Pippa Hartigan, a supply agent for the Alchemists Guild, has put out a notice for agents willing to travel to Caul to ensure the prompt delivery of a consignment of alchemical reagents which is already several weeks delayed.
Payment will be a generous 50R upon successful delivery of the complete shipment.
Heading off to Caul and searching for potential causes for a caravan to be lost, the group encounter flux bandits who have taken prisoner a travelling merchant. The brigands are soon dispatched and the grateful merchant on her way to Acryn. Once they reach the bluepeaks their route takes them through a settlement recently immolated by the passage of the Sundarshava, there they are assailed by the ragged spirits of the dead but they manage to prevail, destroying the tormented souls of the murdered villagers.
Finally reaching Caul they attend the offices of Ludmila & Family and determine that the consignment has been delayed whilst they wait for a delivery of Troll Sweat, which is now very late indeed. The party agree to investigate and Ludmila promises a small bonus if they ensure that she can complete her contract. Whilst besieged by the proprietor's children Henry ends up consuming an alchemical mixture offered by one of the youngsters. This proves to be a mistake.
Not wanting to get lost in the mountains they spring for a competent local Wayfinder named Klaus.
Travelling back to the Bluepeaks, the group encounter a drunken rabble of Caulishfolk led by a couple of ornery devotees of the Lord of the Rock. The louts harass the party and eventually kick off, whereupon they promptly get demolished by the experienced adventurers. The Caulish slink off vowing revenge, but Mar berates them warning that she will report their bad behaviour to the Temple upon her return.
Further into the mountains the group is attacked by a number of flux clanspeople wanting to sacrifice them to the spirits of the mountain. After they deal with the doppels Klaus explains that such clans did once inhabit the mountains but that before the upheaval they well in decline and the practice of human sacrifice virtually unknown except the imaginations of the cityfolk.
As they travel Henry is finding himself increasingly unwell, the alchemical draught wreaking merry hell with his bowels. In an attempt at self treatment he persuades Rafe to part with a does of Sticky Sap which does indeed seem to offer some immediate relief.
Reaching the village of Dunsroamin the party spot the ruins of a Magesterium skyfortress crashed through the settlement's pallisade. Black armoured automota assault the walls at the direction of a single bedraggled wizard in red robes. As they approach the mage immediately blames them for the failure of his fortress' magics and sets his servitors upon them. Rafe promptly emerges from the shadows to cut short the mages' monologuing and the party handily despatch the invaders. They are hailed by the people manning the pallisade and invited inside to the warmth of a longhouse and a good meal.
The villagers explain that the fortress slammed into the mountainside and tumbled down onto their village disgorging a host of vicious magical armours into the middle of the settlement. They were able to destroy them but most of the hunters were injured in the fight, and found themselves besieged by the remainder of the magesterium forces. As a result they've not been able to perform a Troll hunt, and until they heal up will be in no condition to perform one immediately. The party offer to perform the hunt in their place and deliver the sweat to Ludmila. Greatly relieved by this offer the villagers instruct the adventurers in the art of Troll hunting. One of the younger villagers, Vlad, is clearly unhappy with his life in the mountains and presses the party for tales of city living. Another speaks of her lost daughter Sasha, who was outside the Dunsroamin when the floating head hell and hasn't been seen thinks.
First up the party collects the guano of mountain crows to mask their human scent from the troll. They easily deal with the crows and then proceed to roll around in the disgusting piles of guano. This is complicated by bickering between Henry and Jon causing one pile to be ignited with most of the adventurers caught in the blaze. The vile stench of the odour disguise causes most of the group to lose their lunch, and Henry almost chokes as the gummed up contents of his stomach catches in his throat. Fortunately his great physical strength proves sufficient to regurgitate the sticky pellet before it causes him any serious harm.
Next the party acquire a Stone Goat kid, whose fresh blood will serve to lure the great horde of Trollspawn away from its dwelling. As they travel towards the cavern they are found by Vlad and a group of clansmen he has gathered to try to lean on the party. The doppels are completely out of his control and don't understand his agenda of causing the village to fail, instead demanding that the party hand over the valuable sweat. They are put down hard and the party have strong words with the young wayfinder about his foolishness.
They have not travelled far when they are set upon by a group of flux trolls. Though weak compared to the actuality the beasts come in great numbers and manage to shatter Jon's staff and Mar's shield, leaving the party battered and ill equipped as they move towards the cave entrance.
Outside the troll cave they encounter a small camp containing a small ensemble. Human fused with beasts and artifacts mill around a crimson skinned woman who is speaking with a local girl. The woman is Maibe, a Truthseeker, and the merged people are Truthspeakers- those who give voice to things whose secrets would otherwise go unheard. The young girl is Sasha, the missing child from Dunsroamin, and Maibe believes that it is her destiny to become a truthspeaker with Old Tom, the troll.
The party are keen to recover the girl, but McWizard is firmly against giving the 'obvious evil, mad wizard' any powerful secrets in exchange for the child. In the end they decide to worry about it after they have collected the sweat. Maibe lends Jon her implement so that he not venture into the dark unarmed.
Rafe makes a surgical cut on the stone goat kid and then they allow it to run off, drawing a great tide of trollspawn after it. Now on the clock before the horde returns, the adventurers run into the tunnel seeking their quarry. Halfway down the tunnel they encounter a group of bobbing lights, one of which speaks to them explaining that there is a miner trapped below but that he keeps running away when the lights approach. This is in fact the Anomaly Ghost Light, who does not understand that the troll is not in need of help. Not wanting to get distracted the party tries to push past, but the lights follow, demanding that someone promise to help the miner. An illtimed utterance of 'Fine' from Henry is taken as assent and Ghost Light places a geas upon him.
The group finally reaches the Troll cave and each percieves the creature according to their cultural understanding of the dragons; Rafe and Jon see a great lizard, Mar a towering troll and Henry, a Junnes local, sees a chthonic horror. Surprised and enraged the troll attacks, spawn sloughing from its hide as it falls upon the adventurers. Mar's golem absorbs a couple of the beasts strongest blows, but bereft of armanents it is swiftly pulled apart by the tide of trollspawn. The battle rages on for the best part of five minutes, Henry enduring the beast's ire whilst Jon immolates the offspring with waves of fire. Mar and Rafe attack from behind, distracting the beast and breaking up the numbers of spawn so that no one is pulled down in front of the troll where they would certainly be eaten. Eventually the exertion is to much for the creature and it falls unconscious.
Each of them swipe under the folds of the beast's neck, hopeful to collect a drop of sweat. Jon utilises his powers of Consumption to taste the beast's effluences and gain insights- this direct connection to a dragon that hates and rages against others beings possesing a will is too much for his mind and he goes into a fit. Henry attempts to choke him out and the wizard bites a sizable chunk from the warrior's arm before being knocked out. Mar picks McWizard up and carries him away on her back. Feeling the effect of the geas Henry attempts to tug the monstrosity up the tunnel but alone his strength is clearly insufficient and he abandons it to flee alongside his companions.
Ghost Light is incensed by the perceived betrayal of the promise and the party chooses to charge past rather than explain themselves. A gout of flame engulfs Henry and he falls smoking to the tunnel floor before he can raise his blade. Already burdened with the comatose mage Mar can only run onwards towards the surface and Rafe gives the fallen warrior a last look before abandoning him and making an escape.
The remainder of the party get out of the tunnel with a couple of minutes to spare and then the trollspawn come rushing back. Jon wakes up and is a appraised of the loss of Haldrad, after some consideration deciding that there is no way to recover him since his body will doubtless have been consumed to the trollspawn. Looking over to Maibe's camp the party decide that they aren't going to negotiate with a child abductor. Jon examines the cliffside above the camp and with his fracturing rite spots a weak point that will bring the face crashing down. He hands Rafe his massive supply of grenados and the skirmisher scales the sheer slope to pack the munitions into the flaw. In a coordinated attack Jon invokes a Fault of Temperance upon Maibe and whilst the Truthspeakers turn to attack him Mar snatches up the child and begins to run. With the girl headed towards safety, and Rafe swiftly climbing up above the faultline, the mage hurls a blast of flame at the crack and brings the mountain down upon them. As colossal boulders rain down into the camp McWizard dissolves into a resilient ooze.
After the rocks settle, Rafe finds Mar tending to a badly injured Sasha. A healing potion stops the worst of the damage and the warrior begins to carry the girl home whilst Rafe locates a bucket and eventually manages to scoop McWizard out of the debris.
In Dunsroamin the party are warmly greeted and offered hot baths and strong spirits. The villagers are overjoyed to have Sasha returned, and to hear that the hunt was successful, though saddened by the loss of one of the adventurers. Rafe tries to persuade the trollhunters that with their skillset they could make a good (and considerably less dangerous and unpleasant) living working for him in Acryn. Most of the grizzled hunters seem disinterested though Vlad and the other youths appear to be considering the proposition.
Their business in the mountains done the group set off down the mountain, the maddened Magesterium mage trussed up for the journey back to the Acryn authorities. For all their efforts they have just two drops of Troll Sweat- Jon's and Henry's having been lost.
In Caul they bid farewell to Klaus and deliver the tears to Ludmila who pays them the agreed bonus and then puts them on a caravan headed straight for Acryn along with the rest of the consignment. Anders takes the opportunity to check in at the Temple of the Rock and informs the priests of the disgraceful conduct of those they encountered in the foothills. She is assured that some time in the Toil Mines will get the drunkards back on the path of diligence.
Henry finds himself waking naked outside a mineshaft in the lower hills around the Bluepeaks. A concerned miner comes over to check if he's alright at which point Haldrad attempts to mug him for his clothing; at this the strange fire burning in his body lashes out and as the miner flees from this nude maniac Henry heads off to find his way back to civilisation.
On the route back to Acryn the rest of the group are surprised to find a naked Henry marching south. He immediate slugs McWizard and after a brief friendly-ish scuffle they all head onwards toward the city. Jon examines the flames in Henry's wound and reassures him that his condition seems reasonably benign at least compared to having a damaged soul.
The party negotiate hard with Ms. Hartigan who proves to be quite stubborn about chains of responsibility and the terms of their existing contract, but in the end she agrees to provide a small bonus in exchange for their unexpected efforts.
The party are paid 10R by Ludmila & Family and 60R by Ms. Hartigan of the Alchemist's Guild.
They will also each recieve a 15R bounty for bringing back a live Magesterium wizard for the Brotherhood to
Having been 'saved' by Ghost Fire, Henry now finds that an eerie flame burns within his body. Visible from the gaping wound in his arm and from his mouth when it is dark, the inner fire will burn up anything flammable that Henry consumes, and once per adventure he can burn out a poison by taking a dose of lamp oil (costing just 1R).
On the downside anything that threatens to douse his flame is extremely bad for Henry, so environments that are extremely wet or cold will impose a WEAKEN.
He is also now under a much more potent Geas to help those lost underground. Attempting to abandon one in need or bring harm to any miner will result in an immediate REND followed by SINGLES every 5 seconds until the behaviour ceases.
From consuming a quantity of sweat fresh from the beast's nape and attempting to gain knowledge from the Rite of Consumption, Jon has opened himself up to an Arcane Curse and may take skills from the Epic Tree.
Something something Rock something. (To be discussed with LARPO)
You have managed to recruit a couple of the younger trollhunters to your employment. When you call in your forces against an enemy group including a huge, monstrous foe then you gain two ranged RENDs in addition to their normal calls.