For two days they plodded in silence, each lost in their own reverie, as they considered the days which had gone before. For most it had been their first encounter with Chaos, their previous duties being the maintenance of law and order or shows of strength when a bandit party approached the town. This was different on a very real, very visceral way. Though for some there was satisfaction in the dispatching of so many foul Chaos spawn, the cost that had entailed was weighing heavily.
Any attempt to speak or make light of the events at Black Rock was met with a silent contempt from the others and a sharp look from their commander, Anaxippos. There was no place for levity in their hearts and only when they could see the townsfolk of Queenscliff, the people going about their day to day routine, could they finally relax.
Hesiod would continue to mutter to himself and complain of broken sleep for weeks for it was his gladius that cut down an ogre-child. Turtle too, having slain a handful of ogres and corrupted militiamen, looked haggard and drawn and not even his favoured strumpet could silence the cries in his ears. Del, having faced death and survived, was outwardly triumphant but every night would clutch and claw at the night air until his commander ordered him to stand down and he could lose himself in the oblivion of drink and stop the dreams.
Of the file, Zakary seemed most stoic. His anger at finding the Hazia farm was perhaps eclipsed by the remorse he felt at the slaughter but he seemed to have grown in the experience. His thoughts would stray to the thought of the solitary baboon, now carrion, and the people who burned in the fallen Temple of Yelmalio. The lesson was learned that with Chaos, there could be no retreat, no surrender, no ground given.
Anaxippos involved himself in the routine of drill and practise. He marched in full armour, weighted with stones. He fought shadows in the noonday sun as if the light of Yelmalio might cleanse him. And no-one could tell if the salty rivulets that ran down his body were just sweat from exertion.
News of the massacre at Black Rock spread quickly and it became known as an accursed place. Cries were heard for a full company, with Rune Lords and High Priests to be sent from the Sun Dome to cleanse it of whatever great wrong had been committed.
But that is another story.
[See the Actual Play report on RPG.net.]