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.
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.