After our grim discovery, we have no recourse but to travel to Drachenhorn and investigate The Silent Blade Thieves Guild.|
After a much needed night of rest and recuperation, Niall awakens us early in the morning. He has news of the weapons. They have been moved out during the night and they have many hours lead on us. We must make haste if we any chance to catch them.
We ride like the devil in an attempt to catch up, but somehow they maintain their lead on us. I do not understand how a team of horses pulling a wagon can possibly outdistance a horse and rider, but after two days they still have a lead on us. As the sun of the third day begins to wane in the sky, we spot movement ahead.
They have stopped in the middle of the road, and are apparently expecting us. We face off with three men, all of who stand with an unnerving air of confidence about them. Their confidence is deserved, as they begin to shift forms and attack. They are werewolves, and they are not an easy fight. Their tough hide seems to absorb the impact of hammer, and slash of sword, and every blow deals much less death than expected. After a tough fight two lay dead, and the live one tells us the weapons are headed for Ghamoura. Back to the goose chase.
The next day we stop in Borderhold to re-supply and rest. No more have we arrived in town than the goons come out of the woodwork. These men are well equipped and have some actual training. These are not Common street thugs, and their numbers and organization tells us these are mercenaries. The fight is long and hard, but we manage to come out with minimal injuries. Although greater than a dozen corpses now litter the streets. We have no time to waste. The caravan must be close now, for they are becoming much more brazen and desperate.
Afternoon turns to evening as we reach the Marrow Bridge. We have finally caught up with the caravan, and they wait on the far side of the bridge. Our prize is within sight, but they are not going to give up without a fight. They are fleet of foot, but we are mounted, and the horses aid us in our fight. I fell one man, then another, and as I raise my sword to strike again, I am blasted from my mount. Something with the force of a mule train hits me full bodily, seems to explode, and hurls me to prone. I look bleary eyed to see a woman staring at me. She wears no armor, and wields no steel, but I know she is the one who felled me from my horse. Damn, that hurts.
The fight is going badly for us. We are outnumbered, and lack the capacity to heal ourselves quickly enough to keep in the fight. Things are at their worst when a fusillade of arrows slams into the men-at-arms. The archer Terrance has come to our aid, and with the best of timing. The tables begin to turn as Sandra fells three with a frost ray, but the staring woman has other ideas.
The same force seems to hit me again, as well as everyone else on the bridge. Our men and hers alike are thrown bodily from the bridge, plummeting sixty feet to the river below. For whatever reason, the woman and I are the only ones who remain on the bridge. I charge, attacking with all my force, but my blade seems to slide off the air around her. This is some kind of magic that I have never seen before.
A second later I am airborne. Falling to the river below. Wearing the plate-mail that I do, provides me with a high level of protection in combat, however when falling sixty feet into a river, it is much like being thrown while inside a huge pewter tankard. It hurts. The force of impact pushes me to the edge of consciousness, but I hang on and hold my breath. I cannot possibly swim in this armor, so I wait to hit the bottom and begin a slow, painful walk toward what I hope is shore. It is terrifying to be trapped underwater like that. I felt as if every step would be my last, and it took all I could not to panic.
When I finally reach shore, the current has carried me far from the others. Soaked, slashed, bruised and nauseous from the salty water, I collapse on the shore and rest. By the time we regroup and manage to find our gear, the woman, the caravan and our horses are long gone.
Slowly, we start our march to the nearest town.