Session 28 PART ONE: Convoy to Ravenholm
Cast- The King’s Recruits: Averlon Blackwood, Edran Laraneth, Fargrim Stoneborn, Gareth 2.0, Horiam and Kriv
Rings of NPCness: Hemingway, Mia and Nimaketh
Noteworthy NPCs: General Fletcher, Laeroi
The Platinum Knights stand amidst the busy congested streets of the refugee camp. Before them lay the corpses of five Tri-Kreen and the unconscious Shade that they had just saved. The humanoid looks exhausted and dishevelled, apparently on the run for a long time. Fargrim tends to the wounded shade while Edran examines the bodies of the Tri-Kreen, particularly the magical bonds on their arms. He discerns that the magical manacles around the Tri-Kreens’ arms are part of a necrotic ritual that dominated the creatures will—The dark magic had turned them into thralls, compelled to complete an order above all other needs, even the need to eat and rest.
The shade awakens and Horiam opens dialogue between the groups. The shade introduces himself as Averlon, and he is thankful for their assistance. Averlon lived to the far north regions, in the desert of Zaranthas. Two months ago he had gone out with an expedition into the desert and they had encountered a small army led by a kobold in dark robes who had summoned something large and terrible from beneath the sands of Zaranthas. He was the sole survivor of the group and had been on the run ever since. The group surmise that this kobold would be Meepo and all agree that this troubling news should be relayed to General Fletcher and the rest of the Platinum Knights.
Averlon says that he was compelled to flee for Erahlor because of a letter given to him by his friend, Beric, telling him to seek out Fargrim in Rovnol. Fargrim vaguely remembers the dashing and dramatic cleric, recalling that he may have broken his nose at one point in his mercenary career. Averlon regales the party with the tale of his escape to Erahlor and Kriv remains suspicious, believing that he is embellishing certain facts.
News from Zaranthas
The party agree to escort Averlon to the Platinum Spire to give his report to General Fletcher. Fargrim elects to stay behind in the refugee camp and marshal their 30 volunteers—the beginnings of their militia. He gathers the recruits and takes notes of their combat experience and backgrounds. He leads the 30 strong men and women into the industrial district of Rovnol to visit an armourer. Fargrim places an order for 30 sets of leather armour, shields, spears and 10 crossbows and adventurers kits for all recruits. Due to the war and high demand Fargrim is not able to haggle lower than 1,800gp for the lot. He shakes hands with the blacksmith and agrees to return in two days.
Fargrim leads the group of militia to one of his favourite alehouses called the “Trusty Maiden”. He tries to buy two barrels of dwarven ale to share with the militia, to break the ice and foster a good rapport with the recruits. Unfortunately Fargrim realises that his money purse is completely empty, having spent all of his personal funds in the last few days. Embarrassed, Fargrim leaves the alehouse and confronts the disappointed refugees, claiming that the alehouse was out of supplies. This moment is ruined when one of the beer maids from the Trust Maiden calls out ”Bye Fargrim! Come back when you’ve got more money!”
Suddenly under intense scrutiny from the refugees, Fargrim immediately proposes ”I’ll give each of you 1 gold piece to forget this ever happened—“ when he realises that he doesn’t even have the funds to do this. The refugees disband and return to the camps, disappointed, fed up and grumbling about the dwarf fighter.
Meanwhile the rest of the party escort Averlon through the streets of Rovnol to the Platinum Spire. Taking him to General Fletcher’s office, the shade retells his tale once more. Fletcher takes note of the information, grants Averlon his freedom to stay in the capital and a reward of 50gp for the information. The party split to conduct their own affairs.
Horiam and Kriv make a final visit to the Church of the Raven Queen to ask for dispensation to form an order of paladins to serve at the Temple in the Midnight Marshes. They discover the clerics in the middle of celebrations over the news of Ravenholm and Horiam, a struggling alcoholic, is almost tempted to partake in a celebratory wine, but Kriv convinces him otherwise.
Gareth 2.0 and Edran return and make a final visit to the Platinum Archives, loaning out a collection of books on dragonology, arcanic rituals and other tomes of knowledge. Gareth continues to investigate the magic that is preserving the golden dragon egg stored within his body. Fargrim returns to the Spire and speaks at length with General Fletcher about training advice.
That evening, Kriv heads out and buys two barrels of ale and gives them to the refugees, to celebrate the recent events. Fargrim asks Kriv to vouch for his character with the refugees and Kriv makes promises to do what he can.
The Next Day Kriv heads into the city and seeks out war donations to help fund the settlement of Ravenholm and he manages to raise 150gp.
The Secrets of Shadows
Averlon, seeking refuge and anonymity within the capital city, feels as though he is being following in the streets. He ducks into a street alley and climbs onto the rooftops to try and evade any pursuers.
After remaining on the run for most of the day he seeks out the only friendly faces he knows in the city. Averlon returns to the Platinum Spire and seeks the help of the party. Horiam makes plans to set an ambush in the Busty Wench, a gentlemen’s’ club that they had used before to set up clandestine meetings.
Gareth and Edran arrive at the club before Averlon. Horiam sneaks in and hides inside the cloakroom, waiting in ambush. The rogue enters the club and the party wait to spring their trap.
Horiam notices a woman enter the club. As she does so, he notices that her shadow splits in two—one shadow peels off into the cloakroom where Horiam is hiding.
A voice says: ”You keep with interesting friends, Horiam.”
Horiam recognises the voice as Laeroi, the agent of the Hand of Shadows. Laeroi discusses his interest in the shade, curious as to why a creature of the shadowfell has piqued the personal interest of Meepo’s dogs. Horiam is unsure why but states that the shade is no threat and is under his protection. Laeroi, satisfied, says that he will make contact again at Ravenholm. His shadow withdraws from the cloakroom and disappears.
Horiam keeps the conversation to himself, but notifies the party that Averlon is no longer being pursued. He suggests to the shade that it would be safer if he travelled with the party for the time being. With no other alternative, Averlon agrees. The party turn to the Spire and retire for the evening.
The birth of the Wolves
¬_*The Next Day*_ the expedition is ready to depart Rovnol. The Platinum Knights organise the militia and the dwarven engineers. They depart from the main city gates under much fanfare and celebration. Fargrim, eager to redeem his standing with the militia, intimidates the recruits and gets them marching in good order.
The expedition march north along the King’s Road, making good pace despite the cooling weather as winter settles over Eralhor. The march is largely uneventful.
On the second night a pack of wolves attack the encampment. The militia manage to fight them off with only a few scrapes, owing to Fargrim’s rigorous drills. Fargrim orders the four bodies skinned and the pelts delivered to him, thus inspiring the designation of the militia —‘the Wolves’.
The third night proves miserable as heavy winter rains douse the expedition. Edran pulls out a large tarp from his magical cloak but it does little to protect the ragged and wet band of recruits. They realise the effects during morning roll call when several recruits are taken ill and one man suffers the early stages of frostbite. The worst cases are allocated to the wagons while the rest march on.
After four days of marching the expedition arrive at the Temple of the Raven Queen. Hemingway greets them enthusiastically and the company spend a warm and dry night inside the Temple’s walls. Horiam occupies a corner of the temple and begins a quiet prayer group, taking the opportunity to enlighten and dispel the myths and fear regarding the Raven Queen to the interested militia.
As the night draws to a close, Kriv gathers the Wolves and the stonemasons close and gives an inspiring speech, praising them for making it and pointing out that tomorrow marks the new beginning in the war against Meepo.
GAME NOTES THIS SESSION
1,800gp spent from expedition account to outfit and supply militia
Averlon gains 50gp reward from Fletcher