ur heroes left Whitebridge…
…As part of a large trading caravan heading for Caemlyn. As they rattled out of the town gates they passed as odd procession of richly appointed coaches heading into town, many bearing the liveries of noble houses. The caravan made good progress through the day and camped down for the night in a field by the roadside. As the group were hobbling the horses, one of the guards reported that a group of the traveling folk were camping in a nearby copse and the wagon master duly posted extra guards to deter the tinkers supposed thieving nature.
Having never met tinkers before, the group were curious and went to meet them. The leader of the tinkers, a man named Dasra Alhari, was very welcoming. He invited them to into the camp and introduced them to his people. Esmerelda, Dasra’s daughter, seemed particularly taken with Rodrick. The tinkers, who refer to themselves as Tuatha’an, were friendly and welcoming. They offered food and drink and seemed to regard every nights rest as a cause for celebration. The sang, danced and told stories and told the four friends that they were traveling in the same direction as the caravan for a short time so they would be welcome back the following night. They also made it clear that they strongly disproved of violence and weapons. particularly of Rodricks sword which was purely a weapon and had no other purpose.
On the second night, the Tuatha’an again sang and danced and this time explained their philosophy of The Way Of The Leaf and how it forbade violence even in self defence. Rodrick and Berek argued against such a pacifistic way of life in the face of shadowspawn and darkfriends and told the tale of the attack on Emonds Field but the Tuatha’an only tried to convince their guests to put down their weapons and take up the way of the leaf.
For two more nights the Tuatha’an attempted to convince the group to join them but eventually the time came for them to part ways. They did so in friendship with offers from Dasra and his wife to return to them when they saw the right way. The caravan continued on towards Caemlyn.
On the 20th day of the journey the caravan arrived at the town of Four Kings just as a huge thunderstorm broke over the town. The towns inn rapidly filled with caravan workers, leaving only one, rather shabby inn called The Dancing Cartman. The barman was a villainous looking sort and Jonah elected to sleep back as the camp whilst Berek built a camp for himself in the woods. Rodrick and Nalei stayed however after the innkeeper offered room and board in return for entertaining the common room.
Rodrick began his performance and played long into the night, attracting a fair number of patrons including a strange merchant who looked very out of place in such a rough establishment. Eventually the commons emptied and Rorick and Nalei were shown to their beds in a storeroom at the back. Their sleep was interupted in the night by the merchant who introduced himself as Howal Gode and he brough about a few ‘associates’ with him. He was plainly a darkfriend and implied that he had been sent to find the group. In short order they were hustled into a coach and rattled off to the caravan site to gather up Jonah who required more forceful persuasion in the form of a blow to the back of the head.
lastly the coach headed into the forest to find Berek who was more ready for trouble than the rest. His hammer shattered a wheel on the speeding coach and the vehicle flipped, crashing into a tree and setting fire to part of the clearing with the spilled oil from the lamps. The four friends faced off against the eight darkfriends who survived the crash and killed several before Gode struck from the shadows stabbing Nalei with a poison dagger and rendering Jonah unconscious for the second time that night.
It seemed there was something to Moiraines claim that some of the group were Ta’veran though as a bolt of lightening struck in the clearing, missing the surrounding trees and striking one of the fallen lanterns. The blast killed all the toughs and stunned Berek and Rodrick whilst Jonah was splashed on the cheek with molten metal from the lantern. In the aftermath they found no sign of Howal Gode…