Within a week of returning to Fallcrest, Grisha heads north on a solo expedition to search for traces of his nephew and sister-in-law. Sascha’s protestations that Grisha ought not to go alone fall on deaf ears and he leaves without giving Sascha the opportunity to try to follow. As an adept Ranger, skilled at covering his tracks, Sascha knows that she will not find him. Grisha needs to go alone, for now.
With nothing to do, Sascha inquires and finds that the main kobold threat has dissipated, and while provincial folk still have their hands full defending their farms and flocks, towns throughout the region are generally safe.
Krieg Deepstone enters the pub one day covered in filth, road dust and dried black ichorous liquid, and carrying a heavy pack, which he swiftly dumps on the floor by a rickety pub bench. He sits heavily and roars for two ales.
Sascha is immediately cheered to see her old friend, and skips across the room to sit with Krieg. She sits down, squares her shoulders, and in her best Einigan accent, says, “Ho there Lord Deepstone, shall we drink to your health and wealth, and dreams of gem encrusted stone dwellings?”
Krieg smiles into his beard, cocks his head sideways and growls, “Make it four…nay five ales. My mouthy friend can drink me under this shoddy table.”
Sascha asks Krieg for news from the road. Since clearing the Kobold fortress, Krieg has followed roving kobold bands for months, arming and fortifying farmsteads, assassinating chieftains and organizing local militia to strike at smaller groups. Lately his travels have brought him back to the mainland near Fallcrest, battling disorganized bands of Goblins and, more recently, Orcs. He is in Fallcrest to re-arm, retrieve orders, and plan his next move.
As he entered Fallcrest, a messenger boy approached him and handed him a scroll from Lord Markelhay of Fallcrest. Krieg went immediately to see the lord. According to him, the King of Einingu’s cousin, a Dwarf named Gunnvor, lives in a hilltop keep northeast of Fallcrest with his family. Villagers nearby had noted the appearance of a well-organized, and armed band of Orcs that seemed to have come from Thunderspire. This band was heading toward Gunnvor’s Keep. Remnants of camps showed that the Orcs were clearing trees, perhaps making weapons and siege equipment. Markelhay dispatched a squad of Imperial Guard, but they arrived too late. The stones of the keep remain standing, but they have been gutted and still smolder. The orcs have fortified themselves in the basement of the keep. The status of Gunnvor, his wife and three children is unknown. The Orcs have made no demands and do not seem to be interested in ransom.
So Krieg plans to sleep for a few hours and then leave to join. He asks for Sascha to join him, and asks if Magnus, Einar and the others are available. Sascha explains that she has heard Magnus’s team remains in the field pursuing the bloodthirsty cultist, Kalarel. Meanwhile, Einar has returned to Woodhaven to be with family in the wake of his sister’s death. Sascha can only think of two possible colleagues that might be available, the unpredictable Eladrin bard, Runar Orn, and the towering-proportioned sorceress, Uitskaya. She vows to bring them to Krieg by morning, and he agrees.
Our session begins in late morning, as the quartet approaches Lord Solveig, commander of the Nylandan Guard camped outside the keep.