DL 3 Dragons of Hope; IC; Chapter 3
Somewhere in the Kharolis Mountains south of Pax Tharkas, Early Evening of 10 Hiddumont (October), 351 AC
The past two days had been very, very hard and tiring for the band of adventurers and the 800 or so newly freed prisoners of Pax Tharkas. The high, winding trail through the Kharolis mountain pass south of Pax Tharaks had become covered in white as an early snowstorm had howled down into the valley; making everything a cold, hard slog. The companions estimated they had put about 10 miles between Pax Tharkas and themselves, and with evening falling, the various families were stopping and a makeshift camp was being set up.
Over the past 2 days, the adventurers had utilized the healig properties of Maxavel's staff, along with her and Elistan's clerical spells to heal themselves and others of wounds and to restore sight to the Ergothic Cleric and Valentheran the Elf which had been taken by the malign magic of the fallen Lord Verminaard's mace. That same mace would not allow any decent person to grab it with out inflicting damage; so it had been buried in an unmarked hole in the ground; much like the late, un-lamented Highlord of the Red Wing of the Dragonarmies. The adventurers had stayed as a 'rear-guard' as the freed families of Pax Tharkas had headed south and they could see and hear in the distance that several Red Dragons and scores of troops had returned to the fortress to begin digging out the massive blocks they had dropped to slow down the Red Wing's progress of conquering the region. They knew they had to keep the refugees moving and find a safe haven for them somewhere….
Several campfires begin to flicker in the snow-covered wilderness. Around them gather the tired, newly freed families of Pax Tharkas. Through the snow comes the familiar face of Sir Gavin Uth Kallin, Knight of the Sword. "I'm sorry to keep you from some much deserved sleep, but a few of us leaders of this band are gathering to talk about a few things, and I'd like you all to be there, as we wouldn't be free if it weren't for you. This way, please"; the older, scarred by highly capable warrior says as he leads you to a campfire with several people gathered around it.
Seven people, five men and two women greet you; most with warmth, some with neutral looks and one with hostility. The five men include:
-Elistan the former High Seeker of Haven who is now a True Cleric of Paladine and unquestionably the person held in the highest regard by the vast majority of the refugees. He smiles kindly at you all and seems to have become the de facto 'chariman' of this little gathering.
-Locar, a sour-faced man who was also one of the High Seekers of Haven and the only one of the group who greets you with a hostile expression on his face. It would seem he is NOT a fan of the new religion sweeping the band of former prisoners.
-Brookland of the Que-Teh; a middle-aged Plainsman who seems to have become the new 'Chieftan' of the 200 or so survivng Plainsmen in the band of 800 freed prisoners. He has a serious, neutral expression on his face and greets you with neither warmth nor hostility.
-Tomas of New Ports; a stocky, tough-looking man who had been known as one of the leading experts of mining and therefore someone who advised and helped out a lot of the prisoners while working at the Tharkadan iron mines. He's a very blunt, foul-mouthed individual, yet an incredibly hard-working and honest one and he seems more than a little chagrinned to be here.
-Gavin Uth Kallin; the older, scarred Knight of Solamnia who had been travelling incognito on a mysterious mission for his Knighthood when captured had become an indespensible man for the group as his considerable knowledge and experience had helped organize the carts, food stuffs, blunts, etc. for the group immediately unpon being liberated. He greeted the companions with an honest smile.
Also in the group were a pair of women;
-Marita of Gateway; a forty-something seamstress and very organized woman who had become a leader amongst the women when they were prisoners in Pax Tharkas and who helped out the companions by providing key details to make the escape plan possible. She greeted the companions with a friendly smile.
-Vellis of Crossing; a very attractive woman who appeared to be in her mid thirties and was extremely knowledgable in many academic areas and who had been the mayor of the small town of Crossing before its occupation by the Dragonarmies. She was a widow and many whispered that she was a magician though no obvious signs of spell-casting had been seen from her thus far.
Together these seven explain that they have all become leaders of several groups within the body of refugees and they have decided to come together to form a 'Council of Freedom' to talk about matters concerning the group as a whole. Elistan explains that due to the food supplies they took with them from Pax Tharkas being nearly spent; they have to start looking for somewhere that animals and/or plants could be used to feed such a large group along with providing shelter from the imminent winter and the pursuing forces of the Dragonarmies when they come.
Gavin says that he has enough weapons and crude bits of armor and/or shields to equip about a single platoon (40 people) to serve as a protective force for the group as a whole while Brookland says that the Plainsmen have about half that in warriors using crudely made Bows and Spears as well for the same purpose.
The group; well except for Locar who seems to mostly just want to object to anyone's views and be petty; would like for the party of adventurers to go forward as scouts to try and find some foodstuffs and/or safe-havens while the main body of refugees slowly continues south along the ancient path. Elistan thinks they have enough food for 2 or 3 more days for everyone, after that, things will start to get really tough...
"I don't want to speak for my cousin or comrades," Vale responds to the council's request, "but I would be happy to put my skills to the service of these good people and scout the area for a suitable settlement site."
Gilthanas addresses the council. " I would be happy to scout for your people, but we will also require the help of 3 or 4 of your men folk that know these lands.
Thorn the dwarf in addressing the council speaks boldly "I'll gladly help ya in whate'er the need be."
"Thank you all for inviting us to assist the council. We will do everything in our power to get your people to a safe haven."
"I am not as skilled as my companions in matters of the forest and scouting, but I agree that we need a place to camp every night, and food along the way."
Max turns to her group and asks: "Maybe we scout ahead a few hours from the convoy, finding areas of interest, then report back?"
Somewhere in the Kharolis Mountains south of Pax Tharkas, Mid-Evening of 10 Hiddumont (October) thru Late-Morning of 11 Hiddumont, 351 AC
The members of the Council of Freedom turned to Gilthanas to answer his question about sparing some people who might know the area and Elistan answered politely; "I'm sorry Elf-lord; but none of us former prisoners know this area at all. The only people we know who live out here include a few reclusive hermits and the handful of Hill Dwarf traders that come through our towns have told us they hail from this region, but we know not exactly where. None of either were among us at Pax Tharkas, I'm sorry to say."
Upon hearing most of the group express a willingess to scout ahead of the group to search for an area of refugee or possible game or other foodstuffs, Elistan thanks them profusely and wishes them well. He closes the night by calling on the blessing of Paladine; king of the Gods of good to be with them; to which some of his fellow council members bow thier heads respectfully, while others just shrug or look noncommittal. One, Locar the Seeker, rolls his eyes in disgust; and the meeting and the evenning breaks up.
The next morning dawns bright, but still cold; a light snow again falling which will help in making them not so-easy-to-spot or track; but obviously it means a slower, harder slog through the mountain pass. After a quick and none-too-filling breakfeast, the group heads out to scout ahead of the band of refugees.
The band of adventurers including Valentheran 'Vale' Grentree the Elven Thief-Mage, Sir Garth Blackwood the Solamnic Knight and Paladin of Kiri-Jolith, Thorn Stoneshield the Mountain Dwarven warrior, Maxavel LarVon the Cleric of Mishakal and Gilthanas the Elven Fighter-Mage set out on thier scouting mission. They travelled the mountain pass road, winding generally south for a couple of hours before they came upon a choice of two avenues of travel.
The ancient, snow-covered remnants of a mountain pass road continued to the East and a few old monuments of stone jutting out from frozen ground and covered in runes can be seen here and there. In attention to the road, a second mountain pass is visible in the wall of mountains to the West. A set of footprints, short of step, follows this route….
Last edited by maxvale; 05-23-2016 at 02:38 PM.
Vale will crouch and study the footprints in an attempt to identify what type of creature made them.
Thorn leans over to look at the footprints as well "Huh what d'ya make of them tracks Vale? Recognize what made em?"
Max looks at the tracks, then back at the sets they just made. A thought starts to form, but is then replaced by other concerns.
"It's cold. Anyone else cold?"
Somewhere in the Kharolis Mountains south of Pax Tharkas, Late Morning thru Mid Afternoon of 11 Hiddumont (October), 351 AC
The companions can tell that the tracks were made by humanoids of about 3 and a half to 4 and a half feet in height, judging from the stride; though this could be anything from a group of children to goblins to Dwarves. The path thru the snow winds in westerly to North-westerly direction in a snake-like canyon framed by high, majestic peaks. The companions take several hours to travel the 4-5 mile long path in the snow and occasional biting winds and take a break at one point to have a quick lunch.
The canyon eventually turns sharply to the west and opens a bit into a vale filled with pine trees. The trail leads into the heart of the trees and soon enough, a cracking sound that anyone who's ever been around loggers knows well; the sound of a tree being cut-down. A group of about a dozen Dwarves are busily cutting down several trees and then trimming them of thier branches and loading the lumber onto a flat-topped sleigh and securing the wood with ropes and tackle. One of the Dwarves notices the companions and suddenly the Dwarves all grab up axes and hammers and stand at the ready as suddenly the only sound is the wind howling through the vale….
OOC: Greywolf, I don't know how familiar you are with DL details or if I informed you of this; but your character is from a distant land of mountain Dwarves (known as Kaolyn) and originally joined the party to attempt to find the long-lost (to his people, anyway) Mountain Dwarf Kingdom of Thorbardin; said to be in these mountains. (A massive Catacylsm literally changed the world about 350 years ago; and many nations/peoples lost contact with each other). He knows nothing except a few stories about Hill Dwarves (they don't live in Kaolyn); so these Dwarves look quite strange to him.