A few days after Trumhall’s duel and execution the month of Harvestmere ended and on the occasion of the Satinalia Annum Russel was officially knighted by the newly reinstated Bann Krole. He received a shining new suit of reinforced chainmail and a chestnut riding horse. By then the vast majority of Trumhall’s men had returned up north mumbling words of disbelief at their otherwise honourable lord’s treachery. One notable exception was Garrick who the other men disliked and wasn’t from the north in the first place.Krole took all his old men-at-arms back (including Pepyn) and took on Ridyk’s young boy as a page and Ridyk’s wife as a maid, allowing them to earn a living. While times are hard in the Ruswold, the Bann managed to finally pay his men after recovering the crops from Trumhall’s encampment.
Trumhall’s camp was abandoned after his men left, taking much of the valuables with them. Bann Krole and the Ruswolders gave the meagre encampment to Ser Russel, as much as payment for his services as for fear of it being taken over by bandits if it were left unoccupied.
Andana gathered all the equipment that belonged to the bandits and the reclaimed horses and took them to the South Reach where she sold them for cheap to a ‘friend of a friend’ who was willing to take blood stained armours, longbows and swords, no questions asked. She also sold her three draft horses, or rather traded them for a fairly good riding horse.
Andana did not return to the Ruswold, or rather she did only long enough to give the rest of the heroes their share of the money. Instead she took her horse and went back to Vintiver and into the Brecilian Forest where she joined the Ilashan Dalish. She spent her days hunting and learning the ways of the wild and her evenings learning about the history and language of her people. She slowly started to realise that the current state of events is not sustainable for the Dalish and that they need to find a new homeland or take back their old one.
Isaak set up shop in Trumhall’s old camp and started collecting plants for his herbs and poultices. He brewed elfroot tea to help Logerswold children who had the Coughs and a deathroot-melonberry tea to help indiscrete young ladies evade pregnancy. Quite a few people bought his medicines when he peddled them in Logerswold at the end of each week and he even set the bone in an injured logger’s broken leg. After Russel set up the hunter’s lodge in the same building Isaak found it harder and harder to work amongst the noise and the smell of animal blood.
Garrick spent a few days in the Logerswold Chantry, weathering out a severe infection that should have cost him his life. After some ardent prayers from Sister Pliacinth and a short visit from Isaak he made a miraculous recovery. By the time he was on his feet though, Trumhall’s men had left without him and the people of Logerswold regarded him with a mixture of suspicion and fear. He considered leaving southwards to rejoin his people but in the end decided to stay in the Ruswold. The Bann had no need of any more men but perhaps the newly knighted Ser Russel might have need of travelling companions. He too moved into Trumhall’s old compound and spent his days hunting in the woods while tending the camp in the evenings. On many of his forays the black Mabari mastiff that had been Trumhall’s constant companion joined him, helping him bring down his prey with utmost silence and secrecy.
Ser Russel found life as a knight a lot less than all it was hyped up to be. He still had to patrol the roads for the Bann just like when he was a man at arms, only now he had to do it as a leader, and had to question strangers and take the complaints of freeholders. He sold his family’s homestead for cheap to a freeholder whose own lands were in disrepair and invested all of that money, as well as the rest of the money he made into his new encampment. The local villagers were eager to help him build up his new compound. An old carpenter that recognised his fine hammer amongst the possessions recovered by the adventurers offered to plan and supervise the build so they would get it done by snowfall in exchange for it and the Logerswold craftsmen worked through Firstfall and raised a two storey building for the new knight by Haring. Ser Russel worked side by side with them, raising a small but sturdy compound wall on the ridge.
Russel also negotiated Ansel‘s release from his contract with Trewin the Logger following a promise that the former factor will not be re-starting his logging business. Instead, he and Russel started a hunting lodge, where hunters from around the Ruswold could bring their extra meat for curing and smoking or sale. The duo would take 15% of the profits and split it 75-25. The lodge was set up in the smaller building in Russel’s compound.
Finally, as the month started to draw to an end and the cold of winter started to creep in, Russel sent letters to his family in Amaranthine and Redcliffe bidding them to come work for him if interested as he needed people that he could trust to run this new compound. He moved into the second floor of the larger building in the compound and slept exhausted in front of the fireplace each evening with the large black Mabari at his feet.
Month of Firstfall:
50 Sp Each, Heavy Mail – Russel, 40 Sp – Isaak, 20 Sp – Garrick, Riding Horse – Andana
Soldier’s Lodge → 50 Sp → Hunter’s Lodge (10 Sp/week income to Russel, 5 Sp/week income to Seneschal, 5 Sp/Week income to Garrick)
Herbalist’s Shop (10 Sp/Week Income to Isaak while Isaak works there)
250 Sp → Ser Russel’s Hall (2 story Building, 5 Sp/week Upkeep)
50 Sp → Furnishings for the Hall – Large table + 5 chairs, 2 beds
100 Sp → Small Palisade