For the winter we find ourselves in the Finestone Manor deep into winter. It’s cold and a heavy snowfall has covered the land. We have spent the last 60 days biding our time waiting for spring. Feldspar and Kethra spend some time both on practice grounds and
Caden, a paladin of Tyr, gets a room at the Gold Vein in Mirabar. He receives a letter from a wealthy man of the Millerstone family asking for a moment of his time. This man, after exchanging pleasantries, he gets to the point of the meeting. He believes that the followers of Auril are still working to bring down the Finestone house and capture it for themselves. Because of the local politics neither him nor any of their other neighbors can offer assistance. He hopes that Caden, a paladin of justice will take up the challenge and defend the Finestone lands.
To assist him in this endeavor he says that his brother Brent is taking a caravan up to his lands just west of the Finestone lands. Caden meets Master Millerstone and after exchanging greetings the caravan gets underway. Caden, who does not have a horse, rides in a wagon for the duration of the trip. In the early afternoon of the 3rd day the caravan reaches the Finestone manor, Brent keeps the caravan back while Caden approaches the gate.
Lady Finestone asks Kethra to welcome the men of the Millerstones to her home, offering its safety for the night. Over a warm meal we exchange pleasantries while Lady Finestone reads a letter of introduction concerning Caden. She thanks Master Millerstone and asks her friends along with Caden and Brent to join her in the library. Conversation in the library centers around why Caden is here and what is happening in this area. Brand realizes that while Lady Finestone is acting jovial inside she is seething at the intrusion and distrustful of Caden. Eventually Lady Finestone announces that the evening meal is ready and she welcomes everyone to join her.
Dinner passes with simple conversation. As the after-dinner drinks are being served, Caden brings out a satchel with small goods that were to be delivered to those currently at the Finestone Manor. Kethra gets a dress and small ice figurine, Feldspar gets some letters for his family, Faerlie gets a beautiful silver comb in the shape of a unicorn, while Brand gets three letters from various factions in Mirabar currying favor. After dinner Kethra slips away and opens the box again. The ice figurine speaks in a harsh chilly voice.
“In two days hence, when the moon is bright, throw open your halls, and welcome my blight.”
After this the figurine melts into water. Kethra closes the box and goes downstairs to drink heavily.
The next morning dawns. After breakfast Kethra sobers up finds Feldspar. She tells him about the figurine, but not the message. As they are heading into the caverns, Kethra hears sobbing. She investigates and finds Faerlie is crying uncontrolled in her room. Between sobs she explains that because she cannot read the local language she gave Kagen, who she has been swooning over, the letter to read. The letter implied that anytime she want to come back and dance for some more money she was welcome. Kagen was very upset and told her just the type of girl that does such things holds no interest for him. Kethra was upset about this and confronted Kagen, she let him know that anyone that tried to impose their will upon a friend of hers better stay out of her reach. Kagen apologizes and offers to make amends.
Brand follows Caden around for most of the morning. For the most part his routine seems normal, but Brand does find that he spends a great deal of time checking out the defenses. Just before lunch Feldspar finds him and asks his help in determining if any strangers have entered the nearby town of Nal Mirar. With nothing better to do Brand goes with Feldspar to the town.
Brand spends most of his time in the inn drinking and talking up the locals. The townsfolk know that Brand has the ear of Lady Finestone and so they tell him everything they can in the hopes that he can get her to listen to them. The only two pieces of information that seem important is that a large winter storm is brewing and that some hunters found a frozen bear carcass in the woods south of the road. Given the other information it seems very likely that Auril will make an attack soon.
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