The Missing Rose
The heroes find a small treasure in the caverns. Among the valuables is a suit of breast plate armor bearing the crest of House Griffin. By gathering information from the freed captives Porter is able to determine that a young knight had been captured by the goblins a couple of months prior. Although the other prisoners never learned his identity, they did know that he was mourning the loss of his brother who had been killed by the goblins. The clues point to the armor having belonged to one of Sir Preston Griffin’s children. Shortly after his capture the goblins traded the young knight to a wizard whom the goblins called the Shadow Lord. They also made mention of another creature who accompanied the wizard, whom they called the Night Wolf.
Although a dozen of the former slaves wish to leave The Forest of Mist with the heroes, the majority seem more interested in staying. They have few capable warriors and the group feels it is still their duty to deliver Redwyn to the Mist Warden so Porter and Dorious volunteer to stay and protect the freed people at least until Redwyn returns.
They meet the Sir Brondan and treat with him about the crimes and fate of the former slaves and of Redwyn. Sir Brondan shows little interest in punishing the refugees, he simply asks them to swear fealty to Baron Coeran and requests they give up their arms as payment for their former crimes as outlaws. Redwyn is another matter it seems and like the heroes before he seems inclined to believe he may have been a bandit.
Fortunately for Redwyn it seems that the Mist Warden knows of Zale by reputation and is content to accept his judgement concerning whether or not Redwyn is guilty of banditry.
Zale questions Redwyn at length concerning his past and in the end declares that he believes Redwyn to be telling the truth concerning any past banditry.
The Mist Warden orders Redwyn to pay a stiff fine of one hundred gold for his time as an outlaw.
Surprising everyone, Zale speaks up and offers to pay Redwyn’s fine for him. Both Redwyn and Sir Brondan are dumb struck, but neither objects.
Zale, Victor, Athar, Thurenz, and Redwyn hasten to return to the Goblin Gate where Porter and Dorious await them. Thurenz and Zale summon magical steeds to speed their travel and the five of them make good time.
While the others are out performing their errand, Porter and Dorious stay behind to protect the people who had stayed behind. They work diligently during the next six days to better secure the cavern and to help the people to sustain and provide for themselves.
Once the heroes are reunited they leave the “settlers” and Redwyn at the cavern. Redwyn gives the heroes his thanks and promises to repay Zale the debt he owes. Dorious also gives Redwyn a gift before the group departs.
The heroes return to Doyle Manor in order to gather their horses, but when they arrive they discover that Rose has gone missing. Marrion Rivers believes she has run off, but the group think that may not be the case. They investigate
and begin to suspect that something is amiss after Athar finds clues that someone had been watching the village.
The heroes inform Sir Boros of the possible danger before retiring for the evening.
When Athar enters his room he is attacked by an assassin, who is wearing the illusory guise of one of the chamber maids. He uses a trap to close and lock the door behind Athar and then shoots him with a poison quarrel. He charges the surprised Athar. “Zaheem Zafir sends his regards,” the assassin taunts as his sword draws a deep cut on Athar’s waist.
Fortunately for Athar, Thurenz had chosen to camp outside the manor, he hears Athar cry out and decides to fly up to investigate.
Athar and the assassin fight toe to toe and exchange several blows as the assassin chides Athar for being so easy to find. Thurenz targets the assassin with a lightning bolt realizing a bit too late that it could take out both combatants, but the quick reflexes and evasive abilities of the assassin and Athar allow them both to sidestep the deadly blast. The ensuing thunder clap is more than enough to wake the entire house.
The other party members quickly come to investigate and begin hammering at the latched door.
The assassin swings and misses as Athar draws on the power of his blood to dimension doors into a hiding spot beside the wardrobe closet. The assassin curses as he looks around in vain for his quarry, he then charges Thurenz and cuts the wizard’s arm and disrupting his spell.
The door bursts open a second after Athar leaps from hiding and drives his sword through the back of the would be killer. His life force spent and his blood spilled; the power of his blood leaps into Athar, Porter, and Zale. Athar in particular feels an incredible surge as his blood strength improves for the first time.