Prior to the beginning of this mission, the group had had some hiccups. Nazarov had been killed, and Ceredine had been removed and sent back to training in an attempt to eliminate some of her bad habits. For this reason, the group was two Slayers down, and I knew I needed a full six-person group for the assignment they were going to be given: The Slaying of the White Leopard, Czar.
After spending their wages on a lot of magical equipment, the group left The Citadel venturing south, following the Pitie river. There were a few notable run-ins in their travels. On the first night, they were attacked by Hellhounds, which [Halien, Magnus, and Parolles dispatched, though they endured injuries in the process, some of which could have been avoided by waking other members of the party up. Some time that night, Friedrich’s “friend”, “Stevie” ended up disappearing, (and I simply have no idea why…).
In the morning, Parolles looked around for healing herbs to help the group with their wounds and found a plant that he diagnosed as capable of magical healing. He showed it to Kaja, and she agreed as well. They decided to hang onto it use it at a better time.
Continuing south, they ran into a Rusalka, which chose Magnus as its mate. He was almost pulled under the water by it’s spell, but it was destroyed by two magic missiles. Friedrich fished its skeletal remains out of the river, and declared that it would be his new corpse. The group felt no need to argue.
Before the group went to sleep that night, they ate the meat that several members had caught hunting. Unbeknownst to Magnus, Parolles and Kaja decided that he was the most injured, and mixed the “healing herb” into his food. This report goes out to all the herbalism trainers in The Citadel: please train your students more competently. The plant was later diagnosed as “lifedrain”. I will give you all one guess as to why it earned its name. Thankfully, Magnus resisted it due to a high tolerance.
In the middle of the night, the group was attacked again by an unknown creature. Kaja was on watch, and instead of waking anyone up, she charged at it. The creature supposedly caused severe panic in her, magically, and we can only be grateful that her screams woke the rest of the party up. Halien chased her down on his horse, ran alongside her, and physically knocked sense into her, then rode her back into camp.
The next day, the group came closer to the lake. Friedrich informed the rest of the group that, from his studies in The Spirits, he had learned that the water was inhabited by a being that would trade meat for potions. Many members of the group knew what he was talking about, and tried to dissuade him from trading with Spirits. He shrugged them off, however, saying that it wasn’t a big deal.
When they reached the lake, they discussed the trading, and decided that they would split up and hunt, as well as search for the Leopard.
Their hunting went on, and Priscus and Friedrich returned to camp with large and fair amounts of food, respectively. Kaja and Parolles, meanwhile, who had been hunting together, spotted Czar in a tree, and were attacked. Kaja held her ground against the leopard, while Parolles went back to get help. Thankfully, the rest of the group heard Kaja’s battlecry, and was already on their way to where it had come from. As Kaja fought the Leopard, Priscus and Friedrich showed up, and bombarded the creature with magic. Outnumbered and severely injured, the Leopard fled. Parolles tried to track it down, but lost it in the trees. Kaja, meanwhile, almost collapsed due to the extent of her injuries.
Halien was not fazed by the Leopard’s escape, however, and set several traps near where it had been seen before, using the meat that the group had found while hunting as bait. They then watched, and waited. As it came close to night, however, the Leopard had yet to step into the trap. The rest of the group persuaded Halien to come back to the camp and revisit the traps in the morning. It was just as well. As while waiting, Halien had been bitten by a frost-fly.
The next morning, Halien was sick with windchill, but upon searching the traps they found that the Leopard had been caught. With a realization of how much money they would receive by taking the Leopard alive, Halien and Magnus tied it up and left with it. Kaja was noticeably perturbed by this, as she wanted it to be killed.
However, as the living Leopard was carried away, it kept slipping back into consciousness, and the trees, ground, and lake began to quiver. Friedrich and Priscus went to offer their meat to The Spirit, but learned through a strange conveyance of emotions that The Spirit would only accept Czar dead or free, never imprisoned. The two realized that it was dangerous to start a war with a Spirit, and offered to help it by killing Czar. When they made this offer, The Spirit gave them magical powers beyond their comprehension, and teleported them to where the rest of the group was.
Meanwhile, Kaja was trying to get to Magnus and Halien so she could kill the Leopard, however, they were avoiding her, and blocking it from her. Just then, Friedrich and Priscus teleported to the area, and stood between Kaja and the rest of the group, radiating with spiritual energy.
Kaja ignored this, and still tried to move in and kill the Leopard. However, Friedrich paralyzed her with his newfound magic power.
Meanwhile, Priscus refused Magnus’s offer via his new, powerful magic. With the Spirit energizing him, he stopped time, killed the Leopard, and then, for his own resources, created a massive amount of iron.
With the leopard dead, there was nothing else for the group to do. They had no choice other than to leave. With no way to carry the massive amount of iron, they left it there, and later reported it to me. We in my honest opinion, we should try to allocate our resources to it, but I understand if that is not possible at this point.
When the Slayers returned, I was caught in the middle of a debate between Priscus and Halien. Halien argued that Priscus and Friedrich should not have fraternized with The Spirits, wheras Priscus argued that they had done it out of fear for what the being was capable of. At first, neither side seemed to be a defensible position. However, I soon found that they had all acted in the best interest of The Citadel. Despite this, however, I sided with Halien, who seemed more level-headed, as opposed to Priscus, who had literally taken a spirit’s power into himself. I will submit this report, and in time appropriate penalties will be decided on for the Slayers. For now, we will have them return to their missions as normal. The group is very much in need of magic specialists.
-High Priest, Nový Poradie