The party finished their fact-finding search with the outlying farmers and then returned to town for some dinner, arguing, sneaking around, and lying. There is a different mix of characters in this group than the last one, also as evidenced moreso by the people playing the characters (people who were "good" and honest and level headed in the last group don't have nearly the same compunctions in this iteration).
I am still taking it slow at this point, it's a different area of the world and I want to encourage LARPing and town exploration since it is something they haven't had much opportunity to partake in as of late. This does mean though that they are quickly realizing thattheir actions in a town setting have longer ranged and unexpected consequences. I'm having a good time, and it seems they are too.
Write up follows:
The group rode on to the Gallowspire Homestead. It was literally the last location and the most recent awarded, the Gallowspire’s being there just only a bit over 2 months. The wall was a mix of stone and barbed wire and what we saw of the place it was still in the construction phase. The house was complete, the barn was not, the animal pens were mere staked areas and the fields looked like they had been cut and burned. To our best guess it was only about 3 acres prepared so far.
The Gallowspires were willing to talk and invited us on after verifying our credentials. We had learned that once again various horse and farming gear was taken as well as plowshares and strangely enough – 25 lbs of wheat seed. But the seed alone was taken, not the bag it had sat in.
We assured Gallowspire that we would get some resolution and Brother Device once again reached into his pouch and gave the farmer some coin from his pouch as well as his own promise of justice. From here we left Gallowspire, rode back to Shakun, and talked about what we had learned.
At Southgate the guards informed us that we were expected at Town Hall. So the group went where they found Zarik Ikarsbane as well as the third elf that had expressed an interest in joining the group: Fist’al Deiner, elven scout. Introductions were made and then we spent some time giving Zarik the heads up on what we had learned and catching Fist’al up to date.
Enthir took a short detour to Pelis, his friend and landlord, to ask him (as a merchant and occasional raconteur) is he had heard of the Broman family or Liera or Bradone. He didn’t have much to add and couldn’t truly give Enthir too much information.
As for the group, they went to the Pixie Down Tavern for a meal and to talk about what to do next while some of the party detoured to the temple grounds and talked to Father Gavilerin. We learned that the Broman family was part of what had been called “The Final 30”, the last group of men and women who gave their lives to hold the battlelines when the goblins were attempting to flee Shakun 16 months ago during the lifting of the siege by the elven and human liberators. There were 4 who died Master and Misses Broman, his elder brother, and their eldest son. Four of the 30 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for everyone else. They had a home on the west end of town, somewhere near Exotic Transportation.
We all reconvened at Pixie Down where we ate dinner (of which bacon figured heavily!) Then there was some talk about what we had learned and what to do next. Marcus and Device volunteered to go to Exotic Transportation in order to find some more info on the Broman family.
The proprietor of Exotic Transportation was a flamboyant and sad man named Eherego who bemoaned the fact that years ago before the goblins came he had rhinos and pegasi and racing lizards for sale and he was known the county wide. Today his wares were nags and mules and ponies. During the conversation with Device the half-orc priest promised he would get in touch with someone he knew who had a Pegasus and see what he could do to get it to him. Eherego believed him, no one else did.
We did learn more of the Final 30 and the Broman family and their home was across the road – the middle home. It was a nice upperclass structure that had been unlived in for some time. Marcus and Device checked it out. The path was over grown and it led around the back. The front door looked unused for some time.
They chanced a trip into the garden out back and it was there that a hunting dog that had gone somewhat feral had growled angrily at the two of them. Device responded swiftly and stepped in front of Marcus who was beginning a spell. The cleric was badly bit and mauled across the left arm as he tried to pry the 120 lb shepherd dog back. And then Marcus’ spell went off and the dog fell asleep. So did Marcus. So did another dog further in the garden behind a fountain. And so did some guy in the next house.
Marcus knew we had only 5 minutes so he quickly tied up the dog here and then checked out the other one. Not having enough rope he drew a belt knife and instead stabbed the dangerous 2nd dog a few times. Like 16 of them.
As Device woke up (and the other dog too) they quickly took note of the area (yes, there were roses here – and they were cut – as well as some spices from the gone feral garden) and decided to leave. Device muzzled the dog with some of the last of the rope and then hoisted the animal and the two friends began the walk back to the Pixie Down Tavern.
Marcus walked ahead. Leaving Device – 260 lbs of half orc, one of 4 in the entire town, bleeding down his left arm and carrying a 120 lb. tied up and angry snarling German shepherd in front of him. That’s why Marcus walked alone.
As Pixie Down we got Flimflam who stepped out and took control of the situation, calming the guards who had come to see what the heck was going on. He charmed the dog, making it HIS friend (not the group as was evidenced by the snarling and growling) and then we all went back to the Waywocket home to talk about what Marcus and Device had learned.
Flimflam spoke with the dog and settled on “Whosea” as a name (short for “who’s a puppy?”) – learning that there were 2 dogs at some point and they lived there and someone would come and visit.
And then we had visitors. More militia guards came, this time with Master and Misses Tudron. They lived on the west end of town and while Master Tudron was going to be resting his gout filled feet he was overcome by an unnatural fatigue and fell asleep for no reason! He was convinced it was foul spirits and he was cursed and with the demonic noises that came next door from the old Broman place, he would like the group to investigate and solve his hexing!
We used this as an opportunity to get militia approval to look over the Broman house without sneaking about and the Tudron couple were willing to pay 11 gold coins to have the issue fixed. We took the money, the job, and went back to the Broman home at 7:15 PM.
The front door was locked, the back as well but a simpler lock. Fist’al opened it and then we checked out the home. Mudroom, living room, kitchen, dining room, pantry, den, various closets and upstairs 4 bedrooms and a water closet. Most of the furnishings were gone but what was there showed a few clues. A copy of the back door key was under the couch cushions and the smallest bedroom had little girl clothes and beddings still there (as well as some dolls).
We also discovered three pictures. One of the entire family maybe 6 years ago, one of them perhaps 2 years ago, and a recent one of just what we assume to be Liera and Bradone. It was noted that the little girl that was in the earlier pictures was not in the last one and that the two Broman’s depicted appeared to be troubled and haunted in their expressions.
By 8:15 we were back at the Tudron’s and used a variety of gnomish tricks to make one of the little girl’s dolls appear to be a voodoo doll of some sort and the group made a show of “breaking” the spell and ending the curse. Then they advised Master Tudron to lay off the alcohol late at night or at least cut the amount in half and it would resolve most of gout issue. We were paid for our services and the Tudron’s spoke highly of our skills.
We left and although it was getting late we wanted to see if there were some other trees we could shake to find the two elusive Bradone teens – Enthir was pushing for Tanner’s Way and the lower class section of town, there was talk of watching the house over the next few days to see who came, possibly using Whosea to help sniff out the identity of Liera, or even having Fist’al get involved as there were thefts going on near the town and someone might have an idea.