With the final blow to the back of his skull, General Zithuruun falls lifeless to the ground. A disgraced general, forced to to bear his shame atop a worthless mount and apparent pawn in a complex game of chess, he finds peace in the stillness of death. Somewhere, the Raven Queen smiles, briefly.
Zithuruun’s army, really no more than a ragtag assemblage of trolls and dark men, quickly realizes that their leader has fallen and word spreads quickly. Within an hour the city finds the brigands have retreated and the siege of the city is lifted. The city is saved.
On the 28th day of Elient (“The Fading”), the day that Zithuruun is defeated, the council declares a period of mourning. For 3 days the city mourns and repairs. Highharvestide arrives in a somewhat muted fashion. The heroes are celebrated, and several feasts are held in their honor on this holiday, but the town still grieves, and this shows occasionally.
The morning after Highharvestide, on the 1st day of Marpenoth (“Leaffall”), the heroes awaken to a solid rain and dreary day. The skies are oddly purple in the morning, a site which is reported to only be seen once in a hundred years (indeed none are alive that can say when they saw such strange hues in a morning sky). The wind is strong and it is a chill day. The heroes are greeted during their morning revelry with news from 2 messengers who arrive at almost the same time.
The first announces that the council has news for them and wishes and audience as soon as possible.
The second is from an unknown sender and reports that a man with a patch and wearing several bladed weapons (fitting roughly the description of “Thorn”) was seen in the vicinity of Rhatavin (this being the location where the party regularly met with the hermit and some 10 days ride west by horse).
Upon answering the first messenger’s summons to the council’s meeting chambers, the party is told that the council has received news from one of the Freeriders group (Meghan Swiftblade) that she has knowledge of who was truly behind General Zithuruun’s attack on Overlook. She is currently located some several days ride east, and the council has lost contact with her. The council expresses to the heroes that it would like the heroes to ride forth to Meghan’s town, ensure her safety, and retrieve the information from her.