The group woke in the morning to find their Ranger had left with his moose during the night. He was kind of strange in any case, so they didn’t really mind. They decided to continue on the path back to the village. They passed by their former campsite, and found nothing new, other than the giant wolf pawprints that had been there from the incident before. After this, however, they saw a herd of moose passing across their path. The party wisely decided to stay away from them until they could pass. The most that happened is a moose turned to them and snorted, continuing on its way. The herd was small, only seven in number, so it wasn’t long before they could continue.
They made camp for the night, and the night passed uneventfully. Early afternoon was when they got back to the village. Immediately they went to the town elder, the father of Shilah, the Wilder. He expressed gratitude for the service they performed and seemed disturbed at the news of the Pod Changelings, though a bit doubtful of its real threat. If it hadn’t come from the lips of his own daughter, he would not have believed it. They then decided to camp at the town’s inn. They found two strangers in there, one a gambler with a strange accent, the other a trader from the Capital. Shilah briefly conversed with both, looking for news of anything strange. She lost a gold in the exchange with the gambler in place of receiving information, and learned from the other man that the Lord of the land had a betrayer among his council, and according to rumor was acting strangely. The Avian decided to fly home, leaving the Helm of Vigilance with the dwarf, claiming he needed it more. He’d had enough of adventure for the time being.
They investigated other leads, and went to the Temple of Norfin, the wolf god, to get information about the giant wolf they had seen. “Surely this was a sign from Norfin,” the high priestess said. “And you are fortunate to be alive. These adventurers you saw must have been either greatly confused or evil, to oppose a clear sign from Norfin. The girl this sign hunted was obviously evil, perhaps of a general nature, perhaps sent from Nakar, Norfin’s greatest foe.”
After this exchange, they looked around the village for more information of strange goings-on. They found little; there was a traveller that came through with a serious foot injury recently, and about a month ago, a Ranger had nearly lost his leg to a Dire Wolf. The gnome helped heal it a bit more, though he certainly received strange looks whenever he appeared from in Shilah’s pack. He was once asked if he was the victim of a spell. Also in their travels the High Priest of Orell revealed that he had seen in a vision a haven for Orell’s chosen to the East and North, past the mountains. Her numbers there were growing daily.
Finally, the gnome decided to look to the stars for advice. Though he could not tell his fortune in the stars, he made out The Hunter, The wolf pack, and The King among the stars, as well as the Red planet, Alignon (or Reikr in Nordic). The Hunter’s bow was pointed South and East, as it would be this time of year, and Alignon rose from the same direction. So they decided to head along the East road, then from Ajolnir, the city to the East, to head south, to Rabenhardt, which bridges the mountain gap that separates Ferris from Ostris.
They made it to Ajolnir, taking down two Dire Wolves with ease on the second day, mere hours before they reached the city. Their newly acquired member, won in a gambling match between he and Hazu, came with them and felled one of the Dire wolves on his own, proving his worth, despite the wariness of the group after he’d been caught cheating.
They were lost in the streets before the gambler, Vashner, pulled aside an above-average woman in appearance, asking her kindly for directions. She was carrying bread and ale, and gave them hasty directions, declining to guide them there as she had to go back to her home. Another woman approached, uglier than the first, though more kind-hearted, and offered to lead them there. The barbarian accepted as Vashner opened his mouth to say no, and when they got to the inn, the barbarian got her a drink on behalf of the party in thanks. He then went off with the dwarf, quickly finding a leather-working shop across the street where they bargained with their two pelts. The leather-worker offered to make a suit of armor for the barbarian out of the pelt, provided the pelts stayed with him, and if they could bring him another such pelt, he’d use whatever was left over from the first and a bit of the second to make a second suit for the dwarf. The first suit would take him a day to make. They said they could not guarantee that they would find other such pelts, but they would do their best.
Vashner, back at the inn, saw a shady man in the corner nursing a bottle and shotglass. He approached the man, trying to get information from him. He learned the man, in leathers and a chain shirt, was a traveller, and had the scars as memories of his adventures. He was very callous, and preferred to be left alone. A drunk Shilah joined them now, with her third pint of ale. She finished it off, and the man looked appalled at her drunkenness. Vashner, however, was holding his liquor well, with the whiskey that the man had, a special brew. He took three shots before the Wilder threw up in her own cup and the stranger immediately left for his room. Vashner had just asked him about anything supernatural he’d seen, but the man wasn’t ready to answer, even if he hadn’t been repulsed by the uncouth female.
Vashner then took to the streets, after telling the barkeep to watch over his companion, giving her a gold piece in exchange. While on the streets, he snuck about until he heard a whisper from an alley. He stopped, eyeing the place between the two buildings as a man in dark browns emerged, brushed against him as a sign and continued onwards. This was after Vash had tried to signal a greeting in sign language, managing to completely fumble over himself, instead calling the man something obscene. The man did not seem phased.
After following the man down a confusing series of streets and alleys, the man slipped between buildings again. The streets were deserted, and Vashner followed. With a quick rustle, Vashner’s eyes were covered, and a hand placed on his back. His hand was on his dagger. “We need you to take care of something for us, stranger.” was whispered to him. “there are some who oppose us. We want you to silence them for us. And if you should succeed, your rewards will be great.” Two gems of little value were slipped into Vashner’s hand, as well as an envelope. With a soft, barely audible padding, the man vanished.
Vashner, unable to read Nordic, brought the rough paper to the gnome, who translated and transcribed it for him into Kendric, keeping a copy of the original for himself, for reference for future spells if need be. With that, the party decided to rest for the night.