High Pass - Humble Beginnings

A New Dawn - DM's Notes

The First Month of Duty

The adventurers awoke this particular morning to something different – a summons from the head of the watch, Sergeant Garvin. They made their way to the wall where they were presented with their new tabards and gear as befitting the newest apprentices of the guard. Once they stowed their gear and returned, Sir Barrister said a few words of prayer over the group and left them to return to their duties.

Over the course of the next month, they began to realize that life in the guard was a life of routine. Patrolling the grounds, watching for signs of invaders, training in the center with the older veterans – life was filled with the endless task of the routine. Until…

One particular morning, one of the servants of the fort approached them as they made ready for morning patrol and asked for their assistance with some missing animals from the nearby village of Rojon. As Brice – the servant – was not known as a man who was dishonest, they followed him out to the flocks. As they left, one of the Scouts named Niavara took notice and accompanied them. They found the site and searched around until they discovered a large footprint obscured in the mud leading off towards the higher mountains. Niavara listened as they made the decision to follow and seemingly paid little attention to the group as they followed the scant clues that led to a large cave in the mountain walls. And from the caves they heard a voice humming and singing to itself. Before anyone could act, the voice called out and welcomed them to join it inside. As Niavara did not appear to be disturbed at this, the adventurers went inside and discovered a stone giant cooking the two missing sheep.

The giant, who introduced himself in the language of his people, was travelling between mountains ranges and “found” the sheep in a pasture. He did not notice the fences, and when questioned about it, seemed shocked and dismayed at the prospect that he had, in fact, stolen someone’s property. He offered to pay a proper sum for the two sheep, and deposited a large sack of coins and gems at the party’s feet to give to the villagers for their sheep – a sum far in excess of the sheep’s value. Binty, as they came to name the giant, finished cooking the meal and they all stayed to eat because they felt to do otherwise might have been insulting. They questioned him about giant activity in the area, and asked about some of the rituals involved as he was seeking a mate. After the meal was done, they excused themselves and brought the princely sum to the village. The village elders gave some of the money over to the fort as a reward for the integrity of the soldiers, and they all returned home with an amazing tale to tell during the rounds of gambling and boot shining and the like. And a few days later, no one believed a word of it and the rumors and stories quickly died away.

A week or so after the events at the cave, the adventurers were in the dining hall finishing up a meal and preparing for morning patrols as was their duty when one of them was approached by Adria, a cook. She begged them to investigate the sounds coming from below in the larder as some of the food appeared to have gone missing and there were sounds coming from behind one of the locked doors. The group went below, unlocked the doors, and spied a group of rats busily eating some of the contents of a burst sack. They took no time in dispatching these animals, but one of them charmed one of the larger creatures and managed to befriend it for a time, asking it some questions about its habits and nest, learning that there were a few more larger rats in the room beyond.

They group unlocked the door and surprised the other group of rats, quickly dispatching the cold and starving creatures. The one rat then informed them of the location of the nest, the hole in the building, and the location of the entrance from outside which they quickly repaired. After this was done, they allowed the animal to go free. After this was done, they returned to their normal duties, and all was again routine for nearly the remainder of the month.

With but two days left in the month, the group had drawn night patrol for the last week and was enjoying the routine of patrol in the snow. While winter in the mountains was always interesting, snow had started early this year and already they were approaching more than 3" on the ground with no end in sight of the snow falling. As they were finishing up the evening patrol, they heard voices and noises from the stables and decided to investigate. They burst through the doors to find 5 starving and desperate individuals attempting to steal horses. One of the group, a boisterous and eager individual, joked that he could take all of them on himself as they launched themselves into the fray.

The thieves were outmatched from the start, as the adventurers quickly overwhelmed them and dropped two of them with their quick maneuvers and expertise. Sharp blades and fiery magic made quick work of the rest as the 5th thief dropped his blade and surrendered rather than end up like his friends. They tied him up and sent for the watch sergeant, who questioned the thief briefly before sending him to the stockade and chiding the adventurers for not taking the initiative to capture more of them and just killing them outright. He curtly dismissed them to their bunks, informing them without saying so that they were probably going to be receiving some sort of administrative punishment or harsh words for their conduct at some point. With that, the adventurers returned to their bunks.

The last day of the month, after having received neither punishment nor criticism for their actions, the adventurers received duty patrol with Sergeant Kant – the punishment had arrived. Sergeant Kant took them around the fort for an extended 14-hour patrol in the 6" deep snow as they examined buildings for signs of infestation, examined trees for signs of rot, checked roadways for damage, watched the cliffs for signs of falling rocks, and other such “useful” practices. However, Sergeant Kant appeared to take all of it as a serious task, and took the time to listen to everyone’s points of view about certain tasks and allowed them to decide how best to resolve certain issues that were found. Once the patrol was completed, Sergeant Kant released them for the remainder of the month, giving them the remainder of the day to themselves. As they returned to their bunks, they received word from the watch sergeant that they need not present themselves for duty for the next two days, as they were being given the first two days of the month off as personal time.

But when they returned, they were to report to Sir Barrister directly in his home instead of at duty formation to receive their next round of orders…

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