Spending his last night in the bunkhouse Porthos sleeps fitfully dreaming of his new apartment, he and the rest of the bunk house are woken and ushered into the main hall by Lieutenant Beldath. Wiping the sleep from his eyes Porthos looks around at the men assembled around him, wondering what could be important enough to rouse the whole of the on duty militia. Straining to hear past the general noise in the room Porthos tries to hear any sound of commotion coming from outside.
Duke Pwyll, enters the barracks, followed by the master of the hunt, Kelson Darktreader, and the Dukes Master at Arms Sir Llewellyn Long-Hand. The Duke is looking drawn and haggard, grief and rage warring on his face. Stepping forward the Duke scans the faces of the militia men before him. “I know the militia of Daggerford doesn’t owe me any personal service, So this is a request not an order. My Sister; the Lady Bronwyn, has been kidnapped by Barron Agwain, several of my guards were slain in the process. I am asking for volunteers to help retrieve my sister from this scoundrel before any ill befalls her person. There will be three groups heading out within the hour, any who succeed will get fifty gold each! Stepping forward Porthos declares “I will go, I also have two companions I can rouse and will be more than willing to join.” Duke Pwyll looks at Porthos, “Very well, collect your companions and meet us at the farmers’ gate. We will have horses and provisions ready for you. You will also have access to my personal armory.
Hurrying Porthos runs to wake Dirk and Pimble. Reaching the Lady luck tavern first Porthos walks around the building and takes a guess at which sub-window leads to Dirks room. Lightly kicking the shutter, Porthos calls out “Dirk, wake your lazy bones up. We have a job to do, Lady Bronwyn has been taken and there is a reward for her return!” The word reward woke Dirk instantly, swinging the shutters open Dirk scuttles out of the window opening, turning around to drag his bag up after him. Turning to Porthos Dirk smiles and jerks his thumb toward the river district “Let’s get Nimblefingers before it gets too late to go to the armory. “ Dirk breaks into a run, and Porthos hurries follow him to the river district. As they both reach the building Pimble rents a room in, they see a shape climbing out of a upper floor window. With a smirk and a smile Porthos points to the small shape climbing down the wall. “Looks like our friend is already on his way to meet us.” Picking up the pace Porthos pulls past Dirk, “Lets catch up to him quickly before we lose the sneaky Halfling” Porthos and Dirk reach the building just before Pimble drops the last few feet to the ground. Staying in the shadows Porthos uses his best authority voice “Who goes there? Thief stop where you are!”
Pimble lands on the ground and looks around nervously for the source of the voice, relaxing when he finally sees Porthos and Dirk standing in the shadows laughing. “Damn you two, I almost had to change my knickers!” Stepping out of the shadows Porthos says “That was fun, but we must hurry, Lady Bronwyn has been taken. We are to head out and try to retrieve her, first stop is the armory, then we head to the Farmers gate where horses and our directions are waiting for us.”
As the group reaches the armory they are met by Sir Llewellyn Long-Hand who lets them in and watches as the group arms themselves. Pimble and Porthos take a dagger each, and Porthos swaps his javelins with new ones. Dirk looking around mumbles “I had hoped they would have a cloak to go along with my new armor” Sir Llewellyn hears this and steps out of the room, “You there, Page! Come here and give me your cloak.” The boy takes his cloak off and hands it to Sir Llewellyn who steps back in and hands the green cloth cloak to Dirk. “Now we must go quickly, I have your horses here and your directions. Your group is to head North East around the Laughing Hollow, The Duke and I will go on the path that leads more North as we believe this is the route they took. Kelson will go to the woods, he and his hunters know that land and will be able to travel quickly.”
Mounting their horses the group sets off out of the farmers gate to head for the Laughing Hollow. Near the end of the day as they travel along the path a flight of arrows hisses at the group, Dirk and Porthos are both hit. As they come to a stop one man appears at the top of a ridge further down the path. “Halt, turn back to Daggerford and no more harm will come to you.” Dirk, Porthos, and Pimble dismount: Porthos steps forward still unarmed and makes a show of thinking trying to give Pimble the time he needs to sneak off and move up. Before Pimble can get close to any one, Porthos can tell that time is up, raising his shield and grabbing a javelin Porthos charges at half way he throws. The javelin races toward the man who steps aside in an attempt to dodge, he does not move far enough as the javelin tears into his arm. An arrow flys past Porthos’ head barely missing the man who is now moving to intercept Porthos. Another flight of arrows come from the Ridge, as well as another human moving out of concealment to close with Porthos and help his leader. Both Dirk and Porthos are hit again but do not fall, standing resolutely Porthos swings with his axe and connects with his first target bruising ribs but not passing the armor the man wore. Dirk looses another arrow, this one going wide again. A third flight of arrows hiss out, and Dirk falls to the ground. Blocking the attacks from the two Porthos faces he swings again missing this time as he winces in pain. A last flight all aimed at Porthos, several make it past his shield, pin cushioned Porthos falls.
Pimble reaches the two men on the left of the path as Porthos drops, drawing his long sword he rushes in and quickly kills one of the men “Drop your weapons and your life will be spared!” The other bowman looks at Pimble and laughs, I think that is my line, both of your companions are down and you are all alone.” Backing a step Pimble shouts “Parlay, I wish to talk! We meant you no harm, but moved to defend ourselves” The other four arrive and surround Pimble, the leader who had spoken from the ridge rubs his arm where the javelin hit as he steps forward “What were you doing out here if you are not the Dukes men come to reclaim his sister?” “We are a group of mercenary’s, we were traveling to Daggerford to complete a job to kill the Duke!” the leader spits and says “If you were heading to Daggerford why are you coming this direction?” Quickly Pimble makes another lie “One of my companions dropped his dagger a little further back up the path. We retrace our steps to find it” “I call that baulder-dash, though if you promise not to take up arms against us again we will help you get your companions back on their horses and you going in the right direction.”
The five bowmen quickly get Porthos and Dirk patched up and tied to their mounts. Pimble is not able to make it very far during the last of the day. Setting camp he leaves Porthos and Dirk tied to the mounts, never would he be able to get them back up the next day. As dawn breaks Pimble is back on the road leading his two unconscious companions. By midday he reaches Daggerford, hiring a nurse maid to help, he gets every one into their bed leaving the nurse to take care of them. A week goes by before any one returns, as soon as they do Pimble makes his report. “We failed; we were ambushed by a force much larger than ours. Porthos and Dirk still convalesce in bed, but we are anxious to try again and bring the Barron to justice!” The Duke sadly looks at Pimble, “we have a messenger leaving tomorrow morning to bring word of war to the Barron. You may go with him if you are able. Beyond that…there is nothing left but war.”
The next morning found the three adventures mounted and traveling with the messenger toward Secumber. Two days into the journey the group hears “Halt, You travel the lands of the wild elves, what is your business here?” Pimble pulls his mount ahead of the group, “We are messengers from Daggerford, and travel to Secumber to try and secure the return of Lady Bronwyn who was taken a week past.” The elf who had spoken earlier steps forward “A willful young lass with long brown hair?” the elf speaking makes a gesture with his hand “She came into our company a few days past, currently she is with the King of the woods.” Seeing the expressions of the humans facing him change the elf quickly adds “By choice of course, If you surrender your weapons as a sign of good faith we will bring you with us and request an audience with her.” Not ready for being pin cushions again the party hands their weapons over without complaint. Partway to their camp the elves suddenly grow tense, hands reaching for weapons, they start to spread out. Turning to the spokesmen Dirk asks “What is the matter? Whats going on?” “There is a battle going on. It sounds like one of our scout troops found more than they could handle.” Porthos straightens his back, “Give us our weapons and we will help, else there is aught we can do but watch.” With a snarl and a curse the spokesman turns to the elf beside him “Give them their weapons, I just hope we don’t regret this.”
Nearing the sound of combat a valley comes into sight, goblins all around the outside, elves in the center pinned by arrow fire. To the sound of elven bowstrings humming around them the group charges into the melee cutting down all goblins that cross their path. Before too long what goblins are left scatter into the woods all morale broken. As the three adventurers meet up with their elven hosts they offer up their weapons without question. An elder steps forward “You may keep your weapons, you have proven to be friends of the wild. I am Melendrach the Chieftain of this clan.” With a sweeping arm gesture Melendrach waves at the elves behind him, “We welcome you to our current home, I am told you seek a brown haired beauty who has recently come to stay with us. I have sent a runner out to request that she come and see you.” Porthos clears his throat, “How did Lady Bronwyn come to be in the care of your people? We had last heard she was taken by Barron Agwain and heading to Secumber.” “I assume the Barron you speak of is the fat coward. They were attacked by goblins but the coward ran leaving most of his men to stall the vile creatures. The Lady Bronwyn from what she told us slipped the cowards grasp a day before they were attacked.”
While waiting for Lady Bronwyn to accept the invitation to meet and arrive, the party of adventurers bides there time enjoying the company of the elves. Porthos playing a passable fiddle to accompany Pimble’s magnificent singing. Dirk off in a corer attempting and failing to seduce a few elvish maids, becoming infatuated with Sulani. Shortly after Pimble finishes with the song Lady Bronwyn arrives. “Good day, I am informed you wish to speak with me?” Pimble looks up at the Lady, ”Yes, we were sent by your brother to bring you back safely, though seeing as you are here by choice; we won’t be taking you against your will. If you wish to stay all we would ask is for a letter to your brother and an item he would know as yours.” Lady Bronwyn frowns, “I am learning so much here, I would love to stay and continue to learn the ways of the wild elves….But I should go back, my brother deserves that much. As nice as it is I cannot simply disappear; I will return with you. “ Pimble bows “That is great news to me my Lady, we shall leave first thing in the morning.” Looking over to Melendrach, “If it is alright with our hosts?”
Arriving back at Daggerford, Lady Bronwyn separates from the party “I will let my brother know you were responsible for my return. A messenger should arrive with your rewards” Almost as soon as the Lady is out of sight Pimble feels a slight tremble in the ground, as if a huge cavalry force approaches. Soon the ground is shaking violently and every one braces themselves to stop from being thrown to the ground. At the peak of the earthquake a section of wall by the caravan gate collapses inward destroying several buildings. Rushing over to aid, Porthos and Dirk start flinging rocks off of people and making sure all is fine, when suddenly they hear someone calling for help. “ ’Elp someone ‘elp me brother, e’ is trapped.” Following the sounds of the cries the adventures come upon a dwarf sobbing “Quick ‘elp my brother, e’ is buried under the rubble” pointing at a pile of fallen wall there is a hand sticking out grasping and scrabbling at the rocks pinning it. Pimble quickly pulls out a piece of coal from the cool forge and starts writing plans on the wall to build a contraption to leverage the rocks off. As he turns around to exclaim “Eureka!” the Halfling sees Porthos, Dirk, and the Dwarf Derval heave the rock off of Dervals brother Ransel coughing Ransel calls Derval over, “Brother, I’m done; I can’t go on; this is my last word, unless I get a mug of ale in a hurry!” Laughing and cursing Derval embraces his brother.