- A Brief History Lesson
- Red Larch Advisory Council
- Feathergale Spire
A Brief History Lesson
The party was asked if they would stay a night and meet with Red Larch's Advisory Council. Because the citizenry of Red Larch was still realing from the discovery of the Believers and the actions that were committed below the township, an advisory council of some of the more prominent members of the town were called to oversee things until the investigation of the murder accusations were completed and a new mayor could be elected.
Present at this closed meeting inside the Swinging Sword was Imdarr Relvaunder, Priest of Tempus, Lymmura Auldarhk, Devotee of Sune, Harburk Thuthmarrilar, Sheriff of Red Larch, Jalessa Onra, Butcher and Harburk's wife, and Helvur and Maegla Tarnlar, Clothiers of Fine Apparel. Imdarr stated that Harburk requested that he start this meeting and so Imdarr opened with a brief history of the land that Red Larch was founded upon.
Roughly 6,000 years ago the Dwarven Kingdom of Besilmer was established here in and around the Sumber Hills. King Torhild Flametongue had brought his clan here and they established a great city that existed above ground which is notable because not many Dwarven cities are so accessible. The two lasting remnants of King Torhild's creation are the Stone Bridge, near Beliard, and the ruins of the Halls of the Hunting Axe which is reportedly where King Torhild was buried under after dying in battle against a Hill Giant while defending the Stone Bridge. After the King's death, the Dwarven Kingdom eventually fell to a number of invasions of orcs and trolls that swarmed through the lands.
Roughly 600 years ago, a knightly order called the Knights of the Silver Horn took it upon themselves to clear the land of orcs and goblins and began searching for the ruins of the lost dwarven kingdom. They inhabited the various ruins and keeps that were found, repaired them and used them as center points to combat the raiding tribes that continued to plague the land. This effort, too, was done in vain as more invasions from orcs and trolls and drow raids plagued the land, overrunning the various bastions the Knights of the Silver Horn had attempted to rebuild.
The recent settlement of the Dessarin Valley is credited to the rise and success of the city of Waterdeep. As Waterdeep grew, the populace expanded and settled the surrounding lands. Much of the towns that populate Red Larch are under 400 years old, many only having been established within the last 150 to 200 years. The people are tough and hardy which is what is required of those who seek to create a homestead that is far from any intervening governement body. Many of these settlers are not aware of the troubles that have plagued the landscape, often referring to any known ruins as being haunted or evil without knowing how or why they feel the way they do about such ruins.
Red Larch Advisory Council
Imdarr ended with admitting that he is a member of the Order of the Gauntlet, an order that has tasked itself with seeking out evil, uncovering it, and defeating it out in the open as a means of inspiring the populace that such deeds are capable. The order has a network of operatives that watch and weigh in on events so that evil isn't given a chance to find purchase which is why the party's uncovering of the Larrakh and the Believers here in Red Larch were so surprising. Now that the party has brought in more information about an Elemental Earth cult worshiping Ogremach had actually set up a monastery in the area has been very troubling. They now fear that the rumors and reports of orc incursions to the north and west is something that the council of Red Larch is not comfortable to idly sit and wait for news to come to them.
Imdarr has received a message from an associate, an Erned Stoutblade, a knight within the service of the Order of the Gauntlet, that he is seeking assistance as he leaves Yartar to investigate the rumors of the orc incursion. Lymmura also shares some information that has been passed on to her that an animal messenger was also sent to the elves of High Forest for aid and that aid has been sent, but no word as to whether or not it has been received.
Milpot purchased a pair of Draft horses at a discounted rate of 42 gp each. A wagon and the appropriate harnesses were granted to the party for free with letters of introduction that they carry with them the interest of the Red Larch advisory council. Badges were stamped for those interested in wearing them, showing three trees growing from a larch leaf and one bright red ribbon was handed over to Mojo, the stitching of "Miss Red Larch" having been recently removed, but pleasant enough if seen from a distance.
The party traveled to Feathergale Spire to pick up Griffin's Bane, Idra's horse and regale Thurl and the Feathergale Knights with the deeds of the Sacred Stone Monastery. Milpot had taught two musicians that he had hired to accompany them his song of deeds and left the musicians there at the Spire to entertain the Feathergale Knights over the next two weeks of their contract. Savra approached both Idra and Milpot and offered to sponsor them each into the order if they were interested. She explained that this such a sponsorship was rare for those without family connections or who were titled, but not unheard of. She felt, and she believed Thurl Marosska felt the same way, that both Idra and Milpot had shown themselves to be of strong character and who seemed to identify with what the Feathergale Society believed in. After consideration, Idra asked if he was permitted to bring his own mount if he came back. Savra was surprised but was able to hide her confusion as Idra explained that he did not have one yet, but that he might when he got to return.
On the road to Beliard, the party encountered two hunters who were walking down the road. They walked with staves and had short bows slung on their backs. They stopped and moved to the side of the road as the party neared and spoke with the party for a brief time before moving on down the road in the direction that the party came from. As the party continued, three familiar stone armored earth cult warriors stepped out from behind rocks along the road. They spanned the road, halting progress and advanced on the party.
Sensing the ambush, Idra leapt off of Griffin's Bane and charged the two hunters which had drawn their short bows and were preparing to fire on the party from behind. Merrick also jumped from the wagon and charged the second bowman as the rest of the party tried to deal with the heavily armored guardians before them. As Idra fought sword and elbow against the bandit and hearing the battle behind him, Idra yelled out a command, "Griffin's Bane, Attack!" The horse, only knowing one trick, proceeded to sit down on his haunches and chew the remnants of the sage grass he was eating. Griffin's Bane seemed unfazed at the chaos and mayhem that went on around him and remained sitting until the encounter was over.
During the course of the battle, the draft horses panicked and bolted, tearing off down the road while Milpot attempted to regain control over the runaway wagon. Grick, the dwarven palidin, leapt off of the wagon to land on the ground and charge the evil foes… at least that is how he imagined it in his head. What the rest of the party saw was Grick losing his balance and teetering backwards like a ballerina until gravity kicked in and brought him crashing onto the ground, knocking the air from his lungs. Lurching to his knees, the dwarven paladin of Moradin took a moment to catch his breath before bringing his hammer to bear.
Mojo was beaten down by one of the earth cult guardians who was subsequently destroyed when Grick's warhammer struck him with a holy aura. The stone earth armor exploded from the body of the human it covered; the body flopped and rolled limply before coming to rest. Milpot had managed to regain control of the wagon after a couple of rounds where he was fighting the panic of the horses. Spinning the wagon into a sliding stop, he leapt off of the wagon and ran back to the fray. Idra and Merrick had managed to down another of the earth cult guardians between the Country Club attack from Idra's twin elbows or the spiritual attacks of Merrick that were fueled by Trithereon. It would be difficult for anyone to claim any one attack was more effective in this fight thought it was Merrick who managed the felling blow.
The lone guardian fought on, refusing to go down or to yield to the party. He mentioned that Marlos Urnrayle had commanded that the heads of this party was brought to him and their presence on the road seemed to indicate that the earth cult had some means of tracking the party or knowing what their motives were. Unfortunately for the lone guardian, the party proved to be too much and he wilted under the numerous blows from the surrounding party members.