With the exception of the rare hardwoods in the area, there is no reason for Orland to exist beyond the original walled keep it was in the very early days of my playing. It had been expanded a bit, but it would never be more than a village in size - and the party had an opportunity to poke around before returning home.
Town adventures offer lots of exploration and communication, but little need for fighting. That is going to change in the next meeting or two, but for now, it's swords sheathed for the party.
Write up follows:
It was Firemonth the 1st, 7 PM, and Flimflam and Fergus had gone to Marshall Westwinter’s office to talk with him, being told to wait briefly while Deputy Belamy Freespell occupied them briefly. They had another head scratching moment while his cat, “Magnum” and a few strange answers to their questions before the former Centurion was will to meet with the druid and paladin.
The conversation stayed almost exclusively on whether or not Marshall Westwinter had explicitly ordered Deputy Zerphis to torture the paladin before his trial 5 days ago. The Marshall answered the questions and informed the two party member that Zerphis had been chastised and disciplined and that a strongly worded letter had been placed in his file. The two friends realized that there was not a thing they could do and agreed to let the matter drop (but not forgotten – not to Fergus) for now.
Returning to the Hall of Heroes the party got ready for their caravan guarding that was to take place tomorrow, getting a good night’s rest. However, shortly after the awoke, during the end of their breakfast and the start of whatever prayers were needed, there came a frantic knocking at the door. It was Eherego’s eldest son, from Exotic Transportation, and he was anxiously looking for Flimflam. Seems there was some sort of problem with the shipment that was to go to Orland and Nadere (the herbalist), Higrane (stable and caravan master), and Eherego (proprietor of Exotic Transportation where the wagons had been stored overnight) were all clamoring for him.
Flimflam stayed behind, continuing his prayers, strongly suspecting that they were going to be needed, while the rest of the party went to the Eherego’s to learn what was going on. Seems the 8 bags of dried herbs had gotten wet during the night and Nadere had noticed it this morning. She opened them up and saw that they were infected with Sporebloom, a flaky white fungus that eats at plants, rendering especially dried ones, useless in 24 hours.
Accusations were flying about, Nadere blaming Higrane for poorly preparing the bags, Higrane blaming Nadere for rushing the process and not seeing the unblossoming Sporebloom because she was worried about her cut AND Eherego for his obviously leaking roof, and Eherego blaming both of them for stupidity and defending his stables as being air tight.
We investigated while taking the bags out and spreading their contents on a large tarp to minimize the effects of the Sporebloom. The bags were wet only on the bottoms. The roof had no leaks. The seals had been untouched from 10 PM last night when Nadere and Higrane checked them. Getting Sporebloom on one bag would be possible, all 8 was deliberate.
Eventually Flimflam did arrive and using a variety of blessings from Demeter, purified the entire shipment for the Sporebloom and saved most of it. We rebundled up what we could, and left town only about an hour behind schedule. The trip to Orland was without issue although passing through the Orland Forest was something that had us on edge as we looked for bandits in the trees (finding none). Orland itself was roughly 1/4ththe size of Shakun and was heavily walled and defended, with a standing militia of 80+, roughly 10% of the population.
We made our trade and delivery, getting paid in the process, and vaulted the money with the local lord and landowner before resting that night.
The next day we did some sightseeing and shopping, with Flimflam making friends by using more of his gifts from Demeter, improving some of the fields of a farmer struggling to grow Yarrow in the poor soil. We did also go to the blacksmith where we picked up 10 lbs of slag and metal filings, eventually swapping the gold and silver in the strong box for the dross in case we were accosted by brigands on the way home. We left Orland on Firemonth the 4thwithout issue and encountered only a band of pilgrims heading back the way we had come. No bandits, no goblins, no wild animals.
We arrived in Shakun that night and were paid for our time and trouble, insuring the Summer and Fall harvest caravans would occur as promised. We went to bed feeling good that we did a fine job.
The next day we were summoned to Potter’s Field in the cemetery, of all places, requested to be there by Deputy Belamy Freespell as well as the Undertaker. Upon arrival they had learned that someone/thing had knocked over half a dozen gravemarkers along the northern wall and then proceeded to deface at least 8 barrows in Potter’s Field. And the only witness to it all was a drunk named Finarl.
He claimed that It was a giant yellow possum that sauntered along sometime during the night, ass knocking over markers as it snuffled along the barrows as if looking for something. The reason we were called is that during Deputy Freespell’s investigation, it was learned that we had been directly involved with 3 bodies recently that had been interred here with some sort of arcanic or alchemaic issues. We aided in investigating the area and confirmed some of what Finarl had seen (churned up ground, big prints, seemed to come from the north).
From here we went into town, along where we thought the other side of the graveyard entrance area of the possum was, in Tanner’s Way, just outside some dilapidated building and getting ready to enter.