| 
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.

View
 

A Wanted Man

Page history last edited by Michael 4 years, 1 month ago

back to the Index, or to Chapter 49: The Deep Roads

 

Chapter 50

A Wanted Man

 


 

9:30 Dragon, 5th Day of Cloudreach - Spring

 

     Our Heroes were currently Bran, Eornan, Landon, Alpheus and Jaq. Our journey underground from Ostagar had been 140 miles.

     Eventually our route brought through a Dearmed settlement to a large intersection, with a cavern finished in the Elven style, and a number of Dearmed workers and guards -- and some of their domesticated Big Ugly Bugs. The way forward seemed to lead us past the chamber. One of the Dearmed was a shaman, possessed by a pride demon (according to Alys).

     We tried to sneak past the Dearmed, but they spotted (or heard) us, and began pursuit. Some grease spells slowed them down, but our unfamiliarity with the passages kept us turning back. The Dearmed engaged us in combat near the forge; as the battle intensified, nearly two dozen of the Dearmed joined the fray. The pride demon was nearly the last to catch up; his magics were very potent.

     After three minutes of savage fighting, Jaq had been inflighted with a curse of mortality spell, and Landon's face was sliced open. Finally, Bran and Eornan destroyed the demon, and within a few seconds the last of the Dearmed fell. Alpheus's magics undid the terrible curse on Jaq, and healed Landon's injury.

     We quickly followed the OUT signs and our memory of this area; soon we came to the steep passage leading up to the surface. Landon cast a grease spell behind us, on the slope, to make pursuit difficult. At the top of the passage, it narrowed down to a crawling width and height, and was somewhat blocked by some rocks and brush.

     The debris blocking the exit was quickly removed, and we emerged into mid-afternoon daylight, alongside a cold (but not frozen) pond. The air was around freezing temperature, but we were still pleased to be on the surface again. The pond was the "dried up lake" from Leven's map back in Haring last year; nearby was a farm with a red barn.

     Despite the freezing weather, we washed some of the gore and grime off of ourselves in the pond, and filled out canteens (at the other end of the pond).

 


     We quickly walked to the farm; there was no smoke coming from its chimney, the windows were all shuttered, and in fact it had been abandoned a few days before. From the look of it, the farmer and family had hastily loaded everything of value onto an ox-cart or two, and led all the animals which were nearby away to the highway. A few sheep, chickens, and goats were wandering about; the fences were broken in a few places, and the gates had been left open.

     A table or two, a heavy kettle in the fireplace, some bed-frames and straw mattresses were all very welcome discoveries. We built a fire from firewood and broken fence posts, and heated up some water. A few farm animals were slaughtered, and we had the best meal since the day of the battle at Ostagar (ten days ago). We slept in the beds, or huddled in our cloaks, with a person on guard at all times.

 

9:30 Dragon, 6th Day of Cloudreach - Spring

 

     The group slept in; our many blisters, scars, unwashed garments, unshaved beards, grubby packs, etc. all called for attention. The sky was partly cloudy; the temperature was cool. While South Reach was within a day's travel, we decided to start travel mid-day and head for the nearby Goat Fork Inn (★★✰✰✰ $$+)

 

 

     The poster had been placed a couple of days ago, by men working for Loghain.

 

9:30 Dragon, 7th Day of Cloudreach - Spring

 

     Without waiting for the morning gruel, we left the Goat Fork Inn around dawn, headed for South Reach.

 

South Reach

     It has a population of 8,500, and is not fortified; it is the home of Arl Leonas Bryland. Some of the more important structures are old Tevinter construction, but most are low half-timbered buildings of more recent date. The Imperial Highway passes through the town.

     Inns include the Graywater, the Winterberry (an elvish establishment) and the Periwinkle.

     There's an armorer, an apothecary (Eirik), and two other potion-makers in the town. 

     Somewhere in town there's a Warden "hidey-hole", but none of Our Heroes know the location at this time.

 

     More of the "wanted" posters were stuck up at the entrances of the town, at the Chantry, and at other places. We decided to have Alpheus and Eornan stay out of town for this day at least. Last autumn some of Our Heroes had been somewhat high-profile in this town. There are rumors about town regarding:

 

  • the Blight

  • darkspawn

  • the battle at Ostagar

  • the death of King Cailan Theirin

  • the illness of Arl Eamon of Redcliffe, possibly poisoned by his wife

  • knights were coming to South Reach, searching for a relic

  • Circle Tower mages turning into demons

  • the Templars invoked the Right of Annulment against Kinloch Hold

  • the treachery of the Grey Wardens

  • Tyrn Loghain was pressing men for his army

 

the Fate of Friends and Allies

Missing, presumed killed in action at Ostagar
Boane
Cifano
Cray
Duncan
Ebriss
Erin
Eveline
Jayce
Jules
Malic
Mirian
Penn (Lord Tivanoari Pentaghast)
Robert
Sextus
Shivanna
Tienan
the Orlesian wardens (Marie and 19 others)
Missing, presumed captive
Laney (with Loghain)
Andson, Garrick, Samesley (in Gwaren)

 

In general - this is what you were picking up this day, and in your very immediate travels...

 

     "The degree of lawlessness that has settled into the land was not so obvious in your limited contacts initially, but squatters and bandits have already gotten the whiff of people a bit off their guard. "Abandoned" farmhouses have a good chance of someone(s) lurking. Roads have some (and will surely have more) opportunistic ne'er-do-wells preying on those fleeing in too much haste, with too many of their valuable - or at least useful - goods loosely tied down."

      "Those who might have been something like the law, seem mostly otherwise preoccupied, either with darkspawn or with hearing the regent's call to arms. But whispers of martial law are hinting at the fringes. The official word is this is not a Blight, but a significant darkspawn insurgence. Regardless, men need to gather under the regent to defend the country, and it is not a time for dissent. Yeah ... the message via rumor could be better crafted, and a lot of people don't know what to think. But the strongest pull is to rally behind the "Hero of the River Dane", of course. "If anyone can protect Ferelden, it is Loghain Mac Tir," is the most common sentiment among the people."

      "Reports of the Wardens' betrayal are, by a slim majority for now, accepted. It is a hard pill to swallow, but those who stand here to tell it are of good repute and persuasive. "To think -- the Grey Wardens betrayed our King - betrayed us ... this is a sorry, sorry day." -- Bodhan Feddic, merchant with a well-reputed 'discount.'"

 

     Bran bought some armor and other supplies.

 

  • all

    • traveling cloak that will cover armor/robes That Should Not Be Seen

    • decently good clothes, suitable for audiences with Ferelden nobles (Eornan is already set here, I think)

  • Landon

    • Dearmed bow

    • a score of arrows + quiver

    • light leather armor

  • Alpheus

    • light leather armor

    • Dearmed sword or shortsword ?

  • Eornan

    • score of arrows

    • heavy leather armor

  • Bran

    • chain mail armor

 

     The Winterberry Inn was now in the hands of wicked, opportunistic men.

     The Revered Mother told Bran that Ser Bryant had a scroll for him. Bran visited the templar, and received the letter which (apparently) came from Alistair.

 

a letter

B, E, L & A

 

I am writing this letter -- because we said we would try to find each other. I didn't see you fall, so this is a long shot, but I just can't accept that you all didn't make it out somehow. My gut, which is getting a lot of testing lately, says you, or some of you, are alive. Though I can bet, you didn't think the same of us -- and that is a pretty great, and unbelievable, however short, tale that I'll hold for when we meet in person.

 

We made it back to that last real village with help of a new friend, I guess you could call it help (and a friend), well, she got us there anyway. In the village, we fount out, which you no doubt know if you're reading this, that things went disastrously at the fight, and those who fought hardest are being blamed for it. As I'm fairly certain most all the rest are dead, it is hard for anyone to say otherwise.

 

We handled the Men who knew us -- well, knew A., by description -- and the locals let us go on our way. It wasn't until later when I realized what risks they were taking just letting us go. We've decided to keep a low-profile, A. especially, since after what happened to her family ... well, it is likely the oversight of her living won't sit well with the perpetrators.

 

Heard my uncle (the one we all had supper with) has taken very ill. He's who we need to get the immediate help of, assuming... well, I can't think that. We are headed to see him now and will send a new letter by raven to all the places discussed when we get there. Send letters to me there at my uncle's place. They should be safe.

 

    Signed -- He who was nigh-unanimously voted "Least Likely to be Missed"

 

    P.S. Those treaties we found -- the ones with the Dalish, etc.? I can't think of anyone better but all of you to settle that one. Put that on your list of 'things to do,' and don't you  dare avoid us. Just be glad we'll be dealing with the dwarves after we see my uncle. Don't know what is going on with the Circle Heard some crazy and potentially very bad rumors. We might need to head there first ...

 

     Eornan considered his surviving contacts from Ostagar:

 

  • Bann Bronic, whose lands are in the Bannorn, west of South Reach, on the western edge of the Imperial Highway. He is very interested in political news (and gossip). His lands are well located to hide out in, or stage a force in...

  • Bann Cerlic has a small holding that is conveniently "Denerim Adjacent". The only wine growing region in Ferelden. He was fascinated by Eornan in a way that was not, perhaps, entirely savory.

  • Bann Warren holds land east of Orzammar and north of Edgehall. His lands control the road through Gherlen's Pass. The Bann and his Lady Wife, Lorraine Grane, were both very interested in the Battle of Edgehall, and know of Alora and the Night Terrors. We would be very welcome at their manor.

 

On to Seeds of Rebellion

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.