Enter Tabris and Reavis (NPC “ally”)
During his stay at the one of the inns in Fallcrest, Tabris noticed a middle aged human woman coming in to the tavern and approaching anyone who seemed to fit the generic mold of an adventurer. Although he weren’t privy to the exact conversations she had with these individuals, the bard overheard a conversation between a patron and the bartender. The patron, a surly human with dark brown hair, asked what was the fuss about. The bartender told him that the woman’s name was Aria and her husband, a well-known explorer named Douven Staul, had gone missing. She was looking for anyone to go search for him but so far she has had little luck. Apparently, some folks waved it off as unwarranted concern since he had a habit of getting lost in his work. Still, Aria swears Douben has never been gone this long…a little over two months. Sweayed by her troubles, Tabris volunteered his services to Aria. When she spoke a 250 gold reward for any information regarding her husband, the patron speaking with the bartender turned his head and also signed up. She had no qualms about paying both of them the same amount each. All she wanted was closure.
The next 2 days since the duo left Fallcrest on the way to Winterhaven had been interesting to say the least. A few things had become very apparent. The man named Reavis was very boisterous about his so called “exploits”. As a bard, Tabris had heard enough tall tales that he could figure Reavis was just telling him dozens of lies to make himself look important. Second, it was clear that “the greatest archer in the land” had no real vested interest in doing a good job at all. Reavis kept saying that this was a good way to make some easy gold. He came up with the idea of just hanging around Winterhaven for a few days then heading back claiming that Douven was dead. Aria would be distraught but still keep to her word on payment. It was very clear that Reavis was a con artist and he didn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. If Tabris wanted to help Aria, you would have to do it on your own…or perhaps find more sympathetic ears….
Enter Stone and Harbek
It was inevitable. The revenant rogue, Stone, knew that in order to perform whatever tasks the Raven Queen set before him, he would need to be prepared. Being prepared meant supplies, weapons, armor and gold. There was no getting around actually venturing into civilization every once in awhile. Still, he was always aware that most people can’t tell a revenant from a ghoul and even if they could, that hardly made one trust them. So he often concealed himself in thick cloaks and cloth masks over-top his normal gear and hoped to take jobs that would require as minimum interaction as possible.
Harbek, the dwaven invoker of Moradin, had his own reasons for being a bit introverted. His childhood as a slave still haunts him on occasion. However, he found peace with his adopted father and purpose with his order. Now he travels the land trying to learn more about stone-working, architecture and the nature of the world.
The idea of mapping out an ancient ruin was intriguing to both of them. For Stone, the majority of the job would be away from others. For Harbek, he hoped to gleam some insight on the state of the world. Unfortunately, they inquired at the same time. Since Parle Cranewing wanted this job done right, he told both of them that they would have to work together. He cited the recent increase of roadside attacks in the region as a reason for this decision and offered to pay both men the reward, 250 gp each. All efforts to persuade him otherwise would have proven useless as both of them demonstrated their own knowledge. It was either work with each other or don’t work at all. Considering the difficulty in being hired, there really wasn’t much of a choice in the matter.
Thus, for better or worse, they set out with each other hoping to complete the task without causing any rifts. The first two days of travel were peaceful. Stone proved to be a calm and well-spoken ally. Although Harbek did manage to spot that Stone was exceedingly pale for a human, he has yet to identify Stone as a revanant…
Session 1: On the Open Road
On the third day of travel, Tabris and Reavis stumbled upon a group of rats gnawing at a dead horse for sustainance. Some of these rats were three times normal size and clearly Dire Rats leading the pack. The vermin had not noticed the duo and probably could have been avoided completely if Reavis hadn’t wanted to show off. He raised his longbow and fired at the pack figuring that he could scare them off or maybe one-shot one of the larger ones. Although he did hit them, he didn’t kill any of them. The rats were rightfully enraged and were numerous enough that they didn’t feel the need to flee. The pack charged blindly at the pair.
A few feet away, Harbek and Stone had reached the top of a hill on the road and saw the whole affair. Although they had no real respect for the fool archer, they decided to come to the half-elf bard’s defense at least. The battle was fierce as the larger rats took numerous bites out of Reavis, Stone and Harbek. Thankfully Tabris was nearby to heal them. Slowly but surely, all the rats were killed. While Harbek used his nature knowledge to create antidotes for the diseases the rats carried, Tabris thanked the strangers for their assistance. A bit battered but still standing, the group chewed into Reavis for being an idiot. Tabris was especially ticked off as he had put up with the greedy fool’s personality for two days. After some discussion, they learned that they were all heading to Winterhaven. It was quickly decided that they would travel together to village.
Upon checking the half-eaten horse, the party noticed that the beast had a saddle. Stone found a saddlebag on the corpse and inside was a ledger. It seemed that the horse belonged to a courier whom was delivering parcels and letters around the region. The book contained dates, names, type of parcel and payment received. The last two entries were of most importance since according to the book, they had not been completed. The first was a letter of some kind that was from a Priestess Marla in fallcrest. It was supposed to be delivered to a Sister Linora residing in Winterhaven. The second letter was from a woman named Aria addressed to Douven Staul with the instructions to leave the message at the inn if he could not be found. The physical letters were missing as was the rider. Harbek’s knowledge of anatomy came in handy as well as he determined that the rats didn’t kill this horse. The horse merely bleed to death here and the rats came along sometime later. It seemed the beast was wounded by bladed weapons and then fled east back to Fallcrest but obviously didn’t make it.
Concerned about the path ahead, the group pressed on carefully. Stone volunteered to scout ahead while the others gave him room to work. Much further down the road, Stone came across a group of kobolds hiding behind stones and bushes along the road. It was clear that they would ambush anyone walking along the road, still they had not spotted the revanant. He retreated to his allies and informed them what he saw. They decided to plan an ambush of their own. Stone returned to the kobolds and struck a nearby bush with a rock to get their attention. When they investigated the sound, the kobolds found themselves in combat. Stone managed to shank a few of them while Harbek’s holy powers burned the evil creatures. Tabris aided the group with his war song strike and the kobolds were quickly overwhelmed. Reavis pulled out of the fight mid battle because he thought the other three could handle it. With some shouting from Tabris, he was convinced to stop fooling around and actually finish the fight.
Habrek went to work and managed to work out what happened to the courier. Apparently, the kobolds had successfully ambushed the rider. They separated the courier from the horse and wounded both of them. The horse fled east while the rider fled north into the nearby woods. Judging from the amount of blood and the age of it, Harbek knew the chances of the rider actually being alive were one in a million. The rider would have also bleed to death if he wasn’t treated long before the party arrived. The group gathered what they could from the kobolds including a sling, a few javelins and a gluepot solution. With night quickly approaching, the party decided to press on towards Winterhaven.