In The Shadows

Episode 1 — Under the Raven (Part 1)

The Boy Without a Ransom

Tavern brawl by velinov

Fun Times !

With joy in our hearts and beer in our guts, we celebrated the return to health of our good friends! The Stone Cutter was full of pleasant people enjoying themselves but amidst all the beautiful brawling and awful signing a lady and her two-man escort sat in a corner…

Svarðlr and Caelen noticed them and approached with a few rounds on the house. The lady, shrouded in a veil and calling herself Sylvia, politely refused the generous portion of dwarven ale. Her pale eyes had a gaze that could probably freeze the warmest soul in the hottest day of Flamerule. Our adventurous demeanour quickly led her to offer us a job in exchange for a generous amount of gold.

Her son, heir to a goods transports company, was kidnapped by a band of dark horse-riding bandits. It has now been a week and strangely no word of a ransom demand in sight. The conversation expanded and we asked questions as to possibilities of who and why the young lad might have been kidnapped. The competition had been thoroughly interrogated with no avail. We discovered we wouldn’t be the first to look for the kid, the other groups of adventurers seem to have disappeared. The only lead she had was the location of the kidnapping and a lock of hair that was magically perfumed.

It was getting late and at this rate, time became quite precious.

Along the Fire River

Years ago the grey orcs lived and waged war against the local elves near the Fire River, now only a few groups live in the mountains. Rumours mention bandits have settled into various hideouts in the woods close to the river.

That morning we prepared our bags and traveled to the boy’s last known location, close to the river. It took the day to get there and we chose to setup camp and rest for the night. Unfortunately for us, a large group of goblins wasn’t far and disrupted our night. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t expect us to disband them so rapidly with the help of a few distractions from Tao.

Dawn arrived by the time we finished disposing of the corpses into the earth. With the help of Ziaca’s trusty mouse, we followed the magical scent to a small barn deep in the woods.

The Bandit’s Hideout

Though the camp was small, the group of bandits were numerous. We spent a few hours surveying the camp, observing their movements, their numbers and their positions. Three stood around a camp fire a dozen feet away from the barn. Two stood at separate corners of the stone building and an unknown amount were inside. The boy had to be inside.

Our plan was messy but required a rapid and decisive strike on all fronts. Tao, Svarðlr and Ziaca would strike those around the campfire. Caelen would strike those next to the building while the dwarf would knock the shins out of any who barged out of the barn.

Caelen’s arrow accidentally slipped from his fingers and stroke the nearest bandit, forcing the plan into overdrive. The campfire was quickly dispatched without a hassle. A ruckus erupted from the inside, the door pushed upon and just as the dwarf was about to strike a veil of darkness shrouded him. Any who would step into the dark veil would become blinded except the bandits, of course.

With much sweat and blood we vanquished our foes one by one. The troupe used the small windows to their advantage to take out the mages inside handicapping everyone. In the end, only one bandit survived although purposefully to answer our questions and burry her comrades. Answers were quite few and we remained puzzled about the kidnapping. The most relevant of information is a temple along the river close to the mountains.

Out of the Ordinary

As we tended to the boy, Caelen discovered the young lad’s a Drow magically masked to appear like an ordinary elf. The situation having become quite strange, we chose not to return the boy right away and instructed Ziaca to take him somewhere we could not find them while we uncover the truth. Caelen would investigate the temple, having retrieved a cloak of camouflage from the fallen bandits. The rest of the troupe would go back to Raven’s Bluff to see what they could find on their end.

To be continued…

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