The Raven's Watch Toll

Nivaurum's Account
Sitting around the meeting table in the Keepers hall, Nivaurum recounts the tale of the Raven's Watch Toll.

Well, it occurred to me that there are actually two incidents that might be referred to as an invasion of Raven's Watch. The first involved the Dawn of Shadows and the dwarves of Hammersong. There's a book in the Great Library on that topic, though I don't know much about it.

The second incident… the one involving the "toll"… happened shortly after I returned to the island.

To begin with, I should clarify what it is that they were calling a "toll". Once they saw you, you had to pay… and not just to pass. You had to pay even if you wanted to return from the way you came. It wasn't a "toll" at all. It was just thievery.
The leader of the crew there, a hin, had a good eye for picking out the weaker travelers. If an experienced swordsman came along and made it clear that he wouldn't abide them, they would let him pass. But the weaker travelers were forced to pay. They even killed some.

So, when I returned, I eventually decided that something had to be done about the "toll", as they called it.

There was already some tension between the Keepers and the 'Watch because at the time, Avarith and Malakin had been spending a lot of time with the kids there. Krel hasn't ever had the best interests of his people in mind; so many of the children there have no parents. Avarith and Malakin were simply trying to make the lives of these orphans better, to give them the one thing they had never had … hope.

But I digress.

One day, on my journey to the Crossroads, I thought to end Krel's hold on the road by myself. While I was successful in the battle Krel had soon replaced those who had fled or that I defeated. I wisely came to the others here for help and Mialee encouraged us to speak with the Tel'Varatauire. They agreed to help us as well.
So the group of us, Keepers and Tel'V, went to confront Krel about his "toll". We told him that we'd no longer tolerate his men robbing travelers on the road. We made it clear to him that he would remove his men, or we would.

In any case, as we were leaving Krel's building, his men set upon us. There was a large group of them standing outside the door, and while they weren't hiding in ambush, they didn't waste any time pressing the attack. Also, a number of adventuring sorts were there in support of Krel, as well. Nicola and some of her friends, I believe.
Well, we entered town as a force. There's no mistaking that we weren't there to have an ale with Krel, but we didn't initiate the battle. Krel refused to remove his men from the road, and he knew we were going to set about doing it, so he attacked us where he thought his chances were best.

It was a fierce battle, but in the end, we were victorious. Unfortunately, during the battle Krel fled and went into hiding, and most of his men fled as well.

That began a period of uncertainty for Raven's Watch.

For some time after that, we made efforts to reform the people of the Watch. You have to realize that most of the people there don't earn an honest living. Nijel and Keira and spoke of an honest day's pay for an honest day's work… that crime wasn't the only path and in fact was a dishonorable path. We even offered pay for fixed tasks, but the people there had grown so accustomed to their ways that they wouldn't change.
I think, individually, things might have been easier, but to try to change the whole lot at once… And we did try, but eventually they began to look for others to lead them, others like Krel. Still, you have to hold on to hope that you can change a few.

The Lord of Kreis appointed Elira von Karistad as Regent. She turned out to be worse than Krel in some ways … I don't think he had any idea she was a vampire lord at the time.

But that's another story.

Krel eventually found his way back to the town, and there they are now.

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