Verrily it is that we rejoin our heroes three, Vachedai, Bryn and Torinn, as they journey through perilous forests to destinations they know not where.
They have joined with a man named Horatio and, after a terrible spell in the forests of the Silver Marches, are now heading to his camp where he claims they will be safe.
As they arrive at the camp Horatio, who has sold himself as naught but another man upon the road, they are treated by soldiers, nobles and one grizzled looking General who they discover is named Geradd. Horatio is greeted warmly and Geradd addresses him as “My Lord Prince”… stood with Geradd is a woman named Helene, sister of Horatio and princess of Everlund, and with her, two younger brothers. Also, a stout dwarven Paladin who seeks out the trio as they are given space to rest and introduces himself as Otto, a dwarf of some legend in the Silver Marches and new found friend to Prince Horatio.
Otto soon falls in the group, spending much of the afternoon speaking with them of recent events, and the state of things in the Silver Marches. Before long, a young and ostentatiously dressed spearman approaches, introduces himself as Lasarka, and invites them to a grand feast that Horatio is holding in the centre of the camp.
An evening of feasting, quaffing and the sharing of tales is had, before the night winds down and Horatio tends to business, inviting the four adventurers to cast their eyes across his maps. He points out their location, where they have travelled and where Everlund is in relation to them – he explains the plight of Everlund, how the 9th Regiment had marched out months ago to assist their allies in Silverymoon break the siege under which they’re locked, but had come back only a month later, now with a mysterious man named Eroth at their head with the Captain Clavin.
Parades and street parties were held for the return of the 9th, but whilst the folk revelled, the regiment were at work, relieving guards and dismissing patrols. By morning, they had marched upon the Royal house, citing revolution and claiming the tyrannical rule of the Queen was over, and the power would now be shared with a representative of the people, namely Eroth.
Within a week, a curfew had been enforced, with grim gangs of the 9th patrolling the streets and arresting those who did not comply. Within a fortnight, an attempt had been made upon the life of Horatio’s youngest brother. Eroth used this as an excuse to place the Queen under house arrest “for her own protection”. Indeed, this was all the sign Horatio needed – he gathered those few still loyal to his mother, grabbed his siblings and made a valiant escape from the city to this camp in the woods, where they have been evading Eroth’s 9th Regiment for weeks.
His only link with Everlund now, Horatio explains, is a network of spies made up of the guild of thieves in Everlund. Their head, the halting Bren Sheelgren (ostensibly a master baker in the city) has been smuggling information out to them, and leaving them at the Rusty Mace where they are picked up by Horatio’s men. It was whilst on his way there for just that reason that he was intercepted on the same night as our adventurers.
Horatio explained that, in light of the Rusty Mace being put to the flame, he is concerned about the safety of Bren, and asks our party to infiltrate Everlund to see what is what. They agree, and have barely begun formulating a plan when tragedy strikes, and the camp is attacked by a pair of undead ogres and a horde of zombies. The party set to work, holding the horde at bay whilst Horatio evacuate the civilians with him. It is long bloody work, but through heroics heretofore not seen, the horde is destroyed, but not before the last ogre in a flail of desperation brings down his mace upon Vachedai who is crushed beneath it.
Panting, bloody and exhausted, Otto is soon by his side, his blessed hands call down the healing power of Ilmater to mend one who has given so much to protect those who would otherwise suffer so much. Before long, Vachedai is healed – to a point – but will carry with him the burden of such an injury for many long years to come.
The group come together, to think what to do next – they can hear more of the undead coming from the east and no their time is limited. They are discussing this when a bloody and weary looking Lasarka appears from the west, handing them a piece of parchment bearing the seal of Horatio and requesting assistance from any who would be able to offer it, and thanking the group for helping his family in such a time of need. And so, purpose in hand, they travel north to meet the river, with the hope of finding a boat to take them to Everlund….