Kaelen sees Felix and Old Man both patrol the warehouses. They each go a different direction, and when they meet back up they sit at a small table, smoke, talk and after half an hour do it again. Old Man has 3 dogs who follow him w/o command.
She beaches the boat, and goes to the side opposite their table station. She waits for them to pass and breaks in.
The front door is gone, entering into the common room. Its easy to see rat prints all over, big ones. We start to explore.
Under a carpet, a once secret door is now a gaping hole just small enough to keep the carpet up.
We continue downward to a cave complex!
1st room rotten bedroom furniture, plus a decent looking chest. We hear a scraping noise on the far side of the room.
We turn out torch in that direction, and see 2 skeletons and a ghoul making for us.
We ready, they both shield bash a skeleton, killing 1 and wounding the other. Chris wounds the ghoul as it misses him.
Chris kills the ghoul as they finish the last skeleton.
Chris "Well, that was unexpected."
We take a look at the chest and break it open. A poison needle trap is inside that is old, very old and rusted. The stuff down here is older than above, it seems no one even knew this place was here.
Inside, we find old clothing worth nothing, belt with ornate dagger (5gp) and elaborate buckle (10gp), 4" square box with a medallin within (symbol is a closed eye)
We search the rest of the place:
Continuing to next room, old kitchen.
Then, to a room with large hexagonal table. One chair is broken, with a throwing dagger under each seat. 6 total.
Deck of cards, in surprisingly good condition. The face cards are of famous Masters, symbols are unique rather than clubs, hearts etc. Neat collectible.
300cp piled on 6 piles on the table. A card game had been going on.
Later, Een finds a secret room behind a false wall. Opens to a room, small box with a vial.
Another chest with 7gp, 38ep, 210sp, gems: 3x 50, 150, 200
Pair of dark green leather boots not rotted at all, inside is a light green suade. Very nice. Small emblems of a tree on inisde when the tops are flipped down.
Find a breeding cave of 20 small rats. Another has lots of eyes that turn to us. Een immediately says there's got to be 30.
Chris without missing a half a second "RUN!"
They poor out as we flee. As Chris is in the lead in the card table room, he crashes a vial of oil onto the table and lights it with the torch.
He turns and as they are about to pounce on Een he overturns it oto their lead as Geoffrey passes to the exit of this room. It squishes one, a coupel other are burned, and we continue to flee. The rest stop frightened for a moment, just enough for us to get enough of a lead that we barely make it out.
There are other cave passages we did not go down, so there may be other secret doors in town no one knows about.
We put rubble on top of the hole and get back to the tavern.
We'll have to go back for the loot. We got very little on us.
Meanwhile, at Kaelen:
She tries to pick the lock, and a small burst does a point of damage. 2nd round, she picks it but it is a double lock. She picks it again, but there is a third and she gets it. She lip in and turns the 3 locks quietly back into place.
Lots of wine, rations, quality clothes, 4 sets of identical plate on frames each with crest of Restenford and metal disc with the covenant symbol of the sun circle. More supplies; 3 tapestries of high value, suite of noble style furniture. Footlocker with feint glow coming from inside. There must be somewhere around 20,000gp of goods in the warehouse.
She notices a listing of a crystal ball on some paperwork, finds a tripod labelled crystal ball for one but no crystal upon it. Nothing else she looks over seems missing but that one thing. Perhaps it has not come yet, or he's using it, or someone stole it.
She looks through ledgers, and he has had a lot of arcane components come through, both rare and common; food, lots of pricey furnishing (hmm); ship names are listed for payments:
The crystal is not on any recent ledgers.
Welkar's 3 dogs are barking outside, he orders Felix to make another round while he quiets them down. Welkar checks the door.
Felix "Watch the trap, last thing I need is for you to get burned old man."
Once they are gone, she sneaks out and back to the boat. She sneaks around toward the back. Welkar tells Felix how much it sucks being a First, been alive almost a century now, you're alive so long and lose so many friends who don't live like you do. That's why he likes dogs so much, just keep breeding them. They get into personal matters, seems they get along well.
Welkar talks how he's been all around the world. Has a brother that lives on mainland who is also a dog trainer. He heard not too long ago he'll be having a child soon. Talks of regrets of life, war hero before now likes living quiet life. Just happy being a dog training security guard, but does regret never settling down and making his own family; so he cares so much about his dogs.
Felix says that's the damn stupidest thing he's ever heard "crazy old coot; let's do our rounds."
Kaelen takes off and relocks them deftly, back to boat. Stays there and watches.
About 2am, a single masted small rowed ship arrives and docks. Kaelen skulks forward as Welkar opens the door and goes inside.
About half a dozen men are take 2 large lockers inside.
Welkar grabs the ledger, they exchange paperwork and the sheet goes inside the ledger.
After about 45 minutes of the unloading/paperwork stuff, they walk out with a bag of coinage payment and row away. They keep guarding, but take turns walking perimeter alone, so one guy is always in sight of the door.
When we meet, Loriel says the vial is a potion and the boots are boots of elvenkind!!
*Next Day *
Hear word about campers on Bald Hill.
We ride to investigate the campers.
We meet Clyde first, and he has a piece of wood he marked counting the orcs that came and went.
K "Great job Clyde!" Rousing scratch on the head.
We figure on on around 10. Some would leave north toward the Mt. Xerbal. Probaly another enclave of orcs. That gives more creedence to our adv friends' story.
He tells us he has seen the campers as well.
Arcanist adventurer Beorn Stephanson, down on his luck. Spent a lot of $ travelling but no big score. He's wary at first of admitting he's a magic user but Kaelen gets him to open up. Half orc and ranger are friends of his.
Swordswoman cutpurse halforc female Ogrumat; knows the arcanist for a long while
Ranger Martin: recently met up with arcanist and halforc a few months ago; he's from south of here; he wandered the countryside, knows the lands well (does not know Sgt); on a quasi self imposed quest/goal. Duke of Norcross is a worthless SOB, bands of inquisitors and bullyboys tend to impose will, his village was not into his agenda so Norcross imposed heavily. Ranger wants to depose Norcross.
Sneaky looking guy: Volcifar; not from anywhere near here; his name certainly an alias, real swarthy; we guess from mainland; tanned complextion, black hair, magnificent beard, lots of dark clothes; well kept and functioning quality clothes; relatively quiet. Clear and to the point when he does talk; has a platinum ring on his left middle finger with writing upon it; sling, broadsword, dagger; on other hand wears ring on middle finger with an emerald set in it. Wears the rings over gloves. He admits to being of the thieving craft; and quite good. Guarded on his life's philosophy but insists he is not evil, just prefers privacy.
We buy some fruit and stuff off of the farmers at the orchards below and spend the day with them, gathering Clyde as well.
Kaelen gets not sense during the day that he is lying, but that he will be guarded even to his best friends.
The ranger says the 2 orcs that lead the raider band, he of them. Crellis and Gorharg, brothers, sons of a warlord in the south. They are brutal fighters, and Crellis dabbles in the arcane. Theory goes that in this Age of Chaos a lot of caster types had fled to teh wilderness for decades now, gathering loyal groups of various sorts to keep themselves safe. Sometimes, maybe they passed on their skill to such primitives. Orc holy man of sorts. Gorharg is decent fighter but much better sneaker.
They are all Black Orcs.
Halfgrim, the viking ally to the former lord of Langbay, has been spotted in this land recently, with his 2 associates. He knows not why. Saw them a few weeks ago heading north of here. Seemed to be tracking something into the hills.
We ask about the orcs going to Xerbal, he says there is an old fortification there. This is probably a temp camp here on Bald Hill. Xerbal must be their layer.
All are willing to do some possible paying jobs, but the sneak available at least for now as well.
They will go to Salt Marsh if we do.
Ranger knows of a similar story to ours of outfitter: a mysterious blood sect, Crimson Pact, are not only strong with arcanists but they are like a religion and society unto themselves. A priestly class runs it, noble follwers seeking power and territory, thieves guild of common fold dug into society just to gather info and watch out for things. Some may even be impersonating a regular folk.
We talk on the Path, orcs, Wolk, rangers, etc.
He knows the druid's boyfriend somewhat, met him a couple times at Foregatherings.
At the mention of Wolk and details of his vanishing, ranger says sounds as though he may have been inquisited. He's probably local, considering the gate. Within miles.
So, we have to find him, first place to begin w/o any evidence = the church. That same sort of thing happened in his village leading up to the big hit. Its the Inquisitors who do such things.
In an unfriendly area such as this, and Inquisitor would stay low key.
The Ogrumat offers to join us in breaking into the church, seems like "an opportunity to ply his trade", he says.
Asked about the Stiletto: they have heard word that the ships under the Church had a battle with him as they hunted pirates, and either it was sunk or beat a retreat into hiding.
Kaelen tells them to stay at their camp, only come in tomorrow morning. We go back to town until tonight.
Kaelen visits the Covenant after dinner to scope the place out.
2 ways in:
Backdoor and main wood double doors. Entire staff is here, the Abbot, curate, 3 priests and 8 acolytes, all performing various duties, but for 1 of the priests who is in town right now. She gives her alias, saying she has fled the great troubles south, to an acolyte. He says they try with all they have to keep the inquisitions away. Asks to meet the priests and when their services are.
Morning service Saturday, morning and evening on Sunday.
Day of Fhalcon is approaching in the next couple weeks, St. Fhalcon's day. There will be a special service that morning and the feast that night. The day he defeated another Master's incursion in this territory and other cool things.
The feast is done in the middle of town.
Curate name is Almon; Hoilrag, Selmo, Krelar are the priests. She asks to be introduced to everyone present. He's happey to have another member in town, especially from different branches. More to discuss. Selmo is the one in town. Qualton is currently ill.
"To be honest, Qualton spent his early years working up from an acolyte. During his time as a Curate he went crusading, following Fhalcon to the far south in the aid of Imbrun. While there, he saw some things, and did some things, that shocked him and still affects him to this day. Has a difficult time sleeping and maintaining his demeanor. At this moment he has a bout of the flu. Magics have done nothing for it."
K "Who is the most recent priest to work here?"
"That would be Krelar, he was a knight who met Qualton on the crusade. Though still a good fighter with flail and mace, he has renounced use of bow and sword. Though very devout, still bears the military demeanor."
He is the one supervising the acolytes at this moment, He is direct and precise in his orders.
K to Krelar "Your leadership is highly impressive." He thanks her, wishing he could break his discipline and be more even keeled, but years of crusades changes one. You can't just turn such things off once ingrained.
They talk a bit on dogma.
He does not dig on the Path at all.
They appreciate Yalta's presence and respect his decision to not join them, he is not a devoute of Fhalcon but he brings much wisdom and knowledge,helps the church when they need it and is a phenominal human being. Caters to outsiders more akin to his branch and similar ones.
We plan to have dinner soon at the more family friendly tavern.
He introduces to Hoirag, very priestly. Lots of 'my child' and such language. He is a very relaxing man. He fully sympathizes with Kaelen's plights as well. He has been here his entire life, a native of this town. Since before Grellis took over, and glad he did.
"With more backing, he could be a king one day."
Selmo they say likes to spend his time among the people, makes house calls to many families. Make sure they have what they need, blesses, heals, etc.
Krelar is the defender of the faith, Hoirag the soul of the operation, Selmo the spirit of the people.
She askst to be able to wander around, appreciate the art and such all over, since she has been w/o for weeks and weeks on her travel here.
They let her peruse her way around the place. Also let her go the the rectory to read up on her interest in local lore and history. If she takes anything out, just fill out the ledger.
All the acolytes seem decent. At the altar, there are feint marks on the floor as if it slides away.
Nothing strange in supply room in the back. Lots of theology and philosophy in library, even non covenant mythology. She studies Celestia's prophecy in detail and reads up on anything on smaller religions and cults. She was favored and rumored lover of Imbrun. She was convinced there were gods beyond the Masters but too far beyond mortals to need their worship, the Masers worshipped them as a conduit.
She gets the details of her prophecies leading up to the Masters vanishing, the disappearance itself. Concerning their return is really vague.
The only references she finds of anything that could be the blood cult is the knowledge that many many years ago, an Angel who had fallen from grace was slain. As part of his punishment, once killed on earth his body was consumed by some Force. His essence (aka blood in some references) was cast out to another plane of existence. Every so often, part of this comes back to this world as a Blood Angel. Its usually alluded to vaguely and peripherally, not directly mentioned.
Celestia personally makes mention of that the ones who revere the Blood of the Angel would be deeply involved in these troubled times and a thorn in mankind's side for 1000 years after. She finds other terms that may also be of them like 'Path of Blasphemy' or 'the Red Path', etc.
There is a scroll about the crusades Qualton fought, seems to have been a civil war of The Masters vs The Veiled Masters, who were a group of far southern Masters, a shadowy cabal.
Back to town.
Kaelen has Christofer gather some info on Selmo tonight.
He finds that Selmo is seen as a pillar of the community, many have had a bone reset or some injury taken care of, crops blessed, etc. He does not come preaching the word either. Just about helping the folks out.
We buy several barrels of oil.
All of Beorn's team meet Kaelen and Clyde outside the church grounds. Kaelen finds a secret passage leading the stockade wall around it. It does not open from the outside. It comes up on teh other side of the stockade, its just a secret way under the stockade.
We get into the church relatively easily.
We search for secret paths and such.
K "Where the F is Wolk?"
She opens the altar to a ladder to a secret room with chests and bags full of gold, silver and gems. Being astute, K notices several glyphs drawn around the room. They are certainly wards of some kind, probably damaging wards. We leave and close it all up.
Finish searching and find nothing else.
At the rats, Ean, Geoffrey, Loriel use the oil barrels to burn them out and find 2 other entrances down the other tunnels. A clump of bushes covers another just beyond the town pallisade. The other is hidden in foliage in the middle of town.
We loot it as well.
Broach of shielding (17 pts)
The vial found in the box is a potion of gaseous form.