The Greenbelt Defenders ask Keston to send some men to the Stag Lord’s former base, the ruins on Tuskwater Lake. Keston says he will take some of his men and defend the place. You see that his ranks have grown and that he now commands eight men. Before he leaves, he writes a letter and hands it to you, telling you to give it to the captain of the Black Company, a man by the name of Raven, promising you four masterwork weapons of your choice. Leaving five behind, including three of his most senior men, he and three others ride south.
Your trip to Restov takes a while. You thought it more important that Keston and his men travel quickly, so you authorized them to take some of the spare horses from Oleg’s. The others, you purchase from Oleg for a good price and secure the bandits to them for your ride north.
It takes you the bulk of the day riding hard on the road to make it to Fort Serenko. The fort is abandoned, as it was when you passed this way so many months ago. But the gates are open and you find a dry place to sleep for the night.
The next morning you head out. Late morning, you make it to Nivaktas Crossing, a small town of hunters, trappers and fishermen on the banks of the Shrike River. The town is surrounded by a wooden palisade. While the people are serious, and cautious of strangers, they possess a dry sense of humor. While the locals are quiet and suspicious of most of the group, Khrystos, with a little cajoling, finds someone who is willing to talk.
‘Narlmarches, eh? You been explorin’ out there? Been hearin’ some words about the goin’s on there. Me bruder, Max, he say he saw himself a green dragon prowlin’ around the forests down there. Says his hunting party was completely et by the beast just inside the forest to the west of Lake Candlemere.”
“And Candlemere! There be another story! I hear the keep on the island in the middle be a place where the boundary between worlds be rasped thin. Ol’ Max says he seen some sort of ‘orrible monster lurkin’ in them ruins. Candlemere? Why it be just south of the Tuskwater. To be sure, if’n ye follow the shore of the Tuskwater, eventually ye’d fine Candlemere.”
Another day, and you are in Restov. You declare yourself at the gate as the Greenbelt Defenders, and sign the register at the gate. You tell the guards you have business with the Lord Mayor and the Swordlords, presenting the Wanted Poster for the [[:stag-lord | Stag Lord]]’s bounty.
You make an appointment with the Lord Mayor the next day. That evening you find lodging and relax sharing the stories of your adventures with the locals.
The next day, you show up for your appointment. You are shown in to the Lord Mayor’s office. Behind the desk is a middle aged man with shoulder length hair. Standing at his side is a woman with long brown hair, an ornate curved blade at her hip.
“I am Lord Mayor Ioseph Sellemius. This is Jamandi Aldori, emissary of the Swordlords. My men have informed me that you have information in regard to the brigand known as the Stag Lord.” You present the head of the bandit lord, the stag-horned helmet, and tell of the battle for his keep.
“Well then. We have been hearing of your antics for some time now. From Oleg’s report over two months ago, to Rada’s reports. You have impressed us.” The Lord Mayor continues. “Now, we gave you a mission, to map the Stolen Lands, from the River Shrike, west to the Western edge of the Narlmarches, from the South Rostland Road to the Tuskwater. Let’s see your map.”
You produce the map you have drafted. “You’ve done a good job here, in the Kamelands, but your exploration in the Narlmarches,” he points to the forest, “is lacking.” He pauses for a moment and Jamandi Aldor leans over, peers at the map.
“We are extending your charter,” states Jamandi. The Lord Mayor starts and the Swordlord quiets him with a look. “Continue your exploration of the Narlmarches, and push south, to where Lake Candlemere empties into the Lower Shrike and the Little Selon River join – here.” She points to a location on your map, about 35 miles south of the Stag’ Lord’s Fortress.
“In addition,” she continues, “we grant you this.” She produces a scroll, which she hands to you. With trembling hand, you unfurl it and read.
“Be it known that the bearer of this charter, having delivered the northern reaches of the Greenbelt from the scourge of banditry, having provided detailed maps of the lay of the land, and having done no small amount of work in the exploration of said land and the culling of hostile monsters and indigenous hazards, are hereby granted the right to rule. The nature of the laws of rule are theirs to define, and the well-being of this new nation is theirs to protect. In accordance for providing a stable nation to the south of central Rostland, let there be a generous stipend of funds, support, and advice provided to this fledgeling nation as a token of Restov and Brevoy’s goodwill such that future relations between kingdoms might be mutually beneficial. So witnessed under the watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov, and by the authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current regent of the Dragonscale Throne."
After you have read the document, she receives it back, drips blue wax from a nearby candle on it, and presses her signet to it. With a flourish, she signs the document, rolls it, ties it with an azure ribbon, and returns it to you. “Who you select as ruler, and council, and how you govern your new nation is up to you. Choose wisely.”
She motions to a chest on the floor against the wall. “Within is your reward for defeating the Stag Lord. To establish your new kingdom, you have been granted supplies and labor to start your realm. A caravan with men, settlers and goods will be sent to supply you with what you need.” She steps back.
The Lord Mayor looks between you and the Swordlord for a moment and then speaks. “Right, now, if you need anything while you are in town, you have but ask. I will send an emissary to your lodgings. If you have no other questions.” He rings a small bell and the door behind him opens. Rada Pendulfsen enters and bows.
“Greetings, my Lords and Ladies. Please, if you will follow me.” Rada leads you out of the chamber and back to your lodging. “If you need anything, I am at your service.”
You spend several days in Restov while the caravan of goods and settlers is established. Vincze sees to some research with the court wizard, a Qadiran named Jafar. The rest of you ponder over your options for rulers and councilors, generals and high priests.