Prologue: Winter's Shadow

Deresk shrugs. "I've slept on a straw mattress the past three nights." he grumbles. "And the prospect of marching three hours then making camp bodes unwell. The morning light heralds a new day and a new voyage. If you wish to leave now, I will go. But it will lead to nothing good or to our benefit."

"This'n has the right idea," says Jona, a thumb toward Deresk. The hearty food now in his stomach gave the bard the resolve to get over his landsickness. Suddenly much more agreeable, Jona leans back in his chair, rising it up on it's two hind legs. "But I mean to make use of the this day before it is through. What time is it? Certainly we could see if we can route out some gossip, maybe get a clue as to what's caused all the hubbub right here under our noses in Scurdaeg!"

"Well, it seems everyone is of an accord," the queen says. "Again, thank you all for doing this. May the gods and spirits watch over your paths."

"All the same, make sure to watch your own paths too," Gareth says. "Beasts and bandits are bad enough, but with these ill tidings...who knows who or what you might find out there."

"Peace be with you," Abelena says, in a surprisingly strong voice not unlike her mother's.

The prince remains silent, picking halfheartedly at a tart. Thoven seems lost in thought.

As you all get up to leave, the queen and her advisers do as well.

The queen, her daughter and their servants exit through one door, while Aelfgar joins Gareth in exiting a different door. Thoven grunts and nods curtly at the groups before vanishing into thin air.

Outside, it is just now completely
a bit after 7 oclock PM
dark, and the snow is falling thickly and slowly straight down, with barely even a hint of wind. The lanterns that line the major streets have all been lit and cast halos of yellow light on the freshly fallen snow. It certainly is cold, but not yet the utter glacial cold of deep winter, which is still many weeks away. A few people come and go in the streets, bundled up in fur, probably on their way home from work or on their way to taverns before going to bed.

And now the two groups part ways, one heading up the streets through the higher tiers, then up the stairs and through the tunnel of Northwatch Keep into the wilds, the other down the opposite way toward the harbor and the
That is the one you guys wanted to go to right?
Salty Seabird inn. The adventure is about to begin.

Anyone who wants to say some parting words to the members of the opposite group, do so here; otherwise, move onto the Chapter 1 threads.

Anton looks to the other group, and cheerfully says, Well... good luck! See ya upon our, hopefully safe, return! With that Anton turns and heads out to the Salty Seabird Inn with his companions, which may be the location of the last night of decent sleep he will get for quite a while.

A pins and needles feeling went up and down Jona's back as Princess Abelena whispered kind words to him. He tried to come off as stoic, but landed more near amiably enthused with a toothy grin and a wink, unable to resist answering, "She only speaks highly to give me something to shoot for, m'lady..."

But as the princess withdrew from the room, he bit his lip and bowed his head respectfully as the royalty made their exit. After a few moments, he turned to the other adventurers and assured, "Those who I'm traveling with, I only promise you won't regret my joining you instead of that other fellow. To you others...Tis' colder than a well digger's arse out there. Stay warm, and stay safe."

Taking what the archmage asked of him very serious makes a promise to keeping the Archmage's name out of any records. Even if it is only a promise to himself. Wondering why the archmage was so quick to leave after just telling him his request. Garn wishes the other group luck and leaves with Anton. "Mind if I tag along Anton. I don't find myself out of the tower much and wouldn't mind some company. Giving the other two in the group a nod to see if they where coming as well.

Corynn can only nod, having been denied the opportunity to even give his Queen a proper answer.

"Safe travels. Keep your heads low and your eyes open." he tells the other group as they part ways in the falling snow and lantern light.

This being the first time Garn has been in a crowded pub tries not to draw attention to himself. Which might be hard since he wears robes from the frozen tower. The smell of smoke and sweat fills his nostrils upon entering and he coughs loudly. Following his new team to a table Garn asks for a milk. Never really liking the taste of liqueur. "Well this does seem like a promising group. Can everyone handle the cold weather or should I prepare more endure elements spells for our travels? Garn gets distracted when he hears some men start yelling at each other. Nervous of a fight is about to break out jumps a little. The two men solve there problem before it gets to that though.


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