Investigating the Manor
Thorn asks Marta if he can take the book Thalia is reading, The Clan of the Owlbear, to study, she says he can. James picks up the two vials and sniffs the Light Blue one first, after all it showed up as magical. This reeks of brackish, dirty water, so he is not sure what it is or what it does. There’s less than a drop of liquid left in the other vial, however it smells to James just like healing potions do. So maybe this is all what remains of a healing potion, this vial didn’t show as magical so must be all herbal. We also ask Marta if you can take the recipe book and the cloth as part of investigating, we have ways of tracking which we might be able to use on these. Again she lets us take them.
Next we are taken to the guest rooms that Thalia is converting for her use. The guest bedrooms being renovated are on the second floor, across the hall from Esmerelda and Thalia’s rooms.
These two rooms are located on the opposite side of the hallway from Esmerelda and Thalia’s bedchambers. The furniture has been removed from both rooms, and new shelving has been installed in one of them. Where there was once a solid wooden wall between the two bedrooms, a door has been installed to connect them.
Thalia told everyone that she needed more space for her studies and planned to use these rooms for that purpose. Neither she nor Esmerelda ever hosted visitors, so the loss of two guest rooms wasn’t a big deal. She’d sent for her books and her supplies, intending to make one room a library the one with shelves and the other a workroom. No one can seem to recall what, exactly, Thalia studied, though the books in her bedroom would suggest that she was an herbalist of some kind. The furniture for these rooms is being stored elsewhere in Longreed. The shutters are open and there is an obvious wet floor, Marta explains that the servants have tried to dry this out but without success they thought it might be a leak or the builders had left the windows shutters open or even that they had a leak. However all those do not explain why the wet keeps coming back. They are quite sure there is no leak. Gnoman has a look around and confirms that there is no sign of leaking water from the ceiling or through the wall.
We ask if we can look under the floorboards Marta says yes as long as we do not do to much damage. Arnost stamps his foot snaps a floorboard and picks the parts up. James looks at it and then casts magnify on himself to get a better look. He can make out small algae on the wood which seem to ooze water. Arnost says that he thinks it means a sea creature has been here and left the algae which try to create their own environment. Maybe the story of walking Octopi isn’t so farfetched after all. Thorn gives the rooms a good looking over looking for hidey holes but finds nothing but unfinished work on walls doors and shelving.
James then starts some sort of demand of payment and contract of hire which Marta turns around and says as you say we are mates so how about around half the going rate for mercenaries and I pay you 2gp a day for the group. Guido takes over and agrees but also gets permission to use his knowledge of tax and such to get supplies from the merchants in lieu of taxes. Marta also agrees that would be fine within reason. James is not happy as being a young elf who likes to flash others money wanted much more. We leave the mayor with a job and lots of mysteries to solve and earning around 3sp each a day.
As we talk before heading to bed Arnost suggests we go and see Harold the hedge mage a friend of a friend who might be able to tell us more about what’s on the plank and in the vials. Arnost tells us that Harold is a retired wizard who has become a druid. I agree as I want to spent some time in meditation of ‘The Old Ways’ and Harold follows those ways. The others agree except James who agrees eventually. We decide we ought to bring him some presents and will buy two bottles of brandy, some sweetmeats and things like collars for any of his companion animals. Gnoman also agrees to write out the two recipes in the back of the book in Common, Gnomish and Thieves Chant to make them easier to follow.
Next morning we get the things we need for the trip, including wrapping the plank parts in seaweed to keep them most. We bring some seawater with us to refresh them with if needed. We join a caravan that is going that way, we wanted to be paid as guards but they would only do that if we went the whole way into Mystamyr and the borderlands. We didn’t want to go that far so just tagged along being allowed to use some spare waggon space to carry our stuff on. It is a three day journey and with such a large party it is uneventful. We arrive at the staging village of Rashtan late afternoon and Arnost gives us a quick rundown on it.
Rashtan is a small wooden walled village surrounded by farmland and fortified farms on the main trail from Whitesand to Mystamyr and the Borderlands. This is one of the places that Aaron of clan Kujala stays for months at a time when he is in the area as he and Harold are good friends. It is also on the way to the Poldark manor. Arnost has heard that some months ago a skeleton was seen walking near Harold house, what’s worse he spoke out loud. He has also heard that Harold has a large stash of powerful magic hidden somewhere in the forest. As we enter the palisaded village we see it is only a small stop point, on the road, with only seven main buildings laid out neatly on either side of the main street, running through village, surrounded by a few dozen or so small cottages around the sides. It is however also the main urban area in this area serving all the local farms.
The largest is the first building on the right a fortified two storey stone building and above the door hangs a sign that reads “Wayfarers Place”. There are a handful of people walking beside the street going into the various buildings. Arnost tells us that the Wayfarers Place is the local inn and tavern this is the only place for visitors to get a room and meal. It is run by Korec a half-orc ex adventurer. He does not speak much but we get on well. It is also where Harold sells his potions to passing travellers. Next up the road is Jord’s Forge a small stone building where Jord runs his blacksmith shop, this is another of Harold’s friends in the village says Arnost.
Then there is a shop I have never been in says Arnost, Minter’s marvellous Maps and Things. Then there is the small stone tower fortified house which is the administration centre of the village Sometime home to Sir Rashtan or his bailiff Talon. The other side has a small cottage where there is Istan’s Extraordinary Elixirs another place I have not been Arnost says. Finally there is the Temple of Hernun qa long single story dark wooden building with a wooden statue in front of a beautiful man wearing a tunic and wielding a bow. The priest Cariwin is a friend of Harold’s and mine says Arnost we have some interesting discussions.
Gnoman quickly dashes off to visit the Istan’s, he enter a dingy and dimly lit room with the smell of burnt hair lingering in the air. At the back of the room is a man in grey robes working at a long table with bubbling beakers and jars. As Gnoman enter he turns and he see a short, thin, middle-aged man with greasy black hair and a pointed downturned nose. He gives you a crooked smile and says “Welcome to my shop. How may I help you traveller? Perhaps you would be interested in an elixir to cure your ills.” Gnoman asks about Harold and gets an earful of how that harebrain can’t make a decent potion. “My elixirs are ten-times what his are. He has convinced all the others in town to tell passers-through to go to the inn and buy his junk. He is conning everyone. He is nothing more than a two-bit hedge mage. I don’t know what has happened to him a frankly I don’t care. As you can see I am also a mage like you and Harold is a failed mage trying to con everyone.” Gnoman than asks more about Harold but gets more bile he then asks about Istan’s potions and is told that Istan’s Wondrous Elixir only 4 in stock will heal a person’s wounds and it’s only 5gp. Istan’s Elixir of Anti-Venom Cost: 25 gp only 3 left in stock this potion will stop any and all natural poisons for up to a week after drinking. Gnoman declines for now but says they sound very good. He then head back to the rest of us. As Gnoman leaves he reflects on all Istan has said and how he acted and decides that part of what he said was lies and bull.
[So Harold is missing? Where has he gone or is it just Istan saying so? Is this yet another missing person in the area?]