The group assembled at the Marlin Spike, Simon and Trish had arrived early and were chatting with Aaron
when Prospero and Roku came down from their room. Aaron wears a plain dark green cloak with a clasp in
the form of an air rune. A longsword with a gold wire wrapped hilt hangs from his belt the cross piece
is engraved with lightning bolts and storm clouds. A large round shield leans against the wall with a
huge piece of true-stone in the center. A ring of air earth and water runes are inscribed in a circle
around great stone and are inlaid with silver.
The atmosphere was grim, no doubt from the suicidal plan that the team had put together. Thoughts drift
back to the meeting the with the Lord and Lady Raven the previous night. Lord Raven waved the team to
their seats and and remained standing to address those assembled. My friends the mission we are about to
embark upon will most likely get us thrown into the dungeons of Ard and may even see us rotting in the
pirate cages at the entrance to the port. We must risk this if we are to drive the Lazuri from our lands
before they can occupy and fortify their position. I have word from spies in the employ of Broadshoulders
that even now Lazuri troop ships are on their way to Ard to occupy the city and fortify their hold on the
Duchy of Foxrun. We are out of time and must free the military might of Foxrun to drive the Lazuri from the
city and sink the ships as they enter the harbour.
Simon you and your party will enter the palace as members of my retinue. At this Lady Raven rises and hands
out hooded cloaks embossed with the Black Raven on a field of Yellow. Once in the palace proper General Essa’s
men will lead you to hiding places used by servants and retainers that surround the audience chamber. The
servants will not betray you as they are both loyal to the duke and deathly afraid of Aida the mistress of
kitchens whom I believe you met. Mother Tessa will hide with you, but as the Lord Generals wife she must also
remain neutral. We will seek to reason with Foxrun but I must say that I am not hopeful that we will be rewarded
with a peaceful outcome. Other lords have tried before us and they either had deadly accidents or have gone
missing. Volini and the Lazuri scum that he has allowed to take up residence in the palace have too great a hold
on him. This I fear, is where you come in. You have been strong allies to the duchy and despite the Lazuri
attempts to spread lies that twist your great deeds, the people of Broadsholders speak of the White Lion and the
Grey Lady with both awe and hope. Even Broadshoulders has asked for news on your deeds and where-abouts now and
again. However it is with a heavy heart that I ask you to risk both your great renown and the headsman axe to
save Ard, the Duchy, and perhaps the region itself. If you manage to save Foxrun he may grant clemency, but if
he dies the kingdom will need a scapegoat to prevent a destabilizing civil war.
So you can see that the breakfast discussion was anything but cheery. To save Ard the Duke’s support of the
Lazuri would need to be withdrawn. If he decided against us or if his Lazuri handlers were able to kill him
the party would be the likely scapegoats. Without the Duke there would be political chaos and civil war, Ard
would be easy picking for the Lazuri. Lord Raven, Mother Tessa, and the Lord General would get us into the
palace. They would try to convince the Duke of the folly of aiding the Lazuri. It was rumoured that the Lazuri
and their Chaotic allies were planning on occupying Ard. If the Duke refused to change his position the team
would need to attack to kill the Lazuri and their allies while protecting the Duke. Unless the Duke could be
convinced of our Honourable intent for Ard this would be Treason for Raven, Tessa, and the Lord General. The
Duke’s youth and inexperience would work against us, he is the rightful ruler of Ard and loved by the people
but is indecisive and a bit cowardly. He seems not to understand the dangers of dealing with the Lazuri. He
like his forefathers are worshippers of Artol, if he is killed resurrection is out of the question.
The only good news came when Dane joined the group, although her demeanour was of one already
condemned, she put a full wineskin in the center of the table. “The antidote, drink up but beware it tastes like
horse piss. Lady Ratimir says I am to accompany you on your fools errand. At least death will be quick, no
battlement crow cage for me.” She carried three hand crossbows at her belt, one she passes to Roku, “you
were asking about these. I had the weapons-master rig one up for you, it can be cocked one handed by
snapping the slide like this.” She also pushed a bandoleer with a small quiver and four throwing knives to Roku.
“I also procured this for you Master Roku. The quiver has 10 bolts coated with our best sleeping poison. The
weapons-master thought you could use the hooks for your bolas or bangers if you have them. There are a lot
of one handed thieves in the guild and our weapons-master has had to learn to be innovative.” Roku thanked
her with a simple nod and smile, the first of the morning.
When the Lord and Lady Raven enter all stood. The team marvel at the Lord’s raiment, his helm is topped by
the head of a great black bird. His armor is carved with golden raven motifs and the runes of Dagaral.
A two handed greatsword hangs across his back and you see runes of earth fire and darkness engraved on the
cross guard. The pommel holds a fist sized white true-stone that shimmers in the light. Lady Raven is no less
stunning both because of her beauty and her amazing black cloak made of raven feathers sewn together in a
way that make her seem ready to take flight. She carries a staff that appears to be made of coral and is topped
with a huge blue topaz. The dark blue robes she wears under her feathered cloak mark her as a water mage of
the college of the mists. The team is surprised as Lady Tessa steps into the room behind lord and lady raven.
She seems well rested but wears a concerned frown on her normally kindly face. She set her oaken staff
engraved with ivy leaves against the wall behind her chair.
The Lord Raven speaks gravely I had have hoped to have found an empty tavern when I arrived this morning,
I knew in my heart the hero’s you are. But I offer you this one final chance, If you would like to back out it
would be no dishonor to you. There was a shuffling of feet, but no more, the die was cast the team and its
allies were committed. “As I expected”, which way will we take through the city queried Dane, “I have a surprise
for you there. I will not be held at bay by petty bureaucrats in the employ of the Lazuri. To the roof.” The team
follow the Lord Raven up the stairs and into an open air balcony. He pulled a strange ivory whistle from his
cloak and blew three long screeching blasts. After a moment a large form blocked out the sun, four giant
ravens with 40’ wingspans descend to the roof of the Marlin Spike. The roof groaned under the strain and Itch
looks nervous, the ravens wear saddles with one more ornate that the others. “Oh no – not this!” mutters
Aaron, Lord Raven teases him about last time. But that was combat and this is just a simple flight to the
palace. While strapping into the safety harness, the giant birds leap into the sky and are soon hundreds of feet
above the city. Ahead lies the palace and three dark shapes rise up from the great castle and your heart sinks,
Lazuri on Wyverns.
The Lord Raven was able to lure away one of the Wyverns while the the other two headed for the teams three
mounts. The Lazuri fired off a series of spells, primarily Sun Spears. While Simon was carving the wing off of
one the the Wyverns, Prospero’s mount practically exploded, quick healing by Gurgle prevented a deadly
plunge but still the bird was grounded. As Simon and Roku prepared to attack the final Wyvern Lord Raven’s
Mount attacked from above, its talons ripping the Lazuri from their Wyvern and dashing them to the ground,
the riderless mount fled. Fortunately those upon Prospero’s bird were uninjured in the crash and the bird was
healed. Together the four Ravens continued to the Castle and the meeting with the Duke.
The Ravens landed in the Palace courtyard, aided by the Duke’s retainers and the Lord General’s soldiers the
team easily pushed past the senschals, the noisy ones were quickly shut away in closets. Essa’s (the Lord
General) soldiers quickly guided the team into positions around the Throne Room. As the characters readied
for their assault they could hear the argument already in progress. Raven called out Violini as a traitor, Igmar
accuses Aarin of associating with known criminals. The Duke defends his choices and knows what’s best for
duchy and accuses the Ravens and Aaron of conspiring against him. As they peer into the Throne room they
see Volini lean over and whisper to the Foxrun, he seems confused but with the whispered comments his face
tightens and he orders their allies imprisoned with the other trouble makers. The guards seize them and lead
them towards an exit. Volini calls after strip them and put them in the deepest dungeon until the Lord Foxrun
decides their fate.
At this point the attack should have started but Simon could not bring himself to launch it. He is no assassin,
and the Duke is the rightful ruler. Killing off his court of Lazuri, assassins and the traitor Volini would only
alienate him against our just cause. Instead Simon simply walked into the Throne room with weapons
sheathed, the others were taken aback with surprise.
My Lord Foxrun, I Simon Telgarth, White Lion of the Dawn, I seek an audience. The Lazuri drew weapons. The
Duke replied “I have heard of your crimes and you can say nothing that will sway me, you will be seized and
imprisoned”. As the Lazuri guards started to move towards him Simon replied “My Lord I have been slandered
by Fools, Traitors and the Lazuri. I come before you as a Windlord of Bander, your lands are in danger, I am
here to aid you.” Volini replied “The fool has walked into our grasp my lord execute him and be done with this
farce”, Simon replied, “Volini you are a fool and traitor, I challenge you to single combat, let the elements
decide”. Volini turned pale, you are a trained warrior I but a simple adviser no doubt you would enjoy cutting
me into small pieces, I reject your offer, GUARDS!". Simon, “Of course if you are afraid you could always select a
champion, to save the honor of Ard and Foxrun”. As Volini was about to shout for the guards once more he
was overruled by the Duke. “Yes, yes, a champion could settle this right now. Igmar, would you be my
champion?” Simon smiled grimly as the Lazuri formed a fighting circle and Igmar stepped forward. The Duke
dropped a scarf to start the duel, Simon flitted forward and slashed Igmar. Igmar responded with a counter
stab, around Simon four mirror images burst into being, while Igmar’s spear burst into flames. After several
strikes and counter strikes Igmar was seriously wounded, Volini stepped forward and shouted “Igmar you fool
end this”, raised his hand and shot a lighting bolt at Simon. Waiting for the treachery Simon was uninjured, and
Volini had been unmasked and the honor of Foxrun stained. Now was the time for the attack.
Simon shouted, “Protect Foxrun!”, and the chaos of battle ensued.