Writeup 16th June 2022 – The Return of the Comet episode 4

The morning after the rest of the night, where the group achieved better rest, undisturbed by ant further interlopers. Utana, José and Arpaesis gather with Doraksha and some of her fellow clergy as they install the real harp back in the temple. Grateful for their help, they let the group examine the harp, alleged to have been made by Hyyan wa Kothar, and it has symbols of Hyyan wa Kothar, Shmun, his/her lover and other symbols, possibly to do with Hyyvan’s life here as a farmer’s wife.

Utana detected sound, music from the harp, even when the only pressure on the strings was the wind, but then Doraksha started playing and the sound of the deity filled him with joy, and he felt blessed.

Arpaesis’s and José’s researches as Doraksha played shone a light on the comet, that it appeared ever 101 years and there were always two disasters, one as the comet approached the sun, one as it left. These disasters took different forms, not all repeated, but the green plague was one that had happened more than once, One piece of information José found, a plant that might be found in the hills which, when its leaves are ground and mixed in with a resin extracted from its roots it makes a salve that alleviates the symptoms of the green death, but does not cure.

They asked about legends of heroes rising to meet the challenges of the disasters and were told that there were some that came, why, only recently in the west there had been matchless heroes without flaw, giants who had fought the darkness threatening to take first a a city then a nation. The group coughed and looked embarrassed.

The group thought on what to do next, to go ahead to the bandit centre of Iduabjan, and follow up investigating the green plague, or to Bukrish, the place the prophecy Harvan found had told them to go to.

They decided to push onto Bukrish, finding maps and directions, but mistakes led to delays and it was evening and it was getting dark. The sky was darkening also with gathering thunder clouds and the threat of rain, and dark woods loomed ahead when they heard voices, shouts, Idarit mostly with some Araya shouts of hatred and violence.

Investigating, they say a hill surrounded by an angry mob of farmers, villagers and the like, with. Torches and tools being brandished at five soldiers. on a small hillock, looking as if they had armed and armoured themselves in a hurry but lacking the bronze badges of the brigands and soldiers belonging. to the bandits.

One of the mob detached from the throng, introduced himself. As “Abadhir”, upon being asked what was going on, he explained.

_“They are soldiers of Rasghan Ilyhan Gharsemi, I’m afraid you have stumbled upon a bloody night’s work. The men we pursue up yonder hill are far more than brigands. They serve the Rasghan. Yes, that’s right, I said ‘Rasghan.’_

_“Before you judge us, please allow me to explain. Everyone in thesYou will learn nothing from him, but when you are ready, come and talk to me at Qalharbarhe parts knows the Gharsemis consort with dark powers. When I was a lad, Heydar Gharsemi was rumored to have created a creature from the limbs of the dead. His grandson Ilyhan has continued his grandfather’s work—for I have seen the creature with mine own eyes. It did this very night slay the beloved of my nephew, Shunif, and we have tracked it back to the Gharsemi keep. Their home now burns on the mountain, but the Rasghan himself, and some of his murderous guards, escaped._

_“This day the people of Qalharbarh say no more. We have destroyed the Rasghan’s castle, and now seek to end this evil tyrant’s life. The coward slipped away while his soldiers fought his battle for him, now he hides here with his most loyal henchmen. We must find him tonight. He is no woodsman, and will not easily travel these tangled hills in darkness._

We are simple men, but we are not afraid and our cause is just. Will you strangers help us bring Rasghan Gharsemi to justice before he slips away in the dawn light?

Utana went to parley with the soldiers, but one loosed a warning arrow that Utana walked into, surprised, he fell backwards under the impact. Picking himself up, Utana launched an arrow back at his attacker, wounding he archer. José joined in, downing the archer, and at that signal the mob surged forward. Another soldier threw a javelin at hit José, Arpaesis bided his time.

The fight was soon over, though José took another wound from a hurled Javelin, and only the original archer was left, barely clinging to life. Utana moved to secure him as a prisoner, but two of the mob tried to rush in for the kill. At that point Arpaesis acted, casting “Bar the Way” to stop them.

_The caster projects the strength of their will to keep the target at bay If the spell succeeds then, no matter how the target tries to, even if another pushes them towards the caster. The caster can move towards the target, but if they do, the target gets another chance to resist the spell. If they fail, the must step back, but they cannot be driven to their deaths by this, attempting to do so will break the spell._

Now, the way the spell was used, was not as quite as written, but I allowed it, because it was dramatic and worked. Abadhir objected, stressing the perfidy of the Gharsemis and their hireling sellswords, as he rushed in with a knife, but Utana used his skill in unarmed combat to turn Abadhir’s charge and throw him to the ground. Arpaesis held off the mob (_by the way, Arpaesis is on about 0 fatigue from the effort of that_) as it surged to prevent José patching up the archer so that Utana could use the cruel methods he learned from Jalabu to question him.

Utana demanded to know where the Rasghan might be, the archer. Did not know for sure, after all he was the. Part of a rearguard to let the Rasghan escape, but he said that he might have gone back to the ruin of his castle to see what he could recover, or hide nearby, unless he has tried the woods, but Ilyhan was not known for his woodcraftiness.

You will learn nothing from him, but when you are ready, come and talk to me at QalharbarhYou will learn nothing from him, but when you are ready, come and talk to me at QalharbarhThe mob was howling as Arpaesis strained at the effort of holding back so many (_technically. I think 7 is the most he could hold back, but, again, drama_) and the group decided. to mount up, ride away and question him further at a distance, and let José attend to his own wounds. As they did so, Abadir shouted at them “You will learn nothing from him, but when you are ready, come and talk to me at Qalharbarh!”

And there we left it

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