- Our heroes conversed with the escaped goliath for a short time at the rendezvous point whilst stragglers arrived. Tlundok intended to return to their village, where the Holy Stone is located, so it could select a new tribal shaman to replace the deceased Irinus.
- Valeran became incensed when he learned that Helnor was to be exiled for abandoning his tribe while they were captives. However, Tlundok agreed to allow Helnor to travel with the goliath until their new shaman could weigh in on the matter before the chieftain passed judgment.
- Our heroes decided to make for Farmington, the King’s city, to make sure what they had learned of the orc army’s activity had reached the King’s ear. Saying their goodbyes to the goliath, they turned southeast while the goliath turned northwest.
- The group encountered a small patrol of soldiers who questioned them, but Valeran was able to convince the soldiers they had been accosted by bandits the day before. The sergeant warned them to be careful as a goliath raiding party had been spotted in the barony, a statement that the soldier apparently believed. Thanking the soldiers for their warning, our heroes continued in their travels.
- The next day our heroes heard hoof-beats approaching rapidly and made ready to confront whoever approached. A knight and more than a half-dozen soldiers, all mounted, arrived in the clearing. The knight dismounted and approached to question these travelers. Unlike the leader of the small patrol, he didn’t seem to accept their story of being innocent travelers accosted by bandits. However, another rider soon arrived from the East – Janos Pavu, an outrider for the Baron Szurke, who claimed the soldiers had passed from Coluddyn’s lands into his neighbor’s. He pointed out his archers in the distance, and said he would rather not see any bloodshed over these trespassers. The knight eventually was swayed, and made to depart.
- It was then that Morwen recognized the knight, one Cassian d’Cherevan, as one of her tormentors from Blackfork. For several tense moments it seemed Morwen might be determined to take her vengeance here, almost certainly yielding forth a bloody encounter, but in the end she relented. She challenged Cassian to journey to Farmington and face her there in a week’s time, an appointment the knight promised to keep only after admitting to some role in her violation in Blackfork.
- Cassian and the soldiers departing, Janow was quick to lead them further East. As they conversed, several things were soon made apparent. First, they were still in Coluddyn lands, albeit barely. Secondly, Janos had no archers; what they saw had been nothing more than an illusion to fool the soldiers. He claimed no love for the “entrail-lickers” of Coluddyn, an appellation that drew some curious looks from our heroes, so Janos went on to explain that the name Coluddyn was derived from an ancient tongue long since merged into Common, but had once referred to the viscera. Janos led them to a small village, where our heroes were able to take a much-needed rest.
- The next morning our heroes rose early and set out for the King’s City, Farmington. Traveling most of the day, they arrived in mid-afternoon at the massive gates of the City. And massive it is, home to perhaps 30,000 men, women, and children, Farmington towers above all other settlements in the kingdom.
- Asking about for directions, the heroes eventually located the estate of Baron Greenspire. His seneschal explained that the Baron and his son Stafford were in Farmington just recently, but had gone to ride out among the various army encampments south of the City and were expected back in a couple of days. Although he would be happy to accommodate Stafford’s two knights, the estate could not currently house their retinue as well. Gwil and Valeran instead opted for an inn, and the seneschal promised arrangements would be made for them. Thus, our heroes found themselves at the White Hart, a comely inn, for their stay in the City.
- The next day Bane set out to see the local church. Much to his surprise, he learned that there were many dozens of churches in Farmington, unlike Laston. He eventually found a church of Jakariel the Claimer, patron of Life and Death, and told the story of his rebirth to a priest there. Upon learning of his tale, and most particularly the part wherein the Hall of Judgment sat empty, the priest asked him to restart his tale before the priest’s superior. This process would repeat several times until Bane found himself retelling his tale to an assistant to a Bishop, one of the highest-ranking clergy in Farmington, while someone (most likely the Bishop himself) looked on. Eventually, as evening approached, they offered Bane a place to sleep at the church as they considered his tale and its possible ramifications. Although he was unsure what to make of their questions, they were clearly keenly interested in his tale.
- Gwil spent the day at a church of Safira Woundslayer, patron of the healing arts. She met many of the local priests, spending the day tending to their parishioners. She remained well past dinner. That night, as she made to depart for the inn named the White Hart where they were staying in the Merchant’s District, she was thanked profusely by a young boy. Earlier in the day she had tended to his injured mother, a washerwoman who had badly burnt her arm, and the child wanted to show his appreciation with a hug. Fearful of pickpockets, Gwil checked after and saw that he had not taken anything. But more children would follow in his lead, embracing the kindly cleric and thanking her, and one of them would snip the coin-purse whose location she had accidentally revealed to them.
- As Gwil made her way to the inn, night having already set in, she realized she was being followed by at least two people. They were tailing her fairly effectively, trading off so as not to draw suspicion, but they were no match for her keen senses. She ducked into an alley and hid in an alcove, the shadow of a church’s bell-tower hiding her from the moonlight. The searchers passed her, calling to each other by making the sounds of stray cats, but they walked right by her hiding spot.
- The bell-tower began to chime the hour just as Gwil crept from her spot, but upon the fourth peal of the bell something unexpected happened. The peal seemed to go on forever, ringing in one long note that the bell held for several minutes. The moonlight seemed dimmer, less illuminating, as she moved towards the nearby market square. The square held many people, but they seemed almost frozen in place, and these were not the humans and smattering of other races. These figures looked humanoid, but their skin was pale, their eyes solid dark orbs. They worn much ornamentation, and that did not stop at their clothes, for the bore numerous tattoos and piercings. Gwil had seen this race before, shadar-kai, denizens of the Shadowfell. And looking around, Gwil realized that she had indeed slipped into that land of gloom, although by what means she did not know. Taking advantage of the frozen state of all those in the marketplace, Gwil quickly moved towards where she hoped the Merchant’s District, searching for some portal that she could use to return to the Middle World.
- As she left the Temple District Gwil sensed the presence of a dormant portal. Tracking it down, she located a long-disused chapel. Dust covered everything inside, the stone benches fallen and crumbling. A few faithful had nevertheless left gifts, flowers and other small offerings, but even those must have been here some time from their dried and withered state. Behind the chapel stood a garden, overgrown with weeds, but once home to twisting paths that made their way through arbors. Ornamental arches decorated the garden, most long fallen, but a few still stood. Based on the architecture, Gwil surmised this was a chapel dedicated to Avren the Lost, the former patron of doorways and passages, who had been killed many hundreds of years ago while trying to preserve the Third Empire. Using the portal and great effort, Gwil was able to return to the Middle World just as the bell-tower finished tolling the hour of ten, a few minutes having passed in the Middle World while she spent almost an hour between the Middle World and the Shadowfell.
- Glia decided to learn more of the Baron Coluddyn from the locals, and spent the day at taverns and others businesses listening. She learned that he much-loved among the populace for his role in the war. To hear them speak, one would think he rode into the orc horde and single-handled slew them all, such was their affection. As she returned to the White Hart she passed a small square were stocks had been erected. A crier read a list of the crimes committed by these who were to be executed two days hence – murder, rape, desertion. As she strolled past she saw one prisoner who caught her eye. His face was bruised and bloody from a recent beating, she at first took him for the eladrin Caber who had befriended them on their journey into the Feywild, but as she looked again Glia saw it was not him, but her brother Caden, supposedly dead these last few months after the Battle of Two Rivers.
- Beld, Morwen, and Valeran spent the day at the nearest army encampment a few miles south of the City. While hoping to run into the Greenspires, they asked about if anyone knew of any soldiers from Laston in the camp. Some time later they arrived at a tent which revealed its owner to be none other than Beld’s middle brother. He had fared well, having been in the King’s Army for over a year now, and they spent the day drinking with him. Returning to the White Hart that evening, they stumbled into a throng of people gathered to see a war hero on parade. The parade would be for none other than Mael Coluddyn himself. His retinue wore polished armor, but his was still splattered with mud from the field. He rode with two dozen knights at this side, including one who froze our heroes in their tracks when they spied him – a halfling, heavily armored, atop a small warhorse, his helm removed to show a mark in the shape of a crescent moon upon his forehead. It was none other than Cidum, Arlain of Blackfork, killed many weeks past by our heroes upon an ancient fallen temple in the hinterlands of the Coluddyn barony.
In which we see the mechanics of politics and justice
- Watching the Baron Coluddyn on parade, our heroes saw that the halfling who looked like Cidum appeared to be nursing serious injuries. He clutched at his left side whenever his horse took an rough step, and a look of pain would briefly cross his face when jostled too badly. But examining his features as best they could from this distance, he did appear to be the same Arlain who our heroes had discovered to be a werewolf and had slain in the hills some time back. Given that Kore had chopped up his remains and fed them to the birds, it seemed beyond the means of mortal magics to have restored him to life. Was this some impostor then, someone disguised as the Arlain? Or perhaps this was not Cidum himself, but some counterpart from the Feywild brought over to take his place? Sooner or later, our heroes must learn the truth of this, but it would not be this night. Surrounded by the Baron’s knights and an adoring throng, this was no time to confront him. But perhaps soon…
- Bane spent the day talking to the priests of Jakariel again, learning more of the mystery that caused them such interest in his tale of the Claimer’s Hall of Judgment. Thirty years ago, the fire god Lotan underwent a great transformation. No longer the Gatekeeper, he became the Fire-bringer. When this happened, temples dedicated to him were destroyed by fire and many of his priests lost their divine powers during the change. Although most priests would reform their connection to the new god Lotan Fire-bringer, that was not true for all who had revered him. And now, a few months ago, priests of Jakariel the Claimer had started seeing their rituals fail. Their magics seemed weakened. Priests who favored other deities did not seem affected, and even the minor rituals for the other gods worked when enacted by the Claimer’s most faithful. They feared a similar event could be occurring for Jakariel, father of Lotan. And now this revenant Bane comes to the Church, telling a story of the Hall of Judgment standing empty. Is what they fear coming to pass? What could happen if, in fact, the lord of birth and death ceases to be?
- Glia spent the day trying to find a way to free her brother Caden, a deserter from the King’s Army, who was slated to hang on the morrow. A guard named Dylan had offered to arrange for Caden’s escape, but the cost was high. Dylan would have to bribe numerous guards to let a man condemned to death walk free, and generously, too, as guards do not take kindly to deserters. Perhaps if she could find another to take his place, some other halfling? That would allay suspicion, and men about to be hung told such wild stories that the condemned claiming to be wrong man wouldn’t be unheard of. With that, the bribes would be much more modest, a few hundred gold, little enough that Glia could lay her hands on by tonight. But how to find someone who deserved this fate, in a city where they knew so few? She began asking about, and her search eventually led her to Jacoby, a half-elf who spent his time in a gambling hall. Others in the hall seemed to offer him respect, so he obviously had influence. Upon hearing her tale, he offered to find a suitable stand-in, and for only 50 gold. The plan was set in motion. At eleventh hour, they will meet Jacoby and he will provide a halfling who merits the fate he’s being sent to. At midnight, Caden will escape his cell. While the guard searches for him, Dylan will lead him to the prearranged meeting point. There, they will exchange halflings, and Dylan will return to the jail with ‘Caden’ in custody.
- That evening, at the White Hart, our heroes gathered to tell their tales to the others. Another round of drinks was brought to their table by the barmaid. Valeran and Gwil both felt strange, oddly unbalanced, after drinking from their new mugs. Valeran stood, holding onto the table to keep from falling over. He leaned back, bumping into a stranger standing behind him, and then fell to the ground. As they looked at their fallen friend, Bane noticed a dagger concealed in the stranger’s right hand, covered in blood. Gwil, too, had an assassin laying in wait, and was likewise stabbed. As soon as they were spotted, the two assassins ran out of the White Hart into the rainy city, most of the heroes hot on their heels.
- One of the assassins would fall to Bane, Glia, Morwen, and Beld in the street outside the White Hart. Glia and Beld started to drag the unconscious assassin back to the White Hart.
- The second assassin made it into a nearby crowded market square, full of closed tents and empty tables at this late hour. As Bane caught up with the assassin, a number of thugs appeared from hiding to complete the ambush. Hearing there were more foes about, Glia and Beld quickly abandoned dragging the first assassin to join their comrades.
- Eventually the second assassin was also brought down. In the few minutes before the Watch arrived, they woke the assassin and questioned him. He did not know who had hired them, just that the person wanted these two knights killed. Valeran would be easy to identify, since he wore the symbol of his knighthood opening. Gwil would be harder to identify, but as the only elf in the company of the easily-found Valeran she was likewise discovered. The price for each was 250 gold, a sizable sum. Although Morwen wanted to march the assassin to his home, where he had said his payment was hidden, the prospect of taking him through the streets was daunting and they eventually decided to just turn him over to the Watch.
- The heroes did notice the assassin bore a tattoo they had seen before, of an eye almost completely closed. Some time back they had encountered a bandit, Lladrad, and one of his men had this same mark on his right forearm. Lladrad and his men had joined the army in lieu of being turned over to the local reeve (who would have hung them for their crimes).
- The Watch arrived and questioned everyone. A few eyewitnesses could swear to the truth of the story told by our heroes, and so after an hour or so they were given their freedom as the Watch hauled off the second assassin and those thugs who had survived the ill-fated ambush. Of the first assassin there was no sign. One person said they seemed to recall seeing someone helping an injured man off the street, but they could provide no further details and the rain had already washed away any signs of blood in the muddy street.
In which our heroes rescue a deserter
- Letting Valeran continue to recover from his injuries, the rest of our heroes left the comfort of the White Hart for the rain-filled City. Meeting Jacoby, the half-elf, as the clocks tolled eleven they were given a handcart with a heavily bound figure laying inside beneath piles of cloth. Checking to insure that they weren’t being cheated, they saw the unconscious figure of a male halfling. He was older than Caden, but of similar size, and his numerous bruises would allow him pass for Glia’s brother at least well enough for their purposes. Jacoby left the handcart and its contents with the heroes, who settled in for an uncomfortable wait in the downpour until the exchange in an hour.
- As midnight approached, the heroes set out for the exchange site, an alley not far from the jail-house where Glia had found Caden. After Morwen and Beld scouted ahead and saw no dangers, they brought the cart to the alley. A quarter past the hour, the guardsman Dylan finally made the rendezvous. Caden, still bloodied but carrying his possessions, was with him. When Dylan saw the bound halfling in the cart, he seemed unhappy. He drug the halfling from the cart and cut free his hands and feet with his dagger. Helping the halfling to stand, he plunged his dagger into the belly of the halfling, who immediately collapsed onto the muddy street. “Easier this way” was all he said.
- Taking Caden, the heroes left the alley and made to depart. Before they could leave the area, a group of guards spotted them and called for them to stop. Although they tried to play as if they hadn’t heard the guards, the heroes soon found themselves being followed. To make matters worse, the torrential rain had turned the streets into a river of mud, slowing their movement. The guards, a group mostly composed of elves, was able to take advantage of their faster movement and better vision to close the distance behind the heroes, who sought to lose them in the twisting alleys of the district. But losing the guards that way proved futile, as they knew the streets better than our heroes and continued to close. Finally, our heroes ducked into a tavern. Gage threw a handful of coins down, hoping the scramble of the tavern patrons to collect the coins would slow the pursuit, while the heroes made their escape through the kitchen. But this was not meant to be, either, and the heroes soon found themselves in an narrow street where the guard would catch up to them.
- The guard wasted no time on words after the lengthy pursuit, drawing blades and attacking. However, the battle would soon turn against the guards. The two human guards were the first to fall, and making good use of the constricting terrain the heroes were able to knock several of the guards unconscious. But then the earth shuddered. The brick chimney of a building collapsed, punching through the cobbled street to reveal a large sinkhole. The street quickly collapsed, the entire corner disappearing into the muddy maw, washing our heroes and the guards down.
- Time and water had sunken this part of Farmington, only to have people rebuild on top of what had been there before. This process had repeated several times, and now our heroes found themselves some distance below the surface of Farmington, in what might have been the sewer system of the city hundreds of years ago. As they recovered from the fall, almost all of them lucky enough to have landed in water, they realized they were not alone. A single member of the Guard was still conscious, but more pressing was the large shape that moves beneath the surface of the deeper water beneath them. As is reached the surface, the realized it was an otyugh, a creature that feeds of filth and refuse when it cannot find meat. It tried to pull the heroes underwater to drown them, but it was not alone. A few skeletons, perhaps once victims of this same beast, attacked as well. And from the distance long tentacles reached out to grab at the heroes, for the otyugh wasn’t alone in using this sewer system as a hunting ground. Another creature had taken up here as well, a roper, who camouflaged itself and sent out impossibly long tentacles to pull its prey to its waiting spikes, where they could be impaled. The heroes would find themselves sorely pressed between these two beasts, while the lone guard wavered on what presented the bigger threat, the group who had felled his comrades in the street above or the strange beasts in the sewers below. Eventually Gwil would knock him unconscious after he retaliated against her, but in the meantime he fired arrows at the beasts as well as the heroes. After a fierce battle that saw the heroes try to stay out of the roper’s reach, they managed to destroy the skeletons and drive off the otyugh. The roper tried to make its escape, but proved too slow. Even as it slowly crept up the wall, hoping to elude their ranged attacks, Morwen felled the beast with an eldritch bolt.
- Looking around, there seemed few options. Climbing the slick walls of the sinkhole wasn’t a viable option, but the large chamber did have an outlet of the sewer system, presumably flowing north towards the river, and so our heroes turned in that direction.
- Our heroes found themselves trapped somewhere beneath the city in what seemed to be an ancient sewer system. Having defeated the creatures that occupied the chamber the sinkhole had deposited them in, they followed the narrow corridor in the hopes of finding an exit. After several hours of wandering through the dank sewer and then dusty corridors, gradually rising towards the surface thanks to numerous stairways, they finally came to a chamber that showed no dust or other signs of abandonment. Columns ran throughout the room, and statues of humanoid figures dotted the walls.
- As Gage crossed the chamber, he stepped over a previously-unseen symbol inscribed on the floor. This symbol was soon joined by others, showing an arcane circle whose perimeter he had just inadvertently broken. Gage recognized symbols of knowledge, coercion, and subjugation scattered amongst the other runes as the statues began to move and a smoky shape began to coalesce inside the circle. As devilish forms separated themselves from the statues to attack our heroes, a vizier devil formed within the circle and began to direct the attack. The battle was brief but ferocious, but our heroes proved able to best the infernal foes that confronted them, bringing down the lesser devils and finally the vizier itself.
- Once defeated, the vizier devil’s form lost its solidity and was compelled to return to the circle. With Morwen’s assistance, Gwil was able to re-empower those symbols accidentally destroyed, once again binding the devil to his arcane prison. During the process, the vizier explained to the heroes that he had been bound here by “the black priest”, who forced him to answer questions on the topic of dead gods and their lingering powers. He promised them information if they would only free him from captivity. The vizier devil tried a number of ploys to convince the heroes, promising to provide information on how to return to the city above, or Gwil’s ability to shift between worlds, or knowledge of their foes’ activities, or whatever else they desired to learn. But although Gage was sorely tempted, the others held fast and he was eventually swayed to abandon the vizier and continue searching for an exit.
- Outside the ritual chamber, the corridor was once more dust-filled, but someone’s travel to and from the chamber had left traces in the dust. Following those as best they could, our heroes finally discovered a secret door within a wall, which opened to reveal a ladder. Taking that ladder, they emerged into a confessional booth in the Great Cathedral. This wing of the Cathedral saw little traffic, as it had been dedicated to Avren the Lost. The god of doorways and passages, Avren had been killed several centuries ago during the Great War again the aberrant Pale Ones; although he no longer had priests or other followers he was still honored with the occasional ceremony lest his sacrifice be entirely forgotten. Once outside that wing of the Cathedral the heroes found themselves once more amongst the hustle and bustle of Farmington. They returned to their inn, the White Hart, and after a meal went to their rooms to rest and recover.
- Valeran, having finally recovered from being poisoned in the failed assassination attempt, decided to spend the afternoon watching King Gerrard receive petitions while the other recuperated. Although they had discussed the possibility of speaking with the King during these petitions, the group had decided that this was too risky. Instead, they would wait for tomorrow when Baron Greenspire and his eldest son Stafford (sworn liege to both Valeran and Gwil) would be able to take up their complaint about Cassian d’Cherevan and get them a private audience with King Gerrard so they could detail what they had learned of the orcs up near the Slumbering King. After spending several hours witnessing the King’s interaction with the commoners who came to petition him, Valeran concluded that King Gerrard was a just lord, one who tried to uphold the law but also one who understood what the lengthy struggle against the orcs had done to the common folk of the kingdom.
- The Baron Spencer Greenspire and his heir Stafford returned to Farmington. After meeting with our heroes and hearing of their latest encounter in the Coluddyn barony, Baron Greenspire arranged for an audience with King Gerrard. Our heroes were joined in this audience by Spencer and Stafford, as well as his trusted guard Invinus Merispoles. When presented with the testimony of the knights, King Gerrard became crestfallen. He lamented not heeding Spencer’s earlier warnings about Coluddyn and begged his forgiveness, a surprisingly public show of contrition from a monarch. Spencer accepted his apology warmly and they began to discuss how best to proceed. King Gerrard called the discussion to a brief halt. Earlier in the day, the Baron Coluddyn had himself asked for an audience, and the appointed time had arrived. Lest Coluddyn think something amiss, the King would meet with him briefly and then resume this audience afterwards. The King sent the heroes to the red sitting room, which they soon discovered was adjacent to the audience chamber and permitted them to overhear the conversation between King Gerrard and the traitorous Baron.
- Coluddyn did not arrive alone; he too brought someone with a tale for the King. Cidum, Arlain of Blackfork, accompanied him. Still suffering from his wounds, the Arlain told a story very different from our heroes’ tale. He claimed he had been attacked by a force of goliath, his men killed and he himself taken captive. For weeks they hauled him around while they raided his lands, their attack well-planned and supplied by a knight who proudly bore the towering pine heraldry of Greenspire. Shortly thereafter, the goliath raided a forge that Coluddyn had ordered built near the Slumbering King. Luckily, Coluddyn troops had just arrived and they were able to defeat the goliath. During the melee, Cidum was able to slip his bonds and elude the goliath, making his escape and joining with the soldiers. The King responded to this tale with alarm, and promised to think on how to bring Greenspire to justice for this affront against the Baron Coluddyn as the Baron and Arlain departed and our heroes resumed their audience.
- With Coluddyn’s popularity swelling thanks to his breaking of the barbarian horde, any open act of aggression against Coluddyn could incite rebellion. In addition to the probable loyalty of the common folk, Coluddyn has many supporters within the army. In addition to the troops from his own barony – a large force thanks to his heavy-handed pressers – he also employed mercenary companies such as our dear friend Kore’s clan. The King must plan his next move carefully, lest he set a rebellion in motion. And with so much of the army potentially more loyal to Coluddyn and camped right outside Farmington, such a rebellion would be both swift and successful. Nevertheless, Stafford recommended arresting Coluddyn quietly. He could be tried and hung for his crimes before word spread. Baron Spencer advocated more caution. Even if they set out to arrest Coluddyn, who knew where he had loyal servants in Farmington? Should this arrest not go as planned, the Baron could potentially escape and foment open rebellion. King Gerrard carefully listened to advice from everyone present and promised to weigh his options carefully.
- Before leaving, Invinus suggested Morwen bring her accusation against Cassian d’Cherevan before the King. He agreed to hear her out and so she recounted the tale of her abuse at the hands of the knight and his men. King Gerrard ordered Cassian to stand trial for his actions. The King also made Morwen a rather temporary member of his household staff since her accusations wouldn’t carry much weight against a knight’s word and no one of higher station would be able to testify on her behalf.
- Our heroes left the keep, intent on staying at the Greenspire estate for mutual security. Stopping by the White Hart to collect their belongings, Valeran found a letter from his cousin Kore. He obliquely wrote of Cidum’s reappearance, adding more weight to the theory that this was an impostor. It seems that some of his most loyal men have begun to have their doubts about the Arlain, although Kore could not determine from where their suspicions rose. He said he hoped that all was well with the family back in Laston and he hoped to encounter Valeran again soon.
- Trying to come up with some way to unveil the impostor, Gwil set a plan into motion. A lycanthrope could be forced to assume its true form if branded by a holy symbol. She had Valeran forge a holy symbol to Ellianis, goddess of the Moon, from silver. Gwil and Morwen then performed a ritual over the symbol to find the forge’s heat into it, laying dormant until called upon. Now they would just need to get to the impostor, speak the final ritual words, and press the silvered symbol to his flesh…
- The next morning word was received that Cassian d’Cherevan had arrived in Farmington, as he had earlier said he would. He was promptly taken into custody for questioning. Denying all charges, a trial was called so he could defend himself from these accusations. That afternoon a massive crowd showed up to see the spectacle. Presided over jointly by the King and three priests of Hakren the Blind, god of Justice, the trial consisted of testimony from all parties involved. Cassian tried to deny his earlier confession, witnessed by our two heroes who are knights of Greenspire, but the sentiment of the judges was clearly going against him. Finally, he demanded his right to prove his innocence via trial by combat. Morwen wanted to face him, but as one of the common folk she cannot. Valeran offered to champion her cause, but Morwen refused. King Gerrard called her to his side, and offered her a way to face Cassian directly. She consented, and King Gerrard knighted the young girl there on the platform, in front of the roaring crowd. After an hour set aside for preparation and reflection, Morwen and Cassian fought. Morwen proved victorious and the knight confessed his attack upon the helpless girl months ago. Sobbing, he promised more detail as the King’s guards came to imprison him.
- The crowd pressed in close to witness the spectacle, Gwil took advantage of this opportunity as the knight confessed his crime to approach the impostor Cidum. Speaking the last few words, the silvered holy symbol grew white-hot in her hand. But as she reached to press it against the halfling’s shoulder fate would intervene. Having not even noticed the elf’s actions, the Baron Coluddyn placed his hand on the Arlain’s shoulder, and it was there that the symbol landed. Burning into the Baron’s flesh, the ritual was expended and the symbol cooled at once. The Baron Coluddyn’s guards rushed to his defense, but Gwil dropped the symbol and faded into the crowd before she could be apprehended.