Sometimes the game fires on all cylinders. This meeting was one of them. We had a great exploration of an "office" (about as modern as you can get in a medieval setting) where there were clues scattered about which then turned into finding the log book we needed and a tough fight with a choking out runecrafted set of living armor and then we ran for our lives 1 round ahead of being spotted, escaping hurt but alive. Followed up by an hour of good LARPing at the table of the other half of the party and their efforts to cover for the mercs at the banquet.
And with the papers found and the log book in place to be studied, the 2nd half of the adventure is now set up and ready to be hit.
Write up follows:
With no lights and limited illumination, we drew the heavy curtains closed on both sides of the waiting room and main hall of the Brinster’s Offices on their Demesne and then lit a candle. The main hall here was painted yellow, a couple of wooden chairs with no cushions, a few plants, and a shelf with 9 iron cups filled with gravel. There were 6 doors down here, one of them the secretary’s office that Larry had crawled through to open the door. A set of stairs went up to the 2nd floor.
We discussed it quietly and decided that anything of value would be on the second floor. So Einar, Connal, and Darius all stayed below while Negan, Avulstein, and Larry all went upstairs to look around. Candles lit, they made sure the curtains were pulled tight before heading up.
The steps led to the 2nd floor where the color scheme changed to brown. A few thin fern plants, a very nice couch. Four doors up here, three closed and one of them just open a crack. There were some battered shields on display; a plaque beneath them noted “Kragin Theros-Brinster, Trial by Combat Winner, 1 shield to 3, Year 182”. The decision was made to look at the open door first, noting the double doors at the end of the short corridor most likely led to the Controller’s Office and we would look there last.
The door opened to reveal a clerk’s office and file room. Two plain desks and chairs, lots of paper in somewhat disarray. There was one window that they drew the curtain closed on and in the back of the room were numerous file boxes stacks 6 high, two abreast, and three deep. A look over the room and the paperwork showed it was most likely the real estate records and the guess was maybe 20 years of receipts, notes, and logs. The group looted a few graphite sticks and papers but decided there was little left. They did have Negan start to move the boxes that were stacked in the far corner to see if there was a window there and if it would open up, while Larry and Avulstein were then going to check out the office next door.
Meanwhile downstairs, Einar and company checked out the office next to the secretary’s office. It was a single clerk’s office with a desk and some papers upon it. The big find was the blank requisition comparative forms that House Brinster used to track material that went in and out of their inventory and warehouses. It would have no impact outside of the Brinster Demesne but that didn’t faze the trio who took the forms and then made their way back to the main hall.
It was just past 20 after 8 (with an hour and a half left to find the Import/Export logs before skedaddling) when Larry and Avulstein managed to open the door to a named office for someone named Thinkle and with the title of Assistant Bookkeeper. There was a nicer desk in here with two big file cabinets. The walls had some memorabilia that depicted the owner most likely had been at Bork Keep in his past or was a professional adventurer in his past: broken bracers, a snapped net, a scrap of scaled skin, spiked leather collar, even a long talon from some animal. The big hit though was the short handled double bitted battle axe just along the right side of the desk. The desk drawers were filled with the normal bric a brac and a very nice fancy gemstone abacus.
The cabinets were very difficult to open and Larry was forced to give up on them.
As for Einar and his people, they went to the next office which was also marked by a name: Remilus, Assistant Bookkeeper. It had also a nicer desk and three stuffed chairs, and three big file cabinets. The three of them fanned out, Darius picking the lock of one of the file cabinets with Einar’s nail file. The desk, besides the blotter and ink well, had a fancy copper cup with quills in it that read “Third Place, Axe and Shield, Thorian Games, 177”. The paperwork that they found showed various purchase orders that had gone through the Brinster’s holdings some time ago, nothing terrible or that would stand out as outside the normal. What was discovered was under the blotter was a pressed Vellum prayer and funeral card for someone named Kragin who died on Birthmonth the 13th; 1 day before the party arrived at Fingelt’s Mine.
They gathered what they could (ink wells and pens) and made their way to the hall to discuss where to go next.
Negan had managed to uncover the window which had been closed for some time and the jambs painted over. It might open, but most likely not easily or quietly. He rejoined Avulstein and Larry in the hall and looked at the last two doors: the double doors at the end of the hall were marked Cain Brinster, Controller and the one to the left was marked Kragin, Head Bookkeeper. They opted to open Kragin’s door.
It was locked and after a few tense minutes, Larry had to admit the door would not open to his picks. So it was Negan with a crowbar and the half-ogre managed to snap the jamb around the lock and we were able to enter Kragin’s Office. There was a clean and empty desk, three chairs, and a set of shelves that looked disorganized and messy as if someone had just place paperwork on them without care or concern. There were clean spots on the walls where pictures or personal effects had once hung. Just inside the door were two large wooden boxes that had some personal belongings: wooden hand axes, helmet with a dent in it, picture of an orc on a wanted poster with the eyes “X’ed” out, a wedding flower wreath. As for the paperwork, nothing in here was newer than 3 weeks ago.
While checking the room out, the party did discover a concealed doorway along the eastern wall where the paneling went straight to the ceiling in a single cut line. The door was examined and decided to open it. Negan had his back to it and forced the door open. The room beyond was 10’ square and had an armor stand with a full suit of hauberk and plate including helm, greaves, pauldrons, and gauntlets. No weapon. There were two heavy iron boxes with locks, and along the south wall was a discolored section of wall that would lead to the next room.
But there was a building sense of energy and to those still in the hall, they noticed that an orange glow was pulsing along the top of the building from OUTSIDE like a beacon. Alarm. Downstairs while deciding where to go next, Einar and company noted the same glow coming through the shuttered windows. And to Negan, little flecks of yellow electric energy in the shapes of runes started flaring around the armor as it twitched and picked itself up.
He slammed the door closed and then dragged the desk in front of the secret door. The call was given downstairs for the rest of the group to get the hell up here because it was about to get nasty. Einar rushed the other two up but gave a check and was dismayed to find the four remaining dogs were charging the building and then a quick fade check showed the same with the bear.
Doors were locked, but if there was someone else on the property, they were going to come in and bring the animals with them.
As the group all gathered upstairs and in the hall, the secret door was torn open and the living suit or armor grabbed the desk before unleashing a bust of energy that sent it crashing across the room to land broken and shattered. We all drew up and Negan took point as the armor came charging out. Spears were thrust, staves slung, even the cries of magic missile shouted out but most everything just bounced off the armor.
It managed to grab Negan around the neck with one hand and then pummeled the half-ogre with the other. At that point the Half-Ogre found himself grappled by the armor that drove the fighter-cleric backwards and slammed him into the opposite wall with bruising force. His breath hissing under the thumbs of the armor, Negan struggled to free himself. More blows were landed but nothing seems to have any effect. Another magic missile flew but the armor didn’t react other than getting burned from the blast.
Avulstein was forced back into the clerk’s room and Larry tried to tumble past but the armor kicked backwards and slammed the sorcerer-thief in the leg, twisting his knee and slowing him up. He rolled on the ground in Kragin’s Office and cursed as his weakened leg took his weight as he tried to stand. We tried to help beat Negan free but the armor wasn’t budging. Negan was getting blue in the lips and red in the face, fading under the armor’s assault.
Einar reported that the dogs were in two pairs at either door and the bear was at the building. Someone (human) was down there and working at the door as evidenced by the dogs and bears excitement. We were about to have serious company. The druid charged past the armor and joined Larry in Kragin’s Office.
There was no obvious way to stop the armor by the stand and the two cases were locked and heavy (maybe with coin?). Should he check out the next room? There was going to be no way out of here once the other guy, the bear and the dogs managed to get in. This gave Einar a good idea and the druid went back to Kragin’s office, positioning himself near the corner closest to the steps. Meanwhile Larry opened the other secret door and found himself in the Controller’s Office.
Big desk, padded chairs, couches. Books and binders. A set of double glass doors led out to a railed veranda that overlooked the Demesne. The books? One of them sure as fuck was the import/export log. He snagged it and then ran to the door to open the office to the hall.
At this time the front door was unlocked, the orange flashing glow from the top of this building ended, and we heard a voice amidst the barking call out, “Go up and get them boys!” while dogs, a bear, and the guy himself charged up the steps noisily. A prepared flask of oil had been waiting for this moment and Avulstein hurled it at the narrow corridor (stone) and steps where it flared up and stopped the dogs who snarled and barked and howled.
So all 4 of the necromancer’s zombie bats were lured out of his pack and sent to the dogs to attack. They hit the lead dog who managed to bite one of them and was savaging it. But the zombie bat was made of tougher stuff than normal bats and the zombie instead tore into the dog’s throat and jaw muscles, literally tearing the lower jaw free and causing it to fall over in terrible pain as it died.
Einar cried out to Frey to help him dominate the bear behind the wall…but the spell was repelled by the angry ursine’s mind! Negan had slumped to one knee and was on his last breath when the armor smashed him against the wall one last time and the half-ogre fell over knocked out to 0 and unconscious. The armor then whirled and began assaulting Darius!
Avulstein ran past the armor to join Larry in the Controller’s office while Einar tried to dominate the bear a second time…and it too failed! This caused the barbarian-druid to grow angry…and he raged!
Darius took a few blows to the head but his mage armor managed to keep him upright and prevented him from being grabbed, barely! The undead bats all settled on the next dog and literally tore its head free, decapitating it! The bear was growing furious and the man was shouting to run in and get them.
Connal snuck past the armor and Darius dodged another blow. A healing draught was given to Negan and the half-ogre was dragged into the Controller’s Office. Then Einar charged out of Kragin’s Office and the roaring berserking Half-Orc body slammed the living armor backwards, allowing Darius to get into the Office as well. The Controller’s desk was locked and the group used the battle axe to beat the drawer apart until it splintered. Papers were within so Larry grabbed them all without looking and threw them in his pack. A chair was picked up and hurled through the glass doors, shattering them and allowing the group to get to the Veranda. We called to Einar to hurry and come now.
The bear tossed both dead dogs ahead of him as Avulstein called the bats back. They bounced and flew through the door and Einar managed to trip the armor up and send it crashing into the clerk’s office. He dragged the door closed as the bear came around the corner. We shouted for him to HURRY THE FUCK UP!!
Einar turned and fled as the bear swept at him, claws flashing but the half-orc managed to escape serious harm. The Controller’s door was slammed closed and the candles were tossed on the couch. The party was clambering down the front of the Offices, Avulstein twisting him ankle as he landed awkwardly. We could hear the sound of the dogs still out here around the south side of the building so the group all ran north around the opposite side of the building and the necromancer send his bats to intercept the dogs and keep them busy.
We turned the corner just before the office door was thrown open and the Brinster’s man didn’t see us as we ran back to the wall and one by one escaped, taking the now torn and shredded blankets with us as we limped our way victoriously back to the Darbeard Demesne just about 9. In 15 minutes we had dropped our bags, arms, and armor – and then headed off to the Festival of Rains and rejoined the banquet in progress.
Speaking of the banquet, the rest of the party made it their business to mingle at the banquet, share stories, dance and drink, and cover for the missing party members by commenting how “Einar was just here, probably went up for a drink” and that “Connal was on the dance floor dancing with some winsome lass”. Anything to distract the few (if any) people who were looking for them.
Bobkins and Merica were deep in their cups by 8, neither of them willing to dance or get up from their table, but happy to keep drinking the endless libations the serving wenches kept putting on the table. So when another group of revelers came to sit and bullshit with the two, they thought nothing of it at first. Two dwarves and what could only be a small half-ogre, sitting down and shooting the shit. The younger dwarf identified himself as Cugan Brinster, 2nd son and 3rd child of Braddock. He was known about as a bit of a sleaze and somewhat loose in his morals, but an honest person with no real power and often times ignored by his father and the others in power of House Brinster.
His older dwarven companion was Fasin Yount-Brinster (which Bobkins immediately shortened to Flaccid), Cousin to Braddock and Master of Mining for the House. The last figure was known about as “Squeeze”, but his given name was Talbor – he was known to be a strong arm and caravan master for the Brinsters.
The 5 men all sat around shooting the shit, sharing drinks, and at one point, measured cocks for some reason. Cugan wanted to meet with other houses, other clans, and see if he can get a number of dwarves or others to prospect the local mountains and see if they can open up other mines to enrich all the Houses. That was his main purpose for meeting the group, they were friends of the Darbeards and had been involved in the transport to and from Fingelt’s Mines and other locations for the Darbeards for almost 2 seasons – they should have some serious knowledge of possible others who might want to come to Thak and mine.
Squeeze did slowly move the conversation to Fingelt’s Mine and what happened there which them blasted the doors wide open as Bobkins and to a much lesser degree Merica, told the rather fantastical tale of what they had seen and how fucked up the Mine ended up being. There was an accusation of a deep beast being delivered that they had to kill but Cugan claimed he knew nothing of it and was horrified, and Fasin was quiet and introspective.
Which then had Fasin flat out ask Talbor WHERE he got the cart of iron that was delivered to the League of Odin, which had the 1/4 –ogre hem and haw until he finally said a cave. Which cave? Were there dead kobolds and a monster in it, Bobkins and Cugan asked? No. Ok then, most likely another cave or mine then.
Fasin didn’t buy it, and neither did Merica.
The story was meandering around in the realm of probability until Bobkins brought up the dragon and then all credibility went out the window and no one believed much of what happened at Fingelt’s. We all talked around the situation for a bit until Cugan got up with a start, looking east at the orange glow pulsing over the tree line. Other Brinsters and House Brinster employees were leaving, along with the Lord Marshall and some of his soldiers to investigate what had triggered the alarm at House Brinster.