Rose 13, 2721 – 11:00 pm
The group arrived in Churney-on-the-Green well after dark. As they were taking in the strange sights of the town, the grass and roots below them began growing up around their horses holding them in place. Everyone but Funakoshi jumped off their horses before the roots could grab them.
Meldiriel noticed a cloaked figure that had cast the spell. She said “We come in peace”, and laid her sword on the ground. The cloaked figure stepped forward and introduced herself as Jass Cromlin. She snapped her fingers and the roots released Funakoshi and the horses. In a very friendly manner she welcomed them to Churney, and offered to give them a tour and a place to rest for the night.
At this point, Meldiriel began explaining the reason for their trip, warning Jass to take precautions and showing her the letter. Jass took the warning very seriously, and assured them that she would make sure Churney was properly defended. She invited them to stay for the night, and offered to feed them and provide fresh horses.
Rose 14, 2721 – 7:00 am
In the morning, both Valadria and Meldiriel felt very ill, though Meldiriel was holding up much better than Valadria was. Meldiriel went to ask Jass for help. She said they both had a nasty case of diphtheria, and with a quick spell, they both felt much better. After packing up some supplies, the group headed out for Hockton Barrow.
Rose 14, 2721 – 2:00 pm
Arriving in Hockton Barrow, it was apparent that the town was preparing for some kind of festival. The group learned that today was Hockton Barrow’s quarterly games. The two taverns’ rivalry came to a head each quarter, and the town expressed that with challenges of strength, agility, and fortitude. However, in true Hockton Barrow spirit, the main event was the archery contest, which was open to outsiders as well as long as no magic was used. The prize was the best crafted bow of the season, enchanted by an expert artificer. The town’s headsman would be quite busy until the conclusion of the games, so the group would need to wait until after the games to warn anyone about the duergar invasion. Valadria and Meldiriel decided to join in the archery contest.
Both of them made it through the qualifying round easily. At the start of the scoring round, a hooded stranger offered to shoot last of all, with an added smirk. Valadria scored a respectable 6 points, but was outmatched by some of the villagers. Meldiriel however scored an impressive 13 points, and was the clear leader until the hooded man took his turn. Meldiriel noticed him casting a spell silently before firing his 2nd and 3rd shots. The judges awarded him a score of 15.
Meldiriel, backed up by Valadria and Funakoshi, explained to the judges that they believed he was cheating, and recounted what they saw. The stranger, while snarky, was cooperative in the judges cross-examination. Eventually, the Judges ruled that the stranger had cheated. Meldiriel heard the stranger mutter “You haven’t heard the last of this” just before he stalked away towards the northern gate. Traben decided to follow him.
After tailing him to the gate, Traben was suddenly struck with some kind of magically enhanced arrow and decided to retreat. Meldiriel was given the Masterwork bow, and was congratulated by the headsman himself. Meldiriel quickly explained to him the true reason for their visit and show him the letter. He began to make preparations for reading the town, and offered them master bows if they desired them. Guessing they could make it to Saragost around nightfall, the group decided to finish their trip tonight and left Hockton Barrow behind.
Rose 14, 2721 – 9:00 pm
A few miles outside Hockton Barrow, the group discovered a raided wagon that was being accosted by an ogre and a handful of goblins. They could hear cries for help from inside the covered wagon. Our heroes dispatched the goblins quickly, and the ogre soon after that. The man they saved introduced himself as Barnabas, and he asked for their help in getting to Hockton Barrow with a shipment of arrowheads. He offered to pay them 70 GP once they arrived if they would protect him and bring the bodies of his companions to be buried. They agreed to help him, knowing that Hockton Barrow would need to arrow-heads in the coming fight.
Rose 14, 2721 – 11:00 pm
Just as they began to see the lights of Saragost in the distance, a mailed rider approached them, his shield bearing the Saragost coat-of-arms. He introduced himself as Captain Severin and explained that he had been sent by the council to escort them safely to meet the Council. Though Meldiriel was suspicious of him, the group decided to follow him.
As they neared the city, The saw a flood of tents and camps outside the main gates. These people were refugees from the towns and villages of Chillhame, denied entrance to the city because of strict rules that govern admission. Saragost, being a walled city that is already heavily built up, only has so much space to go around. Captain Severin sighed and explained that it is Saragost policy not to admit anyone who cannot contribute to the economy. ‘What that means is, the commoners get taxed to build a city so fine they’ll never get to see it, much less live in it.’
Severin took them to the less popular western gate. He was quickly able to vouch for them and gain passage into the city. Severin pointed out The Tower of Undying Light as where they were going to meet the council at. However, he was taking them down narrow, winding alleys instead of main streets.
In one of these alleys, Dernham sensed something was wrong. He heard three crossbows fire, some groans of pain, and saw a crossbow bolt strike Severin in the side. Severin turned around in confusion, then passed out and fell off his horse. Two men fell out of windows on each side of the alley, once with a gangrenous cut, the other with a bolt in his foot. Traben and Funakoshi determined they were unconscious, and Valadria and Dernham realized Severin was in the same condition. The third assassin had already fled. The group collected one of the wounded assassins and Severin, and headed for the Council.
After explaining themselves to the guards and being admitted, they quickly explained themselves to the Council, showing the letter as evidence. The council was gravely concerned by the news of of invasion, as well as the attempt on their lives. Obviously the duergar already have spies and agents at work in the city. Grandlord Yomah asked the the heroes stay in town for the time being. They would likely have need of heroes like them again soon.