Echoes of the Rising
The Road to Irontown
The party returns to Oleg’s Trading Post victorious over the Bandits of Tiamut’s Pass. Oleg and Svetlana are ecstatic to hear they will no longer be threatened and exploited.
Checking in on the refugees Maven, Stain, and Cleatus decide they are recovering well. By all estimates they will be ready for travel the morning after next. The party rests up, recovering strength for a long move on the morrow.
The following day the party takes both wagons back to the bandit cave, accompanied by Happy Pride and his wife Maggy. Happy and Maggy are fully stocked and ready to return home. They party loads Happy and his wife onto the rail cart and give their goodbyes. They then load all the stolen goods onto the wagons, ensure the place is clear of evil instruments of worship, and return once again to Oleg’s Trading Post.
Oleg and Svetlana help inventory the stolen goods with the party. The majority of the goods were being shipped out of Irontown, as would be expected from such a massive crafting city. The couple promises to see the stolen goods find their way onto the next passing caravan or windrider. The remaining crates and supplies, roughly 10%, were meant to be delivered too Irontown. The party packs them onto the wagons in preparation to leave tomorrow.
But before the day is out a celebration is to be had! There is plenty to celebrate to be sure… Justice wrought on the bandits, rescue and recovery of the refugees, and it is Pentecost (Mayday). Oleg roasts a ewe, vegetables and breads are baked, pies of every kind are put together in a contest of culinary delight. Casks of win, ale, and hard cider are opened and enjoyed.
Cleatus creates another batch of moonshine. Everyone keeps a wide berth until they sure it is without enchantments. Svetlana dresses in a stunning black velvet dress and invites Cadmiel to share with her an excellent vintage of elven wine. The rest of the PCs notice her strange behavior and realize she has poisoned the wine. Fortunately Cadmiel power houses through the poison and bests Svetlana once again.
A Maypole is erected and Susie Q dances with Cleatus who proves to be surprisingly light on his feet. In the jovial ambiance several other woman soon have locked arms and spinning with the half-vampire with the White family clapping and encouraging the light hearted amusement.
It proves to be a evening full of love, joy, and is just the thing to wash away all the fear and hardship of the last several weeks. With grins and sighs everyone settles into the evening and drifts off until the following morning.
After saying their goodbyes (including a cryptic message from Cadmiel to Svetlana) the PCs and their refugees being their journey to Irontown along the 457 miles of The King’s Road. The journey keeps an even pace, neither rush nor slow, and goes without incident until the final afternoon of traveling.
A great booming roar of anger and power rolls across the frozen woods and tundra. Looking up the party is just able to make out a shape diving from the cover of clouds above, clearly a massive and colossal form. Pulling out his spyglass Stain is just able to make out smaller shapes in hot persuit, who intercept the massive creature. The titanic sounds of battle can be heard echoing across the lands.
One of the shapes plummets down from the sky and begins hovering and staffing pattern over a near by clearing. Fearing for the lives of the refugees the party begins a hasty advance down the road trying to put some distance between them and the battle. Unfortunately the fight ends up spilling out onto the road ahead of them.
A lithe tall woman comes sprinting out of the frozen woods at an incredible speed. She turns to the party and shouts for them to run, clearly prepared to lead whatever is chasing her off. The party stands their ground. Soon after a large Umbral Dragon comes flying over the tree tops. Using their moment of surprise to their advantage the group unleashes hell on the beast. A barrage of lead pellets sink into its flesh, several bolts sail past its nose, and a flash of disorienting lights flash in its enraged eyes. The dragon roars with bestial rage and crashes to the earth in front of the black leather clad woman.
She flings several crystal chakrams into its face, and the monster responds with a massive snap of its jaws. The girl falls to the ground limp, several deep puncture wounds seeping dark red liquid. Maven unleashes his own cry for strength from the heavens above and charges the over sized monster. Ignoring his own safety the paladin leaves his neck and chest vulnerable to attack. Taking advance the large jaws clamp down over Maven. The party watches in horror as the black monsters head whips several times with their companion clamped firmly in its maw. And then it slumps to the ground lifeless… revealing his lance buried to the hilt directly over the dragons heart. Barely conscious, he pries himself out of its jaws, closes his eyes, and begins channeling divine energy into his wounds. Soon all the remains are the deep red stains across his saddle and his bears fur.
Reviving the girl to life she introduces herself as Arylin Shadowdancer. She is rather incoherent for a time, sure beyond reason that she is dead. When the party is finally able to convince her that she is not dead her demeanor becomes stony and passive, but several of the party members sense great turmoil within her. She politely asks for a little time alone and a ride to Irontown. The party graciously agrees.
The party finally arrives at Irontown! A great big city positioned against a frozen cove of ocean. Its walls are built thick and high and it seems like it is decorated with many divine symbols, with the majority of Shelyn and Torag. It appears vast sheets of polished metal have been added as of recent – they don’t appear to provide much physical protection but shine line mirrors.
As the refugees begin to disperse the White Family gives their heart felt thanks and goodbyes. The PC’s are encouraged to visit them at “Uncle Rufus’s Farm” which is located 22 miles north by northwest of the city. There the Whites hope to start a new life away from Union law and the ever increasing violence. The farm works with White-wood Oak, Tubers and Winter Wheat, Bison, large tundra rams, and Elk.
Baron Ash makes a scene and storms off to the nearest bathhouse with a bribed militia soldier in tow. Arylin uses this moment to appear quiet suddenly among the group. She offers them a round of drinks as she has important information she would like to discuss. The party agree’s, but only after settling a few things first.
They head to the nearest market where Stain inquires about his Father. He is unable to find any records, but slavers aren’t the best record keepers and tend to keep information private. Afterwards the party visits the Militia House to drop off their prisoner Kaz. The Militia Captain appreciates Maven consulting with the local authority, but as Kaz was in unclaimed territory at the time of his crimes the captain assures Maven that jurisdiction is fully his and The Order of the Violet Flames in this matter. He is willing to take on Kaz as an indentured Militia Member if that is the punishment Maven wishes to dispense.
In the middle of the conversation Stain suddenly fires a shot off into the shoulder of the poor Militia Captain. The party quickly finds themselves surrounded by angry and confused armed men. The party begs for peace, and Stain is clearly upset and confused. More bloodshed is only avoided by the sharp reply and stern confident gaze Arlyn gives the room. She identifies the Musket he carries as cursed, and assures everyone that Stain has not lied to them in professing his innocence. After a bit more apologizing the party moves on.
Arylin takes the party past The Silver Stag inn, out of the marketplace, and to the Soot District were she leads them to its “marketplace”, The Dredge Pit. This crowded town square is surrounded by Kiosks and Open Awningied bars. She purchases the group a round of hearty mead and sits down to discuss recent events.
She reveals that she is one of the daughters to the Seer. Her “gift”, the Piercing Sight, allows her to see all things true. She see’s the magic of the world, the auras of people, lies, veils, and concealing illusions. But most importantly she wants to discuss her recent battle with the Umbral Dragon. Her mother, The Seer, knows her own future without fault. And it was Arylins fate to die at the hands of the dragon. It was, what she describes, a Fixed Point In Time… Although everyone makes choices that affect their own lives, there are key moments in the timeline that are meant to happen and can never be altered… that is until today. She is unable to stress enough the impossibility of today’s events. She strongly encourages the Party to come with her to meet her mother to which they agree.
To be continued in the log On Angels Wings….