As they gathered up the leftover equipment following their shoot-out, the party noticed that the group of soldiers marauding for Faltak had left behind two large satchels. Upon opening the bags the group found themselves up to the elbows in large bundles of dried purple-grey leaves. Unable to identify the local flora, the party divvied up the loot and began heading east, hoping to reach the town of Gale before the mounted Faltaki raiders.
The group travelled the rest of the afternoon,and bedded down for the night, hoping to rest their weary wounded bodies. However, the group’s sleep was troubled and restless. During the night, all six of them found themselves in a lonely dreamscape. They looked out across a dry lake-bed, and watched as the full moon crested the horizon, its beams rippling over the cracked surface of the lake bed like sun dancing on the sea. They looked out and saw a single figure walking toward them across the lake-bed. He wore thread-bare clothes and carried nothing but a walking stick. He was followed, strangely, by a black cat. He looked at them through wild eyes hedged by his matted beard and hair, and then began speaking:
Fear not, my children, build the watchfires high,
Light burns in the darkness, glowing embers of hope,
A voice from the deep calls to the deep.
The sleeper must awaken- the fires must burn-
The group found themselves all awake and staring at each other over the smoldering embers of the dead campfire. Each, in turn, felt as though something deep within them had woken up, as though they now found themselves able to drawn upon some hidden abilities – more ready to face what lay in store for them. So they gathered their gear and headed quickly for Gale.
In the middle of the afternoon, they crested a hillock from which they could see across the flatlands ahead of them. Miles in the distance they could just make out the outline of what must be Gale. However, closer and between themselves and the town they perceived a groups of riders moving north toward the town from the Morass. The group resolved to try to wedge themselves between the riders and Gale, and moved at a run in that direction. When they had gotten close enough to try to draw the riders’ ire, the group arranged themselves for a fight and Sully nocked a shaft and loosed it into the midst of the cavalry – to its intended effect.
The riders turned and bore down on the party. Those who could began hurling arrows and bullets toward the attackers, but as the riders gained ever more ground, the party braced itself for a fight. The cavalry charged into the midst of the party, attacking with their lances, and then withdrew, drawing sabers as they moved away. The party reacted quickly, moving in to counter. Nuana Kornis slid in behind one of the riders, already bristling with bolts and arrows from attack during the charge, and sent him into the next world with a flick of her blades. Kiera did not fair so well – already wounded badly from a lance-strike, she fell under the assault of the cavalry’s leader, taking a vicious saber blow to the head. Anast and Ipster moved to her aid, Ipster firing his pistols, and Anast unleashing an attack that left the leader’s mount on-fire and the the leader himself thrown to the ground.
The party then moved in on the remaining combatants, driving them down, and in the case of Mot using their abilities to drive the attackers from their saddles and into the dust. Shortly, the party was gathering their spoils and making their way into Gale and the sun began to set behind them.
Gale appeared to be a small town, hardly more than a cluster of shacks around a main through-way. However, the sounds of argument reached the ears of the party as they headed their horses into town. On the front porch of the local bar, the party saw a man dressed all in black, smoking an expensive cigar, harassing a young woman. The party, incensed by the display, moved to the young woman’s aid. A feral and unpleasant horned man stepped out from behind the pair and told the party to mind their own business. Sullivan Keth drew an arrow and told the two men to move away from the woman. With a sneer, the man in black said, “Alright then, kid. Just remember, you’ve chosen which side of the street you’re standing on,” and then he and the horned fellow back into the bar.
The young woman introduces herself as Ilsa laCarn, and thanked the party for assisting her. The man in black was a local bully and knave by the name of Suriel. She then invited the party back to her father’s place, certain that he too would like to thank them for their help. The party then met Ilsa’s father, Ben laCarn, a person Sully remembered from a long-past meeting. Ben invited to group to join them for supper and safe place to bed down for the night, the least he could do, he said, to repay them for their kindness.
Over dinner, the party learned the Suriel works for the local ‘big man’, known only as G. G, it seems, thinks he runs the town and does in fact own stake in most of the local businesses. Suriel, and his croney Cor, are the muscle behind G’s operation, and the whole thing is, from Ben’s perspective, “a very bad business”. The local gossip seems to center around the recent disappearance of the Nasiph Valien, the mayoral appointee to Gale. No one’s sure where he went, but he was seen leaving town two nights ago and never returned, despite open appointments during the following days. Ben also mentioned word that a person named Childe ben Yaza is supposed to have been kidnapped from a place he calls either Shantytown or the shanty town, but Ben only mentions in passing, and is reluctant to talk about the “shanty town” any further.
After dinner and a few drinks and laughs, the party headed for the barn for a well-deserved night’s rest, safe and secure indoors and in soft hay.