Thursday, January 18, 2018

#3: The Prisoner

1/17/2018, Session #3

Ashes cold, we search the ruined buildings of Shadfeld.  It appears as if some time—hours, perhaps days—has passed since the conflict with Korvich.  The town is empty, the bodies of those slain in the attack taken or otherwise mysteriously disappeared.  Tussugar and Rould do not take the news of my acquaintance with Korvich and the beast Carcerus well; reasonable, and to be expected.

We part ways with Tussugar in anger, each to search the ruins of the town on our own.  Audric & I notice a plume of smoke in the distance, coming from a battered cottage.  We see shadows and a hearthfire within, and when we enter, Audric is held at knife-point.  The occupant is revealed to be Kezia, and after announcing ourselves and our intentions, she bids us enter.

Kezia is a young woman, perhaps in her late teens, in tattered clothing with a red scarf; she bears blood upon her face and knife, though whether it is hers or that of the attackers, we are unable to tell.  She looks exhausted and unkempt.  She indicates that she encountered Shadfeld’s attackers and cut one of them, so the latter is most likely.  She appears to be a wise woman, perhaps a shaman, though of what tribe or people I cannot tell.  She offers a reading, taking blood from both of our palms with her knife.  I have seen similar rituals in Icewind Dale conducted with clotted blood, organs and bone.  Kezia uses a deck of painted cards.

Her cards reveal the Trader and the Druid; the former perhaps a reference to Erathmar, the latter certainly Damyca, which are overlapped by the Missionary and the Abjurer—almost certainly Audric and myself.  She indicates that it forms a “hexad”, a term I have not before encountered.

She reveals six more cards.  She tells that a triumvirate of evil has befallen the land.  The Traitor and the Beast—the latter likely Carcerus.  The Artifact—perhaps the ring Audric carries—and the Anarchist.  The Donjon and the Necromancer—perhaps Korvich, but I did not know my mentor to possess such dark arts.  Kezia announces that we look to the former to find the latter, later reversing her placement of the Traitor and the Beast.  

Two final cards are revealed: the Myrmidon, of which we are to beware, and the Marionette, which we are to fear above all else.  The meaning of both are a mystery.  I offer a reward in exchange for her gift of knowledge, but she declines.  We take our leave of Kezia, fearing for the safety of Tussugar and Rould.  The decision is made, after some gruff talk, to travel to Carrock, 30 miles to the east.  We depart the next morning in silence.

On the route to Carrock, Audric and I discuss the meaning of Kezia’s reading, and we are left with more questions than answers.  In the afternoon, we encounter a pair of riders, dragging behind them an unconscious man.

They respond to our hail, claiming they ride from Carrock to Shadfeld.  We share the news of Shadfeld’s destruction, which is not believed.  The men—Bartley and Emmet—believed their prisoner to be from Shadfeld.  Apparently he is a lunatic, having made claims of demons before attacking their sister.  This form of punishment does not sit well with me, however, and care is taken to revive the prisoner, who seems malnourished beyond the extent of his captivity.

In speaking with Tussugar of Shadfeld’s fall, they relinquish control of the prisoner—temporarily, perhaps—to me.  It is my hope that more can be learned of this man—and his visions—to determine whether he is indeed crazy, or whether he possesses some knowledge that we may need.


  1. Once again, fantastic stuff. I don't think any further elaboration is needed at this point, but feel free to send any questions my way. In the meantime, I may try to post a pictorial account of Kezia's reading.

  2. A few literal definitions, for terms during the session which may have been unclear:

    : a massive inner tower in a medieval castle

    : a group or series of six

    : a loyal follower; especially : a subordinate who executes orders unquestioningly or unscrupulously