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Dragon Age - On to Denerim

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years, 6 months ago

back to the Index, or back to Glory Metal

 

Chapter 14

On to Denerim

First Day Party, Part I

 


9:29 Dragon, 17th day of Haring -- Winter

 

     Our travelling-party (Jayce, Eornan, Landon, Bran, and [from out of town] Luther) prepared to depart South Reach the next day -- Jayce bought six horses and a proper tent. We heard rumors about wolves along the roads. We tried to visit Mythrellen at the chantry, but the templars had the place under close watch. Instead, she came covertly to our inn late at night, and told us that two (more) mages had fled the Circle tower, and that there were missing or mis-filed phylacteries. She recommended that when we got to Denerim we should speak with Duran (a layman at the chantry there); he would know the latest gossip.

 

9:29 Dragon, 18th day of Haring -- Winter

 

     We departed South Reach, along the snow-covered road to Denerim. We heard wolf-howls during the day; that night, we stayed at the Blue Meadow Inn near Drakford Village (★★★✰✰ $$), where other travelers told us second-hand tales of wolves along the roads.

 

9:29 Dragon, 19th day of Haring -- Winter

 

     More snow fell on us as we pushed along the roads. We reached the village of Madbourne (population 600) and stayed at the inn (★★★★✰ $$).     

     Some rumors heard:

  • Teyrn Cousland had been attempting to convince people to relocate to Westen, for a payment of 2 sovereigns and 3 more if they're still living there a year and a day later.

  • mail couriers had been attacked along the highway (plus the rumors of wolf attacks)

  • an uprising had taken place in Halamshiral against the Orlisian soldiers who had been leaning too hard on the lower classes while they claim to be defending against the dragons in the Frostbacks

 

9:29 Dragon, 20th day of Haring -- Winter

 

     Another day spent traveling on the snow-covered road. At the end of the day we found the Gray Raven Inn (✰✰✰✰✰ $), where the innkeeper was very unhappy -- their cook had quit and walked out that morning. The food was, predictably, slow to arrive and very poorly cooked.  

 

9:29 Dragon, 21st day of Haring -- Winter

 

     This day was spent traveling through a snowstorm -- Jayce's determination to reach Denerim before the end of the month was never more clear. We met a person on the road:   Sara, a strong young woman, with arms and armor -- the former cook at the Gray Raven Inn. She had set out on foot the morning of the 20th, and had this day found the wagon of a merchant, Seder -- a merchant apparently murdered for the mail pouch he had been paid to carry. The attacker(s) had come out of the woods to the south, and returned that way; they had not (as far as we could tell) looted the wagon otherwise. Sara had burned and buried the merchant's body; the dead horse remained by the wagon, along with the merchant's mabari hound, Fi (prounounced Fee, short for Fiona, the merchant's ex-wife). The dog was still guarding the wagon. We decided to take the wagon onwards to Denerim, and invited Sara to travel with us. Our pack horse became the new draft horse.

     As we traveled, we learned that Sara had been employed as a cook at various places for much of her life. She was the daughter of a Templar ("Holy Mother of Green Cheeses, there are Templars everywhere we turn!"); she was raised near Lothering. The wagon contained a smallish amount of interesting trade goods, including some pencils.

     That night, we camped along the road.

 

9:29 Dragon, 22nd day of Haring -- Winter

 

     With the wagon, our travel speed slowed a bit. We stopped to rest ourselves and our mounts mid-day. While we lunched, a big man came walking along; he was carrying two hares, and asked to join us at our meal. His name was Boaen, another Gray Warden and a former Templar! He knew Sara's father (not so surprising once you realize they were both Templars -- there aren't that many). He was heading for Denerim also, and we welcomed him to join our group.

     In the evening, we stayed at the Flaming Marmot Inn (★★★✰ $$), a sturdy building without any nearby settlement. We bought two kegs of their ale. 

 

9:29 Dragon, 23rd day of Haring -- Winter

 

     We spent this day slowly ascending to the frozen summit of Dragon Pass; after sunset we reached the Dragon Pass Inn (★★★★✰ $$$$).

 

9:29 Dragon, 24th day of Haring -- Winter

 

     ... and this day we descended the icy, winding road down from Dragon Pass. At times, when the clouds parted, we could see the ocean (Bran and Boaen debated what, if any, difference there is between ocean and sea). We spent the night at a small inn a few miles outside of Denerim.

     Meanwhile, at Hounds Hall, the dragonlings escape!

 

9:29 Dragon, 25th day of Haring -- Winter

 

     Mid-day we arrived in Denerim; Jayce and Boaen recommended that we put up our animals and the wagon at Hounds Hall, the local Gray Warden's lodging. As we passed through the market, we encountered a young man seeking a cook -- in fact the man was Alistair, yet another Gray Warden. The cook he sought was for the upcoming feast; apparently the previous cook had quit due to a complicated situation ... and had spread word in the city, so that no other cooks would work for the Wardens. Alistair seemed to recognize Martin; Martin definitely recognized Alistair and took steps to fade into the background and find somewhere discreet to stay.

 

Hounds Hall

★★★

     This is the Gray Wardens' base in Denerim; those present in Ferelden gather here annually for the First Day feast. At other times, there may be only a few Wardens present -- or none, or one.

     It's a broad, two-story building, stone on the lower floor and half-timbered above; it contains stables, an armory, a large main hall, offices for the Warden Commander, and quarters for at least a score of Wardens. The basement levels contain a lot of odds and ends gathered by Wardens in the last decade or two. Lately, the fireplaces have been kept roaring hot night and day; it's thus a bit over-warm for some.

     It is staffed by The World's Largest Contingent of Happy Elves -- about 40 servants, found scrubbing and cleaning anything remotely resembling dirt, debris, tarnish, crumbs, or other imperfections within the Hall.

     Bran found the very warm and spotless interior of the Hall rather distressing and quickly escaped to the cold and dirty outside (good old Ferelden).  Many of the elves recognized Eornan and called him by the name "Felry".

 

     Alistair informed us that Riordan, a Gray Warden in Orlais, had sent a pack of six dragonlings to Denerim, as a gift for Duncan, the Warden Commander there (someone heard dragonlings are *the* birthday gift this year). Alistair had been put in charge of them, but while he was cleaning their cage yesterday they managed to escape! Alistair, with the assistance of two other Wardens, Malic and Tienan (Eornan's cousin), had found and killed five of the escaped dragonlings, except for one that fled down into the basements of Hounds House. Malic and Tienan had begun chasing the last dragonling, but deep under Hounds they faintly sensed darkspawn! They sent back some of the servants with this news to Alistair and continued into the depths.

     No other Wardens had arrived before today, and Alistair had been the only remaining Warden at Hounds Hall over the night. The cook for the coming First Night feast had quit after being menaced in the kitchen by the dragonlings. Alistair had spent this morning worrying about the missing Wardens, the upcoming feast, the destruction of Riordan's gift, and ... his lot in life.

     We agreed to find the missing Wardens and investigate the possible darkspawn infestation. Jayce provided us with supplies from the Warden's stores:  healing potions (3d6+3), grenades, glowing stones, basic injury kits, and several lyrium potions for Landon.

     Bran, Landon, Boaen and Eornan "geared up" and prowled down into the dim, cobwebbed lower levels. Eventually, we found a hole recently broken through the floor, leading into a deep pit. Our rope only went far enough to reach the edge of a drop off; after getting more rope and with Boaen's great strength, and some spikes he used at Ostragar, the rest of us descended all the way down. We found Tienan lying beside a pool of salt water in a cavern, at least 80 feet below the sub-basement (quite possibly at sea level). Tienan's hip or pelvis was shattered, along with some less crippling injuries (likely a broken leg or so, but Tienan cannot feel his legs so it is difficult to be sure); he said that Malic had set out many hours ago towards the darkspawn, and pointed in the direction Malic had gone.

     While Bran investigated stealthily, Landon and Eornan prepared Tienan, then Boaen (and others) hauled Eornan holding Tienan up to Hounds Hall. Bran returned after a bit, to say he had  heard a small, repeated scratching sound off through the cavern. Boaen remained in the sub-basement, ready to pull us up if needed. Eornan would rejoin Bran and Landon to continue in the search for Malic. It was discussed, but not firmly decided whether Baoen should join the trio, since the darkspawn if there were any, could sense his presence. However, since Malic would likely take the path of 'least darkspawn' it might be easiest to know where they were... and take the other way, hopefully following Malic's likely path out of the caves.

 

On to Ashes and Desire 

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