The Darkening of Mirkwood

A Winter's Rest

After spending a luxurious night in the Dale jailhouse the party was awakened in the morning to the sound of the prison warden scrubbing the floor of the jailhouse. After a short conversation that did anything but place further confidence in the judicial system of the city, the group was fed with a cup of cold gruel and left to wait until called. When they were finally called before the magistrate, Olo tried to make a break for it by disappearing, but in the end made himself known when the jailor made it clear that they were not going anywhere until people belonging to all the names on his list were present and accounted for.

In the courthouse at Dale the group was introduced to magistrate Thane Brand who inquired about their side of the story before asking the same of the captain of the city watch. The group argued that they were set up by a group that obviously knew of the letter they were carrying and wanted to intercept it before it made its way to King Bard, however the captain of the watch thought it much more likely the group was trying to get their hands on extra goods and money from a foreign tradesman. The group countered that many in their group were of high standing and did not need to rob a cheese monger for sustenance, but when Brand heard about a woman who had witnessed the disturbance in question, he tabled the discussion until she could be found and questioned.

While awaiting her arrival Brand addressed the next issue on his docket, which was a counsel with the ambassador from the Mountain, who was no less than Balin. Balin recognized the group and was exceedingly glad and put in a good word for them before Thane Brand. After the woman was found and the case finally decided in favor of the group, conversation turned to the issue of the letter and Brand called for Alwis, the most respected loremaster in Dale, to be present and examine the letter and its translation. After an inspection and questioning of the group in regards to the letter, its origins and means of translation, the group was released from custody and told that they would be sent for if any other information was needed. Before rushing off to another diplomatic engagement, Balin thanked the group again for their help in Mirkwood and in gratitude for their services the Mountain provided some rooms for them at an elegant inn as well as food at a prestigious eating establishment.

After spending a relaxing day eating, shopping, and eating in Dale the group received an invitation from Balin to come to the dwarven embassy on the palace grounds for dinner that evening, much to the hobbit’s delight. Upon being led to the embassy by a young dwarf, they were welcomed into a private room by Balin, Oin, and Gloin who greeted them with open arms. As further thanks for their help in re-establishing communication with the eagles each member of the group was given a gift carefully chosen for them from King Dain’s horde. Balin went on to talk about some of the general happenings in the region since he had last seen the group and the conversation was drawn back to the contents of the letter they bore. Balin was familiar with the letter and where it was found, but not its translation or significance. Following the reading of the translation and discussing it with Oin and Gloin, all three agreed that it was a matter that needed to be brought up with the King Dain. Oin sent a raven to the mountain that night, and all three dwarves assured the party that it would be addressed with the King before he slept that night. The dwarves thanked the group yet again for their services to the Mountain and the peoples of the North, and invited them to sit at the meal that was then ready to be served. The meal was delicious and the music and stories made the night pass by in a flash. Late that night, right before Balin finally bade them good night, he explained that it being late in the year and winter on Dale’s doorstep he had made arrangements that the Mountain would see to their needs for food and lodging until spring. With that the group wandered back to the inn and collapsed on their freshly turned down beds.

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