The hag’s corpse emits a befittingly foul aroma, as our party awakens from a long rest. The spoils of her defeat are being divvied up as Tyson hears a rustle in the bushes. Tyson alerts the group just as a Halfling appears. “Orlin!” he crys. Orlin turns and returns the gesture. “Michelt, where did you come from?”
Orlin and Michelt have a quiet moment. It is evident to the others that they are old acquaintances. Their brief chat ends. Michelt gestures to Lusor as he hurries off. Orlin calls ahead, “Tell the magistrate we are on our way, and to prepare for a hero’s welcome for these fine travelers!”
Gormak returns from his hunt and rejoins the group as they head south to Yiuset. Once in Yiuset, Orlin directs the group towards the castle. At the castle guardhouse awaits a magistrate and a servant. “I see you’ve made it back alive,” grumbles the magistrate Orlin. The magistrate’s stern glare has not left the direction of Gormak and Nogg. Orlin replies, “Yes, barely!” He continues to regales the magistrate in an already embellished story of torture and agony at the hands of the evil Hag, as only the most skilled bard could. The magistrate seems unimpressed as he retrieves a sack of gold set aside for the adventurers who saved Orlin. “Here,” the magistrate urges, as the sack drops with a loud thump. “Here’s your reward. Oh, and take this too.” The magistrate hands Gaitus a parchment. “If that’ll be all?” The magistrate is clearly bothered by the presence of Nogg and Gormak. The party takes their leave.
Outside, Gaitus reads the scroll. It says:
IN THE NAME OF DORIAN, THE MARTYR KING
KING CYRIC THE GREY & QUEEN AELETH REQUEST YOUR PRESENCE
TO CELEBRATE THE OCCASION OF NOBLE KNIGHTS DAY
Nogg starts heading in the direction of the market they had passed earlier on the way to the castle. “Nogg need clothes,” she says in an urging voice. The others follow her. She apparently needs clothes urgently. Gaitus mentions that he wants to head back to his place to pick up a few items. The group arrives at the market and exchanges some of the items they had acquired in their recent adventure. Lusor wants to look the part for the celebration, and heads over to a leather merchant and picks up a new studded armor set. Nogg purchases a beautiful dress, almost too proper for the occasion.
The party breaks off in separate paths for a while. Gaitus heads back to his place. Tyson and Gormak trek over to the library to research the earlier acquired pendant. Nogg and Lusor grab an ale and walk to the section of town where Nogg had apparently lived before.
When they reconvene prior to the celebration, Gaitus shows the party a couple of new weapons he picked up back at his place. He also mentions being accepted in to the Blackheart Alchemists Guild. Though many revere their accomplishments for the Northern Sanction, The Blackheart does have a reputation of deceit.
Nogg is visibly distraught as she returns with Lusor. Lusor, not wanting to break any confidence with Nogg, tells the party they had visited a nearby mansion owned by a family named Ruyboff, hoping for some hospitality. They were, however, rebuffed by Ruyboff.