Episode 2 - River of Stars - part 2
Red Echo and Dorn mounted up and with the other horses in tow raced off to to the river and the bridge down stream where they would meet the others. Meanwhile, noting that they were loosing daylight, Rain, Aisha, Kheralin and Light made their escape to a safe place outside the Shadowland. Before journeying anymore Aisha rested. She was able to sleep for a short while and allow herself to replenish her essence.
Echo and Dorn raced across the landscape, along what roads they could find. To their south was the river of Chi Alahan, and somewhere on the other side the others in the borderlands to the kingdom of Ashuriana. Echo and Dorn crossed small bridges and rounded hills and forgotten towers until they had to slow as there were people in the road.
Drawing closer they could see it was a gathering of locals, young and old, and they were stoning a man. The man was dressed in armour and the garb of the Ashuriana army. Dorn drew up to the villagers and demanded to know what they were doing. The oldest man there explained that the soldier had stolen food from their village and that he was from the rival kingdom. Dorn knew he wanted to ask the man some questions and asked the villagers to stop, but they refused. Dorn then bellowed in rage, striking a fearsome pose upon his steed. The villagers fled, and the soldier, who was bleeding from the forehead, thanked them. However, Dorn prevented the man from leaving, and knocked him out with a simple gloved backhand, before resting the soldier on one of the spare steeds.
Now refreshed and re-energized Aisha set about summoning another whirlwind, and once more used it to carry herself, Light, Rain and Kheralin off to the bridge. Her essence infused her body and her anima banner exploded into life, and the swirling winds lift herself into the eye of the storm, and also lifted the others up before speeding off across the landscape.
At the bridge, Dorn and Echo sat about waiting for the others to arrive. Dorn woke the soldier up with some water and tried to get some information out of him. They had the man bound so they had time to talk without fear of him running off. Dorn was able to find out that the man was a member of a mercenary force, the Rabid Wolves. He explained that they had been hired to get some weapons from inside the territory of Khacin. However, he little more and survived as he was a scout for the army and so was outside the main camp when the weapon activated.
Soon the wind picked up and Dorn and Echo could see a twister approaching, and at its heart a glowing being. It stopped nearby, having crossed the river, and from it came forth Light, Aisha, Rain and Kheralin. Now regrouped they continued questioning the mercenary. From him they worked out that the device was to be carried away by a group arriving on a yeddim. The circle then wondered what to do with the soldier. Should they release him, or hand him over? They agreed that he should stay with them, and that he would be best working for them. They cut his bonds and Rain handed over his damaged blade while Light gave Rain in return the black steel sword.
Now as a group the circle rode towards the next town, a port town on the river, called Sucha. The new recruit rode with Rain and as they traveled Rain spoke to the soldier, seeing the chance to explain his new religion.
At the town of Sucha they were able to enter with Kheralin's badge of office as a messenger of the kingdom. They had also already removed the livery of Ashuriana from the soldier. In the town Dorn, Light and Echo headed to the large inn near the docks to see what information they could find out. Meanwhile Kheralin headed to the town hall to speak to the other officers there and to find out what they knew. Rain accompanied her. Aisha went down to the docks to speak to the office of the Guild. Kheralin found out little more, while Aisha discovered that the yeddim had not arrived, but that there a few ships that had high security, which had annoyed the Guild as they did not want to hire any workers to load or unload the ship. Echo found out little more while Dorn and Light had taken to the fighting ring, and between them had made some money gambling on Dorn's fighting. Dorn was playing the drunken fool as Light worked the crowd.
Aisha and Rain headed to the inn and found Echo drinking alone, while they spotted Dorn fighting. Meanwhile Kheralin had spotted something strange. She had seen some shadowy being moving through the town. It leaned in on conversations and moved through solid objec
ts. It was intangible and unseen by others. Kheralin followed it and found that it headed to the farmland side of the town, and to the mausaleom. There the shade met another 4, and silently they gather before splitting up again. She continued to follow one that headed back into town and to the docks.
Rain left the circle and the inn, and headed to the docks, calling upon his anima to cloak himself in darkness. As he left the inn there was the sound of a horn and from across the river were three yeddim,waving the banner of a merchant Guild. They circle knew that one of these creatures carried the weapon, and so set about creating a distraction.
Aisha worked her alchemy, and made a few small fire crackers. These they handed to some childre that were out late at night, and paid them too throw them as the second yeddim entered the town. They did so, and chaos ensued. The yeddim lurched into each other and nearby buildings, sending their guard horsemen flying.
At the docks Kheralin had used her charms to simply walk by the guards. She made her way to the main deck of the ship, following the shade. There she could smell many herbs, such as violets and saffron, but also the stench of rotting flesh. On the boat, also hidden, was Rain. He stood at the door to the captains cabin and looked in. There he saw a middle aged man, sat with an abacus, dressed in fine robes. He had black hair swept back, and a fine black moustache and goatee. He looked up as if hearing something distasteful and sneered.