The call has been made. Each of the four old friends were visited by the animal messanger that relayed the simple message of "Return to Valewood Hallow. You are needed." Shar'konin was visited by the sparrow, Immerien the falcon, Arkhem the crow, and Christian the owl.
Read the exposition of each character here. If you are a PC in this campaign, do not read other expositions.
Shar'konin came to the sign post at the crossroads about a mile from Valewood Hallow. He dismounted his horse to take a drink from his water skin when he heard a rustling the bushes. Four kobolds clad in black leather appeared from the brush and attacked. Two Slingers and two spearmen were waiting for easy prey to ambush on the road. Shar'konin being alone and surprise fought back as well as he could. Being hit with an immobilizing glue pot he was no match for the 4 marauders. Shar'konin went unconscious from his wounds and fell into the bushes. The greedy kobold rushed over and began to dig in his pack stealing his money, orb and some of his family's expensive herbs and spices.
Arkhem hearing the scuffle from up the road galloped in the fray and dismounted. With a few bolts of negative energy and a bit of warlock cursing, the Kobolds became weary of the battle as a few of their comrades fell.
Christian coming from the South on the Crossroads noticed a Kobold snatching goods from the saddle bags of Shar'konin's horse. He charged in and gave him a thrashing he'll never forget. The bloodied kobold retreated in the woods.
After clearing the area of all the wretched beasts they discovered Shar'konin's battered and unconscious body in the bush. Arkhem performed any first aid he could and Christian used his healing abilities to patch him up as best he could. Arkhem took notice to the symbol painted on the kobolds shotty aromor. It looked like a stylized dragon. He seemed to remember this symbol from somewhere but couldnt place it. He cut one out and took it with him.
After they collected all their goods from the satchels of the kobolds, the group began piling the bodies along the side of the road and burned the bodies. The Stench was overwhelming.
A traveling merchant stopped and offered any help, but he was turned down by the groups.
Things Haven’t Changed Much
The group goes into town bloodied, battered, some sticky from glue pot, some smelly from stink pot, and all tired from their journey, they decided to see Constable Heart to alert him of the lurking kobolds outside of town.
They entered the office and were greeted by groans by the other constables. The stink pot stench was unbearable. They told the constables about the Kobolds and they were instructed to investigate by High Constable Heart.
As the group left, Constable Heart asked Shar'konin to stay behind for a moment. He told Shar'konin that he recognized Christian and that he was going to keep an eye on him. Christian had had many run-ins with the constable as a younger man. His exact words were (in reference to Christian's knighthood and tabard) "You can wrap him up with a nice new package, but he's still rotten on the inside."
After Shar'konin told Christian about this, Christian marched back into the office and had words with the constable. They both stood their ground and agreed to stay out of each other's way.
While Christian was tangling with the Constable, Shar'konin decided to visit the general store across the street. He wanted to replace his family’s spice that was stolen from him by the kobold that ran away. He planned on giving the spice as a gift to Luther. In side Shar'konin noticed Arkhem's brother.
Arkhem and his brother had a few words with each other. The conversation proved to Arkhem that a leopard will never change its spots. He's still the same miserable prick he was the last time he visited.
Pictured above: High Constable Heart
The Lamplighters Guild Hall
Orchid mobilized the younger lamplighters that were hanging around the school room to bring fresh water in for the bath. Christian paid one young lamplighter to tend to the horses. Arkhem picked the lock to Luther’s study. While Arkhem and Shar'konin bathed (separately of course), Christian searched the study for clues to Luther’s whereabouts. He turned up some interesting tidbits… a large talisman made from a dragon's tooth, a book of dragon lore, anatomy and ecology, a sketch of the symbol painted on the kobolds armor, and a map with location pins.
A Family Reunion
After his Bath, Arkhem decided to visit his mother and grandfather. When he arrived he was greeted with open arms by his mother… but his father and brother were a bit colder to him. The family spoke while Arkhem had some of this mother's stew and homemade bread. Under protest, his brother went to retrieve their grandfather, Sir Julius, retired knight to see Arkhem. Arkhem had a conversation about the kobolds with Julius. It turns out that Julius has dealt with a group of kobolds in the past who also wore the same symbol. At that time they called themselves "The Black Brigade", were much better equipped and worshiped a black dragon named Pheenius who lived in a cavern below Old Kindle Rampart. Julius and some of this fellow knights rid Valewood hallow of the Kobolds and slew Pheenius.
While Arkhem visited his family, Christian spoke to a group of militiamen patrolling the outskirts of town. He asked them if they have seen Luther leave town recently. Edward Summerset, a lamplighter alum, told him that 3-4ish weeks ago he saw him leaving before daybreak. Christian also learned that a roadhouse was constructed over half days ride north on the road though Ashenwood since he has been in Valewood Hallow last.
Shar'konin decided he would say behind and absorb as much of the dragon book as he could. He learned more about kobolds and their ties to dragons as well which may prove invaluable in the near future.
After coming back together, the group sat in the schoolroom/common room of the guildhall and discussed their next move. We all hope that Immerien arrives by morning… for it's all up hill from here.
Picture Above: Moneylender and Militiaman Edward Summerset