Adventure Log: Desnus 20, Year 4712 AR, Oathday
The party decides to head back to the barn and burn it down to destroy the evidence of the wolf attacks.
Leaving Elarius’s shop, the party sees a crowd gathering in the town square, many armed with torches or farm implements. Maurit slinks off to go perform a little arson as Hugh and Guy head closer to investigate the disturbance. A short man stands by a strange contraption and a pile of perfectly cut and split logs. Several representatives of the Lumber Consortium, as well as many townsfolk have gathered to watch the spectacle of the strange spinning blade cleaving through the wood.
They are intercepted by Colbrin Jabbs, the town butcher, who thanks them profusely for rescuing his son Mikra (Kimi told him) and tells them that “meat is on the house” for as long as they stay in Falcon’s Hallow.
As the party approaches, a girl steps in for a closer look, and, much to the horror of the onlookers, stumbles, falling towards the contraption…Hugh dives heroically knocking the girl away from the spinning blade, but taking a thrown log in the back.
Nob introduces Hugh to his “Tree Feller Mark 5” and, by way of demonstration, commands it to “go to town” on a table out in front of a nearby shop. The crowd stands by slack-jawed at his blatant disregard for them or their property. He then invites them back to his room at the inn to show off his collection of rusted springs, gears, and other useless junk. Guy, deciding that he’s clearly a threat to himself and others, and therefore interesting, decides to follow him.
Guy tells Nob about the old dwarven monastery and the many “contraptions” that the party found within that might interest him. Nob excitedly shoves his gears in a bag and heads for the door. They head back to Ray’s house, walking in on the corpse of Ray reading a children’s story about a man trying to sell caps. Nob grabs a book on metallurgy off of a nearby shelf and sits down to read.
Maurit, back at the farmhouse, hauls all of the corpses into the orphanage and sets it alight. She hauls the cow corpses into the barn, already rigged to burn, and kicks over a lantern, being careful to sweep up any wolf tracks around the place.
Hugh heads out to investigate the mass funeral pyre, trekking up the hill outside of town. He finds the place deserted, though the pyre appears to have more than enough fuel to keep burning for several days and close to thirty-bodies piled within. From the top of the hill, he spies a building, some ways off, also burning.
The party reconvenes at Ray’s house after a few hours to discuss their plans. Hugh suggests that they look into the possible werewolf problem with Graypelt. Guy suggests going around town with a knacker’s cart to collect any other bodies left over from the plague. Nob pushes them to head strait for the monastery.
They load of the knacker’s wagon and head out into the town to collect bodies. As they pass ’Lary’s shop, they spot a dwarf coming out. The dwarf stops in the middle of the road when the wayfinder at his belt begins glowing brightly, the needle spinning and stopping pointing strait at Guy. He immediately draws a dagger and slashes at Guy, screaming to the town that Guy is undead. Four other folks, armed to the teeth, run out of the shop, followed by Lary, just as Hugh steps in to Guy’s aid and knocks the dwarf to the ground. More townsfolk armed with hoes, pitchforks, and logging axes come running to the call.
After some intervention by Lary to calm everyone down, the two parties adjourn to the herbalist’s shop to hash out their differences. Lary informs them that the dwarf, the same Gambozl who wrote the book Ray was perusing, and his companions were on their way to Magnimar to investigate the possible return of the murderer known as the Skinpeeler.
Guy tells them all about the possible werewolf activity, and tells them about the girl they found. Maurit runs off to fetch the girl from Ray’s place. The dwarf and his companions excuse themselves, saying they need to be on their way, but Guy gets his autograph before they head out. There is much complaining about the dwarves’ rudeness after he leaves.
Maurit returns with the girl, unconcious and sick from belladonna poisoning, and Lary convinces them to leave her in his care. The party returns to the Rouged Lady and turn in for the night, intent on returning to the dwarven monastery in the morning.
Adventure Log: Desnus 21, Year 4712 AR, Fireday
Convening in the morning, the party heads for the monastery, taking the most direct route through the Darkmoon Woods. Shortly after they enter the woods everything goes silent, the birds, the wind, the trees, even their own footsteps.
Looking around for the source of the obviously magical effect, everyone’s feet slip on the ground which has become suddenly slick, and Maurit, Nob, Hugh, Egon, and Bernal fall into a deep pit with greased walls. Hugh, Egon, and Bernal all falling unconscious on impact with the floor of the pit, in a manner clearly not in keeping with the minor injuries they sustained.
Guy caught himself at the lip of the pit and, beginning to crawl away, found himself assaulted by a rain of blunted arrows and beams of greenish light from the surrounding trees. Nucanced but unharmed by the non-lethal barrage, Guy followed the assault to its source and found the trees filled with goblins. Crawling away, his hand suddenly slipped and he tumbled into a second greased pit.
The goblins continued to rain their blunted arrows and magical beams of enfeeblement, exhaustion, and admonishment down on the party, as if the pit were a barrel and the party some freshly caught fish.
Coming to his senses, Nob attempted to throw the Tree Feller Mark 5 out of the pit, then, failing that, sent his mechanical bird to fly up and set fire to the trees, sending many goblins leaping down. A few of the goblins were significantly injured by the fall, one, who fell not only out of the tree but into the pit as well, died instantly. The others, recovering from their landings set about staking chain-mesh nets over the tops of the two pits.
Maurit slapped Hugh awake and the two of them began attempting to burrow into the sides of the pit to get out of the line of fire.
The net in place, a dark man, with a dark mustache and goatee, and a dark coat, and, presumably, a dark purpose, strode to the top of the pit that contained the majority of the party and unleashed a brilliant spray of colors, incapacitating Hugh and Nob.
Another man, this one smoking a fat cigar and wearing a green ascot peeked his head over the side of Guy’s pit and attempted to charm Guy. In response, Guy lobbed a firebomb at the net over his own pit, but only succeeded in setting the grease-soaked sides of his pit on fire.
Edgrin, wearing his trademark flip-top smile, poked his head over the edge and conjured a torrent of water down on Guy’s head, putting out the fire, but causing the pit to rapidly fill up. Guy feigned fear of drowning, but Edgrin merely laughed and commented on how he knew that Guy didn’t need to breathe anymore. The man in the green ascot, taking the hint, pulled out a crude sword with an equally crude phallic symbol carved into it (which Guy recognized as a holy symbol of Ploob, a goblin deity known as the “three-legged mother”) and attempted, ineffectively, to command Guy.
Around this time, the magic that created the pits ended and the party rose gently up to the tops, where, even with the ground once more, they found themselves pinned by the staked-down chain nets and surrounded by a large posse of goblins and wolves, lead by Graypelt and a tall, female goblin with the head of a hyena.
Graypelt explained that the mother (the goblin-hyena creature) wanted the red metal shard that they had taken from the kobold king. He was quite forthright about the fact that “his pack” wanted the shard because it was a remnant of an ancient artifact and they believed it would give them the power to protect themselves from enemies like the kobolds. He went on to explain further that they did not wish to make enemies of the party, and had clearly gone to great lengths to capture them unharmed, even going so far as to hire human spellcasters to aid them.
Maurit attempted to hide the shard on her person, but had no way of concealing the powerful aura of magic it gave off, which Graypelt could apparently smell somehow. Finally wiggling as much as the nets would allow, she pulled out the shard, opened her bag full of dwarven tankards, and shoved the shard into the cursed, animated tankard. As she handled the shard, she had a vision of the Irespan in Magnimar, but had little time to ponder over it as the tankard sprang from her hand with even greater strength than previously witnessed, busted through the nets, and began smashing the chains in an attempt to crush her head.
“You want it, Greypelt? Go fetch!”
Next week…Cursed Mug + Artifact == Win