In this episode, Korak and the Council hire our heroes and Reynard to investigate rumours of the Broken Sky terrorising Velderbann. Once there, however, the trio soon find themselves in trouble.
After their last night together with Trellimar, in the following morning, both Elora and Jiǔtóu wake up to find that Cam is not in the suite. He left a note saying that he needs to attend to certain matters and will be back in a few days.
Elora and Jiǔtóu left the suite to find Korak the Champion. He is not in his office, though his secretary lets the two know that he is currently attending a meeting. The secretary then invites the two to join in as they are requested to attend the meeting as well. The two head off to attend the meeting. Inside the meeting chamber, Korak the Champion is present, together with Guild Master Giles and Commander Durmont. Also in attendance is a flamboyant man, who introduces himself as the famed hunter who is popular amongst ladies, Reynard Ferehorn. Everyone in the room finds his attitude annoying, particularly Jiǔtóu, though they had to put up with it since the Council of Guilds hired him for a reason.
Worrying Reports from VelderbannEdit
It is let known that both Ferehorn and the adventurers are requested by the Council to help them investigate the recent disturbing events surrounding a town, Velderbann. Located in the northern region of the Dawn Republic, Velderbann is a surface settlement built by the hill dwarves as their original homeland in the Underdark became inhospitable following the undead invasion caused by the Lightfall. However, the Government recently received reports from Ethan, the town's spokesperson, that gryphons have been attacking the community and dwarves are being abducted. More worryingly, the 5th Talis'Val Regiment that the Council sent a few days ago to investigate these claims have yet to return or sent a message, fearing that they too had been abducted. With dwindling security manpower and needing someone the Council can trust, Giles tells the adventurers that the Council need their help to go forth and investigate. In return, the Council have agreed to send some of their guards to the Winter Spire to aid in the search for the missing King Alfadon. Both Elora and Jiǔtóu eventually agree to help.
Korak now requests both Durmont and Giles to leave, which they did, as he wish to converse with both Elora and Jiǔtóu in private. He lets them know that the Council is no longer seeking to arrest Trellimar, since he told them the claim that he had surrendered himself to House Relliv. Korak also informs them that Lady Amirilith is now working with the priest of Bahamut, given that her knowledge of Bahamut well surpass any given priests. Her assistance also allows Talis'Val to recover from the terrorist attacks caused by the Broken Sky faster.
Korak also tells the adventurers that he had managed to convince the Council to offer them a guild hall in Talis'Val, which means that they will receive a stipend of 1000 gold pieces and have the title of associated guild master, allowing them a seat in the Council. The reason for the offer is because, with lesser allies nowadays and the ever increasing threat from the Broken Sky, the government is willing to have the adventurers as friends of the Government, especially since they have helped them in times of need. Elora says that she will discuss the offer with her companions, though she did say that Cam will be very much interested since he did brought up a similar idea a while back.
Korak becomes awkward after seeing an action figure of himself attached on Jiǔtóu's belt. Jiǔtóu then notices that Korak had seen the action figure, so she asks him what he thinks about it. Being nice, Korak comments that it looks lovely, then asks how they got one. Elora replies to say that they have won it at the Summer Festival. She also asks Korak if he would like to have an action figure of himself, since she had an extra. Korak kindly refuses. Jiǔtóu then adds that it comes with a warhorse, which leads Korak to say that he does not even have a horse. Reynard too notices the action figure and becomes jealous, saying that he hopes to become as well-known as Korak so he too will have an action figure made after him some day.
The trio later head over to Giles' office to seek more information about Velderbann. Apart from the information given at the meeting earlier, there is one more thing that Giles only told a select few because he does not want to cause a panic. A rare gargantuan winged beast called a roc, whose shadow can covers an entire town, is also spotted flying around Velderbann. The last known sighting of such beast was before 1346 years ago, before Pelor's Light ever existed. This new information worries the group.
There are no paved routes to Velderbann, so Giles gives them a map of the Dawn Republic so they can plan their travel. The trio then leaves, though Giles requests to speak to Elora alone. He tells her that she and Jiǔtóu must ensure that Reynard returns back safely and not harmed greatly, mainly because the Council wants to see returns on a person they had hired. Likewise, Reynard has been told earlier to protect both Elora and Jiǔtóu, especially since Elora is a royal. Giles also add that Reynard's uncle is a well-known hero who have slain monsters following the Lightfall. Elora understands Giles' concerns, so after rejoining the group, she tells Jiǔtóu to not harm Reynard, given that Jiǔtóu has been suspicious of him ever since he first know him.
Looking at the map, there are two possible routes: a quicker route south of the Shardlake or a longer route north of it. Though the south route is quicker, it requires them to cut through Firstlight, a ruined capital city of a former magocracy country that contains a huge amount of fallshards, as well as the heavy presence of the Broken Sky. As such, the trio decide on the longer but safer north route.
With rations and gears packed for the several days travel and horses ready, the trio begin their journey to Velderbann. Apart from Reynard telling his tales of heroic deeds, which annoyed both Elora and Jiǔtóu, the first day is rather uneventful. At around noon on the second day, the trio see a tower jutting out of the forest up ahead. Reynard knows that it is a necromancer's tower, belonging to a long gone necromancy master and his favourite apprentice. He also knows that the tower contains a library full of valuable books. Reynard then tells the adventurers of what he knew. To this, Elora and Jiǔtóu recall that the tower was mentioned to them some time back as one of the possible solution to get rid the revenant off Cam. Now that the problem has been solved, Jiǔtóu believes that they no longer have any need to make a detour there. With Reynard agreeing with her, mainly because he is quietly becoming afraid of the tower, the trio continue on to Velderbann.
At some point, both Elora and Jiǔtóu can occasionally see a vague outline of a castle in the sky.
Kids in TroubleEdit
A few hours later, the trio spot three children further upstream the river, which leads into Shardlake. The children look frantic and all pointing to an islet about 200 feet from them. Reynard hurries over and realise that a girl is trapped up in the tree on that islet. Without thinking and in trying to impress everyone, Reynard gets off the horse, takes off his cape and weapons and dives into the lake. He then starts swimming towards the islet. Elora and Jiǔtóu arrive moments later, where the children then tell the two that there is a gigantic crocodile in between them and the islet. Elora tries to warn Reynard, who has swam 80 feet. However, Reynard did not hear a thing and continues to swim. In the end, Elora activates her bronze griffin and fly towards the islet, grabbing Jiǔtóu along.
After swimming for another 40 feet, Reynard realises that an unusually large piece of log is floating quickly towards him. The log moves up and reveals the rowboat-sized jaws. Reynard becomes restrained as the jaws snap. He realises that he is being attacked by a gigantic crocodile.
First Round of Combat
Reynard breaks free and swims to the surface. He then casts Animal Friendship on the crocodile but nothing happens, so he casts out a net instead and hoping it will entrap the crocodile.
Up in the air, both Elora and Jiǔtóu can see how gigantic the 16 ft long crocodile is. It is the size of four full-grown horses and seems to also have shards sticking out of its hide. As Reynard is now within reach, Elora gets the griffin to grab Reynard out of the water by grabbing his leg. With that, she orders it to head towards the islet. She then jumps off the griffin and shape-shifts into a hunter shark before landing into the lake. Both the shark and the crocodile now engage in a battle, though the crocodile manages to restrain the shark with its jaws.
The griffin reached the islet safely, so Jiǔtóu gets off and casts Fly on herself via the doss lute. She then hovers in the air and prepares to attack.
Second Round of Combat
Reynard also gets up, though he tries to do so in a dignified manner. He reaches out to the girl, telling her that he is here to rescue her. However, after the girl says that it is safer up on the tree, Reynard changes his mind and climbs up.
The shark breaks free but fails to injure the crocodile. Jiǔtóu though uses Water Whip to attack the crocodile, which injures it. She then pulls the crocodile out of the water and onto land, then flies up 20 ft into the air. With no nearby targets, the crocodile decides to focus its attention on the tree and continue to hammer it.
Third Round of Combat
With the tree on the verge of collapsing, Reynard calls the griffin over and gets the girl on it safely. With only a dagger left on his boot, he yields it and falls off the tree, landing on the back of the crocodile. He then plunges his dagger onto its back and grabs hold of it.
Jiǔtóu also attacks the crocodile with her guandao and Flurry of Blows, while the shark bites the tail off. Both dealt significant damage to the crocodile. However, the severely weaken crocodile returns into the water and attacks back, this time causing the shark's form to shift back into her Elora self. It also manages to knock Jiǔtóu with its tail, causing her to be knocked prone on the islet.
Fourth Round of Combat
Reynard crawls towards the head of the crocodile, plunging the dagger again and again to move forward. In doing so, he unknowingly dealt the finishing blow as the crocodile struggles for a while, then stops moving.
End of Combat
Reynard stands proudly to say that he had slain the crocodile. The girl cheers on after seeing him taking the killing blow. However, both Elora and Jiǔtóu are not pleased that he is taking all the credit despite doing the least damage on the beast. As a result, Elora gets on the griffin and flies back to shore with the girl, leaving Reynard behind but intends to fetch him later. Jiǔtóu also flies back to shore. This leaves Reynard with no choice but to swim back. The griffin later returns to fetch him by grabbing him from the water.
The kids thank the group for saving the girl. The girl, who introduces herself as Dalia Glimmerstein, then tells them that she will let her father knows about them rescuing her, so that he could reward them since he is a member of the Carpenters Guild. Reynard accepts the offer, though Elora and Jiǔtóu kindly reject it.
The group then resumes their journey to Velderbann.
A Quiet TownEdit
It takes them another two more days to reach the outskirts of Velderbann. As the dwarven town is located within a basin, the group is able to see an overview of the town. From a distance, several dwarves are seen tending the fields, though the town does not seems bustling with activity. A huge shadow then flies over the town. As they look up, a roc is seen overhead and is flying into the snow-topped mountain ranges, then out of view behind some of the tallest peaks.
Both Elora and Jiǔtóu worry that, if members of the Broken Sky are present in the town, they will be spotted quickly and jeopardise their mission, assuming that their faces would probably be well-known amongst the organisation given the fact that they do often foil Broken Sky's plans. As such, Reynard will covertly enter the town to investigate more on the events stated on the reports. The adventurers will then hide behind a tree along the edge of the basin and look at the town to watch Reynard do his thing.
Reynard walks to the town and as he approach, a human guard on the watchtower shouts at him, demanding his reason for being here. Reynard claims that he is just a traveller who has heard of troubles within the town. The guard though claims that there are no such trouble. Reynard then says that he would like to have a drink, so the guard suggests him to visit the tavern. The guard then offers to bring him there, which Reynard accepts. The adventurers looked on from a distance to see the guard escorting Reynard into the town. However, out of Reynard's sight, the adventurers also spot a hawk flying out of the watchtower. It is at this point that both of them fear that Reynard could be in trouble, so they decide to sneak into the town with Elora shape-shifting into a sparrow, while Jiǔtóu casts Invisibility on herself via the doss lute.
The guard brings Reynard into a tavern, then leaves. Inside the largely empty tavern are a table of three humans, a half-elf and a gnome, whom all notice Reynard entering the establishment. Behind the bar counter is female dwarf bartender with a bruised eye. The five ask Reynard his reason for being here, to which he introduces himself and claims that he heard troubles happening within the town, so he is here to investigate. The gnome recognises Reynard's family name, whose name is the same as the noble that lived in Talis'Val, referring to Reynard's uncle. At that, the five question Reynard if he was actually sent by the Government. Reynard claims that no one hired him and that he came alone to seek adventure and spreading his fame. He then heads over to the bar and says out loudly that he shall buy everyone a drink. The five welcome the offer as the bartender worryingly takes down the order. She then serves a drink to Reynard and the rest to the five.
With Reynard's back facing the five, however, one of them spots his crossbow and asks if he can take a look at it. Reynard kindly rejects him, then joins the five for a drink after one of them offers him to join them. In doing so, however, Reynard made a mess, which prompted the bartender to come over and clean it up. Curiously, the bartender presses a napkin on Reynard's chest. Reynard takes it and vaguely see some hidden words written on it. At the same time though, one of them stands up and places his hand on Reynard's shoulder, then requesting him to stay put as he needs to let his commanding officer know about him.
As the man leaves the tavern, under the table, Reynard notices that one of them had a crossbow aimed at him. At that, Reynard takes out his crossbow and place it on the table, though aiming it at the guy. However, he soon realises that he is in trouble when all four of them take out their weapons. Three with crossbows, one with a dagger.
The gnome casts Suggestion on Reynard to put his crossbow down onto the ground, which he did so.
The sparrow and the invisible Jiǔtóu are now at the town square seeing two humans entering the tavern. After being able to spot Reynard also inside it as the doors were open, the adventurers then sneak inside to find out how Reynard is doing.
After the five update the commanding officer regarding Reynard, the commanding officer then requests him to lay down his weapons and cooperate with the interrogation. Outnumbered, Reynard says that he will surrender. As he stands up, however, he grabs a glass mug and smashes it into the human's face. Acting quickly, he then moves fast pass them and takes cover behind the bar. His swiftness results in no one being able to fire their crossbows at him.
The commanding officer intends to tell Reynard that he is outnumbered and should just surrender. However, before he could finish his sentence, he feels a tug on his cape and falls to the ground. Looking around though, he finds nothing that suggests someone is targeting him. Unknown to him, the invisible Jiǔtóu intentionally step on his cape, causing his fall. At the same time, Reynard spots an unusual purple-feathered sparrow up on the rafters and believes that it is Elora in beast form.
Speaking in Dwarvish, Reynard asks the bartender what had happened to Velderbann. In response, she tells him that the Broken Sky had seized control of the town and intending to kill everyone. Now thinking that Elora and Jiǔtóu will defend him, Reynard shouts out that they are outnumbered. To add to his claim, he tries to activate his magical scimitar twice but nothing happens. Eventually realising that Elora and Jiǔtóu have yet to attack anyone, Reynard once again agree to surrender. At this point, Jiǔtóu have silently scoot over to position herself behind the bar.
The commanding officer demands Reynard to come out of the bar by saying that he is clearly outnumbered. At this point and out of nowhere, a sword happens to be hovering above Reynard. Jiǔtóu eventually notices that it is an illusion casts by the bartender who is trying to make Reynard intimidating. Reynard then tries one last trick by vaulting over the counter in a sweeping manner, which he did knocks prone two of the three closest to him. However, they quickly stand up and Reynard how have six weapons aimed at him. With no other way, Reynard finally submits himself to arrest.
The commanding officer intends to report the arrest to Gregor but for the time being, he orders the guards to lock him up in his house's cellar. The guards then drags Reynard to the commanding officer's house a couple of streets away. Once there, they bring Reynard to the cellar and he is further tied and gagged. With the cellar door locked shut, Reynard is now trapped and restrained in the dark cellar.
Cam Buckland(absent, mentioned only)
- Elora Galanodel
- Jiutou Zhiji Jing
Trellimar Aleath(absent, mentioned only)
- Dalia Glimmerstein[spelling?], a girl trapped on a Shardlake islet
- Reynard Ferehorn
- Roger, a Broken Sky human watchtower guard
- Female dwarf bartender for Valley Brew Lodge in Velderbann
- Several Broken Sky agents
- A Broken Sky captain
- Galin Glimmerstein[spelling?], Dalia's father and a merchant for the Guild of Carpenters
- Gregor, a Broken Sky superior
- 5th Talis'Val Regiment
- Ethan[spelling?], Velderbann spokesperson
- Reynard's Uncle, a hero that slain monsters after the Lightfall
- 3 children