Tevik, the Halfling, offers to take you to a safe spot and get you some food. His partner is obviously resistant to the idea, but the halfling’s nature won’t allow you to leave without a bite at least.
They lead you through the twisting sewers to a spot you figure is well below the Bridge, near the bay. They open a prison cell type door made of iron straps. The rivets binding the straps glint with the orange color of orichalcum. An oak door stands open just behind the metal door allowing you to view a well-lit chamber filled with food stores and sleeping pallets.
Entering into the chamber you can see there are two occupants. A gnome, uncommon in this area, and a dwarf stand up at the sound of the gate opening. Hands warily rest on the pommels of the daggers at their waist.
Tevik throws them a series of hand-signs, easily read by Inigo and Reamya, as a passcode of safety. Both of them immediately remove their hands from the weapons and visibly relax. Tevik hustles you through the gate and closes it quickly behind you. “Sorry, don’t want any unwanted guests do we?” With a wink he waddles into the room and begins rummaging through the food stores.
“Nok and Jin, meet our new mates.” Handshakes and introductions go around. The 4 rogues discuss how the last food shipment hadn’t arrived yet, but is expected any time. You wonder why more food because the room is chock full of barrels filled with dried apples, salted fish and rum casks. Enough to feed a small army for months.
Tevik brings over a large plate covered in various items from the stores. The deeply marbled blue cheese is pungent, but also does a good job, somehow, of working with the stink of the sewers.
“So, how did you end up in Garradon, the cursed city?”
Tevik and the rest sit enthralled by your now 100-year-old tale. A flood of questions fills the small chamber, but it’s cut short by the sound of grinding stone. The party immediately draws weapons, BJ strums an opening chord…
The 4th wall in the room, that did not have an exit, seems to be moving. The bricks are getting pulled away from the room, into an ever-widening hole. A massive figure stands in the dark in the freshly created entrance. You can make out a snuffling.
“Magnus?” A deep voice questions from the dark. The sound of hooves on stone echoes through the chamber. Before you can fully process what’s going on the form bolts out of the darkness and grabs Magnus, pinning his arms to his sides. “It is you!”
Reamya and Billie relax while the rogues start to laugh. Inigo and Goodwyn sit confused as a Minotaur charges into the room, dropping an enormous sack and bear hugs Magnus.
“I looked for you in Nod for a long time. I knew you would come, but I seemed to be there early somehow.” He sets Magnus down, allowing him to catch his breath. He looks around the room eyes resting on Billie. “Billie!” The charge and bear hug repeats.
“You were supposed to be there too. I waited a long time, but had to come back and maintain my labyrinth. The one you gifted me. Thank you again.” He drops Billie and looks at Reamya.
“Hello not so nice lady.” Apparently Reamya wasn’t getting a hug today. He looks toward Inigo and Goodwyn. “I don’t know them.” He looks at Magnus questioningly.
“They’re ok Ulgrim.” Magnus states matter of factly.
Another loud snuffle as Ulgrim ponders the new comers. “When I get home the dead one had laid siege to the city. Tevik and I make friends, he knows the tunnels well for a hairy foot.”
Tevik smiles at that. “Yes, Ulgrim helped get many out of the city safely. Ya see, he found a route that goes all the way to Snow Raven Keep.”
“Yeh, I was just behind you when you cleared the keep so long ago. I like the forest room. It’s very warm on the cold days.”
Tevik continues; “Honestly, without his help our ‘resistance’ wouldn’t amount to much. We were able to help Leadler out, along with many in the Bard’s college as well. They’ll be very excited to hear Lord Snow Raven has returned. I think you’ll find your little keep has grown up some.”
More niceties are exchanged and Ulgrim even manages to allow you to get some rest, but he is clearly excited to show you back to Snow Raven pass.
“What of Amber Dahlia?” Inigo asks.
“The village is gone. Andragar raided the area for the plants and razed everything to make sure he controlled the small forest. We were able to save many. They are now in a city North of Snow Raven, on the other side of the mountains. You might find your family there.” Says Ulgrim.
After your rest Ulgrim takes a small satchel of messages from Tevik to bring back. “Hmph, I almost forgot. Andragar made another push a few days ago, but the walls held. The dwarves bring new reinforcements from the south to help. The guardsman itch to fight back instead of defending all of the time.” The large beast winks at Magnus knowingly. “Yes, they will be excited to see you.”
Ulgrim re-opens the hole in the wall as you wish the other well. “Stay close, many lose their way and the path I lead is quick.” You spend the next 4 days you spend underground. The minotaur clearly in his element. He is oddly focused and while talkative back in Garradon is quiet now. Only making the odd comment.
“Under Garradon’s wall now, you can feel I breathing.”
“Fairweather was a pretty village. It’s a burnt husk now and blighted by wights.”
“Amber Dahlia is down that way, don’t go that way.”
Once he stopped as if unsure what to do. “We wait, something blocks the way ahead.” No amount of asking could get from him what it might be. He would just give a look of concern and sit as if listening.
“We’re here” he says, suddenly and somewhat perfunctory.
In front of him you realize is a different type of stone work than any you’d seen before. Large stone blocks laid with no mortar and clearly not moved without magic. Placing his hand on the stone it pulls away, creating a doorway.
Bright light spills into the tunnel blinding you momentarily. That’s followed by a deafening cheer.
“LORD SNOW RAVEN HAS RETURNED!!” The small storage chamber, you only vaguely recognize from your previous visit, is packed with people. The only one of which you recognize is Talend, the house carl. Time ravaged, but you can see it’s him.
“Welcome home Magnus! Tevik broke form and sent a raven after you left with Ulgrim. We’ve been waiting rather impatiently for your return. Eat, drink and rest, but quickly. There is much to do.”
A brief tour shows you that the small keep has indeed grown up. Apparently, the dwarves came down out of the mountains, honoring their old oaths, and began to build once it was clear Andragar had the city. The walls were thickened and raised. A baily was created along with a sally gate. The old Keep still exists, but it goes deeper into the rock and farther up as well.
Behind the walls was now a fair-sized village. Of prominence is a large tower that must be tall enough to see either side of the pass. Someone refers to it as Leadler’s Magistrum.
Proth sits on the bay North of Snow Raven. Many of those outside of the city were moved there and setup farms, providing food.
You find that the city is awed by your mere presence. You’ve become legend while you were gone. Excitement crackles in the air as you ready yourselves for the next chapter of your adventure.