They rode in from the east, throwing sand and strong words at any who found themselves in their shadow. Armed men of the “Roc Regiment,” a mercenary company renowned for its tenacity. Their employer was the elven mistress Vizeer Gendaria, identified as “ambassador of King Methias Steel” and “Magistra of the Ordo Reliqium.”
Banthas Stonesplitter, head of the Arcium Post and cousin to Druk Stonesplitter, suggested she seek out the “sellswords” who came to the post looking for adventure. There, the halfling thief Horlamon and warrior [NAME] agreed to listen to their proposition.
Vizeer Gendaria told of an anthropologist’s caravan which was rumored to have set off from the Arcium Post a week past. After confirmed the truth of this with the mining camp, Gendaria has learned that the caravan was potentially headed for the Cathani Swamplands, the Dwarven name given to the outskirts of The Lost Vale. Unable to dispatch the entire scout company, First Spear Athias of the Roc Regiment agreed to pay the PCs twenty-five gold for confirmation that the caravan did indeed enter the swamplands.
The PCs headed south-east into the desert, only to take respite at a small bamboo farm. Suspicious of noises he heard from inside the farmhouse, the warrior led the farmer to show him his yield while Horlamon investigated the house. Inside were the true farmers, along with the dismembered remains of a body.
An ambush was sprung, and though terribly wounded the party routed the bandits. An investigation afterwards revealed that the bandits were in possession of Lord Dunkirk, paymaster general to the land of Sembia. After confirming the details with the farmers Falkirk and Marla, the party gathered all of the evidence and spoils of the bandits and returned to the Arcium Post.
Falkirk and Marla confirmed the anthropologist’s caravan had indeed passed through on their way to the swamp, further reporting that their broken water buffalo was sold to them in exchange for a bamboo litter and supplies. The party collected their scouting contract reward, although they grew suspicious of First Spear Athias’ rage toward their unwillingness to provide more substantial evidence. Talked down by Gendaria, the party met with Banthas and his aide de camp Tassel (pronounced: TAS-AHL), a cleric of Moradin.
Reflecting on an additional task provided by Gendaria, the PC’s shared the name of a history book Gendaria tasked them with retrieving (purportedly the reason an entire company of the Roc Regiment was hired to recover). Greatly troubled, Tassel divulged the origins of “Darnaos”: a city lost to time, once the site of a great battle. Long abandoned by civilization, the city was the site of King Merlas I (then Prince Merlas’s) capture and intended sacrifice for an unknown God. Struggling to recall the history, Tassel informed the party that Darnaos’s forces were led by a Lamian noble known as “the Lamian Queen,” who was slain by adventurers hired to retrieve Merlas.
Although slain, legend told that the races of the wastes claimed the Queen’s head. The head was a relic of power amongst the Anauroch’s many inhabitants, and its last recorded mention was having been buried deep in “a temple of a long forgotten God.”
Banthas has asked the party to remain for the evening, enough time for him to consult his counsel and decide upon a course of action. The party has retired for the evening with their wounds, more questions preying upon their mind than the shorn skin and first wounds of their careers…