What Darkness Hides: Beside the River Moon.

Our Symbaroum Campaign is back on track after a stuttering, sputtering stretch.

Recent sessions found our Heroes tasked with escorting the monthly supply run to a series of outposts along the River Moon. Their final destination was Cercul Ossos, (Bone Circle) a major fortress in the province’s interior.

The original plan was to stop at all three minor outposts in a single day, morning, noon and dusk. Quick stop, drop off victuals, etc, and be on their merry. As you probably suspect, that didn’t exactly work out.

The party followed the river road and found each of the positions deserted and silent. There were signs of combat – scorch marks, hewn gates, trampled areas, blood trails, mysterious crawl holes dug under the stockade wall – but no soldiers. Not even a single corpse.

The locations weren’t completely empty however.

An Ogre with an attitude and two large scything cleavers was scrounging through the first, a large Rock Viper lurked at the second, and the third…

Well there was an Ettin hiding at the third outpost, an Ettin named Gorvish and Frohm.

He/They were hiding in one of the supply sheds when the party – now on high alert – arrived. He was discovered during a cautious search and almost got an alchemical fire Bomb in the face for his shyness, but cooler heads prevailed and he was coaxed out and interrogated instead.

Turns out he was on friendly terms with the soldiers at this particular settlement, often trading with them and even assisting from time to time. He told our heroes he had seen the glow of fire in the sky the night before and came to help, only to find the place vacated and all his friends gone.

Long story short, with nightfall approaching the party decided to camp there for the night. Gorvish and Frohm agreed to stand watch so they all could rest. He woke them later however because the sky further west along the river was aglow with fire.

It was coming from the area of Cercul Ossos.

Our heroes arose early the next morning and hitched up their still full supply wagon. The air was still, the river flowed deep and dark. Ahead, black smoke scribbled into the sky. Still, our stalwart heroes were determined to press on to the fort, regardless of what horror or mystery awaited them. They squared their shoulders, readied their weapons and set off.

As they left, Gorvish and Frohm handed the Goblin a rune-inscribed tablet fashioned from un-fired river clay.

“I lost one bunch of friends,” the Ettin said. “I’ll not lose another. If you’re ever in dire need, break the tablet and I will come.”

As they started down the final stretch of the river road to the fortress, the Dwarf Cleric asked , “Hey, you think he gave that too us ’cause we’ll need it for whatever’s coming next?”

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