Shadow Guard Rise of the Phoenix

Episode 3

Episode 3 (080313) – Trauban, Traendithas, Pahn, Raglor, Myrmidon, and Lucien
The morning camp is disrupted by a Warg sneaking into camp and trying to steal off with Pahn! Traendithas, who is on watch with Myrmidon, manages to clip it with an arrow, as Pahn wakes up in the mouth of a Warg. As Myrmidon and Traendithas give chase, Pahn manages to command the beast to “change”. A bewildered Night Elf battle rager flees the camp, limping away with arrow wounds. Pahn seems unhurt, having slept in his mythrel shirt armor.
The six Robber Knights bid the caravan good luck and leave the heroes to continue their trek to Raven Hill. Once again, only Lucien is willing to stay with the wagon and its questionable contents (explosives and a chained sarcophagus), while the rest of the heroes travel on foot beside the wagons.
A few days later the caravan stops as birds are spied circling in the distance. Raglor, Myrmidon, and Pahn scout ahead and find a recent battle ground. Black and Grey cloaked warriors litter the woodlands, black birds pecking away at the meaty parts. As Pahn checks the bodies, the birds suddenly become aggressive and swarm him. A sanctuary saves him from the initial attack and then they turn on Raglor, ignoring Myrmidon. The heroes swat at the birds, felling them easily, but more continue to attack! At the caravan, a second flock descends on the heroes. As in the woodlands, the birds fall easily, but they manage to wound the carriage horses before being driven off. As the heroes swat the last of the birds, they dissolve into a black mist or fog and seep away into the woods, the direction of Raven Hill…
100 silver pieces, 11 studded leather, and 11 longswords are scavenged from the fallen – 2 sets are given to the Teamsters. The Priest Ollum and Myrmidon bury the poor souls and say a prayer that they find rest. Pahn uses healing on the heroes and horses, allowing them to press on through the night, eager to be done with this business.
At midnight, the weary troupe sees a lonely inn at the top of a wooded hill. They are greeted by a half dressed woman and invited to stay. Several other women, recently awakened, provide some hard bread and ale, before hiding in a locked room until morning. Myrmidon, guarding the horses and wagons, startles a jittery man sleeping in the stables. Later that morning the innkeeper mentions a woodcutter had been staying in the stable after his home was destroyed. The inn is called “The Temple” and it is only a few hours to Raven Hill.
The heroes leave Lady Ballentine at “The Temple” and scout out Raven Hill. After passing an abandoned picket, they come upon a nervous town. Only Grey Cloaked guards lurk in shadows, while doors and windows are shuttered. Only a busy smithing shop and an inn appear open. At the Inn the heroes are treated to some fine food and drink by the innkeepers – Trelayne (female Ael in noble’s garb) and Hanns and Smitt (well dressed and groomed Bretons). An appointment is made with a bureaucrat at the City Council and the heroes bring Lady Ballentine to Raven Hill. The smithy is run by Dwarves and a Warforged, who Lucien talks to in Elvish, much to the Dwarves surprise.
True to her word, Lady Ballentine finds a buyer for the dragon stick, an Alchemist named Ebonlocke. She also pays off the Teamsters with sacks of coin. The heroes agree to trade the dragon stick for a diamond (possibly worth 10,000 gp) and also get a good price for the scavenged weapons and armor (52gp each). The Teamsters seem inclined to join the heroes, but are rebuffed with “what’s it worth to you for safe passage back?”. The burial of Lady Ballentine’s husband is to be some days from now, but the heroes seem inclined to leave before then.
A visit from a tradesman, Spidas, who has an interest in trading for the diamond does not go well. His offer of horses and hard coin, turns into a threat that leaving Raven Hill may not be that easy. The innkeeper also asks the heroes to leave sooner than later, since weapons were almost drawn in her inn.
Meanwhile, Traendithas visits the captain of the knight watch on his own to ask about a missing noble family called Labrie. He’s told they may be “across the lake”. When he returns to the heroes they have decided to leave. Pahn is inclined to travel north to Guilder (formerly Alamire), but has been told it is a slow and dangerous trek with some climbing involved. Raglor recommends skirting Westfall as they did before and then they can go north to Alamire or back south the way the came before.
Treendithas suggests they check the route to the north, “across the lake”. Traveling north they find a large lake blocking their way. Traveling around they find a small river with a bridge guarded by Grey Cloaks. “Leaving so soon?”, they call, “You should have paid Spidas…” as they draw weapons.

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