Days 10 and 11.
Victory Points: 2
With the town of Drellin’s Ferry safely evacuating, the party moved on to the next item on their list. After a brief discussion they decided to accompany the refugees north on the Elsir River before splitting off to head to Rhestilor and the Red Hand breeding program. Exactly who, or what, was being bred was unknown; however, they were pretty sure that it included vats of green goo for Sly to throw alchemist’s fire at.
The motley collection of barges and boats around the Ferry were effectively being organized by the halfling friends of Hafren (and Stan…) so there was little for the heroes to do but lounge about on deck and watch the trees go by. The elven forests were old and foreboding, yes, but there was definite beauty in watching sun shine through tree leaves. The river itself was quiet and so for hours the only noises were man-made; the sounds of oars dipping in the water, the beat of the drum keeping time, and the occasional muffled curse.
The flotilla spent its first night tied up on shore. Although many were aware of being watched there was no overt contact by the elves of the woods. That would come on the second day, when the lead boat encountered an elven ship lying in wait. The elven councillors invited the party aboard as diplomats, and Hafren (and Verrick as her bodyguard) swiftly agreed. The elves believed they held the high ground, as the river was explicitly off-limits to large groups of people, but Hafren was an experienced negotiator and swiftly turned the discussion around. They were still haggling over details (increased lands for the elves, in particular) when one of the sailors yelled a warning – something about teeth in the water.
What followed was a bloodbath. The flotilla and the elves alike were attacked by sinuous green creatures with razor-sharp teeth. The lead boat was swiftly overrun with the things, who turned their attention to refugee, guardsman, or adventurer alike. Fortunately, the party reacted with trained speed and went to work killing the creatures before there were too many deaths. Also luckily for the heroes the commotion attracted schools of piranhas – more natural, but still rare predators – who ensured that many of the razorfiends (as they would later be called) never survived to climb aboard.
When the slaughter was over those on the flotilla counted themselves lucky – while there had been deaths the majority of people were safe belowdecks. One refugee in particular, a pregnant woman, had somehow managed to fend off four of the beasts until Gimor and Sly could come to her rescue. Due to the party’s protection the elves had also survived, except for one. That one, a druid, had accused Verrick of slaying “Gorgoth”, the chimera the party battled at Drellin’s Ferry.
The party had plenty of new questions in the form of the razorfiends. They were clearly draconic, and just as clearly not natural. From a quick autopsy the party could tell two things: 1) All of the attackers were female; at least, each was carrying roughly fifty eggs. More worryingly, each such egg was fertilized. 2) They grew frighteningly quickly; at best estimate, they became mature in six months and combat-capable at one month.