|The party lacks focus...|
From Whitewall, the travel to Orlmarth territory is quick. The sorcerer's magic enables the party to keep running at a Leopards speed, and they arrive in Clearwine at sunset. The party get a Room in the Ram's Head Inn in Clearwine, and drink more than is good for them. They meet a Thane, Osric, who is also drinking heavily, and complaining about the Lunar oppression in general and the decadence of the Seven Mother Cultists in particular. The party make some good acquaintances and spend a heavy night.
The next day, at a a dying Red moon, the party starts investigating, but it is as if their spirits have left them. Nobody takes any initiative, and before noon, already they are sitting in the Inn, drinking the local wines, ciders and ales rather than preparing a plan of attack. Some of the party members find nothing better than pretending to be in the wine business in order to get some free drinks and samples, and they particularly annoy Alembic Curcuricson, a local major wine trader, with their drunken talk. It takes until the evening before they think of having a meeting with the Ernalda High Priestess, and by then their minds are less than clear. Still, the High Priestess recognizes their quest and tells them the story of the Colymar Council, and the banishment of Benava Chan and Kallai Rockbuster. That night the party goes to bed in a sombre mood. The Orlanthi still are reluctant to spring into action, although a full day has passed, and Jaya of Yelorna is getting restless.
|Some secret information from an ancient tome...|
The third day of the Dark Season, and a black moon rises. The party seems to be paralyzed with indecisiveness and unable to act. Herculon is ready for action, but without a plan. Raiko and Daerius further investigate the business opportunities the wine trade offers, without finding out much useful information. By nightfall, the party is once again in the Inn, a silent mood has taken over the heroes. Jaya, however, refuses to wait for a battle plan, and feels she must act. She manages to sneak up to one of the guard towers around the Slave Farm unseen, and attempts to surprise the guard. For several heartbeats it looks as if she is going to kill the three guards, but then bad luck hits, and she drops down, bleeding to death. With her last breath, she invokes her power of Yelorna, and makes sure what she has learned is transmitted to the rest of the party. This information, as will later become apparent, is the difference between life and death.
Alarmed by their vision of Jaya dying, the party finally springs to action. They learn of the earlier purpose of the Slave Farm site: a Issaries trading compound. They find an underground tunnel to the Slave Farm and manage to get in unseen. The second they are spotted, they find themselves in a large cave, and through the exit overhead several Lunar soldiers are preparing to open a large trellis, behind which the party can hear shrieks and furious howling. Before the Lunars manage to open the door to the monsters' lair, Giomanach manages to holdfast the locking mechanism, making it impossible to release the beast without powerful dispelling magic.
The party now quickly escape the cave through the opening, and after some brutal killing, they have managed to make a foothold for themselves. The building nearby has a balcony, on which a class of Lunar students is preparing a Lune spell. As more and more guards pour out of the door, and Herculon, Raiko and Daerius go butcher style, Giomanach is having a hard time keeping the troops channeled. Still, they manage and seem to start getting the advantage, when out comes a full Lunar Sorcerer. This fellow turns out to be a serious threat, and Giomanach exchanges a few spells, but the guards prove to be no match for the brutal combat experience of this party, and before the Lunar Mage can do more damage, he finds himself opposing five furious opponents. The Mage shapeshifts to his Griffin form, and, after looking Giomanach in the eye with a look full of revenge and hatred for a few seconds, flies off beyond reach.