Part III: A Howl in the Dark (DM: Mike; Players: Aaron (Gelmyr), Amy (Fox & Dawn), Jonathan (Telchar) & Josh (Arthedain); NPC: Ice)
It seems the “liberation” of Felicaria from Carasthorn was unexpected and creates a sticky political situation, which earns the party more disapproval from elements within the Vaderan nobility. St. Germaine however, is grateful for their efforts in finding his son, and offers them another mission, one of great delicacy, secrecy and importance, and most importantly one that will get them out of Vadera for a while until things cool off.
He asks them to escort the Vaderan princess Ilea into the Dromik Hills to deliver her to Uruk Van Delmar, High Thane of the Trelfar tribes to complete a marriage alliance and unite the Trelfar tribes with Vadera against Carasthorn. He suspects someone will try to capture or kill the princess to prevent the alliance with the Trelfar tribes, and has taken several precautions. He has sent a handmaiden, disguised as the princess with her dowry escorted by an honor guard of Vaderans and some of Uruk’s most loyal men. The party must escort the princess to the hills and replace the disguised handmaiden with the real princess before the wedding without anyone, especially Uruk, knowing about it. Uruk’s honor would be insulted if he learned of St. Germaine’s deception and lack of trust in Uruk’s men to protect the princess, and this would break the alliance.
Along the way they are again accosted by werewolves, and discover a bizarre elemental maelstrom ravaging the land. They learn that a new power is rising in the north, the Bane-Sons, a cult of Bane that seeks to sweep the tides of war upon all the Northlands and conquer in the name of the dark lord of tyranny.
The party makes it to the village of Erindal, where they are supposed to meet a contact who will guide them through the treacherous Dromik Hills to rendezvous with the dowry train. They find their guide is missing, having left on a scouting mission, but is late in returning. While investigating, the party is drawn away from the inn where they are staying, leaving only Ice to guard the princess, and she is captured and taken into the Hills. They follow and manage to catch up with her captors and rescue her. Their guide returns to Erindal and they set out for the Dromik Hills.
However, they find that the dowry train has been attacked by a band of gnolls, part of the Bane-Sons’ growing army, and that the handmaiden and her dowry have been taken to an ancient megalithic site known as the Giant’s Fingers. They also learn that another force moves to attack Uruk where he awaits the princess. The party chooses to try to warn Uruk. They find him and a few of his men under siege by a large band of gnolls. They move to aid him, but discover that their guide has been replaced by a doppelganger assassin working for the Bane-Sons, who tries to kill Princess Ilea during the fight. It seems that the cult seeks to eliminate Ilea and Uruk to prevent the alliance. The party manages to rescue Ilea and Uruk, and the thane say he knows of a portal stone that can take them to the Giant’s Fingers quickly so that they can rescue the dowry and prevent the Bane-Sons from keeping their plunder.
They arrive at the Fingers. But something has gone awry with the ritual. They are insubstantial, mere phantoms of themselves, and can only watch as a flight of griffons lands, meeting the force of gnoll raiders. They can do nothing, but learn that the leader of the Bane-Sons is a warlord known as Drumar Flamehair; the very same warlord Fox learned had destroyed her and Dawn’s tribe when they were children.