The heroes were brought together by Thane Innis Lochaber in his offices in Obar Dheathain. He introduced Thane Thalin mac Crinan, recently dispatched to Thane Innis’ service by his uncle, High King Duncan mac Crinan, to Mikdale of Alamannia, who was a guest of Alba by decree of the High King.
Thane Innis explained that Thalin was entrusted with escorting Eilleana nic Marr first daughter to the Mormaer of Clan Marr to her wedding to the heir apparent of Clan Buchan, Finn mac Buchan. The Clans have had a cold truce for decades, and Thane Innis was determined to seal the peace between them with the wedding.
Thane Innis entrusted to the care of Thalin Dane Battlehammer, a violent highlander dwarf who had been imprisoned for disrupting the peace earlier in the month. He also directed Mikdale and Thalin to the Fish and Griddle inn, where three elves from Ceredigion had been staying all winter, and would probably be happy to join them.
Mikdale, Thalin and Dane, arrived at the Fish and Griddle and met with the two Varis’ and Thia. The elves explained their plight: they were three survivors of a village in Ceredigion which had been wiped out in an Orcish raid. They had travelled east to Alba to determine what should be done next. They were happy for something to do. One of the Varis’ explained that he was a priest of Aedon Usires, a talented healer, and would be happy to assist the party with any needs they might have.
The party set out, and once past the gates of Obar Dheathain, re-armed Dane with his monstrous maul. The journey north was pleasant enough, but a day’s journey short of Castle Balliol where they were to meet the Mormaer of Clan Marr, they found the road wound through a ravine.
Some scouting by Thia revealed that a monstrous troll “Green Bertha” whom they had heard of back in Obar Dheathain had set up camp in a cave in the ravine, and was waylaying (and eating) travellers)
After a night’s thought, the heroes determined that this was their problem, and opted to take on Bertha. A trap was laid, a pit was dug and lined with lamp-oil and filled with tinder Varis the Cleric acted as bait, the rest of the party would use arrows to keep her pinned, while Thalin—who revealed he was a member of the Lodge of Evokers—would use flame to assault Green Bertha and set fire to the pit.
The trap was a success, although Varis the cleric was savagely attacked by Bertha and had to be revived. The heroes retrieved from Bertha’s lair the treasures she had claimed from them, and continued north to Castle Balliol.