A month has passed since the party rescued Tamera Ravengard from her family of assassins. The towering creature of Living Shadow that Lord Ravengard had become was visible from the street – and word of the group’s victory spread quickly (especially since Portia was involved).
The party had taken up residence in the Ravengard Estate, which had passed to Tamera upon her father’s death. Tamera had insisted on staying in her old room as she recovered from her scars; she barely smiled, and she spoke and ate little. Though the adventurers were idle, the rest of the world kept turning. Valendia’s Parliament made a decision regarding the matter of succession to the throne left vacant by King Arturos. They confirmed Arturos’s succession to be legitimate, putting the Albion family securely in the line. Thus, within a week of the party’s fight with Lord Ravengard, Lord Gideon Albion was crowned King of Valendia. As is customary, lords and knights (as well as the dwarven king) came forward to swear their fealty and friendship. Some lords, such as the Orrens, were conspicuously absent, and talk of rebellion was beginning to fill the taverns and guildhalls.
Donovan did his best to take care of Tamera and to explore the manor somewhat. He was unable to find Lord Ravengard’s sanctum, however; Tamera said it was hidden, and that while her siblings had managed to get to it, she could not. He did identify some of the items he had picked up, however: he took to wearing Lord Ravengard’s heavily enchanted black-feathered cloak.
Augustus, meanwhile, returned to the Temple of Lucia, where he was commended for his efforts and promoted to Lord Templar. In addition to giving him increased influence in the church, this put him in direct command of several younger Paladins named Ancelot, Bryce, Drystan, Esmond, and Leopold. Of course to his dismay, this increased the amount of paperwork required of him.
While Ari understood the trauma Tamera suffered, she also knew that the Red Dragon cult wasn’t going to rest. She made a habit of trying to rouse the others to adventure again.
As she was on her way to visit the Ravengard manor again, she suddenly encountered a halfling, who bumped into her, grabbing her gold. Ari did not notice this; luckily, as the halfling walked away with a small fortune, another halfling with messy red hair noticed and retrieved it. He handed it back to her, introducing himself as Cerin Rosenkin.
In gratitude, Ari decided to buy him a drink. Inside the Hearty Knave Tavern, however, they encountered Meric and a group of black-armored guards from the Order of the Black Phoenix, apparently offering free drinks to recruits. Ari reminded Meric that, as part-owner of the guild, Meric owed her some money. She attempted to publicly shame him, by claiming that he was behind on child support. She convinced at least one recruit, who walked out of line saying, “Your own child, man!” Ari then explained the situation to Cerin, who concocted his own plan for revenge.
Using his Hat of Disguise, he mimicked one of the guards (though a short one), and managed to get close enough to snag Meric’s coin purse. However, one of the guards spotted him and began to give chase. Cerin threw it to Ari, and the two managed to escape. At this point, Ari explained their larger goal of collecting the pieces of scroll before the Dragon Cult, and invited Cerin along for the adventure, believing his skills would be useful for the adventure.
Back at the manor, Donovan saw Tamera blankly staring into space in the front foyer. He approached her, and suggested that they start adventuring again, as she might need some distance from the place to recover, and that he missed her making jokes. Tamera smiled for the first time since her rescue, and agreed that it was time to set out.
The group thus got together and made some plans, though they were uncertain if Cassandra would be joining them, as they hadn’t heard from her in the past month. They gathered their gear and got ready to go. Augustus sent some of his Initiates to supplement the town guard in the University District, and the others to Silvertown to help in the recovery effort. In addition, at Tamera’s request, he asked the High Priest to provide some guard for the manor, since it was recently a locus of evil. The priest agreed, and noted that he’d ask for back-up from the Temple of Reidman.
With that, the party Teleported back to Three Falls.
Meanwhile, Cassandra had taken some time to recover from her encounter with Portia in the Temple of Reidman. Over the last month, she asked for advice from the Paladins and Priests about her sister. The message was simple: Don’t give up hope, she can be called back from her evil ways. To take her mind off of it, the high priest assigned her duties in the library and infirmary. After a month, as she was sorting scrolls, a cheerful young man with golden-blonde hair came to speak with her. She recognized him as Lucien Albion, the younger brother of the newly crowned king. He was one of the higher-ranked Paladins of Reidman in the temple, though he was no more than 16 years old, and he seemed to always be smiling.
“Ah, Cassandra, I was hoping to find you here. Listen, we just got a message I thought you’d like to hear about. The temple of Lucia is requesting some back-up to help protect the Ravengard manor. It seems that your friends are setting off again, and don’t want to leave it unprotected. Did you want to stop traveling with them? I’m sure there’s plenty of work to do here, if so, but…”
Cassandra got up from her scrolls. “Of course not. I had no idea they were leaving!”
Lucien continued smiling. “You may want to go and catch up to them, then. Happy travels!”
Cassandra gathered her things and began to Wind Walk to Three Falls…