Arabel: Night Descends

Caravan Guards: The Road to High Horn

When your company finally arrives at the High Horn garrison you are met by the Sgt of the Purple Guard and the Red Raven liaison for High Horn, Lt. Marrl Andover. You are paid your remaining coins (40 gp each), and are roundly congratulated for your arrival because of the recent orc ambushes and raids. In fact, the garrison’s people had given up hope of your arrival, and so you are a double surprise—in addition to worrying that more lives and another caravan had been lost, the idea that the quarter’s re-supply was lost—nothing but water, biscuit and brined pork for three more months—was even more dolorous to the Dragon soldiers. But Huzzah! not only has the caravan made it, with the load of cider, beer, beef, apples, cheese, bread wine and dried fruits, but word spreads of your deeds, and the food will go down easier knowing more than a few orcs, goblins and kobolds paid with their blood for trying to touch it (Legardo’s retelling of your exploits have been reasonably truthful, if somewhat enthusiastic) . Had you done nothing more than bring the supplies you would have been welcome, but even the Lord Commander of High Horn has taken notice of your deeds, and you have received an honor few civilians receive: you are invited to dine with the garrison’s mess.

A huge stone fortress with a high outer wall, bailey and inner keep, you can see how this superbly engineered structure, held by one of the top units in the Purple Dragons, has managed to hold the western border of Cormyr safe. These are battle hardened warriors who have seen combat regularly against the gnolls, orcs and even hill giants of the Thunder Peaks, but still they are impressed, and oddly pleased that a group of irregulars so handily dispatched enemy raiders. They are quite taken by Namir, and seem to delight in his rough hill speech. Whenever the shaman stops tells stories, the Dragons, grinning, offer him another tankard of beer accompanied by “Go on, then,” or “Really! Y’don’t say!” They respect the quiet of the small, lithe man who downs beer like water, and seem unable to stop themselves from ogling (and on occasion, drooling at) the pretty young Selene. She is perhaps not taken as seriously as she might, and might have in fact attracted unwanted attention, until a somewhat drunken private soldier made the rash, regrettable decision to fondle his rump. Luckily he did not break the table he landed on across the room, and no doubt when he awakens in the stockade the next morning, he will have chance to consider and repent of his deeds.

All in all, a good trip, and you are indeed hired, this time to bring back the courier pouch back to Arabel, contingent of course upon being subject to a lesser geas. It is also here where you meet a young cleric…

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Couriers & Lives
A Journey Back to Arabel

Happy was the chance that brought your company in contact with the young cleric, Jeralen. Though still something of a mystery—you do not know his deity or faith, nor how he came into the divine power he possesses—but he more than held his own. During your ambush of the Toe-Cutters his healing spells helped carry the day, and when the war party tracked you down he was everywhere: healing the ranger each time orcish swords cut him, and then unleashing a hail of mace blows that crushed enemies. Combined with the ferocious rage of the hill-man, the lethal sneak attacks of the ranger, and the graceful death blows the monk delivered, you were victorious. All it took from there were the steadying words of the cleric, and the engineers worked quickly and deliberately to get the job done.

All in all though it was hot work, but the wood-wise scouting of the shaman and his companion, and some quick thinking from ranger meant that you went from hunted to hunter…and then back to hunted again. You have bloodied the nose of that orc-tribe, but you have made enemies, and though you could not hear them, the hill over the lake to the north echoed to orcish howls of rage and hatred.

But that’s as may be—you made it back to Arabel and delivered the courier pouch. The geas removed, and each one of you weighted down by 50 more gold coins in your pocket, you moved out to the Griffon for a drink and a hot meal. News must travel fast in Arabel these days though—before the night was out you were being congratulated by Briidie for your new status as the hot hand for the Ravens.

Plenty fast, because the next day you receive an invitation to call upon Ilane, lord Baron of Ghars at his home in the Citadel district…

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