Castle Whiterock—Chapter 4: Trek to Far Town

Characters

  • Emmeline Forthwrought, eccentric human wizard.
  • Frevia Arden, self-sufficient human druid, with Roberta, snake animal companion. (Absent)
  • Imra Shadowmantle, disciplined elven rogue.
  • Melanie Shadowmantle, aristocratic human fighter.

A Friendly Request

 The morning after Melanie's vigil to awaken Treeheart, she met Frevia leaving the estate with Roberta. The druid informed her that she needed a few days alone to perform observances, as she hadn't had time to commune with nature she the group had started adventuring. She said she'd be back in no more than a week, and Melanie wished her luck.

As Emmeline and Imra were returning with their morning coffee, servants announced guests waiting for them. The three went to the sitting room and found Findle and Kat Glimer, the gnome siblings they'd rescued from the slavers in Castle Whiterock. The two gnomes wanted to go home to the mining town of Far Cirque, but no caravans go that way and the road is dangerous. Melanie quickly offered to escort them home, and the Glimers were humbled by her generosity. She gathered a cart and horse, and together with Emmeline and Imra, they set off to deliver the gnomes.

The journey to Far Cirque took about 3 days, and the party merely had to scare off a few approaching animals. They arrived in the craggy foothills of the Ul Dominor mountains to find an abandoned village built for mixed human- and gnome-sized residents. From afar, they spotted an armored figure on horseback wandering around the town, calling out to anyone there. Findle explained that this village was a decoy to help ward off unwanted visitors. He guided the group to a secret path deeper into the mountains.

After further travel, the party arrived at a glacier overhanging the valley with a curtain of mist rolling off it in the summer air. Findle and Kat murmured something in Gnomish as they passed beneath, and the curtain parted to reveal a hidden town built into a huge crack in the mountainside. Building sized to humans and gnomes were lit by magical lights, and mine entrances festooned the cliff walls.

Welcome Back

The group was immediately met by Mistress Berick, leader of the town, who was wary of these outsiders. In particular, she was suspicious of the Shadowmantle family name, and seemed to recognize Emmeline on sight. In thanks for returning the Glimers from captivity, she welcomed the group to rest in Far Cirque, but she stressed the importance of keeping the location secret.

Emmeline had been experiencing vague deja vu during the journey, and now that she was in the town, she was certain she had been there before. Slowly, events returned to her, and she knew that she had been caught in the library of the Shapers Guild and her memory of the town had been erased. While the others settled down for the evening at the local inn, Emmeline made her way to the Shapers Guildhall.

When she gave the gnome attendant her name, he escorted her to a small cell with a plain desk and chair. A detect magic spell revealed a ledger in the desk drawer along with ink and a quill. The ledger's cover read "Questions." Uncertain at first, Emmeline eventually began writing in the book. Her questions quickly disappeared and were replaced with answers. Over the next hour, she asked the book many questions about the transformation of humans into animals and how to reverse such effects. At the end of that time, the attendant returned and escorted her from the hall.

A Desperate Duty

The next day, the party set out to return to Cillamar. As they left the hidden path and returned to the main road, they were approached by an armored rider. The man was handsome and well-appointed with armor and weapons. He introduced himself as Sir Karill of Kitchmon, sent on a mission to find Far Cirque and secure a contract for gem shipments to his struggling barony.

Sir Karill asked the party if they knew how to reach Far Cirque, but the group were determined to keep the town's secret. Frustrated, Karill demanded that they aid him by right of nobility, and again they refused. His honor besmirched, Karill drew his sword. Melanie, however, moved first and rushed the mounted knight.

Swords clashed while Imra fired arrows from the back of the cart. Emmeline circled to flank and let loose a barrage of disorienting grease spells and color sprays, which blinded Karill's horse and stunned him long enough for Melanie to strike the killing blow. Karill's head flew into the brush.

Only mildly saddened they had to kill the desperate knight, the party stripped him of his fine gear, including magical full plate which Melanie quickly donned. Imra disposed of the body and any sign of his noble status, and the group returned to Cillamar.



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