We’ve left Eldentre and headed north towards the Skalsbridge. We eventually reach the bridge, a confluence of the Thundering River and another great waterway, and decide to make camp here near the ancient and massive structure. The night is cold as we expect from these northern climes and there is a mist that clings to the ground and oppresses our fires.
That evening, an attack comes from the river by a huge group of Ulfen barbarians who’ve come by a long boat. Somehow, we beat them back to the boat though Kelda and Kiku heroically leap onto the vessel and slay the fleeing barbarians, risking their own lives. A more heroic display, one would be hard pressed to find. If they were defeated, they would have been lost to us forever. We search the raiders and find that they each wear a lion armband which represents their service to a liege lord. We question some prisoners; one of them somehow chokes on his own words, literally, and dies. He must have been under the effect of some nefarious magic or curse, or was otherwise one unlucky sod.
The next day, we come to Ullerskad, a trade hub with numerous hunting lodges and home to old wealthy Ulfen retirees. Here, we learn that the boat the Ulfen raiders came upon us on, is registered to the Rimerunners Guild, a trading organisation that specialises in Linnorm King and Tian trade, and is a very influential trading house. We are advised to take the ship to Kalsgard and speak to the guild chiefs there about recompense for our discovery of the vessel.
Ameiko suggests that in Kalsgard, we need to locate the home of Fynn Snaevald, or his heirs and Sandru says that we need to find a capable, trustworthy guide if we are to cross the Crown of the World. The caravan master also suggests that we need to find out who the lionshead armbands are affiliated with, and possibly enquire into the bloodfeather raven, as it may be a mage’s familiar. He says we should stay at the Hunting Serpent Inn.
Still in Ullerskad though, we attempt to return the ship to a Rimerunner merchant who instead gives us a letter to take to the Rimerunners in Kalsgard and where we can collect our reward. We decide not to stay too long in this settlement, as we do not wish to draw suspicion about the ship we ‘found’, and furthermore, it is almost Archerfest, a holy day of Erastil.
We continue travelling north, and after a time, eventually reach Kalsgard, a massive city. We come into the Oak Quarter but make our way through the streets to the Bone Quarter where we leave the caravan. Some of us stay with it, whilst the rest of us head to the Inn known as the Hunting Serpent. The barkeep is named Tosti, a jovial and welcoming fellow and we revel a bit in the warm taproom before retiring to our rooms to sleep.
The next morning, we head to the Jade District where the Rimerunner headquarters are located. Upon handing over the letter, we’re told that the vessel was stolen a few nights ago. We’re thanked for its return, and given a writ of payment enabling us to collect our reward from the temple of Abadar, which we do.
We find that the gold armbands have a jewellers mark, and we track down the maker who we bribe to reveal who his client is. He tells us that his client is Asvig Longthews, an Ulfen landowner who has a red-haired wife, and is known as a ring giver, or a local lord. His settlement is probably well-guarded, as he has had about 100 of these rings made (we slew about 40 ring wearers on the river).
We decide that we will deal with this Asvig before our imminent departure from the city lest we are forced to leave in haste, and turn our attention to Snaevald. It turns out he is alive and well, and trades in amber and oil and Tian antiques and his home becomes known to us. He must be 80 years old by now. We pay the venerable old fellow a visit and come to him as traders carrying rare Tian antiques. He seems not very impressed, and bids us to return when we have proof that we carry rare and ancient Tian antiques that would interest him. We return to our caravan, but make plans to return to Snaevald this evening…