After the last of their assailants dispatched and the dust settled, our heroes rushed to the aid of Skuli, who had taken an arrow to his neck. To much amazement he was still alive, and Mysti was able to revive him with her healing songs. Cold Hands had to leave the party, as he had important business to tend to outside of Aslov; and Milos looted what little he could from the orcs that had accosted them: a handful of silver (likely stolen from travelers) and a few orcish weapons.
Bayleaf, whose party was traveling within earshot of the battle, split from his group to see if he could help (Fox, Derp, and Jonah were heading back to Aslov as well). As night was approaching, the group continued their journey to the nearby Travel Tower.
As the tower came within sight they could tell that someone was already there, but they were not quite prepared for what they were about to see. They were greeted by a scene of indescribable carnage – what looked like humans and horses torn and thrown about the road and in front of the tower, the stench of death stinging at their noses. The experience was a little too much for Skuli and Milos, who immediately took ill at the sight before them. After composing themselves, the group surmised that a group of travelers were in the process of unpacking their horses here when they were ambushed. There was a huge scuffle at least a few hours ago, but the travelers were either outnumbered or simply no match for whatever it was that attacked them.
They cautiously entered the tower, expecting immediate resistance. However, the first floor looked largely undisturbed. The meager wooden furnishings seemed to be in place, the pile of firewood was in tact, as were the boxes of provisions left by the Roadwardens. Skuli and Milos began building a fire while Bayleaf and Mysti took a look at the upper level of the tower.
Mysti suggested they ascend the stairs as quietly as possible, but, alas, Bayleaf has always been a stranger to silence. He clambered up the stairs into the darkness above to be met with 6 humanoid creatures, each with eyes that glowed blood-red. The noise from Bayleaf’s armor clued the closest creature, and it turned to look straight at Bayleaf, as if it were staring into his very soul! As intimidating as it may have been, Bayleaf was ready for a fight, and quickly rushed in with Mysti close behind, chanting her songs of battle. The struggle was fierce, and required the aid of Milos Apferas from below, who climbed the stairs just in time to send a blazing burst of heat from Morderpyre. Bayleaf was nearly clawed to his doom, making it apparent that these creatures were the cause of the carnage below. After the last of them fell, Skuli was able to match these things with the description he received with the order to investigate the area.
The group did what they could to respectfully dispose of the scene at the Travel Tower. They took shelter in the tower, and Skuli left a donation in the Roadwardens’ box. However, Mysti took half of the silver coins from the donation box, leaving behind two of the orcish swords they took from yesterday’s assailants. Despite the protests from all others present, she felt that she was owed these few silvers and that the swords would more than compensate their loss. After what rest they could get, they made their journey back home to Aslov.
Has the Trouble on the Road truly been stopped? What in Eostre’s name were those things? Find out next time – on Hellfrost!