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Subject: PbV Campaign 2-9: Trouble on the Road rss

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Andrea G
United States
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Panda Empress, First of Her Name
It's morning when Catriona returns to the MacLeur house. Travel preparations are made for their journey. Fortunately, it's a short one -- only about a day and a half by caernide or two days by foot. They decide to go by foot, because the group wants to ensure they won't be watched as their caernides are in the Duke's stables.

About an hour outside of the city, Filian becomes convinced there is someone following them. He never actually sees the person, but he hears the rustle of leaves behind him and spots the occasional moving shadow. They decide to ambush the shadow: Fiona and Ruariridh will continue walking down the path while the rest of the party rely on Caerian's powers to camouflage them. Once their pursuer passes them, Catriona will sneak up behind him or her. They enact their plan at a bend in the road ahead.

Unfortunately, their pursuer notices the group and flees. The party doesn't recognize the person, but they recognize the crest of the Hilderin Knight on his shoulder. Caerian shoots an arrow in his direction (deliberately wide), and Catriona yells, "It's a Hilderin Knight!" to get Fiona's attention. The trio then take off after him. Catriona is the one who catches him and manages to bring him down with a tackle.

When Fiona arrives, she recognizes him as one of the personal squires of Sir Albin. He announces that he has orders not to speak and promptly stops speaking. When Fiona tries to haul him to his feet, he goes limp and refuses to move. Fiona disarms him and tells him to return to his master to report that he failed his mission. He has the good grace to look embarrassed at that, but he remains silent. Ruariridh thinks he may be a scout for someone else. They decide to keep moving, and the Knight openly follows them and at night camps beside him.

That night, the party hears screaming. They rush towards the sound, and they find a dark shape by the side of the road. It's the body of a man hung between two trees with his throat slit very, very deeply. There is a camp nearby, and a Varigal's stick sits next to the bedroll. Catriona thinks she's maybe seen him at the Frozen Waterfall once or twice. It's apparent that there was a struggle around the bedroll, and there were at least a few attackers. The man's pack has been emptied on the ground, and there are tracks leading back towards Seol. They cut him down.

The Squire seems horrified by the scene and claims he knew nothing about this. Caerian asks the squire if there's anything he'd like to know and points out that if he's a Hilderin Knight, then they're on the same side. He says he shouldn't...but he does ask where they're going. Caerian tells him, and he agrees to take the information about the murder (and their destination) back to the city in the morning.
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