Stephan tried to shrink away from eyeshot of the town guard muttering, “Looks like this is meant to be a foot journey. No boat today.”
Feldard peered around his companions as they stood clustered at the corner of a building not far from where they’d left the boat tied. The patrolmen were a problem. “I knew it was a bad idea to come back to the city. Did I not say that?”
The dwarf frowned, there were too many out on the street at this time of day to be able to take out the patrolmen without attracting more guard. He turned to Ludo. “Any chance you can find us another boat? Or a means of sneaking out our weapons at the very least?” Currently, the dwarf’s axe and crossbow were bundled up in his cloak and strapped onto his backpack, but it wasn’t difficult to guess by the shape what the bundle contained.
Ludo sighed. He should have realized that the boat’s owner would be out looking for his only way to make a living Ludo looked around, the only thing he could suggest was to scale the town walls. “Feldard, Hasan and Stephen, give me your bows and axe. I will clamber over the walls out of sight of the guard and meet you in the clearing near the town’s north gate.”
Following Ludo into an alley, “Why don’t we hand over our weapons after you’ve found a spot to climb? That way you don’t have to lug two bows and an axe through town.”
The rogue nodded. They explored a bit, looking for a suitable place where Ludo could put his plan into action.
Eventually, they found a spot out of sight of prying eyes. Feldard was almost beet red at the thought of having to hand over his axe once again. What if the rogue got caught climbing over? It was daylight now, not the dark of night. But what choice did the dwarf have? With a glare that warned of dire things to come should there be even a slight scuff to his blade, Feldard handed over his axe and then proceeded to follow the others to the northern gates.
Stephan handed over his bow checking as he did that the tension was loosened. “You rogues are always handy in a town,” Stephan said.
Ludo turned to Stephen, “I will meet you at the dam.” The rogue uncolied his rope and grapple, then nimbly scaled the wall and at the top made sure that all was clear of the town guard.
Fortunately for Ludo, the town walls were designed to keep enemies out, not trap people in. He carefully lowered the weapons to the ground. Wouldn’t want to put a dent in Feldard’s axe was a thought that crossed his mind, Feldard would have a hernia. He then proceeded north along the road to the dam to meet up with the others.
Back in the town limits, Feldard was sour and silent the entire walk. He grunted and glared at the guards at the northern gates as they passed through.
Miklos was thankful that although practicing magecraft in Threshold was against the law, ‘rare book dealing’ was not, however he did his best to huddle amongst his friends as they passed by the gate guards careful not to attract attention.
Hasan enjoyed the moment. It was goodbye to the town and guards, and that was all he had been waiting for. “Cheerio, old man,” the elf nodded, as the grizzled old soldier glared at the departing party of campaigners. “We’ll see you on our return. Do keep the light on,” the elf joshed.
Maruc nodded at the guards as he passed though and offered a blessing. His view was filled with towering mountains that climbed to the skyline. The peaks frosted with snow promised a hard path. He wondered as he turned onto the northern pass road what guardian had kept this pass blind to the adventures of the past that travelled this way before. Never to return. But the favour of Halav was with him and paths of faith are never easy.
It was only as the party waited for their companion that Feldard spoke. “So where the hell is he?”
Maruc smiled when he saw Ludo sat on the side of the road with their gear.
As the others pulled their wargear back on Miklos opened the tapestry and studied the lay of the land.
“The pass we seek leads north around the rocky spur. The river has carved this gorge but there must be a path else this map is false. Let us be on our way, I’d like to get out of the shadow of that restricted city. We have the whole day before us!”
The tapestry clearly indicated a river leading north into the Black Peak Mountains. The group would have to cut across a few miles of hilly terrain to meet the Foamfire River, otherwise, they would have had to waste time backtracking to Rifllian. It was late afternoon when they reached the river, and not long after they arrived at the mouth of the Foamfire Valley.