It is decided that the main encampment would be moved to the Temple District while leaving a detachment behind to defend the River Gate. Additionally, a contingent of Freedom Riders is sent east toward Teshwave to scout for Zhent reinforcements. As the conclave disperses and begins preparations a watchman set on the River Gate towers spots movement on top of Eagle’s Eyre. Large war machines are being rolled into position. A contingent of approximately 30 black riders are approaching from the south along the Teshyamar Trail. They stop short just south of the ford across the Tesh River. A single rider approaches and delivers a sealed letter for Kotono Shin. It is delivered to Randall Morn who after reading it looks at Kotono and hands him the letter. It reads:
It has been sometime since we have seen one another, and much has changed. I wish to discuss terms with you.
As Kotono reads the note confusion furls his brow. Suddenly a moment of recognition spreads across his face. Kara Chermosk. Zhent commander of the Black Road caravan operations prior to the Northspire Mercenaries. She infiltrated the Northspire Mercenaries and posed as a caravan guard under the command of Kotono Shin. She is extremely clever and manipulative. It was later learned that she was responsible for the Tesh Pass Ambush in the Desertsmouth Mountain three years ago. Kotono nearly lost his life that day and he has long sought to bring her to justice for her treachery. It seems she is the source of recent troubles along the Black Road. Are the rumors of Zhent operations in the upper mines of Tethyamar true? The only known access to the top of Eagle’s Eyre is from the west.
Lord Morn directs Kotono to lead ride out to receive Kara’s terms. Rhuic, Tarak, Shevaril, Dervin, and Duh’rian accompany Kotono. They are greeted at the ford of the River Tesh by 30 black riders. Others are spotted hiding within the woods on either side of the trail leading up to the south side of the Ford. Two riders, one baring the standard of the Zhentarim meet them. After a tense exchange between Kotono and Kara, the terms are set. The Zhents will spare the citizenry of Dagger Falls under the following conditions – 1) The Northspire Mercenaries and the Freedom Riders vacate Dagger Falls within one week and 2) Lord Randall Morn is handed over before sundown of this day to be publicly executed. Kotono’s reply is simple and terse – unequivocally no. He then promises to slay Kara as surely as he did Olive before. Kara cooly responds, “Dagger Falls will fall before the night is through and the line of Lord Morn will end forever.” As soon as the words pass her lips two arrows find their mark on Kara to hammer home the “negotiations” with an exclamation point.
A furious melee ensues as the the group does it’s best to hold off the Zhent forces at the ford. Three waves of enemies are felled before Zhent archers begin reigning down upon the party forcing their retreat.
This is where we left off…until next time