As the battle with the skags died down, the Erin realized that she had killed Jimison, the runaway Marked, without taking his head. As the party advanced on the small fishing settlement, they saw him, now risen as a Hollow running off into the woods. Quickly surveying their surroundings, they noticed a foul smell and a pile of rotting bodies near the fire in the center of the gathering of shacks. Erin, now caring for the 10 year old Liam, another marked who had been kidnapped by Jimison opted not to give chase nor did Brynn who was hesitant to split the group up, wanting to stay with the almost catatonic Tanner. Marcus, his young veins flowing with the adrenaline of battle blindly chased the Hollow into the dark woods. Noticing that Marcus was alone, it turned to attack. After a short fight, the Maltherian called on the power of his dark lineage and killed Jimison and this time, properly took his head. Back at the settlement, Erin and Brynn made the grisly discovery that the corpses and the skags they killed were once the lost Eagle’s Talon 3rd Patrol. They also heard the missing Numerian that Jimison had overcome screaming for help within one of the shacks. Marcus took a burning branch and lit the thatched roof on fire, much to the dismay of the others in the party. Brynn and Marcus burst into the shack to find the missing Numerian, Flynn tied up and an Undead on the verge of becoming a Hollow, trying to resist the urge to feed on the man. Marcus cut the Numerian free while Brynn engaged the Undead. Once wounded, the Undead lost it’s remaining scraps of sanity and went hollow, attacking her. His poisoned saliva paralyzed Brynn who was saved by Erin who burst into the burning building shooting the Hollow and dragging her comrade to safety.
As the party caught its breath following their first ever fight as soldiers in the Army of the New Dawn, they set about the grisly task of beheading the felled Skags and Hollows. While taking care of the Hollow from the burning building, Marcus found a partially burned note clutched in its hand ( Session 1 – Partially Burned Letter ). The note was from an unnamed person who was evidently part of an organization of Undead owing allegiance to “The Black Sun”. The note was pleading with the addressee to join the forces of the Black Sun which would remain in the area and mentioned an upcoming conflict.
Meanwhile, Erin was tending to the traumatized Liam, she noticed that the darkness around his eyes was streaking from his tears, like a stain or mud. Upon further questioning, he reluctantly admitted that he was not Marked. His mother was Marked and had been taken to the Asylum. It was his goal to fake the Mark so that he could go to be with her. Erin did not draw the rest of the part’s attention to this discovery.
Realizing that the number of bodies and other evidence in the village pointed to a larger force than the skags they had just killed, the party rushed to get back to the Dawn Patrol encampment. They were greeted by the sounds of battle. Marcus, calling on the power of his dark ancestry transformed into an owl and rushed ahead without consulting with Brynn, who was appointed the leader of the group by Brecht. Erin momentarily ran into the woods with Liam and told him to hide in a tree till the battle was over. The party arrived just in time to help turn the tide of the battle as the three encamped Dawn Patrols had been set upon by a large number of Hollows and Skags apparently under the control of a man in full plate armor (a rarity and sign of great wealth). After the battle ended, over half of the Dawn Patrol’s numbers had been killed.
Calling the survivors together, Brecht laid out plans to split into two groups. He and the other surviving Decanus would take half of the Numerian and rush towards High Temple to report and to seek reinforcements. Meanwhile, Brynn would take leadership of the remainder of the force and escort the remaining Marked to the nearby town of Munson. There they were to alert the population to the danger in the area and fortify the town as best as possible. Upon arrival Brynn was to give control of the men to Justicar Tillman, who lived in Munson and was a retired veteran Decanus.
As preparations were made to depart, Brecht called Brynn to his tent. There he made her promise to keep Animus Emilia alive and safe as it was a promise he had made to her dead mother. He felt that the greater risk lay with the group heading back to High Temple as whoever was behind the attacks would want to delay report of their presence as long as possible.
At the end of the session, the party was making preparations to leave the encampment for the town of Munson at first light…