Upon exiting the library of Saruthil, Albrecht knocks over another eavesdropper. This one happens to be the man who has been trailing Aymelek. He is forced into submission in the street by Al and Aym, and the high elf they met earlier intervenes, as well. He is interrogated intensely by Al and Thyran’tal, at the point of a pistol and gleaming sword. The high elf detects the aura of chaos magic on the man, and Albrecht notices a seed from the nearby woods clinging to the man’s clothing. He eventually gives up that he has come from Grunwald Lodge, to
“blah blah blah” at the behest of “whatshisname”.
The prone man is escorted to Duke Zale by the group, including the two quiet woodelves (who are very serious about maintaining stealth in all circumstances). Aymelek is working for the Duke, who voices concerns about Rickard Aschentov who is staying at the Grunwald Lodge. There is an influx of beastmen warbands traveling through the woods, as of late. He informs the group of an expedition leaving into Grovod Wood, that is looking for additional men. He commands her to meet up with
“Guy in Charge” at The Red River Inn and join the expedition.
The Party arrives shortly at the The Red River Inn, and secure their position in the group. The expedition will be leaving in the morning. A cantankerous and very inebriated dwarf named Cromit “Poopsmith” Redaxe joins up as well (and attempts to get some coin for the services of his small, ugly dog). He bunks at the inn, but the rest of the party head their own ways.
Aymelek returns home to her loft apartment above The Upper Crust, a bakery of some renown in the area. The elves head back to the elven district where they find suitable accommodations for the night’s rest. Albrecht heads back to his home, where he finds that his shop has been broken into, and his things have been rummaged through. He stays up all night frantically searching his house to deduce what might have been taken. Everything is accounted for, and he discovers a seed in a crack on his floor matching the one on the man they interrogated earlier that day.
The next morning everyone meets up with the caravan, and heads out on the journey to Grovod Lodge. They travel all day without much occurring, however, the woods are strangely quiet, and occasionally the group has the uneasy feeling of eyes upon them. Night falls, and the wood elves flank the group in the shadows, but don’t notice anything out in the darkness around them. Finally they enter a clearing at the edge of the wood, and the immense structure of Grovod Lodge becomes apparent. It is surrounded by a high wall and had a formidable gate barring entry. A man shouts down to the party, inquiring as to their identity, and as
“whatshis name” parlays with the man, a giant crashing noise erupts all around the group. Beastmen come pouring out of the brush, a particularly large one yelling, urging them to the attack. The party, shocked by the stealthiness of this attack, quickly readies themselves for a fight.