Chapter 06: An Invitation

Fyrmont 27th 1014

After a welcome nights rest the heroes meet Chang, a traveller from the uttermost east who is searching for his father, a bard of some renown. Over breakfast a summons arrives from the first, they have been granted an audience with the First and they are to meet a boat at Three Dragon Quay at noon. Meanwhile they receive news that the Scarlet Feather brothel was burnt down in the night, an event foreshadowed in a note that was found in one of the slavers' tents.

The journey to the Royal Palace is not without trouble. On the quay they are faced with the choice; a royal barge or one manned by a hideous hag. All bar Arrik took the one belonging to the hag. As the boat moved across the water they see the royal barge blown up by a fireball spell cast from the dockside. It is then revealed that the hag is Lord Kesryk under an illusion.

Lord Kesryk leaves the companions in a cave under Royal Island where they defeat a quartet of sea devils who were trying to break into the palace. On arrival in the audience hall they are admitted to the Order of the Dragon by the First but as they are about to hand the talisman over the First is struck by a bolt from a hidden assassin and falls to the ground where it is revealed that this is Lord Kesryk again in disguise.

Lord Kesryk, after banishing High Priest Ramos and Merchant Floorn from the room reveals that the First has vanished. Palace guards bring Arinna, bodyguard to the giant Prince Gedvor, into the room and suggest that she is the assassin.
The half-orc manages to persuade the others that she is innocent thanks to the intervention of The First's consort, Lady Mohana. The companions are briefed by Sir Rupert on what the Council knows of the disappearance of the First. The only lead they have is a magical tome that was found in the First's study. The book is filled with wonderfully lifelike illustrations. It is possible that the First was abducted by the use of this book.

Sir Rupert has recognised one of the pictures; it is a region near his holdings in the foothills of the Whitecap Mountains. He proposes that the Companions come with him to search for the First. All agree save Simon. Lord Kesryk asks him to stay and aid him in studying the tome for more information, Simon agrees.

On the way to the boat that would take then away from Royal Island, Andrinor slipped and fell into the sea and was lost; another death to be mourned it seems that a curse is upon you all.

Vicious Vines & Mysterious Mages

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On the way to Sir Rupert's castle the party are attacked by vampiric vines that almost manage to kill Chang. Thanks to the strength of Arinna and the skill of the other members of the party the vines were cut down and Chang was saved. A scroll and a rotted pouch of coins were the reward for the monk's pains.
On arrival at Sir Rupert's castle he breaks some interesting news. "Tomorrow you shall meet my other guests, do not speak to them of what we are searching for. They have found something interesting in the mountains west of here; it may be the lead we are hoping for."
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