I made my way to the only contact in the city whom I thought may have information on my hunch regarding the small map I caught glimpse of in Lilitharis' journal.
Approaching the entrance to Baron Kendrick Hathwayes estate I have flashes to the cries of his children, the heavy rain and chaos of the bandit raid that hit the caravan that night many years ago. I remember jumping into action, my mind hellbent on saving those kids. I recall drawing my axe, and screaming in rage at these opportunist fucks. My muscles tense as I grasp the rope to ring the visitor bell to the estate and I'm almost transported to that desperate struggle, the stench of mud and rain and sweat and blood. The shrieks of dying men and elves. The pain of wounds received. The pleasure of total Rage. The ecstasy of being lost in nothing but the absolute joy of revenge and collecting on the wages of sin. It was the last raid that particular band ever embarked upon.
I pull the rope so hard I absolutely destroy the whole apparatus .
The clang of the bell and the splintering of wood and severing of rope snap me back into reality.
Earl, the butler for Baron Hathwaye approaches and leads me into the estate.
Inside I am the Baron and I exchange pleasantries and warm welcomes. Though the Baron is not one I would say is sentimental in the least, he is always happy to help me for saving his family so long ago. I have also used discretion over the years as to how often I would use his assistance. A few times a year would I visit and only in circumstances of great need. I was also trusted in delivering..."messages" on behalf of the Sir Hathwaye. We have quite a mutually beneficial relationship.
To my surprise the Baron himself has quite a collection of maps of the area, and my suspicions are confirmed that the crudely drawn map did indeed show the road to Dawndale. The X to the north was more than likely one of the mines in the hills.
I tell the Baron to keep an extra watch around his children, as they have been disappearances.
Returning to the house the others have gathered some excellent information. The missing children are confirmed to be Aether sensitive children tapped to go to the Academy.
Xenovu heard tell of a man with a raven tattoo trying to buy a cartload of fish outside of a hamlet on the way to Dawndale named Rylye (of which two missing children were from), which would possibly serve many normal mouths or one horrendously large one.
We learned the name of the person responsible for Academy recruitment was a human woman named Daia Iamor.
At dinner a truly terrifying occurrence as Rixie, a friends with Ewan came to read the items from his mothers secret office in the way of the soothsayers.
She sees images of death, darkness, subterranean terror, fear, pain and of a being powerful enough to cause Lilathris to flee. upon reading the orb, she takes a psychic shock and passes out.
I waited up for Asai, who came bumbling in late with a giant cart she has purchased for the travel. She explained away her gruesome altar as a way of worship to the old gods. Though that hasnt totally cured my suspicions of her, I know faith has demanded some strange devotion over the millennia. Coming from a village that mainly worshipped Kynthia, I try to not to be prejudiced against non standard worship.
The next morning we arrive at Mirieles place to a true cacophony. Her and Xenovu were collaborating in what could be called music by the loosest definitions of the word. Her neighbors seemed very cross.
We followed a lead to a hostel in Oldtown, searching through Daias room, we found a false bottom in a chest with a uniform of the Raven bastards and some light green glueish substance that niether Miriele or Asai could identify.
So it stands to reason that Daia is in cohorts with this crew that are kidnapping aether sensitive children that are to go to the academy. I fear we are on the same path as Lilathris many years ago, and whatever we find in Rylye, my mind drifts northward...to the darkness of the mines...and whatever evil dwells therein.
After a fitful night sleep