The heroes are met by the forest people which consist of Elves, gnomes, halflings, and other people that live in the Large Forest. They have been run out of their homes by a power animal army. They all travel to Squires Landing.
AS they arrive the begin to understand more of what has been going on and why Squires Landing is in need of such help. As they are gathering information. a squire approaches them and they are asked to go tothe keep to meet with the Duke. This is what happens:
Nothing happens for hours. The players can wander around.
Streetwise (13): Find out that the attacks started 3 months ago on the outlying villages.
Insight (21) Many people feel it is the dukes fault for not acting sooner.
Streetwise (19): A envoy from the elves warned the duke about the attacks and “strange occurrences” happening in the forest 3 months ago and (21) aid was asked but denied. Only available when speaking with elves, gnomes, or Eladrin of the forest.
Much of the same story is said, unnatural beast from the forest have been attacking the city sporadically. It usually last for a few nights than stops and can start back up again. Been going on for about 3 weeks now at Squires Landing. Some point in the evening a squire finds them with a message.
Squire: “Are you the adventures that just came into town?”
“I have a message from the Duke, he wishes for you to join him and the defense council immediately”.
“I’m just the messenger, please follow me. I will escort you back to.”
The squire leads you adeptly between the crowds that have gathered in the city for safety. You arrive at the Oak Districts gate and are waved through hastily. You notice great mansions and sturdy beautiful houses made out of fine wood and stone from the forest and quarries. As you approach the Dukes palace, you notice the ancient stone that has been scarred by untold ancient battle. Upon seeing the keep you realize Squires Landing was built to last. The keep is a bit small compared to the one in La and Y’urdok, but it is sturdy and survived. The keep is only 3 stories with a tower. The tower was once the main watch tower of the city. But as the city grew, the tower became a sort of study and personal library to the Dukes.
As you approach the Dukes keep the guards recognize the squire and wave him through. As you enter through the gate, you each feel a presence. It is nothing magical, arcane, or supernatural, but it is the sense of history. The keep is almost hallowed ground. You sense that for its time the walls of the keep has stood against great beast and monsters. Hordes of primal powers were broken upon its walls and still it stands. You feel as if the keep is almost sentient and your confidence is bolstered.
You enter into a large room with a elevated chair (throne but not quite a throne) which is where the duke holds court. There are tapestries made of fine cloth detailing ancient battles and the history of Squires Landing. The room is empty. There are wings off to either side and stairs on both sides leading up into the upper chambers. The squire takes you up the stairs and into a room that not as big as the court is still quite large. Inside are 7 distinguished looking persons gathered around a modest sized table. The chairs are comfortable and well made. A fire is going in the hearth. The men and woman gathered just finished eating and servants are clearing the table and pouring drinks.
You notice that not all of the distinguished persons are male. There are 2 femals and there is a mix of different races as well. The room has tapestries to keep the warm in but for the most part it is bare. It is a simple but comfortable meeting room.
A kind looking half-elf stands up greets you and says
Jarin: "Ah, here there are. May I present to the council the adventures that came in today. I am Jarin, Magister to Duke Morgan. To my right is Lady Huriam (a half-ling) the peoples representative, Lady Putania the treasurer (Dwarf), Lord Lejnoir commander of the Dukes Legion (Elf), High Cleric Khalig (Human) of Erathis, Forestweaver Gnalinah (Eladrin) a representative of the forest guardians and of course Duke Morgan. " He extends his hand indicating each member of the council. “May we have your names?”
Jarin: “Please sit. I apologize for the rushed meeting but we don’t know when we may have time and we have an important task to ask of you. Please feel free to drink. There is wine, water, or ale”.
Duke: “Enough Jarin, they came here for an order. Lets make this quick. There are important matters to attend to”.
Jarin: “Of course my Lord. Gentlemen and women, the Duke and the council has a task to ask of you. It is a most dangerous task”.
Jarin: “We would like you to enter the Large Forest, find the reason behind the animal attacks and stop it if you can”.
Jarin: “We have already. We’ve sent out three large forces and they have been destroyed to nearly the last man. We figure that a small band of experienced adventures as yourself may be what we need”.
Duke: “Listen, I’m sending you out because if you die people won’t care. If you die nobody will cry, nobody will complain, nobody will be a bloody thorn in my ass. You are nobody here and expendable. We’ll pay you if you survive but that is not likely. But if you do not accept this task I’ll run you out of the city. So there are your choices. What is it gonna be? You are probably dead either way”?
Jarin: “My Lord please…”
Duke: “Don’t ‘my lord please’ me Jarin. I don’t have time for this. You can tell me about it later Jarin. I bid all a good night”.
As the Duke gets up to leave everybody at the table hastily stands up and bows. The duke storms out of a side door, followed by a few servants and guards.
Lady Huriam: “Pleasant and courteous as always”.
Lady Putania: “He has a lot on his mind.”
Lord Lejnoir: “Despite how he put it he is right. We have asked your group specifically on this mission because you are strangers and have no ties. Morale among the men is at it’s worst with news of the last expeditions destruction. I don’t think we can afford to send locals out”.
Lady Huriam: “Yes the people are anxious and heavy hearted. Most are very displeased with how the battles have been going. If they lose trust in the leadership, we may have fighting amongst our selves.”
High Cleric Khalig: “Yes and the temple is running out of stores and rooms for everybody here. Ours and other orders are being pushed to the max. There is also the concern for the sanitary conditions this puts us in. We are in a perfect position for plague and disease to hit”.
Lady Putania: “And the treasury is not going to be able to handle the situation very long either. Any word from Lord Lawrence”?
Jarin: “Yes, he is sending down supplies and a garrison to help bulster the situation, but with no word from Starport and the troubling rumors in the south, the King may not be able to focus on everything at once”.
Lady Putania: “May Moridan help us if the Horde decides to get jumpy. It seems the entire land is going mad”.
Lord Lejnoir: “Indeed but back to the issue at hand. Will you help us? We have sent might and experienced soldiers. We have sent enough numbers to raze a castle, we have sent powerful wizards and scouts and nothing. Maybe a small group will be able to go unnoticed”.
Jarin: “Excellent, they will need a guide.”
All eyes turn toward Forestweaver Gnalinah, waiting for him to speak up. He looks around the room and takes a sip from his cup and sets it down without a word. He sighs.
Forestweaver Gnalinah: “We have been asking for months for aid. We warned, we pleaded, we cried, we admonished. We BEGGED for help MONTHS AGO and nothing. Now that the problem is at your foot steps you decide to act. Whatever loses you have experience my people have lost 10 times as many. Entire villages and towns have been destroyed by the tainted monsters and not a word from you. I will give the party a guide because THEY need it, not because YOU need it. For hundreds of years we have kept this land safe and when we need your help nothing. I am weary. (He turns to the party) I hope you succeeded. I will send out best tracker and scout. Bring him back alive and well that is all I ask. Find the Protector of the Way in the Forest. My guide will be able to get you there. (He gets up and leaves pauses next to Kelly and whispers “Welcome back Kelly”)
Lady Huriam: He’s right, they have suffered the most.
Jarin: We will make it right some how. So are you ready?
Lady Putania: Ahem
Jarin: yes Lady… wait is this about that contraption your cousin has made? I told you…
Lady Putania: WAIT, I think this is a great idea. Let us at least let the adventures decided They will be the ones going into the forest. (proceeds to describe air balloon ship to float across the forest to the heart of the forest.
Speak about floating airship.etc… Discussion.
Jarin asks Kelly (in disguise) to wait for a second. have a discussion about him. If he comes back they will discuss some pressing matters.
Meet at a field side the town. There is a dwarf by the name of Gregor with a large contraption and a gnome that looks more like a bush than a gnome. Gnomes name is Under Brush. Discussion hope they will take the air ship if not plan on encounters.
An airship requires a crew of five (in addition to the pilot) to fly effectively. Including the gas balloon, this vessel is 8 squares long, 4 squares wide, and 6 squares tall.
Squires Landing is done for now.