After talking to the local centaurs that came to help, the chieftains son Yarel, puts the unconscious Zendros on his back and helps lead the group back to Quiet Thunder. The chieftain Therin Thunderhooves, will patrol the forest and mop up any survivors of Goreths horde.
Upon reaching Quiet Thunder, the group finds it under attack by orcs. It seems that Gorath left orders to his scouting troops to attack the city should the assault on the druid grove fail. The Four Winds combine their might with the rough Havies brothers and send the orcs packing. Having broken the last of the orcs strength in the region, the town of Quiet Thunder feels much safer and more secure now.
Donny Havies, the youngest of the brothers, comes to Ala about a problem with finances. He has enough money to buy his fiance a great wedding ring or new farm equipment they will need to grow more crops faster. But not enough to do both. Ala comes up with an alternative that has him enter a gambling tournament down in Wheelon, where if he wins he will have enough to do both and more besides. Thats what you get for asking a cleric of luck for advice.
Ormid the mayor ask a favor of the Four Winds. He ask CC to scout the surrounding area and make sure there are no more orcs nearby. He ask the rest to accompany him to nearby Thunderstone to meet with the kings taxman so he can tell him about the recent troubles and hopefully gain soldier reinforcements. As for Zendros, they put him in a farmers basement until he can regain consciousness.
It should also be noted that it was this night, that Shiney and Sunny meet a rather cold character for the first time. Shineys familiar Woody, was less then pleased.
Donny Havies leaves town to the south to enter a tournament. CC heads east to scout, Zendros stays unconscious in Quiet Thunder, and Sunny, Shiney, Polk, and Ala head to Thunderstone to protect Ormid.
The first thing CC does is travel to his small ruined home and bury his wife Kayana and their baby girl. During this time, CC finds traces of orcs fleeing the area, as well as a human coming down from the Thunderpeaks. Following the tracks he meets Tim the Paladin of Torm and Cinders the Hell Hound Pelt. The meeting ends with CC having Cinders and a very upset Tim. This will have far reaching consequences.
Upon reaching Thunderstone Ormid talks to Hurm Thiodor, the clerk of the crown in the city. He says that a mage is scheduled to show up soon and collect all axes for the year as well as hear the annual reports from all the village mayors. However the person that shows up is none other then King Azoun the Fourth himself!! Ormid isn’t sure why the king would show up but he is even more confused by the kings request.
King Azoun ends up asking for volunteers. Young fighting men from the villages. He keeps it private and only tells Ormid what he wants these men to do. Ormid refuses the king, who then angrily teleports away. Ormid then proceeds to drink heavily. Sunny, Shiney, and Ala eventually get him to say what the king wanted.
He wanted men to dress up as Sembians and attack other Cormyrian villages!! He wanted to start a hatred of Sembians to help wiht recruitment. He said it was the lesser of evils and that it had to be done.
While Ormid is explaining this, the mage shows up to collect the taxes. When Ormid ask about the king, the mage claims to have just teleported away from the king less then an hour ago, from back in the palace. Meaning that the real king had been in the palace the whole time.
Realizing they had been talking to a fake, the Four Winds hurry back to Quiet Thunder as fast as they can.
They are too late.
The town is being smashed by a group of warriors dressed in Sembia uniforms. CC shows back up and Zendros regain consciousness during this time. However neither get there in time to stop the slaughter and a entire house fell on top of the basement door Zendros had been in. The Four Winds, led by Porkchop, find Zendros and quickly give chase to the riders. With CCs excellent tracking they find a group of about twenty Sembians gathered in a field with a mage. The mage opens a teleportation portal and the riders start going through.
The Four Winds try to intercept and manage to take on the last couple of soldiers. They dont get any verbal information by they do find a symbol that they later identify as the Iron Throne trading coster.
They return to Quiet Thunder to report what they learned and help the villagers. Ormid calls in Gandrick, Father Feldis, and the Four Winds to council him as they decide if they should rebuild or move to Thunderholme until the problem is dealt with. The eventually decide to move the citizens to Thunderstone. The Four Winds will accompany them and then find a way to send word to the king that the attacks are not actually the fault of Sembia.
However that night Ormid is murdered in his sleep and a domino mask left on his corpse. Most recognize it as the calling card of the Night Mask, a powerful thieves guild in Westgate. They learn a young man named Erevis Cale had been in town asking about an Atheb Firewine. The young man was gone the next morning and it was thought he was the assassin. Sunny Underhill took possession of the mask which turned out to be enchanted. Though why an assassin would leave such a valuable item behind as a calling card wasn’t really clear.
Also that morning Tim the Paladin showed up in Quiet Thunder and ended up taking over the duties of leading the citizens to Quiet Thunder. CC stayed out of sight while he was in town.
So instead of leading the citizens they started to make there way to the capitol of Suzail. A fierce winter storm hit, stronger then any of the storms so far, and drove them to seek shelter in a hidden orcish stronghold they stumbled across. While exploring the small dungeon, they found information on a Shrine of the Eye that apparently was well hidden to the north, right next to the small halfling village of Thunderferry.
Deciding Thunderferry would also need to be informed, the group made a slight detour. They learned that the halflings were having problems of their own. Apparently wolves lead by a winter wolf (a creature not normally found in this climate) have been attacking the town. The group manage to track the wolves down, despite conflicting information between the ranger and druid as to where the wolves were. And the party got to see that Zendros was quite violent with wolves, druid oath not withstanding.
After helping out the group went to purchase supplies, Shiney meet an enterprising halfling merchant named Eltibald Lastlight but decided against investing his money. The group traveled from there to a hidden shrine of Temple of the Eye. An interesting shrine because it praised both Correlion Latherion and Grumnsh. This shrine seemed dedicated to the eternal struggle between orcs and elves. After solving some riddles the party took on the test of the eye. They handled the intelligence and combat test easily enough, but failed to overcome the physical obstacle test. Despite this CC ended up with a elven sword that seemed to respond more to his elven blood.
After returning to Thunderferry they hear news of more hamlets being attacked by Sembian troops and quite a few locals are infuriated. The small eastern lands of Cormyr are more then willing to go to war against Sembia at this point. Though why the Iron Throne would want to start a war is unknown. They also hear of an adventuring competition taking place down in Wheelon.
Figuring that Wheelon, the biggest city they would have visited so far, would be a great place to inform a higher ranking official about the bogus charges against Sembia, the group heads down there. They move even faster when Polk claims he will have to find another group to tutor.