While the nigthwatch sleeps, the caravan plods through an ever dimmer woodland, as the trees grow taller, and the canopy thicker. Clearings and rays of sunlight along the road are rare, and within the first hour, the what fey sounds are heard are all muted and distant. The caravan stops 3 times that day, clearing overgrowth and deadfalls along the rough and ill-kept road. Howls parallel the road every so often as if something follows the caravan, unnerving the guards.
Nonetheless, a marker is found left by Cannuth, and the caravan gets to a wide clearing bordered by several large boulders. Sitting only about 20 feet from the road’s southwestern edge, it provides enough space, good visibility, and a small spring nearby. Nonetheless, Boris and Dagolas inform the crew only to take dead wood for fires, and to keep the torches away from the trees and underbrush.
While the evening meal is hearty and flavorful, dinner is still subdued, the gloom and hush of the Weyrwood a pall on everyone’s moods. While the caravan settles down, the Nightwatch gets themselves in order, and sets up their patrol around camp for the evening.
The forest feels oppressive and confining in the dark of night, pressing against the torch ring of the camp. Deep in the middle of the night watch, Sid is the first one to hear it. A faint fluting sound in the distance across the barely moonlit road. He stops and listens, briefly feeling the desire to tap along with his foot, until Fhastranja comes around on her walk, and he asks if she can hear the music.
Just as Eryn comes around the curve of the camp, Fhas’ face takes on a blank expression, and she begins walking out of camp with a forceful stride toward the road, and the dark wood beyond. Eryn and Sid, both confused, move to catch up with Fhas, their darkvision keen enough to make out a figure dancing amidst the trees beyond the road. It seems to be the source of the flute music.
Sid grabs Fhas as she reached mid-road, holding her back, and trying to gain her attention…she stops, straining against the hold, as Bruegger comes around, and seeing the group in the road jogs over to find out what’s happening. At that point, driven by the power of the music, Fhas spins on Sid, and brings her magic to bear, screaming “FLEE!”…Sid, overwhelmed by the command, runs screaming down the road, gripped with terror, allowing Fhas to continue across the road toward the dancing flautist….
Eryn shouts for Dagolas, while Bruegger chases after Sid. When the dwarf comes around the corner of the last wagon, he squints, seems to see the figure in the forest, spits, “Fey magic! Catch them and keep them in sight, I’ll get Alcori!”, spinning and racing toward the mage-merchant’s wagon.
As the magic fades, Sid stops running, shakes his head, turns around, and begins running back toward Fhas and Eryn, right past Bruegger, who skids to a halt, shouting, “What is going on?”, before starting to run after Sid back toward the others.
Eryn takes to wolf form and keeps Fhas in sight, as the Tiefling begin dancing through the wood, the other figure skipping between the column-like trees and past underbrush, the tune picking up the pace. Though there is no singer, as Sid and Bruegger close in, they all swear they can hear a growling voice singing in time to the music. A silvery flicker is seen, and then the flautist is among them, a wicked scimitar in one hand while he plays the pipes with the other – curved and barbed horns spiraling from his head, eyes glowing red in the dark, his hooved feet adding a new beat to the song, as he spins past the group, his scimitar whirling amongst them.
The Satyr’s Song:
Enemies, Enemies, All Around,
Enemies, Enemies, Cut Them Down
Enemies Big and Enemies Small,
Enemies Short and Enemies Tall,
Listen to the Piper who sets the Pace,
Who reveals for you an enemies’ Face,
Enemies, Enemies, All Around,
Enemies, Enemies, Cut Them Down
The red-eyed satyr looks around and seems to settle on Eryn, his scimitar keening and growling as he strikes her, leaving icy, hateful wounds. Fhas, caught by the song’s enchantment follows his lead and begin attacking Eryn, while Sid and Bruegger try to get into position to strike at the devil’s piper.
Unfortunately, he proves at least as fast and nimble as Sid, dodging away and putting trees between himself and the nightwatch, each time Sid or Breugger gets into a position to make a strike. With skilled ease, his dodges bring him in orbits near Eryn, where he delivers more vicious blows which knock her out of animal form and back to elven, while the berserk Fhas continues to harry her own comrade.
Lights blossom from the camp, and the sound of a roused caravan spill into the woods, a singular white light leading the way. The satyr sees the end of his concert ending, gives Eryn a last parting strike and gambols off in to the night, the last flitting strains finally catching Bruegger, and causing him to square off against Sid.
In that last moment, Eryn stumbles and runs from Fhas toward the camp, but the cleric is still caught in the rage of the music, following the elf, and striking her down with her mace – her brutal and criminal early life driving the rage despite her growing friendship with Eryn.
A moment later, with Eryn still and bleeding on the forest floor, the rage fades, and Fhas screams, desperately hoping she can stabilize Eryn with her remaining healing, as Sid and Bruegger skid in the scene, and Alcori, Dagolas, and a half dozen of the old guard roll into the small clearing – a wand in Alcori’s hand shedding white gold light on the bloody scene.
The spell works, and Eryn coughs and shudders but breathes evenly.
“Get her into the medicine wagon. Franz, Casius, join night watch, and get the orc women up too, their sight will help.”
Dagolas hefts Eryn’s frail form without a noise, and the group retreats to the caravan. There, Fhas uses the remaining spells she has, sealing the worst of the icy, jagged wounds, repeating “I’m sorry.”
Eryn wraps the blankets around herself and curls up as small as she can, hiding and shivering. The others retreat and rejoin the now tense watch patrols.
Fhas makes a resolution to herself, and her goddess. She needs to be better. She needs to always know what is right. Always be good. She can’t let her past hurt the ones she cares about. Not again.
It was still out there. It’s fun was cut short. Everyone is sure it will be back. Especially Eryn.
End of Session