A long trek goodnight

2nd session - Brewing storm

Mirtul 30th – This unexpected night of chaos started after PC’s finished their daily grinding, and when they have been returned and chained back into their cave. At first, even though they were in a cave, they felt the wind raising. Warm and somewhat moist wind started to blow in the middle of the clearing where the orcs made their camp. It made everyone feel unusually hot, although it was only end of Mirtul (May), while it was thrashing smaller things around the camp. Steadily darkening sky warned of a prairies-like storm. Clouds were gathering and filling the sky, streaking in from the north. Few heavy rain drops barely fell on the ground, when the lightning ripped the sky, somewhere far to the north. The rain swept across the surrounding woods and verged in a downpour, splattering on the clearing in front of the cave. Deeper towards north of Neverwinter forest, lightning streaks across the horizon, illuminating very nervous orc guards in front of the cave. Thunder, then more lightning and another glimpse of now almost panicked guards, mixed with distant rumbling. Rumbling which was becoming closer by the minute. More thunder and lightning, torrents of rain and gusts of wind. Suddenly, an intense flash of light and sound overwhelmed their senses – lightning has struck the very centre of the encampment – Agatha has arrived!

A distant, horrible noise, like the wail of thousands of lost souls, echoed through the camp. Perhaps this can help explain frantic and rash actions of PC’s. They managed to set themselves free, and first thing they did was to disable crazed Cyricist deNiktal. Frightened and outnumbered, Talberon quickly surveyed the situation and offered to join forces with the PC’s, and even Zestia understood that it was the most prudent thing to do, although she was filled with hatred towards both her Zhentarim captors. Outside, chaos reigned supreme, with orcs running around shouting wildly. Others lay on the ground screaming and pounding their fists into the soil. Quickly, the PC’s scrambled for and scavenged small balls of beeswax which deNiktal has somehow hidden on himself. Even with balls of beeswax stuffed into their ears, PC’s could feel a burning ring in their ears and pangs of headache. Despite everything, PC’s along with Zestia and Talberon manage to overpower orcs guarding the entrance, which were fighting among themselves, obviously affected by the banshee’s wails.

Outside, they can see that Hezaq has left his tower. He’s trying to smile to his orcs, some of whom are trying to kill one another, some of whom are battering their heads against whatever they can, and still some of whom are laying motionless on the ground. Hezaq has a wooden staff covered with green moss or perhaps mould in his left hand. He begins drawing circles in the air. A dome of sickly green energy forms around his tower, the altar, the statue, the whipping posts, the treadmills, the well and the orc huts nearest to the far end of the camp. He draws another circle in the air and a new dome of energy forms over the cave, the ever-burning smith’s fire before the cave and the orc huts nearest to PC’s. Hezaq begins to smile triumphantly. He draws a third circle in the air, in the direction of the orc huts to the north side of the camp. Another dome of green energy forms and merges with the first two domes.

Kasya falls to her knees, and before Edgar can help her up, she has a vision of Agatha in her mind. Ancient banshee directs Kasya to lead the rest of the group towards the statue, to find the wand hidden there, and to throw the wand into the well on the other side of the clearing. Inside the protective barrier, Hezaq smiles wildly despite obvious strain to keep his protective barriers. His magic has stopped Agatha, and PC’s can see that still conscious and living orcs inside the energy dome have calmed down and are getting to their feet down, while those in the south huts outside the energy dome continue to be raving mad. Almost a dozen orcs rush the PC’s and after a desperate struggle, Edgar’s enchantments and Talberon’s destructive magic rule the field. PC’s follow Agatha’s instructions, and after locating and throwing the wand into the well, they all run back into the cave. Last one to enter is Kasya, who notices Hezaq drawing another circle in the air, toward the group of orc huts to the south side of the camp. This time, however, his staff explodes in yellow flame and smoke, surprising and obviously injuring him. He shakes his still smoking hand in pain, but decides then to ignore it and looks to the huts on the south edge of the camp. His dome of energy develops cracks everywhere and simply disappears. Orcs begin dropping over right and left and presumably dead. Hezaq cringes in pain and blanches to such an extent that his green face turns yellow. He seems to be helpless and rapidly moving in the direction of being beyond all help. Agatha apparently has arrived. She levels a finger in Hezaq’s direction and blasts him with a huge fireball that also levels the whipping posts, the well and both treadmills. The sheer force of the explosion blasts Kasya back into the cave, right next to Bryce. Outside the cave, explosions, wails, screams and thunders continue for what seem an eternity.

Finally, after some time ground stops shaking and storm disappears almost as suddenly as it appeared. Scrambling to their feet, William, Bryce, Edgar, Kasya, Zestia and Talberon cautiously leave the cave and witness scene of total destruction. Each and every building, structure and hut have been reduced to a smoking rubble. Mutilated orc bodies litter the field. Fighting with nausea triggered by the smell of still burning orc corpses, PC’s find a secret tunnel leading from the now dried-out well, towards the ruins of now destroyed Hezaq’s tower. Bryce bypasses few old traps, and they manage to find majority of their weapons and equipment in the cellar beneath the ruined tower. After retrieving their things, William leads the group towards south of the clearing, easily locating and following a trail orcs left behind. Thanks to half-orcs honed senses, they manage to get back on the Neverwinter-Conyberry road not far from the place they have been ambushed. Murmuring thanks to the Morninglord, the group continues towards Conyberry and they arrive there late evening on Kythorn 1st.

In Conyberry, PC’s are met with distrust, but after some negotiations (convincing) by Edgar, they are allowed to spend the night (actually two nights) in Conyberry Hall. There, PC’s meet with remnants of the Shield Furies Mercenary Co. from Daggerford, and learn of the potential danger (blood-sucking creature attacking non-elves) in the High Forest. While waiting for the “Shining Mug” caravan (due to arrive late on Kythorn 2nd), PC’s try to replenish their supplies and do various minor things. Kasya makes everyone except for William to take a bath, Bryce finds out that Verpol actually did pass through Conyberry about 5-6 days earlier. Both Zestia and Kasya are offered an “alternative way to bolster their income”, which they refused. Zestia flirts with Edgar, but he does not seem to notice that. Also, they find out that Everlund Pass is under almost 6 feet of snow and won’t be passable for some time to come, and that the only way to Silverymoon is over Longsaddle and Nesme. PC’s part ways with Talberon, despite Zestia’s protests that he should “be killed, as worthless Zhent scum he is…” Finally they hook up with loud mouths of “The Shining Mug Company”. The members of this group are braggarts who were big-mouthing the PCs with tales of their own bravado, trying to impress the inexperienced adventurers with their own glory. By the time they finally reached Triboar (2 days later), PC’s were already so fed up with those braggarts, that they almost wished for an orc attack, just to make them shut up!

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