A meeting was hastily convened in the Great Hall where Aldred advised the party of the political and military situation across Albion. A plan was arrived at, where the Baron would offer his patronage in return for the adventurers to undertake missions for him, which suited their exceptional skillset. Everyone bar Logen, the barbarian accepted the Baron’s offer of patronage.
Throughout the coldest snow bound months the armies are forced into winter retreat and it is the time of diplomacy and subterfuge. The group have been tasked with going to Glissom and assessing the situation there, to find out if any allies would be amenable to joining Aldred’s cause in return for gold and/or trade agreements. The Thane king of Thuland persists in his neutrality and the petty reaver warlords of Cornumbria squabble and will not choose sides, so now Aldred advises the net must be cast further afield.
Since the battle of Breylak, the Duke Grissaile’s military strength has taken a serious blow, but his political power with close ties to several royal families in Chaubrette means he is essentially untouchable from further sanctions or reprisal, it seems however that he has been knocked out of the running for the crown, leaving the Earl Montombre – the so called Elfin Earl as Aldred’s main competitor for Kingship of Albion.
While a war chest of gold is gathered by Aldred’s tax collectors, to be taken to Glissom by the adventurers another more pressing short mission has been handed out to the party. They must accompany Aldred’s son and wife – Lord Almeric and Lady Amarisa to Ravensbrook manor, which is far behind the front lines, to his fortified manor and ancestral home.
Leaving the following morning after having spoken to Mathor the court magician and a few other important individuals in regards to personal information and following up of clues, the party made steady progress and arrived at the manor house 3 days layer. Lady Amarisa, who is heavy with child was taken into the manor house and has not ventured outside, the journey was hard on her. The group passed the time in hunting wild boar, telling stories of legends, drinking and making friends in the local tavern and making sure security was sufficient to see Lady Amarisa was safe.
It was on one evening at the manor that Ronin and Logen spied something glinting in the woods, tracks were found, which were difficult to follow and ultimately lost. The next day, a further search was made, and 2 elves were run into by Brion, as he was investigating the area where he had picked up the psychic spoor, fortunately for the druid his magic cloak saved him from becoming an arrow filled pincushion and he used his magic to send a telepathic message to his comrades, the Elves were first driven off, chased and killed in short order, but their presence and their target is still guess work.
Gothryd also found 4 small Elven ponies with their tracks heading from the south west, the direction of the pagan mountains, this plus the presence of Elves has some party members concerned, are they affiliated with Earl Montombre? Are they just more local elves out hunting or attacking humans in spite? Are they part of some wider conspiracy that Aldred hinted at “The time of diplomacy, subterfuge and chicanery takes precedence to military matters while the snow lays heavy on the ground.”
The party have been tasked with making sure things are safe at the manorhouse before returning back to the castle and taking ownership of the war chest and leaving on the mission to Glissom. It would seem there are still some loose ends to tie up before the journey south can be made.