The Fallen Druids
Hudson’s old adventuring companion, Kelvennan Duskwalker, was in a bad way. Hudson, Thorgur Fireborn, and Amber Wallace had traveled to the Fangwood to contact the druid circle, but they had instead found only ruins. Having last seen Kel in Crystalhurst during the Dead War, it now appeared he was the only survivor – not counting the pale, sickly druids who had captured the summoner and were attempting to poison him with a gaseous cloud of some sort.
Hudson and Thorgur, familiar with the evils of the Fangwood, wasted no time. Thorgur led the charge, with Hudson and Amber’s gun sounding from behind. The battle was short but bloody, but Amber succeeded in dragging Kel from the poison gas. As Thorgur and Hudson put down the druids, they learned that the druids were barely human or elven anymore but instead some kind of fungal growth – a collection of fungus spores who had simply taken on the appearance of the old druids themselves.
The League in Absalom
Meanwhile, Kel’s warning had been too late, for Astrid was now in the hands of the Technic League agent, her gearsmen, and a flying construct that seemed to double as a torture device. The agent demanded the location of A Thread of Silver, threatening to kill her Medvyed relatives if she was not cooperative. Unphased, Astrid escaped their clutches and got ahold of her weapon, even as Anthony Arkwright stumbled onto the scene. Knowing himself no match for the League, unarmed and unarmored, he cast a spell of sending to Orin. Heeding the call, Orin arrived on the scene, unleashing his newfound arcane powers on the League’s minions, a disintegration spell putting a quick end to the Technic League’s agent. Astrid was more than holding her own, however, holding the two gearsmen at bay with her bardiche even as she dismantled them with her blows.
The flying construct, now outnumbered, attempt to flee, but Orin halt it with more spells, returning it to the ground. Once there, Astrid dismantled the thing’s weaponry, though she left the overall construct intact. The Technic League’s hunt had, again, ended in failure.
After the battle, having captured the strange robot, Astrid and Orin decided to contact Hudson. Orin reached out to Hudson just as the gunslinger’s battle with the fungal growths had ended, and soon the party was re-united with Kelvennan. The half-elf had by this time fallen into a coma and was unresponsive, so Orin brought him and the party back to Absalom. Once there, he was attended by Anthony, who quickly cured him of the fungal disease that had nearly killed him. Still Kel remained comatose, however, suggesting a deeper illness yet untouchable by Anthony’s clerical magic.
Meanwhile, the Initiative discussed their next actions. They decided to transport Kel to the Titanis, back in Fort Ramgate, and continue their training and research until Kel regained consciousness and could provide them with more leads.
After several days, Kel did just that, awakening on the Titanis to tell Hudson a tale. The Technic League, led by the Man in Black, had slaughtered the druids and captured him and his eidolon, Malam. They had then departed, traveling east through Molthune, where Kel at last escaped them in the port city of Korholm. Yet Malam remainded in their clutches, and so Kel begged of Hudson a boon: help him track them down, free Malam, and destroy the Man in Black.