After the party finishes the night without any more tricks from the nasty thieving pixies, they continue their escort of the royal procession the following day, arriving mid afternoon at the town of Maiden’s Ring.
Maiden’s Ring is a prosperous town of over a thousand residents, led by the intelligent and wealthy Duchess Jillian le Fay. Her family has made it’s fortune over the generations by exporting beer brewed locally by the local church of Desna.
Story of the founding of Maiden’s Ring told by the duchess;
“The village of Maiden’s Ring gets its name from the widowed countess, Mathilda of Got, who legend has it that while crossing a stream, she dropped her ring in the water as she was crossing. Distraught at her loss, she sat on a rock by the river’s edge and cried. She closed her eyes and prayed to Desna that if she had her ring returned she promised to dedicate the rest of her life to her. When she opened her eyes, a trout quickly swam with her ring in its mouth. She exclaimed that this place was truly blessed by the goddess, and had a church built at the location. Soon a town formed around the church, and Maiden’s Ring was born.”
The next day, the PCs and the rest of the Royal Party, now including the duchess and her son, Zanister, depart and continue on their trip to Ilfrey-Combe and the Meeting of the Lords. After a long day of travel, the party sets camp for the evening. no sooner has camp been set up, a group of rangers led by the King’s Head of the Hunt, Edward Fields, arrives. They mention that they have been pursuing some kind of unnatural beast through the woods the past few days that has been chasing the animals away.
After the rangers rest a bit and warm up, they decide to go out again that night to continue their pursuit. During the night, the PCs on guard duty hear a supernatural siren come from deep in the woods to the north, the direction the rangers departed in. A few minutes later, four of the rangers run into the camp, claiming they were attacked by some fearsome, shadowed demon.
After a few round, the camp is attacked on all sides by some creature the Necromancer called Dretches. The whole camp goes on defense, and the players find they have a hard time damaging these creatures with their weapons. A few more rounds into combat and the camp is attacked by the shadowy demon itself. Through persistence, the camp is able to slay the dretches and chase of the demon, without any casualties.
After two more days of travel, the group arrives at Ilfrey-Combe. After an evening of celebration and political maneuvering the party retires for the night at the town guard barracks. The following morning, the party searches for Prince Labraid to get their orders for the day. They find him in conversation with some of the other lords, talking about problems with the elves to the west. The group is asked to go find Adelaide and bring her. When the players arrive at her room, they find it in shambles. After some rough questioning of the staff, the players learn that she had been abducted in the early morning by Baron Orion Pickerton, a lord from the west that had been pursuing the princess the evening before.
The players are quickly dispatched to pursue the baron and his men and retrieve Adelaide. It takes a full day, but the party finally catches up to half of the Baron’s men along the Great Road through the Green Mountains. The party quickly confronts the men, an after dropping their leader they quickly surrender. The group learns that the baron, princess, and the rest of his men had left the main road and were taking a trail north and west through the mountains.