During Which the Heroes See a Ghost
The morning after their brawl with the sharks of Lake Cyre (see "Gatherhold On a Minute"), the First Heroes met Jarturim and the rest of the House Marquis caravan. Thoris d'Marquis led the group south, crossing the bridge over the Dagger River and following the road to the west. According to their Dragonborn traveling companion, the Long Road to Sharn should only take about another week or so, as long as there were no more diversions.
As they traveled, Jarturim revealed what had been on his mind since he left Gatherhold's House Ningle Message Station. Leftenant Commander Lambrose Baccus had not responded to his call! This was extremely out of character for the Leftenant Commander and the situation led Jarturim to fear the worst. He urged Thoris to pick up the pace of the caravan and implored the First Heroes not to make any other unnecessary stops or detours.
The Heroes decided to change the subject and asked about the history of Aeranus and the Crying Fields in particular - the region of the Kingdom they would be traversing on their journey. Jarturim obliged and filled them in on the area. He spoke of the myriad of bloody battles which took place in the region over the course of the Last War; how the grass and ferns of the fields had been stained a permanent blood red color; how one could still hear the howls and moans of dying soldiers on the wind as it blew across the plain; how even the shadows of those fighting tore themselves free in an attempt to escape the carnage. He saw the looks of fear and panic on the faces of the Heroes and assured them that the spirits which haunted the Crying Fields should offer them no resistance at this time of year - it was Grathtober and the following fall and winter months which were the "worst" (i.e. most dangerous and deadly for travelers).
As the caravan double-timed it, racing across the Crying Fields (about a two-day journey at their pace), the Heroes suggested that they forego stopping to camp in favor of getting the hell out of the area. Despite Thoris's warnings he obliged as the sun began to dip over the horizon. Jarturim reassured the Heroes that as long as they stayed on the path all should be fine - there were still fresh traps and the like littered around the area, not to mention spirits who still rose each night to do battle.
Just as the last bits of twilight were disappearing, a ghostly arrow whizzed through the carriage. It missed all who were inside and caused no damage to the wagon itself. Seemingly as a gut reaction, Goose exited the carriage and clung to the side as he returned fire, striking one of the ghostly combatants, immediately drawing its attention. Luckily he was able to hide well enough (and long enough) to escape detection while the rest of the Heroes remained hunkered down inside. The ghostly battle raged on, the soldiers on each side completely ignoring the Heroes in favor of focus on their eternal struggle.
After successfully sneaking back into the wagon, Goose realized that it had seemed almost too easy - the shadows had seemingly helped to guide his way back. The Heroes surveyed the cabin of their wagon and to their horror noticed that the shadows were indeed writhing and shifting in an unnatural manner. It was at that moment that the shadows themselves sprung from the walls of the vehicle and began attacking those inside!
The Heroes were able to dispatch their shadowy assailants just in time to see the wagon in front of them get attacked as well. Shai raged out and leapt across to defend it, landing directly on top and slicing through the wave of inky blackness that surrounded it [with the help of a Nat 20]. With no small amount of effort, Simon LeQuack was able to help the Tiefling defend the neighboring wagon, as well as its passenger, Nelalwe Taldilindar.
Relieved, the House Marquis Caravan left the Crying Fields behind as it crossed the Aeranean border and continued west into Q'barra. The cries and moans of the battlefield slowly drifted away as the sun rose behind the travelers. After two sleepless days of grueling travel, they finally stopped and made camp, although a long rest was hardly enough to ease their minds and help them to process what they had just experienced.