Company of the Meatshield

The Journey to Castle Agwain

As the last of you cautiously crests the rise overlooking the farmlands surrounding Castle Agwain, itself about 2kms away yet quite visible, the first snowflakes of fall start to descend. The march to this bluff has been solemn and tense. Tense because of the constant concern of encountering an enemy patrol; every hoot raised by George causes anxious eyes to turn towards Mordo… good or bad ahead? Solemn, because of your fallen comrade; Falcon. His sacrifice to close the portal polluting and corrupting the great river, weighs heavily on all of your minds. Flint’s quick thinking saved Falcon from death, but at what cost? Immortalized in stone is no immortality at all. And the frightening sound of that inky black form that spewed out of the portal has been haunting you whenever you close your eyes… some of you more than others. Surely, your new weapons and armour, acquired under Illefarn will serve to be great tools against the coalescing dark army but what of this wand Mordo carries, it surely must have some great power if it was preventing the portal from closing?

And even though your numbers have been bolstered by a small guard of beleagured Elves heading for the Elfwood, Ardeep to those who know the elven tongue, you still feel woefully vulnerable to the tribes of goblinoids scouring these hills. Evidence of their reach is displayed all around Castle Agwain. Even the most near-sighted of you can easily see the movements of patrols around the castle as well as the water-supply wagons, manned by slaves, carrying fresh, clean water to the undeserving dark hordes now holed up at Illefarn and Laughing Hollow – now named Weeping Hollow by your accompanying Elves. Hide huts about 30-40 feet in radius dot the area around the castle; the besiegers constantly patrolling from post to post. The farm houses, for as far as the eye can see, have been put to the torch and you all silently hope that the owners either made it inside the castle walls or died quickly.

It doesn’t take long before you start to second guess yourselves and each other: Go back to Illefarn to rescue your selfless friend? Fulfill your duty to Daggerford and notify your commanders that the mission has been accomplished but the scale of the army is much more vast than previously imagined? Or render aid and support to the besieged in Castle Agwain? Some of you, perhaps in jest, have even suggested continuing on to The City of Splendours, and abandoning Daggerford to it’s own devices now that the cause of the Delymber’s pollution has been resolved.

Opinions have been fractious and you all know that this is a cross-roads, will your party band together, stronger for all that you have experienced together, or break apart under the weight of your own egos?

As you stroke your injuries, injuries that some of you will carry for life, you ponder the consequences of your actions; past, present and, indeed, future.

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craigpettie Calidore

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