- Paladin's Backstory
- March to Red Larch
Amongst the prisoners was a Dwarf Paladin by the name of…. Grick? The dwarf paladin was accompanying a cleric of Moridan who had received visions of dwarven ruins in the Sumber Hills and came in search of them. The two had paid passage down the Dessarin River from an elderly boatman called Arik. Arik described the Sumber Hills and much of the Dessarin Valley as having become dangerous over the last few years. Stories and rumors of banditry had increased and Arik claimed surprise than an old haunt, a keep known as Rivergard Keep was populated when they passed by on the river.
Several armed men yelled out that Lord Jolliver Grimjaw was taking tolls on this river to pay for the repairs and upkeep on the keep that he had made a claim on. Arik claimed to never having heard of any Grimjaw, so he flashed them the sign of the fig and used his boat hooks to push the chain that spanned the river and in which the armed men used to halt their down river traverse. Continuing down the river, the men from the keep warned of river bandits, claiming that Arik would pay for not having paid his toll.
An hour or so later, Arik and the two dwarves saw men in ragged clothing man small skiffs who paddled out to meet them. Something within the water had tipped Arik's riverboat over and the raiders snatched the drowning dwarves and the boatman from the river's depths and rapids. Having secured them, the 3 were eventually brought back to Rivergard Keep and made to listen to a priest drone on about the "truth of the deep waters". The two clerics got into a little more than a theological debate as the priest was killed and Garrick…? was bludgeoned until he lost consciousness.
The two prisoners were then handed over to a Larrakh, a crazy priest who castigated his underlings with threats of the elemental earth and who eventually had gotten everyone lost within the Sumber Hills. Upset that he was behind schedule, Larrakh led the group of 2 plus a number of other prisoners from an earlier ambush and led them south, outside the Sumber Hills, until he could find some familiar landscapes to continue on with. As he led his party back towards the Sumber Hills, men flying on giant birds attacked form the sky. Some of the prisoners tried to attack and free themselves, but eventually one of the bird raiders was brought down while another of the bird raiders absconded with a Waterdavian Noble who had been one of the prisoners. Larrakh performed a brief ceremony for the dead, piled rocks on top of their bodies and then led the group into the hills until they reached the Sacred Stone Monastery.
March to Red Larch
The party found themselves with 17 recently freed prisoners who had been starved for several days and in no shape to travel the party chose to rest at the monastery until the freed prisoners were healthy enough to travel and the party members had managed to heal themselves. up.
The travel to Red Larch was slow and worrisome. Figures along the horizon, out of bow shot, were seen to be dogging the party and the line of freed prisoners. Axel mentioned that he thought it might be gnolls, and was worried only if Red Larch was further away. He felt that the group they traveled with was simply too large for the gnolls to take on with their current numbers and worried that if Red Larch wasn't their destination that they would probably be running into a trap. The gnolls, however, seemed to lose interest or melt into the trees as Red Larch came within view and the freed prisoners found themselves being welcomed into the tents and emergency shelters that had been constructed within the Red Larch's market square.