Diverse individuals, all seeking their own ends, gather in the market town of Asbravn hoping to attain a place among The Riders of the Red Cloaks. As the crowded town square empties, a small group remains unchosen. One, Gheril, loudly makes his displeasure known, speculates on the heritage of the recruitment master, and invites the other unchosen to join him in many drinks. And so, they join him: Buurk’Duz the towering half-orc; Caleb the monk; Tayeohnaas moon elf druid accompanied by Wolf; Father Jön of Lathander; and Perill the ranger. Over beverages of choice conversation touches on the history of Asbravn, the ruins supposedly beneath, and the opportunities that might lay there.
Perill notices an elderly man gesture in the group’s direction while speaking to a young woman. The pair approach, and the man offers a job to the festive group: deliver a chest of components of the Art to a practitioner in the small village of Thurmaster, some distance to the northeast. 150 gold will be the pay, and the use of a stalwart pack-mule to carry the chest. The young woman is introduced as Tiria; she will be accompanying them to effect the delivery.
The group decides to take him up on the offer, and check into Asbravn’s possible ruins on return. Gheril offers to poke around for info while they’re gone, as the barmaid has his interest at the moment, and he’s not inclined to leave.
After Perill and Father Jön briefly check out the Horse headed pillars in the town square, they meet up in the stable, to set out. Tiiria’s master tells them that Asbravn sits on the ancient site of the main city of nomadic Horsemen.
They hit the road immediately, and pass a quiet 6 days. On the 6th day (19 Tarsakh) they see some farmers approaching. As they near, arrows come from the nearby woods, striking Buurk’Duz & Father Jön. The farmers panic, yell “Bandits” and close in to the group for assistance. As they step within range, the farmers draw weapons, shout “Get her!” gesturing at Tiiria, and attack the others.
Tayeohnaas takes out the farmer with the pitchfork then heads to the woods. Burrk”Duz smashes the head of the farmer with the sword, then moves between the woods & Tiiria & the chest. Perrell also moves to shield Tiiria, and looks for a target, but can’t see into the thick growth. Caleb rushes into the woods, entering to find himself face to face with a chain-mailed swordsman guarding two archers, sword at the ready. He strikes a grievous wound to Caleb. Father Jon, hearing the cry, summons a celestial giant fire beetle to aid Caleb. As the beetle coalesces from a golden light, it snaps it’s mandibles onto the swordsman’s hip. The two archers drop their bows, draw clubs and charge towards Tiiria. Wolf hamstrings one, tripping him. Buurk’Duz shatters the skull of the other (with the first critical strike of the game!), and his mace continues in a sweeping arc, coming to rest nestled snugly in the face of the archer lying on the ground. Tiiria jolts the still-standing swordsman with a Magic Missile, Father Jön closes in and snaps his shoulder with his morning star, and Tayeohnaas finishes him off with his greatclub.
Silence returns. Father Jön channels Lathander’s healing light to close the wound in Caleb’s abdomen. Perill searches the swordsman and finds nothing but a few coins… and an odd, fishy odor. Tiiria searches the other men, and finds fewer coins. All except the swordsman are wearing simple peasant garb, and have the look of common laborers. Tayeohnaas does a circuit, looking for other ambushers, and gets just a glimpse of pale gray fur disappearing into the undergrowth. Perill investigates, and finds the fresh tracks of a wolf. Buur’ak takes the swordsman’s chain mail, and they prepare to move on.
Leaving the bodies where they lay (as a warning), the group continues on, arriving in Oakvale. Perill goes to check out the docks, seeing if any fishy-smelling activities take place there. Tayeohnaas & Wolf have quick rinse in the river. Everyone meets at the stables of The Baron of Mutton, and are approached by a female half-orc wearing a holy symbol of Lathander. Her father is the local smith, and she just returned from abroad. Some awkward introductions take place, and we end with Csoka meeting the group.