Heeding Belrain the Sword-Singer's directive to clear out "mercenaries" in the ruins of Threshold, several adventurers encounter the Company of the White Raven, initially hoping to infiltrate and kill them, but - once surrounded by two dozen armed men - manage to talk their way out of trouble.
The exact political set-up is difficult to describe succinctly. The Company of the White Raven deserted Lord Stefan's forces during the Battle of Threshold, and now profess loyalty to Stefan's rival, Cardinal Ludwig. Over the past few weeks, Sir Froderic has been denouncing Belrain's authority, and thereby turning the villagers against Lord Stefan. Many of these villagers have taken refuge at the East Gate, under the protection of the White Raven Company. So, technically, the White Ravens aren't merely mercenaries, but rather, a serious political threat to the stability of the northern regions, aided in part by a bewitched adventurer's diatribes.
As devout followers of Cardinal Ludwig's interpretation of scripture, the White Raven Company has been enslaving the local Hobbits. In response, many Hobbits in the region have been collaborating with Bargle the Warlock to get rid of the knights.
Scenario: Recover Ruins
Setting: East Gate of Threshold, a ruined town in the Black Peaks
Opposition: Company of the White Raven, Hobbit slaves
Party: Blackwater, Oxyclean, Clearasil the Smooth, Maduro, Von Floyd
In this session:
- Blackwater encountered the White Ravens' "early warning system" - a talking, severed, rotting head, mounted on a pike outside the gate. The head tried to pay Blackwater to carry it back to Rary's Tower, but Blackwater instead stole the coins hidden in the head's throat-stump, and smashed the head to lumps of goo in the dirt. Charming bloke!
- Blackwater's ultimate goal was to offer to join the White Ravens, size them up, and then report back—but between his surly attitude and vandalism, the Company rejected him.
- The party then circled around and approached the East Gate from behind. Von Floyd charmed a peasant, Pinky, to get the exposition. The group went to the tavern, where they saw Hobbit slaves serving the human peasants and soldiers.
- The soldiers freaked out at the sight of the Elves, surrounded the group, and marched them into the courtyard to parley with Sir Accolon, leader of the Company.
- Maduro the Adept prevailed in a theological dispute with one of Ludwig's disciples, Brother Kefram, to the effect that perhaps Hobbits should not be enslaved after all.
- Accolon insisted that rather than trust the words of Elves, he would let the adventurers prove their worth: if they could successfully assault Goblin Castle and eliminate Bargle, perhaps the Company of the White Raven could work alongside Belrain after all.
The adventurers departed the East Gate, ceding this territory to the White Ravens for now.