Our party, still with heavy hearts at the passing of Morgoth, leaves the druid grove with the ominous words of Illithor still echoing in the quietude between them.
“Cyphus bears the blue flame.
Stercus is in thrall of iron.
Ferule chill and dark of eye.
Usnea lives in nothing but decay.
Grey Dalcenti never speaks.
Pale Alenta brings the blight.
Last there is the lord of the seven:
Hated. Hopeless. Sleepless. Sane.
Alaxel bears the shadow’s hame.”
Though they foreswore not to utter any of names in the rhyme, they cannot help but speculate that they have experienced the charms of the Chandrian, or the Seven as Illithor referred to them, firsthand.
Returning to Albridge, they find the seat of the rebellion against the Iron Circle in cautious celebration. The collective revelry is tempered by the memory of the gruesome battle with the reptilian Reavers and the gradual re-assimilation of the repentant members of the Iron Circle. Durn, the lieutenant from Roseoak, and Ilyana, now assuming the role of town matron, together lead the recovery efforts and jointly taskmaster the Iron Law troops that made the march south with Durn and the local militia. Durn apparently has accepted a new commission to lead the reformation of the Iron Law contingent in the area and smiles saying that a hefty promotion comes along with the charge.
Having resolved the troubles of Harkenwold to their satisfaction and with the assertions of Ilyana that the people are in good hands, the party sets off for Roseoak. It’s nightfall when the party arrives, and the group checks in briefly with Nina at the constabulary. After warm greetings, she almost embarrassingly acknowledges that she’s acceded to Durn’s now vacant position though it is still yet unofficial despite the presence of Iron Law representatives in town. With that reminder, she says that the Iron Law representatives were looking for them. She says to keep an eye out for the duo, one a rather striking figure, a Goliath soldier with a somber personage, a tall “glowing Elfish person”, and another a “wizened, short self-important little troll” she offers saying the last is a generous description.
The party is knackered from a day of travelling and opts for rooms at the familiar local inn, the Apple Urn, and are greeted by Kahlin as if they never left. She says that the Draccus’ Blood brew they’ve created is quite the hit and responsible for increased patronage at her inn. Because of this, she’s unwilling to accept coin for their night’s stay as she does have two rooms available and it’s unlikely they’ll be filled this late into the evening. The scene at the bar is rowdier than usual with a generous representation of locals living it up in a group around the fire. At the center of the group is Halfrid (house- / groundskeeper and brewmaster extraordinare) recanting loudly some tale. He sees the party and stumbles sloppily across the hall. He’s hardly coherent but you gather from him that the business has been roaringly successful, as well as a good diversion to keep him out of his wife’s taskmistressing. The brew has even garnered interest from as far away as Imre. The Aoelian! The Aoelian! The excitement he can’t contain escapes as he repeats the name of the famous inn in Imre that’s order a charge of brew as soon as available. Halfrid admits that he’s uncomfortable making any long term agreements without them being present, but has arranged for a local shipper, Gery, to take a larger shipment down as the original cask he sent with the owner is running low.
The party settles in for the evening, as Halfrid grudgingly admits he should trudge home soon if he wants to be in his bed before his wife wakes. The party settles in for the night, save for Rollie and Benwen, who scope around the town. Benwen has his eyes for the residence of Toltyo Erladdin, mysterious sorceror and business man. Benwen sets and scurries around the corners of the residence, trying to spy what might be going on inside. Surprisingly rooms on multiple floors are alight and with the open windows on the balmy night the duo can barely make out a raised conversation happening on the second level. Avoiding the attentions of the guards at the front and back entrances, they sneak closer until Rollie is very close to the side of the house with Benwen looking out from the bushes. A sound from the duo does draw the attention of the guards though just as Rollie distinguishes the gist of the conversation (a shipment of some sorts). Thinking on his feet, Rollie quickly assumes the role of confused drunkard and talks his way out with guards as Benwen uses the diversion to sneak away.