Mal prepares the party for their final task as recruits, a “graduation” of sorts. The party, and a decent amount of other recruits, make their way up to Caleb’s Point for wilderness survival training. The party sets up camp and Mal volunteers to take the first shift. A few hours into their sleep, Mal frantically tries to wake them. The group of recruits is being attacked, and the attackers have set the surrounding wooded area on fire.
Mal leads the party further up the Caleb’s Point so they can escape via a small river running down the mountain. The party takes a detour though when they see a cave, as they feel they’d be safer in the cave than wading down the river. In the cave however, soldiers wearing the Hilandian uniform were laying in wait. The party disposed of the soldiers, and decided they should catch up with Mal.
Once they met up with Mal, he led them to the river. Before they were able to start their escape though, the leader of the Hilandian troops caught them. He and Mal fought back and forth, with Mal gaining the upper hand. The Hilandian leader dropped the sword he had been fighting with and drew out a sickle. Mal proceeded to tell the party to run, and that he’d take care of the leader. However, his demeanor had changed from confident to terrified.
The party waded through the river and eventually made their way to a clearing. In the clearing, they met an elf named Tarki’an who promised to take them to shelter for the night. Tarki’an led them to Stingard forest. The party quickly noticed that he was making “bird calls” and getting responses back from somewhere within the forest. Eventually Tarki’an led them to a fortress in the middle of Stingard.
The party was then introduced to a dwarf who appears to be the leader at this fortress. He traded them shelter for knowledge of the incident at Caleb’s Point, and the party divulged that they think the Prince of Arside is involved with the Hilandian army somehow.
The next day, the dwarf calls the party to a council room where he informs them that his network has provided him with more information about the Caleb’s Point incident. It appears that the Hilandian army attacked the recruits, but no reason has been determined. He also alerts them to the fact that they are wanted for treason. He says that no one in the fortress will turn them in and that they are free to go as they wish; but he also insinuates that they might not find any allies out in Lateria. He also tells them that they can stay in the fortress, but only if they prove they can be trusted. He mentions that the village of Fennafinn is under attack by strange creatures, yet the kingdom hasn’t sent any support. If the party goes to Fennafinn, helps the towns folk, and lets them know they’re safe in Stingard forest, they will be welcome to stay in the fortress.