At camp above the banks of a small tributary to the Dessarin River, the party was greeted by The Lady of Rundreth Manor. She first appeared in the trees, above Geth as he patrolled the camp perimeter, noting the fish that now frolicked in the river as he walked past (an effect of the magical shield he had acquired some time ago). She was completely naked. Geth, at first suspicious of her motives, did nothing to remedy this, but after prompting he did lend her his cloak so she could parley with the group.
Lady Rundreth spoke plainly, stating that she had an hour before her magic expired – confirming that she was not really there – but using magical means to communicate. She came offering the party employment now that their brief time being bankrolled by the Zhentarim had come to a close. She stated that her goal was the complete elimination of the four main cults in the area – a task she could not complete alone and that she was building alliances and recruiting agents. In addition to payment, she was offering her own counsel, access to her intelligence gathering capabilities and other future support, currently unspecified. Why she had chosen the adventuring party she was less clear – saying that they were close and passing through her area.
The party questioned her on her motives with their usual lack of tact. Lady Rundreth acknowledged that her drow nature was a reason why the party may not trust her motives – but that she was not what she seemed and did not speak for her kin. The lady stated that her identity and reasons were secret, but that as a sign of faith, she would reveal them to Janner and allow the party to then take Janner’s word on what she had seen and heard – with a free choice to continue to act independently if they wished.
The Watchful Knight, the helmed horror that had joined the party on their quest from before Bargewright Inn to just before the encounter at the Stone Monastery, came amongst them and the party learned that the armour belonged to the Lady and acted on her behalf. The Knight brought with him a sizable chest containing ten 5lb trade bars of gold (each bar worth 250gp), a fine oil painting of griffon riders fighting a dragon near Womford (of unknown value) and the spellbook of Oerioth the necromancer, Lord of Lance Rock which was handed to Malcor with a wry comment that he had “left this behind”.
Janner and the Lady walked from the group and vanished from sight and hearing for about twenty minutes before returning.
The party did not welcome the possibility of being seen to be working with, or worse for, a drow elf. Janner said as much and confirmed that she would not be accepting money or obligations of employment. However, Janner did state that she believed that the party and the Lady’s objectives were aligned and that the rest of the party should seriously consider her offer for themselves.
Lady Rundreth offered the party the assistance of the Watchful Knight in their endeavours. The party questioned The Lady about The Watchful Knight. She explained that the armour had been her father’s (she did pause noticeably before landing on the word ‘father’) and that she had placed the knight in the inn in Beliard, but did not elucidate the party on her reasons. She seems to have been briefed or informed by the Watchful Knight on the party’s progress amongst other things. She commented that she did not like the Knight and when asked why commented that “Red is not my colour.” Malcor appeared to find this comment amusing on some level and subsided into muttering.
The remainder of the hour that Lady Rundreth spent with the party involved a briefing on the history of The Sumber Hills and wider Dessarin Valley and a place to re-start their investigations. Feathergale Spire – the suspected home of the cult aligned to elemental air – and long a target of the party.