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Chapter 1.2 — Eclipse

(For these earlier sessions, I've unfortunately lost my full notes. Consequently, I'll only be listing the highlights as I recall them and from the limited information I still have. If you remember anything else that you think is important, or if you remember something as happening differently than I've listed it here, let me know, and we'll sort it out. Full Session Summaries will resume in Chapter 2.1: Fission)

Highlights

  • A local warlord calling himself Baron Torth has recently moved in on the area, and demands monthly tribute from Sandstone in the form of gold from Maddy and Thaddy's mine.
  • Baron Torth comes to Sandstone and declares that he didn't receive the most recent payment; in reality,Torth had the wagon attacked and its driver killed.
  • Vil, one of the village's two professional soldiers, was dispatched with the wagon to safeguard the shipment, and has not been heard from. Quel, his twin brother, is present in the village when Torth arrives.
  • Torth tells everyone that he'll be back the next morning to collect in full.
  • Maddy and Thaddy assure Athek that there's no way to have the payment on such short notice. Vil concludes that the shipment was probably attacked — and that since Torth is the only military presence in the area, that he was probably responsible.
  • The party decides to wait it out and, on Athek's advice, hope to negotiate with Torth when he returns.
  • Torth arrives the following morning. When Athek tells him that there isn't enough gold to make a full shipment, Torth orders his cronies to start smashing the place up. Quel steps up to stop one of them, but is quickly overwhelmed.
  • Torth cuts Quel's throat in the town center, tells Athek he'll be back the following morning and that he will get his gold, and leaves.
  • Stricken by the tragedy and unwilling to attack Torth at first, the party retires from the scene to talk the situation over in the bar, the Cutting Edge. The bouncer, Durgen, offers to round up as many of the village's able-bodied people as he can to fight Torth off the next morning. The list includes Terris, a local leatherworker (a huge barrel-chested viking of a man); Eb, a local shepherd (a smaller man who speaks very little Common); Clink, the town's jailer; Obed, the barman; and thanks to the party's willingness to help them with Lucas and Darius in the previous session, even the Half-Orcs Maddy and Thaddy.
  • The party also travels to the library to try and convince the mysterious Wizard in Green to help them, but he flatly refuses. They do, at least, learn his name: Utnapishtim. They can call him Tim.
  • Returning to the Cutting Edge to rest for the evening, the party sees Vil return to the village. Athek intercepts him as he's coming down the road, and Vil confirms what they thought — that the gold was stolen by Torth. Vil only narrowly escaped.
  • When Athek tells him that Quel is dead, Vil flies into a rage. He demands to see his brother's body, which he takes from the local Cleric before storming out of the village. It is thought that he traveled north, perhaps toward the Wizard's tower, but the party chose to leave him alone with his grief instead of following him.
  • The following morning, the village's defenders are assembled. Vil is still missing, but many of the village's men are huddled in houses around the village square with crossbows or slings readied, while the party, together with Maddy, Thaddy, Durgen, and Terris, are safeguarding an empty chest in the center of the town — a chest with which they expect to lure the hotheaded Torth into firing range by pretending that it contains their tribute.
  • Torth takes the bait, but has an entourage of about thirty bandits with him. As he enters the village just a couple of hours after dawn, the moon begins to eclipse the sun in what was definitely not a previously-scheduled meteorological event.
  • Vil approaches Torth's party from the other side, coming down the road behind him, with his brother's body in his arms. Silently, and with Torth watching (confident in his invulnerability), Vil lays Quel on the ground and kneels beside him.
  • As the half-light of the Eclipse washes over him, Vil takes on an otherworldly black glow; he channels his power into his brother's corpse and performs the first known resurrection since the Disavowment, 20 years ago.
  • Torth decides that the village and its tribute are far less important than getting his hands on a spellcaster capable of resurrecting the dead. He orders his men to leave no survivors (witnesses could warn other competing warlords of the ace up his sleeve), and orders his lieutenants to capture Vil — and if it's not altogether inconvenient, to capture his brother as well.
  • A fierce battle follows. Quel and Vil are both magically empowered by the Eclipse, and carve their way through Baron Torth's bandits in short order. Only Torth's seconds-in-command, a Human pistolero named Weylin and a Half-Orc archer called Quiet, put up any kind of fight against the brothers.
  • The session ends with a few major events:
    • On the horizon, a large shape is seen rapidly approaching Sandstone. It's impossible to gauge its size and distance without any perspective, but it is clear that it's massive and fast and airborne. For everyone but Torth, Weylin, Quiet, Quel, and Vil (who are engaged in their own almost-separate conflict), the battle grinds to a halt as everyone stops to stare.
    • Tim, the Wizard in Green, approaches the town square, balancing several incredibly fragile and extraordinarily expensive astrological and navigational devices in his arms. At first, the battle parts around him, as no one is really sure what to do about him; but as he sets down a standing telescope and produces a small table from under his arm onto which he dumps a sextant, astrolabe, and abacus, one of the bandits tires of his antics and rushes in to attack him.
    • That bandit gets disintegrated. Tim, calibrating his telescope, waves his hand dismissively at the fighters and assures everyone that he's not here to interfere. He would appreciate it, he says, if they could "argue somewhere else." After what happened to the first bandit, the battle gravitates rapidly up the road.