It’s still rainy, it’s still windy, Dynasts are shoving about 20 people in the scouting party ahead in different directions, because they MUST know where the ancient ruins the Anathema would go to are. People barely leave the village, but they will have to ‘know’ or everyone dies. Sesus Rechar will wait until the ruins are found and then use a giant horse of flame to catch up.
Kip (no longer with the surname Tastic) starts rattling off a list of different monsters who they might find in the woods, things his father’s seen, and his grandfather. The group start a tally for the amount of their villagers who are accompanying them and will be dead by the end of the adventure. Also, when discussing giant rats, the size relative to Kip is used. Then it happens again in relation to other things, shortly, Kip has a “Kip to Thing Scale” where most things are measured in the height of the tiny ten year old.
Despite this derision, Kip is the best hope of leading them in the right direction and they hear the petty moaning of Mnemon Harpum, who is a lowly Dynast with little experience under his belt and not enough sense to leave the dirt to their job, Harpum points out that it’s raining and dust wouldn’t fit in this weather.
Harpum reveals a few facts, that Sesus Rechar is the last of his group of Terrestrial Exalted and they’ve been hunting this Anathema for a year. The other Exalts in the hunting party have died, leading up to this final hunt. Harpum also says that he’s not used to the weather as the Blessed Isle has people who can regulate it, changing the elements as they please. This shocks and excites the circle, as they’ve never heard of such things. Also, they hear that Harpum’s afraid of everything living in these woods and everything is living in them.
Using Harpum’s fear and the “Kip to Thing Scale”, Raphael and his monkey, Zidane, both demonstrate the size of some spiders in the woods and suggest that maybe, just maybe, they should build a shelter. Kip builds enough of a shelter for just one person. Toki, being bigger and stronger, makes a shelter which can fit everyone in it. Harpum heads to his superior’s fancy tent instead.
The next morning, the circle get up and witness something disturbing happening. A servant of the Fair Folk is leading a procession of empty people right past the camp. They gesture to the Dynasts to get out of the way and spot Phelen, one of the 15 villagers accompanying them, amongst the soulless servants. Trying to talk to him, the group are stared at by the entire crowd, breathing at the same time, blinking at the same time. They hide and let them go past, then continue their search.
Further out of the woods and nearing the river by a day or so, Kip makes another check to see if he remembers anything. Apparently there was some riverside temple which was beholden to some heathen sun god many years ago. Kip’s grandfather went there once, returned with the news of it and when he went to find it again, he never came back.
The temple apparently is built to greet the sun in the morning. This, and the fact the forest is coming to a (temporary) close, heartens the group.
Running/falling down a valley with long grass, it feels great to not be amongst the trees and the rain, the group catch their breath, and spy an old man. Dressed in old blue and yellow rags, the old man’s fishing in a pool made by yesterday’s rain. They point out that there will be no fish, but he doesn’t seem to mind, golden eyes twinkling as he talks to them. Kip urinates in the pool to try and put the old man off his fishing. The group tell the old man, Sparrow, apparently, about a temple to a heathen sun god nearby and the expedition. He takes the advice, pulls up a huge golden fish and gives it to the group. When they look in astonishment at it, Sparrow vanishes.
Up the other side of the hill the group find more woods. Ugh. Still, they must be near, as midnight tonight should find them at the temple. Travelling through the woods they see arrows hit the trees next to their scouts (Kip, and Akuna trying to keep up with Kip and seem like he’s helping more than he is). Six bandits appear, saying to murder the two eldest (Jax and Toki), then they can sell and/or rape the others. The bandits are dressed in torn buff jackets with badly-painted gold circles on them.
Combat ensues. Again, we’re rusty, but we’re improving.
The bandits bee-line for Akuna and Kip, ripping them apart with sword and bow. Raphael and Zidane act together, high-fiving an arrow out of the air. Akuna is trapped by two people cornering him around a tree and kick-flips away from it, shooting arrows as he goes. Kip tries (and fails) flipping his boomerang into a tree, knocking it down. Jax kicks up mud (and there’s a lot of mud) into a bandit’s eyes and hacks away. Toki is a slow, but relentless, killing machine, smooshing people apart a hammer blow at a time.
At the end of the battle, the enemy are defeated, Kip and Akuna are near death, and now the Dynasts turn up. They’re going to make camp further back as it’s nearly night. With the damaged duo, something/someone needs to heal them and they’re allowed to stay in the camp. The others will have to carry on (draws sword) they have to carry on. They can scout the temple and give information to the camp for a dawn strike. The heathen sun god will watch while Sesus Rechar and his forces destroy the temple and the Anathema who’s probably hidden inside.
PING! Achievements for using the terrain for Akuna and Kip’s creative use of an arrow and trees, respectively. PING! Achievements for surviving session two!