Our party continue where they left off. At the Ranch where things continued to wind down. There was a brief bit of chat about what happened, why Roderic left and how bad the city had been fucked. But the party set a watch and called it a day/night.
And it was a pretty eventful night, because things went bump in it. Namely, a spirit decided to show up while Roderic and Abulawe were chatting on watch. The as of yet unnamed Hex Beast (Bear?) wanted out of his stable for some reason and Abulawe complied.
They didn’t find anything and as they went to turn back, the Hex Beast disappeared with an audible *pop* and landed again a moment later confused and angry. It began to fight the air before Abulawe met the same fate.
Abulawe shouted for Roderic who realized with a start he’d seen this before – but when his mum said it was “bad spirits” he assumed she was just being religious. So he ran back to get her, taking a brief detour through the air for bad damage but made it.
She was no help. So he got Lucien, who upon seeing what went down said, “Not this again.” and commanded him to get Barack.
So Barack turned up, realized what they were dealing with and sighed. The ghost turned to him and offered her hand to be kissed. Barack knew this spirit was a “Blinker” but an unusually old and unusually strong one. Blinkers are short-lived spirits, occurring when a spirit possesses a corpse that died while extremely happy. This particular corpse was clad in a wedding dress and featured a slit throat.
Barack set up the ritual to send her to her rightful rest, the woman looking offended that a gentleman would not kiss her hand on her wedding day. She crossed her arms over her chest and pouted, but Barack had everything he needed. Turning his back and crossing his arms as if she insulted him… BUT IT WAS A RUSE.
She stepped into his circle but before he could banish her, he caught a white blur out the corner of his eye – instead of a slap sound there was a *pop* as he got ported REALLY high in the air. Thinking quickly he summoned Basalt to catch him, though he neglected to dismiss her before using his banishment ritual.
On a 50/50 chance of who would be banished; he banished Basalt, due to her being bound to him though, she wasn’t destroyed just dismissed forceful and semi sealed away. So faced with a confused and angry blinker he goes to his backup option; true banishment. So he just destroys her soul.
He sits down in a ritual circle to re-do his binding on Basalt. Since he can’t feel anything beyond a flicker of her soul. He decides this is the first priority because he feels kinda empty without her – so he begins ritualling for 2 hours. While the rest of the party all group up to calm down the still very angry Hex Beast.
But everything settles down, Basalt is back (but still nowhere near her full glory), the Hex settles down to sleep and our heroes turn in for the night. During the night a couple of things happened, Lucien had a dream – he walked through his childhood home and found random objects were replaced instead by a large back quill or an exquisite white inkpot. Our favourite Orc necromancer also snuck into the pantry in the middle of the night – claiming an unplucked rooster and an unplucked chicken to be raised in battle.
But our brave and noble heroes found themselves waking up to the delicious smell of Saffron cooking. (Which is totally not bacon) While cooking Rod’s mum mentioned, Aeyla found out that Phillip started breathing again.
After consuming this breakfast of champions, Roderic and Barack beseeched Roderic’s mother to flee… and failed.
Then Lucien went for a patrol with Roderic and Syd while Abulawe helped around the ranch.
Barack set out toward the place against beasts, evil and spirits… but failed.
But soon they were greeted by visitors, four of them. Two were wielding spears. So Lucien gathered the group at the gate to the ranch while the four figures made their way closer. It turned out to be Juan Dos Tresula! Here with a kind of patched up Serah. Roderic quickly took his Aunt inside, though she seemed to be fading in and out of consciousness.
Lucien and Barack asked Juan some questions and he answered them for the most part. In short; the Matron and her goons had turned the place into a military state. He didn’t know if his boss “The Spider” was alive, dead, or in hiding. The Matron was one of “The Spider’s” top followers like him, but had now went into business on her own.
He said that he was far from happy with the new way of things, he much preferred scheming in the shadows as opposed to ruling a bloody city after all. But the Matron and her hatred of greenskins had also claimed the lives of all but three of his goblins. He used the word underlings but the sadness in his voice reflected more caring for his goblin workers than one would expect.
He offered the party an opportunity, Yungr – the second in command of the guard who had positioned himself as the Matron’s right hand man was quite a greedy bastard. So Juan made sure a few choice rumours reached him about a temple nearby with golden artifacts. When he approached the information broker about these rumours, helpfully Juan provided a map.
So he put it to the party that it’s awfully nice time for a hunting party and that if something happened to Yungr the Matron’s control over the guard would weaken and Rull (Barack’s appointed Captain) would be able to bring more order. Agreeing with this, the party are keen to ambush the traitorous dwarf – but Juan was always a shady sort; so they decided to be cautious in case their ambush was ambushed.
With their guard up and eager to get some measure of revenge on Forzcety’s new overlords… the party began to make preparations.