The day after the caravan’s return to town a short ceremony is held to mark the work and sacrifices of those who were involved. Dahr Morleigh gives a short speech, eulogizes the dead, and formally adds the names and deeds of the crew to Renlen’s official ledger. For the leaders of the expedition a reception and feast are held that night at his personal residence, and prominent citizens shower the men in thanks, praise, and in some cases gifts. All are put up at the Last Bastion, the nicest inn in town, for the night, and given good food and all the fine treatment and services available there.
The next day dawns slowly, with heavy clouds obscuring the sun for most of the day, and bringing with them a steady snow, which lasts for three days. By the time it abates the town is blanketed in a solid coat of white and the Sconay Peaks are covered entirely in heavy snow. On the fifth day the sun shines through clearly for the first time over the winter landscape, giving only slight warmth through the crisp, dry winter air. The temperature is about 20 degrees lower than it had been only two weeks before, and it’s obvious to everyone that winter has set in.
Based on conversations at the ceremony and reception, and general knowledge of the town and region, the following issues are known:
- There is concern over the ‘Frost Men’ and what threat they might present, and this is more pressing than the Wolfen, as it is likely that the snows will keep them away until Spring. Given the lack of knowledge of the ways of the Frost Men, it’s unknown as to whether or not they’ll come down into the lower elevations, where some farms and a mill sit, because of the snows. No one knows, although there are plenty of old rumors now given life by proof of their existence. How this will be handled – passively or actively – is also up for debate, with some arguing for further, strong reconnaissance of the mountains to varying degrees to test their plans and resolve. And while most people accept the Frost Men as a real threat or at least a challenge, there is definitely some skepticism – expressed respectfully – over their magical left eye snow blast. C’mon…maybe it was just a some trick, right? Surely. The yeti they can accept more easily than a magical eye blaster.
- The Wolfen threat is virtually unknowable at this point, since all that is clear is that Amaschat has been burned, and that they are violent and at least somewhat intelligent. And, they are hopefully stuck on the other side of the mountains for Winter. But what if they decide to come over the pass? What if their mounts and motivation carry them south? Some people are more concerned about this boogie man than the more concrete Frost Men.
- News from the east of the river – that is, from the more developed side of Lineon – is varied and provokes different responses. First, word is that Moizhian Ethrey, the colony’s leader, is back from the Old Realm after being there for several months. She recently presided over a large ceremony confirming the Realm’s victory in its long war and with that great achievement a ‘New Age of colonial development,’ soon to commence. She is generally respected by the socio-political establishment, and known for her firm, dispassionate leadership – very Elven. One thing definite that was announced is an upcoming tour of her chief lieutenants throughout Lineon, meeting with the various Dahrs here and there – sounds like an inspection tour to some, or a chance to show off for the locals to the higher-ups. Word is that the tour will start next Spring, as things slow down a lot during Winter.
- A few land owners who control a number of farms outside of town complain about bandit activity, attributed to the ‘River Bottom Boys,’ a group of highwaymen who have hit travelers and remote homes and farms for the last year or so. They’ve also created similar problems for the (smaller) towns of Indoschan (south) and Derryn (east).