The Heart of a Defiled Land

Day 2

After fighting the fire, Thuk’Cha makes his way into Skalin’s Rib and reports for duty. Unfortunately, he’s kept waiting at the barracks for hours for some unknown reason.

Arulo follows the bandits into town, where he finds his home atop the Dragon Inn ablaze, along with everything else outside the town walls. He sees that the remnants of the Black Raiders are preparing to leave, and he takes the opportunity to rescue some of his hoard of gold from the apartment.

Two raiders finally notice him and attempt to run him down, but Arulo manages to slickly avoid the attempt to trample him, and to leave a nasty wound on one of the raiders. He can’t escape notice of the city guards though. They see him from the town walls and, assuming him to be one of the Black Raiders, capture and imprison him.

Madoc, Fel, Drahbet and Mord, finally free of the demanding Wavir merchant, borrow crodlus and head to Skalin’s Rib. The four are briefed in the mayor’s office, where they’re joined by Thuk’Cha (finally told what his job is to be) and a chained Arulo.

Osa offers Arulo a chance to redeem himself, and he accepts. The party is ordered to recover about 40 missing prisoners, including three children that they’re told are especially high-priority, along with two stolen mekillots.

They track their quarry west, over Skalin’s Pass, and then south, along the Sharpshard Mountains. Thuk’Cha notices that the bandits have split into two groups, one with a mekillot heading south, and one group (apparently kank riders) heading southwest.

The party follows the mekillot group, eventually catching up at sundown as the bandits are stopping for the night. Despite a failed attempt at an ambush, the party puts down the bandits, thanks partly to four slaves. The raiders had freed the four to unload some of the stolen goods, then ordered them to fight when it was clear a fight was coming. However, an inspiring speech by Madoc convinces them to fight to free themselves instead. Unfortunately, all four die at the hands of the raiders, but the rescue attempt is successful.

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