The Journey of the Mound Lord's Heir

Entry #6

Flight by night

After binding the Prince firmly with a skein of Ranid‘s spider-silk rope, the players bandage his wounds and debate what is to be done with him, asking pointed questions of Lu, whom they feel (and rightly so) that he has been keeping information from them. Lu defends his and the Mound Lord’s decision to keep such a dangerous secret: they didn’t anticipate it would be an issue. They were supposed to meet Wades-In-The-Shallows, a famed medicine man when they arrived in Skannayutenate, who would then quickly and discreetly heal the prince’s condition. No one would need to know, no rumors might leak out which could damage the Prince’s political future, and no angry mobs would try to kill the Prince or his escort for intentionally bringing an infected person into a major Iroquois settlement (which might, from the wrong perspective, be seen as an act of war on Cahokia’s part). After all, as that Franklin fellow recently wrote in his famous book of maxims, “Three may keep a Secret, if two of them are dead.”

They decide that since the Prince is going to remain in werewolf form until dawn, bringing him back to Skannayutenate, would be a bad idea. They elect to set up camp where they stand, wait for dawn, and then set off after this Wades-In-The-Shallows fellow. Hopefully, they’ll be able to catch up with him before he gets too far. Lu takes first watch, Ranid the second, but while handing off the Tanaraq, they hear a noise and notice that a dark figure is bent over the prince, sawing at his bonds with a large knife. The players cry out, and the interloper whirls to face them, glaring at them down a long, lupine snout. Another werewolf!

The thief shouts something at then in Iroquois, which they do not understand, then howls: a half-dozen howls answer back, from three directions. The players have only a single surprise round before the other lycanthropes arrive, and it quickly becomes clear that, although they were able to badly injure the thief, they will probably not be a match for the full pack. They start looking for an exit.

Takoda dashes towards the river and summons a temporary magical canoe, in which Lu places the Prince’s unconscious body. Takoda and Tanaraq jump with him, while Xiang and Chang mount Xiang’s pet bison, running alongside the canoe on the riverbank. Ranid throws a waterproof poncho over his guns and powder and simply leaps into the river, preferring to swim (given his waterborn heritage as one of the Touched). But there’s not enough room in the canoe or on the bison for Lu!

Thinking deeply for a moment, Lu says that there’s no way they’ll get away from that many werewolves, who likely know the lay of the land better than they do. He bravely offers to stay behind and hold them at the riverbank while the others make their escape. Bidding a teary-eyed goodbye to his young charge, the red-furred Sasquatch turns, sounds a barbaric yawp, he raises his dire staff and charges into the fray. The sounds of battle fade into the strangely-peaceful sounds of night-insects as the players round the next river-bend.



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