Peering back over the brow of the hill, we can see that these are the troops of the Black Eagle Barony. There are just under 100 troops. There are sentries patrolling. They are controlling the exit to where we want to go. We have a quick discussion as to what to do and decide to brazen it out and ride straight past the camp. As we ride past, a group of men challenge us, one of them appears to be a tiefling.
The tiefling acknowledges Memnnon’s parents and as we turn them down he calls back that we’ll miss out on finding out about Grishenka. We ride on over the hill and have a discussion as to whether we ride on or go for a drink with them.
Memnnon relates his background of encountering a bunch of bandits… See the portal for details.
After much discussion in the cold and faffing around we ride onto Eltan’s Spring.
During the journey Tol notices that we are being followed by a flying creature about the size of a hawk. I remember that Bargle tends to favour black creatures, which may be the creature above us.
We arrive into Eltan’s Spring, which is still in one piece. The Crock and Goblet is the only pub. There is only one way in and one way out of Eltan’s Spring. The more martial among us are concerned about defending the village should the Baron’s men attack us. I’m just cold.
We all pile over to Memnnon’s parents and tell them all about it. There are sideways looks between the parents. His dad says that the Black Eagle Barony’s tielfing is in fact his Brother, the warlock Morgash the Dark. In their youth they did some adventuring, but Memnnon’s dad prefers to make boots these days. (Hmmm know where to come when I need an excellent pair of boots in future.)There are further family things to catch up, so we leave Memnnon to catch up with his family and retire to the pub.
The pub which is a very homely place and welcoming place, with a hoppy odour from the brewing out the back.
We swap news of the outside world and discover that it may be the coldest winter for 10 years. This co-incidentally is when the eldest daughter of the lord of Highdell went missing. Her name was… She would be about 16 now. That is something to think about for the future….
Memnnon joins us a little later and over a couple of beers We decide to go back and see uncle Morgash and find out some more about what Bargle is up to. It is agreed that whoever goes in to see them shouldn’t have the Eyes of Traldar with them, as this is what Bargle is after. Kathra and Switch are given the Eyes to look after. I am very reluctant to let the Eyes out of my sight and it takes a lot of convincing by Memnnon before I hand them over to Kathra.
We ride out the next morning through the fresh snow and eventually pick up our flying colleague, at about the same time that Kathra and Switch drop out of sight and hide. Once the party has moved on and the flying spy is no longer visible they then change position, to avoid being ambushed.
We arrive back at the encampment. There are still guards but they are now more ready for a battle then they would like to be known.
We are again met by the tiefling and the men at arms, When Memnnon mentions that he bought beer there is significant interest from the men at arms. We are told that Uncle Morgash the Dark’s master would be interested in talking to us.
Memnnon today is very obviously walking in as a priest of Halav, in fact we all walk tall into the camp – even though I have concerns about what we are doing, the opportunity to find out more is too tempting. I also note that here is a certain amount of trepidation and some measuring up being done by the soldiers of the Baron.
Uncle Morgash says we shall be introduced to Bargle. We head over to what is a fairly normal sized tent on the outside, but on the inside it is much larger. This is very cool! Inside we find a range of cushions and a carpet leading up to a throne like chair, in which Bargle is reclining! Worth noting that this doesn’t look like the tent of someone who is number two to Baron Ludwig von Hendriks, Duke Stefan’s cousin, but rather someone who is actually in control of the whole shooting match.
Bargle it appears is playing with a white stone or gem…. which I last saw in the hands of Grushenka! Bargle has the Eye of Frost.
Bargle proceeds to treat us with contempt and quiz us as to whether we know what is going on around here or not. Which is not really the way of a gracious host who has invited us in for a drink. He is also very disappointed that we do not appear to have any of the Eyes. He says he was hoping to stage a demonstration with them for us. But overall he is full of bluster and not much information. However he does take us to the other tent where we see a very much weakened Grushenka, pitifully curled up in a cage. The cage is radiating some form of powerful magic that makes even me feel uneasy, it must be desperately painful for the hag. However it is preventing her from changing to gaseous form and disappearing.
Bargle picks up a sharp stick and pokes Grushenka, she barely moves away from the attack, which indicates just how sick she is, as she is normally easily able to avoid such a stab.
Hmmm last we heard of Grushenka she was disappearing into the Shadowfell with the Beastman fiend leader. I wonder what has happened here.
So what further questions do we want to get from Bargle?
1. We can leave since he is being so rude to us
2. Tell us what the Hag has been doing to the weather with the Eye of Frost and how has she done this…. ?
3. How and where did they capture Grushenka? We last heard her leaving through a portal to the Shadowfell with a fiendish colleague?
4. What are the exact charges Grushenka will stand trial for? We may be able to add others?
5. How long has the Black Eagle Barony been up here with an army? surely its a bit cold up here and they are a long way from home?