The party is nearing Auslaug and are ready to face judgement. At least most of them are; some seem more reluctant to reach the gates than others.
Start Date: October 27, dawn
Start Status: Close to home
Start Location: 10 miles north of Auslaug
The next morning dawns breezy and warmer, with scattered clouds skidding across the sky. The party is quick to get moving, debating, sometimes fiercely, who goes to the keep and who does not. Most think everyone should go, but a few, Ingvild, Mordikarr, and Ohwatoo, suggest that a few should remain encamped, in case things go poorly. Mordikarr is adamant, he will not go to the keep. "Someone must remain with the beasts. I will stay." Ingvild says he will stay with the beastmaster, and Dagmarten decides to stick with his brother. Ohwatoo reluctantly agrees to go when Maro suggests he's the smartest in the party and his insight might be needed. By the time the group reaches Hake's farm and arranges once again to rent his barn for a day or two, the split is made. Mordikarr, Dagmarten, Ingvild, and Jonquil will remain at the farm to tend the beasts. The rest will go to the keep with Locky's remains.
Those going clean up as best they can, then head for the keep. It's afternoon when they arrive at the gate. As before they are ordered to halt beyond the bridge that leads to the (closed) gate. Maro steps forward a few paces and announces the group's presence, "We have returned with the remains of Locky Leatherfoot as ordered, and seek justice before Lord Thambar's seat."
There's a whispered conference among the gate guards, then one calls out, "Wait there, we'll send a messenger."
Maro retreats to where the others wait. "May as well get comfortable," he mutters. "It may be a while." Everyone finds a place to sit along the rocky wall that divides the road edge from the ravine in front of the keep. An hour or so passes, and then the postern door opens. Councilor Frand, accompanied by a guard and two servants, steps out and crosses the bridge. Maro nudges Rawon, "Get up," he whispers. The elves rise and the others follow suit.
Frand pauses at the end of the bridge, giving the party the once over, then he peers at the bundle lying nearby. He wrinkles his nose and gestures. "These are the halfling's remains?" Maro nods. Frand looks at the bundle again. "Not much left," he mutters, then louder, "Standis, Eymund, bear this inside to the place prepared. The two servants move forward, pick up the wrapped remains and start back across the bridge. Frand turns to follow.
"Just a minute!" calls Durego, pushing forward. "When will we see Lord Thambar!?"
Frand turns and gives the cleric a stare. "You will appear before Lord Thambar if and when he desires it. Until then, you have no further business here." He starts back across the bridge, pauses and then looks back at Durego again. "You should check the the head of your order each day. I'm sure he will be involved in the decision ahead."
End Date: October 27, afternoon
End Status: The Gate is Shut
End Location: The gates of Highcliff Keep