The party started early the next day after arriving back to Norfall from the Sol Sanctum. The party had discussed a few things, but hadn’t yet had the time to flush out a plan. While eating breakfast, Gideon arrives and joins them for the meal and listens to their plans for a few minutes. Eventually, though, he believes it might just be best to provide some guidance and asks them again for a favor.
He states that several prominent members of the council believe that retreating back to the capital city of Alisar would be good and the King has offered refuges a home in the capital city. He tells them that convincing or at least providing good arguments for defense would go a long way in convincing them to fight instead of run. The members of the council that he is most concerned with are Forwick the half-elf wizard shopkeep, Mindim a noble gnome merchant and Senra a dwarven cleric of Moradin. He states that the most aligned with his position is Senra. She has been useful in previous encounters with the town and has been the one most pressed to get things like the pallisade walls and a stock pile of food constructed and created. Forwick seems to be a bit aloof with his descion. Mindim seeks to simply gain the most out of it without going out of business.
As the players already had a relationship with Forwick by buying some magical goods from him, they visited him first. Recognizing the rogue had returned, he starts off by showing him a nicely, well worn but still in great condition set of leather gloves. He tells them that the gloves allow one to move more deftly and nimbly that normal (providing a +2 Dex bonus). Additionally, he managed to obtain a few other goods that the players were interested in. However, the players being a bit more strapped with other purchases, Dugal decided to hold off, though asked Forwick if there might be an alternative payment system to which Forwick agreed, asking Dugal to stop by before he left.
The party then proceeded to debate the siege movements with Forwick and attempt to get some goods at discount or free, though it doesn’t seem like he was willing to buge much in regards to that, though they seem to convince him that it may be more beneficial to try and fight rather than flee.
Next, the party moves to Senra, who seems to be quite busy, though Ru was more than able to talk her into provisions for the trip and after some tips and bits of advice, they feel that she is more than ready to stay and fight rather than run.
Talking with Mindim, they find out that he is basically extorting the villagers with extremely high prices and only after some serious discussion does he agree to sell some product, but even then, it was double the cost for food items. They get the sense, that he’d probably still run if he believed it was the best chance, but was willing to risk quite a bit on squeezing the few extra bits of coin.
Another discussion with Gideon and they set off talking to the Senra and Forwick before they leave. Senra gives the cleric a sack of scrolls Create Food and Water with the current levels, it would be able to feed about 90 people for a day. Forwick has something a bit more underhanded for Dugal. He tells Dugal about a man named Aza who was once his apprentice. However, one night, Aza stole quite of sum of property and after searching a bit, Forwick discovered that he started his own competing shop. He tells him that he lives in a small town called Carran and to reacquire the coins or something of value from Aza, let him know that Forwick did it and return it back and the gloves were his to keep. He states that the total was about 7,000gp.
Dugal convinces the party that he has information that there are some reinforcements in the town of Carran, which while off the path, they wouldn’t lose much time by traveling to it.
Dugal spends nearly a night after finding Aza trying to break into his shop, however, finds himself unable and gives up only to see the wizard basically walk into the door without even unlocking it. Waiting until day break, they party arrives again to do some shopping. They find that the shop contains a very powerful Staff of Life and several other powerful magical pieces. After purchasing a few items, Dugal and RE hear a faint argument that sounds like it is coming from a basement beneath the shop when Aza deposits the coins. Dugal finally informs Moss about his mission and decide that for now, they can put it off as the seige is a prominent threat. They leave for Foxworth, which is but a day’s ride to Blackvine Keep
Arriving in Foxworth, the party talks with another elven cleric named Runni who tells them that she has been in contact with Commander Daraz of the Blackvine Keep. She tells them that the siege is going well, though without food and water that the fight will be only a few more days at most. After some further discussions, the party agrees to send Moss along as a bird in shape-shift to deliver the first part of the food and will bring the rest soon enough.
The day ends after following up some rumors about a secret entrance to the keep buried in an old graveyard site that now lies in partial ruins.