After returning from a pleasant evening at the pub we had a quick conflab as to what we were going to say and also not say to the Duke and Duchess at breakfast the next morning. Which went along the lines of we wouldn’t mention the eyes and that we were heading north with our friend Kathra who was trying to trace her family and had a new lead.
As we strolled over to the Duke’s place we noted that the defensive walls of Verge were not yet complete, although the Duke’s tower is in a very strong defensive position and was obviously built with defence in mind.
We are welcomed in by one of the Duke’s staff and find him and his wife at ease around a roaring fire. The furnishings are not luxurious, but they are comfortable, there are hunting dogs sleeping by the fire and a homely feel.Retameron and his wife Halia provide a splendid breakfast. It turns out that Olivia the Duchess of Specularium has already been in touch and requested that Retameron and Halia provide what support they are able to. They are aware that we are on a mission that has the grave consequences for the nation. We ask after the ogre and what news Retameron was able to extract from it.
“well, I have learned much, yet learned nothing.” he says. He goes onto to say that ogres are fairly simple creatures but this much he has learned. The ogres were driven out of their homelands near to Lake Windrush, several months ago, by the appearence of a dragon. What sort of dragon is not clear, but it sounds like a red as it burnt the village with its breath, however the description of the dragon describes it as dark coloured or black. This is very interesting as Memnnon had discovered that Volvagia is spirit dragon of a volcano (or something like that) which with a strecth of imagination you could say fits with a dark (shadowy?) dragon which breaths fire?
We discuss this news a bit and conclude that the ogres then pushed the orcs out before them as they came south. Interestingly the ogres were sensible enough to bypass Verge.
We talk more about the surrounding lands and other dragons such as the Blue family which live up around Ylaruam to the north. We also discover that Northholt was completely destroyed by hill giants and all the imhabitants disappeared a few years back. Today Northholt has been repopulated, but there are concerns as the winters have been getting worse recently.
We also ask about the Threshold, which is the home of Baron Halaran also known as the Patriarch Sherlane, which is his religous title. Ozzie recalls (much later once he had re read the blog! that Duchess Olivia had said we should seek out the Patriarch on our arrival in Threshold.
Retameron notes that the Baron is a very busy man and he may not be able to see us, but he also says that if the Lady Olivia has given you her blessing he may be much more available.
At this stage Halia interupts and asks about more about our mission, which we hedge around until Switch in his own inimitable style starts talking about the eyes of traldar. Halia is fascintaed by magic items and artifacts, but restrains herself from asking more about them seeing us all giving Switch daggers, however she does express concern about artifacts falling into the wrong hands – such as the Free Traldar movement, herself being a Thyatian.
We manage to avoid any more embarrassment and change the subject to the Galeb-dhur. Retameron knows the noble is Sir Reynold up in that area, and he knows of the Galeb-dhur. Memnnon also asks about High Verge and discovers that there is a vacancy up there at the moment for a’parish cleric’. The priest of Verge, Father Magdanov, is travelling up there on a regular bassis after High Verge was set upon by a goblin invasion a few years ago, their cleric was killed and the subsequent replacement abondoned her post.
It is now time to move on, as a gift for our assistance Retameron replaces Kathra’s lost horse, which is a very generous gesture and we head off to Threshold.
Heading due north the party follows the road which is winding alongside the river on our left. Slowly the road wionds its way up and away from the river, whilst the river gets smaller and swifter. Suddenly the road turns east and even more steeply up the hill until we reach the top of the plateau.
The plateau is a flat empty and desolate place as we ride through it nothing much grows. We note Antilles Castle as we go past. A long abondoned castle rumoured to once belong to a family of robber barons. We ride on to Northolt where we have decided to stay the night so as not get caught out at night. Northolt is protected by a wall of boulders and peopled by a remarkably wide range of people. the houses are basic and very similar. The only way to recognise where the inn is, is by the broom stick outside. Also tied up outside are two horses – the only two horses in town, except for ours. One is a fine horse with green reins and jingly bits, the other is a clapped out warhorse which has seen better days.
Inside we discover the nice horse is obviously owned by a smart elf whose face displays a gamut of emotions from joy to sorrow and then disgust on our entry. The elf we later discover is called Aurelian
who is a trader from Alfheim (in Darokin) seeking to sell his very fine wares. Tol goes and talks to him and provides him with some useful information to help sell his wares, although we note that Aurelian isn’t that keen on talking to Tol – not that, that has ever stopped Tol doing anything to his credit!!
Tol asks him if he has been to Threshold, which Aurelian has, he found it mildly entertaining.
Memnnon and Kathra go and talk to the other bloke…….
N>B not spellchecked as I couldn’t find it and had lost the will to live…..