The Varnhold Stockade
After searching the town, the party infiltrates the stockade on the south part of town. They notice that on one of its entrances, there are helmets posted on spikes that can just be seen over the palisade, giving the illusion that it’s guarded. However, when Doug scouts ahead, he sees one spriggan near a campfire in the middle of the stockade feeding two of his dire wolves. At the end of the stockade is a small watchtower with murder holes in its top two floors, with a small overlook on top. Corvo decides to charge the spriggan with the two wolves and hits him badly. As soon as he does, the stockade sounds the alarm and arrows come flying from the murder holes, as other spriggans join the fight. Doug almost succumbs to the hail of arrows but manages to flee behind a nearby shed for cover. The rest of the spriggans grow in size and attack fiercely. When the guards eventually get killed, the arrows stop shooting and the murder holes close. The party finds a large pit trap in front of the door but manage to bypass it. As they enter the fort they cautiously navigate its corners and eventually come to a stairway leading upward to a closed door. As the party head up the stairs, the stairs slide down and the heroes tumble to the bottom. Leaving Elania’s pet behind, the party decides to rather scale the fort to the top.
After they successfully climb to the top of the fort they see that there is a wooden trapdoor on the floor of the lookout. Corvo smashes the trapdoor with his morningstar but as soon as he does several arrows hit him. The party quickly engages in battle in close quarters with four dominated human guards and a spriggan captain. The humans quickly fall to the sword but the captain proves a challenge as he almost kills Doug. He is eventually slain and as soon as he falls, the flaming battleaxe in his hands releases the magic on the guards. This proves useless however as they are already slain. The party searches the rest of the stockade and stocks up on some powerful magic items as well as finds some sort of battle map of the stolen lands, with a marked centaur tribe location as well as other points of interest.
The party rests in the fort for the night and in the morning they investigate the old man to see if he is still there. However, they find the old man, collapsed on the floor, still the same corpse as before. They decide to leave him alone for now and leave the inn and head back to the temple. Inside they try to take the scrolls again but a lighting hits Elania as she does so. She survives the blast but decides to instead make an offering before taking the next one. She offers some magical items and takes another scroll, this time with no lightning as the item disappears. As she offers another item, it is apparently not enough and she suffers another lightning blast, almost killing her. She decides to leave the rest of the scrolls alone and the party heads out of town. As they do, they notice the same raven as before, but this time it is on the ground on the other side of the river. As the party charges after it they almost fall into a trap but suffer no damage. They manage to shoot the raven down as it tries to fly off and it falls to the ground. When they grab it however, it vanishes as it appears it was a familiar. They gather their gear and head out of town, but as soon as they come out of town they notice the army they encountered before, but this time there are only ghosts, and as they enter the town they immediately disperse.
The Nomen Tribe
The party heads out of town and after an hour or so of traveling, they encounter a Nomen centaur war party. The war party surrounds the heroes in numbers and interrogate them immediately. The party chooses not to divulge too much information and after a while they are forced to follow the war party back to their camp. As they enter the camp they see a large centaur tribe numbering about a hundred or so. They are greeted by Lysa Silverfire, the chieftain’s right hand as she escorts them to the head tent. Inside the party encounters a female centaur chieftain named Aecora Silverfire. Diplomatic approach seems difficult, but as the party divulges some information on the events they’ve seen, she begins to trust them a little more and tells them of the conflict between her tribe and the humans. She tells them that her tribe is charged with guarding the lich’s tomb to the south as she fears he has risen again. She asks the party to help her with some of the tribe’s problems in exchange for passage to the lich’s lair. The party agrees and they set off to the blood furrows to the east of the camp to slay a bullette as proof of their worthiness.
The Rite of Passage
The party sets off to the blood furrows and come across a small valley with piles of torn game on one side of it. The party decides to hide on the nearby hill and wait. After a while a giant bullette alpha male approaches the game pile. Before it gets a chance to munch on the corpses however, it is attacked by the party and it charges at them furiously. The fight proves difficult but the bullette is eventually slain, effectively dispersing the rest of its herd. They tie ropes around it and pull it with much difficulty back to the tribe.
For the next test the party is charged by investigating the strange disappearances of centaur scouts in the nearby nomen burial mound. The party rides forth and eventually come across a small forest with some graves scattered on the ground. Some appear open and others not, but the forest itself seems suspicious as the crowns of the trees are almost completely vertical, covering most of the sunlight that would otherwise pour through. As Elania climbs one of the trees she is ambushed by three manticores and she sees Nugrah once again, floating on top of her and laughing derisively before disappearing. She falls down the tree from the attacks that hit her and the party manages to slay the manticores pretty quickly. They chop off their heads and investigate the graves. After some digging they notice that one of the graves is actually a secret passage leading down into a secret cavern which looks like another burial ground underneath. It also appears that the cavern is magically protected but is currently not active. Using some voodoo mumbo jumbo, Elania manages to activate the magical protection and the party heads back to the tribe with the three manticore heads in hand.
When they return to the tribe they use some time to rest and recuperate before facing the final challenge.
The party earns 9470 XP each:
- 3470 XP for clearing the Varnhold stockade of spriggans
- 1600 XP for slaying the spriggan captain
- 800 XP for surviving the pit trap
- 400 XP for surviving Erastil’s punishment
- 2130 XP for killing Kankerata (Bulette alpha)
- 1070 XP for securing the nomen burial grounds