Parallax

Dru and Sina diverge from the plan of waiting in the Capitol for Declan and Walter and head to Summerloch, Esben in tow. This is good, because Declan has gotten himself jailed by admitting to treason when Boniface stopped him at the gate looking for Walter (who, with hair butchered by Declan, snuck away).

 

Walter skulked around Summerloch under the guise of a cheap weirdo who sleeps in the woods (where he conveniently hid his horse), waiting for Dru and Sina and trying to find out what is going on with Declan. When the trio arrives at Summerloch, a plot to free Declan is hatched.

 

Sina prepares forged documents, with an assist from Dru on the seals, deciding to pose as a Scout with mercenaries hired to transport the prisoner to another location. The party also decides to tip off the Mercenary Guild that their man has been imprisoned on "trumped up" charges. Esben slips into the Guild and leaves the note with none the wiser.

 

Declan is questioned by a soldier from Country 1 before it's interrupted by a guard for breach in protocol; the prisoner is not to be questioned without Summerloch guards to witness. Declan was fairly honest with his inquisitor however, informing him that he was involved with smuggling Moat refugees into Riften because Country 1 soldiers razed the city and were cutting down citizens on the road with impunity. Declan does not reveal any names in his tale.

 

After this, Ailin, Ailbhe and Ruaidhrí storm the jail, demanding information and a visit with the prisoner. Ailin is allowed to enter and gives Declan the sage advice of speaking to him next time before confessing to treason. Dru and Sina had followed the Mercenary group in while Esben checked out the perimeter and Walter staked out the front of the jail. Dru and Sina being seen with Ailbhe's Guild, however, puts a snag into their plan.

 

Outside, Ailbhe and Ailin return to the Guild while Ruaidhrí lingers. He is filled in on what happened in Moat and offers to help spring Declan from jail using brute force instead of careful planning. The jail break is set for night and the party rests while Ruaidhrí packs (and leaves a note).

 

That night, Esben is relegated to the position of horse thief (third time's the charm for Declan's horse Aggro) while Ruaidhrí takes out the perimeter guard with one punch and gets the group inside. Meanwhile, Ainsley and Suibhne prepare for the escape by explaining to the guards that a company of mercenaries needs to urgently ride out to aid against bandits and the gate needs to be opened for them. (Suibhne collects the horses from the woods and readies them.)

 

Inside the jail, the group makes short work of the two remaining guards and frees a very grateful, and contrite, Declan. Ruaidhrí's group breaks off from the party outside, with Ruaidhrí on his way to Moat with a score to settle. (No one destroys the town he grew up in and gets away with it, no matter how many soldiers they have.)

 

The party, now with more time since Dru knows Esben is safe, makes its way to Garrison Black to discover the fate of Declan's friends who have been out of contact (and perhaps to learn a little about the garrison rebellions rumored to have started there).

 

Upon arrival they are met with the burned-out shell that used to be Garrison Black. There is evidence of peaceful Nomad occupancy, but someone obviously tried to destroy the garrison—even resorting to hacking down the trees and flowers used as memorials to the fallen. Among this desecration, Declan finds evidence of Bannon's demise.

 

Dru finds a trail leading from the back of the garrison that seems well-used and is headed in the direction the group needs to go in general. Our intrepid heroes decide to follow it.

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