The train from Sterngate departed on time, and for once the adventurers had paid for their tickets. Safely in their rooms as they headed north, they knew they had thirteen hours until they reached the next stop. There would be a couple of hours at the next station, and then the journey would continue into the night. They decided to make the most of the daylight hours, given they were hunting a vampire.
The spell weavers of the group needed rest, so they retired to their cabins to recuperate and relearn their spells. Meanwhile, Koff, Blumperklart, and Kurtis began to explore the other carriages. At the rear was the general steerage class seating, packed with families and one or two interesting individuals keeping a low profile.
Several other sleeper carriages were either under used or their passengers using the bar. Enquiries among those passengers revealed another group of adventurers on the train, hired by a university in Sharn to explore a ziggurat in Tharne. They seemed to have no connection to Lucan, or show any signs of influence so they were quickly ticked off the list of things to investigate.
With a little shuffling around, Kurtis the changeling was able to disguise himself as one of the train guards and began asking to see tickets in the first class compartments. He found a noble man and his concubine travelling in one, and two dwarves who joined the adventurers in the bar later in the evening. One of the first class compartments remained locked, but they were unable to gain entrance. House Orien’s security had placed complex locks and a combination of clever materials use and enchantments to frustrate any attempts to scry within them.
Koff wanted to kick the door down, but without proof, he was dissuaded by the rest of the party. Instead, they decided to see if anything was offloaded at the next station. They watched carefully and saw only passengers changing over. The other adventurers left to carry on with their journey, leaving the long haul into the night toward the Tharne border.
While making plans over dinner, they then heard a disturbance towards the rear of the train. Making their way back to investigate, they found a group of warforged had boarded the steerage class compartment and were making their way forward. Unlike the last set of raiders they had encountered on a train, this group wasn’t set on robbery. Instead they locked eyes on the adventurers and challenged them in the name of the Lord of Blades. This was an assassination attempt.Furthermore, they had air support from another group of halfling glidewing riders, who threw javelins at anyone who moved from carriage to carriage or looked likely to try moving along the roof.
Battle was joined, with the warriors bearing the brunt of the conflict. Shortly afterwards, those nearer the front of the train found more warforged heading their way from the direction of the engine. It was close for a while, but then the adventurers began to whittle their attackers down to size. All seemed to be going well, and then suddenly the train came to an abrupt halt. Warforged warriors had attempted to capture the engine but ended up killing the driver, instantly dispelling the elemental propelling the train.
Everyone was thrown around as the train came to a sudden halt, and Lucan decided he had had enough. Bursting out of his hiding place in the first class cabins, he transformed into a dire wolf and out the window into the wilds. In the distance beyond the woods could be seen the dark mass of a towering ruin. He was last seen running for it at full speed.