In a grand meeting room in the dungeons beneath Duke Jargrin Markavia’s palace in Nahrain, the 5 leaders on whose sound judgement the lives of hundreds including the very duke himself would depend were brought together for the first time:
- Sir Travith the Garrulous, recently knighted and a rising star at court and in the army. His reputation as an officer and the duke’s faith in him made him an obvious pick for a leader.
- The lady Malika Hangale, a soldier but more importantly a member of the extremely rich and influential Hangale merchant family. Obviously so influential and important a group deserved a representative on the expedition.
- Katro Vanivis, a simpler commoner from the wild frontiers of the duchy. He was the only soldier in the area known to be a highly skilled woodsman and available on short notice, the Duke believed his practical experience with living in the wilderness would be invaluable.
- Fenris Niehran, the son of an extremely powerful, wealthy, and influential nobleman who rules the distant town of High Mill. He was included to placate this important vassal of the Duke.
- And Count Levelar Vlalrey, an old man recently ennobled on account of his great wealth and perhaps a political service to the duchy. Why he in particular was chosen as one of the 5 leaders remains to be seen.
After introducing themselves and signing the lengthy contract that establishes what their legal standing will be as they go out and settle a distant land for the duke, they were brought the expeditionary funds: 65,000 gold with which to purchase what they pleased. After lengthy- and sometimes less than collegial discussion they decided on what to buy at last.
The remainder of the evening was spent purchasing those supplies.
The next day likewise from dawn to dusk was spent frantically running out purchasing and ordering vast quantities of goods of all descriptions. By evening it was clear that the expedition would have everything it needed and be ready to leave the next morning.
By the 46th, news has reached the expedition that the weather in the north is unseasonably warm and the snow in the mountains is melting faster than expected. That means the enemy armies encamped on the other side will break through all the sooner and the expedition must make haste.
Fortunately, they are ready to go and leave that morning with little fanfare and not even a sendoff from the duke.