Moooving Along
  • The group is recruited by a local Thane to bring his tribute to the King in Yorvik
  • They quickly discover that the tribute consists of herds of cattle and sheep
  • Along the way, they encounter some starving refugees, and leave them some rations and sheep
  • Accosted by a Jarl and his warband, out hunting orc raiders, they’re ordered to hand over a significant number of animals. They’re talked down to a single head of sheep. Things nearly come to blows, but cooler heads prevail.
  • The group convinces the Jarl and his men that the orc raiders are in the wrong direction, back where the group had been, and sends him off.
  • Two nights later, the group is attacked by a group of Orcs riding on Wargs, which they defeat handily.
  • Arriving in Yorvik, they are able to deliver the tribute, collect their fee, and tell the tale of their exploits as Orc-Slayers!
  • The group hears a crier announce that the King has placed a bounty on the head of a bandit known as Deathhrafen, about whom many legends are told.
  • The party elects to rest up in Yorvik for a few days, and discusses their next move while they do so.
The Eostre Festival

Could use some of the other NPC names, or at least have them corrected, add anything I missed
note.. though this log post is shown to have been created by Signy (because I failed to notice that she had left herself logged into OP) this was posted by Davrim :)

It is the first day of spring, after the birth of the first lamb in the year 500.

A group of three adventurers and glory hounds approach the village of Nohaut to attend the festival and participate in the contests. Upon approaching the herald who is handling the visitors and their disposition, the Ritter Signy of clan Hafocing is told that she would be put up in the long house in one of the Jarl’s thains but she would only be allowed one guard, where upon she is handed 2 bronze tokens with a wolf head. She proceeds to ask for some dispensation, perhaps there was something she could do to allow her to keep both of her man-at-arms nearby? She was told that there might be something, and the man held out his hand. She decided to offer 20 gold sceilds hoping it would be enough to earn her second swordsman a token, luckily it is.

A pair of blue adventurers enter the village about 2 hours later, they attract attention and disdain as one of them is frostborn. With a look of distate the frostborn is told by the herald that he may camp in the palisade, but it must be far back in the corner, behind the latrine line. His companion, a Taiga elf from the far north, is told she may camp more towards the entrance to the palisade. They are both handed tokens to show that they are allowed to be in the village. Boreal, the Frostborn, tells Snowblade the Taiga that he is happy with his accomodations. “It could be worse, it could be IN the latrine.” To which Snowblade responds, “Like last time?”

Signy, the Saxa noble woman is informed by her Tuomi bodyguard, Donnchadh, that he is expecting to meet with two others who will be joining them in their adventure. Davrim, her Anari bodyguard suggests that the three of them go to find them then.

The group joins up in the middle of town, Snowblade’s height and color making the connection very easy.

Both groups share that they have learned that there is to be an announcement made this evening, Snowblade inquires if the announcement would be about prizes as she was promised prizes by Boreal.

Later the group goes to the announcement. There is a ritual ceremony, an introduction of the spring queen, the spring princess and the spring maiden. They are described, in order, each being less attractive than the previous. Then Jarl Cuthwulf announces that there is to be a competition, the “prize” for the top three contestants shall be either marriage to the spring beauty of their choice or appropriate monetary value — for those who may be female or not ready for marriage.

The crowd is told the competition will be 5 seperate competitions: stamina, words, speed, observation, and general physical prowess. The contestants are fielded. The five PCs and 5 others from the crowd, including a berserker named Cissa, a merchant named Penda, a rich Theign named Husa, a poor Theign named Coelric and a farmer named Aldhelm. Each contestant makes a boast or a statement as they rise and take their place at the front of the moot house:
Donnchadh states his family line and claims that he will win all of the competitions
Cissa displays an arrogance that manages to insult Donnchadh
Signy states her clan name and claims her victory will bring glory to her family
Davrim states that he will win and bring honor to the goddess Eostre and bring glory to his employer’s family, Clan Hafocing
Snowblade states her parents’ names, that she came in the spirit of peace and exploration, and that in Eostre’s name she would win the tournament.
Boreal states – He will win no less than three of the competitions

After the competitors are set, Donnchadh approaches Cissa and challenges him to a fight to first blood since he insulted him. Most of the village goes with the pair and a ring is set up. The two fight, trading blows, but finally Donnchadh draws blood. With that Cissa goes berserk and continues to attack Donnchadh. Boreal and Signy use their magic to protect Donnchadh and restrain Cissa. The fight ends. Prior to the fight Boreal bet 50 gold sceilds on Donnchadh so he is able to collect 50 gold.

The morning of the first competition, Boreal is approached by a stranger who offers to provide a “surely winning” story that he can use for the competition for 50 Gold sceilds, he manages to talk him up to 60 with 40 now and 20 if he wins.

The first competition is words:
Davrim – tells a tale in auld saxa of three maidens, where the lesser beauty of the three using her wiles and talents gains the hand of the most eligible bachelor in her lands.
Donnchadh tells a tale in his native language that nobody there understands
Signy – Tells a poem of Saxa history about a saxa woman champion
Snowblade – Tells a poem of the last great romance of the extinct Salari people, and of the golden mask he had made of her once she was gone – the last stanza spoken in the forgotten tongue.
Boreal –
Cissa tells a bloody battle story of killing and gore, just the thing to not impress the three women who are the judges.

Davrim wins.

The second competition, the next day, is stamina. This is a drinking contest. The alchohol to be drunk is determined randomly.
First is meade – no problem
Second is another meade – still no problem for anyone, but Boreal notices that Penda is ending up with more drink on his shirt than in his mouth. Boreal whispers that he notices and tell him that he wants 100g to keep his mouth shut. Penda agrees.
Third is ale – still no problem for any of the competitors
Fourth is wine – still no problem for anyone
Fifth is Brandy – All competitors drop except for Cissa, Donnchadh, Boreal and Davrim. Snowblade passes out on Cissa’s shoulder.
Sixth is wine – The only competitor left standing is Cissa, everyone else is passed out and has to sleep off the drunk.

Cissa wins

Boreal finds a chance to approach Penda to get his payoff for being quiet, but Penda denies having done any such thing and would request weregild if Boreal continued to impunge his honor. Boreal relents, but keeps his eyes on him.

The third competition, the next day, is a contest of speed. This contest ends up being a horse race. While preparing to race, Boreal notices that Penda appears to be cheating again by rubbing some sort of ointment on his horse. He points his activities out to Husa who approaches the judge and gets Penda thrown out. As only one of the PCs knows how to ride a horse, the other contestants end up crossing the finish before any of the players except for Donnchadh.

The fourth competition is a competition of physical prowess. This is basically an obstacle course involving running around obstacles, swimming, jumping. In the end Davrim wins, followed closely by Boreal.

The evening prior to the last day, Boreal is approached by an unknown man. He discloses to Boreal that the next competition is an Eostre egg hunt. There will be gold colored and silver colored eggs and he has some to sell. Only 50 gold for the gold eggs and 15 gold for the silver eggs. Boreal takes him up on the offer and buys 4 gold eggs.

The PCs also pair up to try and get the PC competition leaders into the top. Signy teams with Davrim and offers to give all her eggs to him. Boreal arranges to share his winnings with Snowblade if she gives him her eggs. Donnchadh is left out in the cold and has to fend for himself.

During this competition, the most obvious and atrocious cheating of the whole festival was present. First while Davrim was searching for eggs, he discovered Coelric lying on the ground unconscious and bleeding and lying nearby he saw a bloody tree branch. Davrim applies some song magic to heal him and upon awaking he explained that Cissa came upon him and hit him and apparently took his eggs as they were nowhere to be found. He thanks Davrim and asks if he would speak against Cissa when he brought charges against him, in return he would give him half of the weregild. Davrim tells him that he would of-course do that for him as that was the right thing to do.

The second occurance was when Snowblade stumbled upon Cissa threatening Husa. She hid her found eggs behind a tree before approaching the two. Husa saw her and asked her to help him because Cissa had taken all of his eggs. Snowblade told Husa to leave, but he wouldn’t go without his eggs. After Snowblade attempted to shame Cissa into being manly and honorable, a fight occurred. Despite valiantly attempting to stand up to him, Snowblade eventually realized she was not going to win this fight, and with her main objective of getting Husa safely out of harm’s way accomplished, she yielded reluctantly — yet refused to bow and grovel as Cissa demanded. With Husa having run off already, Cissa left Snowblade there and headed out. Snowblade retrieved her eggs and continued searching, her wounds hampered her efforts and made her less successful than before.

After the ten hour time limit, the “helpers” passed their eggs on to their chosen teammate and a counting was made:
Boreal managed to find 37 points of eggs ( 3 for gold, 1 for silver ), this included the eggs he bought and those provided by Snowblade. Davrim came back with 21 points of eggs, 18 points of those being provided by Signy and her hawk.

After points were tallied and cheaters thrown out the Festival, competition results were Davrim winning, followed closely by Boreal with Husa in third, then Donnchadh
Prizes were:
Davrim 2000 Gs
Boreal 1000 Gs
Husa – Spring Maiden’s hand in marriage

After the competition Snowblade mentions to the rest of the group that she has learned of a Count north of here who is looking for adventurers to enter the long lost library of Sorcerer Kings. She claims we would be the first people to see it since it has been buried. We start discussing how to journey north. Davrim suggests purchasing horses, but finds that horses are not cheap to purchase here in town due to usual markup in prices surrounding the festival. Boreal manages to find a caravan going north in which we can all earn our passage by being guards. Signy, not wanting to work for her passage, manages to find passage where the caravan will pay her 100gs to have her four personal guards, two of whom finished first and second in the festival, act as caravan guards.

Prelude to Adventure
A New Saga Begins

In the fall of 495 IR, Cyning Kol Skulison of Nordmark died under mysterious circumstances, leaving his 15 year old son, Geirmund, his only heir. Barely a man and with little support, the boy was forced to flee while his uncles and cousins squabbled over his throne.

For two years a war of succession raged in the realm. Trade was all but cut off. Deals were brokered with questionable organizations and companies. For two years, none could claim victory, but most believed Jarl Erp, called The Crow as he was the first to attempt to lay claim over the dead king’s throne, would eventually rise victorious.

Then, the young Cyning Geirmund Kolson returned, riding at the head of a force of calvary bearing the banner of the Knights Hrafen. Relying on secret supporters of the rightful heir, he cut a bloody swath into Nordmark, smashing the armies of his would-be usurpers with great ferocity and without quarter. By the time his opposition thought to unite, it was too late. The Cyning had reclaimed Nordmark within six months.

Geirmund has sat on the throne of Nordmark for two years, but all is not well with the realm. Some fortunes rose, but most fell, on both sides of the conflict. Vast swaths of agricultural land lie fallow and burned, iron mines which the wealth of the realm depends remain empty. Blackened burned out timbers of razed villages and steads remain with no one left to rebuild them. Bandits still prowl the roads, and orcs and other foul things have been increasing in number in the mountains.

The same king who brought stability also is seen as responsible for much of the hardship. He unleashed his armies as soon as he returned to the realm, giving his foes no chance at parlay. In the eyes of many, the scorched earth policies and the atrocities of the Usurpers were a direct result of the Cyning’s heavy-handed approach, and no one forgets that while the peasants starved, the nobility dined in style and demanded their taxes be paid on time and in full.

Still, a new spring dawns. The fighting is over, at least on the battlefield. The Usurper Jarls, too politically powerful to be put to death, may still plot and plan, but for the rest of the realm, things slowly begin their return to normal.

It is now Waescdaeg in the second week of Eostremonan of the year 500 IR and already the Temple of Eostre has declared that the first new lamb was born, marking the beginning of Spring, which has come earlier than expected. Thrym has been driven back once more by Thunor and Eostre has returned, and with the thawing of the snows a new hope is dawning.

It is at this time that the tale of our heroes begins:
of Signy Kellsveinnsdohter, the scion of a noble house that fell upon disgrace in the fallout of the recent conflict seeking restoration of her family’s name;
of Davrim ap-Stavold, an Anari mercenary and novice skald who fought in Jarl Erp’s armies and discovered that his sword was for hire, but his honor was not for sale;
of Donnchadh “The Reckless”, a fierce Tuomi warrior whose Pyrrhic victory in his own peoples’ clan wars lead to the loss of his own dear wife along his exile from Clan MacFergal
of Snowblade, the Taiga-Elf who fears the failing magics of the White King means the end of her people’s way of life, who has discovered a personal love of this strange thing called “money” which is best sated by finding things others cannot;
and of Boreal Icewind, warrior and hrimwisard, a Frostborn who is trapped between two worlds, rejected and despised by his Finnar parents for his birth, and exiled from the Barony of Cul for his kindness.

What fates have the Norns woven in their loom for these worthy figures?

A New Beginning
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Rassilon...

A band of treasure-hunters, mercenaries, and outcasts gathers to seek fortune, wealth, and glory…

Quest for the 13th Shard Begins

• The grain salvaged from the wagons is sold for a few horses and a cart. The companions then make an uneventful trip back to Nara.

• The companions make their way to the manor to discover the Count has relinquished his authority over to the council. Count Froeche is seen in much improved spirits as he tells the companions he and an entourage will be leaving to find the Great Library of Paranax in two months’ time and that the companions were invited to travel and/or meet him there.

• A box and note is delivered to Mage Lady Orphelia whose author is soon discovered as the earth elementalist who destroyed the House of Lore, Vectamaris the “Worldbreaker.” Inside the box was the hand of Catriona.

• Keldrin spends a day re-establishing his spell of Sanctuary while the others revisit the abandoned mine for any clues of the whereabouts of Catriona; they only find pools of blood and a glyph-triggered voice of Vectamaris welcoming Orphelia and stating that they would meet again soon.

• The companions pore over a map of Rassilon and the poem titled “Winter’s Heart” to determine the most likely place of the 13th shard of Thrym’s heart. Elizabet also prays to Maera but receives scant insight.

• Eventually it was decided the companions would head to the town of Weatherly to start the search for the 13th shard, but would first stop at the Skald library of Scathmoor for additional research on the shard.

• The Count hosts a dinner for the companions the evening before the companions depart. The Count gives each companion a special gift to aid in the journies ahead. The next morning the companions bid the Count farewell and sets off for Scathmoor.

• The companions travel some ways before stopping for the day at The Refuge along the Crystalflow River.

Succor Without Solace
Skaldic Version

Translated from the Saxa into the Anari Tongue by Lorekeeper Tavin Knill

Dark days
and Darker Caverns
Fled the four
from a life-ban
Save Catriona,
the hero-hearted,
faced the lovers of Shadow
and was heard from
no more

Spell-Craft of Keldrin
returned he of stone and flame,
Grim-Born Orphelia,
Hawk-sighted Ripxian
to the caverns of Crase
Where they had once
stood fast
against the teeth
of The Winter-Lord

Bearing the
caresses of Dargar
and without
Var’s Blessing
Succor was given,
By the Knights
of the Hearth
Who honor The Pure One
A friend
They learned was there
and the Knights
prepared to march

Knight-Commander Locke
declared “the winter was
the weather of weapons,
Men of Valor
fed the ravens
and departed
for Scaetha’s Hall
When Jotun-fists
battered down The gates
of Watch-Gap
(and the Ice encroaches)”

“The orcs of
The Ice-Barrier
grow bold, bright sword-bearers
Play at war-making
But soon may play
Having delivered
this news did he
Gift the three
with bread and tarp
Shelter and succor
for the journey

“Fare well, friends
And may next we meet
in brighter-days”

Maera’s Faithful
Bearer of the Waxing Sickle,
did they encounter
“A sign! A Sign!”
Orphelia knew then
the path was god-chosen
And the Norns have woven
their knot

The road ahead was barren
But for ruined wagons
filled with grain
Footsteps were found
Which led
Horses burned
but frozen
Coldfire took them

A shadow grew on the ground
A cart fell
From the heavens
T’was a mighty Hellfrost Wyrm
Feasted on men and horses
but hungry still
for battle-sweat
A great battle! It swooped! It burned!
Jaws glistened
with Burning Ice
Cold-Fire scattered the heroes!

Ripxian’s arrows struck true
But the beast’s
he could not pierce
As it summoned
the Cold-Witchery
of it’s kind, Elizabet
prayed to Maera and Maera did come
and cut the moon-strands
denying the wyrm-craft
any hold.

Keldrin called wood’s bane
and the wyrm’s bane
it proved to be
Aflame did it flee
Into the mist
Into the cold
And was seen no more

Claiming the grain
as spoils
Borne by stone-men
of Heahwisardry
the journey continued
For Nara was still ahead
by many days
(and the sun sets)

Succor without Solace

• Beset on by the Cult of Niht, Mage-Lady Orphelia, Ripxian, and Talan were all teleported away by Keldrin’s cyclone of fire.

• Meanwhile, Catriona, having just escaped the mines, decided to return after Skullsplitter. Her status is unknown.

• The remaining party appeared in the cave, in Crase, where the rebel forces had previously taken up camp.

• The wounded and penniless companions made their way to the former Baron’s mansion where they were given healing droughts, food, and rooms.

• Knight-Commander Tristan Locke informed the party that Watchgap Fort had fallen and that the Orks seemed to be led by a greater intelligence. He also granted food and a tent for the journey back to Nara.

• The following morning, Ripxian returned from town with Elizabet, a Priestess of Maera. Mage-Lady Orphelia insists that she join them on their journey back to Nara.

• Along the journey, the companions came upon empty wagons full of grain. There, they were beset upon by a Hellfrost dragon.

• After a protracted battle, Keldrin’s Fyr set the dragon ablaze causing it to retreat.

• In order to cut their travel time, all agreed that Mage-Lady Orphelia’s stone bodyguards would each carry a large sack of grain to barter for horses at the Theign’s Stead.

Niht Reigns, Justice Wanes

• Count Froeche the Learned is taken back to his manor, during which in an attempt is made to create the illusion he was still in control of his faculties.

• The only member of the Cult of Niht in custody was interrogated, and after it was determined he knew nothing, the group agreed he would be “locked up” but then purposefully allowed to leave so he could be followed.

• The prisoner escapes as expected and is followed by Catriona.

• Mage-Lady Orphelia stays up all night drafting a document to officially, temporarily transfer all of the Count’s powers to her until the Count was able to resume his position, which Count Froech the Learned signs making her Chancellor of the County of Nara.

• Keldrin returns in the morning from The Golden Compass with Bernard Hardwick. Mr. Hardwick and Mage-Lady Orphelia then retreat to a private room to discuss the particulars of the ten (10) council members of Nara.

  • On the way to the Council Chambers, Mage-Lady Orphelia, Keldrin, and Talan stopped by the House of Lore ruins to ask Rip to go look for Catriona as she had not returned for some time now.

• The council meeting to win support did not appear to go well.

• Back at Count Froech’s manor, Keldrin found a note with a map from Ripxian.

  • Mage-Lady Orphelia, Keldrin, and Talan, following the directions Rip gave them, and arrows he’d planted as markers, met up with him outside the city after only a minor altercation with the city guard.

• At this point, they were certain they had found the Cult’s main base within the Count’s old goldmines.

• Entering into the mine pitted the companions with an earth elementalist and several cultists. His name turned out to be Vectamarus the Worldbreaker, and he bragged outright about having destroyed the House of Lore.

• Vectamarus became wounded seriously, and disappeared into the ground, but not before pledging to see the party again. The other Cult of Niht members, as well as a shadow elemental, were summarily snuffed out.

• Mage-Lady Orphelia, having cast a detecting spell, made her way forward in search of Catroina, but came upon an ambush. Greeting her was supernatural darkness, four powerful spellcasters, two more shadow elementals, and an array of other Cult of Niht members.

*The Mage-Lady, Keldrin, and Talan all suffered very grievous wounds. A freed Catriona managed to keep her captors at bay and was walking along the wall-line. Rip and Talan also threw torches into the darkness. One-third of the room illuminated, as one of the spellcasters suffered The Siphoning.

• At the moment, all of the companions have turned to retreat as the onslaught of dark magic and other attacks were too much to sustain.

A Legacy No More

Mage-Lady Orphelia and the companions meet outside of Nara on a grassy hillock to picnic on cheese & wine while discussing what to do next. After discussing several ideas, it was finally agreed upon that the Mage-Lady would speak to the Count about their plan.

The Mage-Lady is successful in convincing Count Froeche that creating a more tempting deadline for the Cult’s “event” is best. He chose to have the library’s greatest works sent off under full paladin guard to provide the decoy for the Cult of Niht. However, the Count adamantly decides to speak to his secretary, Mr. Crabb, to make the arrangements. The caravan’s departure, in two days’ time, also fell upon the Cult’s most sacred time: the Dark of the Moon.

Mage-Lady Orphelia discovers a piece of parchment in the fireplace at the Count’s manor, but it was too badly burned to reveal anything of note. She then goes to the House of Lore to detect any magical illusions or doors, but finds nothing. She then attempts, via her heahwisardry, to determine any signs of disloyalty. The only thing she discovered was that Mr. Crabb was disloyal to Count Froeche in some way.

The Count and the Mage-Lady agree on the morning of the second day that it would be best to have everyone, including the Count for his own protection, as he was suspected to be a target, to be inside the House of Lore the night before the Cult of Niht’s suspected “event” takes place.

The following night, with everyone in his/her respective position, someone began to bang on the other side of the door of the Count’s private entrance. It was Davith Crabb and he had forgotten his key. Soon a new, unfamiliar voice spoke demanding the door be opened or the secretary would die. The companions looked to the Count for his decision and he consented to have the door unbarricaded and opened.

Upon opening the door it revealed a very frightened Mr. Crabb being held at blade point by a fellow clad in black, along with four accomplices. Battle soon ensued which ended with the man holding Mr. Crabb at blade-point being felled by a well-placed arrow by Rip. Free of his captor, Mr. Crabb ran frantically back down the private entrance and was soon beyond any chance of restraint. Two other black-clad men were killed and two took flight which Keldrin halted with an earthen wall.

Right along this time tremors began to be felt throughout the House of Lore. Soon one of the upper levels began to give way which caused the Count to fall and Helene & Elowen tumbled, down with the balcony, to the first floor. Talan assisted both the Count and Mage-Lady Orphelia down a rope to safety. It was quickly apparent that someone or something was bringing down the House of Lore, so everyone agreed evacuation was the only option.

Keldrin beckoned the two remaining men in black and told them if they wanted to live to come with him. Mage-Lady Orphelia and Catriona each snagged up the closest book and began, along with everyone else, to run towards the House of Lore’s main exit. During all of this, walls began to cave in towards the center of the House of Lore.

All of the companions made it out alive, including Keldrin who stopped to pick up a severely injured Armas. Once outside it was noticed that a sizeable amount of townsfolk were there looking on in awe: The House of Lore had completely collapsed in upon itself and down into a smoldering pit that had once been the center of the library. The Count fell to his knees a shattered man.

The suspected event had now come to fruition: The Cult of Niht had achieved a great victory and the companions had failed to stop it in time. The future of the companions was now fraught with uncertainty and unanswered questions.

To Be Continued…
The Search Continues

Following the visit with Count Froech the Learned, Mage-Lady Orphelia, Keldrin, and Catriona left the House of Lore. On the way back to, presumably The Golden Crossroads, they encountered Ripxian conducting business with a blacksmith. Stories were swapped and they all proceeded to the hotel.

Ripxian and Keldrin share a room together and Keldrin provided more detail as to why they were in Nara which was to research Thrym’s Heart and it’s whereabouts. Catriona asks Rip if he could read the runes from the book Catriona procured but he could not.

Soon Her Arcane Highness Mage-Lady Orphelia returned and everyone gathered in the dormitories to discuss the Cult of Niht which was just recently discovered to be working in Nara in an apparent attempt to more aggressively breach the defenses of the House of Lore. In addition, it seemed that a female was spearheading the Cult’s operations in Nara.

Over the course of the next few days the companions were involved in various endeavors:

Mage-Lady Orphelia continued to meet with the Count and was shown his secret passageway to the manor as well as all the security measures in place to keep out the Cult of Niht. She also discovered a translation difference in the poem “Heart of Winter” the Count had given her.

Catriona, in the meantime, had been staking out the Count’s manor in hopes of discovering the true nature of the Count’s secretary. Cat followed him one day to an alley in which he knocked thrice and entered. Cat overheard a tense discussion of the lost book, which Cat had procured, and then after the secretary had left a hooded man approached, knocked thrice, and entered. That conversation held information about something seemingly big occurring in one day’s time. It was after the hooded man had left Catriona also left to return to The Golden Crossroads.

Keldrin and Rip toured the city, Keldrin bought a dagger from a weaponsmith, and Rip sparred with Keldrin.

On another day Keldrin went to speak to his good friend Osbern again to glean information about the Count’s secretary whose name was discovered to be Davith Crabb; Mr. Crabb had been in the service of the Count for 20 years and was considered to be the Count’s most trusted servant and right hand man. Rip & Daeg, meanwhile, went to The Lucky Coin—a gambling establishment— to see if they could encounter the Count’s secretary or get information about him since it was in the seedier part of Nara.

Keldrin then joined them later during which time Rip bribed a barmaid to get information on people who knew Mr. Crabb. The barmaid pointed to a fellow at the end of the bar so Rip went over to talk to him. Rip learned that Mr. Crabb owed the man a sizeable amount of gold but Rip’s continued interrogation ended in him being tossed out of the establishment by the man’s bodyguards. Keldrin & Daeg left right after and all three headed back to the hotel.

On the eve of the fourth night at The Golden Crossroads, Rip had left to procure the secretary for more “personal interrogation.” Catriona and Talan left also. The only ones who remained in the dormitories were Keldrin, Mage-Lady Orphelia, and the rest of her entourage. Some time later sounds began to be heard from Mage-Lady Orphelia’s room so the Mage-Lady and Keldrin went to investigate.

Upon opening the door to Mage-Lady’s personal chambers, the window was discovered to be open and four darkly-garbed figures ambushed them from opposite ends of the door. Their attacks, though surprising, were for the most-part ineffectual; once Keldrin felled one and her Arcane Highness called for her guards, the remaining three jumped through the window. Daeg ran after; the assailants had gotten away, alas.

Mage-Lady Orphelia then began a tirade of epic proportions to the hotel’s clerk downstairs. She feigned outrage at the lack of security and at the end of the spectacle she was given one night’s stay free of charge as well as a bottle of their finest spirits. Keldrin, however, was embarassed and flustered at her behavior which ended in Keldrin retiring for the night; however, not before he gave her a symbol he retrieved off of the assailant he felled: A symbol of the Cult of Niht.

The next morning everyone paid their bills and made plans to leave as the cost of room & board had become costly. Indeed, Keldrin himself became indebted to Ripxian and was forced to move in with his friend Osbern until their time in Nara was finished. Mage-Lady Orphelia & Catriona then moved into the Count’s manor in an effort to provide additional security for himself and the library; as for the rest of Mage-Lady’s entourage, they were to be relocated somewhere else less conspicuous. Ripxian was left to make his own lodging arrangements.