It turns out, Naella’s group were debating about whether or not they should leave the city but are unable to reach a conclusion. With the argument at an impasse, the group decides to table it. Our party of heroes then goes to leave the shop only to find themselves face to face with the young hanging body of the counterboy. Shocked and scared, everyone immediately goes to investigate and together they come to the conclusion that the boy is a message, although they aren’t sure who for. The only thing they have to go on is a strange ornate and ornamental dagger in his chest, although it is clear that he was strangled to death first.
Uresh, with Naella, both decide to fill in Drava who is staying elsewhere and return shortly. Upon return, Naella’s group, fearful for their lives and unsure whether or not the message was meant for them decide to leave but Uresh refuses to let them go alone. Our party then escorts the group outside of Daxia and to Ry’rian where Darwin’s family lives.
It’s a quiet three day trek to Ry’rian.
In Ry’rian, the party is updated on the political climate surrounding the region and after staying the night, decide to part with Naella and her friends and continue on. They decide to return to Belebrought, where much of the political power in the region is centered.
The return to Belebrought is uneventful. Upon arrival, the party makes an immediate beeline towards The Speaker, who has now established a council in the city of Belebrought. After waiting around, they finally manage to find him and have a conversation where he declares his intention of stepping down as the Free Monastery Speaker and offering the position to Uresh. After some delibration, Uresh accepts the offer and the group leaves him behind but not before they are joined by a mercenary contracted to take them to the Dwarven Kingdom.
As they make their way towards the Dwarven Mountains, they find themselves at the Grand Marshes where they are accosted by many strange corrupted creatures. Barely escaping with their lives, the group treks backwards, hoping to find a town they can stay in for the night. Unable to make it to a town, they take shelter in what seems to be an abandoned cabin but are attacked by the spirits dwelling in the cabin. After making short work of them, the group investigates the cabin and finds two corpses. After disposing of the bodies, they declare the cabin safe and decide to stay for the night.
Unfortunately, disposing of the bodies mostly means throwing them out a few feet from the cabin. When they wake that morning, they find a few more corrupted creatures mauling the corpses and after spooking them are attacked. Barricading themselves in the house, the creatures continue to mindlessly attack them, eventually managing to spit fire and begin burn the cabin down.
After dispatching the creatures, the party moves, once again, towards the marshes, intent on crossing it successfully.
After some recon and many discussions of plans, they eventually decide on building a raft. It takes quite some time to build the raft but once they succeed the group takes off, stopping shortly at what looks to be a raised hut in the middle of the marshlands. Curious, Halen decides to investigate and finds a scarcely furnished one room hut. He sees a chest and decides to open it only for it to animate and attack him. A small scuffle occurs, cut short when a beautiful woman appears and dispels it, telling them that this is her home. She offers to magically transport them to the mountains in exchange for “a little of your time” The group sees through this ruse and impressed, she allows them to trade other life forces, birds in this case, instead of their own for the favor.
Succesful, the group finds themselves at the base of the Dwarven mountains and enter the Kingdom with very little issue.
The group finds themselves in Starkhammer and make their way towards the train station where they run into Bartok. They find out that the train is temporarily out of commission and so Bartok takes them to a nearby tavern where they catch up.
Raneth and Racket eventually retire to their rooms but the two half-orcs decide that the night is still young. They step out of the The Boot, the tavern they’re staying in, and find another bar, Craven’s Slumber. Upon arrival, Halen spots a mysterious and shady figure and decides to make conversation. Somehow, during this conversation, the figure, Emmerick, mistakes them for his buyers and trades them a very potent naga poison as well as two antidotes, a ledger and a small nymph figurine before leaving.
Bartok inspects the ledger and discovers a plot to kill the Dwarven King but the hour had grown late and both half-orcs decide to sleep on it before deciding their next course of action.
As they sleep, Halen, who had held onto the poison, finds himself attacked in the dead of night. Barely managing to escape, he casts invisibility on himself and watches as his attacker disappears. The next morning, he finds that the naga poison has disappeared.
After a small debacle with Halen’s room being unable to be accessed, the two half-orc boys meet up with Raneth and explains the situation to her. They also discover that the person that attacked Halen turned up dead not too far up the road. Alarmed, they discuss the course of action, during which Halen steps outside and is, once again, attacked, this time by a poison arrow. Raneth and Bartok jump into action, managing to pull Halen back into the tavern, only for an explosion of fire to set off where they are.
The group manages to escape and end up meeting up with Racket where they explain the situation to the gnome. Hurriedly, they escape the city, jumping on a train and making their way to Ostcliff, all while still discussing what to do about the newly learned information they were not supposed to know.
Partway through the trip, the train car they are in is attacked again. They do manage to kill one of the attackers as the other escapes. Luckily, the rest of the ride goes without a hitch.
As they step foot into Ostcliff, the party questions how on earth they are being tracked and come to the conclusion that the items they are carrying are certainly not helping. They decide to rid both the nymph figurine and the ledger – but not before copying the ledger down.
With that done, Halen makes his way towards his father, hoping to speak to a man he hadn’t seen in quite some time.
They are eventually directed to a human household in Ostcliff where Halen meets Morana, his human step mother and Thomas, his step brother. She welcomes him and his friends in and reveals a lot of information about Halen and his father as well the strained relationship between father and son. She also explains that his father is currently being held up in the city jail.
Halen goes to the jail to talk to his father where the air between them is finally cleared only for more questions to arise. It turns out, his mother has been disguising herself as his mentor for many years and frustrated, he runs back to his father’s home, where the group is unsure how to comfort him.