No Quarter (Spine): Sessions 26 & 27 — A Seller’s Market


A Seller’s Market

Ostara 24

hand of salazarAfter returning to Fort Pitt and delivering both the fabled Hand of Salazar Redmon (missing two of its four rings, much to the Princess’ chagrin) and their political hostage, Sir Graves Hightower, Marra Wolfe rewarded the Bordermen with the right to bear the banner of House Pitt, greatly aiding them in the trek across Wolfe lands.

Prince Erik KilravenShe also introduced to them a traveling advisor — Prince Erik Kilraven of House Kilraven, a clan of notorious spymasters, if ever there was one. He would be adding his banner to their retinue, adding instant credibility to their movements. He also was coming with very deep pockets, assuring the Bordermen that he would be covering the cost of the troops’ Wolfe traverse.

The Prince also suggested their course, heading deeper into Wolfe lands, crossing the remainder of Pitt, the vastness of Kilraven, and finally into Trask, where they would make for the coast where a ship, The Sea Wolf, was berthed.

All seemed too good to be true.

And maybe it was…

The Bordermen placed Sir Garrett Mark in charge of the warband, giving him the title of General of Brigand’s Rest. He would ride at the head of the combined militia of Dark Horse, Fell Hand, and Goblin’s Tooth.

Meanwhile, Arthur, Byron, and Edmond would lead Killian Denwar, Sean Gray, Nelson Billet, and Prince Erik on the road at least a day ahead of the army, to make preparations and be prepared to given them advanced notice of any potential troubles.

After several days on the trail east, the Bordermen, after passing near countless war-torn and depleted villages, arrived at the village of Clell Duko, an old common name that means descendant of a famous wolf.

Byron and Edmond sheltered their horses in a nearby wood, leaving Togo to watch over them, while everyone else stabled theirs in the livestock camp.

TavernWith a bustling open-air market outside the village walls, the Bordermen were quick to scout out alcohol-related supplies, and to barter the gems they were carrying. Meanwhile, Prince Erik had made substantial purchases of hard rations, easily enough to feed an army of their size (and Byron had no issues procuring rum, ale, and wine for all the men as well).

None of this set well with Arthur however. He suspected something was… fishy. Keeping a keen eye, he noticed odd transactions between the Prince and the man supplying their rations. And he also took note that Gray and the Prince were quite inseparable. He called Edmond to his side to assure a second set of eyes.

Edmond witnessed a strange transaction between the ration master and a sketchy individual. This man made for the stables where he disappeared inside. Edmond followed.

wolf cupByron finished up his negotiations with the spirit-peddler then proceeded to drink with the men as he’d already dropped considerable coin to assure their thirsts were quenched.

Meanwhile, Arthur tailed the Prince and Sean Grey from the market. The two headed into the village together, entering an establishment across from the graveyard.

Edmond steered the mysterious man in the hood back toward Byron, who was making for the gate into the village. The bowman bumped into the suspect, then asked about possible lodgings in the city. The man gave Byron’s Borderman crest a long look and mentioned there was a Bordermen Lodge southeast of the village graveyard. Fletcher thanked him and took the opportunity to pick the man’s pocket, so to speak, taking note of a burglar’s pack riding in the small of his back. Byron slid a scroll case out and into his possession, then waited for Edmond to join him.

townsfolk6As Gray and the Prince entered La Rouge Maison, Hawke took notice of a beautiful woman sitting on the house’s veranda. There was a telescope aimed at the boneyard across the street and she was making observations and making notations in vellum journal. Striking up a conversation, Hawke learned she was a scholar from Iolaire investigating the rumors that the dead walked the cemetery grounds, adding that there was a Bordermen Lodge southwest of Wolfgrave Park and that these Bordermen were watching over the cemetery.

The party gathered at the gate. Billet was tasked to keep an eye on La Rouge Maison and Lange was sent to spy on the rations merchant, while Arthur, Byron, Edmond, and Killian would see to procuring rooms in the Bordermen Lodge. Arthur caught everyone up to speed as they made their way through the manicured, but strangely quiet hamlet.

boneyardsrestAt the crossroad past the graveyard, they had a decision to make. They spied the Lodge, called Boneyard’s Rest, southwest as the scholar had said, but to the southeast was a curious homestead. As they discussed the situation, the mysterious figure was seen entering the house, while another hooded figure, dressed in forest attire, was spotted spying them from a nearby alley. They made for the Lodge…

Inside, the four were greeted by the Bordermen Lodgemaster, Gulliver Trask. He claimed that he was anticipating their arrival and rooms had been made up for six of the party. As the party was comprised of eight men, four of them present, they found this curious. Trask showed them to their rooms and informed them that the Lodge Scholar would be along shortly to hold council with them.

In the room, they discussed the strange goings on, and Byron unveiled the scroll case. Inside was a small pouch containing 6 poison needles and a piece of parchment. The scroll contained a chronicle of their movements since they’d left Brigand’s Rest. Someone had been spying on them. Then, magically, a new line scrawled across the page, noting their arrival at the Lodge.

townsfolk7While they debated this new development, they learned the Prince and Gray had arrived and they were all called into the Lodge foyer where they found a long, white bearded old man awaiting them.

I am Aldrman Grandstaff, High Cleric of the First Lodge,” he said grimly, “and each and every one of you are going to die this night.

to be continued

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