- Tallie (Voice Only)
- Salvana “Mistress” Wrafton
- Lord “Dirty Cheating Bastard with the Clap” Padraig of Winterhavenholdfell
- Other inhabitants of Winterhavenholdfell
Scene I: The Ambushed Cart.
The three passengers of the cart awaken abruptly to noises of a battle outside. They hear their favourite guard, Shorty, cut down viciously. Tallie’s cries disappear into the distance. All is silent.
One by one, the passengers worked to remove the hessian sacks from their heads, and their hands from the manacles that bound them to the cart. Then, they ventured outside. They were greeted by a scene of carnage: the prison guards that had accompanied the Prisoner Transportation Cart lie dead, their bodies strewn across the dirt road. Bryony crouched by some scuffed footprints, ascertaining that Goblins were behind the assault. Munchkin carefully dressed in Shorty’s bloodstained leather armour and picked up a shortsword, preparing himself for the world outside Harken Penitentiary; Bryony beckoned Munchkin to the cart, and requested his assistance. “Could you help me cut a cloak from this cloth? It’s awful cold…”
Fylphi watched in amusement as the two struggled with the awning, before noticing his own semi-nakedness. Harken Penitentiary had never been known for its fashion: loincloths all around, and a modest piece of cloth for the ladies’ uppers. “I don’t like the look of these woods,” he called to the others. “Goblins don’t usually leave scraps, neither. There should be a town around here, by the looks of this road. We should move on.” The rest agreed and they began their walk, following the direction the cart had been travelling, leaving their beloved Shorty’s body by the side of the road.
They introduced themselves on the walk, exchanging short words on their histories: “Bryony”, an Eladrin Wizard, had taken the punishment for her mother’s crime of stealing a loaf of bread, and she seeks aid to return home; Fylphi, a half-Elf Paladin, had gotten into a fight defending the honour of a young girl, and had been imprisoned for it; Munchkin, a Dragonborn Warlord and part-time chimney sweep, had dust allergies. Eventually, they reached a junction in the road with a sign: to the left, Winterhavenholdfell; to the right, the Trade Road continued to the Baronies. Deciding quickly, the group moved on to Winterhavenholdfell.
Scene II: Winterhavenholdfell.
“Oi,” said a gruff voice as they neared the gates, “state your business!” The guard at the portcullis eyed them suspiciously. Bryony took the lead, by bluffing her way through a conversation and letting them into the town. Their first port of call was a blacksmith, they agreed, to remove the remains of the manacles from their hands and feet. Thair seemed to buy Bryony’s story about being a group of travelling performers who had accidentally lost their manacle keys, and he sold a few weapons to the group for good measure. Fylphi agreed to buy him a drink for his troubles.
The next stop was the Wrafton Inn, to get some rest and lunch after their arduous journey. Salvana Wrafton, the owner and Innkeep, agreed to let them stay in exchange for work – Munchkin’s valiant haggling skills made themselves known in this exchange. Fylphi and Munchkin would wash dishes in exchange for three rooms.
While the negotiations were nearing finalisation, Bryony entered her own challenge: charming the local Lordling with her “wimminly wiles”. Munchkin, chuckling as the Lordling drunkenly preened over such attention, leaned across and whispered in his ear – “She’s yours for the night for a very reasonable 100gp.” After money had exchanged hands, Bryony (unaware that she had been sold by her travelling companion) left with the Lordling and set off for his “apartment”. The duo question Salvana on recent events and local history, learning about the Keep in the forest and the rumour of Cultist activity. Having nothing else to do, Fylphi and Munchkin retire to the kitchen to begin their chores.
Bryony lives up to her reputation over the next few hours: she gets Lord Padraig so drunk that he passes out on his own sofa, then she steals many of his material possessions and returns to the Inn. She manages to procure a spellbook, a brooch, some robes for herself and some clothes for Fylphi, and some other menial accessories.
Meanwhile, Munchkin and Fylphi had noticed a locked door at the rear of the kitchen as they finish their dishes. They retire to the bar once again, joining in with a drinking game and purchasing Thair’s drink for him. Then, they retire to their rooms. Fylphi realises how hungry he is, so he immediately returns downstairs an sits at the bar, eating Toad Stew and waiting for Bryony to return. Munchkin – lacking low-light vision – refuses to sit in darkness. He finds a candle, and attempts a carefully-placed flame from his Dragon Breath, to disastrous consequences.
Scene III: Slapstick Bandits.
Bryony had returned to the Inn moments before the explosion, but both her and Fylphi knew the source of the catastrophe the moment it occurred – they exchanged a frustrated glance, before following Salvana Wrafton up the stairs. Somehow Fylphi got ahead of her on the stairs, and peeked into the Dragonborn’s room before she got there. Not only was the outer wall missing, but fire was creeping through the rest of the room around a guilt-looking dragonborn with wax puddled at his feet. Ducking back into the corridor to prevent the owner from gaining access, Fylphi attempts to distract her while Bryony performs a Sleep spell. Unfortunately, the Sleep spell also strikes Fylphi square in the face, sending both targets to the floor.
Munchkin walks out from his room and slaps Fylphi awake (taking the half-elf down by half of his total health), and the group moves downstairs to the woman’s lodgings. Fylphi carries Salvana downstairs, following the crashing noise of Munchkin breaking down the door at the rear of the kitchen. However, he is interrupted by a guard who had wandered in to investigate the explosion. He hastily bluffs his way through a conversation, and points him towards the Dragonborn’s lodgings upstairs (knowing full well that it wouldn’t buy them long). As he lays her down on the bed, Bryony notices arcane markings around a mirror – she hastily copies them down for later studying. Munchkin hears the guard’s cry of surprise and the ensuing thundering of footsteps, and decides to hide under the bed…
Fylphi and Bryony don’t even get the time to decide on hiding places because – as the guard enters the kitchen – the dusty gap beneath the bed gets the better of Munchkin, and a monstrous fiery sneeze rips apart the building. The guard flees. The group works to put out the downstairs fire, and the group begin the leave the building, Fylphi carrying Salvana out – Bryony, however, decides to go to bed in her lodgings, unaware that the upstairs of the building is still alight. From outside, Fylphi and Munchkin see the mob bearing down on them, and return to the safety of the building. They search out Bryony and escape the burning building from an upstairs window, dropping into the town near the fortified wall, and sneaking out into the night.