28. Wealsun 996 AF
Stor conjures an unseen servant that collects coins that have fallen down from the tables. Rurik follows an Oldblood who sneaked away into the corridor to the sleeping quarter, and drives him away as he wanted to break in into a room – the room of the Halfling. The Halfling – it appears that he is a scribe of House Sivillian, one of the blessed houses – is on his way to Brightstone to write contracts about land. The Halfling thanks and rewards the heroes and goes to sleep.
Rurik and Eddard talk with the Priest of Thyr – Jaffron – and gather some news. Jaffron is travelling the lands in search for a fellow cleric named Aidan. Aidan is the designated successor of the Highpriest of Thyr in Alsyenna, Bandalon. Both Aidan and Bandalon have a progressive understanding of the Faith, embracing diversity, and preaching peace and co-existence rather than orthodox purity. However, Lord Dunstan brought another cleric into town, a high-ranking priest of Thyr named Duncan, who aims to take over the leadership of the church. Unfortunately, Aidan vanished without a trace about a week ago. It would shape the character of the Church considerably when Duncan takes over the leadership. Bandalon is quite old, and the succession can take place any day. Jaffron set out to search for Aidan, but has no real plan than trusting Thyr. He asks the heroes if they have any information, but they can’t help the priest.
Next, the heroes talk with the two Children of Light. They look quite tired. It appears that Lord Dunstan has not enough soldiers under arms to keep the roads clean of robbers or other intruders, to the Children stepped in. However, there are more and more threats in the countryside, taxing their resources. In order to cover more ground, they had to split their patrols, resulting in very small groups. The Children heard about a group of bandits that prey on travelling settlers in a bridge down the road to Brightstone. The heroes offer their help and the group decides to travel together tomorrow at the first light.
1. Richfest 996 AF
After an early breakfast, the heroes join the Children of Light in their patrol. They head into the direction of Brightstone. The streets are mostly clear, only now and then facing some travelers on route to Alsyenna. And after two hours of uneventful travel, they meat a bloodied and beaten person – it’s the Innkeeper!
The group stops and interrogates the beaten-up Oldblood. He admits that he was attacked by a band of robbers at the bridge, but instead of just taking his money, they also took his son!
The Children move forward, but the heroes stay a bit longer as they realize that this was not the whole story.
“It was terrible”, sobs the innkeeper.
“They realized that my son is cursed, and they said that he will now join them. I tried to fight them, but I had no chance! Please help to free my son, we can’t let him fall into the hands of these abominations!”
The heroes agree and send him back to the inn.
After two more hours, the group arrives at the bridge. Kharamon investigates the site and finds signs of a recent fight. A trail of footprints lead south. After a while, the group arrives at a well that leads to a larger mound. A two-by-two meter opening yawns at the side of the mound and leads into its depths. A small bonfire burns in front of the entrance and provides heat for a simple roast. Four of the robbers – the same that the heroes encountered a day ago – sit around the campfire, enjoying some wine, and waiting for the roast to finish.
The heroes move in and attack. However, the robbers are tougher opponents than expected. Although clad in simple and worn gowns, and only equipped with simple armor and crude weapons, they give the heroes a hard time. They are also Awakened, and Earth Magic is infusing their body, making the strikes hard as stone and their skin resilient to blows. It takes the heroes a considerable amount of their power to bring them down.
Unfortunately, one Child of Light lost his life in Battle. Rurik prays for the sould of the fallen Soldier. The surviving Child is also in bad condition and takes his comrade back to Alsyenna.
The heroes take short rest and decide to explore the mound.