Spoiler alert: if you plan to play The Evils of Illmire, don’t read this!
This week the party expanded and we were joined by @dimbyd playing the (seemingly cruel and sadistic) elf champion/druid Oak Staff. As a druid he is allowed an animal companion, so with time against us I handed him Lugus, a Lynx created by @ChimpionsRPG for his druid character who was unfortunately unable to join the game. If @ChimpionsRPG is able to play at some future point we can have a fight over Lugus or @dimbyd will have to pick a new animal companion.
After overcoming some technical issues with Fantasy Grounds we cracked on with the game. Last time we finished with an impending fight – the party had spotted a group of thugs waiting to ambush them as they were following a trail of captured innocents leading north. It was also an opportunity to take Saga of the Splintered Realm out for a spin and see how it handled magic and combat. Taking the initative Evalore cast a sleep spell which took out four of the ambushers, while the rest of the party closed on the others. The fight was brief and bloody with some of the party taking wounds and only two of the bandits surviving (the rest caught in the sleep spell were brutally dispatched by Kristos; I was starting to see what kind of party we had here!)
They played the two surviving bandits off against each other, slitting one’s throat to get the other to comply (yeah, I know, we have a party of murderhobos!). The information he gave them was of limited use; that the bandits have a camp in the hills ahead and there are a lot of them. The PCs trusted he was telling the truth fearing for his life, and decided to head to Illmire instead where they believe they could hand over this bandit to the law, get some rest and speak to Lord Crellmont. The Saga of the Splintered Realm rules around death and healing are not as brutal as in other OSR games, but still it seemed prudent for them to do this.
Heading back to the road the party travel on to Illmire, arriving later in the afternoon. The walled village seemed fairly busy, but the PCs were disturbed by the lack of guards on the open gate. The bandit was handed over to Capt Frey, the seemingly rather lazy and complacent leader of the small watch who had the bandits locked up. He told them Lord Crellmont was sick with bald fever, an affliction that is infecting the village, and that others have taken ill with it and died; they were best not disturbing Illmire’s leader and moving on.
Meanwhile Oak Staff explored a grove of scraggly willows, perhaps with an expectation to find something there. All he discovered was an old shack that had collapsed, either through age or by force, and a faint trail leading away.
A crowd had gathered in the village market, but they were too far away for anything to be heard, and so tired from their travels, the adventurers decide to head to the Inn of the Weary Wagoner for food, drink and rest.