Parallax

Episode 12

Once Grisha returns from patrolling in the morning, the Nomads pick up camp and disguise it so that whatever traces remain appear aged as if no one has camped there recently. Tolik wraps Grisha's shoulder wound and Grisha says it's fine as it is. The group continues to travel through the woods, where various foot paths trail through the dying autumn grass. Grisha seems to be following such a foot path until the afternoon, where he branches off and makes his way to a small space in the trees. One of the Nomads gestures that the party shouldn't follow too closely, and they stop. Grisha approaches a large tree with a mound below it that the group recognizes as a Nomad grave. Grisha takes out a small dagger and opens a line on his arm, bleeding onto the mound. The party can see there is also blood on the bark of the tree, though it is older. As Grisha bleeds and prays, many crows and ravens gather in the tree above him. The party, except for Dru, begins to feel the unease and tension again that haunts them through their nighttime watches. Tolik sees Declan watching the birds uneasily and explains that it just means "she" is present. Some of the party thinks he is referring to the dead woman buried there, and others think he's referring to the God of Blood. Inok chimes in with "she remembers the fallen". Dru decides to pray as well, pricking a thumb and bowing his head in prayer. When he looks up, all the birds and all the Nomads are watching him. Grisha questions his actions, but is thoughtful rather than hostile, and seems satisfied with Dru's answers. As Grisha turns away, all of the birds take off at once and leave. The party and the Nomads continue to travel.

A good spot is found to camp for the night where large trees have been uprooted and form a wall to sleep against. There are other fallen trees that serve as benches to light a fire between, and the Nomads set up camp—trading off on chores. Grisha drinks against a fallen log, watching Inok build a fire. Declan asks Inok what he can do to help and she says he can do whatever he wants as they aren't used to having so many hands around to help set up. She mentions that Tolik went hunting, and Declan decides to do that as well. Erva collects some firewood and Dru teaches Grisha how to throw knives (Grisha isn't very good at it, but improves with Dru's help), while Esben watches and offers tips.

(In Nomad woods, deer hunts Declan.) Declan is startled while following some tracks in the woods by the deer he is tracking running straight at him. He gets a shot off with his bow, nailing it in the chest, and it alters its course enough to knock him off his feet instead of barrelling into him as it runs by. He sees it has another arrow in its back and Tolik chasing it on foot. Tolik stops to help Declan up and tells him he got a good shot on it, and teaches Declan to follow the blood trail to find the dead deer. Once they reach the body, Tolik teaches Declan how to gut it and then carries it back to camp where Grisha helps Tolik hang it in a tree. They cut the throat to drain the blood but also carve some off for dinner right away. (Inok is glad to have something aside from rabbit stew.)

Dru leads the Nomads except for Grisha in a rousing Nomadic child song about cooking, and teaches Walter enough that he can get half of it. Tolik tries to teach Declan but the latter is obviously not interested, so Tolik teaches him the art of butchering a deer instead. After the deer is eaten, both groups take normal watches so there are two on watch at all times. During Sina and Tolik's watch, a new person enters the camp and Tolik talks to her until it is time to wake next watch. Sina lets Declan know about the newcomer, and her suspicions that this one is also a Necromancer as she is wearing things similar to Thanos (and also has moss growing on her clothing).

Inok begins cooking for the stranger and Declan hangs around, overhearing that the newcomer wants Grisha for something but that she'll wait until Inok's watch is over rather than waking him early. Declan asks for some of the food Inok is making and the three share the deer, Inok making enough that the Necromancer can take some with her. Declan begins talking to the Necromancer, whose name he learns is Delia, mentioning that they ran into "another of [her] kind". He makes it clear he's creeped out by animating the dead and Delia gets a bit of revenge by letting him know there are bodies buried under their campsite. Declan apologizes, and Delia is friendly. Delia dozes against a tree through the rest of Declan and Inok's watch, and then Inok wakes Grisha and Declan wakes Dru but forgets to mention the Necromancer.

Dru makes coffee and tells Esben to sleep rather than joining him on watch. Dru offers coffee to the Necromancer, who warily takes it after looking to Grisha for confirmation. Dru listens in on enough of the conversation to know that Delia is being followed and is hoping Grisha can do something about it. She doesn't know if it's soldiers or Order but she's pretty sure there are four pursuers. Grisha says he'll take care of it and Dru interrupts to ask if he's sure he should go alone. Grisha says he'll be fine and wakes Erva early to take over the rest of his watch as he leaves with Delia. While Erva is up, Dru pulls out his mini shrines and begins to pray for Grisha's safe return. Erva is very interested and starts asking Dru who each of the figures are and correcting him on them. Erva explains that Nomads and people of Dru's country came from the same place in the beginning but have split off since then, and it's no wonder Dru's country is so messed up since they've messed up what the gods actually are. Dru is tolerant and Erva insists that the next time Dru sees a god he should ask about the others, because the gods know the true way of things. Erva does join in on the prayer for Grisha by cutting his thumb and bloodying the symbol Dru made for the God of Blood.

The rest of the camp wakes and Grisha does not return in the morning. Declan asks if the camp should go after Grisha but the Nomads say they should wait. Dru entertains the Nomads (mostly Inok) through magic in the camp to pass the time and Walter reads more of his engineering book. A bit into the afternoon Grisha returns, carrying a bloody sack and covered in blood himself. Dru asks Declan hurriedly to go into the woods and gather more preygrass for him. He tries to tell Arka to do this as well, but she plants her feet and crosses her arms over her chest and glares at Grisha, watching. Inok builds up the fire and Grisha lays four hearts into it, along with the cloth he was using as a sack. The cloth is part of a black standard-issue garrison tunic. Arka is very, very pissed off as it looks like Grisha has killed four soldiers.

Declan returns with the preygrass but not before the hearts have finished burning and the smell has left camp. The Nomads prepare to move, burying the parts of the deer they don't pack to bring with them. More deer is cooked over the (hearty) fire while camp is dismantled. Declan notices Grisha is favoring his shoulder more and motions to Tolik. Tolik takes a look, smacks Grisha upside the head and wraps gauze around the wound again. Once camp is deconstructed, the group moves on.

During travel, Erva leads and Grisha stays in the back, still covered in blood. Arka walks at the back with him and they argue. Arka fills Declan in that they argued about the fact that Grisha killed four soldiers just for following orders and hunting down a Necromancer (as all Necromancers are kill-on-sight to soldiers and guards). Grisha explained that he gave them a chance to back off, but any soldier who tries to kill an ally of his (which the Necromancers are) is going to be killed. Arka tries to explain to him that all soldiers have those orders and he basically says "don't let me catch you doing it, then". While all this is going on, Dru is entertaining his companions with a raunchy tale about a mermaid and an old sailor.

The night gets closer and when a certain area of the woods is reached Grisha and Erza speak for a few moments (Grisha coming from the woods where he had snuck off to scout ahead). Sina points out to the party that where they're standing used to be a camp site. Grisha takes the lead and steps up the pace, and the Nomads stick with the group instead of ranging like they usually do. Despite darkness falling, Grisha keeps the party moving, tracking. Soon he has Erza lead again and he runs ahead. Later, as the party continues they come to a point in the trail where two people are standing. One is Grisha. The other one is a Nomad they don't recognize, but Arka launches herself from Declan's horse and into the other Nomad's arms. He swings her around and kisses her face as they hug. The new Nomad introduces himself as Dima. Grisha's company leaves the party then, forging ahead after each greeting Dima. Dru gets off his horse to greet Dima in the Nomad way as well, and introduces the party. Dima and Grisha lead the party into the rebellion's main camp as a thunderstorm brews ahead and shelter is hastily constructed.

As they enter the camp, the group is accosted by the Healer Soreza who tries to greet Grisha but is turned away as he is still covered in blood. She asks for any wounded and Dru and Esben follow her over to a fire so that she can check Esben over and make him a tea mixture. Soon she has him under a blanket by a fire and is lecturing him while Dru makes mock gestures behind her. The rest of the party is introduced to Ciar, the Corporal, who is very glad to see Arka alive and well. He introduces himself to the party and tells Grisha to go get cleaned up. Grisha leaves, and the party learns a bit about the rebellion from Dima and Ciar.

Declan is very uneasy as the camp is filled with both soldiers and Nomads, and they seem to be mingling easily in about even numbers. Ciar is also very easy around the Nomads (especially Dima), though there is tension between him and Grisha. The little group is discussing Grisha a bit before he returns, freshly cleaned, and checks in before making his way to Soreza. Grisha's presence makes Dru decide to stop playfully mocking her and he sits down with Esben while Grisha drapes himself over Soreza and she turns to hug him. The hugging quickly turns into scolding when she catches sight of his shoulder, and she calls another soldier ("Viggo") over to help her tend to the wound without magic. Grisha is completely docile under her, and when bedding down for the night the party notices she sleeps between Dima and Grisha, with the latter basically wrapped around her.

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Episode 11

We opened the session with Walter and Esben finishing up their talk with Thanos, who graciously fed them breakfast and cooked extra for the rest of the party (who, later, were hesitant at receiving meat from a Necromancer until Esben and Walter assured them it was actual bacon).

 

The feeling of tension and dread continues to follow the party, except for Dru, being especially thick one night that Dru finds himself comfortably in the middle of last watch when a woman in a dress approaches from the forest. The party had a noisy camping area, being surrounded by crows drawn out by Garrison Red and oddly nocturnal. Dru noticed that when the woman approached, the crows suddenly turned silent where they had before been chatty. Dru invited the woman to coffee which she ignored, and asked him the odd question of what he was looking for in this land. After getting her answer she turns to leave, laughing at Dru’s suggestion of being careful in the woods. The crows, as one, take off as she begins to leave and the woman pauses to call over her shoulder that Dru should “get your companion to a healer”. After the woman leaves, Dru scrambles to Esben who is still sleeping soundly. Esben continues sleeping until being awoken by the party before leaving, and declines coffee.

 

The party travels, planning to stop at the next garrison along the way for more news. Dru fills the party in on the strange woman as they lay camp for the night and his companions are (understandably) frustrated that he didn’t wake them or mention this earlier. (Except for Esben, who is already asleep again, and has started coughing slightly in his sleep.) The party wrangles a promise out of Dru that he will wake them if the woman comes to camp again and they go through another tense watch, ending with Dru last. Dru is poking at the fire when he hears a voice beside him and turns to find the woman crouching next to him. She tells Dru not to stop at the next garrison because they do not have a Healer, and she walks through the camp of sleeping adventurers to put her hand on Esben’s chest for a moment. Dru notices that drops of blood trail on the ground where she’s stepped. She makes her way to Declan next, who is obviously having nightmares, and touches his forehead (leaving a bloody finger print). The touch dispels the nightmares, and Declan is able to sleep soundly. Dru doesn’t wake the party until the woman leaves, as she asked him not to. She also reveals herself to be the God of Blood, and when she leaves this time she vanishes from the camp. The blood trails remain, and Dru fills the party in as he wakes them.

 

Declan checks over Esben and finds that he seems a bit worse. The party decides to follow the God’s advice and skip Garrison Gray to move on to Garrison Yellow in search of their Healer. The God told Dru that Garrison Yellow is loyal, and is holding someone important to Declan. The party wants to travel quickly, but is trying to keep a pace that will be kind to Esben’s injuries and whatever sickness he is coming down with. During the travel, Esben suffers a collapsed lung and Sina rides ahead at a hard pace to inform Garrison Yellow that the party is bringing a sick man to them.

 

At the gates to Garrison Yellow, Sina picks up Dru’s old lie about being a travelling merchant with bodyguards and a guide, and gains access to Claus the Healer, a blunt but well-meaning man who begins to set up for Esben’s arrival and quizzes Sina about the symptoms while guards wait at the gate. When the party arrives they are ushered into the garrison and brought to Claus while guards stable their horses. Claus immediately begins to heal Esben and gives Dru something to drink for the stress. Walter quizzes Claus on medical problems and future help for them. Exhausted, the party one-by-one falls asleep cozy and warm in Claus’ healing room. Before he falls asleep though, Declan hears Claus telling the Captain of the garrison that he will not help with a certain project and that if they keep bothering about it he will stop healing them altogether.

 

The party wakes during a raid on the garrison by Nomads. There are three guards in the room with them and the Healer now, and the guards explain that they believe the Nomads attacking are Grisha and his band, due to the small number of them. The guards inform the party they can try to leave in the confusion, but it would be best to wait until the attack is over. When another guard comes yelling down the hall that the garrison has been breached, the party follows one of the three guards as he rushes out to help.

 

Out in the yard, the party sees that there are small fires everywhere set by flaming arrows and distracting guards as they rush to put them out. The party also sees a man scaling a fence with a captive over his shoulder, and Declan recognizes the captive as Arka. The party deduces the man with the bone mask scaling the wall is probably the infamous Grisha. There do not appear to be other Nomads inside the garrison walls, but there are a few firing arrows at those guards trying to kill Grisha. Grisha takes one arrow to the shoulder and makes it over the fence.

 

The party pursues despite Walter’s warnings, with Declan calling out Arka’s name and Dru yelling at Grisha in Nomadic to stop and climb on their horses because they’re on the same side. They chase Grisha into the forest around trees, catching up in a small clearing where he’s put Arka down and is waiting for them. He asks Dru in Nomadic sign language what Tribe he’s part of, which is a trick question, and Dru passes the test. Grisha’s companions drop from the trees where they had lain in wait to see if they should shoot the party. Grisha breaks off the arrow sticking out of him and picks Arka back up and they continue on as one party until she wakes up and Grisha has to explain who he is to her.

 

Arka then rides behind Declan, filling him (and the party) in on what happened to her since she was first sent to Garrison Black. Ciar accidentally-on-purpose steered them into rebellion when he refused to let their Healer, Soreza, be executed for treason (her crime was refusing to torture people) and her Nomad companion, Dima, put himself between the Captain (and his men) and her. Since then, Nomads had been joining the group at Garrison Black and Arka had gone out on a mission when she had been captured. They had tried to torture her a bit but she hadn’t talked, and then Grisha had rescued her. She didn’t know Grisha, but he seemed to be familiar with Garrison Black and the people there so she trusted him.

 

On the way to find a camping spot for the night, Dru sees the God of Blood materialize by Grisha and whisper something in his ear before smiling at Dru. Grisha tilts his head but otherwise makes no sign and keeps going. They find a place to camp and Esben, now recovered from the collapsed lung but still with a touch of “walking pneumonia”, helps Grisha set up camp before he’s dragged into the bushes by Dru. The party takes turns taking watch (Sina and Dru ecstatic to learn the Nomads have alcohol and are willing to share) and Grisha’s Nomads do as well before it comes for the time for Declan to wake Dru. Dru refuses his watch, saying that Grisha will make sure they’re safe. Declan gives in and goes to sleep. During Grisha’s watch, he wakes Delcan from nightmares and stops Declan as he goes for his sword. Declan decides to stay awake after that and the two take the last watch together, mostly companionably.

 

In the morning, Grisha drinks a fair bit of alcohol to start his day and then goes on a scouting mission. The Nomads with him treat him with a lot of touching, which Dru and Sina recognize as signs that he is in mourning or under some kind of burden. Arka assures Declan she doesn’t need to be looked at but says he may want to treat Grisha’s arrow wound before they move on. Grisha has agreed to lead the party to Ciar’s camp, or where it last was and then find them from there.

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Episode 10

Our heroes follow the trail leaving Garrison Black and make their way closer to the Moat raiding party’s camp. While many smaller trails branch from this one, our heroes do not deviate from their main path. As they camp at night some of them hear noises in the woods and Esben confirms someone was there, but none of them can make sense of the very light foot prints left behind.

 

Upon reaching Garrison Blue, Dru lies up a storm about being a hapless robbed merchant and discovers Garrison Blue is the one that burned Garrison Black to the ground. The party is warned to be careful who they do business with and told that Garrison Green nearby is still loyal, and they go on their merry way.

 

Skipping over Garrison Green, the party camps for the night and everyone except Dru (and Esben, who sleeps instead of taking a watch), feels a very tense, foreboding atmosphere.

 

The next day they arrive at Garrison Red and discover the population slaughtered, Esben checks the bodies and informs the party that most of the inhabitants were taken by surprise. Declan looks over each face searching for Arka but doesn’t find her. With horror, the party realizes all the corpses are missing their hands.

 

Dru finds a letter on the body of the Captain which contains a light rebuke for the garrison’s reluctance of disposing of Garrison Black. The letter also reveals suspicions that Garrison Black may have ties to the Nomad nightmare, Grisha. The group decides to leave immediately but before they can a masked man and woman run in through the gate and over to a some of the bodies. The party hears an exclamation of how the bodies will be useless without hands before a group of five Order of the Dawn members come through the gates in obvious pursuit. The man begins raising the corpses to do battle with the Order. He yells to the party that he’ll leave them alone if they leave him alone.

 

While initially our heroes did not want to get involved, Dru realizes the masked woman is fighting like a Nomad and rushes in to help—effectively dragging the whole party into the fight. The Order of the Dawn members are killed and the party is able to witness Necromancy for the first time.

 

The Necromancer, whose name they learn is Thanos, was able to raise and control a few zombies pretty quickly. He thanks the party for their help. When Dru questions the woman about her fighting style, Thanos tells them she’s a mute but she learned to fight from the Nomads. The party figures out that the woman, Agape, is also a zombie; though she passes for human very well. Thanos explains they were partners when she was alive, and a bit of her soul is still in her.

 

The party, mostly thoroughly creeped out, bids farewell to Thanos and sets up camp a little way away when Walter decides he wishes to question the Necromancer. Esben volunteers to join him, as Declan doesn’t want to. We left Sina, Declan and Dru in the camp and Walter and Esben speaking to Thanos in his camp, guarded by Agape and four Order corpses. Thanos has revealed that Grisha is responsible for Garrison Red, and that he took the hands because the soldiers “touched something they shouldn’t have”.

 

 

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Episode 9

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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Episode 8

Before leaving the Capitol, the group stops in the Scout Guild branch there only to discover it completely empty of Scouts and mostly empty of small furnishings and other such evidence of occupancy. Puzzled by the emptiness but finding no sign of struggle, the group moves on.

 

As the group enters Eastborne they realize there is a fire going, and lo and behold they discover the barracks on fire. There is also a large fight going on outside of Rowan’s place/the Assassin Guild between soldiers/guards and Assassins/Scouts. The group spots Rowan and jumps into the fight to bolster his ranks. After the fight is won, everyone congregates outside of Eastborne where Dru is given letters by Esben’s Guild Master, Zephania.

 

Everyone disperses and our heroes head back to Riften, where they discover Dionysia’s bar has been burned down, along with Vanya’s shop, and the tunnels between destroyed—effectively sealing off Rossi’s headquarters (“secret base that everyone knows about”).

 

In a hurry, the group decides to steal horses from the barracks—conveniently stealing the same ones they stole earlier, to Declan’s delight. (Except for Walter, who bought a horse and waited outside the wall.) Declan assisted Dru with the improv while Sina snuck into the barn and saddled up. They bust out, the boys grabbing onto their horses as Sina rushes by with them, and they are not chased very far outside the city gates before successfully escaping.

 

The group then sneaks upriver of Moat and Dru is about to swim to Moat proper when he’s stopped by a Nomad scout who reveals the battle is over and Esben, along with a larger group, is in a Nomad camp further north. The Nomad also reveals that Garrison Teal helped in the assault. Kirusha is also there and is to serve as their guide to the camp, but when the group decides they need to get more affairs in order before going to the camp, Kirusha elects to stay behind with the Nomads. The Nomads will patrol for a bit longer with an eye out for ally stragglers.

 

The gang finds itself again making its way to Podunk where Birgit urges Walter to leave before he gets caught and tells him people are looking for him. She gives him some money, assures him she’ll have Horace check in with his parents and shoos him out the door. Dru goes over the finer points of being a vagabond with Walter and how his promissory notes are meaningless as most likely his accounts are frozen. Walter learns the art of the hair beard.

 

Dru also concocts a plan, which involves Sina’s undergarments, to fake Walter’s death and puts it into practice when the group reaches the Capitol. Sina and Dru head off to do this and check in on a place for word of Esben. While Dru doesn’t expect anything to be there he finds Esben himself waiting for him. Dru tells Sina to rent a room and there they prepare to wait until Walter and Declan’s business is concluded. (Walter had said if they had no word in a week to go without them and assume they were captured.)

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Episode 7

Our adventuring party started the session with a mad ride on stolen horses through a bad storm. They safely reached Skystead and Skyhold where they interrupted an argument Blythe was having with some town guards. Blythe dismissed the guards and allowed the group to borrow the Guild’s Healer, Majken (Mie-ken), who rode back with them to Riften and was able to close Lir’s wounds and take the edge off his infections. (Sina forgot to let Blythe know about Ashton, the dead Scout, in all the rush and excitement.)

 

The next day Lir was spotted up for breakfast and the Healer said she could take herself back home while Dru frantically got the party ready to go back to Eastborne to seek answers from Rowan. This time on their journey, our heroes realized they were seeing soldiers from Country 1 everywhere now.

 

Once in Eastborne, the party learns that the Assassins Guild there is on lockdown and no one is allowed in or out. It is also being watched at any time either by town guards or Country 1 soldiers. However, inside Rowan’s house they find an Assassin named Faolán. When Declan inquires if he can send a message to Aldus, Faolán informs him that Aldus is out on a mission. When Declan becomes worried, Rowan chimes in to let him know that the mission should be comparatively safe and that the task was actually set by Rowan—it is a retrieval rather than an assassination. It is also strongly implied that there are tunnels connecting Rowan’s house to the Assassins Guild that the town isn’t aware of.

 

Rowan reads the letter Morighan wrote for Dru and informs him that Dru’s uncle is the one after him, and that his family is originally from Country 3. Rowan warns Dru not to go there as it would be dangerous for him. Rowan also doesn’t have all the answers, or at least doesn’t appear to.

 

Next the group takes a detour to Podunk so Walter can check in with some people. He learns Frode Albertsen has passed away, and visits Birgit Albertsen and Horace. From Birgit, he learns Horace fancies a woman in the town, Idella.

 

Next, in the Capitol, Walter visits his parents with Sina where he catches up on his mail and learns that more orders have been placed for the Dane Stone since the foreign soldiers have arrived. He and Sina also learn that some Nomads have started using guerilla tactics such as ignoring the garrisons to gut the towns beyond them or to kill soldiers in their sleep while leaving no trace. Walter also visited the Artisan Guild to pick up books on watch-making.

 

Meanwhile, Dru learns Esben is out on business by someone in the Assassin Guild and after asking for Vibeke (and proving his identity is Dru) is lead to “Serenity”, the Courtesan Guild where Vibeke works. There, she and Dru have a chat and Dru gets some leads on where Esben might turn up while Declan enjoys the services. At the end of speaking with Vibeke, Dru and the group decide to go to Eastborne again.

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Episode 6

The group spent some time in Summerloch where Walter received a name from the woman who runs The Golden Smith in order to further his interest in watch-making: Bate, in Woodburn. Dru played a bit of a prank in the shop, unnoticed by the group.

 

The adventurers hit the road again to go back to Moat. On the way, they were followed by a child named Kirusha who approached Dru a day outside of Moat, seemingly drawn in by Dru’s singing. The child appears as if he’s lived on the road for a while, and said something about his mother singing Nomad songs before she had to go away. He appears anywhere from age 9 to 12 and he told Dru that “Moat isn’t there anymore” as it “had an accident”. Kirusha also said that the destruction of Moat was being blamed on the Nomads but it isn’t true.

 

Kirusha led the party away from Moat, letting them know that survivors are being hunted. He led them to a group of survivors where “scary man” said they could join the camp. “Scary man” turned out to be Lir and Dru was reunited with Rioghan, who gave him a letter from Morighan and informed him of her (and probably Fiachra’s) passing. Rioghan blames the troops from the parent country on the massacre, stating they also collapsed Morighan’s compound on top of them and that they targeted Scouts first who were fleeing. According to Rioghan, one Scout made it out and was rushing to Rowan in Eastborne. There are also hints that people may still be corralled in Moat, alive. Troops from the parent country had been coming through for a couple of weeks before this happened.

 

Rioghan’s band of survivors wanted to sneak into Riften, so Dru and the party did some scouting with Kirusha. There are some parent country guards there, but Dru’s contact Dionisia at Dead Robber’s Inn agreed to help smuggle the survivors in. Sina asked for a contact at the Thieves Guild and Dionisia passed her a piece of paper with the name Rossi written on it. Sina was told to go find someone named Vanja and give him the note. Once she had done so, Sina was led by Vanja into a network of tunnels under Riften until she was brought to Rossi who, after flirting, agreed to help with the distraction to smuggle Rioghan’s people into the town.

 

On the way out of Riften, the group was passed by a soldier of the parent country riding a horse quickly with someone else slumped in the saddle. He asked to speak to a Captain immediately as it was urgent from Moat. The party kept going.

 

The next day dawned windy and with lightning and thunder storms. The group saw smoke rising from Riften and feared the worst. Upon arrival, however, they realized Rossi’s idea of a distraction was to set the barracks on fire. Sina ran to check it out and found Rossi there helping to put out the fires, which were being spread by the wind and blamed on the lightning. Dionisia filled the group in on the “official” story of Moat: Moat was helping the traitorous garrisons as they rebelled against King and country on the front lines.

 

Rioghan’s band was smuggled into the Dead Robber’s Inn  and down into the tunnels, where Lir collapsed with infection to his wounds from Moat. The group realized he needs a real Healer and fast so Dionisia ran to tell Rossi to “rescue” four horses from the barrack stables and get them to our heroes so they can ride to Skystead with all haste and “borrow” Blythe’s Healer on retainer.

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Episode 5

 

After waking up in Aldus’ bed, the Assassin filled Declan in on his drunken antics the night before and let him know that Arka and Bannon had been sent to a Garrison and that there was probably a letter waiting for Declan at his Mercenary Guild in Summerloch. While Declan was being treated to his first Courtesan Guild experience (as promised) by Walter and Dru, the gang spent one more night (which was both raining and hailing) in Eastborne before setting off in the morning in a miserable but manageable rain. Dru carries Rowan’s letter with him, with the intention to present it to Morighan himself and seeking answers yet again from her when he gets back to Moat. Meanwhile, Rowan has asked Sina if she would continue to travel with the party and collect any information she can from Dru’s future assailants if any are captured. Walter and Declan, as Dru’s bodyguards, also continue to travel with him.

Declan expressed his wishes to go to Summerloch, so the group passed through Porthcaul on their way there where they were charmed by an inn called The Worn Chant. The place has bookcases instead of walls and seems to be occupied by all manner of scholars. Sina found the book written by a former friend, of which she had a direct impact on the formation of, and Dru found an interesting read about sleight of hand. Speaking of interesting books, the group was able to find shelter between towns in an abandoned and slightly falling apart cabin, in which Dru found a coded diary he is still trying to crack.

At the side trip to Summerloch, it was learned that Ruaidhrí, Suibhne and Ainsley had indeed made it to the Mercenary Guild and had impressed the members enough that Ailbhe practically begged them to join. Currently, no one has beaten Ruaidhrí in a fight and he has expressed that he would like to finish his duel with Walter in the future. The three are leaving in a day for their first mission together, on which Ailin may join them, but Declan has said he will mention this request to Walter and see if the duel can be arranged before they leave. Meanwhile Declan did find his letter from Arka and Bannon explaining that they had been sent to a Garrison for disobedience and that they would be staying there for a few years.

 

Sina, having never been to Summerloch before, is intent upon some sight-seeing while Declan goes about catching up at the guild and Walter watches Dru.

 

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Episode 4

While camping in the woods a day's travel from their destination of Eastborne, the group was approached by a man looking to share the fire during a cold snap. It was the second-to-last watch of the night and Sina was on guard duty. She allowed the man to warm himself by the fire and during their conversation discovered he was a Scout. Upon seeing her branch's symbol on him and not recognizing his face, she began to slyly question him while appearing to make conversation and discovered in the process that he was an imposter.

 

The fake Scout ran into the woods and Sina gave chase, ultimately capturing him by rendering him temporarily lame in one foot. Declan showed off his first aid to stop the man from bleeding out while Walter and Sina played good/cop bad cop for more information about the situation. Throughout the interrogation, the man insisted he had found the Scout uniform on a dead body and just took it to make travelling alone easier. The group carried the man to Rowan, Guildmaster of the Scout Guild, whom they were planning on meeting with anyway. 

 

Rowan confirmed that a dead Scout had been found but also noted that the Scout had been attacked, and after stabbing the imposter with his own blade confirmed it was the same marking. Unconcerned with Walter's information that the guard at the gate wanted the imposter when Rowan was done questioning him, Rowan choked the man to death while simultaneously holding a meeting with our heroes. 

 

Upon learning that Dru was the man being targeted by assassins which Morighan had been requesting Rowan look into, Rowan let Dru know that Morighan had more information than he did. He provided Dru what he knew: that the attacks are being orchestrated by a Noble in a neighboring country and that he hadn't been able to scare up the name as he had to tread carefully. Rowan suggested Dru not go there looking for answers. Dru settled on returning to Morighan to demand answers, and Rowan asked Sina if she'd like the task of accompanying them back as it's somewhat on her way to her own guild branch. Rowan is also allowing Dru to carry his reply back to Morighan. 

 

Meanwhile Declan caught up with an old army friend and drunkenly fell asleep on his bed and Sina went to take a nap while Walter and Dru were left chatting at the inn. There are plans to introduce Declan to his first Courtesan and to sell more compasses in the future before the party adventures back to Moat. 

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Episode 3

Setting out from the Cup and Club the next day, the group runs into trouble on the road—a bandit gang with three archers and four melee fighters. Sina and one of the archers entered into a duel with bow and arrows while the rest of the group engaged where they could. Eventually, it became clear that the spear-wielder in the bandit gang was a caliber or two above his compatriots and Declan and Walter began to compliment and speak with him. While the leader of the bandit gang had been killed in battle, the spear-wielder (whose name they learned was Ruaidhrí) made a deal that he would stop the fight on two conditions: Declan beat the second-in-command whom he was currently fighting and the Ruaidhrí would be able to freely take whatever members of the bandit gang he chose and go on his way.

Declan did indeed win this fight while Walter and Ruaidhrí had their own duel and the others watched, and Sina continued her fight with the archer. Once the fight was over, Walter told Ruaidhrí to go to Summerloch and his Mercenary Guild and to drop his and Declan’s name to see if they would be accepted and find work there. Ruaidhrí decided to go there with Suibhne, the sword-wielder, and their archer friend Ainsley. The archer who had been fighting Sina was dismissed after Ruaidhrí put a spear through his chest when he wouldn’t stop fighting on command. The third archer, however, was angry at this turn of events and with the fact that Dru had been needling him throughout the fight and that the other bandits had let it happen. He still, however, went off with the others.

The group decided to camp for the night and continue on in the morning. During Dru’s watch, he was attacked by that same archer who had split off from the other bandits and doubled back. Dru was able to kill this foe, however he charged into the woods screaming a Nomad war-cry which woke Declan in a panic, as he had heard those same cries before during the war. Convinced the camp was under attack by Nomads, the others ran after Dru into the trees. Walter tripped over Dru and the archer scrabbling in the dirt and Dru killed the archer by slitting him open.

Later, washing off in the stream with Walter as his guard, Dru spotted and communicated with a Nomad who had been drawn by his cry. After a peaceful exchange (which Walter saw Dru’s half of) the Nomad left and Dru cut the heart out of his dead enemy and burned it while praying to offer it to the God of Blood. Sina, the only one not to see this display, acted as normal while Dru’s bodyguards were full of questions (and maybe misgivings).

Upon arriving in Skystead at night, it was decided Sina would go to Skyhold and report in while the others sought out a place to stay for the night and meet Blythe in the morning. Sina recommended the Imp and Queen and the Duchess and Hawk Inns as good places to stay, but told the group they’d get more for their money at the latter. The group purchased rooms at the Duchess and Hawk, with Walter and Dru rooming together so Walter could question Dru about his connection to the Nomads.

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