In a Certain Realm...

S19 Winterthrone via the Howlings and into the Bathhouse

Introduction to the Heralds of Spring

23rd of Highsun

Nadia and Uncle Rignear Malencolf push the fish cart. We follow them with what little cover story we could manage. The city on the hill looks so white as to be made of bone.

As we approach, a tall, leggy, white haired woman carrying a big axe comes towards us.

Lidiya from Narfel is introduced to Gretta. They chat. Gretta mentions that she goes to the Red Cockerel Inn sometimes. She’s very… um. Interested in Lidiya!

As we walk between two close-by buildings, there’s a semi-circle of carts parked before a building. Bragga, Rustan, and Mellifluere spot some blue figures crouching behind the carts. To our left, in another covered alley they spot another one. This one is holding a small vial, ready to throw. It’s an ambush by ice goblins!

We’re entering into a larger area. Lidya howls, Bragga casts glitter dust on the 4 goblins hiding. There’s a bright explosion of golden particles, and the one on the left immediately gives up. In the air, the hawlks circle. The winter goblin immediately gives us 2 gp and a tiny vial of cure light wounds. They are terrified of the “wolf lady”! This is a first for Lidiya.

We take a sharp left and go into a covered alleyway. Walking into view is a cloaked figure. The cloak has golden tassels and a central design. It has a mirror for a face. It carries a thin golden sword that is very reflective. Rignear tells us that is a mirror man, they are the eyes of the witches. We take shelter under the trees. It speaks to Lidiya in her mind. Lidiya acts like a tourist and it suggests she visit the market. He wanders away.

We go to a house where Rignear knocks. Once he’s identified, children rush out and grab all the fish before disappearing back inside. Rignear feeds them because their masters don’t. This is considered suspicious activity here, apparently.

We follow Rignear. We see a few people about, but not many. Turning a corner, two trolls wearing white tabards and two drunken wolves are arguing loudly. One of the trolls notices us and nudges the other. We take a quick left but Mortin isn’t answering his door. Faufine opens it with a key.

Bragga uses dancing lights in the trees to distract the trolls. We sneak into Mortin’s hut and find he’s … quite the nervous type. He eventually accepts that we are “clients” and agrees to make our papers. Yelina = Lidiya, Hedwig = Bragga, Rustan = Victor, Mellifluere = Vallia

Mellifluere learns from the trees that there’s a forest growing in the Market for the last week or so. There are shadow fae in the trees. And they are guarding Grandmother’s hut! We decide to go by the market, after Mortin has made us all new papers.

We pass by a dead servant in the street, killed by wolf bite.

We leave the Howlings and are approached by two mirror-faced men. They gather papers, check them over, and let us pass with a warning to obey the martial law and the winter guard.

In the market are many foreigners. The market sells fine porcelain, furs, and other goods. The main street is barricaded by a group of 20 beings (trolls, humans, wolves, and the like). It would seem Grandmother’s hut is spewing out forest around it. They can’t cut the trees faster than they can grow back. Mellifluere says that the forest seem to be creating another portal.

As we work our way around the forest, we see a white dragon fly down and land nearby. It starts conversing with the soldiers. It seems to be in charge. Gossip says the captain of the winter guard is a white dragon.

We walk along the street of skulls. It is paved in the skulls of those who dared oppose the queen. We are taken to the Winter Palace, a great bathhouse for nobles and foreigners. It is surrounded by smaller bath houses. Rignear organizes a bath for us. We are taken to a room to disrobe and he opens a secret passage. We go into the bowels of the bathhouse through tunnels and passageways leading ever deeper.

At last Rignear knocks on a wall. A brick slides aside, and Rignear speaks to someone behind the wall. Eventually, the wall slides open and we go into the room beyond. We are surrounded by 6 guards with crossbows. A young man approaches Rignear.

We’re introduced to Igor. He’s the commander of the day watch. They bring in a young paladin to verify we are not evil. The rebel group calls themselves the Heralds of Spring. Igor brings us into a deeper layer, through narrow passages into a natural cavern that is quite warm. There are pallets on the floor and tables nearby. People are living here. We meet Solveg, a priestess of Lyria.

She brings us alcohol and we introduce ourselves and chat for a bit. She sends out an invitation to negotiate with the Iron Guard. She offers us a place to stay for the night.

Overnight, Lidiya asks the moon to learn what benefits we can use to broker the alliance with the Iron Guard and the Heralds of Spring.

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