Yorastor enjoyed the solitude of the flight back to Sandpoint. He was tired, worn out from casting and the emotional let down around Nualia’s death. A bit of alone time, away from the party, to think, cool-down and plan was necessary. He was beyond enraged at Kohra’s action. While he certainly had no issues with meting out some field justice in killing Nualia it was, to his mind, the height of foolishness to do so before you learned what you could from a prisoner. Her lack of confirmation on it, her follow on explanation, the entire thing set Yorastor deeply at unease. He’d discuss it some with Zenovia to see what she knew about the mysterious order but a second conversation was clearly needed with Kohra.
He set those thoughts aside – more time was needed too cool down and be objective. Instead, he focused on his arrival in Sandpoint. Given their mission, and the time lapse, the entire town likely thought them dead. He should use that to his advantage. Arriving as the sole member of the party was worth some awe too. He should work that in. Perhaps it was time to accept he was no longer Yorastor Farden, simple shopkeeper of Sandpoint. It was time to embrace his recent heroics. He was Yorastor Farden, the First Theurge of the Sodality of the Key, the Ward of the Red Summit, a Founding Member of the Order of the Red Band, the Guardian of Thistletop Keep…and a shopkeeper. Never hurt to keep some humility about you while you charged into the clouds.
He flew carefully; hugging the close as much as he could to avoid packs of harpies or anything else deadly. He flow over a hundred feet off the water and far enough from the shoreline to present a hard target for bows and any other ambushers. Never hurt to be too careful. The afternoon grew hot and the hours drug on. Yorastor seldom flew for this long and it always amazed him and felt good to do so. He relaxed his leg and back muscles and simply kept an upright posture. As the three hours drew to a close the plan was fully formed in his mind.
First, he donned one of the red sashes he’d been working on as a symbol of the band. He wanted to be clearly marked. Next, he planned to stop by Red Summit, or more precisely, the storage under it and claim one of the ranseurs the party had taken from the catacombs. He’d need the banner Zenovia had lain in there as well – to be flown from the site as construction went along. He’d make quite the entrance. He would begin shouting as soon as he was in earshot of the town. He’d visit the Summit, gather supplies etc, then fly over the construction towards the docks, shouting as he went. He’d fly from the docks up and over the town to the square in front of the Cathedral and then land, planting the banner and declaring the news. It would be glorious. At last, he turned a bend and the faint outline of Chopper’s Isle, now the Red Summit, came into view. He could just see faint dots of the walls and towers being raised. Then he could see the first buildings of Sandpoint from the cliffs. Ah, it was good to be back. It was good to be headed to Sandpoint, home of the Order of the Red Band.*
As town came into earshot Yorastor began to yell, “Hail Sandpoint! Hail Sandpoint! The Red Band comes in triumph!” as loud as he could. At first it seemed hopeless; too few people near the coast and too much bustle in their own business. Then one person noticed the man flying the coastline towards the Red Summit. The pointed and shouted. Soon, it was groups of people pointing and shouting. Yorastor glided at his sedate pace towards the construction, spotting Zenovia standing out near the freshly worked walls. Her cloudy eyes were pointed directly at him and a grin lit her face. She held one of the ranseurs, point down, with the banner of the Band affixed to the top. Clearly, she had anticipated his arrival. Yorastor couldn’t help but grin himself. As he approached he stopped his shouting and glided to Zenovia. Her grin widened and she stuck forward the banner on it’s makeshift pole.
“I had a feeling you’d want to make an entrance Yorastor Farden. I had a feeling you’d return too.”
Yorastor emitted a rare chuckle, “As ever, your foresight serves you well, milady. Your efforts here bring fruit. It is time I help tend the trees with the folk of Sandpoint. Today shall live in their memories for sometime. It’s a glorious day for Band and the town.” He paused and held a hand, “I know you’ll ask. All are well. We’ll need provisions and a ship to haul everything back. And help from the guard for transport of prisoners. Sadly, Nualia has fallen. I’ll explain more soon.”
“I understand. Go forth Yorastor.”
With that, he took to the skies again, following his planned route, shouting to the town over and over.
By the time Yorastor reached the square in front of the Cathedral most of the town was in attendance, hands over brows to shield the sun’s glare from the figure of a man flying towards them. One last time he shouted to the assembly, “Hail Sandpoint! The Band returns in Triumph!” he glided down and slammed the point of the ranseur into the dirt of the square. A slight breeze tugged the banner open and waving for the entire town to see. Yorastor took a step forward, threw back his hood, raised his arms and yelled to the assembly, “We return in victory! Thistletop Keep is cleared of it’s goblin inhabitants! The traitoress, Nualia, is slain! The Band stands ready to bring back its prisoners for the town’s justice!” He paused and took another stride forward, pivoting as he spoke to take in the entire crowd, he smiled, “And we bring a portion of the extensive wealth secreted in the fortress for the benefit of the town! We will devote some of these efforts to the building of the Red Summit, whose walls already begin to rise! We will reform and restore Thistletop into a bastion of security for the town, securing the hinterlands to the North and seas! Sandpoint, the Band returns, bringing you justice, bringing you prosperity and bringing you security! For Sandpoint! For the Red Band!” He raised his arms at the end to the explosion of cheers and the rush of townsfolk to reach him. Yorastor smiled openly for the first time anyone in town could recall. It was good to be heroic.