As per our agreement with your aid to the barony of Thorncryf I have spent the last fortnight spying and accumulating data on the Thrister encampment in the Shieldbearer mountains. The King himself has ordered that the time of action to rescue this warhero and warrior of the people is now. We will meet in less than a week’s time to do just that.
I have a cartographer creating a detailed map of the area from my notes. It will be ready, and I will present it to you on the morning of the 15th. I will meet you north of Stonerest and take you to an abandoned outpost where you can stage your attack from. Come prepared.
The following are my findings:
- The Shieldbearer Mountains
- The mountains themselves have an anomaly effect to them I cannot fully explain. There are some dwarven ruins in the area with active rune magic that I have little understanding of. It is clear that some sort of tribal ritual dragon magic has been taking place as well. There are two different rituals taking place in the mountains on platforms. Thanks to three different kind of glyph columns travel powers of any kind are inert. More info on them below. Thanks to finding the “safest” paths travel by foot will not be impossible.
- There are native monsters in the Shieldbearers that must be considered. In the last few weeks I have witnessed Ice Minotaur and Basilisks. No path can perfectly prevent you from running into these monsters.
- The environment is cold, sharp, and dangerous.
- The Thrister Valley
- The Thirster camp sprawls in a high valley. There is only one clear road up the mountains to the Thirster valley. A pseudo basecamp/guard post about a third of the way up the trail acts as a supply depot. This is as far as full sized carts can travel, after that two wheeled carts and individually carried supplies of blood must be taken the rest of the way.
- Three guarded entrances
- There is a main set of true gates that appear to be all that is left from some old ruins. If the gate guard is taking out, stone pillars just after the gate would provide cover to assassins to kill the sleeping Thrister reserves.
- Another guarded entrance on the southern side near their armory. Both entrances are guarded by squads of their youngest members. The guards change out at 1pm and 1am. There is no contact between them and the rest of the camp save for the changing of the guard.
- The third “entrance” is a rolling set of hills from an ancient rock slide. The terrain is smooth enough in areas that an approach to the south up into the mountain, then toward the eastern rise of the valley could be used to walk down the semi-smooth slide into the camp. This entrance is not guarded as it is central to the camp and behind the gates. It is used by the shamans to gain access to a goat path leading north up past the valley to the ritual platforms and the crest of the waterfall.
- Blood Shipments
- There is a dragon blood shipment once a day, the guards at the gate often give trouble to the shipment party, as they can’t control themselves well. The shipments are the most important thing, if one fails to arrive at it scheduled time of noon one elite team is dispatched to get another by 2pm. There are two such teams in reserve for shipment issues and home defense.
- There are scouting parties run sorties around the camp in 12 hours shifts that cycle at 1pm and 1am. A total of three scouting parties are active at at time. They follow certain paths in a certain area, but will divert to engage any disturbance.
- The Spider-Rune Cave
- There is a spider cave that leads into the valley from the West. It seems to be full of rune magic which responded harshly to my presence. These runes suppressed all magic of any type. The exit of this cave leads to drop just above and to the right of where Silverstar is kept. It can easily get invaders in, but not out. The climb would be too much even when not under assault.
- The River
- They get their water from a waterfall leading into the valley. The water can be easily accessed further north, but it comes dangerously close to a ritual platform near by.
- Silverstar is guarded by one of two groups of powerful guards, these are 12 hours shifts. These are not the same Elite troops that concern themselves with the blood, I believe they are less powerful. He is kept at the back of the camp against the mountain wall.
- Something is wrong with the man. He is looking fairly draconic, and does not appear to be terribly injured. He is healed when blood is taken. He is fed quite often by the head shaman but appears almost completely unresponsive.
- Silverstar retains some silver scales about the face, but the exposed scales about his body appear to be red now.
- Silverstar is shackled by heavy conventional locks. However the shackles are warded somehow because only those carrying at least one key can approach him. I believe all of them to be indestructible. This is not the first time I have seen this method used.
- The Keys
- The key locations have been scried and located.
- One is located in the ruins of Buramor
- One is held tight in the armory in the camp.
- One is carried on the High Shaman
- The key locations have been scried and located.
- Ritual Platforms
- There are two ritual platforms in the mountains. A smaller one that the head shaman seems to access daily that is close by. A second, much larger one, is quite a distance away near a vast ravine. The bodies are piled high here and there is evidence of a lake’s worth of blood everywhere. I believe that one of these rituals is keeping Silverstar subdued. I don’t know which one.
- The High Shaman leaves in the late morning for the northern ritual platform not far from the water supply and he always returns between 2-4pm. He has several other shamans with him.
- The larger and more gorey platform seems to be filled with intense power. A great deal of it feels familiar like dragon magic but also seems incomplete and chaotic.
- Dwarf Ruins
- The Thirsters are accessing an uncovered dwarven ruin named Buramor. I could not gain access to the main area they are making use of. I did find an underground passage that contains more of the suppressive rune magic only far stronger. A number of their kobold pets loiter in these ruins. They seem to be acting as truly poor guards. The rune magic will not only suppress all magic but any creature of a certain power level will be rendered completely inert.
- Three totems were found. They suppress all travel abilities of any kind within a certain radius. However these are obfuscated and linked to each other somehow. Each totem is protecting one of the others. They would have to be brought down in a certain order to remove them from the mountains. I have no way to discern which is which.
Ducal Knight of Throncryf
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