Our return to Yrlag with the (mostly) rescued villagers was not greeted with quite the universal gratitude we expected. While most were happy to have their kith and kin returned, a handful focussed on the run in we had had with the ‘protectors’ – warning all and sundry that Skarn Fellstorm would punish Yrlag for harbouring us. And it was possibly that handful that sneaked off during the night to inform the protectors about what had happened. But not sneaky enough to stop Jet from following and observing the meeting.
We also found out that the adventuring party we had met on the raod called themselves The Stormcrows – if only Deorly was here she might have cheered up.
After a brief debate we decided to wait for the inevitable visit from Skarn’s lackies, who duly showed up late morning. After much posturing from both sides we agreed to accompany them to Skarn’s stronghold to meet her. Particular highlights were Jet trying to get a ride on Tyron’s horse (the leader) and Klang attempting to use our horse as a tool for intimidation.
We were warned not to attempt any ‘funny business’ which we promptly ignored with Jet sneaking off into the bushes and Whiskey playing with the Hedge Wizard’s Gloves to produce an amusing magic show. Jet’s sneaking was discovered and required her to join the rest of us to avoid coming to blows.
The stronghold was an impressive wooden fort built against a spur of the mountain – Skarn had obviously been busy and had a motivated workforce at her command. It housed maybe 100 warriors and support people, including some families by the look of it. We were shown into her great hall to meet the woman herself – a confident and flashy warrior. After much verbal sparring it came down to the fact that her people would not be satisfied unless the blood debt was met – in the form of a combat between us and a select bunch of her warriors in ‘the pit’. Fortunately it was not to the death, but instead until the first person went unconscious. The pit was aptly named, being a square pit with four training machines. Skarn’s men began to wind up the machines resulting in them rotating rapidly with clubs and flails flying around.
The fight lasted all of 10 seconds – Jet rushed forward stabbing at a fighter before knocking him down and holding a dagger to his throat. Klang barely had time to trap another warrior inside the reach of a machine much to the amusement of all (except the warrior).
The deafeat was taken in good humor and we were welcomed into the fold with a feast. The feast had barely got going when a messenger arrived bringing the news that Yrlag had been attacked again and Skarn’s mother and sister had been carried off. This finally got Skarn motivated to act and she committed her troops to attack the yuan-ti citadel.
While they got organised the party rushed off to scout. We discovered that the snake cultists were assembling and beginning to march on Yrlag. Perhaps the capture of the family was the signal for something. We rendezvoused with Skarn’s troops at the edge of the swamp and waited for the clash of armies – three score and ten of the cultistist versus a hundred or so of Skarn’s troops (plus us of course). Klang lay about with his blade and was tireless in leading small bands of men against the foe, Jet lured cultists into traps and ambushes and inspired fear with displaying the grisly remains, while Whiskey chose favourable spots for clashes and inspired the men.
With Skarn in control of the battle field, the party chose this moment to break through the battle lines and make for the citadel. With all the cultists committed to the battle it was easy to penetrate into the first chamber, a huge dome overshadowed by the statue of a leering yuan-ti made up of a thousand cobras…