Having returned to the capital with their dragon parts, after distributing wealth among themselves the party prepared to head out yet again into the wilderness, to map out surrounding territory. Before they left however, Elysia the Ranger informed her fellows that she was going to take a bit of time to venture north into Restov– the White Wolves guild had been reasonably scarce of members since the disaster that befell them during the fight against Hargulka’s trolls. Her plan was to attempt to recruit some young hopefuls into the White Wolves to get the guild back on their feet, and so she bid goodbye for a short time to her companions, promising to be back before they needed to attend to more matters of state.
With that the PC’s left, heading eastward towards the Tors of Levienes, the mountain range that divided the Kamelands from their neighbors in Varnhold. Being wintertime, the party was slowed slightly by the colder temperatures and harsher climate, but they were still able to make decent time. They mapped areas out to the south of Lake Silverstep, an area which had been claimed by Varnhold, and then moved their way to the west, back towards the forest. About two weeks into their exploration, as they were traveling through some snow-covered hills, something clicked inside the party’s heads– their surroundings weren’t idly-covered hills, but rather the bumps in the land were made by numerous furrows in the ground!
After a moment’s pause, Gavriil the Arcanist almost shrieked! “Bulettes! NOBODY MOVE!” A successful knowledge check let him know what had caused these rifts in the earth– the fearsome creature sometimes known as the land-shark, sensitive to the vibrations in the earth and often willing to attack anyone in their territory. Worse yet, they were in the middle of this territory…who knew how many bulettes could be around? The party tossed out a few ideas, all while remaining stock-still. Eventually, they came up with a solution: Gavriil was able to cast several Floating Discs, two of which were enough for a single horse to be supported on. Eneko the Bard/Cavalier coaxed each horse up onto the discs, keeping them calm as they floated gently in the air, and Noruas the Gunslinger kept her musket trained on the surrounding landscape to make sure they weren’t ambushed.
Fortunately, no bulettes were spotted during their preparations, and once Eneko got all of the horses upon their discs, the rest of the party mounted their steeds. With a bit of tricky spellwork, Gavriil was able to manipulate the discs to slowly move the entire group across the field, all while keeping them about three feet off the ground. After a few hours, they successfully made it out of bulette territory, undetected and in the case of Gavriil completely exhausted!
The next few days saw them exploring the territory along the border of free lands and Mivon, moving steadily westward. With time ticking down until they would need to return to the capital, the party managed to explore their surroundings up to the western edge of the Narlmarches before they decided to return. They made it back in town with a day to spare, finding that Elysia had arrived just a few days prior with several of her new recruits. Matters of state were attended to, including claiming Hargulka’s Stronghold in the south to be part of the kingdom of Tolemac! Additionally, the council were introduced to Balasar Delmirev, a falconer who was hired for the kingdom to help them raise their Roc eggs which were soon due to hatch! After a short interview, his position was confirmed, and Gavriil showed him to the eggs. In the meantime, one of the local priests of Erastil who had apparently drawn the short straw came in to discretely inform the council that, whenever they were ready, some small plans had been drawn up and prepared for the breaking of ground on the new settlement that was promised them around the old Temple of the Elk. A brief presentation was made, showing that the priests had put in some thought to the matter, and then he was dismissed after receiving the promise that they had not been forgotten, and that indeed work was due to start soon.
As was their wont, the leadership of Tolemac dove right back in to their administrative duties for the month of Calistril, making good on their word to establish a new city around the Temple of the Elk. Foundation work began, and the new settlement was christened to be Ruhtra, due to be ready for its first building by the next month! The council was kept busy with other matters as well, as they received a letter from Varnhold– from baron Maegar Varn himself! He seemed to respond well to the idea of close political (and possible familial) ties between their two kingdoms, and wished to invite the leaders to attend a ball in Varnhold’s capital to further discuss matters! The PC’s discussed the letter– they were happy to attend, but didn’t want to try and make the journey during the winter lest it take too long, and they wouldn’t be able to make it back to the capital in time to perform their duties. After looking at the calendar, they decided to write back to Maegar Varn accepting his invitation, and letting him know that they would be free to come in early Sarenith, when the paths would be clear and their back-to-back kingdom turns would coincide.
Additionally, Eneko received some personal correspondence. A letter from ‘Sneaky Peter,’ an underworld contact he had talked to in Restov back when they were still raising funds for their kingdom. Eneko had asked Sneaky Peter to look into his father’s death/disappearance at the hands of ‘unknown’ bandits during house Surtova’s consolidation of power in Rostland. The trail had led him to New Stetven, the capital, and he was sad to say that he had little to report to the duke. The last few months had been politically unstable, and had forced him to keep his head down out of contact for some time; he would remain out of contact longer, and warned Eneko to caution himself; forced were at work around the throne, and tensions in Rostland were rising.
With their duties completed, the party determined to set out again for some more exploration, with weather only slightly warmer than before. Elysia again elected to stay behind, this time so that she could help train the White Wolf recruits up to proper standards. The session came to a close not long after, as the group made their way out of the Narlmarches and into the Hooktongue Slough for the first time!