It is the morning of Peonu 1, 720, when Bors, Othena, and Anneliese set out for Chewintin. Fog is in from the river, and the air is still, making things a bit colder than normal. You get to Jedes around noon and take in lunch at the tavern. Things are lively, and the farmers are happily planting away in their fields. In the afternoon, a medium rain falls through the evening.
You sleep comfortably in a farm house along the way, and are able to reach Chewintin by mid day on Peonu 2. There is a heavy, cold rain falling.
The group finds William and Bors asks him to help bring back his war flail. William agrees, but is far more interested in finding out what’s going on with the Baron that simply going to pick up a weapon for a friend of a friend.
The four of them walk back to Jedes, where William gains permission from the head priest there to visit Kolorn Keep. William takes off north, while the others stay around to check in with Sir Sharnath and find some local work.
Shortly before sunup, Bors, Othena, and Anneliese are on their way to the Keep when they see Hamis of Guinas, the Peonian priest from Jedes, running across the field toward them from his Temple. Hearing his cry for help, they all made haste toward him.
“The Temple has been robbed!” he exclaims as they approach.
Quickly, the party makes its way over to the temple to investigate while asking the priest what had been stolen. Hamis explains that he had a family heirloom that was considered holy by the Peoni religion. It was in the temple last night when he went to bed, but this morning, he noticed muddy footprints and saw that the heirloom was missing.
The party easily sees the muddy footprints from two different people entering into the Temple, and tracking toward the former resting place to the talisman. Othena asked several questions of the priest while Bors and Anneliese had a look around. Othena learned that a scholarly man named Ferin of Lydael was in the temple not a tenday ago inquiring about the talisman and wanting to purchase it. After several rebuffs from Hamis, Ferin finally left. Hamis gives a description of Ferin to the party, and they take off to investigate.
Having not been trained in tracking, the party found themselves unable to track the footprints in the mud outside.
Sensing Ferin was back, the team guessed that a man visiting Jedes would have come on horseback, so they took off to the Ostler to inquire if anyone was visiting on horse. They learn a few people are in, but none match the description of Ferin in town now.
Having hit a dead end, the party turns to canvassing the area trying to see if anyone saw anything over night. They check with the Cottars that live around the temple, finding one person that saw two men walking toward the Temple in the early morning hours, though he couldn’t make out who they were, so they must have been strangers.
Latching onto the clues, they deduct that the robbers probably stayed at the Inn over night. Rushing over to the Inn, they ask the innkeeper about any visitors, and he says that there were two ruffians in the bar last night asking about the Temple, but that they were gone before he woke up this morning.
Anneliese spots two men in the bar, one an old man, the other a young lad, and decides to approach the young lad to ask if he had seen them. The poor boy, unused to the attention of such a beautiful woman, stuttered and stammered, and was unable to put a full sentence together.
The old man across the room laughed at the attempt, and told them that while he was preparing his nets for the day’s fishing, he had seen two men in a boat crossing the River Kald not but a few hours ago. Excited for a lead, the trio asks for a ride across the river. The old man, not to be rushed, said he’d take them across after he finished his breakfast.
While waiting for the old man, the group visit the Constable, Sir Sharanath, to inform him of what has happened, then head to the docks to cross the river.
The party get’s to the far side of the river, then proceed to look around for an hour trying to find any signs of tracks from the two suspects. The old man, now well into his fishing, has been watching them fumble around the shore, laughs at them and points up river a bit more. “They landed over there!” he shouts. Seeing where he was pointing, the team moves further up river and quickly finds a boat pulled ashore and hastily buried.
With some effort and time, they are able to follow the tracks left by the two thieves for the rest of the day. Late in the afternoon, the group finally comes across The Salt Route and lose the tracks of their prey.
While searching for any clues they can find, Othena spots the legs of a man protruding from the underbrush about a hundred yards east of their location along the road. Everyone rushes down to the body, and find Ferin of Lydael, beaten badly and left for dead.
Bors, using his limited physician skills, tends to Ferin’s wounds and is able to bring him around. Ferin explains that he had paid the two ruffians to steal the talisman, however, he also gave them money to leave behind for the priest, keeping with the offer that he had made to the priest to begin with. However, the ruffians double crossed him, and when they were to meet up, they instead beat him up, and left him for dead, and that it couldn’t have been more than an hour before they showed up.
Once Ferin was stable and comfortable, the team took off to chase down the thieves. Not more than a mile down the road, Othena again spots a disturbance along the side of the road. Only, this time, it was evidence of a recent battle, with fresh blood on the ground.
Carefully looking around, they are able to determine that 10 different people were in the area, and all left an easy trail to follow heading north. Excising extreme caution, they follow the trail with Bors in the lead, Anneliese close behind, and Othena taking up the rear guard.
As the afternoon grows long, Anneliese picks up a sound from up ahead. The team readies itself for anything. Bors and Othena split up, to flank whatever might be ahead. Anneliese, unguarded, decides to follow the large man. Everyone being as quite as a mouse as they reach a clearing, then Bors steps on a fallen branch, that crunches loudly underfoot, and he stumbles, and he curses aloud, and his armor clings and clangs against the sudden shift of his weight.
He no sooner looks up as he sees eight gargun looking right back at him, and he also spots two humans tied up and looking at him with pleading eyes. Quickly, the small gargun pack begin to move toward the source of the sound, seeing only Bors’ large frame.
Bors defends himself well, easily felling two of the gargun while Anneliese hides behind a bush and throws her daggers and fells a third. Othena, seeing their leader standing behind the grunts with a nice, new looking leather pouch on his waist, rushes out from her hiding spot, and catches him off guard. Using her full training, she attacks the legs of the beast, forcing him to fall, and seeing her opportunity, slides the tip of her spear between his ribs for a clean, quick kill. Caught off guard, and seeing their leader felled so easily, the remaining orcs break and run.
Allowing the orcs to escape, the three turn their attention to the humans. By the description they received from Ferin, they easily identify the two as the men responsible for the robbery of the Jede’s priest. Searching the two humans, as well as the orc leader, they find the stolen talisman, as well as the bag of gold from Ferin.
A long discussion is held to figure out the fate of the robbers. Othena wins out with saying that this crime took place on Jedes soil, which is under the control of the Kingdom of Kaldor, while they were in Kath territory. Should the Kath barbarians find them, they would surely be killed.
With the decision made to take them back alive to the discussion quickly turns to the matter of the money. Ferin’s money was being used as tribute for stealing an artifact. Does it belong still to Ferin? Should it be handed over in full to the peoni priest? Should it be given to the Earl over Jedes? Or, should it be kept and distributed amongst themselves. After much heated debate, it was decided to give the money to the church.
With dark approaching, and knowing gargun prefer to move at night, the party decides to push it a bit to get nearer to Kaldor lands.
They move for a couple hours, and finally find a place to rest for the night. Shortly after setting up camp and getting into a restful piece of mind, a barbarian hunting party steps into the clearing, along with Ferin.
Ferin tells the party that they must return the artifact to him, if they expect to live to see sunrise. Othena, not to be bullied around, quickly stands and approaches Ferin, advising him that they will have to kill her to get the artifact. Ferin simply says that it can be arranged, and the barbarians all notch their arrows into their bows and pull.
Othena stands her ground and offers another solution. Ferin face her in hand to hand combat. The small, scholarly man looks confused for a moment at the much larger, powerfully built woman. For a few moments, both just stare at each other, until the barbarian chieftain steps forward and explains that this is simply not an option.
Othena, by now clearly upset and spoiling for a fight, turns on the chieftain, stating that the artifact was stolen from their lands, and that they are only trying to return the item to it’s rightful owner.
The barbarian heaves out a mighty laugh, lifting his face to the heavens. “All the better!”, he exclaims. “Since the talisman was stolen from my people generations ago, you can freely hand it over to me right now!”
The party carefully questions the barbarian, and see’s that he is being truthful about his claim. The chieftain explains Ferin has visited his people many times to research why the barbarian lands are all dying. It was determined that the stone that stands in the heart of their land was missing a section of it, and with it gone, a curse was placed upon the land. After years of research, the stone was amazingly found just across the river from it’s proper resting place.
The party conferred with each other, and realizing the truth to his words, gave the talisman to the chieftain without further conflict.
The Cheiftain, greatly pleased that no more death would be had this evening, and that his land would soon be health again, thanks the party, and offers them to come see the return of the talisman to it’s proper location, which the group easily and quickly agrees to.
Since it was late, the chief has everyone set up camp, and that they will go to the site in the morning.
The party moves along to the South by South West with the barbarians to the site. The further they travel into the heart of the barbarian lands, they can see that that plants do not look as healthy as where they came from.
With the barbarians as guides, they make great time to the site of the stone by mid day. The land around the stone is almost completely baron, empty of vegetation, the ground unable to support life. The barbarians set about working on setting up for a ceremony that evening to return the missing piece of the great stone. While walking around, the party can easily see where a chuck of the stone was removed, clearly showing that it was meant to be there.
That evening, during a great ceremony, the talisman is return to its proper location. Once the two stones make contact, a shimmer of light can be seen inside the stone, and as the missing piece is put into place, a radiance of rightness is felt pass through everyone. The barbarians celebrate the rest of the night, happy that their lands will finally be restored to health.
In the morning, the barbarians again escort the party, this time toward the River Kald, so they could return home.
The party, escorted by the barbarians, finally make it up to where they can see the tower in Chewintin. There, the chieftain again thanks them for returning the missing piece of stone, and rewards them with a small trinket of a fossilized feather in a stone. Without another word, the barbarians all withdraw and disappear into the woods.
With a little work, the party is able to signal someone on the other side of the river, and a boat is dispatched to bring them back across.
Awaiting them on the shore is Sir Krisagon, the lord of Chewintin, and his men. As soon as they land, Bors tells them all about how they just spent several days with the barbarians, and were invited deep into their lands. Sir Krisagon is very interested in all the details of their adventure, but understands that they must first report back to the Constable in Jedes.
Sir Krisagon set’s them up for the night, then has them mounted onto horses, and escorted directly to Jedes by three of his Knighs, plus their squires. Traveling quicker than they have ever been, the party easily makes Jedes by noon, relate the details of their travels, inform the priest of what happened to his family heirloom, and then are whisked back to Chewintin for further… interviews.