Chapter Two Review
Clash of the Council…
A counsel is formed. And the party is quick to undertake the business of kingdom building. After a prosperous year, rumblings come from the South: Trolls. But for the moment, they are a not a concern. No, the party is content to leave them in the South where they belong. It is not until Kesten Garess warns of a missing child at the hands of the Lizard Folk to the southwest that the group is spurred into action. The party is quick to ascertain that their reptilian foes are under control by yet another fey – this time, a nasty wisp. They care little for the plight of the lizard men, however, and decimate them all. In large part, drunk on the fury fueled by the vengeance of two fallen comrades. The wisp escapes, but the child is saved. The dead are mourned and for some time Cedric, a new recruit after Jacks resignation to the ruling the kingdom, escapes to the wilderness.
Yet the ending of this tale is doubly tarnished by the wreckage of their city by another owlbear. Upon his return, Cedric is quick to note that this is the behavior of a creature insane over the death of a loved one (an obvious jab taken at Duke’s expense). And so, it is assumed that somewhere, nearby, is the other mated half to this creature. Scouts are sent, but return with little news.
Back at home, however, the damage is quick to be repaired and business as usual resumes. But is it? Under their watch, an almost sinister man reaches out to Kophyn in his sleep. Warning about the growing cult sympathy which is festering in their city, he escapes before Kophyn can do anthing foolish. This deed is reported to Jack and the council is quick to declare him a renegade, ignoring the threat of the growing cult. Resigned to the assistance of the city, the rogue turns himself in. Facing the inquisition of Vamps, he divulges that he himself is an ex-Pitaxian spy. Fleeing a small village on its outskirts only as it is infested by changelings. He confesses that his own wife was taken in the process. He is held under great suspicion, but his truths were undeniable. And so, Jack is forced to send a party after the roots of the Cult of Gyronna. Morphus is quick to lead the way. An entire network of city crumbling rot is discovered, dispatched, and diavowed. However, there is a final hurdle. The movement is led by a mysterious witch – Gyronna herself. A battle is had. And though they kill her swiftly, Kophyn is identifies the fleeting effects of a simulacrum and catches the glimpse of a green haired woman in the mirror hanging nearby. He takes the mirror, vowing that it cannot rest in the hands of their growing enemies. The party, meanwhile, are convinced of Morphus’ good intention – though mysterious nature. As such, Morphus is welcomed to the council to serve as their faithful Royal Assassin.
Upon returning to town, they are foisted into yet another problem. A bard named Grigorio has started a ruckus. He has been accosted by the guards and is now making a stand in the city center. “You’re being duped! They are pocketing your money! They let vandals escape with their horde! Murderers!” The situation is diffused, and he agrees to be taken to the main stronghold where he is questioned. His lies melt away under the scrutiny of Vamps. Morphus, with this information, reveals that this is a common tactic by Pitax. His suspicions that Pitax grow jealous are all but cemented, but before he can ascertain his true intentions, a trial is held, a just verdict acquired, and his head is had: treason on all accounts.
Finally, the party is forced to march south. There has been far too much troll activity close to their city walls. They are pointed to a set of caves. It is a land mark that a few handy gnomish mapmakers divulge after being rescued from a certain watery death sometime earlier. Calling in the reserves, Duke marshals his army and swarms the caves. With improvised tactics and brute strength, the trolls and their leaders are smashed in relative ease. With the trouble handled the caves are abandoned and sealed shut by the army.
Party tensions at this point are running high. Cedric is still fuming over the loss of his companion, and Duke seems certain that he is to exact revenge. Jack is viewed as a stingy king. And Vamps, for all her usefulness, has delved out some brutal – if not lopsided – justice. This is, however, all internal and private matters. In the view of the public all of this settles into the cracks as further ties to Brevoy begin to wobble. News from the Sword Lords is more and more distant. While expressing their gratitude of their accomplishments, the economic help once offered has begun to deteriorate. They are now truly on their own. The budding evidence is clear. A fracturing foundation between Issia and Rostlands. If politics continue in this direction, civil war will be had.