Sorry for the long delay between actual play and posting - I have been doing some freelance work in my evenings and had Hernia surgery as well - so computer time has been limited at best.
The group had returned to Shakun for a bit, resting up, dropping off, and re-equipping - before going to go back to Mahr's Tower. It also allowed them to get the next bit of the actual adventure and reveal under their belt - Johan Smith and his slow but methodical dissembling of the town and it's pillars of support.
There is an over-arching story behind it and the group is bit by bit plumbing out the details. The return to Mahr's Tower was expected but their second trip will not give them the treasures and riches they are hoping for.
Write up follows:
The party awoke the next day, Workmonth the 2nd, at the late hour of 9:30. We putzed around the Hall, going over some of the treasures we had brought back, and played with the accordion divider. It was easy enough to restretch to its original shape and we did learn another feature – camouflage. If the two ends are placed against a corner, the surface will look like the wall behind. It doesn’t deaden sound, and at 6’ tall, it would not prevent/hide anyone who would look over the edge.
At 11:30 we travelled enmasse to Castle Canastal where with met with Baron Taugis, Marshall Westwinter, and a few other notables. We caught them up with what we had learned, spoke about Dolomys, and the way to ease the Goblinwater effects is by drinking alcohol. The Sheriff and the party again did not see eye to eye and the lawman stormed out, feeling the lifting of some of the bans were running contrary to the smooth operation of Shakun.
This then led us to learn of the latest misfortune to hit Shakun – eggs. There are 3 poultry suppliers in the surrounding area: Conner, Eriks, and the Sperthik homesteads. The eggs have been coming in less over the last few weeks; eventually a mere 20 tops and those eggs had very fragile shells and some sort of unwholesome greenish tinged yolk. Before going to check it out, we wanted another search of the barrels in the basement – and learned that some of them DID have the cross-hatch markings that Goblinfour had revealed to us that indicated goblin water.
It also further explained the party – people were drinking a mix of goblin water and alcohol – so they were getting the negative mental effects but none of the long term beneficial ones as the alcohol was counteracting it almost immediately. We ate lunch and then moved on to the homesteads.
After talking with the Conner and Ericks farms, we were able to learn that the homesteads have switched their chicken feed over the last 6 months to dried corn – something not grown locally but is much better for the poultry. The price has been coming down each tradeday until it was at a paltry 1 and a half nobles for a 20# odd bag of feed. Who supplies it? Johan Smith of course.
Flimflam purified each of the bags and instructed the farmers to keep him informed if Johan comes back to sell some of the corn again. We also thought about how we would grow some locally or maybe come up with another possible caravan source of it for the farms.
As for the Sperthik family – that was entirely different. Giselle, one of the main antagonists in the teen anarchists, was responsible for having her family beaten and tied up, dumped in the root cellar for 2 days before they were run off. The locals were not trusting of the Sperthiks, almost all of their livestock and seed stock had been eaten by the youths that crashed on the homestead of the 2 days – and they had no way of paying this upcoming tax burned next month. Master Sperthik was going to go to Baron Taugis, sell back his Homestead, take what seedmoney he could from it, and then caravan the rest of his family either westward to Orland and Waterdale, or consider it a loss and head back to serfdom in Gul and Argosility.
We then detoured to the Herbalist and gave her some of the corn, shared some of the latest news, and moved on to prepare for our trip back to Mahr’s Tower tomorrow. Link, Ben and Urthar were happy to rejoin us and we then went to hire Codron and Hagan to guard our camp and horses during the day. Supplies were bartered for (still no Sern’s General Store) and we rested well that night.
Leaving bright and early at 7 AM we set off towards Mahr’s Tower, the air already warm and temperature going to rise to 90 and then some. We arrived there @ 11, set up a camp @ the stables, had some water from the basement brought over, and entered the tower ready once again @ 11:30.
Our passage through here before seemed to have been erased. Drawers and doors we had left open were now closed, the gargoyles were again in full repair and watchful. Even the couch we had smashed against the closed door 2 or 3 days earlier was once more back in the hallway and showing no sign of wear other than age.
With care we made our towards the 4th floor but it was just shy of the landing, maybe 6 steps, that 2 sets of disembodied glowing eyes and oversized hands appeared and menaced Fergus and Mummus who turned tail and ran. The phantasm’s gave brief chase and then stopped, fading away. Ok, spectre? Evil spirit? Illusion? No one was sure, so Fist’al was willing to go up (with Fergus to guard) to check it out. He spent some time searching and did discover some sort of arcane trigger across the entirety of the 5th stair that seemed to summon the ghosts.
He tried to remove its effect by scratching a line between the arcane couplets, but failed and the hands and eyes appeared again, so the party retreated once more. This time it was thought to step past the 5th step and Fergus volunteered for it. He stepped exaggeratedly past the 5th step upward and leaned in – disappearing from there and reappearing facing the other way halfway down to the 3rd landing. He wind-milled his arms and fell – down two flights of stairs.
Hurt and breathing hard, he shuffled himself to a sitting position in time to see one of the gargoyles marching towards him. Cursing his luck he clambered up the stairs with the gargoyle following behind. At the 3rd floor, he and Mummus picked up the heavy couch, held it ready, and when the gargoyle came into view, hurled it DOWN the stairs at the stony foe and sent both of them crashing down to the 2nd floor again – this time broken and unable to pursue.