Roland wasn’t looking for trouble this time. However, as is often the case, he came upon it in feminine form, and this time in the guise of a wedding dress. A rather becoming wedding dress he would often say, as a sort of justification after the fact, that clearly left him with no other proper course of action than the one he had taken. Hired on as the entertainment for the Stockley wedding, Roland found himself thoroughly entertaining the young bride to be, in her upstairs boudoir.
Luckily for our young hero, the wife of Master Stockley (The eldest brother of the bride to be) was not who she claimed to be. In actuality she was none other than the respected (Well respected in professional circles if not societal ones) thief, infiltrator and assassin, Cup. Growing tired of masquerading as the arrogant bores wife, Cup saw “her” chance to not only escape but to also sully his reputation without breaking cover. “She” quickly alerted Mukluk, (Named changed because I do not have the most recent of the characters many name changes.) the aggressive tribal hunter come loyal bodyguard of Roland that had rowed him to this engagement. Together he and Cup readied the boat beneath the crenelated walls of the castle and provoked Roland into leaping to his freedom at any cost. As they looked up at Roland Expecting the drunken lout to fall and injure himself in any number of ways and if Roland was ever to be honest with a single soul, even himself, he had the same thoughts. So despite the dangers ahead of him and the mob of angry wedding guests behind him, Roland leapt with what would soon become his signature of infernal luck. The wicked imp of a man landed upon the bow of the small river boat looking every part of the legendary hero.
Mind you he only looked the part. Our dashing “hero” was after all on the run from a mob of justifiably irate wedding guests. He was now wanted for not only defiling Master Stockley’s young sister and ruining their marriage alliance with the Ribentoff’s but for also making off with his wife! Luckily with their head start Roland and his band made it to the local road side public house enjoyed by his friends. There he met up with Ionius, Tiathavian, and her steady companion Monty and introduced them to Cup, who Roland believed was just a hallucination of his mead and fey addled mind. While Cup’s ability to shift her forms was of serious fascination (and suspicion) it soon became apparent they had larger problems on their hands as the combined Stockley/Ribentoff wedding party was now an armed angry mob and coming up the King’s road.
Startled by this they urge Cup to make “herself” useful and send her out to distract the stable boy watching over the horses. Fortune being the fickle creature that it is had stuck Cup into the form of a man she had once known long ago, only in the dress of Stockley’s wife. Luckily the young lad only took Cup as yet another drunken reveler that had drank far more then they could handle and wound up in the dress of one of the local doxies. Not what they had planed they made the best of it and quickly hitched up two of the horses to a cart and saddled the remaining charger. Realizing that if the mob was out for blood now Roland’s father, Faizon Shackleton, must have finally disowned his son and given his leave to pursue them. So now no longer with his protection and his crimes mounting Roland Shackleton IV made his run for it to the North Province and the Nentir Vale with his companions that would become the core of the company known as Roland’s Regulators.
Bushwhacked in Bush Country
Weary from a few hard days travel north and east along the Kings road our party found itself nearing a crossroad when they were assaulted on all sides by small green and brown mottled reptilian/draconic creatures known as Kobolds. Not having had problems with them to the south they were taken aback by the shifty little creatures. The Kobolds had also never taken on men and women trained in the south and were clearly outmatched and quickly dispatched. Soon Roland and his band found themselves nearing civilization, or what passed for it here in the sparsely populated and forgotten north country. The town they came across was Winterhaven with its overly stout walls and dilapidated thatched homes they took a respite.
Leaving Mukluk with the horses and cart outside of town as not to pay boarding fees and, just in case they needed another speedy exit they headed in. Making for the public house of Wrafton’s inn they made some inroads as they often do to the series of problems they suffer from. Ionius quickly discovered a kindred soul in the sage Valthrun and learned a bit about the history of the region including its famous dragons and about an ancient Keep that rests upon a rend between this world and the Shadowfell.
Tiathavin met with an Elven hunter who keeps to herself named Ninaran who asked to meet with her privately about their mission. Alone Ninaran let Tiathavin know about the death cult of Orcus, the Demonlord of the Undead, that she was sent here to investigate. She said that while she may have discovered a hideout of theirs, that she was not enough to take it down, but that with the muscle Tiathavin had with her, it wouldn’t be much trouble for her to take care of the situation. Besides it was better to let the half-breed and other races bleed than to needlessly waste the life of an Elf better suited to keeping an eye on the enemies activities.
Cup mean while shifted forms once more into that of a freckled flame haired waif and wondered about town. There she overheard some snippets of local gossip from Rond Kelfemabout how the Kobolds were making it difficult to ship anything along the roads in from the surrounding farms and villages as well as traders from Fallcrest andHammerfast. She also heard Thair Coalstriker complaining that another Dwarf named Douven Staul was late coming back into town from his archeological dig to the south digging up dragon bones.
With their accumulated finding the party regrouped outside the town and decided that what they needed was a quick way to make some cold hard cash. Seeing that the local town malitia was understaffed and that the roads were beset by more of the Kobolds that jumped them, our “heroes” made a plan. They went and met with the Lord Warden of the town Ernest Padraig and offered their services in clearing out the roads. Lord Padraig offered them 100 pieces of gold to see that the trade shipments made it through to town unmolested.
However, with word of riches, gold and weapons coming into Winterhaven from Hammerfast the Imp of the Perverse is once again on Roland’s shoulder urging him to make an attempt himself. So with that our heroes hitch back up their wagon and attempt to make themselves look as inviting a target as they can and head east along the King’s Road in search of fame and fortune.