22nd of Raquas
Our heroes attempt to cross the bridge, and are attacked by the two remaining spiders. However, Rakashi charges the spiders, killing one, however the bridge begins to fall apart due to the heavy foot of the charging mount. The others make it across, but the bridge is in bad shape, as largish chunks of it went crashing through the webs beneath, sending the remaining spider well out on the wall of the ravine. As this may be the Echoing Wall they were told to follow, they continue along it at a healthy distance, at one point watching what they believe to be an Esparga dive in, but not come back out…
They then head back east, figuring that they have gone too far if this the 'Wall, and by evening, come upon a small oasis; A copse of perhaps a score a trees, and a small stone well nestled within. They note the lack of clutter around the floor, perhaps it is well foraged by travelers. Late into second watch, Juhani is alerted to a small splash in the well, and upon investigation notes a pale green glowing "Ball" beneath the surface. He alerts the others and they watch this playful sprite shoot small fountains as it dances beneath the now undulating surface. Juhani plays a bit of music, and the waters dance and laugh to his tune. Larr speaks about water elementals and how they can be capricious, but this one, if that is what it is, is likely small and relatively harmless, but advises caution nonetheless, as he is not certain that it IS a water spirit, and if it is, then it may change it's attitude without warning. When they depart in the morning, a small glass bead is left on the side of the well, and they are meticulous about clearing their camp.
The next day, in the afternoon, they come upon a single 3 story stone tower before a defilade in a small cliff face in the mountains. It has a small garden with a stone fence around it, and a flag walkway to the door. At the apex of the walkway, a red stone with a black one on either side sets beneath the single step to the door. They hail the tower, and after a few moments, the door opens and a female troll with a large axe steps out onto the step, and stares at them. They find her name is Si'ana, Daughter of Uhlkarsht. She tells them there is a small mining town several hours away just before the Echoing Wall. They note that she walks alongside the flagstone walk rather than on it when she tends the garden and speaks with them.
They approach a small village not long after dark, but as they approach, three Dwarves, armed with crossbows approach them and demand that they turn over their weapons. While negotiating one of the dwarves dashes back into the village. Aparently, the dwarves are worried they may be "Agents of the Horror," but will discuss it no further. It is decided that they may keep their weapons, but must not approach until full daylight. They set camp and are observed throughout the night by at least two crossbow armed dwarves. The next morning, they are told that Suli, the hetman will speak with them, but they must leave their weapons or peace-tie them.
They are escorted to a large round building, that has crystal embeded around the doorway. It is the largest building in the village of perhaps just over a dozen buildings, including a small open stable. Once inside, they see the first floor is roughly divided in half, with the front half being a meeting or common hall. There are benches and stools of sizes from Dwarf to Troll and a long table with A female troll, and a male human. When they come in there are two crossbow men, a dwarf and an ork in front of one of the two curtained doorways. The human is quietly speaking to the troll female, who stands as they enter. She introduces herself as Suli, child of Carshkind, and current hetmen of Depames. After a few minutes of discusion, they determine that the village fears agents of Ketfet, the Undying. It seems that her advisor, Joloko has had a vision, and they are very concerned. Our heros each offer to craft for her, which she almost declines. But once they have finished, they request her to craft. She has her loom brought, and she craft a bit of weave in silence. When they demand that Joloko craft, she demands that they have seen enough and that she is satisfied that he can do so, but will not demand it of him. They present their reason for coming, and are told that the previous visitors were agents of the horror and were dealt with. Suli sends Joloko, who has often whispered to her during this exchange, to perform some task. Once he leaves 4 dwarven guards with swords come into the common room. She tells them that their request will be discussed, but if they are to stay within the village, they will need to be unarmed. They decline, saying they will camp outside. Just before they leave, she says softly to not trust Joloko.
That night, while camping they again are under watch by two guards. And late into the night, Rakishi sees someone skulking around the village buildings. She wakes Cameron, who agrees to stealthily approach the sneak, while she goes to tell the guards about the person she has seen. At her approach, they both raise their crossbows. she warns them, and returns to camp, but just as she get back, she sees the skulker dash out and cut the throat of one, and stab the other and turn back into the village. Cameron gives chase, and the others mount up to pursue as well. Cameron catches up, just as the man, Joloko begins to shout that the Agents have killed the guards. She tries to speak to him, and he swings the sword he is carrying at her. At that moment, a 2+ foot spike extends from his elbow, and he stabs at her with that, missing. As this fight goes on, the spike disappears back into his arm, lights come up in other houses, and they exchange blows. Just as a few crossbowmen come out, shooting mostly wildly. A juhani arraves he sees Cameron attacked and he tries to charge Joloko, but the darkness confounds his strike. However after a second attempt his horse deals what appears to be a devastating blow to the fallen mans chest. He is still shouting that the newcomers have killed the two guards, and amid several poorly aimed bolts, they ride away, unwilling to perform what appears to be murder, or attacking probably innocent bystanders.
They ride north, and, seeing the familiar copse, set camp therein over night. They note that the glass bead is now setting at the bottom of the shallow well. After long discussion, they decide to wait, while Cameron and Lar heal. They each perform their rituals in the morning, and during the day, both Juhani and Rakishi meditate on their training, their path and the ways of the world, improving their pattern with new talents! Once the others are healed they, too, meditate upon themselves and their experiences.
After a few days camp and self improvement, they decide to seek out the Troll woman in the tower for her advice. So they ride back to Si'ana, and tell her their fears, and ask advice. Amidst the conversation it becomes clear she is a sky raider Adept, who has stopped adventuring. But, she offers to assist them in speaking with her cousin, Suli, and they all head back to Depames.
With the support of Si'ana, our heros converse with Suli, without Joloko. She finally informs them that their patron may continue his contract, but his agents will not be allowed to stay in town until they have already done buisness twice. In light of this, they move away from the village and camp. The next morning, they pick up a cart with a small locked chest with it's key and head back. After leaving the village, they find the Echo Wall, a cliff face that has been shattered, making strange and constant echos of all sounds.
A few days ago, they came upon a lioness laying on the ground in front of them. Cameron went forward to see if it was ok. However, upon approach, see went slack for a moment, and when the others rode up, she went into a mad frenzy as the lioness slinked away. With her claws, she terribly raked Rakishis horse. Juhani noticed a rat-like creature under her hair, and they subdued her, but not before the rose was ripped into again. As Rakishi held her down, Rakishi then went limp, and as the 6-legged rat climber onto her shoulder, Juhani skewered it. Moments later, Rakishi recovered her senses, and had a bit more empathy for Cameron. Cameron then performed a karma ritual, summoning the lioness to her, then went about bonding with her. After a couple of days, the group rides on to Derring Dell, with Camerons newly bonded lioness and her hawk.
This evening, they arrive at Derring Dell.