“Wake up,” Syrendross said to Dolgrin jockeying the burly dwarf into wakefulness. “There is someone on horseback traveling south along our path.”
“Hello? Is someone there?” a deep voice from the path, either the man was a giant or he was adept at projecting a large voice.
“I thought mayhap a paladin, even a dwarven one, would make a good first impression.” The drow said with a smile.
By this time many of the other companions were coming around, awoken from the large voice. Dolgrin came awake at once, eschewing his armor but gathering his weapon.
“Aye, we are here stranger,” Dolgrin said as he led his companions away from the camp and to the path. “Show yurself as friend for I am Dolgrin Ironshield.”
From around one of the many large rocks along the foothills the companions witnessed a familiar traveling farmer, being led on a horse by an impossibly built man holding a fine lantern; even in the dark of night everyone could see this man was a decorated warrior. He wore armor as well as the coat of arms of Castle Keirkin and an impressive pole arm.
“I am Sheriff Radolia, I am taking Fooch here back to his community. They have experienced a great loss at the hands of a sinister group of escapees,” the man said confidently.
As Rydin, Kyras, and Dramen exchanged introductions with the Sheriff Dolgrin tapped into his inner equilibrium and carefully weighed the quality of Sheriff Radolia’s aura, to determine if the Sheriff was of evil intent. While the Sheriff possessed no malevolent spirit, farmer Fooch was a different story.
“I was hoping to find a generous group such as you to deputize and help me hunt down these criminals,” the Sheriff said.
“Yes, my good fellas and I would be happy to bring these murders to justice,” Dramen said to the big man. “Come share in our camp… you have first watch!”
Our session begins on the second day of our trek up the Macron Mountain range and to Bouvet Keep. With the help of Denosia, we were successful in picking out a convenient clearing in which to break camp. During the early watch Syrendross heard a horse coming down the trail. After some quick reconnaissance and palaver we soon meet Sheriff Radolia from Keirkin Castle- three hours ahead along the path.
The Sheriff was responding to farmer Fooch’s report of murderers- the same ones we encountered at the well the day before. After talking we agree to help Radolia find and put these fugitives to justice. During the night we learn Radolia is actually an affable fellow, curious and genuine; he is a pole arm specialist and likes to sleep in his armor.
In the morning, Fooch takes the Sheriffs horse as we travel north with Radolia back to Castle Keirkin to deposit Corker Peralia in his jail. Along the path we find it relatively busy with travelers as we converse with Radolia. He spoke highly of Hillshade and of another dwarf who Radolia hopes will be our guide.
He asks us of our travels and our direction to which we explain about our Evening Isles journey as representatives of the high races. It was not long before we could see the mountain rise and its intimidating vastness. Conversation wanes to local threats, at this Radolia remarks on hill giants…
As if on cue we were beset upon by four hill giants and a witch, who was killed in gruesome fashion by Sheriff Radolia and his pole arm of death. The hill giants were tricky but after Dramen dropped two of them down a thirty foot pit, Syrendross dropped a flaming sphere down the shaft the battle was soon over.
After the battle Rydin scouts the giant’s (not the witch) cave to find some small items (items slated for later) before pointing out evidence of medium sized creatures that portents concerning local alliances. Although, the Sherriff points out, the danger in the foothills is diminished- but there is always the threat of the mated behir closer to Bovet Keep.
Not long after we find ourselves approaching four hills around a walled castle, with towers and a large courtyard. The town of Hillshade seems to grow outward from the castle in the valleys between the four hills. The Sherriff is well met by everyone but many keep a respectful distance. He soon takes us to the smallest of the four towers- the jail where Corker is remanded to the Pit.
As the prisoner transfer was being processed, some of us see that Radolia distrusts some of the guards, while some of the guards are unsure of our group. One guard Dent, and one other of three shifty guards register as evil according to the paladin. As Dent begins to leave Syrendross steps away, becomes invisible to follow the evil Dent as he went down to the pit to see Corker. Dent seemed relieved to see the half-orc, expecting to see someone else perhaps.
We reunite at Gretcho’s, Hillshade’s home-style bakery and restaurant. Ran by the female Halfling Gretcho and her husband Marx, they served us as if we were family. Here Radolia and Graham Overhill, another Halfling play at chess as we were each served sandwiches.
Again questions were asked about or past and future travels- we givith them our prepared statement.
Graham warns cryptically to not tarry more than two weeks in Bouvet Keep.
Soon the voice of the Bailiff Hopkus Arcool, came to Gretcho’s looking for the Sheriff. There was an immediate tension between Hopkus and Radolia. We tell the Bailiff of our intentions on aiding the Sheriff.
Unfortunately, Hopkus Arcool informs us, the Sheriff is needed here citing local problems as well as the pending nuptials between Count Keirkin and Ardinia Delaway.
Sensing our pending objections the Bailiff came prepared to offer us a letter of introduction to Bovet Keep, one hundred gold each to go after the criminals, and with a very different traveling companion.
Later we traveled with Dolgrin to Yeoman’s Armory and Damerlock Stoningthrow, a Dwarf with a modest two story home with an open barn and work area. We find him constructing armor of rare metal soon Damerlock greets Dolgrin and dwarf banter ensued.
Dolgrin was informed of two suits of armor, one the dwarf purchased from Damerlock, but the other was foretold to be in an old dragon’s lair- the one believed to be occupied by two mated behir. Through the flames of Damerlock's forge Dolgrin sees the Breastplate of Vanishing but no behir. Dolgrin would retrieve it. Rydin and Denosia do some trading too as we were all offered weapons.
4pm We meet with Zhor Iendothe newly appointed River Baron to deem if this change in personnel was to our liking... to see if he was a good fella. We learn he is a bard and is rather eager to be off. He came supplied with military war horses and six men in his retinue to post as guards along the road. We agree to leave later that night 7pm, with an estimated six hours to the coastline.