The mounted group rides out immediately. As they get closer and closer to the fort, Jimpah, along with all of the player characters except for Shangor, pickup on the fact that Jirro has not left behind any kind of rear guard or scouts. Hawk and Sylph both suspect that Jirro has come under the influence of foul sorcery, having seen Shangor under attack by the mysterious assassin on the boat. The Jimpah points out to the Shah that it is most unusual behavior for someone who had just stolen the daughter of the Shah and who was now in full rebellion. The Shah ignores this information, chalking it up to Jirro’s stupidly and remains fully intent on slaying his nephew. After a few days ride, the Shah and his small army arrive at Tenebar Fort. Tokarim immediately plans to take advantage of the heavy fog and launch an assault.
The Shah’s scouts, under cover of the fog, discover that Jirro’s men are mainly camped out in front of the ruined fort with a few sentries on the walls of the fort itself. The Shah and his general Solembar determine that the princess must be inside the fort. After a quick discussion, the Shah comes up with a plan: He will have Shangor and his Amazons sneak to the east wall, climb over the wall, take out the sentries and then open the gate while the Shah and his mounted warrior attack the main camp in front of the fortress. Once again, Jimpah points out that there are no look outs and that this behavior is displays an unusual lack of tactical planning on the part of Jirro, who is skilled warrior and the veteran of many campaigns. Slyph and Hawk think that it must a trap of some sort. Sylph, using her supernatural abilities, persuades the Shah to let her go talk to Jirro. Although she was angry at Jirro for being an ass at the bachelor party, she still sympathized with him as she is a sucker for “true love.” (In this point of the adventure, there was supposed to be a battle but Sylph’s character really wanted to try to talk to Jirro so I decided to let her try to persuade the Shah to relent. She rolled, very, very, well plus she did some EXCELLENT role-playing too so the Shah allowed her to go talk to Jirro although he did send a warrior with her.)
Sylph and the Shah’s warrior made their way through the fog. They found Jirro’s men working on repairing the fort rather than guarding anything. She asks to speak to Jirro. The testosterone thing quickly kicks in and the Shah’s warrior with her immediately insults Jirro and his men. Jirro’s men retort. Hands go to swords and once again, Sylph has to calm everyone down. Jirro arrives and she tells him of the Shah’s small army and that the princess is missing and believed to with him. Jirro denies everything. She believes him. Sylph gets Jirro to agree to meet with his uncle and Slyph returns to the Shah’s camp.
Upon returning, through good dice rolls and good role-playing, Sylph, with some help from Jimpah, manage to talk the Shah into meeting with Jirro, against the protests of Solembar. Through the fog, marches the Shah, Solembar, Jimpah, the Shah’s bodyguards and the player characters. The Shah and his estranged nephew meet face to face.
Almost immediately, the Shah and Jirro are ready to slay each other. Accusations and insults are traded and once again, the hands of the warriors of both men go to the handles of the swords. Sylph loses it and unloads on both men. She reminds them that the princess is missing and all that they care about is their honor and their pride. Both men are shamed. (Rianna, Sylph’s player, really did some of the best role-playing that I have ever seen.) Jirro offers to take the Shah on a tour of the fort to prove that the princess is not there and the Shah states that if he were a younger man, he would ride off with Sylph and make her a queen. Sylph states that age doesn’t matter as long as the Shah can still swing his sword. A jealous grown is heard from a number of the men on both sides. Before Jirro can begin his tour, a ride appears with a note that he hands to Shah.
Your daughter is safe in my hands and she will remain unharmed if you do what I command. You have something I want: my hated half-brother, Ulesir. Bring him to the Anvil of the Rusty Lake on the last night of this moon. When I am done with him, I will be the legitimate Lord of Shan’Ammar and ruler of all the tribes of the Mountaineers. And I’m sure you’ll consider me a worthy husband for your daughter. Do as I order and you’ll see her again soon. Disobey, and her soul will be given to the Black Flame.
Korras, Lord of Shan’Ammar.”
The Shah collapses into tears. His daughter has been kidnapped and he was almost manipulated into killing his nephew. He is overcome. Solembar tells Shangor, who they still believe to be Ulesir, to stay in his tent as an honored “guest.” While in the tent, the party receives a unexpected visitor: Jimpah. Jimpah informs that that the Shah’s generals, with the support of Jirro and his men, plan on handing Shangor over to Korras and the Keepers of the Black Flame. He does refer to Shangor as Shangor, letting the party know that he seen through their ruse. He does not want that as it would lead to the deaths of many innocent people, including Shangor and the Amazons that were sworn to protect him. Jimpah offers to help them escape if they will help him save the princes and destroy the Keepers of the Black Flame. The party quickly agrees. He tells them to sit tight until he returns.
As night falls, Jimpah arrives and ushers the group out of the tent. The party quickly notices the sleeping guards. Jimpah makes the comment about how effective Lotus is in someone wine. They are stopped by a guard but Jimpah tells him that he is taking them to the general and the guard leaves them alone. Jimpah takes the party out of the camp and off they go to rescue Karmella.
Following the instructions from Korras’ letter, the party makes their way Rusty Lake and the Anvil. The party plans on using Shangor as bait. Expecting a boat, a plan is made: as soon as Shangor is on the boat the princess is safely to shore, Jimpah will throw Shangor his axe and they will attack the boat.
Shangor and Jimpah stay in plain sight while the rest of the party hides along the shore line. Out of the fog comes a war canoe of the mountain people. There are several burly mountain warriors. Leading them is the one eyed Ruman Gask, the traitorous best friend of Jirro. The canoe stops and a gangplank is put down. Ruman Gask, the traitorous dog, seems to be the man in charge. “Hand Ulesir over and I’ll let the girl go,” he says. Shangor makes his way across and the women they believe is the princess is sent over. However, Jimpah and most of the party realize that the girl is not the princess. That’s not Karmella! She is an imposter!” shouts Jimpah as he throws Shangor his iron battle axe. The party fires a volley of arrows and the fight is on.
|The Exchange from another angle|
|The Fight begins|
|Karmella's Double dies|
Jimpah jumps high into the air and lands in the middle of the war canoe. He strikes down one of the mountain warriors. Shangor attacks Ruman Gask as Sul’khaz summons two wolves, one of which appears on the boat. Katrina starts shooting, immediately killing one of the mountain tribesmen. Sylph moves up but is hit by a number of arrows. Ruman Gask wounds Shangor but on his next attack breaks his bronze sword on the iron head of Shangor’s axe. The girl tries to run away but Katrina, psycho bitch that she is, puts an arrow between the girl’s eyes, ignoring the mountain warriors that were actually trying to kill her. Ruman retreats to pick up a new sword as Shangor begins to mow down the mountain warriors. Sul’khaz and Hawk run onto the boat and join the melee. Eventually Gask is brought down by Shangor and Sul’khaz. As he dies he says “It is pointless. In the end, the Black Flame will be fed.”
One of the mountain warriors has survived the fight. Sylph charms him into relieving the path to the Hidden path to the Monastery of Shadows, the home of the Keepers of the Black Flame. Jimpah is excited as he and his order have long sought this knowledge in the hopes of destroying the Keepers of the Black Flame for centuries. The mountain tribesman is dispatched and the party takes the canoe to a waterfall that hides the path to the Monastery. They climb up the path and surprise the four guards that Ruman Gask had left behind. Now the path is clear to the Fortified Village and the Monastery of Shadows….
Next time, the heroes and Katrina will attempt to infiltrate the Monastery of Shadows.