The PC party emerged from the crevasse. They planned to travel to the land of the Valley Folk, guided by blind Gar-Gun’s instructions. Their path would take them through the willow forest, back across the plains of tall grass. Their group consisted of 10 characters, most with 7 stones but a few (Soft-Touch and most of thew NPCs) only have 6.
As they traveled, Thick-Brow the hunter noticed furtive movements in the tall grass. They were being encircled by a pack of 11 Dire Wolves! (5 Core stones, 1 Bite).
The PCs withdrew into a defensive formation, and waited for the wolves to come. Few of the PCs had missile weapons they could afford to throw (just a few rocks, for the most part), so they were not able to do much damage to the wolves as they advanced.
Thunder-Gut drove back three of the dire wolves with his mighty roar. Then the wolves charged!
Some of the PCs tried to emulate Thunder-Gut‘s trick, but they couldn’t quite pull it off. Far-See faced one wolf alone, suffering a bite to his shoulder and a claw across his face, half-blinding him with his own blood.
Thick-Brow defeated the pack leader, throwing the pack into some disarray.
Green-Leaf managed to disable two wolves by throwing emetic herbs wrapped in bear meat.
Spring-Thorn took on two wolves, assisting Big-Hand and his two companions, Dark-Meat and Rock-Head. Big-Hand kept one of the wolves busy himself, and was slowly whittled down almost to defeat before Spring-Thorn drove it off and killed it with a final thrown rock.
Soft-Touch threw untainted bear meat between two wolves to distract and satiate them. Her proto-dog, Dig-Dig, fought alongside her mate Thunder-Gut. Together they defeated two of the wolves, suffering numerous small wounds.
In the end the remaining dire wolves were driven back, but at a great cost. Far-See and Dark-Meat lay dead in the tall grass! Both had been wounded to -1 stone. The healers (Little-Mountain and Green-Leaf) checked to see whether anything could be done for them, but they were beyond the normal healing arts.
So Green-Leaf called upon the Willow Spirit, asking it to keep Far-See‘s soul from departing. By fire, she sacrificed her willow staff and the willow strand they’d found on the marked mammoth. The magic seemed to work – but still Far-See did not breathe. Perhaps his body needed to be prepared to accept his spirit back in? Little-Mountain busied herself ‘healing’ the dead bodies, while swift warrior Spring-Thorn was sent to the willow forest (perhaps 2 miles away) to collect more fallen willow twigs and vines for a sacrifice to save Dark-Meat. Thick-Brow followed her in case she needed help.
At the edge of the forest, Spring-Thorn heard Far-See‘s voice! The Willow Spirit had ’caught’ him, and was holding his soul there. Spring-Thorn and Thick-Brow returned with the sacrificial materials and with news of Far-See‘s presence in the forest. Green-Leaf quickly repeated her ceremony for the departed Dark-Meat, and then the group marched on to the forest – whereupon, as they entered, Far-See and Dark-Meat’s souls returned to their bodies, and awoke!
Green-Leaf won the session’s experience point, adding it to her Willow Spirit Lore.