A gyrocopter, a large cranking wheel propelled by the four Gnomes and two humans working upon it, pedalling with their feet, guides the strange device over the river and hovers slowly above the river as the boat is working its leisurely way down towards the castle:
“Ho there! Courier 4 of 4 of Gond’s Faithful Delivery Service; All hail the Krii! Celebrate Gond’s Wonderbringing Twenty-two days ago as the Courier Service begins! Well. I have this letter from the revered Krii Vicker Gondsman, priest of your temple in the Barony of Romsh; it is cosigned by the stamp of Steelhead, your Gondservant.” He takes out a windup speaking horn, and glances at him. “For everyone to hear, or just you?” A large disc seems to spin on it releasing noise as a slender digit and arm seem to gyrate over it. "Oh, and at the end of this, you may record a conversation as well…
Greetings Baron Romsh! I look forward to hearing your stories of how Gond has brought you into the fold of Wonder. We will talk greatly. I have seen to making sure the turretted ballista are at a full 360 degree arc so they may be aimed upwards; I have drawn up plans and will implement them on a balancing platform that can allow this three-dimensional pivot. Perhaps we can even easily turn them to double ballista! But, not to digress, as Steelhead is interjecting…
Baron. There is trouble on the horizon perhaps; Korin Ironeater has apparently claimed himself the King of Illefarn and demands recognition by the Lord’s Alliance and more importantly, Duke Pwyll,whose ancestral claim is about four hundred years old. Korin’s is over one thousand, but this is not a simple matter. In Daggerford, Derval Ironeater has stirred up problems on their Masked Council; he is calling for the Halflings and Gnomes to either come to the Kingdom of Illefarn or to at least join forces in a Gnome and Halfling guild, which is being put a stop too. His smithy is still in operation but of course it may close; most Ironeaters have left the town and are relocating to the clan proper. There seems to be a anti-demihuman sentiment being cultured there.
There was a argument between some farmers and a small Elf band on the edge of the Laughing hollow and a homestead belonging to the small community of Julkoun. It led to a fight; one Elf and three humans are dead. Patrols from Secomber were sent out to warn the Elves away; but the Dwarves came out and demanded that they respect the ancient kingdom’s boundary, whatever that may be and perhaps whatever Korin feels he can hold. A Dwarf, another two Elves, and four more humans died. King Korin intends to claim Julkoun and Secomber under his domain; he may well be successful. He is waiting for your return to come to counsel; and the same, Duke Pwyll has requested your steward to mobilize your mercenary company; he has stalled by offering up two of your four men at arms as the only thing within his power. Duke Pwyll will no doubt support the men of Julkoun and Secomber.
There is an increase in orc, hobgoblin, and even ogrish-seeming large creatures; they seem to be, rumor says, stirred up by some of the Reavers of Garagos you and the Bonded Swords did not kill. Perhaps now might be good to stretch your hand out towards the independent communities of Gillian’s Hill, Liam’s Hold, Bowshot, and the Way Inn to annex into the protective fold of the Barony of Romsh. Your planned village with the priests of Valkur and the Phull family is underway. And once you have returned, we can procure a knarr, the two arrow casters, and two barges. Phull family will operate, unless you wish to staff the knarr in particular with your own men. Perhaps with things on the horizon as they may well be; a Luskan longship would do as well, to post in the midriver.
Lastly: We need the orb of alignment to aid in day to day screening of the folk coming in and out of the Barony with all of the new progress coming to the lands."
No matter what was to come, there would be success and reward for the brave Bonded Swords.
Admired and admonished for not only their solving of the nation’s crisis, they also rid it of the curse of the banshee’s wood, 300 years of fear and terror produced from that dark place.
After all the fanfare, Highest Councilor Hollend takes them to the side.
“Do you recall Matlocke, the cook? Apparently he was something more indeed. Some of my sources say that Matlocke was something of a thief’s Don. He intercepted the tongueless thief Menlow who now serves him. Strange how the cook managed all his newfound wealth, it seems mostly from the Duke of Andevar, but he has enough now to legitimize his claim as heir to his family’s lost fame and noble title. And he is now, by deed and some well played contacts, Chancellor of Andevar and Steward of Montinelle.
This he earned as a reward and its exchange for his service to me. He came to me at the Three Feathers Inne, and proposed to help out as he could; causing some harmless raids at the castle to draw the Duke’s attention away from you. And he had his forces bleed 57 of Edrin’s own men throughout the Duchy, at greater cost to the scoundrels, but no loss there.
Matlocke’s lot is in the Stonelands I gave them decree of safety there and autonomy, so long as it does not threaten the kingdom. And they subjected to branding as accused brigands for that open pardons. It was certainly stretching my authority as Lead Justice but in my rights; the end, I hope will justify the means, but only time will tell. They will be hung if found outside of the Stonelands.
Matlocke has 110 human brigands (Ftr 1), with 3 leaders (Ftr 3).
40 gnolls with 20 hyenas and 2 leaders…and the Stoneland based Ripper tribe, a group of militant and fairly well organized hobgoblins with 70 fighting adults, 3 leaders, and 1 chief. To safeguard against some future risks…‘accidents’ befell their two shamans very recently, during a fight with Edrin’s men.
You have more than earned the titles of lords of the court and knights of the kingdom, each and every one of you. But for three of you, some special consideration is being given. It shall be you that decides upon who will accept what.
The 2nd champion of the King ,Gardle Shinglestump ,we give Capel Tower, charged with the defense of our north-eastern border. 40 unblooded Tower Guard (Ftr 1s and 2s) and 20 mounted men at arms of your sigil (Ftr 2s). Steward Sigmund will castellan for you there.
For the 1st champion of the King, Alexjo Quickstring, we give Griffon Castle, with 40 unblooded Tower Guard (Ftr 1s and 2s), 40 mounted Border Guard (Ftr 4s), and 40 men at arms of your sigil (Ftr 3s). A Dwarven warrior by the name of Horsa will be retiring from a band of chartered Dunadorian adventurers to castellan there and steward in your name.
For the new Duke of Andevar,Krillick Morningstar, we give 40 men at arms of your sigil (Ftr 3s), and a mounted Citadel Guard of 10 masters (Ftr 6s). For Montinelle, there will be a standing group of 100 unblooded mounted Duchy Guard (Ftr 1s), 10 seargeant at arms (Ftr 4s), and 50 Castle Guard (Ftr 3s). Montinelle, the estates of Aimar, and much more wealth and power will be at your beck. However, this is as honorary a position as functionary; since Gardle has informed me of your curious Fate-bond and your need to adventure onward.
Matlocke will castellan Montinelle as is his duties as Chancellor of Andevar. The Dunadorian ranger Cameron Gaunt will have his group at Griffon Castle. His group includes a priestess of Selune, Astrid; Bromley; Owen, priest of Chauntea; and Kersana, a Elven sellspell. They will help with royal needs there; namely, to keep a eye on the traverse from the Stonelands and out to our enemies. Matlocke will put the brigands and his Stonelands filth to cut at the Merchant Dukes of Calaunt from safe base in our kingdom. You keep a helping eye on Matlocke’s intentions; so too will ranger Gaunt.
Lastly…I have a few questions, and some demands. Firstly, the prince noticed the dweomercraft of Baron Romsh’s sash of displacement; it is magic rare to the wizards of our court and it would be a fitting coronation gift to the good young King. (In return, he recieved a ring of protection +2; notably Romsh was not in favor of parting with his magic). As well, Krillick, your golden girdle of Urnst is mighty indeed. Our mages would like to study it; by legend the girdles of Urnst are rare and the enchantment lost to antiquity. With our gratitude also comes with a ring of protection +1 (to which Krillick refused).
Will you go to annex the other side of the portal, to open trade from the West to the East? Perhaps. Decisions to be made.
Ennoblement will come at 1200 gp. This will also help us to secure the portal for which you intend to travel here from Daggerford. (Aaron, Tyler, and Blake all paid up. Still need to decide their Dunadorian-based noble garb).
Is there anyone of the citizenry that deserve just reward for helping you in your travels? Lemus in Montinelle; Patrick the retired paladin of Tyr and his friend Edon, retired priest of Torm, in the hamlet outside of Lusian; and lastly the old woodsman Eli.
For you, Duke of Andevar Krillick Morningstar, Theron will manage Fontenmere Abbey, the temple to the god Lathander, and he will serve as your priest.
To finish, I can explain that for the two of you that drank of the waters of Nevron, you will always…well, drinkers without fail serve Dunador, sometimes to the bloody end; now our beautiful land is a part of you, and in your hearts forever. It is like a geas, but not; it cannot be removed without divine intervention; or only by the release of all your oaths to Dunador from the reigning King (or Queen)."