Tales of the Ruddy Spirits Taproom

By Rights of Land

Adventure 07 - The Journey Home Part 3

image.jpgLeaving the swamp lands behind, the caravan finally crosses the border into the kingdom of the north, Krishen Highlands, birthplace of Kylan and the realm ruled by his father, King Daedric. The land turns into rolling hills before becoming the rough terrain of the highlands. The rugged nature of the land is made beautiful by the lush green that covers the hills. As the miles roll by, the darkness and horror of the dying town and the Shadowman fade and a gentle peace settles over the caravan. Kylan spends a lot of time with his new mentor while Kamden and Jorn discuss the various brews they have experienced over the years. The journey north appears to be drawing to a quiet end.

image.jpgThen the caravan tops a hill and in the distance the scouts see a low timber fort surrounded by a large number of native tents. Scouting ahead, Tythan finds that the roads are completely blocked by the native people. The caravan pulls up short and a small party rides on ahead to see if they can negotiate passage along the road. The party is soon stopped by a pair of native warriors holding thick bows. Several attempts at communicating end up failing and the small party rejoins the caravan. With few other options, Jorn says a brief prayer to gift the native with the miracle of speaking common Estodian.

Returning to the pair of guards, Jorn blesses the more animated guard with the gift of language and a peace offering of his best brew. image.jpg The guard is cautious at first, but this soon turns to amazement as the guard accepts Jorn as a powerful shaman. He also begins to believe that the barbarian Kamden must be a strong chieftain to have such a powerful shaman in his tribe. Jorn is able to convince the natives to allow them access to the fort as the natives still refuse to allow any travelers to pass and seek help from the great city. As the small party passes through the camp it becomes clear that Jorn and Kamden are not the only ones to draw respect. Kylan also seems to draw a lot of respect. Knowing his kingdom once dealt peacefully with these people before his fathers rule, Kylan decided to meet with the tribal elders while the others visit the fort.

At the fort things do not go well. The people in the fort do not want to let the adventurers that are clearly in league with the natives inside the fort, but after some argument, the gates open just enough to let the remaining party in without risking any of the savages rushing in. Within the fort, the situation is dire. The fort has run out of food and provisions. Further, many of the missionary settlers have died of sickness. The people are scared and angry and refuse to leave. The party is greeted by a pompous ass of a priest named Fineas.image.jpg Fineas demands first to know why the strangers we’re let in and tries to convince the people to leave. When Kamden suggests they should leave, considering the situation, the priest begins to claim rights to the lands, granted by King Daedric and funded by the church of Kavadin. He demands the natives leave and the land be left to the church for a place of enlightenment and rest along the long journey north. Fineas goes on to speak of the barbaric ways of the natives. Having heard enough, Kamden steps up and punches the man in the face, knocking him to the ground. Senji quickly dazzles two of the guards and for a tense moment it appears there may be a fight. But calmer heads prevail and Kamden backs off. Fineas stands up and blusters that they will not leave and that this is their land by rights, then turns and leaves in a huff. Seeing little benefit of staying, the party returns to the caravan.

A short time later Kylan returns, smelling of an earthy, smokey herbal scent. As the party discusses their options, Kylan tells them of the tribes demands. The tribe is upset that the king has been claiming more and more of their land. Selling the land the tribal travel through and live off of. This fort is at the heart of the territory that remains and the tribe must stand to bring a stop to losing the land or face losing their freedom and lifestyle. The refuse to allow passage to notify the king of the situation as he is no longer a friend of the tribe. From their view, the only reasonable solution is to remove any trace of the fort from the hill top. Everything from the log palisades to the stones of the walls and buildings must be removed and the invaders (settling missionaries) must leave. The elders have agreed to allow the caravan to pass if they can convince the people in the fort to do this and leave. However, as night it approaching, they will post guards to ensure the caravan is protected and safe for the evening.

The next morning, the group goes back to the fort. After much negotiation and the offer of food, horses, and help destroying the fort, the missionaries finally agree to leave. The adventures spend the rest of the day softening the stone structures and burning the palisades. That evening the see the missionaries on their way south to return to the church of Kavadin. Worn out by a day of hard labor, the caravan rests another evening under the protection of the tribe before continuing their journey north.

Epilogue
image.jpgA couple of days travel after the encounter with the tribe at the fort, the caravan is trying to make up for the lost days at the fort and continues to travel as dusk approaches before stopping for the evening. Just after dusk the caravan is attacked by a pack of orc raiders. Although they are able to fight off the majority of the raiders, several caravan guards die in the attack and three of the wagons are herded off to the east by the orc raiders that managed to escape. The survivors of the attack are left facing a decision to travel on or go and rescue the stolen wagons and supplies. After regrouping, they also find that Kylan’s mentor was still in his wagon when it was taken.

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