The party has been focused on resolving the matter of the plague, actually stumbling along a line of possibilities where alcohol or a specific type might be the point of origin. It cannot be the end all be all since not everyone drinks, but there is enough secondary evidence so far that the group has been playing a pretty good round of detectives in sussing out the elusive "patient zero".
In addition, they lucked out with the capture and questioning of a mid level personage in the Lycos Suns organization, who revealed some troubling aspects of Vanir's strange list of things he was looking for.
Write up follows:
We listened to Detheron’s layout of Kreladale and then spent about half an hour discussing possible ways to approach the town without 1) engaging the orcs and 2) alerting the men and Vanir in the cemetery of their presence. It was after a solid half hour that we decided it was too risky and we should think of another way to engage our foes. Plus we only had 2 of the Lyreth medallions and did not want to attempt a break in without more at our beck and call.
The decision was made to head back towards Flatrock where we would possibly waylay one of the Lycos Sun’s members and question them as well as hunt them over for a medallion. We thought about climbing to Chirkis Keep, the stronghold/watchtower on top of Flatrock mesa, and using that as a spotting platform for anyone walking to and from Kreladale.
It was about 5:30 when we arrived at the trail that led to the top of the Mesa. It was 200’ up and the trail had 3 switchbacks to make ascending easier. But then we thought that we did not know if any of the Lycos sun’s we spotted at the Krelian cemetery would even be coming back tonight. The decision was made to go to the gate and maybe do some investigating.
At the gate we spoke to the guards there and got some information that the Lycos Suns do go out every few days or so, often in pairs. The gate closes about 9 PM and reopens at day break. There was also some talk about a legendary beast called Razorclaw that preyed on lone people with no survivors. They suspect that the 2 Lycos Suns members might be returning tonight. A few coins were passed and to alert us should the members come through.
We went to the Split Beard Tavern and ate a fast dinner before returning back out to the road with promises that we’d be back before 9, just wanted to check out the mesa. As we travelled out, before the dusk had swollen, Detheron once more took on the falcon form and soared as high as he could, looking northwesterly towards Kreladale. Even with the fading light he spotted two figures coming this way, about 20 minutes out.
Thurin was going to take charge, attempting to charm the two men and learn what we could from them. They came closer, talking about their shift change, Vanir being in Kreladale, Iohannes in Flatrock, and other tidbits of information the group needed. Then two charms went off and Thurin emerged, giving a short intro to the two men, identified as Coscles and Narebin. They were generally friendly with Thurin and answered more of our questions, then wanted to lead Thurin back to the city at the gate closes at 9 and it was getting late.
The rest of the group was stuck – they couldn’t let Thurin be taken away. Detheron told King to take out one of the men while Havic went after the other. Havic knocked Coscles out and King, well, the carnivorous ape sort of went overboard and completely obliterated Narebin. We stripped the dead slaver of his belongings, especially his Lyreth medallion, and when Coscles came to, he was under the impression he was dead.
The party got a number of interesting bits of information from Coscles by pretending that they were judges and valkyries and giants and what not. Things like: Vanir was afraid of the plague and was in Kreladale. There were 4 men working there and every 2 days, two of them would swap out with 2 from Flatrock. They were harvesting complete unbroken arm and leg bones from the cemetery there, full sets of 4. They needed 80 of them. IT was for some potion involving lycanthropes, werewolves. Vanir had a potion that turned people in werewolves, and even one that empowered them – whatever that meant. And finally, Djohrgahd and Vanir were working towards some end result where they could empower a lycanthrope so much it would actually become and aspect of Fenris. Hence the name of the accursed book we had learned about so long ago: Necordius Fenrir Codex. The Tome of the Necromantic Key to an Avatar of Fenris
We knocked Coscles out again and somberly digested the information we had learned. Then Detheron had Pisser and Digger join King in devouring Narebin – in an effort to hide the evidence. After that the party high tailed it back to Flatrock before the 9 PM gate closing and paid off the gate guards with beer and ale at the Split Beard Tavern.
Both Detheron and Ludwig went to the Grey Raven Hospice and performed some cure diseases on the most terminal of cases, healing 9 of the plague victims. From there we all finished up our drinking and returned to the 3 Dog Hotel where we finally went to sleep very late.
On the next morning Thurin woke up with red eyes and the sniffles, not getting a good night’s rest – which meant no new spells for the day – only what he still had memorized. At breakfast he was healed of the first effects of the plague and we went over our possible places to go today. The Kennels were a definite place since we learned that the first victim, Kaza, used to be a dog handler so maybe some idea of where he went or what he did would be a place to search.
The Kennels were clean and some 200 dogs would be here at most. The kennel master, Mastran, was happy to talk and wanted Detheron to stud out Pisser for an hour – paying 15 nobles for the use of the druid’s war dog! Pisser was given over and we had some questions about Kaza posed and answered. He was a drunk and did not work here full time, eventually not given any work as he was in poor health and untrustworthy. He did love the animals though and the group then asked about plague effects on the dogs. The plague only seems to affect some animals and not others (yes to rats, horses and dogs, no to pigs and cats).
We left Mastran after an hour and then went up Slurry Road to Coogan Smithery. The current master was also named Coogan, a burly unshirted dwarf with an honest and open face. He spoke of his brother and then the next 6 who had died at and around the smithy’s family and apprentices. We learned the Coogan Smith was a heavy drinker and often bought any strange concoction that the local famers and distilleries would put together. We also learned that he died very fast, the plague eating him up in just 8 days. We thanked Coogan the younger and left, thinking about the 2nd person on the list – Madame Lili. Was she a drinker too?
We went to the Split Beard Tavern and spoke to the proprietor, asking him about homemade brews and interesting liquors that might have been bought. Who would do that? The Brewmaster, Hervi, was brought to us and we spent some time talking to him. Sure enough, he did on occasion buy or commission the purchase of locally made alcohol before the plague hit, many times also buying for the brothel as well. Did he remember anything in particular? Not really. We thanked the Brewmaster and rechecked our notes.
There was a person named Yuri Hadrow, a farmer, 3rd on the death roll for one who died from the plague. We wanted to find out where his steading is (or was) and were going to go to the Black Court to find out. We also wanted to go talk to Madame Bie again, go to the Dog and Fox Tavern, and end the day about 4 PM at the Split Beard Tavern to have a few other questions answered.