Now with two successful missions under their belts, the Tor-men returned to their mighty stronghold to report recent events and await new orders. Vernon Burnes for once was happy to see the returning agents, congratulating them for a mission well done. He issued each man 200 gold pieces before briefing the agents on their next assignment. In the Marcher kingdom of Falland, the Princess Rala, Daughter of King Berkley of Falland has gone missing, suspected kidnapped. She was last seen attending her studies in the massive port city of Rooker missing from her quarters with a good friend of hers found dead, slain by a dagger in her spine. Vernon tasked the agents with finding the missing girl, dead or alive, return her to her family and punish those who took her. Vernon said little information was known at the time about the circumstances of her capture, but time was of the essence for a situation as fragile as this and agents had to be deployed as speedily as possible. After but a single night’s rest the Agents packed their wagon and set out, bidding good luck to Dean Backer and his team on their mission across the border into the Bythennian Empire.
After crossing the border into Falland from the Chalim Confederation the agents noticed abandoned farmland and many brunt out homesteads. Clearly something was amiss in Falland. While plodding along the solemn road Arandur Nightwalker heard sharp screams and cries faintly ahead. What awaited the agents was sheer butchery as bandits raided a roadside inn, slaying the patrons and laying waste to the building. Dahl attempted to reason with the bandits, who judging by their accents were a multi-national group, but they refused to comply and battle was soon joined. Expecting the bandits to be little more then a bump in the road, they showed surprising discipline and skill at arms, and by the end of the struggle the agents were battered but victorious. The final butcher’s bill was 5 bandits dead, 2 captured, and 8 innocent lives lost, 4 of which caused indirectly (with the exception of one…. Kolt) by the Tor-men.
The agents buried the dead and interrogated their captives. Little information was gathered but they did learn that the bandits were in fact mercenaries hired some months back to reap havoc throughout the land. On the corpse of the mercenary leader Kolt Leakwood found a crest that appeared to be a bronze “R” with additional details within it.
A little over a day later the Tor-men came in sight of Rooker. While approaching the gates a dense crowd formed, begging entry within the walls but were kept back by city guards, declaring that no one was allowed within the city walls until order was restored. The Tor-men pushed through the people and were admitted into the city. The guard who lead the agents past the gate informed the Tor-men that riots had been raging in the city every night for the past week. He informed the agents that there is a populace movement in the city hoping to form a representative body of the people that has gained traction in recent weeks due to an influx of people fleeing rural areas of Falland claiming banditry is at an all time high and the nobles of the land are doing little to stop it. The guard also informed the agents that things had gotten worse ever since the city guard has begun lashing out at the people ever since the Princess went missing and Prince Warrick, her brother, showed up. The agents then asked for directions to the Tor offices within the city and met with Rander Booth, a Tor agent tasked with keeping an eye on Rooker.
Rander was glad to have additional Tor-men in the city but was unfortunately unable to help with their investigation. He had been kept occupied with the riots, and though he had investigated the missing Princess briefly had not been able to learn anything meaningful. Rander was prepared to help and arranged meetings with Duke Francis, the lord of the City and Knight-Captain Hart, commander of the city guard. Rander also took the opportunity to explain to the agents that the rioters were part of a group lead by a charismatic man by the name of Malcolm, who despite being the leader of the group was against violent action.
While en route to the palace to meet with Duke Francis, the agents encountered a commotion in the streets. Two men clashed in a brutal duel, swords flailing until one or the duelists throat was opened and he lay dying on the road. The onlookers then cried in revulsion as the winner, a strange looking man with bright red hair, leaned over his fallen foe and cut out his heart, licked it and then tossed it to an ominous rag tag group who appeared to be his companions. Rander informed the Tor-men that they were a band of mercenaries who arrived in town about two weeks ago and had been stirring up trouble since they showed up. They also appear to have no interest in tracking down a contract meaning they are either already employed or have their own agenda.
While meeting the Duke the agents also met with Prince Warrick, brother of the missing Princess and heir to the Kingdom of Falland. The Duke informed the Tor-men that they had been unable to find out what had become of the Princess, but were certain she had been taken by Malcolm and his band of miscreants in order to enforce demands or make a statement. Prince Warrick then attempted to order how the Tor would serve him in the act of finding his missing sister, but put off by his haughty demeanor the Agents rebuked the Prince and said they would operate alone and free of his command. This angered Warrick who stormed from the room, displeased by the Tor-men’s impudence.
The agents then made way for the city barracks wherein they met with Knight-Captain Hart and his second in command Lt. Alistair Whip. Hart informed the Tor that his men were spread thin as it was containing the riots and had no lead on the location of the missing princess, other then that he assumed like the Duke and Prince that she had been taken by Malcolm’s mob.
That night the Tor-men decided their best course of action would be to infiltrate the mob and try to find Malcolm and question him as to the whereabouts of the missing Princess. During their search Arandur Nightwalker vanished, not be seen again until early the next morning. While going through the city the Agents witnessed all kinds of violence, including rioters torching buildings, clashes between guards and the mob, and even a fully armed cavalry charge lead by Prince Warrick.
The remaining Agents were successful in tracking Malcolm down, who they met after he gave a speech to some of his followers in an abandoned warehouse. After the speech the Agents were escorted by some of Malcolm’s men (whom they had coerced into leading them to him) to a back room where they witnessed Malcolm speaking with a mysterious man in fine clothing and wearing a pendant in the same “R” shape as the emblem they had earlier found on the mercenaries corpse. He was accompanied by a half dozen guards equipped in foreign armour and wielding long scimitars. Dahl Orland recognized one of the guards as the red haired man they saw in the duel earlier that day. The mysterious then left and Malcolm turned his attention to the Tor Agents. Malcolm first attempted to recruit the Agents to his cause, claiming that what he and his followers were doing would help usher in a new age for the Marcher Kingdoms. The Agents flatly refused and then questioned Malcolm about the missing Princess. Malcolm, much to the Agents chagrin did not provide an answer to where she was but claimed he has his suspicions who does. When asked about the mysterious man Malcolm gave no answer. The agents had put together that it was likely the mysterious man who had hired mercenaries to act as bandits and attack rural villagers who in turn flocked to Rooker and joined Malcolm’s cause. As proof of this Kolt showed Malcolm the pendant they had found. This outraged Malcolm, and he opened up to the party, informing them the mysterious man called himself Orton, and that he was a very wealthy man from far to the south across the Heart Sea who had taken an interest in the work Malcolm and his followers were doing in Rooker. Malcolm also informed the Agents that he was fairly certain that Orton was behind the kidnapping. Malcolm then invited the Agents to accompany him to a meeting with Orton the next evening and that if they are willing to come can meet Malcolm at the warehouse at 7pm.
The Agents left and returned to the Tor barracks to sleep. There they re-united with Arandur and informed him of the details of their investigation.