- Adrienne as Orethyia “Thyia” Burke, Human Acolyte of the Path of the Four Winds
- Crystal as Kizz, Halfling Cleric, Exemplar of Avandra
- Jay as Petrov Merrin, Human Wizard and Scholar
- Joe as Ugarth, Half-Orc Mercenary and Soldier
- Travis as Daxil “Dax” Loren, Human Agent of the Librarians of Caleborn
- Wesley as Theran Lantadal (Treeskin), Wood Elf Speaker for the Spirits
Half-Orcs are Immune to Moral Dilemmas
Because the trip would take 10 to 12 hours, according to Rundulf, The party decided to set out for the Deep Rift Mine before dawn the next day to ensure they would make it to the Miner’s Lodge before nightfall. So, they spent an uneventful day in Winter’s Edge.
Sadly, Kizz had developed a fever due to exposure to the harsh early spring climate of Winter’s Edge and was confined to bed rest for the moment. So she elected not to join the party in this adventure.
The next day greeted them with good (if chilly) traveling weather. Thyia awoke early and found the Deputy Reeve, Ilde Bronnasdottir, waiting for the party. She wanted to accompany the party to the mine and had argued with the Reeve, Raluf, about it. After Thyia made her feel unintentionally unwelcome, Daxil smoothed things over. And the party was ready to set out. Until Rundulf held them up.
Rundulf had left his pack and supplies in his room and tried to excuse himself to get them, but Ugarth insisted on accompanying him. Upstairs, Rundulf begged Ugarth to help him escape.
Rundulf explained that he was being held responsible for Elrik’s and Emble’s death (his two friends who had been lost while exploring the mine) even though they had gone into the mine willingly. According to Winter’s Edge law, if you are held responsible for the death of another, you need to compensate their survivors with an expensive fine. If you can’t afford to do so, you are put to death. That is why Raluf said the party was free to kill Rundulf because he is basically a dead man walking already.
His only saving grace now is that his mine can be made productive. If so, the Burgmaster (Mayor) will probably be willing to buy the mine. If the price is high enough, Rundulf can pay off the fine and avoid a death sentence.
Rundulf asked Ugarth to claim he had killed Rundulf during an escape attempt and let him run. Ugarth was furious and refused. From that moment, they have been keeping a close eye on the miner.
Who Brought Marshmallows and Graham Crackers?
Late in the morning, as the party passed through the farms surrounding Winter’s Edge and was just passing beyond civilized land, they spotted a farm on fire. The party heroically braved the blaze to rescue the family of farmers. However, they also noticed a few oddities.
Ugarth burst into the front room of the farmhouse and, through the thick smoke, he seemed to see a shadowy humanoid shape vanish near the closed and shuttered window.
Outside, Dax and Petrov saw a murder of ravens around the side of the house startle into flight. But Theran, from his high vantage point, noticed that the birds seemed to emerge from the (closed and shuttered) window of the house.
The fire itself seemed to have started in the kitchen, which makes sense given the early hour.
With the family rescued and the party reasonably healthy, they continued their journey to the mine.
Winning Friends and Influencing Others
Just around nightfall, the party arrived at the Miner’s Lodge high in the rocky hills southwest of Winter’s Edge. The large, well-made three-story inn houses the miners from the Graystone Mine and the Brightwater Fall Mine during the spring and summer months when the mines are in operation.
Here, the party received a frosty reception, being immediately pegged as outsiders. There was a bit of mumbling about Rundulf, though mostly about he and his two friends had run out on their jobs at the Graystone. No mention was made of his crimes, probably because no one knew anything about them.
Ilde, however, started a loud conversation with the party about the fire and how they had rescued the farmers earlier that day. The miners filling the crowded common room for dinner were impressed by the tale and seemed to be more well-disposed toward the party after that.