We had a break of a week from the game, and were back tonight with the group deciding to head for Greece and the River Styx, site of the Shadow — the veil that Jupiter and Minerva created that cut off the world from the other planes of existence (save for the Underworld…that cannot be cut off from Earth.) Augustinian had learned from Jupiter’s statue (which spoke to him) that the Shadow was being sought by a demi-god, a “angel” from Icio’s Christianity named Sataniel (the Accuser.) The accuser was Yahweh’s angel that tested those whose faith seemed insincere, but when he sensed falsehood in his own lord, he called him on it and was cast to Earth with his followers. Seeking to return to heaven, Sataniel is looking to use the Shadow to get home. He thinks its a person or thing; they have that in their favor. If he can find and destroy the Shadow, Sataniel can return to heaven, which he hopes to do by freeing and recruiting some of the ancient things residing in Tartarus.

But first, they have a date with the imperial court in Mediolanum, which is on the way to the Via Postumia and the Mare Hadriatica. Their final day, the agent they had hired to organize, appraise, and sell their loot from the battle at Castra Stativa gave them their payout: split between the party, they are up 5200 soldi — enough to buy a large farm and home, in Icio’s case dedicate a small church, or set themselves out somewhere. That evening was a party in their honor with the rich and powerful of Augustus Vindelicorum. During the festivities, the bard — Calvinus — pursued one of the young and incredibly beautiful women and landed her easily. With only a few words, he was charmed (he blew his Charisma save.)

Back in his room, she absolutely shook his world…then she sucked the life out of him with a kiss. Making his save roll cut the damage from 32 to 18 and left him in the fight. Struggling with her, he used his shatter spell to blow open the door to his room and caught the attention of Icio next door. Calvinus was able to throw her off, at which point she revealed her true form — a succubus! She was promptly attacked by Icio who broke Calvinus’ lute over her head, then beat her with the ruined instrument. She broke free and launched herself out the window. Icio let his glowing aasimar wings loose and took off after her. His first time using his wings for flight, he plowed into a tree. (He rolled a 1.)

They learned, once Calvinus got his wits about him, that she had questioned him about the Shadow and he told her everything. They have to assume the adversary, the Lie, Sataniel, knows where the Shadow is now. The race is on!

They left quickly the left morning, before there would be time to even form up their cavalry unit, which was in town carousing. The party of six set off down the Via Claudia Augusta for Mediolanum in a fresh snowfall and broke the next evening in Cambodunum — the former capital of Raetia before it was sacked a century ago. While people have rebuild portions of the place due to the traffic on the road, It is a smallish town at the foot of one of the Alpine heights. With no place in the inn, they had the choice of the ominous ruins, or the home of a brewer/distiller. With a few coins, he put them up in the relative comfort of the distillery he had build in a large barn.

The night, they could hear shouts and the sounds of a fight outside. In the dim light of the distillery, lit only by the heating grates under the copper distilling flasks, they started getting on their gear while Icio raced to find out what was going on. He opened the to the massive figure of a troll — the creature they had bested weeks back. The troll roared that they were liars, that he was not dead and this “Troll Killer” was dishonest. Icio was struck dumb for a moment by the idiocy of the statement, then broke his quarterstaff on the creature’s knee. (1’s were a thing for Icio tonight.)

The troll threw him into one of the tanks, but the monk recovered quickly. Carona the satyr tried to use his attack on Icio to sneak up and attack him, but only made the troll mad. He used Icio as a bludgeon on Carona. Carrus (the Troll Killer, as Calvinus has been billing him) managed to chop an arm off of the creature. Augustinian lit him up with fairie fire and blessed Icio, Marcellus, and Carrus. We’ve been finding this combo is VERY useful in fights (d4 and an advantage on attacks.) Panicked by suddenly being engulfed in glowing fire, the troll snatched up one of the condenser tanks and tried to crush Carrus with it. Missing, he shattered the seams and flooded the floor of the place with strong alcohol.

Icio then hit the troll with one of the oil lamps, hoping to drive it off, and instead catching the place on fire. Now with the only ground-level door cut off by fire, the characters had to move fast. Carrus and Carona were able to get out just ahead of the flames. Icio slipped in the mash waste that had been knocked over in the battle, and slipped. His cassock caught fire and he left loose and escaped using his wings. The ret had to climb to the second story and escape out of the hay doors. During his climb, Marcellus was hit with one of the condenser tanks and knocked right through the side of the building.

The troll then went after Carrus, again, walking right through the fire to the front door.

Then the barn exploded for 5d6 damage (half if they made their constitution save.) Augustinian, Calvinus, and Carona (and the troll) all took 16; the rest 8HP. After a few moments to get their wits about them (allowing the troll to also regenerate 27HP), Carrus and the troll squared off. A few of them, however, noticed the strange shushing sound, loud, like water coming from the hill. The low cloud deck collapsed toward the ground as a wall of snow erupted toward them. Marcellus, Augustinian, and Calvinus ran for it, but the two latter men were overtaken. Carrus had struck the troll a mighty blow, only to be hit by the wave of snow. Icio used the last few seconds of his wings to get clear.

The avalanche took Augustinian straight to 0HP, and with Calvinus, Carona, and Carrus, were buried alive. Marcellus escaped into the farmer’s home, only to have the wave of snow half collapse the place around him. Icio found Calvinus quickly, and soon they had recovered the rest of their companions. Icio laid hands on Augustinian, bring him back up to 0HP and stabilizing him. While Carrus, Icio and Marcellus aided in looking for villagers injured or buried by the avalanche, Calvinus took care of Augustinian and Carona.

We knocked off for the night with the characters battered, their stuff blown all over the valley, and several of their companions near death.

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