| 17th of Olid – 25th of Corell, 561 QC
Having successfully passed the tests in the basement beneath the manor, the villains of Branderscar were finally fully welcomed into Cardinal Thorn’s circle. A toast was made, and their training truly began. For three months, the Cardinal and Tiadoro whipped and molded the villains, driving their bodies and sharpening their minds. They were not alone. Another group, known as the White Ravens, was being trained alongside them. However, once the training was complete, it was the escapees that formed the Knot of Thorns.
Bhalthol Rho, Grey Dove, Payne Trayne, Wilhelm Thorn, and Borealis Tarian were brought before the Cardinal and told of their mission. They were to accompany a captain Kargeld Odenkirk and his ship, the Frosthamar, north beyond Talingarde and into the Hordelands. There, they were to deliver the shipment of arms and armaments to a waiting horde of northern bugbears. Afterwards, they were to travel south to the Talingarde tower guarding the border, where they were to harry and sabotage the tower, in preparation for the invading hordes.
The next day, they left. For over a week, the plied the waters just off the eastern coast of Talingarde, heading north. From afar, they encountered a few locals and fishing vessels, but were mostly unmolested. There was a brief incident with a local customs ship. However, with quick wits and sharp minds, they bluffed their way past. A few days and a winter storm later, they pulled into the mouth of a river just north of Talingarde, heading into the Hordelands. That night, they were silently set upon by a group of tritons, aided by strange water elementals. While the captain and sailors fought panic, the party fought the invaders. It was a fierce battle. Balthol was even thrown overboard. However, the escapees were eventually victorious, and the Frosthamar was saved.