On February 2nd, Year 5, while the Citadel House Adventurers plan a trip to the gnomes to investigate the escape of many creatures from the Archivist menagerie, word arrives that Torren (a long time fugitive imprisoned months before) has disappeared from his cell in the prison. Several rush to find him:
- Agon (HuS): Level 4 Elf Magic-user (Mind Harm and Travel)
- Conan (MiM): Level 4 Elf Vampire Magic-user (Fire and Wind)
- Caramon (CoB): Level 2 Human Fighter
- Ale’filia (DaS): Level 2 Elf Cleric of the Living Water
- Mark (JaH): Level 2 Halfling Thief
- Ragnvaldr (TrS): Level 1 Human Fighter
With five days of food, they make their way to Iron Fields, an hour or so South of the prison, where they spend the night having been slowed by snow on the roads after the weekend blizzard. In the morning, they make their way to the prison.
Percy shows them Torren’s cell, where two loaves of bread on the ground indicate he can’t have been gone longer than since Saturday night. Further searching indicates that the stone in a corner of the cell was magically reshaped. Finding him in none of the other cells and with no sign of tracks around the prison, Agon summons animals from the surrounding woods and asks the squirrels if they’ve seen a human wandering or a yellow spotted animal (the cheetah he can become). On squirrel says he has and is willing to lead them to the place for some nuts.
The squirrel leads the party to the southern bank of the East Confluence river North of the prison, where he indicates that he saw the cheetah on the far shore. They give him his nuts and cross, most of them in an ice boat made by Ale’filia, but Ragnvalder and Caramon wading across to start a fire on the far side (to dry themselves). While they dry, the others inspect the bank, finding an unusual density of animal tracks in the snow. They decide that this is indicates that he called an animal to replace his monkey.
Mark manages to find human tracks accompanied by bear tracks traveling North. He tracks them North, turning west. As they go, an ogre attacks. Though it wields only a bush it pulls up before charging, it nearly kills Mark before Ale’filia heals him from the brink of death. They bring down the ogre and loot it, continuing on the track.
While they make camp, on Ale’filia’s watch Ragnvalder and Ale’filia speak with an orc that arrives in wolf form with his wolf companion. Informed of the fugitive they pursue, the orc assures them that the Union of Schek will keep a watch for him in order to fulfill their extradition agreement. He also warns them to ignore voices from the woods to the North, as there are Razorbacks hunting in the area.
In the morning, the trail continues West. As Mark tracks, he looses the bear tracks, but the human prints go on. The tracks approach a formation of rocks from which an arrow springs, piercing deep through Conan’s non-functional lung. They rush the formation of rocks, Caramon’s shield catching the next arrow.
They scramble at the rocks, some searching, some climbing, Conan taking bat form and flying to the top of the formation, and Agon casting a teleport. They hear Torren rustling above, but mishaps plague their attack, first with Agon teleporting Caramon above Ragnvaldr to fall on him. Conan finds a chimney on top of the rock formation, but the snow is all untouched. When Ale’filia finds a hidden door, they all gather in front of the new opening waiting for Agon to finish a powerful spell.
An deep terror overwhelms all of them suddenly, except for Conan still on top of the formation. They run, but Ale’filia soon gets control, rushing back with her watery sharks, the others following. Meanwhile, Conan becomes a bat again and dives down the chimney, the sun damage he takes nearly ending him. In the kitchen below, he is attacked by Ale’filia’s lead shark before leaping into the pantry and shutting himself inside. Ale’filia soon frees him and they all search the magically shaped home.
In the bedroom, they find a hidden door that has been magically sealed closed. Ragnvalder starts breaking down the stone door while the others loot. The door opens to a small passage that leads to a back door they can tell Torren took but the cleared snow. They pick up the trail again, but Mark continues to falter in his tracking and Torren hurries ahead of the wounded and fatigued party.
They come to the West Confluence river, where Torren took cheetah form to swim across the river. They cross by boat again, not finding tracks on the other side. Confident that he would have diverted down river, they follow the bank South, searching for tracks, but find none. As they pass the blight, Nekolyns invite them to return and search the bunker again. With their food supply running short, they return to the Vale empty handed.
In Citadel, they report the events to Matthias and distribute the loot.
Torren’s escape has been a long time coming, and with the blizzard covering his tracks, this was the time. The party managed to get on his trail, but by the time any of them actually got into the facility, he had had plenty of time to bar the hidden door and that gave him all the head start he needed to reach the river and loose his inexperienced tracker. There best shot was when Caramon was nearly teleported into the facility while Torren when opening the secret passage. Had Agon’s teleport been the right direction they may have had him, or Caramon may have been killed.