This site is an online accumulation of the Post Reports for my current ongoing D&D Campaign - for anyone who might be interested in reading them.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Meet 52, Adv 3.5, 12/14/13

We didn't get nearly as far as I expected to, but that's quite ok since the group had a decent long encounter with a 5 count of griffons. It was a pretty close fight with one and then one of the griffon's engaging the group - and if a 2nd had joined the fight, it would have most likely resulted in some party deaths.

There is only a few pieces left of this adventure and the group is pretty close on wrapping up the loose ends and training. They only thing they do not have is any disposable income - they are poor and beholden to Baron Ceril Taugis and Shakun.

Next adventure will have some potential riches come their way - but at a cost.

Write up follows:

The group began the longer than normal walk back to Shakun from Mahr’s Tower, thanks to the long train of bound youths as well as skittish horses. We took our time, breaking often for food and to make sure our charges were well cared for and capable of travel. The hours passed regularly until 7 PM when our keep scouts noticed figures some distance away, flying, and coming in our direction. They were large, four legged, and screamed shrilly as they approached.

Griffons. Five of them.

Fergus gave us a fast heads up on our foe, alerting us that any attempt to flee would most likely not work as the griffons could fly faster than we could run, and the presence of 11 horse made it almost impossible that they would just pass on by or be driven off easily.

Marcus whipped out Wipztar’s Libram and consulted it, settling on “Fortify” – which caused a wooden semi-circle palisade to appear, 10’ tall and sharpened on top. Alright – now we had a defensible position to fight from. The youths were situated in the back, closest to the palisade while the strung horses were in front of them. Bows were drawn and readied while we watched the 5 griffons split into 2 sets and wheel around, buying us some more precious time to fill the air with arrows as well as get our people in place.

Then the griffons dived. Spears were readied and a last launching of arrows flashed upward. Sharp talons tore through cloaks and armor, knocked shields aside, and hit the massed horses. Since they were tethered together, it was almost impossible for the griffons to lift the horses over the palisades. One of them actually smashed part of it down, crushing a captured youth in the progress and breaking a horse’s neck. Another managed to clear it…barely, but dragged the tethered horses against the palisade and ripping the ropes off in painful whip-like snaps. The last griffon was unable to clear the top and hit the wall which held – but in the narrow confines of the closed palisades with bound youths and terrified tethered horses.

One of the griffons flew off with another to feed and the last was stopped by Marcus who used Wipztar’s libram and read “Catch”. The power of the book flared and a length of rope sprung from an iron anchor at the elven fighter-wizard’s feet and launched across the area, 110’, to wrap around the griffon’s neck, hawsering the flying beast and stunning it to the ground.

The part massed upon the dropped griffon in the palisade while a few drew themselves up to meet the now angry griffon on the end of the rope that was charging the party. We pulled the last of the 7 horses away from the melee while the lone griffon was dropped with the flat of blades and stunning blows. Then just before it was too late, we drew lines and met the last griffon with sword and steel – Fist’al springing from concealed cover the land on the griffon’s back and put it down with a well placed surprise attack.

We bound wounds swiftly, keeping a keen eye on the distant 3 griffons. Ropes were tied around legs and beaks, and then we trussed them up into travois that we configured out of the palisade pieces and the rope found from the spell’s creation. Then we left, not trusting the distant feeding 3 griffons, taking our captured male and female griffons with us back to Shakun. We worried the rest of the trip, especially after sun set. Our charges were growing weary and we ourselves were not doing much better until we arrived at the walls of the town and hailed the gate guards there.

It was 11:30 when we turned over Dolomys to the militia and then went to Eherego at Exotic Transportation. We settled on 750 crowns for the griffons, along with some training and potential of 1st rites to any chicks that might be born next summer. From there we went ti Higrane and donated and stabled the horses we had brought back before tiredly making our way to the Hall of Heroes at 1 AM to crawl into our beds and get some much needed sleep.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Meet 51, Adv 3.5, 12/7/13

For all the action and resolution that went on this meeting, the highlight of it all was the final conversation with Goblinfour - the prisoner we had captured.

He was lawful-evil and I played his alignment pretty straight on. But when it came time to wrapping it up and ha wanted to be let go for working with the party - we had our first major alignment disconnect with this group. It was arraigned with Fergus, Auri, and Ben on one side, with Marcus, Fist'al and Flimflam on the other - on the age old question - let him go vs. kill 'em and move on.

Since it was not during battle and the implied end result was that he would be freed upon completion, the consensus was that killing him would be murder. The two elves were very adamant that goblins, if the roles were reversed, would not hesitate to kill them. It was very touch and go, but the group did settle on letting Goblinfour free to return to his people.

Both sides had merit and this was one of those times where the players actually role-played around the table this entire situation and the aftermath - for over and hour and a half.

Write up follows:

The figures rode down the valley towards the tower and the group’s hidden place inside the ruined smithy. There were 12 of them, human, on horseback. They wore a motley of padded and leather, armed with simple shields and spears. There were also 6 goblins with them, walking and better armed and armored. They were in conversation but at this distance, we could not make out what was being said.

In whispered clips, we decided to wait for them to get closer and tossed about some plans, relying mostly on the opportunity of sleep to even the score against the sheer number of potential foes. Confident with our hiding place and trusting on their own noises and the amount of sun out there, we would not be easily spotted.

As they got closer we were able to pick up the odd name. Dolomys, Vingian. Vingian was a name we had heard before, a goblin of some power who was responsible for Goblinwater. Dolomys seemed to be the human female mounted up with a crossbow. These two were at the back of the pack and seemed to be talking together the most, about the failed uprising in Shakun, some sort of trade that had gone on. As they got to the stables, one of them stopped and asked Dolomys about the tall grasses there. He was told to “forget about it” and just stable the horses.

So the humans filed in one at a time and began stabling their steeds. Across the distance (30’?) we listened in on Dolomys and Vingian talking and held our actions for the time. There was some serious disagreement between the two with Vingian berating Dolomys for the “uprising” and its failed repercussions. It seemed the goblin had veiled contempt for the humans and there was apparently talk about ending their relationship as it was becoming too costly for the goblins to maintain this.

Dolomys wanted to remove the adventuring group, the Marshall, the Captain of the guard, and every other person of authority in Shakun, and Vingian was unhappy with their plans and gave Dolomys an unreasonable request to “get more elves.” While the humans were filing away into the stables, more than half of them in and milling about by this time, the 5 other goblins asked Vingian if it was ok that they go “to the larder” and get something to eat and drink, as well as get out of the dazzling sun. Given the ok, we watched them walk around the outside of the ruined block of buildings, pass our position, and swing south towards the tower. We had to do something now before we lost all sight of our quarry.

Marcus whipped his hand out the side of the smithy and cast Sleep on the 5 goblins before they disappeared around the side of the closest building. Three of them fell over, unconscious. The remaining 2 goblins took sight of what occurred and reacted. The one with the axe put on a burst of speed, almost as fast as a horse can gallop, and took off for the tower. The lone archer crouched lower and blended into the ground.

From across the field Vingian saw what happened, gripped his mace and a black aura surrounded him. Dolomys saw what was happening to her goblin companion and called out to her friends in the stables to “get ready, something’s going on!” as she began cranking back her crossbow. Fist’al was going to take a shot at the running goblin but was stopped (not to give away our position) and instead Flimflam on the crouching goblin – bathing him in purpley/green lights and spoiling his hiding. This had him curse. Initiative rolled – and we were still “hidden”.

Dolomys was calling to her people to “come out!”. Vingian was calling to his fairie fire’d goblin and neither was able to see us. He announced that we must be facing a druid, and called, “Grassman! Ride away from here!” The last rider still on the horse wheeled and rode back to Dolomys and Vingian. Dolomys cast Mirror Image and there were now 5 of her over there. The youths in the stables emerged from all the openings (3 of them) in pairs, and a three count went running for the tower. Meanwhile we continued to stay low and quiet while Vingian was calling for us to come out.

Flimflam made 4 dancing lights appear in the stables, causing the archers outside to pay attention on the stables. Then Marcus took out a sleep scroll and read it. However, the flash of his scroll was noticed by Dolomys, Vingian, and the last mounted spearman near here. The sleep scroll caused another 3 of Dolomys’ people to slump over, asleep. “There, in the smithy!” came the call from Vingian. The lone rider wheeled his horse around, announcing, “I’ll get him!” and rode towards our hiding area, spear at the ready.

Dolomys’ people moved into a better position to take shots on the smithy but didn’t take any due to not actually seeing anyone yet. The single goblin archer ran to the ruined building and braced himself behind the wall. Ben and Mummus moved to the front, spears at the ready, set to receive charge. And it was just in time as the rider hit the building and rode in. He went down under Ben’s spear, torn from the horse, killed immediately. Mummus quipped, “He died a hero.” Fergus grabbed the now riderless horse by the reins and finished off his bless spell.

Amidst the screams of the dying teen, the others aimed at the shadowy interior but held their shots. Vingian cast Command on Flimflam, ordering him to “Emerge”, but our druid made his save. Bolstered now we began shooting out of the smithy, aiming for any figure visible. One arrow was fired at Dolomys and her images but it was blocked by a shield spell. Meanwhile, Marcus whipped out the Wipztar Libram, and read “Devour” – pointing @ Vingian.

The page flamed out of the book and from under the goblin the ground opened and stone teeth came up and “ate” the goblin, bringing him under the ground. Flimflam called out to Demeter and summoned a wolf, sending it to attack Dolomys.

Arrows went flying from both sides, no real shots hitting, although we did manage under the barrage to dismiss one of Dolomy’s images. Dolomys tried to shoot the charging wolf, but it was prancing and leaping so much, her shot went wild, missing. The humans shot into the building, but the goblin did manage to hit Link, our torchbearer, twice – neither doing any real damage.

The wolf tore at Dolomys, managed to make another of the images to pop. Fergus shouted out to “Stop attacking the damned horse!” as he tried to mount the one he was calming down. Hurt, Link hurled the lit torch into the same building with the goblin. The 3 youths who had run to the tower, were coming back, this time with the goblin axeman in tow.

At this point there was a twist of mushrooms appearing around the sleeping goblins and a toadstood ring appeared – along with Vingian! His armor rent, shield a splintered mess, covered in dirt and choking – but he was out and living. Fergus snarled and twisted his horse around in order to charge the now emerged goblin leader.

Arrows flew, bouncing off armor. Dolomys missed the bounding wolf again. Mummus was plugged as he raced towards the combat. Fist’al shot, blunt arrow cracking into one of the youths. Auri hurled her spear, making another image pop – leaving Dolomys and a single mirror image.

The youths and goblins came closer to the smithy. Swords and spears were flashing. Fergus came out of the building, angling to run Vingian down. But he was in front of the goblin archer who peppered the paladin as he rode by. Vingian muttered some spell that was surrounding his weapon arm. Marcus tried to Charm the axe wielding goblin, but the greenskin was able to shake it off.

Flimflam and Whosea raced into the battle, coming up to help Mummus who swung back and forth with the spearman. He was hurt, painfully – down to 3. The half-orc tore into the spearman, bastard sword wild. Whosea grabbed the fighter’s leg while the gnome whacked him about the head. Distant archers shot at the riding Fergus, arrows raining about him.

The goblin axeman charged past the two spearmen, trying to make it to the smithy. Again Dolomys missed the prancing wolf! Crossbow bolt went wild. Mummus was shot at point blank range and splintered his shield, throwing the broken handle aside. Fist’al shot Vingian with a magic arrow, trying to break his concentration. Marcus whipped out his chain rod and hurled the spiraling chain at the charging goblin axeman, enwrapping him in the links. He pulled him to the building, Geld’s helping, while Ben stayed at the ready, spear out. Once the goblin got closer he brought up his axe, ducked under Ben’s spear, and whipped it around – tangling his own axe with Marcus’ shield. They struck the ground and Marcus spiked him right there.

Spears were stabbed. Mummus, growling, slammed over a foot of his bastard sword into the lone spearman, wounding him gravely. Fergus charged on Vingian finally, trident scouring into/through his breastplate. However, the goblin leader swung his mace in a whirling arc, black aura corusculating around his arm and weapon – impacting Fergus. The paladin hid behind the shield as it crumpled, falling away. Fergus continued past.

The wolf assaulted Dolomys and removed the last mirror image before he faded away. Sanford, Whosea, and Flimflam continued to beat the hell out of the fading spearman. At this point Auri finally arrived at Dolomys’ position and her enchanted Scimitar, “Drought”, smashed through the mage’s shield, cutting her wide open and dropping her to 1 hit point.

Arrows flying, more fell about Fergus. Vingian whipped his bracers forward and a toadstood ring appeared in front of the paladin. From within two goblins with spiked tower shields were warding a third – standing there with a rod pointing out. There was a cry of “elfrage!” or something like that, and a blast of thunder sounded.  His horse reared up, terrified. Shot and badly hurt, the paladin managed to keep his saddle as they raced away.

Vingian was calling out to his goblins that they were leaving – and to group together. The chain rodded axe goblin was unable to escape and Vingian used his spores to portal his goblins away, calling to Dolomys that “the deal is off! You are useless and on your own!”

Once they are fading away, the fight went out of the rest of Dolomy’s people and they dropped their arms and gave up. We rounded up our foes, trussed who we could and gagged them all. Then we spent some time questioning the goblin where we learned a number of issues. Like the toadstool rings – across the farmland due to some tunneling that was being done to the graveyard. Some sort of worm guided by a “Master of the Beasts” that the goblins use.

Its breath can be poisonous, which explained the many dead bugs and rats around the sites. It also explained some of the collapsed burrows. The goblin had been answering questions for so long that he wanted to know about his freedom. It was here that the group divided – Fergus, Auri, Ben and Link were against killing the goblin (in battle is one thing – not after he’s been captured) while Fist’al Flimflam, and Marcus felt otherwise – the goblin and his kind are evil and if roles were reversed, the courtesy would not be returned. Eventually the decision came down to Marcus (it was his chain holding him in place) who decided to give the goblin his freedom. We equipped him and sent him on his way (2 weeks walking to get back to Du’uk Tsarith).

Dolomys and her people were an easier matter. Her interest in anarchy and taking out the supports of society had no place amongst us and we had her bound and gagged and trussed up. We linked together all the horses (12 of them), loaded them down with our books that we have taken, bound up the 11 living teens and started on the long walk back to Shakun – hoping to make it before midnight.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Meet 50, Adv 3.5, 11/9/13

Especially when I am running older dungeons, I run across riddles, tricks, and traps that I had placed many years ago. There are a few places in Mahr's Tower where such items appear, and the library vault door on the 3rd level was one of them A decent haul of 11 scrolls (level 0 through 3) are there if successful if even able to find it, but the riddle itself stops the possible fight with Grongellar the Shadowmastiff.

I am not sure how others view or play riddles, but to me, they are like seasonings - should be used to spice up game play but not too heavily. By the way, the answer to the riddle below is "Shadow".

Write up follows:

We wanted to continue exploring while we had the time and energy so moved on to the next chamber: the scribing room. 4 desks and chairs, two with writing smocks, a smattering of old supplies, each desk had 2 drawers. Before doing anything, Fergus detected evil and beheld – a single smock. Okay…that’s weird. We decided to give the smock a wide berth and looked about the chamber.

The drawers revealed some writing supplies but little that was usual, until we had no choice but to look to the desk that had the “evil” smock. To make life easier, we lifted the chair the smock was on and moved it away from the desk. Then Fist’al was rooting around inside. It was while opening the drawers to the desk that we were convinced the chair and “evil” smock had gotten closer. We moved the chair back again and drew chalk lines on the floor around the chair legs and went to the drawers again – and this time while watching, we SAW the chair move closer ALONG with the chalk lines redrawing!.

From here it was a number of experiments around the room before it was decided that we should move the smock itself off the chair. Auri used her spear, hooked the smock off the back of the chair…and then swept it down to her hands where she inexplicably put it on. We were shouting to her to stop, but the half-orcish fighter ignored us while the ties swept around her and tied automatically…

And then she tried to murder the party.

Swords were flying, bodies were knocked asunder, the fury of the half-orcish fighter was tearing through Fergus and Mummus until Marcus was able to shout out a sleep spell and knocked the combatants out. We trussed her up and then cut the smock off of her. Not convinced that it was the solution, we did note that the OTHER smock was magical as well – but did not have any evil emanations. So we put that one on her and when she awoke, she had little memory of her murderous desire and had a nice smock at her disposal.

We took some of the paste pots and then went to the next chamber – the scribe’s library. Apparently it was where the scribes had their finished copies and it was a mess. Most of the shelves were falling apart and tomes had spilled everywhere. Along the far north east wall was a tall bookcase that behind was a safe. We suspected it was another opening to the last door on this room that we had seen in the hall.

We went out to that room and tried to force the door – but it had invisible spikes upon it and we succeeded in only hurting ourselves in the process. So it was back to the safe opening and we went to open it when a magic mouth appeared and said “Choose, 1 2 or 3.” Marcus said, “3” and…

Everyone else in the tower froze except for him. The mouth continued, telling him he had 30 seconds to solve the riddle or else. It went:

I am forged of brittle metal; I am carved of hollow wood.
I am sculpted of sandy stone, and can’t leave if I could.

My body and face are parodies of beauty’s outward looks
I am slave to all my masters by the lightest binding hooks

But even in their thrall I work to raise their fears
By candle light or darkest night, utter my name for all to hear.

Then it began to countdown as he had no answer for the riddle so Marcus ran for the exit, moving to the hall, and made it back to the stairs just as the countdown finished and time began again. And to the rest of the party it looked as if Marcus disappeared and Grongellar the Shadowhound and two of his shadow mastiffs stepped from the wall and attacked.

The fight was harder this time, even though there were less of the shadow dogs, and their bite was debilitating as it sucked strength away with wave after wave. It was only the blind luck of casting light upon them that we saw how much it hurt them and we swiftly turned the tide of the battle. Fist’al was pretty badly hurt in the fight and Marcus told the group that he had been teleported to the stairs and left his “running” out of the conversation.

The safe itself had a number of scroll cases which we took after checking almost 12 new mage scrolls. From here we wanted into the last room and decided to smash the door down – but to avoid the invisible spikes, we used the couch in the hall. Picking it up we charged the door until it was battered down and we could enter. It seemed to be a private chamber and was most likely Mahr’s at one time. We did get a nice robe, a magical accordion divider, and a brass key along with some cryptic note about a drawer of level two and “me” on level 4 and 5.

By now it was after 8 and we were done. We brought all the books to the basement and then barred the bilco doors as well as the steps up and went to sleep.

We awoke early the next day, Workmonth the 1st. A holy day to followers of Poseidon, called “The Colting”, Fergus had been having dreams about a horse that he needed to liberate and he needed to do it today. This was the right place, and today would be the right time.

We checked out the grounds once more around the tower, knowing that the criminal element in Shakun has been using it and would continue to do so. They would most likely be coming back here today so we wanted to be able to see their approach as well as be ready for them. We knew that the stables were used often and there would be no benefit to being on any of the roofs as we would be seen from the top of the valley. So we set up ourselves at the smith’s, watching and ever ready for the hopefully soon to arrive youths.

It was after 2:30 that he heard the distant echoes of approaching peoples and then shortly afterwards that we saw our quarry at last. Half a dozen goblins clad in breastplates and studded leather, militaristic and seemingly competent. There were a dozen assorted youths as well, not as well armed or armored, but still cocky and sure of themselves. They were mounted and coming down the side of the valley towards the stables, their voices too faint to make out clearly but growing more sure as they approached.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Meet 49, Adv 3.5, 10/26/13

Even an obvious trap/trick/monster will get the party to try to find ways around it. That was this meeting with the 4 gargoyles - and the group did a decent job in dispatching them. Their main purpose, of course, is to divide the group's efforts - which they did quite well.

Mahr's Tower was always firmly in the "wonky" side of the bell curve and I am pleased to see that it still makes the players go, "Whiskey Foxtrot Tango?" when confronted with its odd rules and layout.

Write up follows:

The group tentatively took to the stairs and made their way with exaggerated care to the 2nd floor. There was a landing here before the stairs continued up to the 3rd. Half the great dimensions of the room (90’?)were walled off on the eastern side, two doors (one far north, the other far south) were visible. The room was lit by 4 7’ tall gargoyle looking statues, glowing with a faint white/grey candle-like glow.

Fist’al volunteered to step up first, his presence on the landing causing the gargoyles to glow a bit brighter, but nothing else. We experimented a for bit, getting the gargoyle-lights to brighten about double, but no more regardless of how many people were on the 2nd floor proper. We spent some time checking over the eastern wall and again both doors – finding no traps or anything else. Auri dared to approach the “3rd” gargoyle and it did nothing, even when the half-orcish fighter smacked it with the crowbar and chipped some off – nothing happened.

We decided on opening the southern door and saw an older room – 2 beds, desk, large winged back chair, and a round table. Fairly dusty and yellowed with age. Fist’al went in to explore, Fergus stood @ the door for support. Auri continued to deface/damage the gargoyle statue.

The beds were very old, sheets stiff and easily damaged. Pillows had nothing below them. Table had a spiral of runes running down the surface and a call was made for Marcus to read magic on the surface. Something about not being disturbed was mentioned again and again. We left the table alone. Fist’al was at the desk and went through some attempts to open it –getting zapped where he lost 15 lbs as well as was unnaturally aged. His efforts did result in opening a drawer where under 3 sets of clothing found a glowing 2-3 lb yellow stone. He took it and proceeded to walk out.

It was then that a strange wind blew up and smoke filled the room, making it impossible to see. Fergus tied a rope around his waist and had Mummus hold the other end before going in to try and find Fist’al. The two of them hooked up with one another and made their way back towards the door but couldn’t feel it being open. To Mummus’ point of view, he could hear them just inside but swirling smoke and dust was obscuring any view within. He stuck his hand just inside the door and told Fergus to grab him. He felt something grip him around the wrist and he gripped the figure back and pulled.

And the 3rd gargoyle statue slid across the floor in time to Mummus’ pulling.

Fergus of course, felt nothing except a closed door.

Auri smashed the gargoyle’s arm and Mummus groaned in pain as it was released, his own wrist suffering from the blow. Fergus was able to find Fist’al and the two of them opened the door – which opened across the room on the NORTH side.

And the 1st and 4th gargoyles attacked.

The smoke was ended as well as the wind – but to Mummus’ point of view, the rope went into the room perhaps 4 or 5 feet and then ended, and to Fergus’ point of view 90’ away, the rope went OUT of the room maybe 2 or three feet and ended. This was put aside as the stony monsters surged forward and assaulted the fighters. Auri passed her crowbar over to Geld and told him to beat the hell out of the 3rd and 2nd gargoyles (who to this point, had not “activated” as of yet).

We beat and smashed and fought against the gargoyles as hard as we could, hampered by the fact that we had two combats separated by 90’.Fist’al meanwhile was checking out the desk in THIS room where he discovered in the same drawer as the other one – another stone – this one a radiant purple. He opted NOT to take it.

The combat eventually wound down as the last gargoyle was dispatched (Mummus shining many times during the fight) and we joined Fist’al in the northern room after goodberries were dispensed. The drawer that refused to open was eventually picked properly and in conjunction with leaning backwards, opened a secret door along the south wall that lead to a seriously disused library.

It took the better part of the hour to capture the 130 or so books that were still salvageable and get them outside the secret room. Only a single tome was magical, and it was some sort of odd thin book by someone called Wipztar the Linguarcanist. Inside were 12 pages, each with a single oversized word written upon them. Marcus took the book and we decided to further explore its possible use at a later time.

We were dismayed though to note that in our repeated disturbing of the “light” stones, that the 4 gargoyles had been repaired magically somehow and were once again in their former places. Not wanting to risk activating them another time, we gave them a wide birth and transported the tomes down to the lower floor.

From here we dared the central steps again and this time found ourselves on the 3rd landing. There was a couch and chair here, along with a handful of dimly glowing candles. A door was along the north wall, closed. There were 3 other openings, one lead east to a bedroom, one led south to a work area or scriptorium, and the last lead west to a workshop of some sort. The group went to the east opening and gave the bedroom a once over.

4 beds, and few other furnishings. The place was fairly clean and well-kept given its age. It was during the investigation though that something was disturbed in here and various parts of the room animated. A blanket swarmed up and engulfed Fergus, followed by a pillow that hit him so hard in the face that he was knocked down! Sheets fluttered about and twisted up, whipping the people in the room repeatedly while the blanket tried to smother the paladin and the pillow was bashing his head with a surprising amount of force.

It took a number of us some time to put the ensorcelled bedroom items to rest until finally it was over and Fergus was lifted up, dazed but alive. It was close to 6 PM on Firemonth the 30th and we were discussing on continuing onward to the next chamber or returning to the outside to rest for the night.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Meet 48, Adv 3.5, 10/19/13

The party had hit a point in the adventure where things were able to calm down, allowing a number of us to train. Conceivably, I could call this adventure 4 - but it truly isn't over, just an interlude.

The party has been commissioned to "find some money for the destitute town" with Shakun taking a 50% cut of the profits. It's ok, since Baron Taugis has bankrolled the party's training costs and taken their advice oni a number of matters. If they are going to have any influence in running the town, they also have to be responsible for it's well being.

They have decided to plumb the heights (and depths) of Mahr's Tower - a former wizard's/illusionist's tower that had fallen to some disrepair and abandonment maybe 30 years ago. It was also a waypoint and base of operations for the youths and goblin teams that have using Shakun as it's provisioning spot for Goblinwater and whatever other issues are going on.

Mahr's Tower has been run by me before - maybe 20 plus years ago, and the party at that time did not complete the sojourn. I've updated it for the 30 years of passing game time and had a blast looking at some of the hoary goodness that I had originally set up in the place.

Hope the party forgives me in time. :)

Write up follows:

Over the next 16 days we spent time taking care of ourselves as well as training (for about everyone except for Fist’al @ this time). The 87 youths captured were punished accordingly: 17 opted for 10 days in the stocks (of which 15 died), 28 opted for 10 lashes and 3 days in the stocks (of which 3 died), and the remaining 42 agreed to 6 months indentured servitude – with their first efforts being the repair and rebuild of the ransacked places in town.
The townsfolk have been very appreciative of this so far, but there is grumblings at the proposed 25% increase in tax that is due next season – and the presence of the 10 dragoons from Argosility (at the cost of just under 1,000 crowns for 30 days) is making those with shallow pockets squint in concern at how all this is going to be paid for.
As for the party, it was on Firemonth the 30th, about 2 weeks after the Summer Solstice when the group had gotten themselves ready for a trip to Mahr’s Tower. We had once again hired Urthar as our porter, the middle aged teamster happy to once again travel with us. Etterig, aka Link, joined up once more as our torchbearer and linkboy. And Ben Eiver joined our ranks once more as Shieldbearer.
We left Shakun @ 9 that morning, and it was going to be a humid and hot day. It took over 3 hours to arrive @ Mahr’s Tower, the place was just as deserted as the last time we were here. There was a caretakers cottage right next to the structure, and a surrounding half dozen buildings in various states of disrepair. Although no one was here now, we did see sign that there had been people here (horse dung) roughly a week or two ago.
There was a main door to get into the Tower but we opted not to use it, instead observing the basement entrance. It opened with little effort and Fergus, Fist’al and Link descended to its depths. A faint candle-light glow emanated from the ceiling and there was a section of stairs that went up the 7’. A 10’x10’ area was walled off, the stones not the same as the rest of the tower. A door was there, closed and locked. Along the south wall were 16 barrels, 22 crates, and a variety of stolen supplies from local homesteads.
From here we checked out the remains of the stables and smith – finding nothing of value. Then it was on to the caretaker’s cottage. Most of it was picked clean and bare, but the cellar door was still whole and the lock unpicked. We opened it and then descended. It was small and cramped, a single broken stuffed chair with the remains of a robed figure there, and other cellar sundry items. We poked about and found a silver key (tarnished!) on the person of the skeletal figure and took it with us. We covered up our trails @ the cottage and then went to the Tower itself.
It was 40’ in diameter and 120’ tall, but according to Fergus who was mapping it, the basement extended beyond the walls of the tower itself. We went to the stairs and used a knock spell to open the 5 tumbler lock. The ceiling trap door opened and revealed a 5’5 room with a door on the south wall. We opened it and found ourselves (presumably) inside Mahr’s Tower.
The main room was over 100’ in diameter – making it beyond the outside dimensions of the structure. The ceiling was 15’ tall and a set of stairs spiraled up from a central support column. There were 8 other marble columns in the chamber, a glowing white and grey light coming from them. Near the eastern section of the room were 5 goblinoid skeletal figures.
We debated what to do for a bit and then decided to “push”one of the skeletons and see what happened. Eventually a magic mouth appeared, the columns switched over to black, purple, and green lights, and some saying regarding a riddle and something called “Grongellar” sounded from the magic mouth – and then stepping from between the 8 columns, surrounding the party, were 4 large mastiff sized shadowy canines. The southern-most dog was half again larger than the others and it was this one we deduced was Grongellar. Urthar failed his morale and attempted to run, but was stopped by Link. The hirelings tried to get to the center of the room while the rest of us fanned out and got ready to receive charges. Flimflam cast a strength spell on Whosea.
Auri charged across the chamber and hit Grongellar first and hard – criticalling the damned shadow fiend and cutting its head free! It died instantly and the rest of the shadow dogs attacked. It was a brutal combat, made more difficult as when each shadow dog struck us, we found our strength slipping away one point at a time. We also noted that two of the dogs were more difficult to hit that the final one for some reason but at the end of all things we did prevail and the dogs were slain. The mouth reappeared at the end of the combat at said simply, “That’s one,” before fading.
We healed what we could and a lesser restoration was cast on Ben (who received the bulk of the shadow dog’s attacks). We then went through the skeletal goblin’s belongings and gathered a handful of silver and copper coins and what simple weapons they had before regrouping and talking about our next destination.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Meet 47, Adv 3, 10/5/13

This marked the "resting" point for this adventure and although it was likely the party would reach here, it was not a given that it would happen. The group had learned before of the Sperthik Homestead and some of the strange youths that had been staying there. They could have disturbed the gathering there before this time and altered the plan.
As it was, they did get some wind, and made some changes so that the adventure, as written, was inexoriably changed since the youths did not “do their damage” and leave as expected, but were stopped in town and at the gates – meaning the rest of this adventure is going to be dramatically different since there are less youths around to partake in mischief.
Write up follows:
We rested well and awoke early on Firemonth the 13th, with the intentions of going to maybe visit Mahr’s Tower as it was a location that the destructive youths had used before. However, @ 7:30 Lirea came to visit with some news. It seems that a number of Brandone’s former friends and acquaintances had been gathering @ the Sperthik Homestead and were planning something big in town today, against not only the Marshal and his deputies, but also the watch, and the Adventuring group. She only just managed to escape them and came back here immediately to let us know what was going on.
We sent her home immediately and then separated to inform and warn the people of Shakun. Geld was sent to fill up water barrels and buckets from the main well in Town Square. Mummus went to Captain Thragrial, Fist’al went to Marshall Westwinter, and Marcus to Baron Taugis. Once everyone was given a heads up we reconvened @ the Hall of Heroes to prepare.
Unfortunately, some things had been occurring. A few youths were found near Northgate with some pots of oil. A number of citizenry were growing concerned with Geld’s water gathering and a large number of them were crowding the well, also hoping to get some what seemed to be much needed water.
Flimflam, Auri, and Mummus were @ the well with Geld, trying to calm the people down and get our own buckets back to the Hall. Marcus, Fergus, and Fist’al were at the Hall, battening down the windows and fortifying the place.
And then what seemed to be a hay cart was wheeled in front of the Hall’s front door and torched. Other youths tried to bust in the shutters, but Fergus’ locks were holding and no one could get in. In the streets, we could hear some smashing and breaking sounds to the south and east of us, and a large number of youths were charging the crowd around the well with clubs and truncheons, trying to scatter them. Our party tried to push their way west ward, to the side of the crowd and hoped to circle back to the Hall.
Fergus pulled one of the windows open and got into a conflict with a few of the youth’s there, shield up and ready trident flashing. A lit pot was tossed in to the house but Fist’al was able to smother it. Meanwhile @ the front door, Marcus climbed to the 2nd floor and peered out the shuttered window. He could see the hay cart and there were 4 youth standing around it, pitchforks showing the flaming hay back up into the cart when it threatened to spill out. He concentrated on the cart and cast Affect Normal Fires, shrinking the fire down in size – and after the youths got closer, he then doubled it past its original dimension – engulfing the 4 of them and burning 3 of them almost to death, the 4th terribly wounded. He concentrated on the cart after that, keeping the fire low to prevent damage to the Hall.
The rest of the party had managed to escape the press of bodies and was picking their way around the gallows, making it to the Militia. It was here that they were able to get a 5 count of the militia men to join them and they raced across Main Street, hoping to move the buring cart out of the way. A few youths broke away from the main pack to intercept, but angry 17 year old wild-eyed farmers were no match for armored and prepared militia men, and one by one, the youths were neutralized.
Fergus was holding the window against the rioters outside and Fist’al was able to finally help out with some well place bow use. Outside the hall, the militia men and party regrouped and charged towards the Hall to shove the burning cart out of the way. Down the block a couple of more youths arrived, these with bows and they proceeded to pepper the area with arrows. Somewhere else in town we heard more crashing and smoke was rising into the sky north as well as east of us.
Fergus leapt out the window once the last local youth was neutralized and charged the two men with bows, laying into them until the battle was over.
At the end of the day, the damages were calculated. 8 townsfolk dead, over 60 wounded, militia forces reduced by 17. 92 youths had taken part in the riots, 5 of which had died during the conflict and another 26 wounded. The Hall of Heroes was lightly burned along the north way, Ungoth’s Distillery was ransacked, the Four Rings Brothel was compromised, Town Hall had some fire and glass damage, Sern’s General Store was trashed, Maltok’s Bowyer and Fletchery was in bad shape. It was going to take over 2 weeks to fix the damage and over 300 crows to repair just the torn up cobbles, roves, doors, windows, walls, and other structural problems. This doesn’t count the thousands and thousands of crowns of damaged, burned, or broken wares that were lost during the day.
A meeting was held @ the end of the day with all the movers and shakers in Shakun, the party was invited, where a curfew was established of 6:30 to anyone under the age of 21. There was talk of going after the families of the youths for recompense to the town but it was not ratified. We then talked about having 20 of the Royal Dragoons come out here from Argos to help patrol and keep the peace, but learned that it would cost Shakun well over 1,000 crows for this – money the town just does not have.
We need a windfall and a way to “end this perversion once and for all and bring those who glorify it to justice @ the end of the rope.”
Finally it was decided that the party would be commissioned to “seek out any treasures and long forgotten dungeons that litter the countryside” and bring back the fortunes they find. Baron Taugis would handle the party’s training for this go ‘round and they would be responsible to return 50% of the found bounty back to Shakun in the interests of repairing and replacing the needed infrastructure about the city.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Meet 46, Adv 3, 9/28/13

The group has been diligent in checking out possible leads and have done a great job in finding out what tidbits have come there way to date. But they are getting a bit frustrated as they are "reacting" and no "pro-acting" to the situations as they are being presented.

So they have made two decisions - one, the check the local caves themselves and two, to go back to Mahr's Tower on the morrow and see if they can find something there.

Both are excellent ideas.

As for the Lamia - that was a "WTF?" situation when a bad roll in the wandering monster chart had one popping up. We talked our way our (and gave up a horse!) and went on our way. Just for fun, when the meetin was done we wanted to see how we would have fared against the Lamia - and after 20-odd points of damage to it, it was pretty much a TPK.

Write-up follows:

The group went to the Rescent homestead where they gained access by quoting the Marshal’s decree. Mac Rescent was not happy at this and told the group they would have to leave their weaponry behind. His goodwife brought them to the house where the party got a feeling that Master Rescent was a bit of a brute and definitely in control of the family and its people. A surreptitious investigation of the home itself didn’t reveal anything to the group so they went out to the fence line and began their investigation.
The fences themselves were badly rusted, not entirely through but enough so that they were not going to last or provide any strength. It also covered the entire northern length of the Homestead, from the Mekarin fence @ the eastern side, across the 800 feet to the western side and the bars of the cemetery.
Magic showed nothing and there were few if any signs of passage. We did stumble across a single print, bare foot and slighter and smaller than human sized. A search for evil did result in spotting a faint aura which we traced – it went BACK into the farm from the fence maybe 30 odd feet and then…ended. We searched diligently and did find a few ragged remains of fool’s cap mushrooms. The same fugus that appears in toadstool rings.
We spent a few hours seriously plotting out the areas in question and deduced that some dozen and a half toadstool rings were opened up and the goblin’s (again – assuming) dragged something across the fence line –causing it to rest. We also drew a line and noted that it missed the Mekarin Homestead and did seem to lead to the collapsed barrow in the cemetery.
From there we had lunch and went back to the land north of the Rescent and Mekarin Homesteads where we verified our findings so far to date. We took our findings to the Baron and noted that there was a surprising LACK of youthful adults on the streets. Those that we did encounter were fairly normal and all we spoke to stated that the other had been sort of scarce since yesterday.
On word of the Baron and the Marshal we rode out to investigate some of the local caves to see if the goblins were nearby once again and using them as staging grounds to either encounter Shakun, influence the youths, or portal in and out via the toadstool rings. We had Zarik loan us both Codron and Groon for the trip and investigate the closest cave first.
It was a simple hole in the ground and mostly packed earth – but it was when it began to narrow and the bats within scattered that we decided to leave and avoid getting caught in the possible cave-in. We then checked another one, the one that Fergus had tossed the Hadesnium in a short earlier. It was still undisturbed and there was no sign of anyone here. We left and was heading back to Shakun.
It was here that we were caught in the open by a 10’ tall chimeric form of a large lioness with the upper portion and body of a comely naked woman. Her obvious canines, great size, and off-putting appearance and demeanor had us on the defensive as she introduced herself as “Maach” and wanted one of our horses to eat.
It was not much of a stretch for us to give her one of the geldings and departed swiftly with one pack animal down, Fergus complaining bitterly of giant spiders, trolls, and now, “What the hell was that? A Sphinx? Lammasu? Lamia? I mean – what’s going on out here?”
Where returned to town and had to answer the “lost horse”problem before we were called to the cemetery for another investigation. The two graves closest to the barrow that hall collapsed, had also sunk in like a sink hole. More dead rats abounded. It was investigated and one of the bodies was missing.
We went back to the hall exhausted and talked about what to do next. The lack of kid’s was bothersome and we voted on taking a trip to Mahr’s Tower in the interest of hunting down the youths of the town and see if they are gathering there. @ the same time, Fergus had a vision from Poseidon of some horses @ a similar location that needed his help. We hoped to ride out in the morning, maybe be gone by 9ish.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Meet 45, Adv 3, 9/21/13

At this point the party has met one of the NPC pivotal people in this point of the campaign - a 6th level druid who is here investigating the murder of his master (a 10th level druid). It points to most likely a similar person who the party is seeking - by the ubiquitous nomenclature of Johan Smith.

We know nothing of this person other than he keeps popping up around here - and always around the penchant for troubling times.

Seeing how fast a one on one between the druid, Festin, and one of our own resulted in a poor turn out for one of our own - we anticipate having Festin as an ally in this matter.

We'll have to see how this continues.

Write up follows:

The party dragged Fist’al to the Hospice where he was immediately placed in a private room and given treatment by Father Gavilerin. He seemed in bad shape from the animal attack but would survive his wounds. From there, Mummus, Marcus, and Geld went and gathered their gear before heading to the Pixie Down Inn with the local constabulary to investigate where this figure came from and what was the origin of his attack/flight.
What was learned was the room, number 7 on the 2nd floor, had been rented to a Johan Smith and someone was inside, rooting through his belongings. They were interrupted and fled out the window where they crawled up the wall and escaped across the rooftops. Johan was furious at this and checked out immediately. He had his bag and a few cases (oversized, from what we were told) and supposedly was going to arrange transportation away. What was left in the room was a handful of dirt, some leaves, a few oversized spiders with their legs torn out, and a few grasshoppers, also with legs seemingly chewed off. The three friends returned to the Hall to meet with Auri and hopefully find Fergus and Flimflam back from their ride.
As for the two of them, they gathered up the discarded clothing as well as what Flimflam identified as a druid’s disk (4 leaves painted – 6th level) and rode off with the bag of Hadesnium to discard it in the closest cave. Once done, they turned and rode back where they met up with the party and we all shared our thoughts and discovery. Flimflam was convinced we had a druid to deal with, one more powerful than himself and identified some of the found items as items used to cast Spider Climb and Jump – which coincided with the druid’s actions following his escape.
Meanwhile, Fist’al awoke to find a figure in a cowled robe standing near him. He identified himself as Festin Farmer and all he wanted was to get his stuff back. He didn’t mean to hurt Fist’al this much, but the guy did fly over the wall and attack him – he was only defending himself. At this point he drained some of Fist’al’s strength, but did restore him so he wouldn’t be bedridden for a few days. He commented he’d be back later to had Fist’al talk to the “knight looking pompous douchebag” and get his stuff – especially his disk, back.
At quarter after 4, the party was @ the Hospice together where they got the lay-down from Fist’al and watched one of the many youths in town storm out with vitriol and anger. From there the party went to the Brothel, leaving Flimflam behind along with the druid’s gear, to talk and meet with Festin if/when he returns. At the 4 Rings, they did learn that the mysterious fighter, Kadan, had checked in last night and rented 2 girls. Then they went to the stables – and found no sign that Johan Smith had come to get horses or to leave. Same with the gates, no gate guard reported seeing Johan or his description passing through in the last 2 hours.
Ok, we assumed he was still in town. So we went to Exotic Transportation and spoke with Eherego, learning that this Johan did come in late a few days ago and had a few large chests with him. No he wasn’t here now. He did remind the party to bring them any strange or exotic animal and he would train it for them to ride – strongly suggesting that Mummus the half-orc would look wonderful on a bear.
Lastly they had gone to Pixie Down Inn and looked through the older records, finding that Johan Smith (or at least that name) checked in roughly every other week and always stayed in Room 7 – staying 2 nights each time.
This brought us back to Flimflam who along with Fist’al did meet with Festin Farmer, returned the druid’s stuff, and learned that he was here following up on the murder of his master some 8 months plus ago by someone named Johan Smith, working for a Marilee Gerison. The same name as the person involved with the banditry around Shakun.
Festin’s master was slain by from what the animals around @ his time of death described, some fire and lightning from a flying dragon-like creature. Festin has been struggling to find Johan, tracking him slowly to this place. He had some skill in masking his appearance as well as from magical sight. Festin did NOT want to be noticed and was very uncomfortable in the city walls. He would contact Flimflam now and again via birds and they would share information that way back and forth.
We checked Fist’al out of the Hospice and the group returned to the Hall where we shared information and rested. The next few days passed quickly, with the increase in youth tensions getting higher. It was on Firemonth the 12th that we were asked to visit the Rescent Homestead – the 1st Homestead right next to the cemetery. It seemed that there was a strange phenomenon of 800’ of fencing being rusted – and only along the northern boundary of the Homestead.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Meet 44, Adv 3, 9/7/13

The right man for the right job.

It happens in every group, someone tries to do something that is outside of their character's capabilities and it bites them in the ass. That was this meeting when our resident elven scout (read - thief) tried to take on the rooftop fleeing figure by his lonesome.

Let's look at this in total. The "enemy" can:
* move faster than normal people can run.
* capable of great leaps either through skill or spell.
* escapes the city through a display of athleticism and superior spell power.
* once outside the city wall - has some way to completely camouflage himself from detection.

And our 110 lb elven thief has:
* under 20 hp's.
* a fly potion.

When he did catch up to the mystery assailant who was revealed to be a druid, he was outclassed, outgunned, and outmatched - dying (going to -3) in a single round of summoned animal fueled combat.

This was a reminder that not everyone is capable to handling every assailant we run across.

Write up follows:

The walk around the cemetery resulted in again, no issue or problems. Maybe the teens in the area had learned their lesson? Tensions were still high in town, but there had been no further outbreaks of violence or escalation of existing issues.

The next morn was bright and sunny, the temperatures already in the low 70’s and going to get much hotter during the day. The group was going over their possible destinations for the day when a knock was heard at the door. We opened and met with Mummus O’Donnell, half-orcish traveler. We learned that he had been in Shakun for two weeks, doing business for his family, the merchant traders O’Donnell. Primarily his mission these last few months were to travel about and find out what needs to be imported in the various holdings and thorps and towns and report it back via aviary or post to his father to make future caravans more in line with what the distant holdings needed.

However, Mummus was a half-orc – the result of a dalliance of his mother and an orcish gladiator some 16-17 years ago. Which made his presence a constant embarrassment to man he referred to as father. So his “fact finding” trip was also to get the large, strong, fighter guild trained 4th son out of Argosility and away from any spot light.

Mummus wanted to join the party but after already an issue and run-in with Sheriff Westwinter, we wanted to not only talk amongst ourselves, but clear it with the magistrate. Mummus was sent to Town Hall along with Fergus to clear his stay at the Hall of Heroes and the rest of the party voted the approval to have the half-orcish fighter join (Auri was very taken with the good looking O’Donnell and spoke the most on his acceptance to the party).

Once cleared, we had a small meeting with Pelis and were talking on our next step when there was a deep rumbling, the ground shook, and a cloud of dust and grit rose from the south. The group ran, along with a number of excited citizens, eventually coming out of town and back once more to the cemetery. One of the barrows had collapsed; luckily no one was there when it happened. We joined the watch along with the Marshall and some of his deputies, also meeting with the now healthy Undertaker and his staff.

The barrow had collapsed through its center, running almost 30’ diameter, and dropped maybe 10-12’ feet from what we could tell. We helped in the investigation and one of the watch discovered a single unshod footprint in the soft earth. And its placement let us know the figure was heading into the collapsed barrow and it occurred after the collapse! No one was here, and the ruin showed no obvious holes for someone to climb or hide in.

We then made our way to the Mekarin Homestead – just down the road from the cemetery, the homestead that the bad milk had come from. We entered, no one was home. Detecting evil showed none and we saw no signs of issue or problem. The cows appeared to be ok, and Flimflam opted to talk with them. The cows hadn’t been milked this morning and were in some pain so we helped in that matter. The cows did talk of feeling poorly and also commented on the farmer’s daughter being harsh and cruel in her milking, often using her fingernails.

We left the farm and returned to the cemetery where at best could be determined, 3 bodies were missing. There should have been 27, only 24 were accounted for. The barrow was “closed” maybe 8 months ago. We did note a number of mice and rat bodies about, all dead. There were also a number of beetle carapaces about. And it was here we deduced there might be no animals in the surrounding area. A Detect Animal spell verified this, no vermin, rats, mice, or insects for hundreds of feet around this barrow.

From here we went to Tanner’s Way and looked over at the same house we had been at before, this time no wasting time just entering the place. Flimflam also got message from the contact he had made in the Way that the 3rd guy hadn’t been back and the two guys inside were smoking stolen weed. We looked over the place and found not only the stolen weed, but other things they had picked up from the Way, including a bag of ground up Hadesnium.


We had to get rid of it and wanted to take it to the caves again to dump within. Flimflam and Fergus were going to head to the staples and get a horse, ride out an hour or so, drop it into a cave, and return home.

It was 2 PM when the rest of the party heard the sound of the watch whistle being blown. They decided to investigate and followed the cries and tweets, dismayed to find the watch chasing a single figure that was leaping FROM the Pixie Down Inn and TO our home! It ran across the roof and made a beeline for the Charcoaler.and jumped! 20’! Fist’al was furious as this seemed similar to the issue he had with his double the other day – although this figure was moving differently.

Marcus and Mummus followed the street and chased that way, while the watch was coming around the corner. Fist’al opened his bottle of “fly” and drank it down. The figure made 1 more jump from Sutor’s Forge to the edge of Tanner’s Way and then scrambled down to the street beyond. The elf and half-orc hit the alley fast and skipped through trying to catch up. Fist’al took to the air, flying forward to give chase.

The running figure was outdistancing the party and it ran faster and faster and then stuck its hands out and in front of one of the wall houses on Tanner’s Way a six count stand of birch trees burst from the ground. If gripped the tops and was lifted skyward, over the wall, and it catapulted forward and was gone!


Fist’al pushed himself to catch up, eventually clearing the wall, and seeing…nothing! Where the hell? He flew down and after 30, 40 seconds of looking about, grit his teeth and decided the figure we was chasing might be a druid of some sort. So he took out his dagger and started slashing all the close trees and big bushes. His suspicions were correct and one of the trees morphed back into a person and the person summoned…a giant lynx!

The oversized cat clawed and bit as the elf who tried to fly away but was knocked unconscious as he drifted upward and sailed slowly over the wall. Marcus used his Chain-Rod to bring the passed out elf back down and he was then taken to the hospice as his wounds seemed very bad.

Meanwhile riding out of town, Flimflam and Fergus noticed the commotion and raced on horseback closer to help out. The gnome was knocked from the horse and Fergus continued to give chase. The figure that was there seemed to glow greenish and then transformed to a hawk and flew away before the two friends could catch him.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Meet 43, Adv 3, 8/31/13

This was an interesting meeting because for the first time the group ran into something that they did not expect or could deal with.

The threat of a doppleganger.

Now, I've never said it was, nor did I say it wasn't. Just the hint of it and the party has been driving themselves nuts trying to discover different ways to prove who they are to one another as well as the NPC's in town.

Write up follows:

The party walked through the rain to Castle Canastal where they asked for audience with the Castle’s Castellan. At this point, Fist’al left the party and worked his way to Pelis the Rug Merchant. The group had to wait only a brief amount of time before the Castellan was willing to see them. A portly man in his last 50’s, he was still in a foul mood from the group’s incessant questioning of him not too long ago, but he was asked by Baron Taugis to spend some time with the party now, clearing up some information from a few weeks ago.
And it was difficult getting any further information. The Castellan felt that the group was questioning his ability, as he did not KNOW where the other casks of ale came from. There were 2 originally in the larder, but obviously more were coming up. Everyone was working the 4 days, and they had hired 6 more people, but the amount of drink imbibed during that time made the Castellan’s notes and log books useless. We did verify though that 6 personages that were NOT part of the Castellan’s normal staff of 26 (including the guards) were here for 3 of the 4 days of the Baron’s Daughter’s party and might have been part of the party responsible for the strange going ons.
Meanwhile Fist’al made it to Pelis where after a strange greeting passed some information back and forth and then left, heading back to the Hall of Heroes with a rolled up leather scroll that had some information for him. He sat in his chair, opened it, and it read, “Boo”. And then something whizzed at him. He ducked; it hit the cabinet – a dart of some kind. Behind him a set of shutters was open but no one was there.
On looking over the dart, the pressurized glass vial in the heart of it burst, covering him in narcoleptic vapors. He fell to the ground, pretending to be knocked out, and waited. It was when someone was reaching for his magic ring that he latched onto its hand and stabbed the dart into it. They scrambled for a bit and then Fist’al stood up and beheld…himself.
Son of a…what the hell???
He thrust out at it but it SPRUNG backwards, folding its body into itself, and sailed through the shuttered windows to the street. The elven thief gave chase, getting to the window in time to see his double cross the street and start to climb the wall of the charcoaler. Then its body rippled and claws grew from its hands and it seemed to turn into…a 6’ tall yellow haired possum.
Aw…come on!!
He scrambled out the window and gave chase and it reached the roof, pulling himself up slowly the side of the building. Panting he made it to the top in time to see the pursued cross to Sutor’s forge and JUMP the 20’ across the road to the top of the closest Tanner’s Way hovel. It then disappeared over the side and was lost. Furious, unable to give chase and it was gone; Fist’al looked around Tanner’s Way briefly and then stormed his way back to Pelis.
At this point the party was coming back from Castle Canastal, where the noted the front door open, Fist’al missing, shutter open, and a bloody stain on the ground. He wasn’t here and no one knows what happened. Flimflam spoke with animals and had Whosea track the missing thief.
Fist’al meanwhile learned that he had (or a copy of him) visited Pelis earlier, and in a fit of “not gonna happen”, ordered Pelis to kill him (Fist’al) if he came to him and did not say a password first. Like “chocolate”. He then returned to the Hall.
It was here that the tracking was not needed and Fist’al told the group of what happened (doppelganger?) and they agreed to track the scent of the blood stain. They went to Tanner’s Way and Whosea did his trick again, leading the group to the home that we had been at earlier. Checking it over, we found dirty bandages and the remains of a healing potion. We then went back home.
Where we discovered we screwed up and had left the front door opened and were now robbed. The major thing missing? The Vortex Cloak from Candlewick Keep – capable of absorbing directed magic.
We no longer felt “safe” at the Hall and Fergus worked on possible ways to peg the windows from inside as well as preventing them from being picked from without. The day passed this way until it 9PM and it was time to go the Cemetery and do our walk/patrol.
This time Fist’al and Auri went with Fergus, the two of them eventually scaling the fence between the Cemetery and the Rescent Homestead. They proceeded to look in the dark for any holes or signs of digging, but after many hours, did not find. They then went to the barn where a single mule was and looked around there. Only a single sleepy dog came to investigate but after some time left. When it was done, they had found nothing that showed any sort of tunnel/digging from the Rescent home to the Cemetery.
The group slept well that night and it was about 8:30 on the morning of Firemonth the 8th and Father Gavilerin of the Hospice had come to visit. He wanted Fergus to come and help him, two kids were in this morning, one 4 year, one roughly a year, listless, feverish and sickly. The paladin wasted no time and went off to the Hospice to help.
As for the rest of the group, it was fairly slow, learning eventually that some of the “copied” deeds they had picked up were of homes in Tanner’s Way – bracketing the Tannery itself. Finally Codron and Groon came, two local warriors in training, wanting to walk picket with Fergus @ the Cemetery. The night passed.
It was now the 9th of Firemonth and the group went to the Pixie Down Inn where they ate breakfast with some 100 odd other members of Shakun. A variety of foods were ordered, but it was roughly 20 minutes after the fact that we saw a patron get up on shaky legs, stagger a few paces, and then fall down gasping. The party looked on in shock as another person did the same. Flimflam began to sweat and was having trouble swallowing and then Fist’al the same. The rest of the party was alright and hastened to get our friends out and to the Hospice right away.
Their symptoms grew worse and Fergus ran ahead to announce us to Father Gavilerin. Behind us in the Pixie Down Inn the sick number continued and spilled into the street, over 20 people so far ill. At the Hospice we had learned that another child had passed away this morning and then the call came of more sick people being brought in.
The call was made to clear the streets and citizens to return to their homes, thanks to Fergus’ quick thinking in getting the town criers, the Captain of the guard, and the Marshall’s office involved. While this was going on, Auri and Marcus took it upon themselves to try to piece together what happened, and that meant getting to the Pixie Down Inn again.
They were stopped on the streets and escorted back to the Hall of Heroes and told to stay there, which they did for 10 minutes or so before sneaking out again and making their way to the Inn. Once there Madis, the proprietor, bid them welcome and we learned that 37 people had gotten sick from the Pixie Down Inn. The two friends investigated and narrowed it down to the porridge served today. It was prepared with fresh milk just delivered from the Mekarin Homestead (the only daily farm that close to Shakun, all others were at much more distant homesteads). There was still some gallon or so left and Madis was very unhappy of it, with the dead kids from today and a few days ago, this was some sort of evil eye or hexery going on.
With some of the milk, the two friends made their way to Tanner’s Way where they enticed a few bums to sit and talk to them, eventually getting one of them to drink the suspect milk. As expected, 20 minutes plus later he began to sweat, grow shaky, and then fall over sick. Not the nicest thing to do, but bingo – identification of foul milk had occurred. They took the bum to the Hospice and the day passed. Fist’al and Flimflam eventually stabilized and would grow better after a day of rest.
The word around town was though (after the ban on leaving was lifted that afternoon) was that the Marshall’s office discovered the same thing Auri and Marcus did, and the townsfolk were wroth and angry and the Mekarin family. Their deal with some of the locals for milk trade disappeared, and the sick kids over the last 3 days were @ homes around their farm who had purchased some of the milk on their own.
We suspected we would talk to the Mekarin family again someday but most likely not until tomorrow. It was 9 PM and Fergus Codron and Groon were going to walk picket again soon @ the Cemetery.