23rd of Highsun
At the edge of Winterthrone, Mellifluere senses for faerie crossroads. The results are confusing, at best. Some sort of fae magic is forcefully closing them, causing them to open, move, and close again. Perhaps the witches harnessed the portals that are in place to power their gates to Winter? It feels very chaotic and there’s a build-up of energy that seems … dangerous.
Nadia turns the expedition of dog sleds away from the city and towards the fish-camps that lay along the coast near Winterthrone.
We enter the fish-camps; the smell of fish is overpowering! Bragga changes her appearance to look like an average old woman, while the lot of us seem to fit in with the working crowds. Still, we are strangers and locals avoid us, while being polite.
Nadia leads us to a small but well-maintained hut. She knocks but there is no answer. Bragga takes a moment to notice that people seem afraid and are chatting amongst themselves.
Mellifluere steps into the hut to look around (Faufine opened the door after having come down the chimney). In her search she finds that Rignear Malencolf’s boots, cloak, and sword are missing; so Rignear Malencolf is probably out. Under a loose flagstone, she finds a bag of jacks. Three are painted, while the rest are bone coloured. They are religious token of Lira, goddess of joy and freedom. An odd thing to find here in the land of eternal winter.
The locals at the fish camp inform us that Rignear moved away. Nadia doesn’t buy it, and so we talk the local fishmonger. We eventually learn that Rignear was arrested by the fish-camp guard for being outspoken. The fish camp guard is a gang that runs the local protection racket. Rignear was probably taken to the fish guard’s outpost.
After learning a bit more about the fish-camp guard and where they are located, Faufine goes to investigate.
He reports the layout and has found Rignear.
We learn from a local lad that Rignear tried to organize the locals against the fish-camp guards, but got arrested instead.
Protected by a silence spell, Wanderroot bursts through the walls and ceilings beyond the secret door at the back of the fish-camp guard’s outpost. Bragga, Rustan, and Nadia run in and take on the fish-guards: several ogres and a human captain. When there’s a chance, Nadia frees Rignear while Lidia drags him outside to safety. As the fish-guards try to escape, they run into Bracca’s summoned celestial mountain lion; waiting for them on the other side of the door!
After the fight we talk to Rignear. Lidiya heals him (somewhat); but he is highly confused as to his rescue and who we are.
We toss the fish-guard’s outpost. We find a branch covered in spider webs with tiny spiders on it. There’s a little pouch containing 4 rough rubies (50gp ea), 180gp, and a silver mirror engraved with two lovers embracing (about 1’ tall on the wall) (100gp). The leader has a few magical items: An enchanted rapier +1, studded leather suit (enchanted, +1), and fine quality crossbow (light). We find 100gp on the dead along with a gold necklace with a noble’s crest (100gp).
Back at Rignear’s hut, we learn that the city is under lockdown and the current queen which has formed a new guard – the winter guard. He suggests we go to the Howlings (the district in which the winter wolves hold court). The only ones who can pass freely through the city, in the howlings, are the Jadigua (the nobles) and the winter wolves. We’ll need papers to pass us off as Jadigua once outside of the Howlings. Eventually, we should be able to reach the Heralds of Spring (what he calls the rebellion against the queen).
Rignear had a delivery to make of fish into the city. He informs us that those who are not nobles have to hide their weapons or have them confiscated when they enter the city. Once we go from the Howling to Morton’s house – this will be the most dangerous part – because trolls, ogres and wolves hold that region and the only law is strength.
During the night Lidiya uses her ability to create a moonlight script. Writing a short message in moonlight on the floor before she wakes. It reads: “Over, under, through steam and ice, find the blooming rose of red, orange, and yellow. She will guide you through the brambles to the hut.”
We learn that the leader of the opposition is named Solveg.