At the end of over month of a combination of downtime, general training, and refitting, the team is gathered in the common room of the command building, where mission briefings are held. Belkar Ahtur, camp commander, is there along with his chief of staff, who normally handles briefings. That the commander is there seems a bit odd, but given the reason behind this is quickly made clear.
Ferryn Torth, an Oornothi dwarf, is present, as well – an old dwarf none of you have ever seen before. He’s a grizzled old sort, and introduced as a former smith and merchant caravan worker, in his younger years.
“A few weeks ago, Mermyon’s team came across some material evidence that leads us to think that a dwarven hold may be within reach, and it could be Therynwald,” the commander begins after formal introductions and some other formalities are taken care of.
“If you’re not familiar with Oornothi history, they were brought into the Kingdom almost a century ago, about a decade after the Storm began. Their people were never very numerous, and spread out among far-flung holds and towns, and they were hit hard by migrations of monstrous populations from the north and west. The histories are pretty fragmented, given how quickly things happened in some places, but the simple story is that the extended clans that are now part of the Mistmarches lived mostly in what was the southeastern reaches of their lands – their distant frontier,” he continues, looking to the dwarf perhaps for confirmation. The old man nods grimly at the tale.
“There are only two holds still in their possession from before they joined with the Mistmarches, and rumors have existed for years about the possibility of others ‘out there,’ ready to be found and reclaimed. The materials – some marked tools, some other implements, as well as landforms make us pretty confident that Therynwald, a hold maintained by the family of a particularly well-known smith, is within reach.
“Torth,” he says, gesturing toward the dwarf, “visited the hold a few times in his youth and when word reached his community about this, he came here to offer whatever assistance he could, in the way of information.”
Torth clears his throat and explains some of the basic layout of the subterranean hold and the two entrances to the place – one the front door, the other a less-known entry through a tunnel. He admits that he’d only been in the first entry rooms, and has no more knowledge of the layout of the rest of the place, but he does offer suggestions and ideas about “things Oornothi” that might help in delving the place.
One he’s finished, the commander hands the briefing over to his chief of staff, who uses a map to show where the area is – northwest, which is well west of where you just were – and the route your team will take to get there. The team’s mission is to get there, determine if the hold is actually there, and if so if it is actually Therynwald. If possible, they are to explore it and determine its current state. The mission is set to last over 2 weeks – 6 days out, a few days for exploration, and 6 days back.
Other details of the mission are discussed, and the floor is opened for questions.
One more thing is announced, too: promotions. Everyone but Sarick is promoted to Scout 2nd class from 3rd class. Sarick’s disciplinary action has held him back. Additionally, Genji is given operational command of this next mission, despite him being the same rank as everyone else. Due to casualties and other issues, there are no additional senior scouts to assign to the team. It’ll be just the four of you. Remember that the Scouts are not a military organization, but someone’s got to be responsible for making the call. Command arrangements like this rotate.
Note: Oornothi dwarves, and dwarves in general, are not as long-lived as in the standard 5e world, reaching adulthood in their 20s and lasting well past 100, typically retiring around 130-150, and dying before 200. Torth is probably just about at retirement age.
Other dwarves are eager to take part in reclaiming the hold if it’s the real deal. If it is, and there are things of value there, they will be claimed by the Scout service and the government will figure out what goes to the dwarves and what doesn’t. This will take into account the standard finder’s share that is set aside for the Scouts themselves.