We picked up this week where we left off with the battle at the Troll Forge. Arwan was unconscious and ground into the soil by a frost troll while a venom troll and an armoured troll raider fought the rest of the group. Worse for the party, the trolls had been joined by Rufen, son of Irreck the Watcher. Rufen was a barbarian with features of both a troll and a hag, and he was closing on Kerne.
Things got very busy, very quickly. Thorin traded blows with the raider nearest the forge – almost enjoying himself. Kerne cast a banishment on the venom troll while Valenia managed to drop the other raider with fiery arrows on top of spell damage inflicted. Caeluma meanwhile swooped across the battlefield to heal Arwan. Within moments, and in quick succession, Arwan, Caeluma, and Kerne were down, and Rufen had moved to close on Valenia.
Thorin started a whole chain of passing potions to stabilise the fallen and get them moving again, but the fierce cold from the ice troll and splashing damage from the venom troll nearly overwhelmed the group. Thorin and Kerne managed to hurt the ice troll severely and briefly take down the venom troll. The balance of the battle tipped back and forth very closely, and then Valenia was able to knock Rufen out and properly assess the situation.
The remaining trolls were battered, there was still a chance to win this. The whole mission hinged on being able to plant Alice’s token on Rufen so he could be tracked back to the Circle’s lair – and maybe, just maybe, the DDC would pull through. Thorin was able to finally drop the ice troll, but its horrible vitality meant it would be back up on its feet within moments.
Thorin threw the token to Kerne, who ran to the fallen Rufen and hid the hag-forged coin in his clothing. Valenia in the meantime was able to take down the troll raider nearby, channelling primal energies to augment her fighting prowess. The venom troll meanwhile lost its nerve and tried to flee, only to be knocked out by Caeluma’s spells.
In the sudden calm, there was a scramble to set fire to the fallen trolls and while the raider and ice troll were put to their final rest, the venom troll was able to regain consciousness and flee. The DDC knew they probably didn’t have much time, but they still took the time to strip Rufen of his armour and weapons and salvage coin and sundries from the forge before making their own escape. Rufen was left bound and bruised in his bed.
Their journey back to the Hold was uneventful, if slightly extended by taking a more circuitous route to throw off pursuit. Their return home was greeted with enthusiasm and concern in even amounts, and they eased into the evening in equal amounts of exhaustion and relief at having survived.
Valenia fell asleep in the bar, while Caeluma and Arwan settled in to drink and blow off steam. Thorin gathered food and drink and then retired to his rooms, and Kerne retired to spend time with Karkanna and Loris while researching the nature of the magical items taken from Rufen.
And that quiet moment is where we drew to a close.