While Borel, Althaea and Sunder were introducing themselves to the Clan Ymgir, Dulkan, Glinish and Carric scouted out the northern signal tower. Again with Carric’s invisibility spell they ascended the hillside on which the tower lay undetected. There they met a creature with grayish-green skin and big lower canines, bursting through the lip… an orc. A sentry, leisurely scanning the southern treeline. Dulkan, owing to his upbringing in Kolmhaag, disliked the creature and gave permission for Glinish to kill it. Two arrows to the throat ended its life, allowing the group passage into the tower’s yard.
Standing on top of the hill, the party saw a small, hidden campsite with the rest of the tower’s four lookouts, and a more sobering sight: A large settlement, just a short jaunt away from the hill, home to maybe hundreds of orcs. Still, now committed to clearing the area, Carric took Adalrik’s Protector and unleashed a torrent of cold on the unsuspecting orcs, freezing them solid. With the sentries dead, the tower was theirs… for the moment. The inside of the tower was well-kept, stocked with fuel. Deciding against lighting the fire, the group merely loaded the fuel, ready to be lit on a moment’s notice. They also took one orc’s head to be interrogated by Althaea and her ability to get the dead to sing.
Meanwhile, Borel heard the call of his inner wolf. Wishing to incorporate the spirit of wolf in his totem, he left to find a wolf pack. Maybe with his tracking skills, maybe under the call of a wolf spirit, he found a pack whose Alpha he challenged and won. After running with the wolves, he found a huge dire wolf, living alone. He attacked and slew the creature, taking a trophy of it with him.
The next day, 17th of Shedding Clan Ymgir headed to Kjus’ village in the crack of dawn, annoying the other clan with their early arrival. Now gathered together, apart from Glinish who elected to remain at the tower, the Party prepared to ensure the blessing ceremony’s smooth progression.
From problem to problem they sailed, putting out fires as they arose. When the clans met, Isadra from clan Kjus was attempting to get Hurna, a hunter from Ymgir to give up his weapons for the ceremony. Carric and Borel diffused the situation with an apt argument: What would Hurna do with his tools? Next the clan chiefs were arguing about the early arrival. As luck would have it, Borel had a bottle of wine from his earlier adventures, and he shared it with the chieftains. As he left, a wave of shock and fear went through the participants: Clan Ymgir’s craftsman, a Tiefling by the name of Hawk had appeared. His demonic looks drew suspicion and fear from the others. Fortunately, Carric had seen tieflings before, so he introduced himself to Hawk and Hawk to the others, defusing the tension somewhat.
When the ceremonies started, Borel had given his golden chain, originally from Khariss’ hoard, to the chieftains as a gift to the child. As the chain was obscenely valuable, the chiefs decided not to open their own gifts right then. Soon, however, the star of the party, Hilde, had remained in her yurt, feeling the pressure of the event. Althaea, however, had a plan. She magically disguised Borel as Hilde’s father and used him to get to her yurt. When she got close to the poor nervous wreck, she sang and emboldening melody, pushing the fear away from Hilde’s mind and giving her courage in this glorious day.
Outside, Tissu, a halfling girl, was up to mischief. Borel found her crafting a mask of Hawk to scare some partygoers. The barbarian found this funny, however, and let the girl go. Very soon the Kjus’ smith was storming to Hawk, angrily claiming that he had attempted to steal his soul. As things nearly spiraled out of control, Althaea again cast a spell, mesmerizing the aggressors in a show of flashing magical colours.
Then began the last part of the ceremony: A feast. Thistle, Ymgir’s bard, started the feast with a song, biased towards the clan’s achievements. Sensing the others’ difficulties, Althaea joined in the chorus, forcing Thistle to improvise. To her amazement, the dragonborn bard handled it well, managing to annoy the Kjus’ people, but at least Althaea prevented a full-on fight.
Carric, seeing the children of Kjus bothering Hawk, decided to join the tiefling. He had been asking about the reason why the man didn’t drink anything, and the answer was that he was an angry drunk. Fearing that the children would push him, Carric invited Hawk to bond with him, safely out of town. Meanwhile, Borel had been keeping an eye on Tissu, who was now trying to sneak something extra in the food of one of the guests. He caught the sneak and demanded to know what she was planning. Tissu’s vocal protests drew many curious and concerned gazes, which Borel quickly placated by pretending to give a ride to the halfling girl through the air. He ran around the partygoers, keeping Tissu high in the air and rolling her until she couldn’t take it anymore. As she wobbled away, Borel confiscated the bottle of hot sauce she was planning to empty in one of the dragonborn’s steak.
And finally, the skies went dark. Carric and Hawk provided improvised fireworks as the folk started passing out around the village in each others’ laps. Shellwhite, tired from her ordeals, thanked the Party and promised her aid in lighting the eastern signal tower. Grateful and satisfied, the Party too decided to rest.