Our adventurers started their day by tending to personal matters in the town, before being told of their new mission. Their primary mission was to obtain the Celestial Katar, a set of blades attached to hand grips, which predated the Great Devastation and had unknown magical properties. These weapons were in possession of a smuggler and slaver known as Peter Tash and his sister Gwendolyn Tash. The secondary mission was to rescue the Verantian citizens that Peter and his sister had in their custody and were planning on selling as slaves, and if at all possible apprehend the slavers so they could be brought to justice. However, these slavers were said to be headed north to the Indirium Empire, so interdiction and retrieval should happen while they were still in Verantian jurisdiction.
First stop on the mission was the way-station Morinth Hill, where wagons would be boarded and then led back toward Verantia until meeting up with the slavers. Ingvar (Joe) decided to take the opportunity to try out his mount, the giant spider, which he named Koshana in honor of his deity.
While heading down the wheat road, the group noticed many encampments of travelers along the way. Most were engaged in normal acts of business, trading, hunting and gathering. Some hardy, beefy folk were at work chopping the trees of the forest. Molly (Helen) took it upon herself to gaze far into the distance, and with keen eagle eyes spied a group that seemed to be out of place. It was decided that the group should observe these vagabonds more closely, so they slowly worked their way in that direction. Ingvar noted that amongst their group there appeared to be a large gentlemen, and Molly suggested he challenge that man in an honest contest of strength. Ingvar, pride at stake, charged towards the foe with utmost speed on his magnificent spider, but was rebuked with shots over his head. He decided that retreat was necessary, and rejoined his group to tell of the antisocial behavior of this brute, and that it was indeed the Peter Tash from the dossier.
After being noticed by the unusual outsiders, the travelers quickly packed up their belongings and set off in their wagons. The group struggled to decide what to do; give immediate chase, follow at a safe distance, or wrestle each other in the dirt. Elijah (Doc), unable to speak his plan, scribed a crude drawling on the back of the dossier. Much like a Picasso, everybody interpreted this artwork differently, with no real consensus, even as the smugglers were making their escape. Elijah, in a fit of exasperation of his allies, scribbled a new mark which revised his plan and made all clear to the group. They were to travel around the slavers and ambush them from the front side. In actuality what happened was that Ingvar galloped full steam ahead on his beautiful Koshana, who absolutely flew through the forest which she was so accustomed to, and dropped from a tree directly on top of Tash. The rest of the group flanked the slavers and set to work quickly upon them. Spells were cast, punches were thrown, and mandibles chewed noisily upon man and horseflesh alike. As this was going on, other group members discovered a magical sack that had dimensional oddities; the inside was much larger than the outside, so much so that people had been stashed inside, even though the bag was small enough to be able to be carried over one’s shoulder. This was where the slavers had kept their slaves, and why lawmen had never been able to catch them in the act of smuggling said slaves.
As the battle commenced, some of the foes were killed, while others like Tash and Gwendolyn were handcuffed and bound, then placed in the magic sack. A spell was placed on Tash which forced him to speak the truth, and so he revealed that clients of his were en route to obtain his slaves. They were powerful magi from the Indirium Empire, and were best to be avoided. The best course of action was determined to be a path that would avoid the direction the magi were coming from, which was the north, so the adventures rode to the south in their wagons and mounts. Not long after leaving the battleground however, several strange objects were observed flying above and behind the group, coming from the north. Upon closer inspection it was seen that they were in fact people, some on magic carpets and others flying with no observed aid. The stranger in the lead of the formation was pointing a staff in the direction of the group, most likely tracking someone or something that the adventures had amongst them. The group rode their wagons off the road and into the forest, thinking that they might take cover under the dense foliage. Moments later however the magi descended from the sky and gathered not far from the group, and it was thought that battle would once again be upon our weary travelers.
The leader of the group, who quickly was identified as the man that previously imprisoned the group in a cave with a magic force field, spoke to the group in a calm voice, asking if they knew of the whereabouts of certain colleagues of his, known to the group to be the slavers in their very custody. It was bluffed that they knew not the location of these fine folks, and as anyone could see they were not with the group at this present time. However, one of the group’s magically talented individuals sensed that the lead magi did in fact detect the location of the slavers in the magic sack. After a brief hesitation, the lead magi spoke that it was in everyone’s best interest to stay unharmed by avoiding any potential scuffle, and with a command to his troop, they turned and walked away, disappearing as if using some sort of magical teleportation.
Back in town, the Katar and slavers were turned over to the authorities, and a visit by Dr. Romdin Lunisce told of the group’s next mission. It seems that a student of the doctor had been taken by a band of trolls, and was being held in their village, and the doctor was requesting that a rescue mission be undertaken. When probed for further details about the student and his relationship to the trolls, the doctor revealed that he was part of a team that developed the Periphage, the disease which plagued the trolls and caused great challenges with childbearing. Dr. Lunisce was also a member of the team, and claimed that his student was really not a leading participant in the project and should be seen as a victim in the matter. The group was outraged in finally hearing the truth of the Periphage, and could not come to a consensus at the time of the meeting with the doctor, but decided to think on the matter and come back with their decision by the end of the day.