After getting a night’s downtime in Haven, the group decided to get some admin and resupply done. While doing so, Gunar noticed a figure in a dark cloak enter Lacar’s Emporium. The figure was feminine and he was fairly sure it was the woman that they had been following up in the mountains a day or two earlier.
The group hurried over to the Emporium. They entered and looked around but didn’t see any sign of the figure. There were 3 customers in the main room. Two men were looking around at the wares while one was talking with Lacar at the counter. Gunar stomped up and tried to interrupt but Lacar asked him to wait. Gunar did and when the conversation was done he asked Lacar where the cloaked figure went.
Lacar said he didn’t know what they were talking about. No cloaked figure had come in his store. The party figured he was hiding something from them but they didn’t have any way to make him be more forthcoming. Instead they asked the two remaining customers if they had seen another person in a dark cloak enter the store. Neither of the men had seen anyone, which seemed to corroborate Lacar’s story.
Thinking the mysterious figure had gotten away (or that Gunar was losing it) the group headed towards the river. There, surprise of surprises, they discovered the figure getting on a medium sized river boat with the man who had been talking to Lacar. The figure went and stood in the prow of the boat facing away from the group. The man was making ready to cast off.
Gunar once again stomped over and demanded to speak to the figure. The man working to get the boat ready to go told Gunar and the group to bugger off. About that time the other two men from the Emporium walked up and jumped on the boat. Now the part had a conundrum. They wanted to talk to these people but the only way to force that seemed to be a physical confrontation. They were pretty sure the figure and these guys were up to no good but they didn’t have any real evidence. Starting a fight in town seemed like a bad choice so they let the figure and the men pole the boat up the river.
They considered hiring a boat to follow until Patchie pointed out that he had purchased a small (somewhat ramshackle) boat with his part of the treasure the previous evening. That cheered everyone and they all jumped in Patchie’s boat and took off in pursuit. Patchie’s boat proved to have a few water retention problems so there was a good bit of bailing going on throughout the day. Lucky knew some seamanship and managed to keep the other boat in sight but couldn’t make up any “ground” on them.
In the early evening the other boat put in to shore for the night. The party sailed past and noticed that there was a campfire burning but no one was in view. That seemed ominous. They sailed on and put in themselves several hundred yards upstream. Once they had the boat beached they began sneaking back towards the other campsite. Fortunately Patchie and Fen acting as scouts detected the ambush and was able to warn the others before the attack.
The cloaked figure was nowhere in sight but the three men from the Emporium had been joined by 3 additional men. Battle was joined. Gunar and Lucky rushed to engage the enemy in hand combat. Quinton noticed that one of the enemy was a spellcaster and so Patchie, Quinton and Fen focused on that threat. The spellcaster and two of the enemy went down fast. About that time the cloaked figure, who proved to be a woman with arcane tattoos covering the left side of her face, joined the fray and began calling upon the divine help of some diety. Gunar nearly succumbed to an attempt to paralyze him but his dwarven resilience helped him overcome the affect.
Two more of the men fell within a round and the dark priestess fled from the battlefield and into the deepening night. The party reluctantly broke off pursuit. They examined the men to discover that two of them had the same rotting fish smell that came from the potions they had found on previous bandits. The party then set up camp for the night. During the night someone tried to paralyze Fen from the darkness. The group woke up and found the tracks where they figured the priestess retreated after her attempt failed. However there were a lot more tracks than they expected. That led to the discovery that all the dead bodies from the previous combat were gone.
They didn’t want to pursue a priestess with presumably a small horde of undead in the dark so they waited through the night. Fen picked up the trail the next morning and off the group went. They tracked the priestess south around the mountains and into the South Wood. The tracks went into a shallow river but never came out again. Taking a guess, the group went up river through the woods and late in the afternoon found where the tracks exited the water. The trail climbed a hill and went into a small keep with a broken tower in the south west corner.
This is where the party backed off to regroup and plan.