Twilight of the Kai

"The Lost Caravan"

  • It is a cool autumnal morning at the Kai Monastery, and we open with an invigorating game of greel. The Initiates Fierce Strider and Wise Fire are called away from the game by River Blade. A young Kai Femskurd, she is the object of a teenage crush on the part of Wise Fire. This morning, however, she is all business. She informs the Initiates that they are to travel to the Alema Mitre to investigate reports of a missing caravan. With a mixture of excitement and apprehension, the initiates realize they are being sent on their first proper mission away from the monastery!
  • During the trip to the Mitre, Fierce Strider heeds the cries of a distressed animal within the woods. He finds a fallow doe ensnared by a poacher’s trap, and the poacher’s encampment nearby. Using his disciplines of Animal Kinship and Healing, Fierce Strider releases the doe, freeing her to go tend her fawn who is hiding nearby. He desperately wishes to track the poacher(s), but elects to press on to the Mitre, as that is his assignment and it is time-sensitive. He makes a mental note to tell the Skurden back at the Monastery when they return, however—hunting is banned to all save Kai Lords in the Fryelund Forest.
  • Arriving at the Alema Mitre around dusk, the two Kai are escorted to the tent of Haldred the Quartermaster. There they are informed that a caravan under the supervision of Master Trader Trevis failed to arrive at the Mitre during its journey from Toran to Holmgard.
  • Their conversation is interrupted by an attempted mugging outside. Wild Fire uses his Mind Over Matter discipline to snatch away the purloined coin purse as the thief makes off with it, then gives him a taste of Mindblast. The thief surrenders and throws himself on the mercy of the Kai, who turn him over to the camp guards.
  • The merchant, Merrum, profusely thanks the Kai Lords and asks them to join him at his campsite. There, Merrum contradicts Haldred, saying that he saw Trevis about a week ago passing through on his way to Holmgard, although he seemed in a hurry—he didn’t even want to stop to repair a broken wagon wheel!
  • Fierce Strider returns to Haldred’s tent and ascertains that it’s possible Trevis might have passed through without the Quartermaster’s knowledge. Nevertheless, no one has heard from Trevis in the past week, which seems unusual. The Kai decide keep investigating until they can ascertain Trevis’s whereabouts.
  • The next morning they set out, pausing at the Durnstone to confirm that, indeed, Trevis did come this way about a week ago. On the King’s Highway, Fierce Strider soon spots a set of wagon tracks, about a week old, that veer off over the adjacent pastureland, heading for some woods in the distance. One of the tracks looks to have been made by a broken wheel…
  • Following the tracks, they find a trail in the forest. Following that, they arrive at Lake Halmar after an hour’s walk, where they spot two abandoned wagons near the water’s edge; indeed, one wagon is half-submerged in the lake’s waters.
  • After canvasing the site, the Kai Lords ascertain that the horses and cargo are missing. They find the bodies of the caravan guards, one of the four merchants from Trevis’s caravan, and a bandit, all of whom have been killed by violent means.
  • Fierce Strider picks up a trail that heads north, back towards the forest. Before they can start following it, three bandits burst from the woods not far from where the bodies were found and charge the Kai. Calmly, Fierce Strider nocks and fires an arrow, then a second, dropping two bandits. The third turns and runs, but is cut down for cowardice by his master, Logrim the Bloody, who was following behind.
  • Logrim engages the Kai in combat. Fierce Strider’s lynx companion jumps on Logrim’s back, injuring him gravely. Fierce Strider holds Logrim at bay until Wise Fire can line up a shot with his warhammer, braining the bandit chief.
  • The Kai now follow the trail back into the woods. After a short spell of walking, they find an encampment within an outcropping of granite. There they find the missing horses, cargo, and the three surviving merchants, including Trevis!
  • After burying the bodies of the slain guards and merchant, the Kai accompany Trevis and his fellows to Holmgard. There they are feted by the Guildmaster, Balnor Gage, where we leave off with this ominous note…

You are invited to spend the night at the Guildhall and sample the many luxuries it has to offer. Fine food, vintage wine, and a recital by Royal Court musicians make it an especially enjoyable time for you all. Over the course of the evening, you discuss plans for your return to the Kai Monastery tomorrow. You agree to rise early and leave Guildhall at first light. It is a sensible schedule, but things do not work out quite as you plan. Something happens on your way back to the Kai Monastery, something that brings you into contact with an ancient evil that has awoken from a long and restless sleep!

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