Rose 17, 2721 – 9:00 pm
You are assembled before the Council of Saragost, who watch you in silence, waiting for their leader to speak.
‘After receiving your troubling report from Bronce’, Grandlord Yomah begins, ’we began making preparations for the defense of Saragost. However, we wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank you for risking your lives to warn us. You will receive a more… economical thank you as you leave.
‘You may like to know that Captain Severin has made a full recovery. Lady Arigane and her Order have been able to trace the poison to Drow origin. The assassin you captured committed suicide shortly after regaining consciousness.’ Grandlord Yomah pauses solemnly for a moment. ’Since you have already proven yourselves as useful, we would like to ask for you to stay and defend this city in any way you can. We wanted to take a moment and tell you exactly what you can do to help.
Sir Jeren Falconio speaks next. "I am in charge of the details of the military defense of Saragost. We will of course need every able-bodied person helping during the fight. However, we have an opportunity to place our trust in you, as it is unlikely the same people who warned us of the invasion would also be duergar spies. Therefore I have two opportunities for you.’
‘If any of you have leadership potential, I will need strong leaders to support me during the attack. If you would like to help with this, you would need to begin training with the men under your command now, so that they trust you when the duergar arrive. Also, in light of the attempts on your lives, I have placed Captain Severin in charge of rooting out any potential duergar spies. He asks that any of you willing to help in his intelligence gathering report to him. as soon as possible.’
‘If any of you prefer to fight with your minds’, Michael Dunsany says, ‘you are welcome to research the duergar, drow, or any other lore you require in The Hall of Echoes. In addition, Lady Arigane has offered the use of the Order of the Prism’s facilities for arcane research should you require it.
‘There is also one final favor we must ask of you.’ Grandlord Yomah rolls out a map, which you immediately recognize as the island of Chillhame. Towns and villages are marked on the map; you notice that almost all of them have been marked with a ring of blue ink.
‘These,’ Grandlord Yomah explains, ‘are the settlements which have now been warned of the invasion by yourselves, or which our messengers will soon be reaching. Thanks to your efforts, almost all of the island is prepared to face the coming threat. There are, however, exceptions. The villages of Astercote, Chalksmere and Vannondale have all been… strangely uncooperative. Our messengers report that Chalksmere is barricaded and has a warning sign before it, while the people of Vannondale appear to have given up talking to outsiders altogether. As for Astercote, we have heard nothing at all of it and the locals are muttering strange things.
‘These are not mere hamlets that might have been abandoned overnight. These are villages of many hundreds of people. We are gravely concerned, not only to know what has become of them, but also to alert them to the coming danger. Our messengers are efficient but they are not fit to send on expeditions into the unknown. We must therefore call upon the services of those who have aided us in the past.
‘We request that you ride out to these lost villages, investigate what has befallen them and ensure that the townspeople are properly notified of the invasion. We need the troops those towns will provide! We have precious few days left to us before the creatures from the north will begin their march across the island. Go quickly, for many lives depend upon it.’
‘We will keep you appraised of events here,’ adds Lady Arigane. ‘When the enemy is sighted, you will be the first to know.’
Count Crastic clears his throat. ‘It will also be a good thing, in our collective opinion, for you all to spend time outside the city instead of remaining continually in Saragost. It appears there are some here who do not appreciate the service you have done for us and would very much like to have quiet words with you about it. We would rather have you alive. There will be enough martyrs soon enough, I fear.’
Your business concluded, you are shown out by the footman, and each offered a pouch containing 100 GP.