17.09.840 TE – 20.09.840 TE
Jynosora, Limbes, Senna, Sola, Zhadarra
Image Source: The World of Thedas
The first time we meet our heroes, we find them in a dark cave, surrounded by people they don’t know. Each one of them is bound by arms and legs, and they’re all huddled into a dark corner, away from their captors, but in plain sight.
They are seven captives in total:
Aug, a rugged Avvar man, and Frigga, a pregnant Avvar woman, both from a nearby hold in the Frostback Mountains, called Wildeholt, Jynosora, a dwarven merchant and warrior, who has left her former home of Orzammar; Limbes, an elven hunter from the forest of Tirashan, which is far in the West, beyond the Frostback Mountains, and even further, beyond the Dales and the Nahashin Marches; Senna, a Tevinter mage, who won’t disclose where she is from; Sola, a qunari warrior, who was adopted by human parents in Amaranthine; and Zhadarra, a dragonborn mage, who will not talk about her past.
After some conversation, the captives find out that each one of them has been captured by what the Avvar among them call Black Pelts. Aug tries to stage an escape, but gets shut down, and when he tries again, one of the slavers stabs him. Jynosora, however, is not that obvious, and manages to wiggle free, to free the others discretely.
When there is a commotion outside of the cave, and the two remaining guards rush to check it out, the group decides now is the time, and they hurry into the center of the cave in search of weapons.
Jynosora unlocks a chest containing the group’s items, as well as some other weapons. Senna picks up a knife from a dead Black Pelt, just in time, before the same guards run back into the cave, seemingly spooked by what they found outside.
The heroes defeat the slavers quickly, and then flee the cave, only to walk into a large group of what they soon find out are members of clan Wildeholt, as well as many dead Black Pelts, some of them frozen solid, barely visible in the late evening light.
Among the clan members is Astrid, thane of clan Wildeholt, whose commanding attitude the heroes don’t like. Thus refuse her when she asks them to take Aug’s body to her. She doesn’t seem to be amused, and so Senna gives in and helps Kai, another avvar, drag Aug’s body outside.
Astrid then offers them food and shelter in her hold, grateful that they at least kept Frigga safe.
The heroes cautiously accept.
In the dark, they climb higher up into the Frostback Mountains, following the Avvar to their hold.
The heroes arrive in Wildeholt and are asked to join the festivities in the Main Hall food—and ale, lots of ale.
They get to know some of the Avvar: Ria, a strong warrior with red hair, who seems to be unusually talkative for an Avvar; Ise, a deaf mage with long, flowing white hair, who favors Primal magic above all else, and tries to get them all drunk, and Kai, a long haired blonde warrior, almost as buff as the qunari among them.
As the night progresses, Senna accepts Ria’s offer of a hot bath, and follows her into a small cave nearby, to enjoy the natural hot springs.
Zhadarra refuses any and all food and drink, and just sits sullenly in a corner, while Limbes talks to Ria and gets drunk with Ise. Jynosora and Sola drink so much of the unfamiliar alcohol, that they forget about their differences and internally pray not to wake up with a banging headache. The two of them drunkenly decide to sleep in a corner of the Main Hall, forgetting about the hut that was offered to all of them.
At some point Ria invites the heroes to join the air burial the next morning, where they will offer Aug’s body to the gods.
The next morning, Jynosora, Limbes, Senna and Sola attended the ritual, while Zhadarra is off meditating in the sun. They watch as the Avvar cut open Aug’s body and present it to the skies. Shortly after, three giant birds come flying, easily as large as a human, and feast upon the flesh of the dead man.
Afterwards, Ria asks the heroes to do them a favor, since her clan basically saved them from the Black Pelts, and gave them an opportunity to escape.
All she tells them is that a village at the foot of the mountain sent them a bird, carrying a letter, in which the village’s warden asked them for help. It seems that villagers have gone missing.
The village is called Vintiver, and they have been trading with them for many years, each of them providing the other with things they could not produce in the area they lived in.
The heroes argue around, not sure whether they should help these people, despite having enjoyed their hospitality. Finally, Senna agrees, and makes sure that the others follow her lead.
Ria offers the heroes to draw a rough map of the land, or to send a guide with them, and they ask her to join them. Ria refuses, stating that she is Astrid’s second and wouldn’t leave her side. Instead, she offers to send Frigga or Kai with them.
The heroes begrudgingly accept Kai as a navigator, stating that they don’t want the pregnant Frigga to get into more trouble.
They climb down the mountain and keep an eye out for predators and Black Pelts. They spot neither.
Kai stops them at some point to hunt and forage, since they would be needing more food, and none of the heroes brought any, except the few rations they got from the Avvar. Jynosora walks off on her own, taking down a lonely boar, while Limbes shot a dear and Kai catches two rabbits.
Afterwards, they descend the mountain and make rest in the cave they had previously been held in by the Black Pelts…