- Alefa Frigeldötter, Human (Hältlander) Fighter (Sarah)
- Asanaria Quickrok, Halfling Bard (Emma)
- Baras Gouliou, Human (Tagean) Pankratiast (Sam)
- Hrodan, Human (Hältlander) Paladin of Augustus (Alex)
- Brother Solomon, Half-Elven Cleric of Toth (James)
- Wren Dre, Wild Elf Ranger (Gavin)
We had a change of roster this time round. With Alysha still having a few problems in her personal life, Sarah Gosling turned up and joined the group as the sixth member of the party.
We rejoin the companions at the Empty Flagon in the town of Malforten. During the conversations that were held with members of the unofficial town council, it is apparent that this Griznak the Bold is a most cunning foe … and that somewhere in the town, there is a traitor who is selling out the militia.
One thing that is for certain, everyone the party speak to is in agreement that you need to speak to a local historian named Ifon about the Drunderry valley and its environs. So the companions settle in for food and ale, hoping that Ifon will grace the tavern with his presence.
Perhaps an hour later, the door opens to allow a tall cloaked figure into the tavern. There is a wet thump as a large backpack falls to the packed earth floor. The companions cannot make much out: the figure is dressed in leathers with a pair of high cut, fur trimmed boots. Beneath the cloak can be seen a scabbard and from its look, it seems that the sword it holds has seen much action. Strong arms wrapped in long fingerless leather gloves emerge to push back the hood. The female, for it is indeed a woman, is tall and striking, ornate tattoos circling her left eye as her gaze sweeps the tavern common room with casual yet measuring looks.
Seating herself at one of the tables, she orders a dark ale and a bowl of stew.
Nodding to Kerriwyn, one of the serving girls slips out to the kitchen. Asanaria’s curiousity began to get the better of her and she wandered across the tavern to take a closer look at this interesting person. Wrendre groaned as he saw this, his hands moving much to late to prevent the halfing’s movement, and so he took solace in his drink. The remaining companions looked on, wondering just how much trouble the halfing could get into.
Speaking very rapidly about anything and nothing at all, the halfling was walking around the woman, even climbing on her table to take a closer look at her face. It’s at times like this that the companions (and the warrior maiden) wonder if halflings have gills because Asanaria doesn’t seem to stop to take a breath. As the warrior maiden attempted to grab her, Asanaria deftly moved aside and swung herself up onto the woman’s shoulders.
Spying the companions watching her with some trepidation, the warrior maiden gathered her drink and food then made her way across the tavern to them. She took a route that should have resulted in Asanaria impacting one of the lighting wheels but once again, the halfling proved most dextrous as she quickly hopped onto the wheel before returning to the floor. Her monkey, Pompom, decides to remain where he was.
Introducing herself as Alefa Frigeldötter from Hältland, she asked to join them. Further introductions were made by the companions before they enquired as to why she was so far south. Rather than stop eating, she simply unrolled an all-too-familiar bounty poster. In the end, Baras proposed a simple solution: that they combine forces and share the bounty or she could run the risk that the party would find Griznak first thus leaving her without a reward. Alefa thought for a few moments before agreeing, it did make sense and some reward was better than no reward as all. After all a one-sixth share of 250 gold crowns is not a small sum.
The companions sat talking into the night, catching up on news from both the north and the south, and trying to get an idea of each other’s skills. As the remaining locals began leaving for their beds, Kerriwyn returned with three room keys. There were a couple of other travellers in the tavern but they’d chosen to bed down on the floor by the fire-pit. And so the companions retired for the night.
The following morning found several of the companions awake early for breakfast. The warriors checked their weapons and did their stretching exercises; the priest did his morning vigils; the halfling just sang loudly and the elf groaned with a thumping headache, wondering why he was sleeping over the bucket.
One by one, the party entered the common room for breakfast. Solomon and Asanaria ordered cooked breakfasts, consisting of fried bacon, eggs, mushrooms, onions, grilled potatos and Aenochian Disks (kind of like a black pudding). Hrodan and Alefa also ordered breakfast although their portions were perhaps twice the size of Solomon’s. When Baras’ breakfast arrived, the platter was awash with food, perhaps six times what Solomon had ordered. Alefa looked at Hrodan with a raised eyebrow, he shrugged and said “Hrodan does not know, Hrodan does not wish to know”.
Their fast broken, the companions gathered their belongings and set off in search of the elusive historian who didn’t turn up at the tavern the previous night. Getting directions from Kerriwyn, they walked the brief distance and soon found themselves knocking at a plain unadorned door.The door was opened by a tall, well-groomed human of middling years. Dark hair going grey at the temples in a distinguished manner, bright green eyes sparkling with merriment. When the companions told him why they were there, he invited them to join him in partaking of a cup of Brindisium Tar (think very strong coffee, double espresso strength, and sweetened with honey).
He introduced himself as Ifon Picton and explained that whilst he didn’t know everything about the local area, he was considerably more informed than anyone else.
In response to various questions, he then began to explain a few things:
- The Drunderry River Valley: Running through the Fallow Hills to the north, down into the plains and finally to the Elmarsh Lake far to the south, the river is narrow and fast within the Hills but then fans out shallow and broad with many sandbars. The valley is populated with lush fauna, attracting deer and wild cattle as well as predators that may be problematic for the inexperienced. The flora is lush and there are a whole host of species here that have never been found growing elsewhere.
- The Imperial Road: The world is still recovering from the times known as the Winter Dark when the Dark God ruled this world. Although he was banished over a century ago, his influence is still felt and his Empire has not fallen as people thought it would. There is apparently an old road that led from Ausfrag in the north to the sea in the south, and it’s believed to be on the other side of the river. Ifon has found the road but has not followed it for any great distance. According to the records, there is an old Imperial Holding in the Fallow Hills.
- Craggy Ridge: This is a high point of land about a mile north of the town. From here, people can get a full view of the town and valley. Several villagers have seen figures on the top of the crag.