In the shadow of that hill was a circle of stones around which a clump of the savages were performing one of their unholy rituals. One of them escaped into the cavern while we finished off their companions.
He came back with one of their cheif men, who demanded with the voice of authority to know what we thought we were doing.
Pieter, the commanding officer of our band, made our baron’s claim that Alek Grimbeard had slain Lord Alvin Wouter, the Sage of Drakeford. The cheiftain called Grimbeard out of the cave with a messenger. He did not deny the claim, but rather asked us if it was not in open retaliation for the slaying of one of their number: the mad druid near whose hut the knights had found the alien stone?
Pieter admitted that it had.
We were then made to tell what our baron would offer them in compensation. The Druid sent us back to Drakeford with the message that if we did not give them the stone that they would retaliate for our murder of their number.
The Baron and the knights determined that we should return and try to bargain with the Druids. We would not return the stone to them, it was too dangerous to trust to anyone else, but we might be willing to study it with them.
We returned to the Druids’ Cave along with Thalion a half elf priest of the storm god Kord, whose mother Allonwye was the Apothocary of Drakeford, and whom the Baron’s daughter had brought into the castle to study the alien stone.
We didn’t get out of town before adventure called. Someone had rigged a wagon that had broken down in the middle of the main street with alchemical explosives. They were set off when we tried to help the farmer with his wagon.
The farmer, his two childern, and a local man who had joined in to help were incinerated in the blast. We all managed to escape the blast with minor burns, but were set upon immediately after by armed and armored men in masks and a human sorceress. The sorceress called up a blast of flame from the earth but we managed to avoid serious injury. She fled after Erdan hit her with two arrows. She hadn’t gone far before the third felled her.
The largest of the masked men wielded a greataxe, who rained down mighty blows first on Faral‘s then on Thalion’s shield. The two knights finished the rest of the assailants. Then, with the help of Erdan’s arrows they helped Thalion and Farall take down the man with the axe.
Their assailants were clearly hired human mercenaries, all carrying matching belt pouches containing 100 gold pieces each. The man with the axe, however had a tattoo of the old (Human) Nerathian kingdom on his shoulder.
Immediately we thought of Lucan Aldovar, the self-proclaimed human “noble” whom we had intimidated for information at the Slumlord. We returned to the Baron asking for permission to raid Lucan‘s compound in town, which Ubada was keeping a watch over. The baron refocused our attention on the Druids however, saying that we didn’t need to open another front of conflict.
When we returned the the forest cave we were greeted by one of the Druid chieftains. We told him that the stone was a dangerous Far Realms being. He seemed confused, unprepared for what we had told him. He agreed that he would look for Alek Grimbeard and tell him that we wished to meet with him in three days time, at the place were we found the assassin’s body.
After reporting to the baron, Irann suggested that the best course of action would be to seek out after the old Knights Keep, which had been abandoned to the undead since the disappearance of Eolomune. The keep had been chosen by the baron some time ago as a strategic position which needed to be reclaimed as defense against whatever threats might come from the Bone Tower.