12 Gray Winds 3123
Four prospective new applicants to join The heroes of Sky were sent into the jungle to try and find the Paladin Tristan Malwin. he had been investigating rumors of Childer in the interior and went to discover the truth. he had not been heard from for about a week, hence the search party.
Cob borrowed an axe and a suit of full leather from Lookout Points Armory, and they set off, deciding to go through Starcross and onto Shadeston Road before moving south into the jungle at the halfway point (as this would lead them to the last known location of Tristan). Whilst in Starcross they called into the Church of Light to see if Tristan had returned. They were informed by one of the Church guards that he had not.
Things went well until they got about 3 miles into the jungle; Cob who was leading the group, sensed danger up ahead and Wrexx of the Ironwood decided to take point and investigate. This led him into deep water – or rather quicksand as he stumbled into a large depression containing the stuff. Unable to free himself and after going under once, Sarkan jumped in to save him. Diving deep he used all of his strength and with a heroic effort propelled the Ogre almost to safety, where he could climb out easily.
As they continued onward, they were surprised by an Alakar; Taredd who stepped silently out of the jungle. He inquired as to their business, and being told of their quest to find the Paladin resolved to tag along and help out.
Thereafter, they discovered an abandoned camp. After searching around they found the buried remains of trail rations and a pamphlet extoling the virtues of the Church of Archanon; one end of the paper was stained with some kind of ichor. Unsure of its significance, Cob took it with him.
Proceeding onward, their progress was halted as an arrow thunked into a tree not a foot away from COB’s head. From far down the trail a voice shouted a warning that they should leave this place. COB made an intimidating speech regarding their rescue mission and the hidden archer could be heard running away into the jungle.
A few miles later they heard voices ahead, sneaking closer they saw a clearing with a dozen or so armed men sitting around a small campfire. The group decided to have Cob run into the camp screaming and babbling about a monster chasing him through the jungle; in order to aid this, Sarkan was to emit a loud snarling sound, while Wrexx of the Ironwood shook some trees. Raok Whiteiron hid with his crossbow at the ready, in case any of them got too close. After the initial panic where several people fled the camp, a four of them braved the danger and went to investigate. The heroes remained hidden and were not seen, finding nothing they retraced their steps to return to the camp. Wrexx of the Ironwood reached out from his hiding place and grabbed the last guard; who managed to scream in terror. The others fled back into the safety of the clearing.
Wrexx of the Ironwood unwittingly crushed his captives head in his massive hand, and unsure what to do he threw the body into the clearing with a bellow. This caused the rest of the men in the clearing to flee, apart from Cob who drew a dagger, unleashed a battle cry and charged into the jungle towards his friends. As they congratulated themselves on a job well done, someone heard movement in the clearing.
Six men were dragging a captive into the clearing. They were forcing the bound man towards the hidden heroes, as if a sacrifice to whatever beast lay within the jungle. The heroes watched as he was forced at sword point into the tree cover; as soon as he was out of sight, Cob motioned for this man to quietly follow him; then he gave a suddenly cut off scream and Wrexx of the Ironwood shook some trees. The men in the clearing already terrified, ran for their lives.
The screaming, the sight and smell of all the blood, the flying headless corpse triggered Sarkan’s Battle Rage and he broke cover bellowing a battle cry as he sliced one of the fleeing men in two.Wrexx of the Ironwood too ran into the fray grabbing one of the men and using him as a club on another before leaping into the air and landing on one of them, crushing him completely. Cob cut one of them down, and Raok Whiteiron felled two with his crossbow.
The captive was revealed as Tristan. Taredd explained that while the bandits they had slain were real, as was the rumour of the Childer; their reason for being here was a setup to determine if they had the mettle needed to be a Hero of Sky. Happily he explained, they had.
Tristan revealed he had lost an artefact while in the jungle; the ‘Pamphlet of Zanros’ and was overjoyed when Cob returned it to him. Wrexx of the Ironwood enquired as to its usefulness and Tristan explained that Zanros; a Brinchie and one of the heroes of Sky had used it to kill a ghoul by rolling it up and driving it through the skull of the awful creature. The heroes didn’t quite believe such a fanciful tale but as a Paladin Tristan is always truthful.
The heroes returned to Lookout Point where Stoatra gifted the Full Leather armor to Cob , they donated the partial leather and the swords worn by the bandits they had killed to the Heroes of Sky. Raok Whiteiron offered to make some weapons and armor for the group and their allies, whilst Cob and Wrexx of the Ironwood volunteered to help train the soldiers in both armed and unarmed combat.
A strange rumour has been heard since this incident. As well as stories of Childer in the jungle, there is talk of a beast, so huge it shakes trees and lets forth a huge bellowing sound. It has the fetid odour of stale water and sweat – and has been seen ripping the head off one of Bandit Prince Lamin’s men.