Borderland of Adventure #31: Flight from Xul-Jarak

At the end of last session, we left most of the PCs retreating from Xul-Jarak after the orcs of the place repulsed their assault. Klara and Maban had already fled the scene, aiming to return to Glister to raise the alarm as it seemed their were far more orcs lurking at the citadel than had been originally thought.




The other survivors of the party – Adoven, Belivar and Krorz – retreated from the citadel and found their way back to the bolthole Krorz had found the day before. There they met up with Sidel. They spent an uneasy night – the sounds of orcs moving through the woods was everywhere but none of the foul creatures happened upon the hiding adventurers.

The next morning, the adventurers healed themselves as much as they were able and then (after a brief discussion) decided to make a run for it. And so for the next six days both groups of adventurers dashed through the woods, moving from one safe spot to another. Klara and Maban encountered several small bands of orcs and luckily slew or drove off their attackers without loss. Adoven, Belivar and Krorz strangely encountered no orcs on their journey, but the unmistakable signs of their passing were everywhere. Instead, as fate would have it, they encountered a gigantic insect that tried (and failed) to eat Sidel and were attacked by a pack of hunting spiders one night as they rested in their cold camp.

On the fourth night of her retreat, Klara was on watch (letting Maban get some sleep) when a halfling slunk into the camp. The halfling, Timmo, introduced himself as an alchemist and merchant and after a long chat Klara invited him to join her and Maban. Timmo agreed and it was lucky that he did for the next day Klara, Maban and Timmo ran into a wandering patrol of orcs. Timmo proved an able warrior who fought with a strange blade and even had some sort of magical power able to render him temporarily invisible! The orcs were quickly slain and Klara found herself warming considerably toward her new companion.

The next day, as night fell, Klara, Maban and Timmo reached Glister and, although the gates were shut for the night, managed to talk their way inside. Quickly Klara spoke with the mayor of the place and impressed upon him the urgency of the situation. He undertook to send a messenger on to Ratikhill at first light and Klara immediately began to write a lengthy message to Lord Nanther.

In the meantime, Belivar, Adoven and Krorz had reach the edge of the woods and decided to wait for morning before making for Glister. During Adoven’s watch, however, the party’s luck ran out. Flying above them – visible through the trees in the moonlight – Adoven saw the wyvern they had encountered back at Xul-Jarak flying slowly over the forest. The light must have caught on his armour for the wyvern seemed to notice the campsite and landed a little way away beyond the wood’s fringes. Vhazror leaped down from his mount and immediately began shouting insults at Krorz – daring him to fight him in single combat. As the half-orc cowered behind a tree hoping the orc would go away, Vhazror’s insults became even more vicious and creative. He even offered to fight Krorz without his armour on, but still the half-orc refused to leave the safety of the forest. Vhazror then offered to let Belivar and Adoven go free if they forced “the bastard” to face him in battle, but even this offer did not find favour with the adventurers. Eventually, dawn broke and Vhazror mounted his wyvern. As he flew away – back in the direction of Xul-Jarak – he promised he and Krorz would meet again and that when they did he would flay the skin from half-orc’s body as punishment for his cowardice…

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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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