The party carried the scared girl out of the keep’s catacombs via the riverside tunnel they had used when originally entering the area. In the light of day, the rescued girl recognized Biri from the church of Bahamut in Rivergate and agreed to travel with the group to her home and to her waiting father. Biri helped the Lilly clean herself in the river near the tunnel entrance while the rest of the group discussed how best to return home while avoiding the orcs. Finally the group moved out to the north, towards the mountains with the hope that the orc patrols could be avoided.
The party moved mostly north with a westerly lean, taking time during their travels to cover their trail and lay a few false ones. Biri continued to carry Lilly after it was determined that she could not keep up with the pace the party wanted to set due to her weakened condition. Once the terrain became rougher, and looked like it may slow their progress, the party turned almost due west hoping to hit the village of Clifton’s Way.
After a few days, they ran into a scruffy, gray haired, brown robed, trapper sitting alone in the woods. After a short and slightly confusing conversation it was determined that the man’s name was Ben Koertig, he was a little crazy, and he was the same man that a couple of months ago had sold a portion of an artifact to Professor Raibeart. Xyphus had been previously tasked to find out any information that he could regarding the artifact by the Professor, so the party talked Ben into leading him to where he had found the dyed shard of bone.
They made an early camp at the site Ben lead them to and then searched the area until shortly after dark for objects of interest. While they did not find any additional parts of the artifact Xyphus was looking for they did locate the stone that it had been under originally. They also found an ancient matched pair of daggers that still had faint etchings on the blades, a broken bottle with an unknown signet imprinted gold seal over the opening, and a engraved gold medallion with a thumbnail sized emerald in the center.
After breaking camp the party continued to the west until they spotted the Cliffs of Valkor towering over the tops of the trees. Expecting the village of Clifton’s Way to be about 25 miles away the party pushed themselves to reach it that day. A couple hours after dark the party still had not seen any signs of habitation so they set camp for the night. They traveled about 20 miles a day keeping the cliffs in sight with no signs of people for about five confusing days. During the morning of the sixth day of the second week of their travels, the group found its way into outskirts of the village of Clifton’s Way and made it into the hamlet proper by just before midday.
Deciding to get Lilly to her father as soon as possible, the party continued down the arcing road to Rivergate. They encounter a pair of Knights Verdouyant at each of the resting circles on the road. When they arrive at the entrance to Rivergate shortly after sundown they are met by four armed guards they did not recognize and a freshly installed palisade running from each edge of the road to the bank of the river.
The Sergeant Walter and his guards confronted, stopped, and questioned the party then one of the guards ran into town to get Commander Tynne. When the commander arrived he escorted them to the guard barracks and offered the group the meager remnants of his men’s supper. While Lilly partook of the offered soup, the commander sent for her father, then began debriefing the party while they waited for Master Bartholomew.
Master Bartholomew arrived, tearfully hugged his daughter, hurriedly thanked the heroes and invited them to his house for supper the next night then rushed his daughter out of the guard house barely waiting for the party to agree. With the girl safely in her father’s care, the commander offered to take party members to the Inn of the Dancing Goblin for drinks.
The party’s arrival sparked some interest in the regulars of the Dancing Goblin including the innkeeper, Goodman Adamson, and the storytelling Professor Raibeart. The night continued to go well for the group as the innkeeper offered a meal and a room for each. As the party finally began to really relax, the professor came over to join them where he joined Tynne in hearing the details of the group’s adventure. During the night’s discussion, Mayor Fellid stopped by and congratulated the party on their success, thanked them for the service that they provided the community, and offered his help if it was ever needed. The party ended their day by crawling between clean sheets and sleeping off the ground for the first time in what seemed like forever.
The next day the more scholarly members of the group went to visit Professor Raibeart. The professor allowed his young friends to make use of his facilities to research the function and value of the items that they had procured during their adventure. They did the best they could and with the help of the professor they managed to identify the majority of the items: 20 Drow made gold coins, a bolt of rare iridescent blue-violet cloth, a Drow ritual dagger, magical Wildrunners boots, 2 ancient rusted matched daggers with the barely visible remnants of engraving on the blade, an ornately carved golden medallion with a thumb sized emerald at its heart that once belonged to a High Priest of Melora, the broken off top of a clear bottle covered with a gold seal that was stamped with the personal signet of a 2000 year dead Knight Justicar, and a yet to be identified magical ring.
That evening’s dinner at Master Bartholomew’s house was a rather sedate affair. The meal was standard fare for the area; nutty pastries as an appetizer, roast beef, potatoes,and greens for the main course, and bread pudding for desert. All of the food was plentiful, extremely well prepared, and exoticly flavored, making what would have been a standard inn meal seem to the group an extravagant banquet. As the conversation began to die off and the night became late, the host thanked the heroes again and escorted them to the door. As each one left his home, a misty eyed Bartholomew heartily shook their hands and slipped a small leather bag into each person’s hands. As they walked back to their inn rooms, they discovered that the guild leader had given each of the seven heroes 30 gold Regals!
The next dozen days were filled with the nightly debate and discussion regarding where to go from here and the daily study and training to hone the heroes skills. All during this time the the towns proprietors and skill masters freely gave their skills and wares to the group’s members.
As the community’s generosity began to wear thin the party decided how to proceed: They would move off to the capital of the Barony of Anadar, Wuudwyn, in search of additional support for the newly agreed to quest to remove the Orcish threat to the town of Rivergate.
The overland travel from Rivergate to Wuudwyn was a very uneventful five days. Upon arriving at the stone walled city, the party was greeted by city watch and after a few questions, directed to the castle belonging to the Baron Galeford Anadar. Traipsing through a human city of nearly 1000 was a completely different experience than most of the party had ever had. The press of the buildings, the winding streets, the calls of the merchants, and the aromas all made for slow progress to the castle.
After arriving at the castle and making their way from the guards to the chamberlain, party made clear the reasons for their visit and used the letters from the Mayor Fellid and Commander Tynne along with some smooth talking to get awarded a meeting with the Baron the next day. The chamberlain directed them to a nearby inn and told them that he would contact them when the baron was ready to see them.
The party has a meeting with the priests at the Temple of Pelor inWuudwyn. They informed the priest of the desecrated altar and after a discussion the priest agree to send one of themselves to help reconsecrate the altar when the party returns. (needs some more meat…any takers)
After a few days the party was summoned to meet with Baron Galeford. The baron asked many questions regarding the groups previous accomplishments and their plans. The baron sends a messenger to his liege, the count of Barseen, asking for additional soldier so that he can send some additional help with the party. Either way the baron agreed to send two Rangers with the party to help protect the priest of Pelor since he was a follower. (needs some more meat…any takers)
The party found itself waiting in Wuudwyn for an answer from the count before proceeding to attack the keep and reconsecrate the alter of Pelor. Inn rooms were procured and trainer’s located to allow the group to continue improving their skills while they waited the expected two weeks. They also had a new town to explore with its various shops and inns, its open market with a regularly changing variety of goods from the nearby land owners, and new soldiers, knights, and scholars to socialize with.