Gwyrd gave Orsik and Deena precise instructions as he finished up the last batch of potion of mimicry. The three of them had measured, boiled, cautiously stirred, vigorously shook, distilled, and accidentally added a hint of butterscotch to produce a table full of alchemical items. Outside of the shop, screams rang out. Androk swiftly leapt up the stairs and climbed onto the roof. With his newly enchanted belt of scrying, he was able to see that the western half of the city was embroiled in fighting. He could tell that there were civilians mounting a defensive barricade, but the area was surrounded by hundreds of hollowed.
Gwyrd, expecting the worst, and not wanting to let his days and a half’s worth of work go to waste, quickly shuffled the new potions into his bag of holding (made of “leather”). The group decided it was time to get out of the shop. They busted through the back door and went down the alleyway to turn onto the main street. When they got there, they saw a handful of hollowed assaulting unarmed civilians who were trying to run away.
Catching these hollowed somewhat off guard, the group quickly broke through their ranks. The group had a brief discussion of which way to go, Deena, being the only one who wanted to turn west to help the armed defenses didn’t have time to think it through as she fled with the group.
Gwyrd cast an illusion in the middle of the street, an enticing display of the most attractive civilians for the hollowed to seek out. Hollowed funneled towards it, standing still as they gazed upon the most desirable civilians they’d ever seen (this illusion likely took the form of civilians who were on the brink of death and perfectly primed for more hollowed to be transferred from distant planes into this world). The group quickly shuffled through this crowd of docile hollowed. Edwulf gave one or two a good thump across the head as he ran past.
As the group headed east, towards the outskirts of the town, a second handful of hollowed poured out of an alleyway. Gwyrd called forth a blast of color aimed higher than usual and obliterated many of the hollowed. A shade form lingered in the alley way, and not wanting to expose their flanks, Deena, Kir and Edwulf quickly dispatched it. Then a gnome and a tall humanoid (he was moving too quickly for the group to notice anything about him other than his bowler hat) ran out and the gnome shouted to them, “What are you doing? Run!” as he followed his companion down the main street. The group followed these two a little ways before the two NPCs veered into an alley shouting, “Come on, this way!” Orsik followed without hesitation. The group followed their veteran leader, knowing how unwise it would be to part ways with his healing powers.
As they caught up with the pair, they were jumping onto a moving wagon, and waved to the group, encouraging them to jump on. The group jumped. Kir, sensing that this feat might be more difficult for some, readied her rope and lassoed Edwulf onto the wagon. Everyone made it safely.
The humanoid with the bowler cap sat in the driver’s seat, edging the horses to pull forward as quickly as possible. The wagon started to move down narrow streets at a rapid pace, but Bowler Cap made the rapid turns seem easy. As the wagon made its way through the last few blocks of the warehouse district, four adventurous hollowed jumped from rooftops and onto the top of the wagon. A quick bullrush, push, and a few slashes took care of this third encounter.
The wagon burst out from the buildings and the sunlight seemed to wash away the noxious smell of blood and hollowed sweat that had slowly permeated the air in Valkenswaard. The sunlight brought hope, they were out of the city, they were safe.
Then they saw the fight that blocked the road ahead. A caravan of wagons had made it beyond the next intersection, but the fight had spilled into the intersection and our adventurers could not plow through. The driver quickly swerved to the left. This time, a wagon wheel hit the gutter and jostled the wagon onto its side. The adventurers jumped off the collapsing wagon and landed in the middle of a fight. In one corner, the Brelandish Banner, in the other corner, a massive hollowed who seemed unphased at being surrounded by hostile soldiers.
The adventurers took turns cutting open a path for the next to move through and with clockwork precision, the adventurers seemed ready to win the fight. Then a priest-like figure arrived and quickly turned the tide. Creatures who had seemed all but ready to surrender were suddenly given a second wind and the steady line of defense that the adventurers put up was thwarted by the priest’s ability to strike at long range and draw the adventurers closer. When standing next to the priest, Orsik felt an overwhelming depression that enfeebled his actions. Fortunately, his Dwarven constitution saved him from the ill effects and he quickly moved away and back towards the wagon.
Seeing more hollowed approaching from the southern road, the group carefully laid out a path towards the wagon. The travellers righted the wagon as the adventurers kept the remaining hollowed at bay. Gwyrd lifted the battle standard, tossed an alchemical frost at the priest and teleported onto the wagon. From his seat on the wagon, he saw the bottle strike the priest at his feet, freezing him in place. The group turned and ran to the wagon, with Androk standing as the rear guard. Orsik’s spirit bear charged forward to make one final swipe at the enemy before it disappeared, called back by Orsik. Androk jumped onto the wagon.
The priest, frustrated that he couldn’t move quickly, raised his arms and gave the wagon a hard stare as he began chanting. The wagon seemed to spin its wheels as if the priest were pulling the whole thing to him. Androk, notched an arrow and loosed it. Androk aimed for the priest’s face, hoping to break his concentration and release the wagon from his icy grip. The arrow flew through the air and pierced deep into the priest’s left shoulder. He staggered but maintained his gaze. Suddenly, the wagon lurched free as Gwyrd sensed a tremendous arcane energy from the front of the wagon, perhaps from Bowler Cap.
As the two remaining elite hollowed growled at the group, Deena and Kir taunted in their general direction (to little effect).
The wagon, unable to resume its eastward route, is traveling northward, heading back towards another major intersection on the edge of Valkenswaard. The travelers don’t know how they are going to meet up with the rest of the caravan. The adventurers don’t know where the travelers are going. But what they do know is that the next intersection will likely lead to another battle. Take this time to rest and get your encounter powers back and distribute some alchemical items.