The group has gotten sort of a heads up of three threads in this adventure - the possible yuan-ti in the area (has been hinted at for months in game play so far), the blond woman and her wandering town possible magic draining that might have something to do with Mahr the Illusionist, and lastly the goblin presence and their pre-snow raids.
As usual with town adventures, there isn't a single thread and always something to do and going on - even if they don't plan for it.
Write up follows:
Curufin, Steiner, and Flimflam all went to Pelis the Rug merchant’s to sit and talk with the information broker about Curufin being in town, some of the things that have been going on, the Fist’al situation, and Pelis’ broken ankle from falling down the stairs.
Which is the strangest of them all because Pelis has a number of luck fetishes he’s collected over the decades – and typically they protect him from things like this. He’s disturbed about it and knows that Enthir is looking into it for now.
The conversation then turned to the purpose for Pelis calling for a visit. He knows the group is “thief” light with Fist’al no longer being with the group and Pelis has a member of his guild that is looking for steady work. We met Avidius, a family man and father of two, who has been suffering for consistent work but is more than capable. A militaristic bent of a man, he was a scout and partisan for Shakun during the occupation – more than knowing his way around goblins and how to take care of them.
We spoke with the man at length, liked his spiel, and offered him a probationary position with the group for now. An unforeseen advantage was that he had his wife and 2 daughters with him – and they would help us maintain the Hall of Heroes during the times we were gone, as well as general upkeep and laundering duties while we were there.
While THIS was going on, Tranis took a trip out to the Dorminger Homestead at the far south western portion of Shakun’s boundaries. He met with Master Orim Dorminger and spoke about the attack on his mule (Gladys). The “whatever” had crashed in through the thatch roof and attacked the mule. Two pinky length stab wounds were next to each other in the mule’s flank/hind quarters and she was very weak and listless. The ranger went up to the thatch (which had been repaired), sifted around there for some time, and then went down to the muddy floor and look around there for any clues. Finding a translucent bit of some sort of this chitin (maybe) looking material. He promised Dorminger that the Peacemaker’s would be on it and get back to him.
Lastly, being it was marketday, there were some purchases made all over town with Erd deciding that he wanted a piece of property. He spoke with the Magistrate about possibilities and locations – eventually taking rented possession for 1 year of a nice 2 story home in Elven Quarter near the Temple Grounds. He prepaid rent for the place and then decided that it was going to be a Dance Studio – and he would be giving lessons. Or at least hire someone to teach. And to take care of the place.
We all came back to the Hall of Heroes and talked about all we had learned, meeting Avidius and his wife and kids (Senna and 2 girls age 12 and 10). A house fund was established and Senna started out with getting the kitchen squared up as well as starting some sort of dinner with the numerous vegetables still in the cellar (most were useable) and some of the salted pork we had there. A fast couple of purify water spells were cast on the cistern on the roof and we had at least 10 gallons of available water before needing to go to the well.
There were two things we could be taking care of – the Dorminger issue which Tranis said would require Flimflam to resolve, and maybe haunting the Ogre Door Inn and seeing if we could find any sign of the blond attractive woman with the grey eyes. After dinner we split up with Steiner, Erd, Curufin, and Avidius going to the Tavern and Flimflam, Tranis, Marcus, and Geld going to the Dorminger Homestead.
The time at the Ogre Door Inn was fruitful – more than anyone could have expected. Erd was holding court near the bar, talking up a storm with all comers, trying to keep a weather eye out on everything going on. Avidius and Curufin took up a table near the minstrel, nursing some ale and watching as well. Steiner stayed near the wall by the steps, the cleric scanning the crowd with care. So when someone placed her hand on his shoulders and asked to speak with him, he was a bit surprised at the contact.
She was blond, and yes her eyes, were grey, and sure she was beautiful But other things about her were difficult to identify. Her weight and height seems to fluctuate, as did her skin tone and body morphics. In fact Steiner had to close his eyes and steady his thoughts in order to get a better bead on her and continue his conversation. She was about 5’ 6”, maybe 120 or so, buxom but not too top heavy, nicely shaped, and said her name was Mary.
As for the other 3 members of the party, only Avidius actually noticed her and when he tried to focus too much on her, he found his thoughts cascading elsewhere along with his attention. Curufin? Didn’t even notice.
When she asked Steiner to take a walk with her to the Temple Grounds, his hackles rose and he backed away gracefully, knowing that some strange dweomer was at work here. So he wished him well, went to leave and when she fell behind a crowd of people, she seemed to change her appearance to that of one of the other tavern patrons and then leave the building.
20 paces behind here, Steiner followed and Avidius and Curufin followed. Only Avidius admitted to actually seeing her and they were outside now, Erd catching up and getting filled in. Steiner called out to Apollo and swept the area with his gaze, trying to find any telltale signs of magic. And maybe, there might have been a ghost of it heading into the Street of Craftsmen and then the Elven Quarter?
We went that way. Avidius and Curufin ran ahead to the Temple Ground and hid behind some of the outer shrines, hoping to see someone coming this way while Steiner and Erd stayed together and walked the streets. And at an alley near the end of the Elven Quarter, the espied movement down and alley and the elf’s infravision let us believe someone had been there just. We followed, walking through the tight confines, filth, and muck – eventually coming back to the street and walking north back to the Ogre Door Inn – our possible quarry gone. The two thieves caught up with us after some time and we went back to the Hall of Heroes, knowing that we would not find her again this night. Steiner was convinced since he did not fall for her “siren’s” call, that she would give him a wide berth for some time. Maybe.
As for Tranis and his portion of the party, it went differently. The Dorminger’s were happy to see Flimflam again and were very respectful and courteous. They went to the barn and saw the mule, the damage, and the situation. Flimflam cast Speak with Animals and learned from Gladys, the cow, and even the fat pig there a clearer picture of what happened. The figure fell through the thatch, had two arms, two legs, startled Gladys who kicked it twice before it got angry and seemed to bite her before scrambling up and out of the thatch roof again.
Based upon wheat we had known and the situation now, Flimflam assumed it might be a yuan-ti from Candlewick Keep that may have followed us here. Which really freaked out Geld because she/he had lived there for some time and knew about the dangerous yuan-ti Sisspak and it’s almost stranglehold on the entire Keep. The druid did draw the poison out of Gladys the dying mule which even though we didn’t solve the problem yet, the Dormingers were willing to pay us the 24+ nobles for our efforts in saving their animal.
The party went back to the Hall of Heroes where we all spoke together of what had happened, what we had learned, and what our actions would be in the coming days. Tomorrow though, we had to meet with Scarene Windacre who would guide us north of Shakun where we would hopefully spy the goblins and track them down.