With the raiders defeated the party where able to return to Valandris and see the effects of their Seeds sown. Zanthon made it back and was able to take charge organising a force to travel north and deter raids, soon minor trade deals where set up and and major deals where established with the Hastings who brought in skilled workers to work the towns produce with this the town begun to be prosperous enough that it begun attracting residents from surrounding villages. With the town functioning and stable the party where able to spend some of wealth they had recently acquired, Moosa wanting to form a mercenary company had Giles produce armour for himself and Rolan each emblazoned with his new device, Rolan also took the skin from the grey render fought outside Sannus and had it made into a standard (that was later added to by Giles). Between teleportation circle and the giant eagle/portable hole combination the trip from Valandris to Avissium and back was compared to walking preposterously fast so soon the group where making semi-regular visits back to catch up with old friends especially Zorias who was tasked with improving Moosa’s armour and hand crossbows, Rolan’s armour, new swords and battle (standing) standard and a stockpile of reagents and components that Margret and/or Thia could cast work on a permanent teleportation circle in Valendris. The trips did also provide an opportunity for Thia to personally recruit a paper maker and an alchemist in the hope that they would be useful and not to much like old Thaddius.
As long as they where living in Valendris the party took different roles within the town, Thia lived and worked in the magic academy that Margret had almost accidentally ended up running teaching what she had learnt about “field magic”, she did briefly flirt with the idea of building her own attached tower but decided she would save her efforts for the “Deep woods”. Rolan found that he had (more or less) inspired a hunting lodge but rather than working as part of that he used summoned beasts to tunnel an underground home on the outskirts of town, Mara simply claimed a existing house and set it up with the usual amenities such as noisemaker traps and a poisoners lab, Moosa for his part slept in a broken castle tower until it begun being repaired, he did make plans to build a large reinforced wall but gave up for financial reasons.
Between building, Avissium trips and the northern anti-raid expedition things remained relatively stable, Thia learnt some Estarian and Mara learnt some elvish, Mara had regular breakfasts with Ferri to practice Estarian, Thia met with him regularly to discuss theology. Even Edward ended ip joining the town when winter came. When year’s end and the solstice came the town gathered outside the tavern and around the (suspiciously rapidly) growing apple tree in celebration and an exchange of custom built and magically enchanted gifts, Mara gave Zan axes and he gave her a quiver ( heh ) Thia teleported to Avissium and exchanged a custom rapier for some wine in a showing of how far Thia had come not as alarming as when she took Vancill to Valandris via eagle.
On a cool Elgara winters morning Zorias arrived in town and failed to remain inconspicuous. Strange as it was to see him so far from his store he offered no explanation but asking to see the building the party had promised him. This was strange not as pressing as the opportunity for profit. Thia had come to the party with a job, one to be done in Estaria, the party had surprisingly little questions about where the task came from but did find out that payment came in the form of “they’ll be something valuable there, I’l know it when I see it” at this point this was enough and so through to the magic ( safehouse? sanctum? ) to spend the night before setting off in the morning.
In Estaria’s Terba valley the party sourced horses and directions form a nearby village and begun the journey to Terba castle so that they could get Thia to the castles dungeon where she could……….. do… something.
The party where now in Estaria, Rolan didn’t know the language and Thia couldn’t openly use magic. The party where about to break into a castle, what could go wrong?…