Rasennan Summer

5 - Counterhunt

A move to intercept the Kallikantos finds butchery at a farmstead.

The group brings Dorego to Borsari Villa well past dark. They explain to Master Borsari the extent of the plot against him, and Dorego confirms what details he can. The looming threat of the Kallikantos presses heavily on all concerned, and Opilio goes to see to the safety of those peasants out in the outlying farmhouses. Vesper asks for the assistance of another blade, and Andelac volunteers, only to be persuaded to remain home to defend his family. Instead, the group persuades Ramilante to accompany them, Vesper being certain to impress upon his wife Sesscia the importance of the task.

Looking over a rough map of the area, the group examines potential chokepoints at which they could ambush the invading Hairy Men. They settle on a bridge near the roadside shrine to Alvoran, and travel cross-country along the forest line to reach the area. Along the way, they note several peasants on Potifol Whiteknees’ land searching for something; most likely, they assume, the missing Dorego. The four move farther into the woods to avoid contact.

As they reach the wall marking the far edge of Whiteknees’ land and follow it down to the road, they discover tracks — apparently of Kallikantos scouts, which have headed to a nearby farmstead. The farm is suspiciously quiet. Ettorio’s reconnaissance reveals that a woman and her child have locked themselves in the house, a man’s corpse is impaled to a barn wall by a pitchfork, and a few animals have been recently slaughtered. Most importantly, three Hairy Men are resting in the barn’s hayloft.

Ettorio, Vesper and Ramilante move into ambush position as Roberto draws their fire. The ambush is initially successful, with a particularly remarkable blow landed when Ettorio leaps from the barn roof behind one of the Kallikantos. However, a pair of concealed goblin lackeys join in the fight (one of whom is remarkably nimble), and the Hairy Men put up a strong struggle. The Rasennans’ power proves stronger, though, and the last Kallikantos can flee only so far before he’s brought down by sling and crossbow fire augmented by Bascho alchemy.

With the raiding goblinkin slain, the group resolves to ambush the main Kallikantos party at the farmstead. Ettorio is able to calm the recently widowed woman, and Ramilante offers to take her and her child to a safer farmstead before dark. With several hours of daylight still left to them, the remaining three hoist the bodies of the fallen back into the hayloft, and begin to make plans.

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