The threat to Nubereg was stopped, for now. And the reason for the original attack was discovered as well.
The Knights of Nubereg now had a new goal, to find the the secretive Order of Io, and get the Orbs of Dragonkind before the forces of Thenes beat them to them.
The journey to Denhagen was uneventful. The group has gained much power since their first frantic stumbling through the Dïrkwold, and any would-be predatory gave them a respectful berth.
Back in Denhagen, the group arrived at Nubereg House quietly. They knew that a provincial town like Denhagen would not have the resources needed to find this Order of Io and in the meantime the agents of Thenes’ varied and colourful organizations would need to be fended off. It would only be a matter of time until word got out they had the Brass Orb and the combined forces of the Worlds’ largest empire would bear down on them.
So Sha’Riven came up with a simple plan: let them think they already had it.
Being the newcomer to town, Sir Henry was magically disguised as Halsaephus sought out the Dashers, resident thieves’ and associates of Damien.
Claiming he had slain Damien and took his belongings (he presented Damien’s silver and elemental-infused daggers as proof), Henry-as-Hal sold an enchanted replica of the Brass Orb to Clive, the Dasher fence.
After allowing the meeting to sour, “Hal” reneged on the deal, only to be mugged by Clive and his gang of footpads. Clive was pleased to “avenge” his old guild associate Damien, and the fake Orb was convincingly in the hands of the Dashers. And once the rogues were out of sight, Henry’s trollish roots allowed him to recover from the otherwise fatal injuries.
Damien was disappointed to let his daggers go, but it served a greater good.
Now it would be difficult to leave town via sea travel, since the group was now reported as formerly-alive. If they were spotted, the whole charade would go up in smoke. The group decided an overland trek was needed instead.
Westward the group went, passing through the village of Nonce again. Resting in town after the journey to, the group discovered that the mercenary company that had been shaking down the town was again up to its old tricks.
Since they were warned off by Lady Etaine, it was time to deal with the company once and for all.
Setting on the road, the group quickly found a band of the mercenaries working an extortion racket on the road. Better seasoned and equipped than the last bunch encountered, the band put up a fair fight, but fell to the Knights of Nubereg in due time.
From the survivors they were able to magically coax information about the company’s stronghold, where its strong points were, the company’s numbers, etc.
The stronghold was too much for group alone to take, however Aki had a better idea.
Having taking control of a tribe of kobolds on his last visit to the region, he now sought them. The tribe had moved into the abandoned temple where Etaine was found. A tribe of kobolds unchecked was just as problematic as a small army of extortionists, so one was set onto the other.
In a matter of days, the stronghold was overrun, then trade company driven off. As their nominal king, Aki ordered the tribe to quietly defend the town of Nonce until his return.
Unexpectedly, a shaman of the tribe came to Aki and told him that it was time for his vision quest to continue.
Aki was shocked that some tiny reptile would know of his Destiny, and while he was determined to follow his path, he was honour-bound to aid his companions first.
Kleeth, the shaman followed regardless, occasionally hissing to him about destinies and prophecies, much to Damien and Hal’s irritation.
The group informed the folks of Nonce about the end of the mercenary company, then set off west again. Following the Common Road, they would eventually reach the great crossroads city of Xix.
As they approached town, a large party of armed outriders raced towards them…