Bracing for their journey into the broken lands, the party, 12 rough and ready rivermen, and the brusque (and possibly charmed) Captain Sturback split themselves on their two shallow bottom barges, the Hollyhock and the newly christened Mulebringer.
Sturback informs us that there are 3 major cataracts before reaching Darokin, each requiring overland portage.
The indian summer sun beats down upon a bleak landscape of mountains and crags. An ambush on the river. Primitive kobolds hurl stone spears, slaying two crewmen. Hanna takes credit for plinking two of the humanoids in return.
Another party is spotted on the banks downstream. This is, incredibly, a party of Darrowkins along with an escort. Hanna's family, lead by mother Anya, painstakingly plucking their way north to meet with her wayward son, lately daughter. There, too, are Dabbler and Charlie, as well as a trader named Coleman and an elf named Glacier. Charlie and Hanna immediately fall into ridicule and banter, with the younger highly amused that he has another sister. But there is little time for this! Mother has been snatched up by a Roc and carried up to a mountain peak! She is perfectly alright, the next generation of halflings says: she is probably cooking up the birds on spits already.
The Alpha Brigade of the Crossed Swords charges up the mountain. Running battles with Rocs; highlights include a triumphant return to combat by Hanna, 66 Fangs, and a goblin spirit named Grizzlyguts lancing up and down that sword, Martin stumbling off the mountain several times and getting hauled up by Ja Tubis, fine bowmanship by Hanna's brother Charlie, an illusory giant cast by Robert Hazard, and Glacier the elf being carried off by one of the giant avians. One roc is killed just outside their lair, the wounded one that had plucked up Glacier in its nest, and the last two trying to protect their cavernous home.
Much discussion ensues on what loot to carry down the treacherous slopes. A Floating Disk helps, but some halfling tobacco and some furs had to be left behind. The party shortly returns to discover a squad of Salamanders smoking these herbs and slink away in fear.
They work to carry the barges over the rapids the next morning, but are approached by a giant snake hiding among boulders. Here is where the session ends.
Losses and Loot
Two crewman were killed, I think we found some treasure in the roc's nest:
- An apparently magical leather rain-cloak
- An apparently magical cloak clasp (silver, with an amber jewel)
- An enchanted quill lodged in the pages of one of 7 weighty, mundane tomes
- Some jewelry (a broken silver necklace and a damaged gold ring with a jewel)
- Some damaged saddlebags filled with silver coins
- One fledgeling roc is captured and stored, in hopeful comfort, on the boat
… We also retrieved 32 Roc feathers and a man-size baby Roc. Some Salamanders burned up a bunch of other stuff that looked pretty expensive (some high-class Halfling tobacco), including two more baby Rocs. We each get 1043xp.