Having been instructed to return home quickly we set out and began our long march back to Bannockburn where we had stabled our horses before using dog sleds to journey to Olleth. As we left the valley we spotted a horse limping along the path. Freya approached the animal to investigate it further. It turned out that the horse had no brands or saddle marks, and its limp was caused by an arrow head lodged in its hoof. Working together Freya and Bart were able to remove the arrowhead and apply a poultice to heal the infection. When they finished this I was able to ask the horse a few questions about where it came from and how it got hurt. It turned out that the he came from the Plains of Wind to the west of the valley, had wondered into the valley chasing some mares, then stepped on the arrowhead somewhere around Olleth (or as he described a place of many stacked stones), and then we found him as he was leaving the valley. I told him that if he came with us we would help his hoof, and he agreed to follow us. As we traveled we realized he was an extraordinary horse, all legs and chest looking like he could run forever, I valued him somewhere between 350 and 400gp.
After a few weeks of travel we made it to the Thunderfoot tribes lands and decided to just continue through. After some traveling through their lands we reached a group of Orcs blocking the path. When we approached the they informed us that this was a toll road and we would need to pay them 10 silver per person to pass, which we agreed to. They also wanted 25 silver for the horse, but Bart was able to negotiate them down to 10. Before we moved on I was able to ask them some questions (after a small bribe) about the tribe that attacked Olleth, and confirmed that it was out of character for that tribes chief as the Thunderfoots had been trying to start something for years to no avail. As we left I told them they should be prepared in case the other tribe decided to come after them next, they seemed happy and excited by the idea.
A few weeks latter we stopped off at an inn/trading post pick up some fresh supplies. While the party was taking care of business at the inn Freya ventured out into the forest to look for herbs. While she was doing this she stumbled upon a field full of unmarked graves. Upon making this discovery she ran back to the inn to tell Bart. Together with Kiara they went back to investigate. After a short investigation Bart began to consecrate the graves and Kiara returned to the inn to tell Rhianna and myself what they had found. Hearing this we approached the innkeeper and began to question him. Kiara began started out with some indirect questions that weren’t getting us anywhere. Knowing that I didn’t want to be murdered in my sleep I flatly asked the innkeeper what he knew about the hundred bodies buried out back. When he lied to me I proceed to threaten to curse him, his family, and his inn if he didn’t tell me. With that the innkeeper drew back to strike transforming his fist into a spike. A short and bloody battle ensued leaving the innkeeper dead, while Rhianna and I were bleeding on the floor. Kiara and the other party that that was at the inn were successful in driving of the other four doppelgangers that were at the inn at least temporarily.
When Rhianna and I were brought back to consciousness we attempted to signal Bart and Freya who had stayed at the graves, hoping to get them both back to the inn. Only Freya came and after some discussion the party moved to the cemetery to be with Bart. While Bart continued consecrating the area Rhianna and I tried to get some rest while Freya and Kiara kept watch. Just over two hours later we came alert to the sound of many things crashing through the forest. Alert to the approaching danger we made ready to defend ourselves. Into the clearing came the doppelgangers that escaped the inn backed by what appeared to be orcs of some unknown tribe. They attacked with murderous intent and quickly overwhelmed Freya. Seeing Freya fall and taking several punishing blows herself Kiara began the retreat. Rhianna seeing her cousin flee and having numerous foes bearing down up her followed her example and fled. With nothing between me and the horde of doppelgangers and nothing I could do to change the out come I ran following the bard and rogue into the woods, just as Bart fell. I ran back to the inn, having lost both Kiara and Rhianna somewhere woods, and warned the other party about of what was coming. While they fled I told the horse what was happening and begged, pleaded, and bribed him to carry me to safety. Kiara and Rhianna didn’t make it to the inn before I left so hopefully they found some place to hide and didn’t get killed but there’s no way to be certain.
Once I positioned myself on the horse he took off at a run, and what a run there may only be a handful of other horses in the world capable of matching him. He ran like the wind for eight hours far out distancing any hope of pursuit. Even after covering several days of travel in mere hours he wasn’t even winded, but I had him slow up before he re-injured his hoof. Together we continued on down the road, eventually coming to another inn. I considered stopping to wait for there to see if any of the party showed up, but after the last inn I decided not chance it and continued on down the road into Dotonia. Where I would wait for several weeks and see if any one from my party showed up.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket