The group made their way to the Witch and Flagon, where the Duke awaited them in an enclosed back room. After Olvan and Chamille secured drinks, they made their way to the back, where Vaeriel curtly made her way past the guards outside the door. Trianna, Arianna and Teleryn followed suit.
In the room, the Duke sat near the fireplace, behind his guards. Keanne stood nearby, leaning heavily on his staff. When the party filtered in and found their resting spots, the Duke addressed them, speaking to the whole, but making sure he made eye contact with each of them individually.
“I owe you, and the City of Creston owes you a debt of gratitude. If not for your intervention, the breach of the North wall would have been overrun. Your actions this day allowed our forces to push back the siege as a whole.” The duke looked at them and sighed, “I have no right to ask what I am going to, and have no expectations from you, but Creston needs help. Help which I believe you can provide. There are a great many mysteries surrounding this attack. I would find answers to these. The siege engines used against our walls arrived without any warning from the Order of the Orb, who are normally vigilant against this very kind of threat, I would find out how they made their way past our border guards. Also, there is the mystery of these red skinned orcs. This type of orc has never been seen, and Halinde has never used orcs in any attack. Outside of their infernal guides, the Halindeans are extremely prejudiced against anyone not human.”
The group questioned why he didn’t use his own men to do this, and the Duke answered, “For one, we need the troops to defend against the forces arrayed against us to the south, so finding any self-reliant men from the militia would be difficult. Also, if I were to send out men from my militia into the border areas, and this is not an attack from Halinde, it could be seen as an act of aggression, which we cannot afford. For this reason, I ask that you look into this matter.”
The conversation that followed was brief, but informed the party that the Duke and Creston would provide equipment and provisions that they might need, as well as mounts. Teleryn was reluctant at first stating that Tieflings that gain notoriety tend to not live long. This reluctance lasted until Keanne pointed out that Tieflings that have connections tend to live longer. Keanne also told the party that he expected magic was used in the siege, and they should look on this.
The group gathered their equipment and started towards the siege weaponry, where they found a small group of goblins led by a figure dressed in a cowled robe. The figure told the goblins to attack, but try to keep them alive, because “The Blooded” still had their part to play. Throughout the combat, he mentioned the “Blooded” several more times, to the confusion of the party. What did Blooded mean? Unfortunately, the mage used an item to disappear, after stating “I have taken your measure, Blooded, time for me to leave.”