At the tournament, satyrs told rumors of elves restoring an old town in the northwest borders of their land near the edge of the Feymourn Forest. Upon hearing that these elves were paying the satyrs generously for venison and berries and also that they were in desperate need of stores for the winter, a merchant named Henry resolves carry a wagon of grain to them. He hires a satyr guide to lead the way and two adventurers accompany them:
- Ragnvaldr (TrS): Level 11 Human Fighter
- Uglubjorn, Somewhat Domesticated Owlbear
- Hundur, Great Hound
- Neville, Level 5 Toad Familiar
- Randall (HuS): Level 9/4 Human Druid/Alchemist (Level 3 Druid Grove)
- Oliver, Level 7 Winged Fox Companion
- Logi, Phoenix
- Gorg, Level 1 Ogre Alchemist
They leave on November 7th after the completion of the tournament and their guide, Devius Pigglebone, leads them along winding satyr roads ill-suited to Henry’s wagons. On the 8th, they pass by a satyrs who speak of Union of Schek patrols searching for the Raven Lord in the area. Randall has heard of the Raven Lord (he was in Randall’s demesne recruiting birds to his winter sanctuary) and believes either the patrols are mistaken in their search area or the Raven Lord has a huge range. In the afternoon on the 8th, they come onto a wide road the wagons have no trouble with. Devius informs them it is a Union of Schek road and that the other direction it leads to a town around their Shrine of Kagrit, where the second place mixed and first place melee competitor is in command.
The wagon road runs mostly straight to the west and the way is easy until on the 11th, Friday, in the early morning they come to a orc and goblin band breaking camp. They come from the Shrine of Michea to the north, where the road continues on to, but have come, like them, to speak to these elves who seem to be settling in Union of Schek lands contrary to the borders agreed on with the Vale. Randall and Ragnvaldr tell them these elves are not from the Vale and offer to travel their together. That night they arrive in the satyr village nearest the elves and camp there, about an hour from their destination.
In the morning, the 12th, they proceed to the village and are greeted by elves who obviously believe them to be elves and are confused to see them be something else. Their conversation with these elves, who they see restoring some the better preserved cottages near the mighty, crumbling tower at the center center of the overgrown village, is interrupted when a well-dressed and professional seeming elf arrives to invite them to the tower. He introduces himself as Peshk and says his master—Lord Pisha Mistershem, Count of Zanehdreq—is eager to meet them.
Lord Mistershem meets them in his library (greeting Logi in fluent, formal fey), where he offers a generous sum for the grain and to pay the “guards” equally generously. He send Peshk to get the gold and is eager to learn about the world and these humans who say they arrived in the land through a portal. As the discussion goes on, they begin to suspect he knows this lands as well as they do, ruling out their theory that he and his people came through a portal similar to their own (which they know disappeared). When asked directly where they came from, Mistershem insists that they came from here and that they never left. When asked why the satyrs and others found this village to be abandoned for hundreds of years, he says simply that was because they weren’t here to be found.
Mistershem insists on knowing what year it is in any calendar they know and Randall recalls a gnomish year he researched for Logi’s sake. Mistershem consults a book of charts and confirms it has been over 600 years. He murmurs that it worked and then ask Logi if he would accompany him. One of his servants is badly injured in a way that he believes Logi’s magic will be able to restore.
While Logi and Mistershem are away, Peshk returns with the gold Mistershem sent him to bring and asks them if the goblins outside asking to speak to Mistershem should be trusted to enter. They have already heard a good deal about Mistershem’s disdain for orcs and goblins (he scoffed at the idea that they had an empire when he learned its so-called capitol was the old elven capitol repopulated), and they tell Peshk to let them in as they have serious business to discuss.
When Mistershem returns, he sees the goblins and orc and agrees to discuss negotiate he and his people staying on land that is now claimed by them. He immediately recognizes that they are Schek Michea and asks if they would mind if he puts on some music to accompany their negotiations. He casts a spell on a vase that sounds the music and the vase pulsates with light in tune with it.
Randall soon recognizes that the music is making everyone more pliable and that the goblin leading the Michea delegation is about to grant him a very easy lease on the land. Randall calls this out and after a short debate, Mistershem agrees to stop the music and continue the negotiation after lunch, which he invites them to share at his table. He invites them to spend the rest of the morning enjoying his gardens, such as they are.
In the garden, Logi informs Randall that the servant he went to heal was a fey, specifically a Xiphus with powers over time. After confirming that Logi believed the Xiphus was a willing servant, Randall concludes that this must be how they travelled to this time from the past. Mistershem soon approaches Randall (Ragnvaldr is already playing his stone game with the orcs and goblins) and asks if he would be willing to go through the Feymourn Forest to Sorrow’s End to obtain a substance for him. Randall says he will need to talk to Ragnvaldr, but when Mistershem leaves, Logi advises against going through Feymourn Forest, saying it is possibly the most dangerous fey for a mortal to enter.
Randall approaches the Michea delegation and offers them an incense he has made that dispels magic in the area. At lunch they all eat lightly and carefully, but detect nothing amiss with their food (heavily spiced, but clearly of the hunting goods the satyrs bring). The wine is very fine, but neither Randall nor Ragnvaldr partake. The negotiations to follow last far longer and Mistershem attempts no funny business. With the assurance that the elves will take shelter in the Vale if the Dragon Empire comes for them, the Michea delegation allows them to stay with a tribute many times what Mistershem tried to get with the help of his magic.
Toward the end of the negotiations, howls and screams are heard outside and Randall and Ragnvaldr rush out to engage the pack of Elf Eaters that have arrived. They manage to stop them from going after the elves and despite Ragnvaldr and Gerald falling prey to a terrifying howl manage to slay them all without serious damage (except for one which Ragnvaldr grapples out of consciousness.
Ragnvaldr refuses to sell the sleeping wolf to Mistershem and sleeps near it to be ready to react when it wakes, Neville watching over it through the night. Neville never wakes Ragnvaldr and when he wake he finds that the Elf Eater’s throat has been cut with a small knife despite Neville’s vigilance.
With their purpose achieved, they head back to the Vale along the same path (carrying a letter from Mistershem offering generous payment to a construction crew to come and restore his tower), arriving in the Vale the 17th in the evening to find a new governor taking control of the Vale…
The appearance of these elves really had them speculating. I think the Duke of Zanehdreq will be an interesting addition to the landscape. In any case, the next post will cover Saturday’s session, during which Verdis the Prickly debated James the Grover to win the votes of the people and become the new Governor of the Vale.