In the morning, we re-assess the status of our section of the caravan, and get things ready to move out. And then? From out of nowhere? Pen comes riding in, on a goddamn horse, looking all clean and pristine. Like a bastard.
Oh, it gets better. And by better I mean worse. You see, he has an admission: this was all his fault. He told them where to find the fertility idol. He’s apparently been working as a double agent, to our “benefit”. Apparently we can expect more absences here and there, as he has to maintain his story. And apparently as long as we have their idol, their power is reduced. Or something. I’m skeptical.
The Captain’s adjutant approaches us. Odd, normally our Sergeant would relay the summons, but he was unfortunately wounded last night. He field promotes Tmolus to Sergeant, and we head to the Captain. And maybe Pen isn’t messing with us – the adjutant salutes Pen on his way out. Tmolus delivers his report to the Captain, and we learn we weren’t the only ones attacked last night – the whole caravan was.
The Captain is (rightfully) impressed with our squad, but laments that we’re not being used to our full potential. We’re being reassigned, and will now be reporting to Lieutenant Cromartie. While I’m not super happy about that, we do get to pay the Quartermaster a visit for a bit of a gear upgrade.
When we meet with her, she asks my role: sniper. Keeping my unit safe by keeping danger from getting to them. The problem is, my standard issue quiver can only hold 20 arrows. She thinks for a bit, unlocks a some storage, and hands me a new (to me, but appears to be quite old) quiver. I accept it gratefully, and look forward to hitting the range. She even mentions that she’s even pre-loaded the arrows to capacity. To Robin, she issues a rapier with a skull on the hilt. It apparently once had rubies in the eye sockets. To Zalaz, she issues Pipes of Haunting. To Tmolus, a Brooch of Shielding. And to Pen, a Ring of Spell Storing. And she’s impressed with the upkeep of our gear. Why wouldn’t it be well taken care of? It keeps us alive.
No new magic is being created. No new spells, no new scrolls, no new magic items. All remaining magical items/artifacts have a legacy. You learn the item’s heritage when you attune to it. By bearing one of these items, you become part of its legacy, part of the items story. We’ll need to come up with a backstory/name/etc. for the item, too. And, since magic is degrading, the item may be too. Once attuned to an item, it only responds to you – so no sharing. And once per day, when the command word is used, I can draw arrow from the first chamber and it will have a random effect.
Before I can test out my new quiver, we must go see Lt. Cromartie. We –
return to the cave- arrive at the cave for the first time ever, and comment on the cleanup of what appears to have been some sort of skirmish in the clearing outside. He elaborates on his earlier story of how they were ambushed before the caravan attack. Says that one of his men ran back to this cave shrieking about something, trying to stab his other men. Just lost it – driven mad by the horrors of war, perhaps? Desepite that setback, he’s happy to learn we’re his new outfit. He was real impressed with our work last night, he feels like he’s hit the jackpot. He also gives us orders to move out tomorrow morning. We’re heading East, preparing for a major offensive. But, he thankfully gives us the afternoon to get things in order.
I use this time to go down to range. This quiver has an odd layout – it has three chambers, the first is filled with arrows, so I start shooting. I usully refer to train in short 3-round bursts, but I want to get the feel of this faster, so I decide to shoot everything in one go. I keep count as I go (you must ALWAYS know exactly how much ammunition you have at all times) and by the time I nock and loose the twentieth, something tells me to draw another. And there is one! I continue, wondering when I’ll be depleted. 25 passes, then 35! I take aim at another target and press on to 50! I finally hit the end at 60. Sixty!
I inspect the chambers a bit closer – but they’re all empty. I know the first chamber holds 60 arrows, which I refill, but is deceptively small. How is this bigger on the inside? I decide to test out the other chambers with other nearby weapons. I’m able to get eighteen! javelins into the second compartment, and two longbows, three spears, and one quarterstaff into the third. Amazing. And when fully loaded – it is no heavier than when empty!
I decide to unload the gear that isn’t mine, but shoot through the full amount of arrows again. As I draw, nock, and fire each round, I get a better feel for this quiver. Not just where it rests on my back, but a feel for *it* – I am attuning. I learn of a number of its former masters, but none are as clear as the first – who was also the creator – a great archer named Zurgadai. It is quite fond of him, I hope that I can live up to that and be well-remembered by the time it passes to another.
Over the next 18 months, much changes. We’re all now at least Sergeants (and are now 7th level), and have traveled much. We initially went East out of the mountains and across the hills towards the Green Sea. While we were still with Cromartie for a while, our talents were recognized, and while a very effective unit, it became clear that our talents were all but wasted. Yes, we are brought together for special missions – like the time we destabilized the Urartu government by setting up Zalaz to be a figurehead of the opposition-turned-resistance, only to “martyr” him and push the country into chaos. Or when we spent six months doing wetwork and slowly but efficiently dismantling an armada of pirates and mercenaries in the Green Sea. That was fun. As much as I love the woods, there’s an odd solitude I’ve found in the water, and have developed an affinity for the waterways and their coasts.
Now though, we mostly our spend my time further honing our crafts, and building units like ours – each member of ours working with the new groups, being forces for change. Someone even mentioned the term “Delta Force” but I’m not entirely sold. It’s not bad, but I’m not that into giving black ops groups official names. Kinda defeats the purpose.
We now find ourselves back together for one of these special missions, on the Eastern shore of the White Sea. Awaiting our orders, and our vessel.
Session Date 07/17/2017
Title Source: Danzig – The Hunter