GM: Walking into the village you can see that of the 30 huts that made up the village, only 9 of them are left standing. In the center of the village, the ‘circle of elders’ which had all elders living in a circle around the chief elder’s hut. You can see that only one of the circle is left standing.
Walking through the remains of the village you see the scattered bodies of the dead mixed among the downtrodden bodies of the living. As you walk past, one man you know sits on the ground staring off into the distance. He looks up as you pass, making eye contact, and saying nothing. Others are sorting through the remains of thier huts, finding what belongings they can, others appear to be trying to rebuild, while yet others are dragging bodies to the outskirts of the village.
Reaching the circle, you can see that the hut standing is not the Chief’s. You can also clearly see that your family’s hut is one of those that has been destroyed. While not burned, it lays in a pile of thatch and wood poles upon the ground. A body lays on the ground outside the hut where the door once stood.
Tok: Rush over to the body to see who it is, and if there’s anything we can do. Concerned that Strongleaf may die from the poison before we can get to him. If this is not him, we’ll need to go to the standing Elder’s hut to see if he’s there. We’ll do all we can to help, but must deal with Strongleaf first before it’s too late for him.
GM: The body is that of your father. He’s been bludgeoned to death. His body is stiff and the blood is dried. You conclude that he’s been dead for about a day. His legs are buried beneath the rubble of the hut. Whiteflower falls to her knees beside the body. She raises her arm to the heavens and cries out “NOOOOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOO!” She refuses to go to the Elder’s hut and instead seems determined to cry try to clean his face, and no doubt try to give him a decent burial. She then begins to look around frantically. She looks up at you with terror, pain, and tears in her eyes. “Where’s Mom?!? Where’s Strongleaf?!?” She starts to tear at the remains of the hut, throwing pieces to the side.
Tok: A father’s place is with his family. There’s a good chance he was killed while defending his family, so I’ll hastily dig through the hut remains to see if the rest of our kin is indeed there.
GM: Both you and Whiteflower dig through the remains of what was once your home. Just behind the body of your father Whiteflower finds the remains of your mother with a stab wound showing on her back. You fight back the grief and continue digging. Eventually you find the crumpled body of your brother. Through the turmoil you almost don’t notice the small rise and fall of his chest. He’s alive, but unresponsive.
Tok: “It is too late to help our Mother and Father,” I say to Whiteflower, “but we may still be able to save Strongleaf if we hurry.” Let’s carefully create some space around him so that we can give him the medicine we’ve worked so hard to get…and do that!
GM: You clear the rubble from on top of and around him. He’s laying on what’s left of a straw mattress so you keep him there for comfort. Whiteflower holds Strongleaf’s head up for you as you give him some of the concoction. He remains unresponsive but swallows the medicine.
“I’ll stay here and watch him” Whiteflower says softly.
Tok: I’m tempted to stay and try some medicine work, but don’t really know yet what that would entail. I’ll leave the medicine with her just in case, and I’ll go to the remaining Elder’s hut to see if I can learn what has happened here and what we can do to help. I’m also keeping an eye out for a suitable dried gourd to snatch up.
GM: On the way back to your siblings you see Bluesky – a friend of your father’s. He tells you that early this morning, just as the sun before the sun rose, the village was attacked by a horde of foul smelly beasts with pig-like noses. The rushed into the village from all sides, setting huts on fire. Some of them rode on strange snarling animals. As people ran out of their huts the invaders captured any and all of the young women – killing any men or older women who got in their way.
You look around and for the first time notice that the only survivors are men and elderly women, and a baby or two from the sound of it. But no young women or girls.
Tok: I will ask Bluesky if there is any plan to track down these beasts and try to find our tribespeople. We can talk about this if he has anything to say, and then I will go check on my siblings.
GM: Bluesky tells you that SkyTerror (an ambitious 14 year old so named because the night he was born the skies let loose an electric flurry from hell that had the baby screaming and crying all night) has been trying to drum up folks to go get the women back. Bluesky is far too old to be of use so he declined and is dragging bodies out of the village to be burned. He says that SkyTerror and the others are at the river bed finding flint so that each of them can fill up on arrows and spears.
You walk back to what was once your hut. Your sister is there cleaning up – dragging the wood, straw, and thatch to the ‘outside’ of the hut. In front of the hut there are two human shaped mounds underneath a layer of straw.
Tok: How is Strongleaf? I’ll see if there’s anything I can do to help him. I’ll fill Whiteflower in on what I’ve learned, and tell her too that I wonder if the hut by the river that we saw has anything to do with these pigmen. I’m concerned that the troop is setting off without any knowledge of what’s out there. If Whiteflower feels she can take care of our brother, perhaps I should go to check on the others at the river, and investigate the hut we saw. What are her thoughts?
GM: Strongleaf remains unchanged. Whiteflower’s eyes are filled with tears and her face is red. She hastily agrees and yells “I want to find whoever did this and make them suffer!” as she throws a beam to the edge of the ‘hut’. A sob escapes her as she cries out “and we need to bury Mom and Dad. Those bastards!”
She says she’ll be find staying here while you go check things out.
Tok: I say to Whiteflower, “I fear this may not be over. If the pigmen believe they have what they want from us they have no reason to return for some time, but really there is nothing to stop them from coming back again. You can save our brother, but you will need to be vigilant here. There is much to be done here, and I suggest that you try to organize shifts to watch for other threats. Would that I could stay here with you, but I feel I can do more good for our people if I go. Know that my love is with you and Strongleaf, and the rest of our peole. I will return as soon as I can.”
And so saying I will hurry off to the river.
GM: She bids you as much adieu as an emotional woman with a spear and a loincloth can do and you head off.