(Over a year has passed in the real world between the playing of this session and the writing of this entry. The details below may not be 100% accurate to the way events actually unfolded, but such is the nature of recording history. – GM)
The Brightstone League reunited after their separate scouting trips. Trein Stonehelm was shocked and angered to discover that the blizzard his party had been ambushed in was the work of the frost mage Chillhollow. Chillhollow and the other league members were similarly upset when they realized that so many of the militia had been killed, and Chillhollow blamed their deaths on Trein’s poor leadership.
Back at Brightstone Keep, tension filled the air, rippling at the increasing gusts of cold winter winds. The families of the militia men living at Brightstone Keep were distraught over the loss of their husbands and brothers. Funeral rites were prepared for the fallen warriors, and disagreements among the League’s clergy over the proper rituals soon boiled over into a huge argument in the courtyard about Trein’s role in the men’s deaths.
Trein held that his scouting operation had been undercut by his distrustful superiors – The Mighty Storm, who had not allowed him to take the full compliment of men he desired, and Chillhollow, who had hindered the party’s fighting ability with his foul sorcery. Most of the other league members insisted that it was Trein’s foolhardiness and inexperience that led directly to his party being ambushed.
While some of the residents of Brightstone Keep refrained from holding Trein responsible, he had few vocal supporters – the death of the militia men had shaken the vulnerable community, and there were many grievers looking for someone to blame. Eventually, Trein Stonehelm was asked to leave Brightstone Keep. At first he refused, but over the week that followed the atmosphere grew more and more hostile, and he left of his own accord just as other League members were preparing to forcefully oust him.
Mage-Knight Ferion and Sir Fallion of Beckinsire, whose family Trein had been beholden to, decided to stay on at the keep to salvage the alliance between Beckinsire and Brightstone, assuming that Trein would return to Beckinsire and report the events to their father.
With Trein gone, Chillhollow became nervous. He had played a large role in turning the sentiments of the keep against the dwarf, hoping that a pariah would distract the keep residents from himself. Hrimwisards and frostborn were often distrusted and occasionally persecuted in Rassilon, and Chillhollow worried that his conjuring of the blizzard would worsen the keep’s already dim opinion of him. What’s more, winter was coming. It seemed to come earlier every year, and this fact always prompted a renewed prejudice against his kind during the changing of the season. There were more refugees and pioneers arriving at the keep every week seeking shelter or a new life, and the newcomers would not easily distracted by tales of a villainously incompetent dwarf who wasn’t there and they’d never met.
Even as winter started to settle in and the weather became more comfortable for him, Chillhollow was still unnerved by the increased murmuring and furtive glances from the rest of the keep, and decided to find a new place to stay for the winter. Without a lot of fanfare, he packed up his belongings and left, bidding the rest of the Brightstone League farewell.
Meanwhile, The Mighty Storm had also decided to leave the keep, for different reasons. He had kept mostly to his quarters for the last week, buried in his research of elemental magicks. He had arrived at some new hypotheses about alternate forms of elementalism, and was seized with the desire to test out his ideas. He saw the coming winter as the perfect opportunity to explore his theories on the nature of coldfire, and set out to do so with haste, charging his Seneschal, Makkal of Psen, to govern in his stead.
The remaining members of the Brightstone League had little time to determine the consequences of their reduced membership though – the reports of orc activity in the upper valley were increasing, and the residents needed to prepare as much as they could for the possibility of an attack on the keep.