Upon your group’s return to the town of Stockchurch, it became rather evident that the situation in town had deteriorated. Not only were the townsfolk even more reserved than previously, but the town guard had been kept occupied by a travelling bard and his entourage, reportedly sowing dissent across the countryside. Possibly sensing a shared dislike of authority, if nothing else, you freed the bard, Erlen, from the town’s stockade, and proceeded to glean what stories and legends you could relating to Evander Berenger, Beygrim Dolthak, and Sszdirnn Freghym. Unsure of how this act would affect your standing with the town guard, half of your group escorted Erlen out of town, while the other half stayed at the inn overnight.
Unfortunately for you, in the scant few days to travel to the refuge and back, reinforcements were called from both The Shield Eternal and the Imperial Legion. Arriving mid-night after your return to Stockchurch, they proceeded to place the town under quarantine and martial law – it rapidly becoming evident that, among others, they were searching for your group of compatriots. They even succeeded in capturing a member of your group, Keres Sariel, and took her to the nearby Temple of Kord, which they had commandeered to conduct interrogations.
The attempted interrogation by the Shield agents revealed some additional information – there had been recent arrests at the University of Arcaeum, supposedly of the same group whose members you encountered at the refuge, and near Stockchurch. The Shield group in town had actually been sent there to investigate them, and your group was caught in the middle.
While this was progressing, the rest of your group re-entered town, and a short, but bloody battle ensued to free your comrade. Afterwards, some of you assumed the roles of Shield members, while others played the role of prisoner, to leave town under the guise of a prisoner transfer.
Despite – or, more accurately, because – of this ploy, you were stopped by the local Imperial commander, Krayt, who, under orders to expel the Shield from local lands, demanded possession of your prisoners, claiming they had information the Imperial Regent considered vital.
Though he put up a significantly tougher fight, and nearly killed both your employer, Teodor Kraus, and a number of your group, he too fell to your blades as you fled the town of Stockchurch.
Now on the road, a number of options present themselves to you. You can say with certainty that the mysterious group clad in ochre, seemingly opposed to both The Shield Eternal and the Eidasian Empire, is seeking the tombs of Sszdirnn Freghym and Beygrim Dolthak, and the artifacts reputed to be within. Their own correspondance has told you they are working in a number of cities in the region; Breckridge, home to the Imperial Regent; Garbay, a local trading hub; and Phyrce, a city built around the Shield Eternal fortress known as The Blade. The additional information of the Regent’s order to expel Shield agents from the region can only serve to complicate things further.