The Song of the North

The Marred March (Part 1)

Jason leads a small band to save the Marex

In the chaos and confusion following the orders to evacuate Tent town, Honey of Marex manages to find Jason sand. Her eyes filled with a supernatural glow, she speaks to Jason in flurry of accented words. Her voice is not her own, Brix’shi of Marex speaks through her. He is racing back to the valley of the Marex to warn them of an attack, but may not arrive in time. He requests that Jason and some other adventurers from Dilreen attempt to make the trek to the Valley ahead of time. As a precaution, Brix’shi has activated the valley’s full array of defenses; a challenge that should not prove fatal to a powerful mage such as Jason Sand.

Tok, Nightshade, Jason and Net’up Sur are hiking up the hills toward the Valley. Nightshade has managed to coerce a number of the Scale marines into aiding them, and the stalwart lizardmen bring up the rear with nary a complaint. Their first challenge is to enter the valley at all, through the Whispering Pass. The rocky crack in the hills leading to the mystical valley isn’t whispering, its howling! Powerful winds batter the travelers. Some attempt to employ brute strength, or magical skill, but it is their go-mar shaman’s respect for nature and concern for his fellows that allows them to prevail. The goblin’s careful use of trees to navigate along the windy pass allows him to advance quickly, and he throws a rope behind for his friends to catch up. Their respect for the forces of nature, as well as their teamwork, allow them to pass into the valley.

Their next path takes them into the deep forests of the valley. Hours in, they are confronted by mirror images of themselves. Our heroes and the marines are dumbfounded, and the duplicates force their counterparts to move around, jumbling the real heroes with the fabrications. Only through clever inquiry can they deduce who is truly whom. When the final duplicate is revealed, it bursts into a ball of floating light. The wisp flies away so quickly, Nightshade hardly has time to be entranced by its glow.

Their final challenge at first appears to be a simple walk through a clearing. Raised stumps lift just above the petals of a flowery clearing. Nightshade tiptoes effortlessly along the stumps, as does Tok. Jason, striding confidently through the wild plants, is assailed by a stinging cloud of poisonous pollen. His lungs already straining, he performs a magical leaping spell… Into a patch of thorns! Netup’sar tumbles in as well, but is quickly rescued by Nightshade. The easiest path through the forest beyond the meadow is thick copse of trees bent to form a narrow, low tunnel. Tok, leading, is the first to discover that the treas have fast growing thorns. As the barbs rapidly reach dagger size, he falls on his hands and knees to duck, only to find that the thorns have stopped growing.

The rest of the party emulates the chil’d, walking on all fours until they’re out of the bramble. Jason manages to leap his way out, though a bit ruffed up. The only thing standing between our heroes and Marex is a narrow creek, and beyond that, a marble white gravel path leading to the village. Netup’sar is the first to cross, stepping over the water and on to the path with no ill effects. Jason sips the waters, testing their contents before stepping across. He finds the white stone path hot to the touch. Tok and Nightshade leap across, only to have their shoes ignite in searing fire! Jason deduces that they need to cleanse themselves before crossing the beautiful white path, and after bathing in the waters, the stones are no longer hot. Unfortunately, the battle going on just below in the village is nearly as heated.

There, the Marex clash with the 1st Tribe. Glowing green eyes are smashed in by clubs and flayed by whips, magic from both sides instantly petrifies marred, or turns them into festering piles of plant waste. The marines form a defensive formation around Nightshade, allowing him to pepper the crowd with arrows. Eventually, he spots a particularly nasty looking brute attacking a ho-mar magic user. He makes a beeline while the rest clear out the throng. When they finally catch up with the Dark Fair, he’s sneaked around above the pair of marred as they talk. The dark ho-mar, wielding a wickedly curved boomerang, commands the druid to heal his wounds. The druid grudgingly complies, and the ho-mar commands a hulking wolf-beast to attack the heroes.

A pitched battle ensues, where the ho-mar is nary able to attack. In the end, the wolf is slain and his master falls. Brix’shii reveals that the slain villain is none other than his son, Zal’shii. The battle ends shortly after, with our heroes at a loss for what to do next.

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