December 24th: After setting up camp for the night, the watches were attacked by a quickling: a supernaturally fast fey, that was running between carts and tents, and cutting guards as they set watch. It seemed to have a thing for Aplenka, and it managed to kill one guard before he could go back for healing.
December 25th: In the morning, the party checked some abandoned buildings, finding a barracks and a former smithy among other damaged structures. Koya demanded the party bury the guard, and went with them to the nearby cemetery. The cemetery was meticulously maintained, and it appeared that Spivey, a lyrakien and devout Desnite, had been keeping this cemetery peaceful for the last decade or so. Spivey was suspicious of the interlopers until Koya performed a moving ceremony for a fallen traveler in the presence of Desna. Spivey warned that Brinewall castle was occupied by “crazy bird men”, and encouraged the party to clear them out.
Camp was moved into the barracks. Aplenka scouted the castle, finding one gatehouse, several watch towers, two fortified siege positions and 20’ stone walls. Some humanoids walked on top of the walls from time to time.
Mechanics note: Quicklings are only invisible when they have not moved for at least one round. Given a dark night, lots of cover, shadows and overgrowth, and a +18 Stealth modifier it can generally find a good place to hide moving at half speed (60’) with no Stealth penalty. It is then visible until it goes a round without moving… but searching an area that large wasn’t easy. When Aplenka was getting stabbed from under wagons, she would have had an AoO as it left (though the quickling would have cover and miss chance) if she wasn’t using a reach weapon. Harassment is the fey specialty, so it’s safe to assume it’s coming back soon, once the quickling sees an advantageous situation again.