December 25th: Scout, Francisca, Shalelu and Sandru set up an ambush and killed three dire corbies. While fearless and vicious, they didn’t present much threat. Bringing the bodies up to the gatehouse however lead to a dozen enraged (or maybe hungry?) dire corbies launching themselves over the wall to attack. While the dire corbies were all killed without much effort, the survivors seemed content having sent the message that they are not afraid to die.
Some effort was made to build a portable ram to knock in the rusty iron gate, but as night fell the group fell back to the more defensible barracks. Setting traps and moving horses to a nearby forge, the guards through the night had to deal with interrupting quickling harassment as it destroyed a wagon and used it as kindling to try to set the buildings on fire. The second guard was killed, as were two horses. Numerous grotesque but vividly lifelike taxidermies of small woodland creatures were left outside the barracks door as some sort of gift (or fey mind trick), while hearts were carved all over the walls of the barracks, though only about two feet off the ground.
December 26th: Koya and Spivey suggested the quickling may have some sort of twisted crush on Aplenka, and that could be why Aplenka and Bran had left. After the second funeral, Francisca convinced Spvey to held them in their quest to drive out the dire corbies. Later in the morning, a rowboat came to the dock carrying a human woman and a ratfolk man (and their mounts). They said their names were Ellie and Chit respectively. Chit deduced that Ameiko’s coma is induced by a spirit of some sort trying to control her. A voice came out of Ameiko saying something like ‘Birds can’t fly’ and ‘Beware the birds’. It didn’t sound like Ameiko’s voice at all.
After creating more arrows, acid and a portable ram, and collecting some mugwort extract, Scout and Chit approached Castle Brinewall on Hawkster. As they approached the gate began to open, and Scout charged in on Hawkster… this could get interesting.