Set to parchment this 19th day of the Month of Sorrows, in 1332 the year of the Standard….
Acting upon the dubious intelligence given them by the interrogated orc, Team 37 proceeds to the presumed site of the ambush upon the Skylark’s Wing and her party. Indeed, the brutish orc told the truth, for once the site is found, the forked tree and clear trail made by the raiders lead east, to the very ravine the orcish captive described.
A wise decision it is, albeit a dangerous one, to camp and regain the curative magics for the blessed Father Calen. The restorative healings are needed for the battle to come. It is of note that during this night of determined rest, the team’s camp is happened upon by a brigand ogre. An OGRE!!! This chronicler fears the loss of at least one gift this fell night, but by the gods and the saints, the team is preserved. Tactics and bravery save the day, and this hulking brute is defeated in fairly short order. It is early the following morning when the party comes across a large sack of the ogre’s treasures. Inside are the armor and sword of the ill-fortuned Talon, protector of Skylark’s Wing Faenair.
Again, it is worth mentioning, the decision to take a night’s rest proves well-fortuned and insightful, for what follows is a grisly battle where lives and gifts would surely have been lost were it not for this tactical recuperation.
Within the side of the ravine, behind a nearly obscured door, lies a long-abandoned holdfast, carved from the living stone itself. The team, once inside, is quickly set upon by several goblins, all but one quickly dispatched. The final gobbo, hunkering in a corner, is determined to hold off the team’s attacks until its half-orc boss, with his hobgoblin henchmen, arrive to save the little foe. Alas for the goblin, they fail him. He is slaughtered in short order, Dorak finally connecting and sending him to the unknown realm where such despicable creatures roam after death.
A hard fought battle ensues, and despite the divine servant of Canarak’s best efforts, the team bests their foes, killing all save the unholy one, Cabraah by name, the leader, who is taken prisoner. A fine and thorough search of this base leads the team to many discoveries. Firstly, and I do say praise the Lords of the Heavens, the Skylark Statue is discovered, along with Skylark’s Wing Faenair’s vestments, and a stock of supplies stolen by the raiders. This discovery confirms the team’s suspicions that the goblins indeed have more intelligent leadership, for Cabraah is a divine servant of Canarak, and a half-orc. This chronicler is dumbfounded by the capacity of those blessed by the Maker, given the gifts of life, who still choose to squander their spiritual fortune by associating and serving the darker side of their blood.
Another notation must be reported here. Cian, the newest member of the group, continues to exhibit bravery bordering on the foolish. If the lad survives, he should prove a valuable agent for the project. Additionally, his tenacity for clinging onto the brink of life is impressive, for in the battle he fell no fewer than five times in service to his fellows.
Cabraah, servant of Canarak
Packing the lot of goods upon their horses, Team 37 next makes a hasty journey to Laedersburg, arriving well into the night. A sleepy Aislyn, village guardswoman and wife to the infamous Lord Laeder, greets the team at the gate, and escorts them to the Sweet Harvest Inn, where an assembly is made and Skylark’s Wing Asa of the incipient Skylark Shrine of Laedersburg is summoned.
The innkeeper, Saedar, a limping veteran and survivor of numerous orcish raids, chastises the team, primarily Father Calen, regarding the presence of their half-orcish prisoner Cabraah. It seems Lord Leader’s hatred for the dark races has permeated the attitudes of the townsfolk. The good Father assures Saedar that Cabraah is destined for the block, or a noose, or whatever means the law of the town uses for punishing such criminals, and the demeanor of the innkeep reverses, and cordiality is renewed.
A late night meeting takes place, and the Team discloses, with incredible frankness, every event which has preceded regarding the missing clergywoman, the orc raids, and other relative topics. Skylark’s Wing Asa is naturally overjoyed to hear of the resurrection of her friend Faenair, and the recovery of the Skylark Statue. It is decided that word shall be sent to Faenair, summoning her and bidding her bring enough Korba to complete the Ritual of Sanctification, thus consecrating the Eyrie Shrine of Laeedersburg.
Just as the talks turn to gleaning further intelligence by way of interrogating the half-orc Cabrahh, a very irate Lord Laeder storms into the inn’s private room and demands to know why his authority has been circumvented. Aislyn, his wife, soothes him with some well chosen words, stating her not wanting to bother him with unnecessary untimely interruptions, for she was screening the party to determine if his presence was indeed needed.
Placated, Leader sits down and demands a full recounting of the team’s tale, thus another lengthy period of explanation and disclosure ensues. Concerning Cabraah, the lord is outraged that an enemy of the village has been brought through the gates, and gives the team until dawn, now only a scant hour away, to interrogate the prisoner before his execution. Again it leaves a bitter taste in this chronicler’s mouth, so to speak of course, that a man (half-orc or not), be denied at least a hearing to stand for his crimes. This creature, technically one of the five sacred races, is to be executed with no rights given. Have we become barbarians to treat the Maker’s chosen children like this?
Unfortunately, the interrogation proves fruitless, despite an attempted deception by Father Calen and Lord Laeder to convince Cabraah he will be released. The condemned man knows better, for the long arm of the reputation of Laeder’s hatred reaches far across the countryside. In a fit of anger, Laeder runs the half-orc through with his scimitar, then drags the corpse to the courtyard before the inn where some of the townsfolk have, even at this early hour, already gathered, drooling like starving children before a feast, awaiting the rumored execution. Laeder drapes the corpse over the chopping block and seperates its head from the rest, and carries it off to be spitted upon a post of the newly constructed wall.
At the meeting, it is agreed that the Team will investigate the nearby Orcish Hall, once decimated by Laeder and his band, for there is rumor of an artifact, the Heart of Grakis, which is reported to draw to it all manner of orcs and goblinkind. A war is indeed brewing, and hopefully our team will be able to stop whoever is behind this race of retribution before they can get a foothold in the area, before they can summon forth an army that would not only decimate Laedersburg, but would threaten Stahl and points north as well.
Ever your servant,
Master Ervain of Littlehollow
Chronicler Third Class