The Darkening of Mirkwood

Journey to Dale

After spending one more night under the auspices of the Elven King the party set sail again down the Forest River toward Long Lake, this time accompanied by Heledir the Elven ambassador to Laketown. After exchanging pleasantries, the boat was underway and encountered no troubles on the water given that this stretch of the river has been a well used waterway for many years, even before the coming of the dragon. However, after the river had wandered into the marshes that stand between the palace and Long Lake, Olo noticed a strange light on the north bank very similar to the lights other members of the party had seen in Stillwater and more recently upon the Forest River. He decided to investigate stealthily. Slipping off the boat he made his way to the north bank and sidled upon a shadowy being with large luminous eyes busy about its own business. Olo then jumped upon this figure and after some vigorous wrestling managed to pin it to the ground. Around this time Pytr’s dog Beren could be heard barking and running toward the two struggling figures indicating that Olo’s absence had not gone completely unnoticed. Upon the sound of the approaching dog the small pale figure screeched and hissed in fright and fought back with new found strength. The soft sliminess of the ground allowed it to finally elude Olo’s grip and run off into the fens, not to be seen again by the group for the remainder of their journey.

Upon arriving at Laketown the group disembarked in the Elven Quarter of the city and made their way to the Arrow and Thrush tavern where Pyter and Olo first met. They were greeted by the barkeep, Sigurd, and his 10 year old son, Lars, who took an immediate liking to Beren. Apparently Sigurd recognized Omund since both had been involved in the same trade before the dragon destroyed the town, and he gave them directions to an ‘affordable’ tho not exacrly customer-friendly boatman who might be able to get the whole party to Dale since that is the direction they were heading. After the party met the boatman and made plans, they went about Dale gathering supplies while the he completed his preparations. That afternoon they started out from Laketown and made their way north off the lake and continued up the Running River all through the night. About mid-morning the next day they reached the harbor of Dale and after receiving less than warm regards from the boatman at their parting made their way to Omund’s house in the city.

They found the house remarkably undisturbed after a year or so of absence, and decided to take a short time to rest and collect their thoughts before trying to approach King Bard with the news of the letter. On their way to the palace the group observed that Dale is a city still under construction with beautifully renovated houses standing next to blocks of rubble with only chimneys to suggest that houses had once stood there. When traveling through a particularly narrow street between two larger roadways Beren took a sniff of one of the locals in the alley and began to growl and raise his hackles for no apparent reason. In response, the ruffian drew a sword and rounded on the party. He was quickly joined by 8 other seemingly non-descript locals whom Omund then recognized as having the look of Easterlings. Even after a display of Telearel’s elven awesomeness the party was set upon by these bandits. Telearel and Omund slew the leader with deadly shots from their bows. During the ensuing fight the group identified a couple of lieutenants in command of the brigands. After suffering woeful blows to Beren, Pyter, and Olo a lieutenant commanded his minions to hold their attack and asked the party to relinquish the letter that they bear. After a moment or two of indecision the group tried unsuccessfully to break the circle and the onslaught resumed. During this time a woman in one of the surrounding buildings poked her head out of the window to ask what was causing the raucous down on the street, to which the same lieutenant yelled at her to mind her own business. Shortly after this exchange both lieutenants met their maker and the team was left to deal with the minions. Just then, the noise of raised voices and marching feet came from one end of the alleyway and the remaining Easterlings fled in the opposite direction, abandoning the bodies of their comrades. The group was then confronted by Ulf, the captain of the guard, who demanded they tell him who they are, why they were there, and to account for the dead men at their feet. After hearing the party’s explanation the captain was very skeptical. Without anyone in the alley to corroborate the party’s information he took them to the city gaol until all the details of the event can be sorted out.

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Zigg

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