The town of Berit is the gateway to two major nations. Many factions gather here, vying for support. Which groups will reach the party in this place?
A plot, a network, and a fabulous artifact
The party entered Berit on the third of Aprilis through the unguarded gap in its wall leading to the caravan district. A passing patrol sold them a flimsy map of the city.
Kheldar headed for the wizards’ quarter. Grayson sought out an inn. Alayla and the others headed for the market district.
Kheldar got a job to clear out the rental house belonging to a wizard who had just bought it and wanted its vermin exterminated. Alayla bought some cloth and a sewing kit for patching the party’s garments when they get torn. Kheldar went to several taverns and ended up buying a recipe for Stolen Fire Ale. Nolt Hyum went to a tavern in the inn district for a sumptuous meal, but his meal was interrupted by Captain Teagalley, who told him he was trying to build up his trade network in Oster by having a group of adventurers build a trade route anchored at his port of call. He gave Nolt Hyum a list of trade goods that would sell well across the sea.
Alayla ignored the warnings the patrol had given the party and went into Chaos Village, an area of Berit where almost anything can be had for a price, searching for poisons. However, nothing she found was within the reach of her purse.
Kheldar gathered the party and found Nolt Hyum. As they waited for him, they were approached by Zethar, the Brigadine, who invites them to strengthen their nation with chaos. The monk glowered at him and advised him to go away. None of the other party members wanted to join him.
Kheldar led the way to the rental cottage, where Rayne unlatched the door and kicked it open. Stepping inside, he looked around as Kheldar threw in his everburning torch. A swarm of bats surrounded the dwarf’s head, and he swung wildly with his axe. Grayson and the others attacked the bats, finally killing them. As the party took a breath, a swarm of rats rushed out and attacked Rayne’s legs. Alayla tried to catch one of the rats in her sack, but she missed them, and before she could try again, Kheldar had beaten them to a runny pulp.
Just then, the shadowy figure of a wraith appeared in the corner of the cottage, and Nolt Hyum approached it, trying to soothe it. It tried to attack him but missed, so he commanded it to depart, but it resisted his command and attacked again. Grayson and Alayla attacked and killed the wraith as Nolt Hyum withdrew.
Kheldar went back to the wizard and got paid, getting the wizard to pay an extra 25gp for dealing with the wraith.
The next morning, they left Berit and headed north.
The party reached the halfling village of Jocasta on the 5th of Aprilis. Kheldar visited the monastery of the Order of the Moon and Stars, and Nolt Hyum visited the temple of his deity, which was one of two temples in town.
By the morning of the 8th of Aprilis, the party had reached Pallas, at the intersection of the major trade route and a side road that leads into the hills. They visited the library and the Tomehaus, but none of the party could use the tomes found therein.
They made their way to the Hall of Sages. They saw the elves who live there and the representatives of various races sent by their countries to the council, humans and halflings and elves and orcs and gnomes and dwarves. By evening, all the summoned nations were represented, and the Sages of Oria told the assembled emissaries that the Orian Branch, a powerful magical artifact, had been stolen. Grayson, as the official representative of Kettan, asked who had done this, and the sages said they did not know, but offered to allow the emissaries to search the branch’s chamber for clues.