After rescuing the captured militia members and citizens from the black feather and red paint orc raiding party, the players escort the group back south out of the Crimsontal and back to Hermanstadt. Word of their success travels back quickly, and the group arrives to a heroes welcome. During the celebration, the players talk with the default leader of the town, Efrain Lutekin, who request to the characters return a request to rebuild and staff the old guard post at the head of the valley.
The player depart the following day, and travel back to Red Bridge, where they leave the rescued militia, and then on to Three Rivers. As they approach three rivers, they see a large crowd surrounding the main gate and the guards barracks. A group of men come out to intercept the party as they approach. They are moderately threatening towards the players, demanding that they turn back tonight and stay away from the town.
After some tough diplomacy and finally a charm spell on the leader, the players convince the group to escort them in to talk to the leader of the mob. There they find that the crowd has blocked the entrance to the guards quarters and are demanding the release of the prisoners there (the same men the characters captured smuggling on the trip north five days before). The group is led by Baron Samuel Gullyford, leader of the town, exporter, and father to one of the men locked in the jail. He is also a friend and hunting partner to the good King Lothar. His claim is that the men are unfairly imprisoned, and that they had come across the real smugglers earlier and had chased them away and were just recovering the goods.
The player know this is a lie, but go in to talk to the militia men inside, led by the able Commander Whelton. He too understands that the Baron is smuggling his own good to avoid taxes, but has no ability to stop it without support from Illian’s Crossing. The players agree and let the prisoners go to the crowd, but vow to bring this up with the Prince.
The player depart the following day, arriving at Illian’s Crossing three days later without incident. They arrive to a rousing competition between the town major temples in town, At’ar and Desna. they are kicking an inflated sheep stomach covered in leather across the town square. The game escalates in physical violence until a rather vigorous tackle next to the uncompleted statue in the middle of the square brings down the tarp covering it, revealing the bronze statue of the king positioned in a compromising pose underneath his horse.
The players report to Prince Labraid the events of their trip north. He is very concerned about the Orcish raid and agree about placing a guard back at the entrance to the vale. He invites the players to tomorrows council meeting. He also tell Adelaide that their father is quite ill, and she should go visit him.
Adelaide visits her father to find him practically on his death bed. He is being tended to by “The Necromancer”, a wizard from the north west who has been given town, land, and title in return for being the personal physician to the king. Along with the Necromancer is his servant, a monstrous man apparently sewn together and animated by the wizard himself. The necromancer tells Adelaide that her father is very ill and may not survive, and that he may have arrived “to late this time”.
At the council meeting, the players enter as a member of the Church of Desna, Yolanda Danzey, is being questioned on the events in the town square. She denies setting up the statue and doing it on purpose, though divination by At’ar head priest Peter Keagan says otherwise. The head of the church of Desna, Paster Toewler, promises to punish Yolanda.
The players learn that the finances of the state is not good. In addition to the orc incursions to the north and the plague to the south, there are also growing tension with the elves of the Great Woods to the west. This year the Meeting of the Lords is being held at Ilfrey-combe, the characters are to escort the contingent from Illian’s Crossing to the meeting, and from there continue west over the Green Mountains to personally investigate what is going on with the elves and report back.
As the party is leaving, the high elf Edrahil confronts the party, telling them to be wary of strangers, as they may not be what they appear. He gives the party a rod he says can help remove magic (Lesser rod of negation, dispel magic CL10 once per day as a ranged attack) Command word is N’uma Templa.
The following day the royal procession departs to the meeting. Along with the characters, is Adelaide (now an NPC), her brother Prince Labraid, The Necromancer and his golem, and three lords, Lord Commander Gervasius, Baron Melvin Frizzle of Favorsham, and Lord Vincente Pitman of Swinton. Along with the group is also several servants.
The very first night out, as the group is talking around campfires, they become harassed by a couple of pixies. One of them makes people dance uncontrollably or do stupid things while the other shoots arrows making people sleep. The players are able to find and confront one of the pixies, bring him down. They find out it is the same one that caused the stampede weeks before and stole all their money.