Distant Horizons

Arrival at Miner's March

Prelude 2b: Quarsith and Talars'argt

Report on the capture of the Orc, Arkus, as recorded by Guard Captain Stephan Simcoe:

The following dissertation of events was arrived at via interviews with the prisoner Arkus, and with Miss Kaia Dargie, a local hedge witch of outstanding reputation.

Some weeks ago, the town of Miner’s March began seeing a rise in animal predations on some of the citizenry. Specifically, there was a large number of mountain lion attacks on individual miners returning to town in the twilight hours. I and several of my guards searched the areas around the attacks but were unable to track the cats back to their lair. The tracks inevitably disappeared higher in the hills as the ground became rockier. The miners began traveling to and from the mines in larger groups, which seemed to lessen the attacks for a bit. However, the mountain lions grew bolder and there were a few attacks on isolated homesteads on the edge of town.

While the guards and myself focused on mundane means of finding a solution to this ongoing problem, Kaia Dargie took it upon herself to seek them out via magical means. Miss Dargie has a way of communicating with wildlife, and she used this ability to speak with the local animals. Through this method, she was able to learn that the lions were not operating on natural instinct, but were being led by someone, or something. She was also able to gain a better idea of where the mountain lions were lairing. She made the unfortunate decision to seek out more information personally before bringing her findings to the town guard.

While hiking in the hills, looking for clues as to who was commanding the cats, Kaia was attacked by the very creatures she sought. By her own account, she fought well, but Kaia’s arts lie in healing, not hurting. Before long, she was unconscious and left for dead. The cats and their Lord left her bleeding, food for the scavengers. Through sheer force of will, Kaia retained consciousness long enough to drag herself into some nearby bushes, and stabilize herself, but her senses left her after that. In all probability, she would have died on that hillside were it not for the chance appearance of two Firaliesti travelers.

The leader of the pair, Quarsith Mournwyn by name, healed Kaia enough for her to wake and explain both what had happened to her, and why she was there in the first place. While the other Firaliesti, Talars’argt, was understandably not eager to do so, the two agreed to take some time to search for the mountain lions and their master. They accompanied Kaia back to her house safely, then returned to the hills in pursuit of her attackers. It took some time, and no small amount of luck, but Firaliesti are far more used to the dark than are we humans, and this comfort with the night allowed them to search longer and farther, eventually finding the animals’ lair.

Approaching the lair, the two were set upon by three cats, one a bit larger than the other two. That one hung back while the other two darted in and out, biting and scratching at the two elves. Talars’argt skillfully kept himself between Quarsith and their attackers, taking the brunt of the cats’ anger. At some point during the battle, the third mountain lion was angered enough to reveal himself as a wild-shaped Druid, later revealed to be the Orc we now know is called Arkus. One of the few survivors of the Bloody Fang tribe, Arkus blamed the people of Miner’s March for the destruction of his people, despite the fact that the orcs had clearly been the aggressors in the attacks leading to the tribe’s decimation ten years ago.

Arkus and his companions retreated to a nearby cave, followed by Talars’argt and Quarsith. From what I can gather, the battle was quite heated, and Arkus was nearly victorious before ultimately falling to the Firaliesti. They bound the unconscious Orc and returned to Kaia’s home, where they rested and healed before brining Arkus to the town jail the following morning. It was at this time that reward was discussed and dispensed. The two spent a few days here in town gathering up supplies for their continued journey. I brought to their attention the Baron’s current expedition project, and loaned them horses to take them to Sunset Bay when they expressed some interest.

It is my opinion that with the capture of Arkus, the attacks on the town will cease. The Orc will be held in captivity until the next time the baronial magistrate visits, at which time Arkus will be tried for his crimes against our town. The two Firaliesti stated that they were sole travelers, and that the dark elves had no designs on moving closer toward Miner’s March. While I believe their words to be true, I am also recommending that further surveillance, and continued surveillance be placed upon the caves they arrived from. A little caution is never a bad thing, after all.

This concludes my report. As always, copies will be sent to the mayor, and to the baronial seat.

Signed: Stephan Simcoe, Captain of the Guard, Miner’s March, Barony of Storm Coast, Elvedon

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