[*]Back in Stonetop, Dap and Gavin discover signs that Fang was attacked near to his home; there’s a small pool of blood, and then a trail that leads to the north gate. Dap attempts to calm a frantic Eli and tells the boy that there is still hope the dog is okay.
[*]They also learn from Pryce, the owner of the public house, that there were some trappers who came in spoke of a man heading out of the north gate and muttering something about “one life for another”. It seems this was Sigurd. They now suspect that the missing blacksmith and the missing dog are related, and that Sigurd attacked and absconded with Fang.
[*]Outside the north gate, Gavin and his wolf Thorin quickly find Sigurd’s tracks heading down the switchbacks toward the Great Forest. Dap and Gavin supply themselves and then head out in pursuit.
[*]They find a campsite where they believe Sigurd may have stayed the night before. Gavin uses his Spirit Tongue ability to locate a nearby line of proud trees, whose spirits are the sentinels of the forest. Gavin calls the spirits forth and asks them about the man who came through here. The spirits of the trees say that the man who passed this way is heading toward darkness, and that he has darkness within him.
I'll just copy/paste what led us to the front of Eli and Aedelfred's house to the signs of Fang being attacked near the home:
Gavin makes a move at the north gate to Seek Insight, rolling +Wis. He's got one of his 3 wolves with him (the others are herding the goats as is their responsibility). His wolf has Keen Senses as a tag, so he can smell blood et al; advantage on the move. Gets a 10 so 3 questions and Advantage when acting upon an answer. He only asks 2. What he finds:
A trail of blood at he north gate leads both into The Great Wood and into Stonetop, terminating in front of the house of Eli and his brother Aedelfred (the bellows-pump who was the primary cause for the huge fight between Sigurd and Trys). There, Gavin finds a heavier pool of blood and some spatter.
Dap decides to go to the public house where the collective and any travelers gather in the morning for breakfast/daily communion to see if anyone saw anything (sort of a Consort Action roll in Blades Parlance or a Streetwise in 4e etc). This triggered a Know Things move using Stonetop's Population +0 resulting in 7-9 (something interesting...its on the players to make it useful).
Father Bryce relays to Dap that he heard two Trappers from out of town spotted Sigurd with the walking stick and sack and mumbling to himself about a sacrifice?
The trappers are still there eating their breakast. Dap decides what he has learned is informative enough so he doesn't press the matter by attempting to consort with the two trappers for further information.
Dap and Gavin load out (I didn't mention above, but this move is called Outfit) for their potentially day long exploration of the cliffs and The Great Wood wilderness to the north. They bring Thorin the wolf with them and Dap brings his trusty lantern and source of invocations with him to literally and symbolically light the way (more on that later).
The trek down the cliffs is a dizzying series of switchbacks and it takes a good chunk of the rest of the morning and afternoon to get into the ascending hills of The Great Wood. The trek through the wood is arduous and brutal. It doesn't affect Gavin as he has Trackless Step (he makes no sound, leaves no trace, and hindering and treacherous terrain does not impact him negatively) but if they want to gain on Sigurd and catch him before something terrible happens, they need to increase their pace relative to his. He uses his Stock to mark his companions so they are similarly blessed by Danu with Trackless Step (Level +Int mod so 2 other companions can be marked). Because of this, they make tremendous time to the ridgeline.
There, they find Sigurd's relatively fresh camp with embers and cinders of his firepit still aglow and smoldering.
Great, ancient trees of the forest dot the ridge line. Gavin pulls out his pouch and marks them with 1 more Stock and uses Call the Spirits to communicate with the ancient primal spirits of the trees.
When you perform a short ritual and invoke the spirit(s) of a place or object, spend 1 Stock. The spirit(s) manifest before you and will hear what you have to say. What they do next is up to them.
The trees tell them that their friend has been seduced by The Dark Below, a terrible entity that has whispered promises into the vulnerable hearts of men for an age and more...for a steep price. Their friend has a terrible burden and a vulnerable heart filled with anger and sorrow. They'll find him making his offering to The Dark Below not far from here.
They have what they want so they thank the ancient spirits and press on, easily picking up his trail (again Seek Insight + Advantage). Dap, having confirmed that Trys's visions of terrible things moving underfoot is, in fact, true is glad to have his lantern in his hand and his God of Light's invocations in his breast. He will put them both to good use in the battle against both the real and symbolic darkness to come.