The group traveled east down out of the hilly forested region, making for the coast and New Greeshan. The group count was one less now, as the young Fader had stayed behind with the Ghost Owls to share his dance secrets. Within a few uneventful days they came within view of the great swamp, which they tried to give a wide berth to.
Although they avoided much of the natural interruptions cause by the changes to the landscape as they circled swampy regions, the group still saw slowdowns as they proceeded thought the grassy marshlands. One of which, happened as one of the local inhabitants stepped out from behind a willow tree and called for a halt to the groups progress.
In a croaking voice the old Grippli King called for the group to pay for trespassing, as the group saw numerous signs of movement in the high grass around their location. However as Ghostwalker and Charnel stepped forward to try to negotiate a peaceful passage, Tronar thought differently and roared his challenge as he charged, “How about you give us 50 gp, and we only eat one of you”.
With that the Grippli hunters hopped high into the air raining down arrows on all of the traveling companions. By the time they landed, Tronar had busted through the line and dropped the old Grippli King with one strike, growled loudly, and began eating the leg of the downed king, stating loudly, “I loved frog legs”.
This was very unsettling, and many of the hunters, lost their will to remain in the fight. The combat was pretty much over before it got started, leaving one broken hunter crying for mercy and many other bounding back into the high grasses and bogs beyond. With that the frightened hunter was lashed around the neck and reined in when he tried to jump beyond the ropes length. Using the prisoner as a precautionary message to other frogs, who may be thinking of attacking, the group continued on to the far edge of the marshlands without further incident.
By the time the group released the prisoner, Charnel had been able to at least understand his froglike communication. He found out that the creature was still totally rattled by Tronar, and he wanted nothing more than to escape back to the safety of the marsh, wishing that he was once again a tadpole. Tronar did nothing to help the situation, as he continued to cook frog legs the entire time in the wetlands.
After a few more uneventful days of travel down past two bear cave, and on into the expanding valleys of the white-eye civilization movement, the group finally arrived at New Greeshan. As everyone else sought lodging at the Inn, Hendrik returned to his house, which he had lent out to his friend, Watch Commander Von Fredrikson, as an extension of the officers quarters. On the way he noticed far more soldiers about the streets now days, and a large number of warships in the harbor.
Arriving at his house, he found his friend right away. Within minutes they were sitting in a pub enjoying ale and exchanging recent happenings. Hendrik found that the influx of soldiers were the result of a legion sent to expedite the colonization. The Von Fredrikson found the information that Hendrik told him very interesting about the expansion of One Eyes forces, the gathering of tribes, and the Iethian interest in the relic in the desert. He suggested that Hendrik and his friends meet with General Jan Reichert. However, because of possible Iethian eyes within New Greeshan, the watch commander suggested a staged arrest, and an interrogation by the General and the legion’s intelligence officer, Counselor Garret Luddvick. Hendrik would have to sell this point very carefully to the proud tribesmen he traveled with.
On his return to the Inn, Hendrik stumbled across Charnel, who stood looking in wonderment at the number of magnificent warships in the New Greeshan harbor. It took Hendrik a couple of shakes to pull Charnel out of his multi-eyed stare. However soon they were both quickly on their way to the taproom at the Inn where Hendrik was sure to find the remainder of the group.
The Meet up with everyone went as Hendrik expected. Both Ghostwalker and the proud Nanzad initially refused to idea of a false arrest, but after Hendrik explained the need for such secrecy and deception they all agreed to go along with the charade.
This agreement came not a moment to soon as a reinforced watch patrol burst through the doors within moments, and roughly arrested the group. The fact that this was suppose to be for show was not evident in the level of hostility. There would be a number of the watchmen dressing wounds for a number of days there after, Nanzad saw to that, and each of the group were banged up as well.
With the cell cleared of all but the watch commander, the intelligence officer, the General, and the group, the meeting officially took place. It was a meeting that was not officially logged on any books, but was be beneficial to both parties. The General learned of the threat that the Empire faced from the gathering tribes to the west, the potential allies gathering closer, and the possible shit stirring Iethians. Hendrik now believed he had the real backing of Empire.
General Reichert commissioned the group to find out what they could from a suspected agent of the Iethian’s, the slave merchant Nyishsa. The idea would be for the group to go in strong and gather as much information as they could. However none could be allowed to live to dispute the stories generated. “A slave revolt, that’s the story the street screamers will tell”, interjected Garret. “After all who could blame the tribesmen from wanting a little vengeance, on their slave masters?”
A little while later the charade was perpetuated as the group was ejected out the front gates, and they were off toward Nyisha’s plantation. They traveled with satisfaction, knowing that whatever they wanted to do to this bunch of slavers was fair game, and they would suffer no negative consequences. Even though the Darkunian Empire tolerated the slave trade, and some Dakunians even had slaves, Hendrik was not one who found this trade acceptable and looked forward to a little payback for the sake of his new friends.
As they came within view of the plantation house, they could see that faced its own dock along river and that there were two guarded slave quarters between the main house and the docks. They would have to try to surprise these guards as they approached. However, the group never has been real good at sneaking up on anything, and they still are not (at least there was no “I am the Kordson” announcement, as they were trying to mask their identities).
The noisy attack had Nanzad charging across the compound to take on the two guards in front of the far quarter. Tronar came around the near corner of the front slave quarter, and was met by a barrage of arrows. The remainder of the group followed a charging Hendrik as he charged the head slaver and his two orc bodyguards. The slavers and guards did not put up much of a fight, and Ghostwalker put down the last fleeing guard. However the fight did serve to warn those within the main house, and gave them time to prepare for the group, as best they could…..
The locked and blocked doors did not hold up under the weight of Nanzad and Hendrik, as they burst through the plantation houses front doors. The fight for the house was going to be a bit tougher and the group found this out right away. Upon entry they were met by four guards with Halberds two firing down from upstairs with crossbows, a noble lady, a sly roguish type gentleman, and a not so stone statue.
Highlighting this fight, was Tronar jumping behind enemy lines once again to pull the two crossbowmen from their positions above the main floor, and Nanzad’s luring charge through the racks of those who were tied up with Hendrik (or otherwise known as marked for death). When the Devilish statue finished off the slaver merchant Nyisha, before she could be made to talk, the group combined to bring it down. After that they set about freeing the slaves, and searching the house for incriminating information.
The findings were gathered from a crumbled note, which was found near the fireplace, and a hidden ledger book in the study. Charnel was able to decipher the note that linked Nyisha to providing information to the Iethian Intelligence Service commander, Memnon. Additionally there was a coded note within the ledger that referred to a sale of slaves for an up coming western arms deal brokered by this same Memnon. The notes found also identified that there were additional agents in New Greeshan, but not who they were.
After gathering this information, gathering up the freed slaves, and setting the plantation aflame, the group headed toward Growtharn lands for things to cool off a little bit…