Resplendant earth 20
At the Queen’s Command
With the news that there is a new “Lord Bauen”, the crown calls on the lands new administrators…
The King is frail and sounds a bit senile, Queen Malene takes command.
The last Lord Bauen had assistance with some royal guardsmen. They haven’t been heard from since.
Go and report – they went to the town of Eisenshmiede.
Remote town in Blutberg region – discuss either follow the slow winding river barges, or make a fast trip.
The Dark Forest
They decide to spend a few days sailing to Siegsdorf, then buy horses and equipment to ride north to Eisenshmiede
Neither Laima or Mal are used to these trips – badly overequipped and encumbered.
Pyotr tries to lead them along the winding forest paths, but some slight mistakes makes the trip longer than intended.
After a week, they make the horrific realization they have wandered into Demon-Wolf territory…
Spend the next day and night trying to evade some demon wolves shadowing them, but they attack in site of the town.
Three giant wolves attacking from mist-banks.
Mundane weapons seem to have no effect – Koda leaps forward to occupy the wolvesdown to allow the party to escape.
Vlad realises these are “predator demons” and wounds a horse and sends it running…
The Demon Wolves are drawn by the smell of blood and race to bring down the wounded horse.
Pyotr uses one of the 5 remaining “ghost slayer” arrows, it pierces a demon which burns away in silvery light.
While the remaining two wolves rip apart the horse, everyone rides madly for the town.
As dawn breaks they reach safety behind the walls of Eisenshmiede.
They have breakfast in the local inn “The Slaughtered Lamb”.
Local miners are eating and preparing for work – fall silent when the party entered.
Laima tries appealing to “anti royal” sentiment – the locals look on angrily.
The innkeep gives them a room (charges a week upfront…)
The sleep the morning, relieved to be out of the forest.
That evening they emerge to a quiet and damp town. Rain and mud.
Mal seeks out some more familiar company – “the Longhouse” seems to be the local den of iniquity.
Vlad examines the town – unwarded – but evidence of Elemental activity.
Pyotr sets out to visit the Fort up the mountain to visit his old companions from ‘The Black Arrow Company’
Stops before reaching – evidence of giant tracks, and the Fort appears empty – no burning fires
Aujaq tries to call on the local Gods, but the town god is very unwelcoming.
“we dont need your help, we’ve made arrangements, go home.”
Laima spends the afternoon people watching – everyone seems tense, expecting something horrible to happen.
Slaves in all but name
At dinner they share what they have learnt.
Note that the returning workers give them a wide berth – outsiders unwelcome.
Mine Overseer is from Vendig – House of Bauen!
During the uncomfortable dinner, Mal notices some locals shifting clothes to hide something…
… A tattoo which Vlad recognizes – Mark of the Ancient Lords. Familiar from the Demon temples!
There are a lot with this symbol, but everyone hiding it.
Some evening observation shows these marked people get free entry into “The Longhouse”.
They retire for the evening, afraid of what they have walked into.
Resplendant earth 30