It's War!

The Hunt

A Most Dangerous Game

island.jpeg October 18th
After landing on the Island, the party sees a beach set up with tables and preparations being made for a feast. Two ships have already arrived ahead of “the Rapture”, and the fourth arrives shortly after. Many slaves are going about the preparations, some people seem to be visiting with one another. Magister Siderian excuses himself to go greet other noble looking guests. The party is escorted to a large tent erected on the beach for them and introduced to Quintus, their attendant.

That night, the party is invited to join Magister Siderian at the feast, it seems all groups have their own tables. One additional feature is noticed, a man tied to a pole close to the forest, outside the ring of torches illuminating the night. Dante recognizes the man as Urian Lasko, the thief who stole Magister Siderian’s signet ring. They are informed by the Magister that Lasko will be joining their team. He also makes it clear that he would not be upset if Lasko did not survive the hunt, even suggesting he be used as a decoy for the hunters so the party can escape any close encounters. After the feast, Tannin and Dante approach the bound man, the guards are alert, but allow them access. Tannin slaps Lasko, “That’s for nearly getting my brother killed!” Dante then explains to Lasko his best chance of survival is to follow their instructions and not attempt any double crosses.

That night, the party discusses what should be done with Lasko. Dante does not believe he will be allowed to live if he survives the hunt. Almaric asks how far is the party going to go to protect Lasko during the hunt and, assuming they return victorious, from the Magister. Belamdil uncomfortable with the thought of allowing Magister Siderian simply murder Lasko upon their return. No definite plan is reached, just disturbing feelings. Early that morning, before sunrise, the group is awoke by Quintus, “It’s time to go.” The group gears up, retrieves Lasko from his pole, shares what little extra gear they have with him, and take off into the forest.

During their head start run, Dante informs Lasko of what Dante believes to be Siderian’s intentions. He suggest that he Lasko not return with them, that if he sees another opportunity to get off this island, Lasko should take it.

The next day, as Molly guides the group toward the center of the island, the sounds of battle can be heard in the distance behind the group. It’s believed by Dante that this is two of the hunter groups fighting among themselves. The party continues deeper into the forest when Tannin calls for a halt, something is in the bushes ahead of them. Seconds later, a large tiger leaps out of hiding and latches onto Molly’s neck, raking her with its rear claws. The party jumps to action, slaying the beast just as it begins its retreat with Molly. After a couple of castings of healing magics, the party realizes that Molly is dead. It is decided that there is no time to bury her nor carry her along. At Almaric’s suggestion, Dante takes her head to prevent it from being claimed by a hunters as a trophy. The party sullenly moves on.

That night, Dante is attacked by a giant constrictor snake from the trees. After a short battle, the snake is defeated and no one is lost. The next day the party comes upon some ruins in a clearing that the forest is quickly growing over. As Tannin scouts the area and Dante watches her back from the forest edge, Almaric, Urian, and Belamdil are attacked by crazy eyed warrior leaping from the brush. He is dispatched, but the noise alerted a hunter team hiding in the ruins. The party quickly circle around the clearing through the trees as the hunting party converges on their previous position. More scouting reveals sewer drains and a trapdoor in the floor of a mostly collapsed structure. The party opts for the trapdoor and descend into tunnels beneath the ruins. As they search the tunnels, they discover that the tunnels connect to the sewer drains and the area has been trapped. Tannin is hit by a poisoned blade that weakens him to the point of collapse and Dante is heat by a spear trap. As the party rests in the tunnels, Dante decides to continue scouting ahead. After rounding a corner, he is set upon by four, large, bat-winged insects that attach to him and begin to drain his blood. Dante attempts to defend himself and yell for help, by the time Almaric arrives, Dante has fallen, drained to death. The party agrees that Dante would not want to be a trophy for hunters, so after a few words from Belamdil, Almaric takes his head and places it in the sack with Molly’s head. His gear is collected and the party rests for the night in the tunnels.

Continuing the next day, the party is swarmed by giant rats with relatively little harm. Some magical trinkets are found among the rat nests and while investigating them, Urian reveals he has some sorcerous abilities. Using a ring they found that grants Darkvision, Urian takes the lead as scout through a secret door into sewer drains. After the a small lead, the group gets ready to follow, but hears screams from Urian. As Tannin begins to run for him, he is hit with burning pain from green slime clinging to him from the sewer. The party uses a torch to burn the remaining slime away and discover Urian dead in the sewer, his flesh burned as if by acid. Without much ceremony, the party leaves Urian in his sewer grave and continues on through secret doors and tunnels, searching for the “trophy.” The party discovers two doors, one with the sounds of sheep, chickens, and men on the other side. The other door secured with bars and padlocks, blood stains the floor before it. The party bust through the sheep door to discover two men who surrender without a fight. The men don’t have much information, just that they use the animals to feed the beast through the other door. The party takes the key from the men, unlock the barred door as stealthily as possible, and enter. From the darkness charges a large minotaur. Almaric faces off with it supported by Belamdils magic while Tannin flanks it. The party makes short work of the creature and discover the “trophy” caged in the room. A beautiful woman, purchased to be given as the prize in this hunt. Tannin makes a face at the statement of “being purchased”, but says nothing. As the party tries to head back out, Tannin is caught by surprise as he rounds a corner. Warriors attack from either side of him and more can be seen behind them. Bottled-necked in the tunnels, the fight becomes desperate for Tannin. He is able to swap places with Almaric and get healed by Belamdil. As Almaric dispatches one and moves forward, Dog and Tannin enter the fight, facing the foes from the other direction. Tannin makes progress into the sewers where he falls, Dog fights on. Belamdil is able to pull Tannin out and heal him, then enters the fight with Dog, quarters are tight. Belamdil advances on a bowman at the entrance to the sewer before he can fire. Belamdil then discovers more men waiting there, one a sorcerer. Belamdil and Dog face off with the man in the entrance, and, after many wounds, Belamdil is forced to channel healing energies. Unfortunately, this revives fallen foes and puts Tannin back in a fight where he is flanked. Eventually Almaric makes it to Tannin as Belamdil falls, Dog fights on. Almaric charges to the entrance as Tannin continues to fight enemies in the sewer. Almaric grabs Belamdil and retreats back into a room, Tannin follows and uses his rogue skills to lock the door. Tannin uses those same skills to activate Belamdil’s wand and revive him. As the party rests in the locked room, Belamdil wonders how the fight goes for Dog.

After resting and healing up, the party again attempts to escape the sewers. Tannin attempts to sneak out the door, but a string of bells alerts all that the door has been opened. Tannin uses the ring and makes her way through the darkness. She is able to locate the hiding places of their enemies. As she attempts to sneak up on one, magical light fills the hall cast by a sorcerer. Tannin takes advantage of the confusion and takes out one enemy, then advances on the sorcerer. Another warrior charges to flank Tannin before Almaric can race into the hall followed by Belamdil. Tannin quickly dispatches the sorcerer, Almaric engages the warrior, and a bowman fires on Almaric. Once Tannin and Almaric take out the warrior, the bowman flees.

The party gives chase, only to find the bowman stopped at the entrance of the sewer, a woman’s scream is heard along with multiple other voices. The bowman begins to back toward the party. The party decides it is probably another hunting group and flees back into the sewers to make their way to the ladder. Almari, bringing up the rear, alerts Belamdil that the bowman is following. After Tannin leads Voleta up the ladder, Belamdil decides they have to take out the bowman. Almaric charges the bowman who quickly pulls a long sword to engage. Almaric is outmatched, but manages to stay in the fight with aid from Belamdil’s magic.

Hearing the sounds of battle, Tannin climbs back into the sewers to investigate. She moves in to switch out with Almaric while Belamdil climbs up to check on Voleta. After a desperate battle, Tannin falls. Alaric immediately jumps back in, yelling an alarm to Belamdil. Almaric, already injured, coupled with fighting over Tannin’s unconscious body, falls to the enemies blade. As Belamdil descends the ladder, he witnesses the enemy slice Almaric’s throat. Belamdil charges in and manages to defeat the man who has already defeated two of his comrades. Belamdil revives Tannin and they weep for Almaric. Tannin takes Almaric’s head adding it to the sack with Dante and Molly. Then what’s left of the party flees the ruins into the forest.

After a two day trek through the forest and one encounter with a giant spider, the party nears the beach. However, Tannin spots men hiding at the tree line. A plan is made for Tannin to ambush one and draw the others in hopes of escaping around them. The plan falls apart when the party is heard tromping in the forest. Tannin hides, Belamdil and Voleta fall back against trees, and the hunters approach.

As the hunters rush in, Tannin catches one by surprise and he is forced to engage. The others surround Belamdil and Voleta. The battle rages for many rounds with party members being flanked, defensively cast spells from Belamdil, Voleta never running but helping where she could, and enemies falling. Finally, Tannin has fallen leaving Belamdil and Voleta to face off with the lead hunter, but, after calling on his faith to aid him, Belamdil is victorious, the enemy falls, and the party makes their way to the beach. They are met by Magister Siderian, congratulated, and invited to rest, wash, and eat. The magister does acknowledge the lost party members but happily declares this hunt a success for his team. He then leaves the group to gloat to his fellow nobles.

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