After some time, our heroes awakened in the forest, and struggled with one another deciding what was best to do. As before, Caini demanded that the party head to The Princely City of Illmor, while Hurendel pleaded that they stay and fight to protect the town and save other survivors. Reluctant to make a choice without more information, Nephera and Avery Martell went back toward the town to get a better view. Climbing a tree and peering into the encampment that now overran The Monastery of Carok, it was apparent even from that considerable distance that retaking the captured town would be next to impossible.
Already fortified and with prison pens established, there was little hope that the four of them could make any reasonable progress without outside help. As such, they set off toward Ilmor to petition the princes at Caini’s request.
The road itself was treacherous, as a number of kobolds attacked their position at night, and an ambushing hobgoblin set upon them later up the path. Eventually, the four reached Erenon Outpost, where dozens of other refugees from the monastery were camped outside of the fort. After a short time walking among the tents and small fires the refugees had established, they quickly fell in with some new friends: Eledhron Auroanc, a packrat scavenger, Ellon, a priest from the Princely City, and Maelmi, a merchant who was attending The Festival of Bounty to sell her wares. It was decided that they would be better off gaining entry to the fort to petition for help, or at least have a roof over their heads for the night.
After trying and failing to intimidate and persuade the guard, they eventually were able to bribe their way into having the sentry rouse Captain Varanien, the elf in charge of the outpost. After some discussion, Varanien implored them to seek out Ellariel Umeer in the Princely City, who should help them acquire the three princes’ aid in the coming battles against the hobgoblin horde, who he identified as Severed.
That night, the party stayed at the Erenon Outpost, and shared what little food they still had – which included some cakes that Maelmi was able to purchase from Maleik Othiannen – a fact that brought the heroes much joy, but also much sadness when they considered the unknown fate of their friend and host. The next morning brought the group setting off for Ilmor with their new friends, except for Caini, who would not be woken to follow.
Again, the road was fraught with dangers, and additional hobgoblin ambushes that the party was able to avoid. Eventually they came upon a burned out house, the inhabitants slaughtered, their left hands missing. Surely this was the work of the Severed. Disturbed and wary, they ventured onward. During a skirmish with some feral bats, it was proven that Eledhron was more than capable with a thrown axe, and might prove useful later on.
At long last, our refugees reached the walls of the city, brought the news to Ellariel, and were told to return in the morning to meet with the princes themselves. Varanien had sent a falcon with the news, but the council awaited the personal testimony of those who had witnessed the attack. Turning in for the night at The Sleeping Beggar, the party met Sybeth Colke, an old friend of Eledhron’s. Elon and Maelmi went their separate ways, and the remaining four headed to sleep, eager for the meeting with the princes the following morning.