It’s not long before we hear howling, screams, and furniture crashing from above us in the tower. We decide to camp on the outside of the tower under a makeshift shelter, and I sleep. When I awake not only do I feel rested, but I feel … better. (level up!)
But this morning also greets me with strange news from Tenlow: apparently Jacques tried to blow himself up and is … well, he’s weird now. He has scorchmarks on his chest, and his eyes are wild. I offer to help him, and he lets me address his injuries, but he’s visibly scared, animal-like. The eyes inside look different – not possessed, but not him.
Seeing someone other than Jacques in his eyes, I say to him that we know him as “Jacques” and ask what he calls himself. He doesn’t answer vocally, but instead dings a piece of metal twice. He starts making these weird faces, like he’s not used to his own mouth. He ekes out “I … can … talk.” I ask again what his name is, and this time he says “Ting“. We talk a bit, and it’s apparent that he doesn’t know us, but will stick around a bit. I suggest we pack up and get going then, and Ting retorts that he(?) takes orders from no man. I look Ting in the eyes and reply that I’m a woman. Tings seems to subtly relax – I think Ting is one too, somehow.
The rain starts coming down harder, so we go to see Ironfoot before we depart. Tenlow stays at base – apparently falling off of stairs disagrees with him. At the top, the door is shut. Ting punches the door, and howls in pain with a broken hand. I hear a groan from other side of door followed by an “ow my head”. Ting starts wailing too – I tell her I can fix her, but it doesn’t register. Too much new sensory input, I think.
Ironfoot opens the door (step clomp step clomp), and Ting is enraged at the very sight of Ironfoot. Ting freaks out, and throws grenade at Aakpesh – I can only assume the target was Ironfoot though. Thankfully it misses him, but instead hits gear, knocks out tooth, and sends a small gear flying, apparently hitting Tenlow below.
Despite this disturbance, Ironfoot lets us in and pours up a round of whiskey of which I decline. I fill in Ironfoot on the recent happenings with Jacques/Ting, hoping he might have more information – I suspect it may have come about from the liquid he drank here. Ironfoot grabs a monocle, and peers into Jacques’ eyes. “Personality dysjunction” he says – he’s seen it before, in a mirror. It is serious, but it *may* work itself out naturally. It usually takes a cleric to fix – looks like I may have a job to do.
Looking around at the damage from the night before, he expresses dismay at the state of his shop and asks us to leave, we do.
We head towards Scrapwall. The sky is filled with sporadic lightning and thunder, and when a nearby strike rings through the amplified crystalline forest, we decide to find shelter in some nearby bluffs. As we close, we see a bit of a recess/hollow out of a bluff. It would seem that we’re not the only ones with this idea though – two dark figures stand inside. I tell Aakpaesh to be calm but ready.
We approach in a non-hostile manner, asking if we can share shelter. The two dwellers are both in dark cloaks, but that’s where their similarities end. The short one has green eyes – not the iris, the whole eye. No discernible pupils, just green. The tall one’s eyes are normal, but have lavender irises. They step out and greet us. While it’s afternoon, these heavy rains bring darkness. The tall one sniffs at air and says the rains will likely last into night. He has ebony skin, elven ears, white hair. I ask if we may share this shelter, rations, and company, and they welcome us.
We opt to make a fire and share rations. The elven one is named Farfew, and his smaller companion is Ratking. We make our introductions in turn. Ratking is apparently also a bard, but differs vastly in appearance than our own bard, Tenlow.Ratking has chalk white skin, and black hair – quite the stark contrast to Farfew. He’s different – almost feels extraplanar. A sort of black steam seems to come off him – almost shadow-like.
Despite the damp wood we’ve been able to scrounge up, we manage get a fire going while engaging in polite small talk. We tell them we’re heading to Scrapwall, and they tell us of a new upstart gang, the Lords of Rust. This is known to us, but I say nothing. He also says we’ll pass Aldronard’s Grave on the way. It’s apparently (in?) an old fortress, right before crossing the river to Scrapwall. Ans he says that Sarenites (followers of my faith!) maintain the fortress – this bodes well for us. It seems that Aldronard was perhaps a paladin.
It’s getting a bit late, and we agree that one member of each party should stand at sentry together. I heal Tenlow and Ting before resting, and Ting and Farfew take the first sentry shift. Aakpesh was supposed to take the 2nd shift, but Ting doesn’t wake him. Instead I am awakened by Ting, but only to see the aurora borealis. It’s nice, but I need my sleep.
In the morning, I ask Farfew about the lights. He says it’s strange – he hadn’t seen since left home which is much farther to the North. It’s finally stopped raining and we pack up, and ish our single serving friends good travels. I feel pang of guilt on purposefully undersharing to these two seemingly decent people, and mention the tavern in Torch.
After a bit of traveling, we come to a bend in the road and see a keep. This must be the fortress, so we approach.