Emotions Run High
After attempting unsuccessfully to rouse the children from their vacant daze, Folwyn and Kerowyn moved in on the jester. When they got close, they realized that the creature was of no humanoid race they knew. It continued its act until they actually struck at it, at which point it sprang into action, tumbling away, summoning a giant scorpion to protect it, and commanding the bleak ones that watched it to do the same. Folwyn tried to push through the small mob of children to get at the scorpion, but was caught and tripped by one of them on his way through. Kerowyn sprang into battle with the monstrous vermin herself, while Kedda went to get the children off of Folwyn – blade first. While Kedda set about slaughtering the enthralled children, the jester’s scorpion caught Kerowyn in its claws and began to crush her. As Kedda continued slaying their child-assailants, Folwyn set into the now preoccupied scorpion with a vengeance. He then put one of the attacking bleak guards out of the fight with a quick slice, opening room for Kedda to step in and finish off the scorpion.
Kerowyn fell to the ground at the feet of the jester. She tried to roll away, but was not quick enough. The jester tapped her with his scepter and she fell into a fit of hysterical laughter that left her gasping for air, unable even to rise from the ground. The others struck out at the jester, but soon suffered the same fate. When all three of them were incapacitated, the jester began to perform once more, with the remaining guard and last child sitting in the grass to watch, as if nothing had happened. The party members felt the jester drawing their emotions from them, feeding off them, even the magical ones it created. Kerowyn, first struck, was the first to recover. She quaffed a potion to restore herself after her engagement with the scorpion to ready herself to continue the fight. Kedda recovered from the magic soon after, and the two of them finished off the jester just as Folwyn broke out of the spell.
As the party went through the strange jester’s satchel, the village’s guard arrived, and they weren’t happy. Neither was the gathering mob behind them. The trio snatched up their belongings and took off running, but the more lightly armored guards caught up. In a quick engagement, they slew one of the guards and knocked the rest unconscious. With a mob only moments away, the party ran again, and managed to find a way out of the village without being caught. All of Folwyn’s equipment, save weapons and armor, was still on his horse, though, which he had left near the entrance to the village when first called on for assistance. That included any number of items which would have easily identified him. They circled around through the countryside and made a quick incursion to grab the horse. Fortunately, it was still there. A lone man made an effort to keep them from leaving, but Kerowyn dealt him a sharp blow with the flat of her blade to let the party make a mostly clean getaway.
Dangers of Travel
The excitement of the afternoon meant that the party didn’t make it to the next town before nightfall. They opted to camp for the night, scrounging up food from the wilderness and their packs. The night passed uneventfully, but they found out in the morning that a rider had been sent out overnight to warn surrounding villages about a band of evil adventurers. The party quickly set off again, not staying long enough to draw any attention. They spent the night in another village further north, then continued on for Janecke.
Midday, they were accosted by a band of brigands. Their quality equipment spoke to their skills, but the party gladly took the fight. Of the four highwaymen, three proved to have some magical skill, but the party cut through them quickly. The brigand leader attempted to flee when he realized he couldn’t finish off the party alone, but he was shot down off the back of his summoned mount. The party collected the spoils of the conflict and made the rest of the trip to Janecke that afternoon.