<meta />Session 3
It is the wee hours of the morning. The wizard Hari wakes to find a fruit bat at his window. Not the strangest occurrence he could imagine, at least not before it starts speaking in a familiar voice. It is the voice of Yetu, the druid that tipped the party off about the Fang only 10 days ago. It leaves a simple message to find an unnamed settlement south of the crossroads before fluttering off.
The party quickly gathers their gear and set off to the small settlement. There Yetu informs them that there is a common theme among the villages that have been sacked so far: personal betrayal has rocked the villages just before the gnolls attacked. In this settlement two sisters quarrel over the love of the same man, and tonight they intend to duel to the death over it. Yetu asks the party to defend the settlement until nightfall when he hopes to return with reinforcements.
Within the party argument ensues. Should they let the duel commence? Will stopping it prevent the gnoll attack? Would that mean they loose an opportunity to end the gnoll threat once and for all?
Even if the party agrees they must stop the duel, how? Nilo suggests she could seduce the same man and draw the wrath of both sisters to her. There is talk of kidnapping or even murdering one of the sisters.
Is there a way to shore up the town's defenses? Should the people know that a gnoll attack is imminent?
In the end indecision wins out and the party watches as the sisters face off at sunset. Chandara, the older sister, drives a blade into her sisters chest. Lila, the younger sister, grabs the embedded blade using her own body robs her sister of her weapon before running her through. Both sisters collapse in a heap, bleeding the last of their life out.
Just then Nilo spots something coming up the road, a troll! Worse still, the settlement is surrounded by gnolls. Ulfgar's attempts to preserve the sisters is utterly wasted as gnoll hunters take the women for easy prey and press on. The mage Hari remembers full well the fury of a troll burned by fire, but knows he must endure it if there is to be any chance of survival. The party struggles desperately against the tide tooth and claw when Yetu arrives. “Hold fast, help is coming!” he exclaims as he leaps into the fray. The growing sound of hooves seems a lifetime away as the party fights with all they have to lay low the rampaging troll. Ulfgar breaks off to distract the gnolls from devouring the rest of the civilians.
All seems lost when from the road there finally comes a crashing line of heavy cavalry. The troll is finally slain by precise arrows as lances impale the now fleeing gnolls.
The last are swept away by the cavalry and the surviving townsfolk emerge from their shelters. They are a mere handful, but a mere handful more than would have otherwise survived.
The cavalry is lead by a knight in polished steel, his slopped helm adorned with bronze horns wrapping around his head ending in stubbed points by the brow. He identifies himself as Knight-Exorcist Vikar, and expresses admiration for this band that has slain a troll, and while on foot at that! Furthermore, he states that the faithful of Kelemvor will always be welcome at the Inverted Castle and that a wandering cleric would do well to learn the rights of exorcism.
After a trip back to town to resupply the party heads out to the inverted castle. In the shadows of the hundred foot tall walls nestled into the mountains they meet Chief Exorcist Nuallan. When he hears that Ulfgar intends to undertake the trials to become an exorcist, he gleefully directs them to the library where Magus Alosri can fill them in. The parties wizard Hari is impressed by the sum of knowledge found therein and arranges to become a scribe for them for 20 days in exchange for learning the useful spells darkvision and stoneskin. Alosri also sets the group up with a guide for the rights of exorcism, Librarian Balfour. This skinny wood elf is described as “good at getting behind a shield” but has gone with others on the trial before.