Back to Restenford. The Cpt of the Baron's guard meets us on the road. Baron Grellis is dead!! Assassinated!! Found dead 8AM today.
Kaelen is pissed. They were warned, knew there were still assassins likely out there!!
They can't imagine how it succeeded. Pelitar was scrying us, saw we were on our way up, that's how he met us here now.
He was murdered last night. We make for the Grellis home.
Arrive, castle Restenford.
Baron's death could throw region into chaos, as he was the man who put it all together. The adjacent regions felt his stabilizing influence, they may begin to teeter as well. They insist they were taking all precautions.
He was found strangled 8am, bedroom locked from inside. No sign of struggle at all. 3 clues: small red ruby located near body; golden lute string found under bed with blood onit; red leather button found in Baron's hand. He was strangled with a garrot for certain.
Castle sealed to outsiders. His wife and daughter are distraught.
# old man with long white hair, blue robe, symbol of 3 barricuda on robe ate at Restinford Inn day before (Sunday), our Inn. Symbol represents a Master whose domain was island and seas. A church for Return in Garroten specifically dedicated to that master. He had a golden holy symbol of a whale, eyes were red rubies
# man in travelling clothes played lute for a night at our tavern, lute had golden strings; This was Sunday
# Man came into town to have barrels of beer shipped to his inn in Garrotten, had buttons like that found at scene. South Gate guard remembered each of the 3 men, arriving one after the other tween 7 and 9 pm Sunday night. Never seen leaving but also not seen again.
He thinks the first is Harper, high priest of the church in Garrotten, 2nd Bolmarrow a theater owner there, Abraham Garrotten's innkeeper.
We know of Garrotten, always had a bad rep. Seedy rumors abound of it in this region, like HQ of an assassin's guild but never proof. Common phrase here is "if you want someone killed, go to Garrotten".
Pelitar and the Guard Cpt would love if we could figure out who it was and how they did it. They give us all 3 clues left behind.
Wife and daughter are to distraught to be seen. House is closed to all, we can't even get in. They must grieve for a week period. They are the ones who found him dead. The Cpt was the next.
So, first option here is perhaps someone let the assassin in the room, he had magical help, or he's master at his craft. They all knew to be vigilant vs assassins already. And at least one person is getting framed.
Garrotten is on neutral ground on Norcross border; 24 miles SE of Restenford through the hill land. On horseback, most of a day to get there.
Kaelen "Muerto, ever been there and operated?" He went through there on his way here on the trail of Ned Snakeshaft, but that was the first time. Not being part of any guild himself, he had no in to do any real digging. However, Abraham at the Inn was a wealth of information, gave useful and true intel to Muerto. Either he's man dangerous enough to say what he wants, or is more observant than is good for his health.
We send a couple guys to pack us up to leave today, asap.
We go to our inn.
Kaelen asks Pelitar for disguise aid. He gives us:
One of polymorph and 2 alter self
plus alchemical mixture set, made as makeup for the Baronenss, making your face more pliable. For short periods one could look drastically different. Plus 10 disguise 1d6 hours.
Christofer at inn talking to dwarves:
The old man Harper came and ate, only here half hour, talked to no one. Left by quarter of 8. The lute player played couple songs, sang tale of 3 northmen going off to slay a dragon that has been terrorizing the far north, current news. After maybe couple hours he left back to Garrotten. The town brewer was in attendance, when Abraham showed up. Those 2 left together to make their deal.
Brewer says he made a gold deal for 3 barrels of a mean imperial stout to ship out in couple of days, delivered to Abraham's Inn, Garrotten. They must have left right before the lute show began cause they didn't see him play. Beorn checks out the gold and pouch, making a point to thank the man for his candidness. All Norcross mint, but heavier than they should be. He starts digging at it with his dagger, underneath = steel slugs with gold casing.
Beorn "We'll get it back."
We get detailed descriptions of each man from those who saw them.
Loriel uses the crystal ball to scry on each of the 3.
Nothing at all from the bard. We assume he's dead.
Harper we see him walking in a field, we don't recognize. His holy symbol is indeed missing a gem.
Abraham grooming a horse outside of his tavern. He himself was the man here who came to make the deal. Muerto comfirms that is indeed him. He is indeed missing the top button on his vest.
Brewer says Abraham was missing a button; took them only minutes to wrap up business. Dwarves recall the holy symbol was missing the gem. The lute was not missing the string while he was playing but it is surely from his lute.
The bard is either dead or made the save vs scrying so could be the assassin, having stolen the other 2 objects.
Baron was stone cold dead. Gold would not have been left from such a lute. That is a purposeful false lead.
We take off for Garrotten. Not stopping until we are a mile or so outside of town after dark. The Ettin stays in town in case they need muscle. Jeremiah also, word will be sent to us via him of any important developements while we are gone.
Kaelen wants Muerto to disguise himself as Ned himself to see what kind of attention that draws. It takes a good 15 minutes to convince him to dress as an enemy of his whom he hated. He is to make contact with the guild with potential job to pay for.
We arrive outside Garrotten at midnight and make camp in the large woodland nearby.
Muerto gets couple hours rest then heads into town as Ned. He gets a room at Abraham's Inn.
Abraham questions Muerto first thing in the morning, obvious gather info style, about his trip to Restenford area, get all his business done, asks about news of lizardmen. Calls him by Ned! So he knows him.
Abraham has an assistant barkeep Glami; James the serving boy; Balmar the serving boy; and Falpir the stable boy; Rillis barmaid/cook.
Kaelen et al wait to enter about lunchtime.
Loriel and Ogrumat notice a big dog that comes close to the camp, alone. It kind of investigates then wanders away. Not long after, a crow lands in the campsite, hops around a bit, pokes around on the ground, and takes off again.
Loriel sends her pet to follow the crow at a distance, to a 1 story cottage on the ouskirts of town, excellent condition and gardened; it flies in the window. A family is here: woman, 2 kids all sleeping. An empty spot in the bed for husband. The big dog walks up to the house and lies down outside the front door, drinks water out of a bowl for it. The crow morphs into a man! Gets in bed with the woman and goes to sleep.
Brown and green robes hang on a door in his room. On a nightstand is a wood ringholder with gold ring on it. Back to camp and reports to Loriel. She scrys again. The bard is putting a new string on his lute, with a slight look of bewilderment at his missing string it seems. Harper must have made the save for we can't see him; Abe is starting to work at the Inn.
Kaelen, Ogrumat, Beorn enter town first and go to the Inn just before lunchtime.
Abraham and Glami are at the bar. Servants are prepping lunch. We stable our horses with 13 yr old Falpir. He is extremely attentive. Barmaid has food cooking in back, but she is in the common area helpingto prep. Being a bit of an exotic crew (northman and half orc), she throws a few glances our way. She's 17 and beautiful.
In the room waiting for lunch are 4 other men.
A 2nd group walk from upstair, 10 and an obvious group, together. 2x Elf (females, 1 probably arcanist), half elf, dwarf, gnome, rest humans (1 female, woodman's dress with quarterstaff she carries down with her). Lots of other open seats still.
Ned then arrives.
Abraham eyeballs us as we walk in an sit at a table. He walks over to us himself with drinks then "James! Bring out the rest" who arrives with a tray of several other mugs. He is missing a button.
K "You're missing a button."
"Yeah, must have fallen off somewhere. Well lunch is about to start here shortly."
Beorn "Are you in the practice of watching over the countryside?"
"No,no no. I know things, things know me. First round is on the house."
K "You have a mighty attentive stableboy btw."
"Why is there a problem with him? Should I be worried about my horse."
He wouldn't say that. Great personality, just things tend to happen. He's very unlucky.
He goes about his business. Other folks from town filter in as well.
Soon after food is being served. The 10 group references a recent adventure they returned from vs goblins and such, reference to an octopus in the lake here.
Beorn "Octopai are saltwater creatures."
The druid looking woman says "Yeah, and that's why it's weird. Now let the pros handle this one."
Beorn "Will do."
They are planning on hunting it soon.
During lunch, we small talk about adventures with the other crew, but for Ogrumat who acts the silent tough, but only moderately well. Though they kind of look down on us as they are 'experienced adv's" they are friendly otherwise and have heard of us. We let it be known that we lost our patron with the Baron's death and happened to strike out this direction, that's our cover story here in general. They came here specifically for the strange octopus to hunt, and bounty they hope. 4 locals have been attacked, 3 disappeared completely. Lake is very murky. 4th left catatonic from none know what, others saw the tentacles pull his boat under. He was flailing about when they barely rescued him in time. They have another job after here too: issue in another village where the library having problem; not sure of specifics. Librarian missing, section of it inaccessible for some reason.
See Garrotten entry for more about each.
Kaelen goes to check on horses in meantime but really to speak to Falpir. She flips him another coin. James and Balmar are good friends he says. James looks out for him in the town, Glami is teaching James how to tend bar here and there bu the's a bit of a jerk, he likes James and not many others, he and Falpir tend to not see eye to eye; Balmar has a dream of being a bard some day, tends to hang out with Bolmarrow. Both are like bros to Falpir. Rillis, he has a massive boy crush on. Falpir's dream is to be part of a cavalry unit! Kaelen asks him about the button, as if she wants to make a good impression on Abe and get him a new one. After she butters him up with how good of a job he's doing. He claims to have barely noticed it was missing, but elf Ollie the tailor in town can get a new one. Kaelen can tell he knew it was missing. She says she'll let him give him the button as a gift if he tells her. He says Abe's already in the process of getting a new one. But "I did notice it was gone. I'd appreciate it if nobody told him, but its my fault the button is gone." 'not the thieving sort, but Abe has lots of stuff passed down the family; went through his clothes and accidentally pulled the button off, picked it up, hoping to repair it but Abe woke up too soon. Hoping to sneak in later to repair but then it went missing." This was couple days ago. He just wanted to look at this great blue shirt Abe has. No one could have seen it happen far as he knows.
He's still hiding something.
She has to intimidate "Falpir I can get very scary, don't make me get scary."
"I did it on a dare. One of the older boys in town dared him he couldn't get one of Mr. Abraham's buttons. I didn't want to do it!" The buttons are off certain wild animal hide, the other boys said they'd tell Rillis of his crush he he tattles.
Kaelen more friendly now "Has anyone taught you how to ride?" His dad started to. Glami used to have a horse, ahem. About 2 yrs ago he 'borrowed' his horse for a short ride. An orc surprised him and cut its throat. He figures it ate it. So that's one strike on him in Glami's eyes.
Kaelen offers him the possibility of his own horse later and teach him how to ride which perks him right up.
Back to and end lunch. The Adv10 leave town for the north of the lake.
The town's abustle by now. Kaelen (center of town), Beorn (north end) and Ogrumat (south end) take a walk around town to get the lay of land, where all major shops and such are, etc.
Kaelen stops at winery, figuring on lots of small talk here. 3 barracuda illustration, same as Osprum holy symbol. Kaelen has a healthy tasting with the 2 men running the show, looking like priests. A holy symbol of such adorns each wall actually. One is named Ellis, associate Greco, 4 laybrothers work in back too. He says the town of Altinum NE of here hired on a priest of their order as a librarian. Conflicting stories from there of trouble, he told the other adv's. Kaelen says we are here after losing our patron, etc. looking for others of her ilk in town to chat with. He runs down a lot of the retired adv's in town. See Garrotten wiki
K "How's the mayor?" leaves everyone alone for the most part; town runs on its own really. 'Now though, in these dark times, can feel political winds a blowing'. Norcross wants the area, fending off the bloodspilling in the lands, etc. Envoys from Norcross have come to talk with Arness.
K "So why the rep as the place to hire assassins?" They think those rumors are overblown, doubts there is any sort of guild in town.
Martin and Wolk spend the day searching the forest in which we camped last night.
Een and Clyde round the hill just south, searching the southern 2 patches of woods and the SE hills. Jeremiah keeps camp with Perk.
Just after lunch, Geoffrey, Loriel and Christofer enter town. Geoffrey and Chris stroll about town until they run into one of the other 3. They run into Beorn quickly who fills them in on lunch activities.
Ogrumat runs into a guy sitting at intersection of sailmaker with cup, he's begging. She gives him a small handful of copper.
"Thank you m'lady. Hey! You look like the type that walks the walk (aka adv).'
"Recently yes." He has recently heard of one of her stature, "any clues on where one might be able to find some sword swingin." HE says the adv10 are doomed, the lake beast is immortal. Some years back some cleric came through from the Covenant Reformed with help and lost. He came back kinda weird ever since then left.
Ogrumat "Name Qualten?" Mighta been. He wants to know about any other 'hooks' he could take part in as he's short on cash. He might be able to get the band back together. He then offers her from his numerous trinkets a broach "this is a broach of shielding, it'll stop energy blasts" he got it some time back. Times are rough enough he has to sell something. He wants it sold fast, she buys it for 20. He's at intersections a lot, if we ever need him, or at Abe's grabbing food. At night time in the little patch of woods adjacent to the Inn to its south. Just whistle. She asks about the safety of this town, and its rep. He can't prove 100% but he wouldn't doubt an assassins nest here. Also unusual amount of arcane, from dabblers to true mages. Lost of protection for them with all the old expert swords and supposed killers. He is a member of an old adv party. He freely explains about Lydia et al.
"They're all settled down now, but you know adv's. When its in the blood….."
In his vest he got some decent adv'ing equipment or so they looked like.
Loriel goes to the theater alone, the other 2 wait outside. Theater of the Mystic. The troup is practicing is going on right now. Young man approaches, Wilber, stagehand with off and on small part in the show. She tells him who she is and sets a meeting with him 5pm. She and the other 3 make for the Inn for rooms. Loriel sets up some potential shows here as well. Great idea to him, he'll put in a good word for Bolmorrow if she's worth it. Geoffrey and Chris settle into our rooms and eat, while she goes out and meets Kaelen.
3 of 4 semi permanent residents of the inn are here as well. Christofer the mouth introduces himself.
2nd, 2 men named Philmar and Oscar (a midget), both nursing drinks. See entries. While talking to them he notices the third, sitting in a corner, name of Wilfong, deck of cards, playing with 3 other locals. He loses almost everything then clears the table in short order. He's working them. He's a professional gambler. Chris thinks he was learning their tells then reamed'em deep. Loves to talk, like Chris, so they get to jabbering on and on and on. They get along famously. They will gamble during dinner and Loriel's show later "I got a hot elven minstrel friend playing tonight. Unfortunately she only seems to like elves." Chris gets the feeling he could pick a pocket clean in a hearbeat. He says he's a font of information "If I don't know it, I know someone who does."
The 4th resident enters and goes right to his room. Wilfong says that was Cpt Basmar, long black hair, cape, broadsword, dagger at boot, leather armor, look of naval man; not talking type. Last Wilfong heard he had conversations with Philmar and Oscar, rooms are adjacent. Not like close friends but more than anyone else. Was a naval man; at sea at war during last days of the Masters. Claims to be a smuggler now up and down the lake and rivers. But doesn't have a boat himself. Chris wants to know, most importantly, what local ladies get loser the better you are at dancing. He says the local farm girls love that. However, Rillis is quite smitten with those fleet of foot but Wilfong knows how to dance and he hasn't had any luck with that yet. He thinks she may be a tease.
Chris "Ah, a challenge!"
Every so often Holga, an employee of Arness, comes here.
Wilfong has had more success with the regulars himself. Also, Bolmorrow might be interested in your performing abilities. Chris says that's not his cup of tea "soon as you're doing that, its work."
Wilford "A men to that. And work sucks."
Chris "True words."
He continues Glami was an adv back in the day, partially paralyzed due to a grievous injury. Backstabbed once and nicked his spine.That's why he limps. Also bad scar on right arm limits its function. Probably why he's always so crabby.
Loriel meets Kaelen and they meet up with Ogrumat in town. They make for the Osprum church after stopping for some fresh food at 23 that we can walk with to meet Beorn. They notice some town guard march south. Couple peasants near say to each other "my cousin is friends with one of the patrol, and there's talk that some of the orcs are wandering around again, I'm wondering if they're up to no good". Today is actually Osprum's day, tuesday, service tonight is 8PM. Beorn goes inside. 1 priest is present and greets Beorn quietly. His name is Basil, the curate. Beorn says he came to give a donation, giving his northman sailing heritage, and meet the high priest. Basil says Harper is far to busy right now. Meeting later? Um, probably not.
"Is it something I can help you with?"
Beorn "It's a matter I should speak with him personally about." He asks to relay a message, Beorn is staying at the Inn, big Osprum, and have something that I may have something he is recently missing. He promises to pass the message on. He drops 5pp in the coffer. It's then he notices his brooch of shielding is missing.
The other 3 wait outside. Kaelen sees the local groundkeeper notice us, and prombly puts his shears away and walks away into the cottage in which they all live. For a moment, he almost looked familiar. He has a limp as if from an old injury. Hmm.
Low and behold, the brooch is the one Ogrumat just bought! Kaelen gets a good laugh out of that one.
We stroll south, staggering ourselves, to look for tails further. Ogrumat breaks off first, stopping in the food shop while Kaelen and Beorn survey the wharfs and Xerbo statue, Loriel continuing straight south turning for the herbalist. Kaelen stops at the moneychanger while Beorn continues on behind Loriel, Ogrumat behind him.
Beorn offers a prayer to Xerbo statue.
Jeweler has iron doors. 8' statue in one corner, eyes blue gems of high grade; 6 arms and 2 heads; behind a locked iron grillwork sits Ohlata. She's extremely careful, Kaelen has to walk slowly and keep hands away from weapons. She has "more money and valuables than this entire town will see in a lifetime, and you're a stranger here". Kaelen wants to know what she can tell her about the silver saber pendant. Info she gives freely: authentic! The Silver Saber, as well as the Golden Rapier, were part military organization and part court status; wholly devoted to certain principles and defense of their Master's status quo; influential mostly on mainland, smaller on islands; with loss of Masters went much of their prestige, first real target of Inquisition; most chapter houses disbanded, members 'purified' then executed; rumors some members still wander about as secret society; she has only seen one worn by anyone since the purge who was an actual member but not willing to give up that name. She's willing to pay 500gp but Kaelen's not looking to sell. She says keep it in your pocket unless you're looking for a quick death. We figured that.
Kaelen brings up her adv group.
"Used to be, that time of my life is over. 1 too many tragedies." She has made enough enemies.
Kaelen 'and this town of supposed assassins is where you set up business?' Being this far out of the way is worth the risk. And a lot of people here have her back, plus she has a plethora of goodies to keep her safe. Ohlata is also not here real name.
K "You think the Baron was killed by assassins from here."
"I don't know nothing."
K "Who would?"
"My old friend (half sarcastic word) Priska has an unhealthy obsession with the assassins."
Loriel stops in at herbalist, which is also an alchemist shop. Dragon motif on door is unlike any particular dragon. Sign says 'by appointment only'. She knocks and the door slit opens up. Her name is Relba, Hestel's wife. Shuts the slit and opens up after introductions, bit older woman.
"You come to make an appointment? Or look around?"
Loriel "I need to buy some reagents." Limit of 2 customers in shop at once. If need an appointment with Hestel, she can get Loriel in tomorrow. Usually ID'ing stuff.
She is allowed inside to shop. They have 4 apprentices who make ceramics and glassware and general work. She is very courteous but offers nothing else. Loriel is sure they are reclusive shut ins. Loriel buys 100gp of stuff. Then name drops the books we have by Tenser and Nystul. She says, for that, any day from 3 to 8 this week just stop on by. Other than tonight.
We all gather at Inn, then Loriel directly to theater to meet Bolmorrow. He has a dog that is a blinkdog named Winkie; Willis, actor and illusionist magician; Phyllis (Willis' sister) calls herself a master of prestidigitation, actor, has a crow constantly with her named Black Beauty; Marvin, Wilber and Arthur are the stage hands and part time actors; other more common actors and such as well.
Bolmorrow is a bard through and through. Very dramatic, full of flourish, good actor. Uses 10 words often for every 1 he needs, and a charmer. She meets Bolmorrow in a private room. He's impressed by her pseudodragon pet. She runs down her skills, he repllies "like a horn to the heel of a shoe, its a perfect fit". He has hears something of Loriel locally. Playing a stint at the tavern is a good start to prove herself. She tells him she has that set up with Abe. He really wants Martin on the stage surprisingly, voice of an angel, and can dance like the devil. He mentions Harper is also a friend of theirs. Loriel brings up Basil shutting Beorn down earlier. He says there is a good reason for that but can't disclose exactly why at this time, unbecoming of a gentleman to talk of such things "but not to worry, you will I'm sure get to speak to Harper". Bolmorrow will talk to Basil to pull some strings. None of the other 3 permanent residents here are present.
Ned Snakeshaft is drunk, bumping into Kaelen dropping something on the ground. Small crumbled up note she casually gathers up. When she's alone, it says he has not been able to make contact yet, but 1 person gave him a lead. To inquire about assassinations somebody at the Inn is the through man. Not an easy nut to crack. She burns the note.
If you do a good enough job, you may earn yourself a position of prominence. The cast is going to change a bit as I have to head out of town for a day or so tomorrow directly after the show." He won't say where or for what.
Back at the Inn, she wows the audience. Chris is obliterated in the gambling game by Wilfong and anyone else who joins in. He actually gives subtle hints to Chris at strategic times to alleviate Chris's losses. He's a master. Once or twice Rillis came over with her teases. Fong shrugs her off, but she was quite up on Chris. Once the game is done, they get to dancing. Swarms of fawning farm girls eat it up. This is not a difficult night for Chris. Soon as he shows attention to Rillis, she plays hard to get. When he plays hard to get, she tries harder. At one point, he notices a glimmer or sparkle from inside Fong's vest, definitely metallic. Chris holds off questioning him.
Chris convinces him to steal Beorn's brooch before he leaves for the service. He does it easily and gives it to Chris. Hahahahahahah!!!
Some note is taken later in the night taht the Adv10 have yet to return, but no reports of an attack by fishermen either.
Beorn and Geoffrey attend the service. Harper gives the service himself, an old man. Beorn thinks he catches a couple very minor slipups; name slightly wrong, confuses a passage. Every time Basil drops his head in silent frustration like Harper's age is showing. Basil takes over late in the service. Harper is taken into the back by 2 acolytes.
Kaelen leaves the Inn and into the church grounds with her Ring of Shadows after nightfall. In a backroom she sees finds the groundkeeper peeking through a couple small holes in the wall out at the service, holy symbol held, listening. It is the church holy symbol, and she recognizes him from Langbay!!! His name is Lothar, in his late 40’s; remembers seeing him as one of the Master's Guard that brought news of the Masters' disappearance from the battle Kaelen's Master vanished from. He has several nasty scars across his head including a small divot where his skull was punched in, patch of hair missing, arrow holes from cheek to below jay, one armed burned, terribly hurt in the wars.
Well, maybe this is an ally. She leaves him for the cottage, exploring the rooms and easily ID's his room. She searches his room well. Chain armor, LS, shield with crest of Langbay and the Master. A tile above the door on the ceiling is slightly offset, its a crossbow trap which she avoided by being a shadow. His name comes to her: Lothar. Wasn't even a First nor Augment. Scanning quickly through the other rooms she finds nothing out of the ordinary. She lies in wait, sittin on a chair in a corner he won’t see until he closes the door and lights his lamp. It plays out exactly, he opens the door a few inches, reaches in and pulls a small latch to disarm the crossbow, and lights his lamp; then takes a book out of his chest. After a moment of flipping he slowly looks up finally realizing her presence.
“Welcome lass” he wants to know what she is doing in his room, speaking mostly out of the right side of his mouth.
She saw him recognize me “Lothar, and I recall you being an honorable sort”. She gets up and moves next to him in order to speak in whispered tones. He purposefully didn’;t make any contact in case she was here for some reason. Certainly never expected to see anyone from then, figured she was dead like everyone else. She explains why we are here, and does he know.
He likes to stay out of public view for obvious reasons. This was a good place to get away from the large populaces. Being just a crippled old man, everybody ignores him, so he knows a little about the assassins.
First “I heard the infamous Ned Snakeshaft was in town for the second time in recent weeks. Are you sure he’s not your assassin?”
“I’m positive he’s not the assassin.”
He is unsure of the guild’s reach, but they know about everything that goes on in town; there is some sort of secret communication system they use at the inn for contracts. That is the only place to contact them.
This confirms what Muerto believes.
Concerning Norcross: there is a political firestorm about to happen in this entire region stemming with Grellis’s death. The Lady Mayor has been able to keep all the adventurous spirits in town in check and calm, from doing crazy things. Tellish, her spiritual advisor, has been convinced the inquisition that there is no one important here for them to look for hence keeping the witch hunts away from the arcanists in town, of which there are at least 7 he knows of. Still, Norcross really wants this town and Restenford. The rumors of arcanists being here has gotten out enough recently though to make the inquisition curious, so they want to check things out now as well. Arnis is in a tough spot.
K “How long has Tellish been her advisor?” At least as long as she has been mayor.
He says a band of orcs live nearby who are a nuissance here and there. Plus at least one band of wandering brigands in the region, and the octopus creature whatever it is.
He says he doesn’t trust Wilfong at the inn, came into town in the dead of night, way to personable with everybody, definitely has at least one secret, and he gets a general bad vibe from him as. Lothar believes he’s part of a secret society.
He adds they need Harper’s 2nd in charge, as much as he loves Harper there is something funny about that group of 4 (him, Martin, Balmorrow, Abraham) They are good at leaving town w/o being seen, get somewhere and do business, then return way quicker than possible. They all have secrets of their own. A man came to town who had grown up with them, and said the 4 of them tried vs the octopus years ago but failed. He thinks that encounter is what changed Harper. Something not right about that thing. They are always sneaking off. Considering all this, he figures Abe is thick in the guild, maybe all of them.
The fact that he paid the winemaker in Restenford in fake coins does not surprise him. Abe’s ancestors are the same who colonizes Norcross
Kaelen still thinks they have no reason to leave the clues on purpose, and leave them on accident.
He says that the bishops who run the Path have their church names, but none see there faces. None know who they really are. Their HQ is Norcross but the bishop is never there. No one knows where he is, he’s very secretive. The seed of the Path were founded at least a decade ago, kicking off with the Masters’ Vanishing. He could even be in town.
Kaelen “How l long has Arnis been mayer?”
“10, 12 years or so.”
L “But if Arnis were in the Path, why would she be fighting so hard to keep them out of town?” That I don’t know.
K “Tellish could be while Arnis isn’t.”
Though he is not what he once was “If you ever need someone to cover your back, I’m here for you.”
As the convo ends, Kaelen wanders to the lamp and turns it off, activating the ring in the dark and leaves. When Lothar turns the light back on, she is gone. Back to the Inn.
She arrives to things much the same as she left them. We share info.
While Chris and Fong dance with babes, Falpar tries to copy our styles. He is not at all graceful nor skilled. He gets in the way of Fong’s fancy footwork, who deftly avoids tripping but causes Falpar to spill a drink under Fong who slips to the floor. Something slips off Fong’s neck, glints metallic, which he slyly grabs and pockets. His amulet is also showing, an eye. He jams that back down his neck with speed and skill. None seemed to see nor care but for Christofer. There is a fast moment in Font’s eyes where he wants to thrash Falpar, pats him on the head and continues.
Rellis cleans it up with a rag, hands and knees, which is a sight for all!
Once the night is over, we retire. Kaelen thinks Fong may be a silver saber on the run.
The rooms the adv10 were staying in are indeed empty.
A yellow bandana is tied to a doorknob of one of the rooms. We aren’t sure whose. We share info further.
Kaelen knows what the eye is: a medallion of ESP. He can read minds.
Christofer “That cheating bastard, that’s how he wins all of his money! I knew nobody could be that good.”
She shows her saber amulte to Chris, but he didn’t even see enough to connect it.
The pseudodragon watches from the rafters. In the middle of the night, Rellis comes up and puts a tray of food down at the floor, gives a patterned knock, and walks away. The door opens, Oscar the midget checks his surroundings, picks up the tray, takes the bandana, and shuts the door.
It reports to Loriel immediately. She crystal balls the main 4 team. Harper is deep in prayer in his room, Martin is in the woods with Wolf. They are spotting for signs or a trail of some such. The other 2 make the save. She tries the adv10 next. The druid Ella is on the ground, soaking wet, multiple wounds, she sits on the shoreline with Roger. The rest are gathered in a dark room, she can see only silouettes of them. A hairy beastial humanoid grabs a small person, likely Asshat, and drags him away kicking and screaming.
Loriel “That’s not an octopus.”
Next, the midget: He sits in his room, eating biscuits and gravy and enjoying it, too.
Next, Glami: He is at the castle with the mayor, sitting together, on a parapet. A thick book sits in front of them. Glami points at things,which she nods too, he will say something, she pulls something out of her bag and casts something!! Turns into a glowing orb, he says something else to her, she moves her hands, and it disappears. This happens several times. She’s being taught arcane arts by Glami!!
Next, we try Trellish: makes his save.
Wilderness search: on the southern end, signs of orcs having passed through are found. W/in last couple days, some humans good at making a fast camp and taking it down were in the south woods next to the beach. The brigands? In the SE hills is a cave. The floor is slick with crap. Gib makes it known its his own kind, gibberlings!
Our camp woods seem clear.
Before first light, the pseudo dragon is sent with a message telling what is going on to our camp.
Christofer gives Beorn back his broach to a good laugh!!!! He’s been completely perplexed as to what happened to it.
We need to tail the midget. At about 6am, he leaves for the castle, being a groundskeeper. Uneventful.
Kaelen breaks into (falling bucket of paint trap foiled) and searches Oscar and Philmar’s room, they share the living space. Scrying on Philmar, he’s at the weaponsmith, a dwarf. They are conversing. The room has 2 double beds, a chest, and a round table w/ several chairs. Lockbox under each bed with varying types of clothes and stylesand a makeup kit. In one is a bundle of bushy reddish brown hair, a big fake beard, with a battle axe, plus a chain mail shoulder piece. There is a slight bulge in the central rug. It’s a lock through a rung on the floor. She picks the lock just barely. Carefully lifting it, a couple floorboards lift with it in one piece revealing a crawlway. She crawls in and through the U shaped space following under all the rooms on the upper floor. Trapdoors lead to every room in the building 1st and 2nd floor! At Abe’s top floor room (he has a top and bottom sweet) she tries it but it won’t budge. Turns and finds there is no trapdoor to Glami’s room below. She takes a look in the empty room adjacent to ours, finding nothing at all. She decides to drop into Wilfong’s room but it won’t open either. She can find no catch of any sort to unlock. Checking the adv10 rooms, they all open. Ours also open. So does Ned/Muerto’s. It has been ransacked!! She searches the room for clues herself, but finds nothing, but no sign of a struggle either.
Back into the room to continue the search in Oscar’s room. 3 different colored bandanas at the base of Philmar’s bed: yellow, blue and red. That’s it, so
We have breakfast downstairs with everyone else. Muerto is not present. All but Oscar, Philmar and the Adv10 (obviously) are here. Chris sits with Fong, slighly lets Fong see the silver saber amulet he has put as a bracelet on his wrist. Fong leans in and asks if it was earned or inherited.
“Neither, we found it. We were hoping it meant something to you. I noticed you might have a matching one.”
Fong “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
About 20 seconds of awkward stare from Fong to Chris. First he apologizes for intruding upon Chris’s thoughts (he just used the ESP amulet on Chris), making sure we’re honest. He has not a Silver Saber, but a Golden Rapier!! He says there is a secretive Guild of assassins called the Obsidian Dagger, spanning throughout all the lands. Sworn enemies to the Silver and Gold. He wanted to make sure we weren’t them, either. He also saw that our cover story is BS, we are finding the killers of Grellis.
He says there is a O Dagger in town, though he does not know who it is. Before he came here, he had a run in with 4 Hunters (Dagger teams) all of which he dispatched. Followed their trail, and this is where they assembled and got there info. Has suspicions it may be Ned Snakeshaft.
We continue this after breakfast during a walk around town. Chris tells him all we have found. He found his trapdoor and jammed a bar through it. We tell him the Ned here now is one of our people. The real one is dead. He says the Ned here now he thinks may be the Dagger, regardless of who he is for real. Chris drops his Volcifar alias.
Fong “Now that is interesting.” That’s the name that he got out of the Hunters as the Dagger who hired them. Chris says he likes taking the names of people we have killed as an alias. Chris tells him about his ransacked room. Fong watched Volcifar leave the inn last night heading south to the outskirts of town. They discuss all pertinent details.
About 8am, the Norcross emissary arrives with half dozen heavily armed guards enter from the southern road. Going directly to the castle, an Inquisitor priest in tow. Fong is obviously nervous.
Geoffrey and Beorn head north to bring back the 2 wounded Adv10 at first light. They find them just in the swamp at the shore. Both ko’d. There is a foul smell coming from her legwound, very infected. She’s quite pale. He has a big purple knot on his head, concussed. They carry them back after Beorn administers emergency first aid. Get back just before the lunch rush at Abe’s.
Loriel has crystal balled Muerto. He is in a dark room, stone walls, hanging from the ceiling, head about 4’ above the ground, hands tied behind his back, feet attached to manacles attached to ceiling.
Once word hits the inn with Sense Motive, we can see that Glami is apprehensive (could be the magic ability), Rellis speaks with other peasant in tavern, waving it off “they’ll come and they’ll go”. Otherwise people range from uncaring to a general nervousness. Abraham is very nervous and can’t hide it. No one makes any fast move like getting somewhere to talk to someone quick. It’s a big topic of conversation about town all day.
Kaelen goes to look for Falpir’s bully leader, Rob Barnes. She finds no one of that name in town. She returns to Inn. Getting Fong to use ESP, he gets the same name from Falpir’s mind. All the kid knows is that he was a new kid in town. Falpir does not know where he hangs out, in fact only saw him that one time actually. Falpir says Rob was kind of short even for a kid, but very mean; grubby and dirty, gives us a good description.
Too tall for the midget, that was our first thought.
After 1pm the 2 wounded adv10 wake up. Took a boat onto the water and chummed it. When the tentacles appeared, they fought against them. The wpns did little to nothing. It was made of armor! They rowed fast as they could to shore. Suddenly half the group passed out at the same time in the boat. Everyone had visions in their minds of horrible things. They got to shore and an octopus of armor, not the same as attacked them previously for it had much smaller tentacles, came upon shore and attacked. The 2 of them managed to knock it over to the ground. It;s face shattered upon the ground. One of the tentacles hit him in the head as if tell, and landed on the druid hence her terrible damage. The other 3 still awake were then accosted by 3 large humanoid monsters that came out of the octopus. Grubs of some sort were crawling on us from the ground, which took our attention. Looking back at the fight in the twilight, a bunch of dark shadows were moving from the swamp. We took off as they swarmed onto and dragged off everyone else into the swamp. We stopped to rest and both passed out, then were found by us. They did kill a couple of the big things, but 8 or 9 more came from the swamp. The other figures in the swamp were mansized about, but a bit hunched over.
We visit all of the Old Band to join us in defending the town against the swamp threat, starting with Priska. None make up their minds immediately but for Priska, who’s all in. They will meet up together at Gen. Store to discuss it.
North search: Near the swamp, about quarter mile along the shore, Martin sees in the distance what looks like an octopus lying on the bank, but its not gelatinous. And it’s big. 20’ long. He moves ahead carefully as possible. It is not an octopus, but some sort of a boat or ship of some sort. A large glass window is shattered in and out, like it broke by general impact. 2 seats are inside. He’s not venturing in there alone. Water filled footprints in the muck go deeper into the swamp a few hundred yards to an entrance into the ground back towards the lake. Not going in there alone either. This is so unusual he decides to go into town to tell the others in the party. By then, the adv10 have woken up and told there story.
Southern search: at the bridge, signs of a struggle. 2 people met at the bridge. Then 3 others arrived, all 4 jumped the 5th and took him away toward town. Ean tracks them toward town. Up the main road, then he loses it in the traffic. Could have been the guards at the guard house busting up something. Maybe. He reports to Kaelen. We immediately figure that’s where Muerto got taken.
At the meeting, Ohlata the jeweler is the last hold out, but they persuade her to join.
Chris asks Fong to accompany, he agrees.
After dinner, the team heads north, Martin leading the way.
Its The Band, Fong, Chris, Beorn, Martin, Een, Geoffrey, Wolk and Perk (pseudodragon sent to tell them to meet us at squid submarine.
On the way out we stop at Martin the Druid’s house. Our Martin quick details what he found, Chris relays the tragedy of the Adv10.
“I should’ve expected it was not an actual octopus, they only live in the ocean.”
Chris “That’s what Kaelen said.”
He says whatever is up there, definitely can mess up one’s mind badly. Harper was always a bit absent minded with the little things, though he could memorize holy scriptures like few others. He, Balmorrow and Abe investigated this a long time back, and into the cave after following a strange beast they noticed spying them at the shore. W/in they came upon something, of which they recall little of detail. All 3 KO’d in the process. A 4th friend, now dead a few years ago, got them all out. After that, Harper’s memory deteriorating badly afterward. Almost altzheimer’s level. Sometimes he’s in a haze for a day or 2. If he could get his hands on a potion of longevity, that would go a long way to help him.
Hmm, Kaelen happens to have one.
He goes on: Abe has also been effected. He was always a very curious type, loved meeting and talking to new people, gift of gab, get new info, etc. Still interested, but much less chatty now, since the cave.
He gives us a stone.
“Magical, only has one use” lob it at anything. If unliving, turns into a brittle stone easily chipped; if stone it will change it into a brittle stone, if alive could turn it to stone! Ranged touch attack.
He says last time Norcross was here, it was sans Inquisitor. This makes him nervous, as they are none too friendly to druids. Also nervous for the augments and arcanists in town.
Off we go. Een rides back to report the convo to Kaelen, then catches up.
First, inspect the submarine. It has been completely gutted since Martin has been here. To the cave, where we descend for quite a while to a point that water is dripping from the ceiling. We could be near or at the lake at this point.
Martin, Ean, and Perk notice foot traffic very recently. Lichens have been trod upon, and heavy things dragged through. We are on the right track. Always a slight downward trend to our path to a large chamber. 150’ wide, we enter about in the middle, about same length across.
Perk sees motion in the dim light with his elf eyes, figures trying to sneak around. At least 15, humanoid.
The PC group leads the way in, to draw them out for The Band to then strike unexpectedly. 10 charge at our front, plus 5 to each flank who were trying to sneak up on us but were tracked in by us with relative ease.
Hunched, man sized humanoids, gray matted fur, ugly as sin; wielding battle axes.
As they move in, their jig up, Beorn summons Vallhallan wardogs to intercept the right; we take the center; the left which was further afield are intercepted by The Band.
The wardogs hold off well, their center is massacred.
Then, some unseedn force strikes us from the rear up our center. Standing suddenly catatonic are Priska, Ohlata, Bess and Beorn. Then a squid faced and cephelapoid skinned abhorent humanoid emerges from the dark behind Wolk!! Who yells out a fearful warning to our front.
Wolk backs off and Ean and Perk fires upon it, the thing already looking not too healthy to begin with. Beshkar turns as well, and hits it with electricity from a distance.
The tentacled terror sends another mental blast at us of sorrow and despair. Paralyzed are Wolk and Perk and Beshkar. Leaving Een, Chris, Geoffrey and Fong. Geoffrey though is engaged with the dogs vs the last 2 Grimlocks on the right.
Perk missing, Chris and Fong charge it, slaying it!!
Last Grimlocks dead, we sit and wait about 10 min for everyone to be operationtal after the mind blast, but risidual mental stresses linger on for almost an hour. The visions were very real, like things that really happened, or even this creature had done itself in the past. One of the flashes felt recent, memory of watching a gnome being slowly devoured alive by these hairy beastmen while having his brain sucked out through his skull. We are sure Asshat is no more.
We find a ladder at far end of room to a hole in ceiling, so up we go to a metal hatch that pushes open upward into a small antechamber. We are now in what is like a futuristic ship. Illuminated letters in an unknown tongue above many of the doorways. This clan of hairy beastmen lived here, its obvious. Bones litter it, even marrow sucked out of some. All of humanoid skulls have a hole in back of head where the 3 squid thing sucked the brains from.
rooms of interest:
1) storage room with large empty boxes with lots of residue like alchemical stuff
2) larder with 5 of Adv10!! All but Alfwine and Sybil; A few dead in here, one of the recent disappeared fisherman, and an orc, but none are the other 2 adv10.
We loose the survivors, they are coherent but tormented beyond belief. About an hour ago, some of the beastmen took Alfwine and Sybil the only other way out of the room.
We go fast for the last 2 missing. At the tip of this squid shaped ship, we force a sliding door open into a half circle room with mechanical controls along each side. A stairway at the far center leads up to a smaller halfcircle paltform. A device hangs from its ceiling up there, a pedastal at its far end. Lots of tubes and tentacles attached to the contraption in the contraption is a glass cylinder w/in which is a brain. 2 large beastmen guard it; sitting at the brain are the 2 missing, chained to floor and facing it. The tentacles are writhing wildly towards them.
Beorn summons a bee swarm on one of the beastmen, Chris and Geoffrey take the other. Fong, Ean and Quenex use the opening to get to and attack the tentacles which turn out to be metallic. Bess casts a prayer on us; Wolk and Beshkar cast upon Chris’s Grimlock.
A tentacle gets around Sybil’s neck, tip at her mouth opens and something wormy exits it to go into her! They are all zoned out, not even struggling.
It attempts to attack Chris’s mind but he resists.
Priska attacks the beastman in the swarm.
Perk takes Chris’s Grimlock down; Ean grabs the tentacle on Sybil and thrusts his blade into the hole. There’s a squish, squirts greenish black goo cutting the tube open. Tadpole spill onto the floor wriggling maddeningly.
Fong drops his blade, draws his golden rapier into action!
A bowshot from Martin misses in the swarm, but Perk’s does not.
Ean overpowers a tentacle trying to grasp him.
Lydia and Gelmark join vs the machine.
The swarm slays the other grimlock!!
We hack at the machine and tentacles, with an arrow of acid from Beon, and destroy it. All the liquid in it washed over the ledge to the lower room, washing the tadpoles with it. The brain falls onto the floor, couple of hoses leading to pumps spraying a gel like liquid. Its gross. We in a panic hack it to shreds, feeling it sending out random and weak impulses into our brains. Including visions of another group, on a boat, attacked by teh tentacles on the lake at night. Then the sickly illithid we killed climbs into the boat and mind blasts one of the boats occupants, turns to look at Qualton from Restenford!! It mind blasts him too, but a 3rd man spears the mind flayer, tossing them overboard but with a 4th man. Qualton looks like a zombie at that point.
Then a the sound of an alarm siren.
Geoffrey “Everybody out, fast!” Priska frees the 2 adv10 here.
Bolts are popping out of the bulkhead, water from above spraying in, as we run. Down the ladder we hear a creak then crash as the bulkhead breaks behind us. We rush out of the cave and into the swamp.
Ella wonders on the way back if the tadpoles can live outside of that goo, like in water. If so, that could be a problem to come in the lake.
Victory ours, we make it back to town. Unfortunately, the adv10 are w/o their equipment we had to leave so fast.
Kaelen in the meantime speaks with Martin the druid telling him about the set up of his friends. He’s surprised, them being pillars of the community. But Kaelen says that’s just why they are targeted. He says Abe knows about the passages in the inn floors, but only Bolmarrow and Martin know otherwise (martin by accident) so far as Abe knows.
So far as the patrol we spied him on in the woods, there are a number of nocturnal spell components in this area that flower only under moonlight. One way he earns a living is harvesting these for the arcanists in town/area. They pay top dollar. Also, scouting for bandits and orcs all the time. In so doing, he says there may be gibberling nearby which scares him.
Kaelen confirms, one of my men found the cave just recently. He says the gibs in this area of the world at least sometimes stray one or 2 at a time foraging, and if by accident they find good hunting grounds then the news gets to the colony of good pickins.
He thinks there may be something brewing here that won’t bode well. What with orc sightings, increased bandit raids on travellers, etc. Like they are all in cahoots with one another. Where the orcs are he’s not sure, bot not NE for sure.
K “Or, they are each in cahoots with the same person, and they all may not even know it.”
She stresses all parties need to meet tonight, his buds and at least a couple of The Band.
He is all in, but we must do it secret obviously, so late. Like midnight after closing.
Kaelen tells him her plan on infiltrating the castle tonight. We ill let the Band and the Adv10 know to send 1 or 2 reps each to the meeting, but all of Martin et al need to show up. But, Harper needs to go to protect the place from scrying eyes. The meeting will be in grove D on map.
She then takes a walk to the south around the other side of the river where she knows Clyde is hovering around. He finds me soon enough: there are orcs all around the south and east of town right now!! Up to no good! 3 camps: see pencil x’s on map and ford at one of them. Top of the hill number only a small squad. Each of other are more than our whole team. He unfortunately is no mathematician.
She gets back to Martin fast and says he needs to get out to spy on them more tactically, and leave Wolf to watch the south tonight to alert Martin of movement. Loriel’s pet will do the same. He says the ford and the bridge are really the only feasible spots for them to cross.
The town guard is alerted as well. Golfig, Tesh, and Hester (cleric warrior) are on duty in the guardhouse. They are professional soldiers. Hester goes for the castle to bring it to the mayor’s attention. Golfig goes off to alert enough of the militia members to get word spread for them to be ready at a moment’s notice.
Martin gets word that Harper will be there. Kaelen alerts Lothar to what is going on with the orcs and the inn investigation; and he is sneaking into the castle tonight.
He asks why?
To see if the inquisitor is pushing Arnis around, making threats.
“Be careful up there, if you’re found out she won’t care what your reasoning is.”
We bitch about the Path, he goes into their atrocities in Langbay.
The cave team returns.
Beorn makes sure he has his brooch. He does.
Priska’s blood is flowing, he’s very happy to have done some adv’ing work.
Word is passed to Lydia, Priska, and and one of the adv10 about the meeting. They agree to show. Martin will pass word to his own group but tell Kaelen about Harper as soon as he knows. He will need to prep the area and I want myself scried while inside.
Chris joins Fong in his room. He returns his rapier to his chest. In drawer above, takes out another sword.
“This is more of a ceremonial thing than anything else.” A saber, of silver sheened blade! “Great vs lycanthropes though, maybe some undead as well”. This was from a friend of his, not with us anymore. He passes it on to Christofer! With the order gone as a proper order, no initiation possible. plus 1 to attack, or if doing def action of some sort its plus 1 to def. Its a death sentence to own though, so it must be kept secret. He says there are still golden rapier and silver saber out there, they were not extinguished, but they don’t let on what they once were. Perhaps some day.
Loriel performance tonight is a true masterstroke on the big stage. She’s the talk of the show in town afterwards. He still leaves tomorrow for business, but in the next show she will be the lead female!!
Loriel crystal ball’s Muerto: same as he was before. A large strong man, bald, is wailing on him. Her low light vision picks up that he’s a half orc! And really enjoying the fun he’s having.
We ask Wilfong if he knows who this may be. Couple of prof. soldiers at castle; the armorer (the orc blooded guy); one of adepts at Harper’s Church; couple random farmers maybe.
Philmar next: he is at the castle sitting at a table drinking; talking to one of the Norcross guys.
Chris “What’s he, training dogs for him? BS!”
Next Oscar: nothing
Bolmarrow: at the Theater packing
Kaelen after dark gets Clyde snuck into town, and into the crawl space to watch our rooms.
About half an hour before she leaves for castle, she uses Gerling for its Commune abilities:
They are aware Kaelen is breaking in tonight
not aware of how she will do so
No one scryed her
no one she spoke to today informed them
Muerto is not captive in or under castle
nor the church
nor the inn
he is in the town though
There is no attack planned on the meeting tonight
the assassin of Grellis does not live in the Inn
but is in the town (this is a possible question asked, unsure due to accident deletion)
1 missing question (see above )
Ogrumat, Geoffrey and Beorn rush off to hopefully rescue Muerto at the half orc Armorer. Ogrumat jimmies the window latch open with a small knife and in she goes, followed by Geoffrey and Beorn. Ogrumat skulks upstairs while Geoffrey and Beorn search for any trapdoors. They find nothing. Upstairs, its empty. One open window, handholds on the wall outside. Quick search of the house finds a small spot in his upstairs room where a sword usually hangs.
Beorn follows a luckily very fresh trail from the climbing rungs south then across the road toward the inn grounds. He then follows it further past the patch of woods by 39 and onto the road. After a couple minutes he picks it back up, following road across then down; cuts into grass above 45. He continues easily to building 46! The dwarf weaponsmith.
The break in w/o issue here again. Behind the hearth is a latch lifting a trap door going down!! Quietly they do so. As they open it, they hear Muerto being beat up. A voice laughs. A deep voice “All right Ned, we know that’s not your real name, so why don’t you just talk?” Punched in the gut again.
As we close in, we hear metal being dragged along the floor then metal to flesh sound. Gilmi the dwarf sits in a chair as the half orc hits Muerto with a metal bar in his gut.
“All right ‘Ned’, why are you looking for the guild, who sent you?” Questions him about what he knows about ‘the job’ as he came from Restenford.
Ogrumat sneaks up behind Gilme and sneak attacks! Geoffrey charges the half orc and catches him off guard as well!
Beorn summons 3 war dogs of Odin, 2 of them taking down Gilme, the other aiding geoffrey, who crits and hits the half orc with subdual KO’d!
Ogrumat gets keys and frees Muerto from shackles, he’s in bad shape.
The half orcs chain is cold iron (works agains attacks of undead as if magic in return!) His long sword is written with runes! Beorn happens to be here! It’s specifically made to kill Good creatures, plus 2 normal, plus 6 vs good! Good to give to a selfless priesthood to dispose of or lock up. It’s actually evil in and of itself, and intelligent.
Note: Gilmi has dwarven size plate and mst warhammer (lvl 2) but not with him.
We shackle the half orc where Muerto was, and tie the dwarf to the chair.
Beorn treats Muerto, and with Geoffrey stay here with our new prisoners. Ogrumat skulks back to the inn to tell everyone there what happened and wait for kaelen to return.
Muerto says he made a mention to Oscar that he was looking to join the guild. That night, he met Philmar at the bridge then half dozen guys jumped him, dragged him here.
At the castle:
Kaelen enters via the kitchen, connecting to it is a back entrance with stairway down. Down the hall to throne room, dining room and entry hall. Then through into the hall, only a candle lit, with steps and into a large room, the living quarter of the sleeping cpt of the guard. He is not fully human, orc blood or something similar. Course dark hair, small tusk like teeth.
Via here into the chappel by a secret door. Statue of Kord, nothing Pathish.
Next, upstairs quickly. In one room she finds Telish in his bedroom, awake an annotating on his bed by candle light.
She enters into the shadows. He’s writing in a modified church latin which she makes out fairly well, a warrant for an arrest or writ of legal punishment, but its for tomorrow. She leaves to give him time to finish into Telish’s sanctum full of disguises!! Assassin! Did he kill Grellis?!
Next onto a large balcony. Something moves here, but can’t see anything! Ring on. Still nothing. In the jars are lots of vicious arrows. She takes them all.
8 dozen total, minus 1 DR. If hit, before healed must take 2 extra damage when removed.
Back inside to room where steps come up to at a locked door. She finds a secret door to a space with a guard inside which her shadow form avoids. Finally another bedroom where she finds Arnis awake, with a Norcross emissary with her!! A raven sits on a perch in the center.
The emissary says “look, its getting late, business needs to be concluded.” He’s disappointed about he supposed breakin “What if it were one of those rumored assassins in your town, I don’t take kindly to being killed on my ambassadorial mission.”
She assures him its impossible. He replies “Have you considered my offer?”
She refuses to become a vassal to Norcross! She seems serious!
“That’s not to say I don’t want a relationship, but I am happy being the lord mayor of an atonimous community, paying feilty to neither your master nor the fair Lady of Restenford.”
Emmisary “I seriously hope that you’ve taken some sort of precaution that no one is planning on putting a knife in the Duke’s back. As we know, only the Duke keeps the inquisition in check.” She assures him all is being done to find these murderers and take care of them, she wants not the weight of Norcross to fall on her town.
Finally he tells her ‘his holiness the inquisitor’ informed him that a number of heretic magic users reside here. Norcross can keep the inquisition in check inhis own territory, but can make no guarentees in this area. He encourages her to send away any errant rogue mages before the Inquisisition ‘rears its head’. The bishop has already sent word that this is the hotbed he has turned his eye to.
She replies “Are you threatening me?”
“Not threats. Just warnings. But the Duke may be able to help with that.” He stands to leave. Kaelen back off to allow him to go up the the 3rd floor.
She stays to gauge her reaction after he leaves, between annoyed and nervous both. She goes into Telish’s room “All right Telish, I hope that the writ will be completed soon. Our fall guy needs to happen, as in tomorrow morning.”
She goes back into her room to sleep. The bird is still there and is not sent anywhere. It could be a familiar.
Tellish finishes scribing, which she watches, and Kaelen catches the name: Abe!! They are going to frame him and name Peltar as his accomplice to overthrow Grellis! “Arrest and execution imminent”.
He seals it officially and then into his desk then to sleep himself.
Upstairs to find Philmar fast. The same shuffling in one of these rooms as well.
Bunch of cots, table chairs. This is where the ambassador is sleeping, the others are the ambassador guards and Inquisitor. At a table is Philmar and one of the Norcross guards. They’re bs’ing about dogs actually. The 2 he has in the kennel are his prize dogs he sold to Arnis. One a gozerian warhound, the other an eastern bearhunting dog. The Norcross man mentions a band of mercs they worked with last year, brutal band, had lots of dogs with their force, tough ones too. Well disciplined but brutally efficient “Much as they were helpful in the war, glad to see them go”.
Up to 4th floor fast via only a ladder. Research notes on astronomy. There is a telescope as well. A secret compartment behind the table is a ring with a feather carved into it, and a necklace with 3 gems.
The notes have a reference to a star in teh northern sky, new to her, in an almost empty spot in space which held no star a year prior. Glowed brightly for 2 months right after The Vanishing, then disappeared to naked eye. With telescope it is just visible. Almost directly North, in same spot for those 2 months. Like Polaris. Kaelen checks using her notes and sees it sure enough.
At bottom of note stack, are handwritten incantations etc for magical use. Starting to compile a spellbook.
Now fast down to basement.
Servant quarters, treasure room, including a book in an unknown script and chests.
Next, Falbor the cleric and his wife’s room.
Alchemical supply room.
A long corridor behind a secret door, finds a zombie pacing in here. She passes it with the ring to steps upward coming out away from the castle at the woodline behind the castle. An illusionary rock covers the entry here.
Back into the lower level:
a room with a nest upon which an ogre sleeps!
adjacent to that is an empty cell
sewage and natural sewage discharge cave into the ground
crossbow trap guards a door to living quarters for 2: guy and girl (very pretty); open book on table is a spellbook
another living quarters for 3 other apprentices of Tellish, has ladder to trapdoor
Barracks for 3 guards, one is awake.
2 exits upward, one to each front guard tower at castle walls
Back up and into Tellish’s room and quietly searches while he sleeps. Lots of normal records and such. Lots and lots of clothes of various sorts.
A parchment crumpled up and struffed in rear of a drawer in guild cipher she can’t make out. She takes it with her.
Then searches his inner sanctum. More clothing, the disguises as before, disguise kit makeup, robe with 3 barracuda on it, lots of gems; weapons including a chipped obsidian dagger. The OP!!!!
On way out, stop in main guardhouse, finds a map of town and the inn in a the room of one of the guard captains where he sleeps, Kaelen notes what he looks like. The map of the inn mentions the secret floor space at the inn.
On second floor, large barracks room. 8 orcs sleep here!!
She makes her way to the grove meeting directly.
Ogrumat got to Inn prior to meeting; she stays there with Wilfong to watch over things there.
Loriel and Christofer lead the meeting from our end. Een, Martin, and Perk keep watch around the meeting. Sybil reps the Adv10; Lydia and Priska from The Band; plus Ab’es group.
Abe has been trying to weed out the assassins for a a while. So far as he knows, only Balmorrow has used the crawlspace. After their contact with the octupus, he developed a psionic ability to read minds. The assassins have found some way to keep their thoughts hidden. He tries to read and only catches regular thoughts, by now he should have found something else if they didn’t have a way to block that part of their minds. He has had Balmorrow use the crawlspace to look for leads but no luck. We inform them of our search of Philmar/Oscar’s room. He has had suspicions of those 2. They are either assassins or most likely contacts to them.
We show them the evidence from Grellis’s killing.
Abe explains that many peopel in town have wanted him to run for mayor because of his personality and he’s well liked.
We ask why vote Arnis out even considering that if she’s doing a good job? He says there has been more activity recently vs bandits etc. She does a fine job, yes, but nothing pro active. She reacts only. Abe would try to be more proactive. Like the assassins, she hasn’t looked into them because they havn’t effected the town directly, whereas he would go after them. They know that.
Harper responds: he has no idea why he’d be on the frame list other than associated with Abe.
Balmorrow says: in the past, he and Grellis’s wife had a thing going tween them before Grellis came into the picture. Was never something to last though, and they knew it. Assassins must know this, so could have played it against them.
They say the clues had all gone missing in a 24 hour period at most, couple days before the assassination. All 3 had gone to Restenford, but not at time we think they were there. None of it was them, they claim. Harper was there early that morning talking with Qualton, but not later.
Asking everyone about the mysterious kid Rob Barnes: no idea. Abe thinks that was a disguise, as do we. Balmorrow then says the name is a clever choice. All of the boys who live on the Inn grounds live in the barn.
Whoever got their hands on the holy symbol gem and the string would be a great lead, as they would be hard to find not close at hand to the 2 of them. Balmorrow sees Balmar almost every day though, the one he’s teaching music to.
Asking Harper to think as such, who could desecrated his holy symbol? He can’t think of anyone. But Both Harmon and Basil have access to his accoutraments.
Concerning Glami’s magic with Arnis: They are stupified Glami is an arcane wielder. He has done what seemed sleight of hand to amuse the kids and such, but nothing more.
Has anyone seen Oscar tonight? No one recalls seeing him, but most wouldn’t. Rellis is who to talk to about him.
Chris details Ned is one of us and what happened to him. They would have suspected the half orc, but not the dwarf.
We give Harper the potion of longevity, he drinks it immediately.
Kaelen shows up. She details all she saw in castle, and the meeting is detailed thus far as well as Muerto’s situiation. Arnis playing all sides seems to jive with Abe’s reactive description of her.
Does Lothar have access to Harper’s holy stuff? “He’s harmless” and has no normal access.
Abe is clueless about how to handle his impending arrest.
As a side note to Harper, asking Harper why Qualton is messed up?
Martin pops in suddenly giving Kaelen a tap on the shoulder while she isn’t talking. She follows him out of the meeting. Out he drags Falpir!
Kaelen “Wlhat in the hell are you doing?” He got up to pea, noticed Abe leaving, curious so he followed. “If Master Abraham is in some kind of trouble, he wants to know about it.” We know he is loyal to Abraham. He insists just really curious. It’s not a disguise either.
Chris “You seem to notice things Falpir, have you seen Oscar at all?” He saw him leaving the castle late morning after only being there a couple hours. Didn’t see where he may have gone.
We hear more rustling in the woods. Kaelen lets out a warning whistle, telling Ean and Perk to close in. Martin skulks forward toward them. It’s the town guard!
Being on alert after the orc warning, they saw Falpir enter the woods.
We let Abe and his guys handle this with the Cpt. Golfig. He has about a dozen men here. They are surprised to see us all here. They assume a coup de tate is at work here.
Abe fail miserably trying to talk his way out of it, nor does Harper help the cause. Balmorrow however manages to make it look not so bad. This eats about 45 minutes of time before they calm down. They decide not to search us. They tell us to go home immediately, though. They don’t want it to be on their heads for not breaking such a gathering up.
Meanwhile, at the Inn:
Clyde sees someone enter the crawlspace coming toward Kaelen’s room from below. He heads that way immediately, stalking. The person goes up into Kaelen’s room, and 2 others enter and begin to ransack the room. Clyde looks in to see a small child and 2 others.
Downstairs, the place is dead but for Wilfong and Ogrumat still downstairs. Both notice shadows creeping by a couple windows of the inn. They hear the locked front door knob turn, then unintelligible whispering. Then scurrying away along the perimeter. They go up the stairs to the 2nd floor.
They see the door to Kaelen’s room open and they hear noise. Ogrumat notices a red bandana on Oscar’s doorknob. Not tray of food. Ogrumat sends Fong to deal with those in the room while she hides and wathes the steps.
She hears movement coming from the back of the inn, likely they came into the back door or a window. Several are looking around. One says “He’s gotta be upstairs.”
Fong steps into the room, seeing Oscar with 2 he does not recognize. He demands they explain their nefarious deeds and to disarm themselves of weapons and “ill gotten gain.”
Oscar’s 2 men draw weapons in reaction.
A man at bottom of stairs calls up “We know your up there, Rapier! If you come down now we promise to kill you quick and not turn you over.”
Just then, Clyde starts Gibbering and leaps to the attack at the sight of weapons.
Someone downstaris “What is that terrible noise!”
He leaps at Oscar biting him on the thigh deep. Clyde kills Oscar savagely. The hunter ldr downstairs comes up the steps carefully but quickly, certainly wearing some kind of footwear that is silenced, hearing the fighting makes his way around toward the battle, his 5 men a bit behind. When the last one passes Ogrumat, that’s the one she hits the last in line dropping him.
Fong engages the dead Oscar’s friends, pinning one of them to the wall with his rapier.
Clyde springs on the pinned foe dropping him as well. Fong draws his rapier out of the wall, the man drops, and attacks the last foe in the room.
The now last in line turns and fires his crossbow at Ogrumat but misses. The other 3 continue behind their ldr.
A door next to Ogrumat opens and Cpt. Basmar exits, broadsword and dagger, cape aflourishing! “Huzzah! Have at you rogues!”
Clyde finishes off the last in the room!
Fong turns to face the Hunter Ldr. who arrives and they engage. The ldr goes for a tumble past Wilfong, which he reacts to brilliantly.
Ogrumat crits the crossbowman, as Basmar is engaged with a spearwielding hunter. The other 2 continue for Fong.
Clyde moves out and engages one of the hunters now arriving at Fong.
Fong starts taking the worse of the fight w/ the ldr.
Ogrumat kills her man; Basmar beheads his foe.
The last hurls a handaxe at Fong and strikes him.
Another door at the turn towards Kaelen’s room opens, across from the corner where the axe thrower stands, the fter of teh adv10 who Martin found half stumbles out, glowing like molten metal!! He crits the axe hurler so hard he drops his wpn in the process DEAD. He then drops, exhausted already.
Basmar rushes to the sound of Fong’s fight. Clyde drops his axeman as Fong still fighting the ldr.
All the Hunter’s men down, we gang up on the ldr. Balmar misses wildly, hacking the railing apart. Clyde hits, then Ogrumat flaking sneak attacks him badly. He backrolls through the hole in the railing, landing perfeclty, and moves for the door.
Clyde leaps from the railing across and next to him but misses with his short sword.
Ogrumat hits him with a thrown dagger then jumps straight down. Fong makes for the steps.
Cpt just wants to get back to bed. He was angered about being woken up more than anything else.
The ldr sprints forward, cut by Clyde as he goes, adn crashes right through the window and suddenly turns into a bat!! Clyde rushes out wildly jumping into the air but uselessly as it flies away.
Ogrumat calls him back so as not to be seen. SHe sees a few nearby lights go on in houses at the sound of the crash.
Left in Fong’s side, gripped by his side, is a shard of obsidian about an inch and a half long.
Fong “Should have known.”
After hiding Clyde, we check the adv10 fighter, he’s ok just passed out from the exhertion.
Then send Fong for the authorities, bring a couple back where everyone expains the assassination attempt.
2 of the attackers who came with the ldr are still alive.
Clyde takes what was left of Oscar into the crawlspace.
We leave out the bat part.
They recognize Oscar’s 2 pals. Rifraf and Ruckus, couple locals. They have previous minor assault charges. Haven’t been seen for a while though.
Upon returning from the meeting, we get the word of the attack. Abe’s guys are going to Martin’s house to talk things over in private, figure out what they are going to do. They say get some rest, they’ll contact us in the morning.
Kaelen is wondering if that ldr has her dad’s cloak of the bat.
Kaelen gets a few men looking out for Philmar’s return to bushwack him, then heads to Muerto with Clyde. She has him start eating the half orc from the toes up to scare the dwarf into talking, figuring he knows more. The half orc knows nothing, just a major jerkface, hired knucklebreaker for the dwarf.
Gilmy spills his guts at the sight:
reports everyone new to his contact Oscar in the guild. Philmar is Oscar’s parther and also in the guild. Oscar told Gilmy that Muerto was an impersonator on multiple levels, so they got the brigands to jump him and bring him here.
So, the brigands are working with the assassins, and use a 3rd contact whose name he does not know. He says the guild has contacts in most important places in town.
He warns us much worse will happen to us now, they’ll get us all. Just for that, Kaelen says we’ll keep him alive for sure so after this is all over, we can show him how wrong he was.
The greater scheme he does not know, but its big.
Clyde kills the half orc. Gilmy we leave here. We shackle him up now, and gag him.
Ean is sent as fast as possible to Restenford with word of the danger Grellis’s wife may be in.
Kaelen goes over the captured cypher carefully.
It is a letter to from the shadowy “Cardinal” or bishop of the Path to Oscar, to then forward to the leader of the Assassin’s Guild named Volcifar. The order was to kill the Baron; then a second unnamed target was to be killed no later than 1 week from day of Baron’s death. We have to assume the other target is Grellis’s wife, the last vestige of power in the area to oppose Arnis. All sounds like a power grab by her.
With the ok from Priska, Wolk is moved to his abandoned house 39 tonight.
Now, some sleep.
Muerto is put at Harper’s church getting medical attention.
Glami is running the bar as always, Rellis and the boys prepping breakfast. Regular crowd is gathering. Lots of talk going on. Rellis is not her usual cheery flirtatious self.
Philmar is MIA.
He could be the assassin sent for the Baronness.
Falpir comes right up to Kaelen “Abe’s gone crazy” first thing this morning Abe turned himself in. But the cpt of militia wants to see us asap.
We go immediately. He says Abe came just before sun up and gave himself up on condition that our group be given time to find out what really happened before his fate is finalized. We need to finish this. We need to prove no one of Abe and Peltar conspired, someone else did. We have 48 hours before he turns him over to Arnis.
So, his fate is to satisfy the inquisition only, Arnis is using him to stall.
Kaelen shows him the cracked cypher.
Back to inn to breakfast and talk. Soon as its over, the church bell chimes. Up at the castle, a signal torch is being waved and the militia is scrambling.
The orcs are moving against the town!!
The Cpt of the milita shows up fast, excusing Kaelen of militia duty to do what she needs to do. The problem, she says, is that if we find anything ouselves it could be claimed we as outsiders planted or made up the evidence. He says he’ll back it up unless its real sketchy.
Any capable men are conscripted to stand in line. Females are volunteer only. He whispers magical aptitude is forbidden from using it.
Murmuring during mustering about where the half orc and Gilmy are.
Townsmen are organized in squads around town. About 13 groups, averaging 10 each. The castle is secured and walls fully manned.
For a couple hours, the orcs probe here and there in skirmishing attacks with little to no effect.
Wilfong, Christofer, Een, Martin, Perk, and Martin are there.
Kaelen has Clyde, Ogrumat and Loriel and Wolk with her. Geoffrey is still guarding Gilmy.
A lot of the women and kids are put in the church grounds and the Inn grounds.
Rellis is an acting head nurse at the Inn. Balmar, not of age, helping as well. Falpir was left here as well, the cpt knowing better than to trust his capabilities.
Glami is here too.
Cpt Bazmar is at the guard house.
After about an hour of mustering the town and the guards settles into positions:
Loriel stays at the Inn, waiting for a good time to go out and search Rillis’s house. Nearing end of the 2nd hour, she siezes her chance. It takes a good hour, her pet keeping watch. She finds only a list of colored bandanas and what foods correspond to it.
Kaelen goes right to the church, after stopping to tell Wolk to keep an eye out from the woods adjacent to him for anyone oddly moving alone through town. Harmon is wearing some plate armor, shield and flail. Harper is present, the curate Basil; most acolytes and such are with militia. Harper in good concious can’t do so, but Lothar goes with Kaelen to search the private rooms hoping to find the contact to the assassins at the church.
After about hour and a half search, ending in the acolyte Allisar’s chamber. A set of bandanas, and an amulet like an eye. She believes it to be an amulet of prot vs scrying and det thoughts and the like. We were told that the assassins have ways to keep themselves secret.
We leave them just as we found them, then report to Harper what we found.
Kaelen asks what other places would count as such a major establishemnt.
Harper says other than castle, Inn, half orc smithy and Gilmi, just the theater he would think.
Much as she hates thinking so, next is the theater. Bolmorrow has already gone. The blink dog is here though.
Willis (40’s and a bit overweight) and Phyllis, magic users, both here still, as well as 2 of the 3 stage hands. The former 2 are gathering ropes and other potential helpful supplies for the attack. The latter 2 (marvin and arthur) are both tuning their instruments (aka bard inspiration if needed). The place has a small tower jutting from the roof from which it looks they will amplify their inspiration.
Wilbus is missing, 16 years old.
She approaches the blink dog alone and lays out the deal on why she’s here. He likes Wilbur, but the dog knows he’s not with the militia but not where he is. Kind of knows what he’s doing it seems but can’t express it. He’s not with Balmorrow. They go check his room. A letter is found in his chest of personal effects, unsent love letter to a girl names Holga, very mushy. Seems there has been a massive amount of fornication tween them. At the end he references feeling bad about what he did to Balmorrow, as he has always treated him well. Several edits show this to be a rough draft. Dated 2 days prior to assassination.
Kaelen figures, he is the one who got the string.
The dog knows he is with Holga now, but not what he did to Balmorrow.
She walks in on the others with the dog in tow to ease them down, saying she is checking around town for the cpt.
Holga it seems is a clerical student at the castle under Tellish. Originally from a farm outside of town. Enjoys the shows. Maybe month and a half back while here, Wilbur started tripping all over himself over her when she got to be more of a regular. They think she gave him some signals. Took him a couple weeks to get up the nerve to talk to her so they started meeting, disappearing all day together. Has been acting weird and lovestruck teenager since, quite distracted.
‘Up at the castle Askew is the cpt of guard and clerical warrior; Arnax female magic user they believe but goes on patrols even though no armor nor real weapons, Falbor’s wife; Falbor is one of Tellish’s sub priests; Sankster and Gelias are 2 of the guard who patrol the town with the millitia (2 very convenient contacts from town contacts to the castle); Relmak clerical students (sad case, been there entire life, family abandoned him, was an unwilling birth, halforc, Askew found him on doorstep of castle); Geltuk male student, son of a castle guardsman; Trell male student, born in town to commoner, given to the castle to learn, not in contact with parents very regularly; Holga female student, comes to town by herself or with Arnis herself, they seem close; Sankster and Gellias, unofficial knights, each with a squire of sorts Roban (gnome) and Thomas, respectively, the 4 hang out together a lot.
Ogrumat goes to the wood adjacent to 18 to do the same as Wolk.
Several plumes of smoke from outlying farms are visible by now to the east.
Wolk now notices 3 men from the militia moving for Gilmy’s house pounding on the door, yelling for him to open the door. They kick it in. They are surely just wondering why he isn’t at the defense. Geoffrey hears the noise above. Gilmy makes a squeal unable to be heard above, but Geoffrey backhands him harshly anyway. The guards find no secret door of course.
Ogrumat notice 3 of the same going to Krak the armorers place for the same reason, looking for him one more time.
Walking out, they speak of never peging him for being a coward and traitor. They must have found his open window and handholds in the back and figured he fled.
1pm rations are taken to the defenders by the women.
Loriel goes to the barn to check the boys resting areas. All of the horses in the barn are lying down, tongues hanging out, all ill. All has a trough of water and bag of feed in their pen. Investigating, the grain in the feed bags is undoubtedly laced with something, a drying agent, powder substance, dehydrating agent. Balmorrow stables his horse here, which is not present of course, but has the same feed within.
Kaelen checks with Ogrumat and gets her news then makes a search of the blacksmith but he seems ok.
Then stops at Harper’s to ask his opinion on spending time with the grociers, he says no. She goes to check out the boathouse and the 3 workers watching the docks. They are doing just that. She runs in to Beshkar, who tells her the dock logs are kept by those 3 guys. They each scan through the last 3 months of logs, the rest are archived at the castle.
It seems Cpt Bazmar has no entries in the book at all. The head dockman who supervises though, there have been a few odd shipments leaving here on small vessels lacking point of destination, over last 2 months, and unspecified or generic cargos or duplicates arriving. Semi regular basis.
He’s on the grilling list.
He has no idea who Wilbur is much less Holga.
Now goes to get Wolks report on way up, then to Loriel for report. She has reported the horse situation, and one of the boys ran for Martin the druid, then she went to check the cpt’s room. His ceiling hatch is barred and door locked.
She checked Glami’s hatch which was also locked.
Kaelen gets into the Cpt’s room after bypassing a triple heavy crossbow trap attached to the door.
He has a small bar jammed through the rung of the trapdoor. Forcing your way through is doable, but a flask of alchemist fire is attached as a trap. A candle, maybe 6 hrs duration is lit, wire running from it. Opening the dresser w/o disarming the wire trap knocks the candle over to a jar of oil spilling onto the burglar.
Lots of clothing, as expected for a permanent resident. He has a high quality disguise kit! 3 jars of black ichory poison, which tips the xbow bolts of the trap.
A jar of creamy, light green ointment.
Leather tube, capped, with coins and gems inside.
Drawer with lots of bandanas, 3 different colors.
Under the bed tween the matresses, a box with a recipe for a particular skin tone (swarthy, medit., dark hair), description of a particular style of dress (hood, baggy shirt, tight pants, half cape), set of equipment, notes on a particular accent (lispy with heavy back of throat for the letter h, pronouncing g’s as such). On back of page, reminder to use blood to draw archway when you do this particular job. Sounds similar but not exaclty to perhaps Christofer or Wilfong.
She recalls the guys from the intrusion of her room the night before: one of Oscar’s 2 they thought was only beaten down, then after we found him dead. He must have snuck in and murdered him. Obviously didn’t want him taken captive.
Martin shows up. Loriel distractes the crowd explaining to Martin the horse issue, giving Kaelen a moment to sneak into Glami’s room unseen.
Its wizard locked, with a magic mouth on it that goes off if it isn’t opened. She bypasses and unlocks!!
Under a loose board is cash; Hidden compartment in dresser is scroll with jump, mirror image, web; stand up mirror, flippable, has nothing but black glass on the backside; notes on a ring with names each with a general description, what they are doing in town, all of people in town, passing through etc. If you’ve been to the inn, he has a docier on you. Very professional, though on Priska ‘banned from Inn, really annoying I don’t like him’ and wants to ‘stab Falpir in the eye with a pen’.
Martin confirms the horses were poisoned, but by herbal poison. Probably got the stuff at the natural herbalist. Handful of seemingly innocent stuff could have been ground together to make this. Concerning why the horses wouldn’t have drank the water to hydrate, the water is salted. Loriel brings up checking Abe’s stock and his record. There was a certain amount of money taken from till for unmarked reasons.
Kaelen runs to the herbalist, female and kids are there. She says a young boy came in and bought the herbs saying the inn needed them. Not one of the inn boys. She describes Rob Barnes, saying he was sent by Falpir, sent yesterday during day. Martin brings Oscar up to her but she says he was here at the same time buying herbs to help you sleep. Said he was having a hard time sleeping at night.
4pm: first true fight happens vs the orcs. A group east of the castle makes contact with an orc squad. No casualties for the town. The orcs went back toward the ford. On their way back towad the caslte hill, noticed skulking to the north of the castle a force coming toward town. The cpt and his men are making their way in that direction, building 14 ish, and they stop to tell us. This is the entire in town group. Cpt of militia, his squad. Bazmar is missing. He said he saw someone in the woods D and he and one of the men went to investigate. She was going to send Ogrumat to help them until he said that.
Kaelen “That’s bullshit, he’s one of the assassins.” We head straight there, Martin with us, picking Geoffrey up along the way.
Martin spots their trail immediately following it with ease, just south of the D on the map. The militia man is lying in the bushes, throat slit.
Loriel sends her pet upward for an aerial view. Martin says there is no trail her anymore. Loriel detects magic of the transportation sort. Lifting up the dead man’s head, he was given the Ghirellian Amulet. Lost a lot of blood to form a large ring for the portal to get out.
We get the body back to the guardhouse. Someone in the town calls out “Fire!”. A house right across the street is burning 49. A handful of humans are lobbing burning arrows into town from the woods east of the bait shop. A fire brigade is starting. They are readying a 2nd volley. Martin puts up a windwall to block the volley as they fire, only 2 get through in time. One misses, the other hits the dwarfs shop.
We start laughing.
They archers flee into the woods.
We tell Martin to stay here to help with the fires, we run north to check on the Militia cpt. The group is nursing some minor injuries. 10 men who they know, local thugs of the bandits, tried to make a move. No deaths, they ran after a short engagement toward the larger wood to north of the castle/east of the swamp.
He asks what Kaelen wants to do. She says call back her men immediately. Keep Wolf watching the south attackers, and Loriel’s pet the north, make sure they stay in their woods. Assuming they do, we’ll go in and eliminate them.
We send Ean and Martin in first to find them, then we circle them and attack. We destroy them, both groups, capturing their leader, by 6pm. Bringing him back to the guard. With the help of some choice militia.
We also bring Gimli to the militia cpt, and Muerto who is not at the church! Lothar is clueless as to what happened to him. Allistair is still on the line, which is confirmed while we check Muerto’s room. Under his bed is a circle of blood, teleportation circle. We warn all parties here that jackass knows how to imitate Muerto to a T.
Loriel crystal ball’s Muerto. Its being actively blocked.
They took him to impersonate him.
Gilmi won’t spill the beans. Unfortunately, he still has an unexplainable torture room for a basement under a secret passage.
Kaelen lays the entire plot out to the militia cpt.
She has him send a couple militia guys collect the bandana et al evidence themselves to gather it here. Geoffrey and Ogrumat go with the 2 groups. They return uneventfully.
He also sends for Allistair to be sent back as well. With them go Beorn, Perk and Martin
We question the brigand leader. His contact was the actual leader of the brigands, he lives in the town: they work for Cpt Bazmar.
Gilmi still refuses to give his side.
As we go through all this, no one has seen Wilbur. Someone has been in Oscar and Philmar’s room though, the disguise stuff is gone. Probably Philmar. Bandanas and such still there. There is a receipt from the herbalist.
Not enough to pinch Glami, unfortunately.
We keep Allistairs amulet. Kaelen wears it for now at least.
Allistair acts surprised and innocent of all this. Rellis is also brought in. She comes willingly.
We convince Wilfong to let the militia cpt use his amulet though “You realize if he knows I have this, he may figure out I’ve been cheating to win money this whole time?”
Ogrumat “I’m pretty sure we can get you off after all this.”
Wilfong “Hopefully Rellis will”hahs elbowing Chris “Am I right? Huh, am I right?”
Good laugh by both.
They both profess Rellis must be innocent.
All but Fong, Chris, kaelen and Clyde go back to defending the town.
We start with Gilmi:
With the amulet, the cpt gets the lowdown that Oscar was his contact. He fed info to Oscar about everyone that came through town. Cause Krak was his friend, he’d do the same. From there it moved up the ranks. He had no clue Bazmar was involved. He was friends with some of the brigand though, that’s why they brought Ned to him. He had the safe room.
When she saw a bandana, that was the sign to bring up certain foods. She is completely honest.
Chris “Yeah we told ya!” He romantically apologizes to her “I pleaded with them not to bring you in”. She is quite understanding of the situation even. This whole plan seems like a cover for when they really did communicate to one another. Bazmar also did the bandana thing.
He starts crying in tears having no clue what we are talking about. Its all true, he has no idea. Someone in the temple framed him!
Bazmar was his contact, knew nothing about an assassins guild. He was slipped some silver at intervals to label certain shipments in and out certain ways. Primarily outgoing was coin or pieces of armor and weapons. He is not privy to their destination. Coming in was mostly specific items of clothing, make up, etc. Didn’t even seem contraband so the reason for secrecy was lost on him. Other times jars and vials of unlabelled liquids and materials.
All their assassin and wizard gear.
We collect Geoffrey, thinking Harper may be the one left in town alone and in danger, leaving him to protect him.
the actual raid en masse by the orcs!! One across bridge, one via the ford, another from the north. Lots of outer homesteads fired, some people who didn’t get into town were killed, some burning.
Arnis’s soldiers rode out to join the melee, and the Norcross emissaries, so we got to see those major players.
The orcs are pushed off before too much damage is done, only a few deaths on each side before the orcs left.
Tellish gives a blessing to the town, and a good speech about staying together “we’re a big family, and we all look out to each other”.
Though the militia is still active, women and kids start getting back home.
Castle guard arrest all of us first thing in the morning! Askew himself is here. One of his grandparents from the look of him is probably an orc, by the look of him.
Says last night the emissary from Norcross was found dead in his room, given the Ghirellian Amulet.
He says we know the killer who passes as Ned Snakeshaft but is widely known by The Ghirellian Amulet, who is currently in our possession, and has confessed to the murder.
Kaelen “All right then.”
“Really, that easy.”
He has 4 others with him: .Sankster, Gellias (the 2 ‘knights’) and Roban and Thomas (their ‘squires’).
Kaelen demands he call for the cpt of the militia, for he has information that may alleviate this situation. That cpt being in actual charge of the populace law enforcement, he can’t not do so in front of everyone.
Militia Cpt. Hester and his 2 dep’s we dealt most with yesterday arrive quickly.
Hester and Askew share a slight scowling glance at one another.
Askew presenst his side to which Hester replies “Well, we have a bit of a conundrum then” for they signed an agreement with Abe that Kaelen is in an official capacity to investigate for the militia and town populace.
Though Askew protensts, Hester insists she has 24 hours to complet her investigation. Now, not just for Abe, but ourselves being arrested also then.
“That gives her that time before your writ of warrant is valid, or you’re going to have a lot of problems in this town.”
Askew says the Norcross deligation is leaving tomorrow at noon. They will demand justice for the emissary by then or Norcross may decide to meet out his own justice.
He says at midnight tonight, the castle guard will be back at this inn for us.
He takes his leave.
Loriel crystal balls Philmar and Tellish:
We pick up Philmar, riding a horse at high speed. Tied to his saddle is an amulet just like Allistair’s room. He has a bleeding wound on his side.
Tellish is in the castle having a heated debate with the Inquisitor who is trying to lord it over and intimidating him while they argue.
Next, Wilbur: he, some girl, and Balmorrow are in a cave. All 3 are bound! An orc walks up and kicks Wilbur as he walks by, laughing.
Falpir approaches, but that gnome that came in “something about him looked very familiar”. He comes to town rarely.
K “Did he remind you a little of Rob Barnes?”
Falpir “Come to think of it, the tunic is the same Rob wore under his jacket.”
Kaelen says we have to go into the castle tunnel I found. Hester has to go, to make it official and be able to tell the town first hand.
We have to find Muerto and/or Balmorrow in there.
Hester warns if something goes wrong, we all get hung “This is a ‘better work out or else’ action”.
For now, we have to keep and eye out for Philmar. Perk, Martin, Loriel, Christofer, and Ogrumat will get north, outside of town, with Martin to watch for his return.
The adv10, through some magic from their healer and rest, are fairly fit to operate. They will help in the field; Martin gets Winky the Bling Dog as well.
At about 10am, Ella enters, they think they spotted him coming down the river and starting to make a circuit around the swamp; probably as Kaelen has suspected he is making his way straight for the castle trying not to be seen.
Kaelen, Clyde, Ogrumat, Beorn, Priska, the Adv10 ranger, Chris, are able to get make it in time to ambush him. Martin is put in the righte side woods at the north base of the castle hill as the failsafe with his animals and Clyde. The rest of us position in the larg woods north of the castle and hit him east of it as he passes by.
Beorn plops a bee swarm right on top of him and we rush out to cut him off. The horse rears but he stays astride. The horse is very unhappy, Philmar pulls out a wand, a burst of flame engulfs all w/in 20’, himself shining blue. The swarm dissipates and he tries to get the horse moving but it cant.
We rush him, Chris, the AdvRanger, and Ogrumat grapple him off the mount. A hole burns open in his vest, and one of the explodes in flame. We pin him, Kaelen and Priska bind him.
Beorn gets there and takes the amulet off of him. We drag his arse back to town and Hester.
Interrogation begins. Hester gives him immunity from death penalty if he talks. He admits he is returning from trying to save Rellis’s wife but was thwarted thanks to Een. Bunch of guards were watching her closely, so he decided to go for a target of opportunity instead, Andrella the daughter. He found out she was not in the castle though, but at the church, so he went there. Instead of finding her, the Bishop of Restenford was there, Qualton. He skulked inside, didn’t find Andrella, and Qualton saw him. He fled to his horse, meeting some of our friends. He got there though and got away thanks to the horseshoes of speed. While he fled, Pelo shot him with an arrow (hence the wound).
We will take those. The amulet is of Missiles. 2 x3d6 magic missiles remain; the fireballhe used. He also has a cloak plus 1 def or 5 dr; once it absorbs 50hp it is only a cloak (40 remain).
Loriel “Who’s behind all this?” He knows not the head man. He and Bazmar were given a job from the next level up, Glami.
We go to round up Glami. The door to the kitchen opens up, Rellis walks in with a tray of stuff. He nabs her up, threatening to let him walk or she gets it!
He retreats into the hall to get around to the back door. Hester follows with his men plus Chris and Beorn. Kaelen and Ogrumat go out the opposite door, out a room window, to cut him off out back. Wilfong leaps off the balcony from upstairs “No way this is going down w/o me here!” He joins Chris et al. He suddenly gets into his room and kicks the door shut. He locks the door, we hear a slap “That’s for biting me!”
Hester starts breaking in the door.
Chris leads Beorn and Fong to the nearest trap door. They get above Glami’s room. Beorn fires an Acid Arrow at the gab where the lock is, it falls off and we drop in. The mirror has been flipped to the black side, now opened into a dark space. He has Rellis bound, dragging behind to go in.
He drops her then unleashes magic missiles at Fong and Chris. Beorn mage hands the mirror back around. Chris and Fong rush him but he dodges. He grabs Rellis by the hair, trying to drag her around the back of the mirror incanting as he walks. The back begins emanating an eery red light. From behind wardrobe adjacent Falpir hamstrings him with his dagger!! Beorn pulls the mirror down, red light side first. The mirror shatters, blood leaks out in all directions. Lots.
Glami yells a cry of distress "You haven’t beaten me yet.
Chris and Fong grapple him down and put the hurting on him.
Falpir had found in Glami’s room a ritual spell to turn a mirror into a bloodgate. To minimize or nullify the potential neg effects, you can take a person with you and blood dissolve them instead.
Chris to Fong “I see a menage a trois in our future!”
Fong “You spoke our language!”
Hester badgers him, but he won’t talk. Kaelen is being more cordial, then tells Hester to go get a cup of coffee and take a break.
“Well, Glami, I guess its just you, me, this drawer; and your balls” slamming it shut.
The others hear a series of yells of pain, and he starts talking.
His docier, though originally for personal use, has proven very valuable to the mayor.
He is an affiliate to a guild, but not an assassin. His connection upward is Gellias in the castle. He doubts Tellish’s involvement, way to pious. Sankster is too brutish.
Neither he nor Philmar knows who the church contact is.
Holga was originally a spy for the guild, knowingly. Then she fell for Wilbur, giving her an attack of concious. Convinced him to get the lute string (she did not know why) in the early stages of their relationship. Wilbur convinced her to act as a witness vs those she knew. She knows the big ones! They were going to tell Hester but on their way were captured. Balmorrow, they were going to assassinate on the road after he left, but he’s so beloved in town he would be a bargaining chip if things go south.
He asks for a sickly mule and 20cp. If we drop him off a mile outside of town he’ll give us info worth his weight inn gold. And you’ll never see him again.
He knows not the guild big wigs; the big traitor, responsible for the whole show, is back in Restenford! The first job was sent from Restenford, aka Rellis’s death. Someone with some influence offered the contract to the guild.
Word was also put out to the guild to look for something called Belushi, back in Restenford. The one thing that can bring the Baron back. No one yet knows what that is.
So Rellis’ wife is still in danger, but obviously whoever it is won’t just kill her, or they wouldn’t be operating with the guild to do so in the first place.
K “Anything else?”
Yeah, get the *&%$& out of here and leave me be. Go hunt down your assassins and get your justice.
Scroll: Jump, web, mirror image (7th)
Money: gems (50, 100) 35gp, 46ep
Amulet from Philmar
Now, officially, all business but the church contact, potentially unwitting, and who he passes his info on to. Which could be directly to the castle.
The Band is willing to help, background or backup, but for Priska who is all in.
4 of the adv10 are willing and able: Fordrid, Ringwald, Alfwine, Roger.
Martin is all in, Harper will do what he can.
Scrying the contact blind, with the items he tried to frame with, fails.
We go to the church now. Golfig and Tesh catch up to us running, very nervous and out of breath. The 2 militiamen we left at the guardhouse were drugged ko’d. Abe has been taken!!
Obviously, to the castle.
Its eerily quiet in the temple. Allisair and another acolyte are tending to Geoffrey. 2 others are still ko’d themselves. The 5 adepts are cleaning up. Basil is running the show.
He wails in sadness. Late last night, once many had already went for home, we gathered in the main hall then turned in for the night. Maybe 2am, noise from Harper’s room. He was lying on the ground, dart in his neck ko’d. Door was part open, someone was in there dragging Harper through the wall, a symbol drawn upon it. “Terrifying”. Then a cloud of mist came over all our minds; half hour later we wake up to the place having been ransacked. Harmon, Harper, Lothar all gone.
They found a note in the church latin: Thus always to traitors. Posted on Lothar’s door.
Being in church latin, it smells of the Inquisition.
We check out the wall they went through. Its blood as we assumed. The wall still has a barely soft consistency. Fleshy.
Every room in the place has been trashed.
In Lothar’s room, also ransacked. Armor and wpn missing. Trap was sprung. Kaelen finds, carved into the door is the sign of the Inquisition.
In Harmon’s room, large blood stain on the rug like from a wound. Room ransacked.
The altar holy symbol is badly defaced.
We’re a bit surprised the adepts and acolytes weren’t murdered outright.
Wilfong says Basil is on the up and up, when we question him, so far as he can tell.
We get our equipment together, and have a light dinner to keep our energy ups. As we are mustering, about 7pm, an elf enters the inn. It’s Pelo! He is the advance rider for the relief, should you require it. He gives Een’s report, who decided to stay there for security. He says the attempt would have succeeded if they wouldn’t have had slight warning, for he was dressed very like Volcifar. Ean stopped at the bugbears, who are on their way here in force, more than happy to do so. They think they may have some history with these orcs. Same banner as orcs who were camped by Resenford previously, and the 2 didn’t get along together.
Good show Een! Jeremiah is also with the bugbears.
They should be here soon, but not before we enter the caves/dungeon.
Now, to the castle.