The prisoners are hog-tied and brought to the chapter house at Nebulon…
Sir Mandarin’s attempt to slaughter them murderously along the road is thwarted by cooler heads and the intercession of the ambitious Sir Remiu, his Arugula. Dispensing the King of Kaldor’s Justice is reserved for the duly authorized Baron _______ of nearby Kobing and, with due diligence (10 days later)*, the tormented servants of Agrik meet their demise in what was described as a bizarrely satisfying, almost erotic burning at the stake; they truly took some joy in the manner of their deaths….Agrikans. The corrupt half brother of the Earl of Neph, Ackitt Lack, is summarily and unceremoniously hung like a common thief.
During the party’s short stay in Kobing, they learn that the missing noble’s wife has been through asking for the Baron’s assistance. Also, the party learned that the Baron of Kobing is fairly sure the noble’s unaccompanied trek into the wilderness to exact some kind of vengeance or justice for a murdered (employee) was irregular.
Additionally, it was discovered that 4 miners and several other travelers, including a small wedding party, had also mysteriously disappeared while traveling and working in the vicinity of the Lamp Inn at the southern frontier, by the Osel Bridge. The party determined that they would continue south with the Arugula’s regular patrol of 20 mounted and then split off to the Setha Heath.
Along the way, it was decided (simultaneously in Harnic and Jarin) that the Rangers should forge ahead to the Lamp Inn and watch to see if anyone fled as the large patrol approached an hour later. Expectably, there was an obvious (at least to Hafyn) spy/scout within the establishment who seemed to be enjoying the support of the staff (a wench actually was overheard addressing him by his name, ____) as he performed his duty, duty which included racing off to warn his likely accomplices… Hafyn followed solo and left Aranrae to notify the patrol of his intention to shadow the suspicious fellow and report back on details of his destination. We ended at this point.
…forgive the narrator, backtracking follows…
*Ten Days at Nebulon:
Surprisingly to some at the Chapter House, the Arugula was most hospitable to the Northerners, at least more hospitable than was to be expected from a tightly run military establishment. Hafyn and Aranrae, after signing in and receiving standing by Sir Mandarin, were able to meet with and even speak with Sir Remiu, who then graciously allowed the two to go stay outside the compound. He seemed most intrigued by their relationship with Bridgette Curo’s father, the Earl of Neph. He was not very well schooled in much of what happened north of his own demesne.
Also, we learned that it was common practice by the Knights of the Lady of Paladins to dispense quick roadside justice and that Mandarin’s efforts to slaughter the Agrikans was normal. The Arugula was pleased that his hand was stayed …in this case.
Furthermore, the Arugula was convinced that sending Bridgette back out into the wild after so recently joining the Chapter, was politically expedient. He seemed to want to support the decisions, friends and daughter of the Earl of Neph. To justify the departure of the recently arrived and support their expedition to the south, he asked that they engage in scouting out the location and comparative strength/numbers of the Paeglins. The tribesmen seemed to be receiving military assistance from some quarter that was supplying them better weapons than previously used to do their business.
It was discovered by those who knew Sorwin less well than Sir Mandarin, that he had a reputation for requiring ‘stern guidance’, regularly, and that his riding skill was well known by the nice folk at Nebulon. He spent a week receiving instruction. Bridgette and Mandarin also spend time training and preparing to go out on patrol. Aranrae also received some training(?, needs data). Hafyn spends most of his time gathering herbs, scouting, hugging trees, setting up a Rola-Taur and trying his hand at some simple alchemy. There is a Full Moon during this period that finds Hafyn and Aranrae beneath it, enjoying some quality time and the unusually clear skies…(not as homo-erotic as it sounds…)
(The measure of Time in Hârn may need to be addressed and used to clean up this mess!)
Preparing for the eventual patrol, trip south and journey to Kobing finds the party with two horses each and access to whatever supplies and gear the good folks at Chapter House can provide. Addressing those supplies needs doing before reconvening… Also, the Arugula has not accepted Sir Mandarin’s offer to leave healing supplies behind but did take the remaining share of Mandarin’s tourney prize.(?, vaguely recalled)
Also of note, the Baron of Kobing, upon meeting the enhanced patrol party from Nebulon, took note of the Northerners and addressed them as “Brothers…” An extremely good heraldry roll helped him determine, immediately, that Hafyn and Aranrae were in fact ‘of a Brotherhood’. Strangely delivered and pointy questions about mining followed in front of the visiting patrol and some quality private time with the Baron likely confirmed his assessment.
Amusingly and having noted that slyly delivered title, Sir Mandarin has also begun to refer to the Northerners as ‘Brothers’ although he has absolutely no idea to what the Baron referred…Hafyn, himself also rather sly, has decided that ”… it is indeed an honour and compliment that the good folk of Kaldor have so readily received [the Northerners] as brothers!”
It is but a (short) matter of time before Mandarin screws up his nerves to just ask rather than bait and await the Northeners’ unlikely slip up! Meanwhile, Bridgette Curo is relatively accepting of the Strangers from the North as her father arranged for her a very broad exposure to cultural variants. Sorwin is not sophisticated enough to care and simply accepts them without much wonder. Sorwin and the Northerners often ride together because of their relative lack of horsemanship and inability to match the knights who seem born to the saddle. It has made for the beginnings of a real friendship. For their part, the Northerners have never done anything but provide their best help in all matters concerning the Earl’s daughter Bridgette, the Kingdom of Kaldor and its proper function and members of the various Orders of the Lady of Paladins…it must be driving Sir Mandarin bug-nuts that the Northerners are accorded so much untraditionally earned support and acceptance amongst his superiors!
It should be interesting to watch the party finally begin to shed the compounded burden of carrying so many secrets!