Faithseeker 3: One Bridge Not Too Far
The village of Blackfeather Bridge over River Ashaba, at the end of Mirtul in the Year of Wild Magic
Selia, Keldoth and Eghlen march out to the Blackfeather bridge. The thick fog rising from the river makes it seem hover over a cloud, a view that makes both Selia and Keldoth stop in wonder. Eghlen also stops, although he is far from romanticizing the weather – he notices a few figures standing in the middle of the bridge, blocking the passage. Since there is no other way to cross Ashaba, the party presses ahead.
The burliest of the figures steps forward and proclaims himself Darbog, son of Darbog, who needs to spill blood on this bridge to commemorate the anniversary of Leira’s death by Cyric’s hand. His comrades — a scrappy rogue wielding a dagger and a hooded man in black and purple robes — back him up words of devotion to Cyric. They are all clearly evil, so Selia does not hesitate to charge at them, ready to protect her friends. She tries to topple Darbog with a buckler bash, but the burly man does not budge. He locks the aasimar in a crushing bearhug. Selia summons bright light to blind the thug and slips out of his grasp. Darbog is startled and enraged. He wields a two-handed flail and takes a swing at Selia. The young fighter dodges and deflects, getting a few scrapes, but avoiding any serious injury. She counterattacks, throwing Darbog off balance with a series of quick sword thrusts, buckler bashes and low kicks. Soon, the thug tires out and withdraws, leaving his fellow Cyricists to their fate.
Meanwhile, Eghlen is fighting the robed priest of Cyric. Eghlen breaks the man's staff with a loud crack, but the Cyricist inflicts injuries on Eghlen with a corrupted touch. Fortunately, Eghlen is strong and resilient: he grabs the priest and throws him off the bridge, into the river. However, the effort and harm inflicted by Cyric's dark power overcome the monk of Ogh Muna and he slumps at the railings.
Keldoth faces off with the knife-wielding ruffian. The Leiran's only weapons are his illusions—confusing, but incapable of hurting his opponent. The rogue manages to see through one of such tricks and pins Keldoth to the ground. Selia, who has just ran off the muscular thug, notices that her new friend is in trouble and wants to talk the knife-wielder down. They are momentarily distracted by sudden flute music. Selia seizes the opportunity, leaps at the rogue, stuns him with a buckler bash to the noggin', and pushes him off and away from Keldoth.
The ruffian moves to run away, but finds the flute player in his way, with a throwing knife in hand. Selia recognises Hervor, who offers her some help. She gladly accepts. The ruffian knows he's outmatched and surrenders. He pleads for his freedom and Selia agrees, as long as he disarms and solemnly swears to never hurt anyone again. Hervor suggests that he should also surrender his coin pouch, as a fine.
The thieving bard wanted to keep it for himself, but Selia guilelessly expressed a lot of zeal for donating the ruffian's coin to a good cause. Hervor composed himself after a momentary surprised hesitation and "confirmed" he meant something like that.
The Cyricist seized the opportunity for a reprisal and threw his pouch at her, hitting her temple and running past her before she recovers from being distracted and dazed. He fled, still armed.
Selia tends to Eghlen’s wounds and gives him the ruffian's coin for safekeeping. Hervor struggles to hide his disappointment in the fact that some hypotetical orphans were deemed more worthy recipients of this skirmish's spoils. He covers that up with a cheery exclamation of joining the party in their travels. Keldoth protests, but Selia is happy to have one more friendly soul on her journey. After a short rest, they move north, towards the Dun Hills.