men circulate through the throng, easing bottlenecks and adjudicating the inevitable incidents that occur when so many people press so close. An odd mixture of anticipation, tension, and dread hangs in the air.
As the sun rises higher, people seek shelter under awnings and umbrellas. The vendors are busy distributing the food and drink purchased with Lady Salmissra’s coin. Everyone seems to be grabbing their share and more, as if they still can’t believe this wondrous event. Even a few Transit Guild men are here, including Bjorn Hightower with a personal guard.
As the sun rises higher, people seek shelter under awnings and umbrellas. The vendors are busy distributing the food and drink purchased with Lady Salmissra’s coin. Everyone seems to be grabbing their share and more, as if they still can’t believe this wondrous event. Even a few Transit Guild men are here, including Bjorn Hightower with a personal guard.
Midday arrives and a few people start to grumble. It’s bloody hot for a speech; why can’t she do it in the morning like the executions? Then, suddenly, Lady Salmissra is here, standing atop the tumbled mound of Harlass Orn blocks that the Troubadours use as a podium. No Dorian or Jorian or Xanthus Bome, just Lady Salmissra alone, wearing the green trousers, blouse and black boots she always dons for formal occasions. He black hair shimmers in the bright sun.
Almost as one, the people in the market see her, and the conversations subside. She raises her arms, and save for an occasional cough, silence settles over the market. When she speaks, her words are clear and carry over the entire area.

Lady Salmissra: “People of Kith’takharos, thank you for attending this celebration. Do not leave when I finish speaking. The food and drink will last the entire day. I also encourage the fine men of the Transit Guild to leave their compound and partake, for they are the reason for the celebration. Welcome Second Administrator Bjorn Hightower. Although Kith’takharos has made peace with the Swamp Men, we deeply appreciate the effort and expense you incurred in sending such a formidable force to our aid. You could not know the danger would be passed when you arrived. Surely you expected to relieve a village under siege, and were ready to risk your lives in defense of Kith’takharos. Such noble actions will not go unrewarded. Yet what does one poor swamp village has to offer civilized men so far from home? We have but one thing of real value to offer: friendship and brotherhood. Any man who chooses to stay in Kith’takharos will receive a grant of land to call his own and to use as he sees fit. You should also know that property is not taxed in Kith’takharos as it is in many other lands. Satisfy the yearning for adventure that brought you to the edge of the frontier and remain in Kith’takharos. Should you decide to accept this offer, speak to anyone wearing the Jade Leaf colors and you will swiftly receive your grant. And now, carry on with the celebration!”

Silence continues as Jorian Odessa and Xanthus Bome climb the blocks and help Lady Salmissra descend. The small group walks up the road toward Kith’takharos keep.
Soon the whispers begin. Incredulous voices rise in volume. Then the market is a roar of competing shouts. No one expected this announcement. Bjorn Hightower does not appear happy.



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