Into Sluttisham

Having passed through Crabapples the party is intercepted on the Westway by outriders from the army and politely informed that the road is closed to them. They can travel west by side roads or they can wait until the situation is settled. A complexity 3 skills contest is required to pursuade the lieutennant that they have a right to pass, relevant skills are diplomacy, history and intimidate and it is a moderate challenge.

Should the party have to leave the road then they will have to make their way cross-country - it will give them a sense of the wildness of the country here as you move from civilisation. The land closer to the westway is cultivated and tamed but move away and all farmsteads are walled and defended. There are lookouts and alarms that are called whenever they approach and when they are offered hospitality they discover a land that is under increasing threat from orcs and goblinkind.

However, it appears that whilst there are some opportunist attacks, in the main the villages are not being openly attacked. The raiders have been seen frequently but they seem to be doing their raiding elsewhere.

As the party approach Sluttisham they again pass into more cultured land with a network of carefully constructed irrigation chanels dividing the fields. They are met by military forces as they approach the town and they are escorted in to it by mounted scouts of the Beck First Infantry.

In the town, the party will be met by Captain Kay of Lions he is not in a position of authority but, is able to vouch for the party when questioned by the commander Hartman Beck. This is subject to an easy skills challenge of complexity two, with relevant skills being diplomacy, insight and perception. If won, Kay is put on the spot by the commander and is obliged to say that the Silk Glove have acted as loyal servants of Elan and in response Commander Beck gives them the freedom of the town. If the skills challenge is lost then the party will not be able to operate as free agents within the town, but will have to be deputised (and thus forefit some autonomy and loot).

Investigating the events that passed three weeks ago, the party will discover that there was indeed an attack by elves, there were many witnesses. The focus of the attack was the gatehouse where the guards were slain and the gates sabotaged and the coaching inn, The Sly Fox. having secured the gates, the elves broke into the inn and slew many guests that were at rest in the common room - these guests defended themselves and a brawl broke out into the streets as the attackers withdrew, here an elven reserve slew the rallying guests with arrow fire and then set about executing the wounded with a Final Oath.

As fire consumed the inn, the elves broke into the stables and hitching up the caravan carts left the town with their spoils. The inkeepers family were all slain and no survivors remain amongst the guests - the nature of the stolen cartloads is not even known.

Some more in depth investigations can take the shape of a hard skills challenge, complexity four and using streetwise, perception, insight, intimidate and nature. What might be revealed is that the guests were all travelling together in a caravan, they took orders from someone who had a military bearing (but who did not fit the description of Shevek Palfrey). The men of the caravan were pretty hard bitten individuals and fought well despite being attacked in their sleep. Shevek Palfrey was not among the dead and in fact a man matching his description left the town the following day having denied that he was any part of it - he went on towards Stonespoke, the ultimate destination of the caravan itself.

Marshall Hartman intends to garrison Sluttisham at the recommendation of House Lions however he has scouting groups searching from the town south as far as The Wormway though with instructions not to go near enough to endanger themselves.

In investigating the party will meet up with Stern Lions who seems to be wandering about the town largely unrecognised. He asks the party what they are up to and if they reveal what they know of Shevek Palfrey he will tell them that he has already investigated the man who left town, apparently he was in fact a jewler named Skelthern who lodged with Mrs Silver on Cane Street. If the party check this as he invites them to then they will find Mrs Silver happy enough to confirm that Mr Skelthern was indeed lodging weith her and left promptly the morning after the incident.

Stern Lions will then suggest that the incident is a consequence of the Newlon Hypothesis, that displaced indigenes will in turn begin to increase pressure on the Elven Nation resulting in open war as their borders are impinged. He further suggests that the policy on garrison defence as opposed to active policing exacerbates the problem. He now believes that Skyshun itself has become threatened by a significant presence however since there has been an effective declaration of war, it has become impossible to directly relieve the situation.

If one were interested enough to investigate this further then one could start at Abbotsward he suggests, that place has always attracted trouble.

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