16th Blotmath, 2950 (Autumn)
The Company spend a restful couple of weeks in Bree. While they recover from their recent ordeals, Alberic spends time exercises his talent with his axe, while Dafydd Ap Alfred talks to the locals and learns, from pieced together snippets of legends and lore, more about his spear (a spear of Westerness). Gilthannas lifts his spirts, and those of the folk in the Common Room of the Prancing Pony by singing songs of the Elves.
On a cold Autumn morning, while coming down from their rooms to break their fast, the innkeeper points out a man to them, who has been asking after them. The man introduces himself as Tarry-mack, a Ranger with a mutual friend. Since they’ve shown an interest in lending a hand while in Bree, he has a job for them; a test, if they like, to prove themselves. There might not be anything in it, but someone has been stealing chickens from a local farmer– Robin Hayward– and wants help bringing the thief to justice. It may just be a desperate bandit, but perhaps something more. The recent event with the Old Troll has the Rangers troubled, so this needs looking into.
The Company agree and set off to the farm, only a few miles up the Greenway, to speak to the farmer. Robin shows them a gap in the chicken fence, and tells them what he knows: a chicken or two has gone missing every couple of days. He agrees to let the companions hide in the sheds to catch the thief, and that night they settle down to ambush whoever the thief is.
Gilthannas and Storr crowd into the chicken shed, while the others take shelter in the cow shed, barn door ajar so that they can see what’s going on. A few hours into the night, they spot a figure approaching, and surprise the thief as it opens the door to the chicken shed. Quickly they surround the hooded figure, who shows no sign of being hostile, but is quite stubborn at answering their questions until Gilthannas persuades him to talk to them. They retire to the cow shed, sharing food and drink, and the hooded man reveals he is a Ranger, called Halbarad who has been stealing chickens to use as bait to lure a Wight into an ambush. The plan has failed, but he does not know what else to do. He accepts that he hasn’t really thought it through, as although he knows about Wights he’s never actually encountered one.
Thankfully, the Company have, and agree to help, so long as Halbarad repays the farmer by doing odd-jobs for him. They also give Robin a few silvers to cover the lost chickens, and head off the following morning to the Chetwood, where Halbarad spotted the blood-drinker under the eaves of the forest.
That might they lay a trap for the creature. Using a concealed Dafydd and Halbarad as bait, pretending to sleep around a campfire, the others hide amongst the trees on either side. Their plan works, and just after midnight something moves in the darkness. Dafydd spots it just as it rears up out of the dark and leaps to claw Grimgar: the mighty Beorning exchanges blows, jabbing the rotted carcass with his great spear, taking a blow that wearies him in return. The others hear the fight and rush forward, Dafydd reaching them first, his new spear’s head glowing a bright blue in its presence. The creature recoils, but such is its thirst for blood, it keeps on fighting. From the tree above, Alberic fires an arrow into its back, as it bashes Grimgar into the tree, staggering him. Again and again Dafydd pierces it with his spear, the blade seeming to burn it where it lands. Then Gilthannas comes in range of his bow and sends a piercing arrow into its chest; and a final arrow from above sends the Wight back to its death.
They burn the body and retire for the night, and in the morning decide to warn the people of Archet just in case there are any more of the dead walking. The woodland village, a dozen wooden buildings around a clearing, is well-hidden amongst the trees but the Ranger knows where it is and leads them there.
Into the local inn, the Woodfellow they go, met with suspicious stares. Then one of the men, a giant of a man with a bushy beard, spots the Elf in the party. “An Elf, eh? Come to beg for the release of yours kinsman? He killed a stag and justice will be served; we’re taking him to the Reeve, whether you like it or not.”
End of Session
XP Awarded: 2 each.