July 4714 (continued)
We are dispatching our Archery Unit to go to the Watchtower (Hex 1321). We will be going ahead and to the Varnhold Pass and then to Varnhold proper.
(2.5 days later) We arrive at the Watchtower and inform them a unit is on it’s way.
We note that their are dark clouds hanging over the mountains. It’s been there about a week.
Some of the party pick up some improvised cold weather gear (other’s have some in magical storage).
There is a Watchtower in the Varnhold Pass, but it will take us more than a half day to get there.
We press forward into the pass. About 2 hours of travel, there are flurries. Oewyn does not believe the storm will abate in the next 24 hours.
On second watch, the winds pick up and snow fall picks up. For a moment, it sounds like the howls of the wind sounded like a creature and not natural wind.
Oewyna and Gilain check on the mounts and look around. Don’t find anything.
On third watch, Oewyn picks up the weird howling of the winds again. The horses spook and Oewyn goes out to check things out. He spots a depression on the snow. Seems to be a shallow footprint. Like some type of natural snow shoe. He checks on the roof and doesn’t find anything.
Due to the snow, it takes us longer to get to the Varnhold Pass Watchtower.
As sun starts to set, we spot the Watchtower. It is on the side of one of the mountain side with a switch back path (wide enough for a wagon) up to it. No smoke indicating life though.
We start making our way up the switch back. Socks stumbles on a drift and it’s the remains of the a crate. We search around a bit and find indication it’s from the Littlefoot caravan. We take 10 minutes and search the other drifts – find 2 more smashed crates and remains of 2 wagons. We find some shreaded cloth. We make our way up the switch back.
We get to the tower base and there is one entrance. The door handle is destroyed. We wrench open the sliding door with some effort.
Inside is barn like (stalls) and like a charnel house. We investigate.
Each of the interior doors have been brute force opened.
In the stalls, they find bits of bric-brak (harnesses, etc) and some claw marks.
The tower proper, first floor had smashed furniture. There are enclosed stairs going up inside the tower.
2nd Floor – there is smashed furniture and smears of dark red. window to outdoors opens
room 1 – armory supply
room 2- supply room
3rd Floor – Smashed furniture. Window that is open.
room 1 – barracks room – smashed furniture – 2 windows open
room 2 – barracks room – smashed furniture
4th Floor –
room 1 – door shattered – officer’s quarters – Mixed in are pieces of paper –
room 2 – shrine to Gorum (god of battle)
5th Floor – beacon floor
Hatch to this floor is open
Nisha believes the watch fire was lit and burned itself out.
Places where combat took place – there are V smears of gore on the wall.
We clean up the stalls and bring the horses inside.
We then search the floors more thoroughly.
Officers quarters – Torn in sheaves from a book – pages from a diary/journal – start off with ordinary watch reports – about 10 days ago: there is an entry about unseasonable severe weather – 8 days ago: David got spooked on watch last night; saw something staring at him in the storm; didn’t find anything; going to double watches to ease stress – 5 days ago: howls continue; have enforced lock down; inventoried food supply; hopefully we can outlast it – 3 days ago: morale is at a break point in here; I’m going to venture to the room and light the fire (last entry found).
We bed down for the night with our normal watches.
On first watch, they hear a chilling howl outside heard over the storm.
A second howl is heard coming down the stairs.
- 6 x Howlers
After they are dead, their mouths revert to not shark like teeth. Stasja stones shapes the stairs closed between the first floor and second floor. We remove the corpses from the first floor and loot the leader (had a Talisman of Warrior’s Courage) on it. We then go back on watches.
The next day we search the caravan area at the bottom of the switchbacks. It takes a few hours and we don’t find much there. We then continue onwards towards Varnhold.
We camp again and spend the next day traveling. We make it down out of the pass and leave the snow behind.
We see Varnhold off in the distance. We realize that something is amiss. We see not activity. No plume of smoke. Nothing moving. Eerily, spookly silent.