Time in the Untamed Lands has changed him, hardened him. His younger days – days of happiness – he spent with his clansmen and family, hunting and trading with the small farming villages along the outskirts of the Starns. A weighing sense of loss and guilt had haunted Rowanas for years after his clan was killed in an attack that was a result of his dealings with a rival clan. Following the attack, Rowanas fled to the great expanse of the Untamed Lands.
During his deepest moment of despair, the ranger was approached at the first rays of dawn by a white stag – Ultherien, the legendary lord of the forest. A barn owl perched on its antlers flew straight to Rowanas’s shoulder. Ultherien vanished, but Seik the owl remained and has been Rowanas’s faithful companion ever since, almost sensing the ranger’s thoughts.
Already a master hunter, Rowanas continued to live off the land, while making the occasional trip to Pinevale to trade for supplies. Eventually, he made a name for himself escorting adventurers to Goblin’s Gold from the Old Stag Inn, especially those desperate enough to make the trip during the long winter months. Over time, the ranger had amassed a modest fortune – one he had planned to use to locate any surviving members of his clan.
In the first days of spring, a strange bald man in grey robes arrives at the Old Stag Inn, his arms bearing snake tattoos. Rowanas’s senses dull and his perception shifts. While some portion of his mind is screaming out to be wary of the man, the rest of him feels completely at ease with him – almost as if they are friends. Questions are asked and freely answered by the ranger about adventurers coming to and from Goblin’s Gold.
After this, Rowanas inexplicably leads the man up to his room, where he takes out his life’s savings and hands it to him. The man contorts his face into a cruel smile as he grabs Rowanas’s arm. A grey snake darts out from the folds of his robe to quickly strike the ranger’s arm several times. The robed man laughs as he walks out of the room and down the hall.
The dullness and haze Rowanas first experienced is fading now, but it is being replaced with searing pain and paralysis. The ranger knows well that when bit by a fire-eyed smoke snake, death is all but guaranteed…
Rowanas Intro Move – In Pursuit of the Snake
Silently, Seik emerges from the shadows. Deftly rifling through Rowanas’s pack, he finds a vial of antivenom, the contents of which he pours into the ranger’s mouth. For two days, intense burning pain wracks Rowanas’s body. The third day, the ranger recovers enough to get out of bed and start walking, albeit weakly. Grabbing his gear, he begins the journey to track down the robed stranger, retrieve what is rightfully his, and exact revenge. The trail is ice cold, but the robed man made the mistake of making enemies with one of the best trackers ever known.
To track the robed stranger’s whereabouts through the Untamed Lands, roll +WIS (you may add Seik’s Cunning to this roll as well).
On a 10+, You learn three truths regarding the trail of the robed man.
On a 7-9, You learn two truths regarding the trail of the robed man.
On a Miss, You learn one truth regarding the trail of the robed man.
Opening move roll for Rowanas = 11
The trail of the robed man is easy to follow for your trained eyes, even several days later. His footsteps are heavy and he is obviously not familiar with how to conceal his tracks. The trail leads predictably away from Pinevale and towards Goblin’s Gold. Two days into the trek, the ground continues to dry out and become rockier, making the trail more difficult to follow.
Soon, the trail converges with a number of other humanoid tracks. They appear to be goblin in nature, but you’ve seen goblin tracks for many years and these are larger and have a slightly different gait. There appear to be 8 of them and they continue right alongside the robed man.
You later find an arrow embedded in a tree that you presume to be from this group of 8. It has a black shaft, crow feather fletching and the arrowhead is coated in some kind of poison that is not of the forest. [you may take this arrow and mark it on your sheet as Black Poison Arrow; dangerous, 1 weight]
Somewhere close to this spot, the robed man’s tracks appear to vanish into thin air. The tracks of the goblinkind still head towards Goblin’s Gold. Seik scouts the area from above and can find no trace of the robed man.
Seik returns to your side. Your empathic bond with the bird has seemed to increased over these past few days. Maybe it is your close brush with death, maybe it is your return to this part of the forest, so close to where you found him. You have started to feel like two bodies with one soul.
Regardless, it is getting dark and you cannot continue for the day. As you make camp, you notice that Seik is growing uncharacteristically agitated and impatient. He finally fies over to Rowanas’s quiver and takes out an arrow. He then plucks a feather from his wing, sets it on top of the arrow, and looks at you expectantly. A wordless exchange ensues and you intuitively understand the owl’s meaning. Picking up the arrow, you tear off the original fletching and carefully insert carefully cut pieces your companion’s feather. [change one of your Arrows/3 to Seik Arrows/3; +Ferocity Against Enemies of the Forest; 1 weight. You receive Seik’s bonus for ferocity against any enemy of the forest (monster or no monster), as long as you can justify it as such.]
As you settle down for the night, Seik is still on edge. You cannot see him, but know he is somewhere above you in the trees. His unease is almost palpable and has your sense drawn tighter than a bow string. You lay down with your weapons close at hand, but have no expectation of sleeping. After almost an hour of silence, you hear a sound… muffled, but you are sure someone or something is approaching.