Lady Finestone convenes a “war council” to decide on the course of action. However, everyone is so tired that although many ideas are floated they are all pretty bad. Fearing an attack we prepare the house for defense for the night.
Kethra and Lady Victoria have the first watch. They go outside so that Kethra can look for tracks. She finds the tracks left by whomever left the message on the outer gate. Lady Victoria goes inside to inform the guards, while Kethra follows the tracks. She does not get very far before Lady Victoria meets up with her just inside the southern woods. After a rousing speech of heroics Lady Victoria convinces Kethra to follow the tracks for heroic adventure. They creep forward and take cover behind some branches when they see a small hunter’s blind. Unfortunately a hairy man carrying an axe comes out looks around, he clearly looks right at Kethra.
Mathis wakes up at the appointed hour and realizes that he was not waken up for his watch. He speaks to the guard and finds out that Lady Victoria and Kethra left to follow some tracks and have not returned. With everyone awake it is decided to send Mathis and Feldspar out to help or retrieve them while the others ready themselves in case there is an attack. Mathis easily finds their tracks and follows them towards the mountains.
Back at the encampment, the man calls out to a companion that she has sent two woman to play with them. Lady Victoria stands up and casts Grease on the ground around the front of the hide. Someone coming out of the hide slips and falls, while the one that saw them charges them with an axe. Kethra and one of the huntsmen begin an archery duel while the other two close with Victoria. Seeing Victoria in trouble, Kethra drops her bow, draws her axe, and goes to help her. Victoria casts Grease upon the axe of the first huntsman, which causes him to drop him – the huntsman, angered, draws a dagger and continues to press the attack. Kethra then tries to run away, but the hunter drives his dagger deep into her back dropping her unconscious. Pressed by three attackers Victoria pulls out a scroll and puts one of the attackers to sleep. She dodged the other’s attack and cast Ray of Enfeeblement dropping him to the ground. She threatens the third and he runs off.
Mathis notices that the barbarian they were tracking were joined by two others. Fearing for their lives they pick up the pace on the trail. Kethra is staggering down the trail back towards the manor house with Lady Victoria. They are met by Mathis and Feldspar who almost attack them in the confusion of the darkness. After Feldspar heals Kethra it is decided that we will return to the encampment and see if we can find anything of value. The only thing we find is that these huntsmen are from a different barbarian tribe from the others; although they did mention Tuloc – so it appears that there are two tribes working together with the Aurilites. We throw the bodies into the blind and burn it.
At dawn we finally make it back to the Finestone manor. At breakfast Kethra and Lady Victoria tell of their harrowing tale. Given all that has happened it has been determined that we must mount an attack to Duggar’s Ridge to rescue Olaf and put an end to the Aurilites before the two tribes solidify their alliance. To help Carmark. Faerlie, and one of the guards go down to Nal Mirar to raise a militia force to help us.
Fairlie questions the tanner’s wife about her husband Olaf. She told Faierlie that he’d gone hunting with Carmac Beedler. She tries to lead the conversation to find out more about him. She fails to get a good talk started. She sensed the woman knows more than shes’ telling, but is unable to get her talking about it. The woman wants to talk out back, away from the children. Once outside, Faerlie throws the woman against the wall and forces the information out of her. She breaks down and begs that they bring back her husband alive.
Faerlie tells Carmack what she learned and he suggests that she go talk to Beedler’s wife. She tries to talk to her softly at first, but finally Faerlie has enough of her stonewalling and tells her upfront that Beedler is working directly with the Aurilites. The wife continues to stand by her husband, insulting Faerlie straight to her face. Faerlie casts a Flare spell, but the wife dodges out of the way. The wife grabs a piece of firewood and Faerlie moves in and grabs her. The wife squiggles free and both women exchange verbal barbs. Finally Faerlie manages to threaten her enough that the wife breaks down and tells her what she knows.
She says that an Aurilite priestess named Rowgatha has forced her husband to work for them. She tells them that they threatened to kill their kids if he did not help them. She explains that the last time this priestess came she demanded a more important sacrifice and he was to bring it to Duggar’s Ridge upon pain of death. Faerlie continues to threaten her until she feels that she finally got all of the information – leaving the woman a sobbing wreck. Carmack finally steps in and drags the woman up to Lady Finestone’s manor after they find a relative to care for her kids.
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