We leave Zelosus teeming with zombies but free of the slaad and the portal that they used as we return to Rookroost. We find the Arms of Bone have taken over the Havadance Saloon where we met the Eye and are using it as a field headquarters.
Fallon rejoins the group drawing attention to us but Viktis convinces a guard that we are just looking for an inn for some ale. The party moves on to the Cringing Cur and are asked by Fallon to help with a task that he has been given from his patron.
We are to help someone named “Elhilbor”, we all agree.
The party leaves town where Fallon begins teleporting the party through trees. Viktis gets his foot stuck in a tree but we are able to teleport away. Garn gets his ass stuck in a crack in the tree and needs assistance removing himself. The party finally arrives at a seaport town which they believe is Alhaster, the capital of Redhand, a part of the Shield Lands that surrendered to Iuz. The Redhand is led by Prince Zeech who is out of town back in Rookroost.
On the road to Alhaster, Viktis approaches a traveler and gets some information about the town including a reasonably priced inn named the Swiftflood. We head to the gates and bluff our way in but Fallon fumbles his way and has to bribe his way in. Unfortunately, he over bribes for his entry calling further attention to himself and the party. We move on to find the Swiftflood Inn and get rooms for the night and ask around about Elhilbor finding out that he is the seneschal or right hand of Prince Zeech. Basically the guy that deals with all the crap stuff that the Prince cannot be bothered with.
An observation about the guard makeup in the town and citadel: town guards are a mixture of Human, Orc, and Half Orc whereas at the Citadel they are all Human.. this is unlike other towns that we have been to.
The party derives a plan to have Granny act as a guild representative of the sanitation guild offering to improve sanitation conditions and hopefully getting an audience with Elhilbor. The plan works but we find out Elhilbor is not in trouble but is looking for a group to help protect the Prince’s idiot sister named Nadalie.
Nadalie is staying at a nearby compound named the Black Orchard named after the Black Walnut trees there. Viktis leads the group and is accepted by the guards as a leader of not only our group but them as well. Nadalie takes a liking to Granny but is offended by Garn and he stays away from her.
That night the Black Orchard is attacked. The first wave is minor and a few trees/buildings are caught on fire with one tree burning down but the bandits are defeated easily all the time Nadalie is yelling “Fire and Darkness!!”.
The next wave starts off with rats running past and some even entering the main house where Nadalie and Granny are. The real fight begins, wererats, bandits, and large creatures that turn out to be weretigers. As the trees burn down the ground begins to shake and is very reminiscent of the time we fought back the deity or creature from crossing to our realm at the Steelbone Meadows battleground.
We fight off the attack and save one tree and protect Nadalie, with a heroic lone stand by Granny Po barring the door with her poor frail body.
With the attackers defeated, the tremors slowly subsided and order was restored at the Black Orchard.