Category Archives: Role Play

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 The Missing Part 8


The Missing

Part 8

Investigating the Manor

Earlier Chapters here

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?]

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 The Missing Part 7


The Missing

Part 7

The Mayor

Earlier Chapters here

 

I, Errarth, head off to Wanda’s Shop of Wonder to see if I can get a scroll of Speak with Animals, so I can instruct Alice in not eating the local’s sheep. Miss Wanda Blue turns out to be an elderly human female with blue hair and a squint; I have a nice chat with her. Interestingly she knew my name and seems to have good insights into whom I am. Lucky for me she did have one Scroll of Speak with Animals at 90 gold, a little high but as it was her last I bought it without haggling. While I was there James arrived and wanted to buy some healing potions, but Wanda only had 3 Basic healing potions in stock and no Water Breathing potions at all. James also strikes up a conversation in which Wanda say’s the Mayor is supposed to some great wizard I don’t believe it. However she cannot tell us why, it’s just her gut instinct she says.

 

Gnoman heads to the training grounds by the manor and takes out his longbow at the butts and starts shooting. Sir Allister is not amused and leads his men in mocking Gnoman who just carries on his shooting practice, he is doing this to increase his strength and fulfil his ambition to be a longbow archer. Thorn having gone to the temple in the market area spends his time praying for worshipers and collecting stories from them. One seaman says to his idea that there are walking octopi ‘HA’ ‘They do not come on land they are big but are at sea, where did you get such a daft idea from? Walking Octopi now that’s funny.’

 

Arnost heads to the River Finery to see his friend Urg the owner. Arnsot has learnt much about Urg over the months he has been here over a mug or three. He is a male half-orc, 40ish a fine goods merchant and owner of Riverside Finery sellers of fine clothes. Urg has worked hard to overcome his rough, hardscrabble upbringing. His mother and father were both nomadic barbarians belonging to the Tribe of the War Claw. Urg left home once he gained adulthood at 14 and apprenticed with a variety of merchants to learn the trade. After arriving in Longreed two decades ago, after the swamp hags had been dealt with, he met Carn who owned the Riverside Finery. Eventually they wed, and when she died after a short illness, Urg became the sole proprietor. Unlike a lot of half orcs Urg has no interest in violence or the military life, he is a member of the militia of course but nothing more. He does have a lot to share about the area though. He knows that the swamp is a dangerous place with 100’ alligators which can eat a black bear whole, not somewhere he would go thank you. About the strange deaths he finds them inconvenient as he has lost some good customers before they paid for ordered goods, they are not natural by all accounts. The mayor is a good person and loved by all for dealing with the trolls. Arnost likes coming here to see all the pretty buttons Urg has.

 

Early evening we all get dressed up, as best we can. James casts Perfume on Arnost and himself when we gather. This was not a good idea as Arnost does not like arcane magic around him at all. This time Arnost managed to keep his cool and his gave James a severe look and a cuff around the head. ‘You really need to get used to this’ says James to another ugly look.

 

When we arrive at Mayor Godwin’s house, we are greeted at the door by Claude Hopper, the mayor’s butler, a dwavern male around 300 who seems to be blind in his right eye. He shows us to the small but nicely appointed dining room. Oil paintings of previous mayors line the walls male and female, mostly human, but with a few dwarves and half-elves sprinkled about. There’s a table set for the meal, with one additional seat at the head of the table presumably for the mayor. The mayor, however, doesn’t appear during dinner and when ask where she is Hopper says she is busy and will come as soon as she can. All four courses beet soup, pickle salad, mushroom souffle, and wine-poached pears for dessert are served by three servants Grace, Hope, and Charity Blurm. Three homely sisters in their 30’s who seem to be triplets. I am wary and cast a prayer over each course and drink as they come, Purify Food & Drink, which gets raised eyebrows from Hopper and the girls. Arnst and Guido both ask about the meat course and get silence. When the dessert plates are cleared and Claude pours after dinner drinks, a distant bell chimes, and the servants immediately depart. Thorn takes that time to cast Detect Magic but only are own items show up as magic along with the drink in front of me. That is because of my spell I hope.

After they’ve gone, a wooden panel slides aside, revealing a small, hidden door. Out steps a woman in a beautiful brocade robe, this is open to reveal well-polished leather armour. This must be Mayor Godwin.
However, James already knows this woman not as Mayor Esmerelda Godwin, but as a crass, bloodthirsty adventurer named Marta Glump.  The last time James saw her was about four years ago, when she sailed off to work as a guard for a wealthy client and he headed to Greymoor city. Marta carries her own plate of food, sits down at the table after greeting everyone warmly, and starts bringing the us up to speed as she eats.

“So, James de Gil-sthind the last I saw you, I was heading out to serve Lord Alwin from Thale. He was one of them paranoids—you know, always thinking that somebody was out to get him? He got it in his head that he was being hunted by vampires, and that’s when he hired me. I thought it was the dumbest thing I ever heard, but… well, as it turns out, there were a few vampires. So, long story short, Lord Alwin got bit, and we had to kill him. After that, Lady Alwin wasn’t so happy with me, and I can’t say as I blame her. She was the highest ranking priestess in town, so she had to drive the stake into her husband’s heart, the poor thing. She wanted me executed for negligence, but luckily, I bribed a footman, got out of the castle, and ran until I got here. Obviously, I couldn’t tell anyone who I was, seeing as how Alwin was known far and wide and news about his death was all the talk at the time.

 

So, I put on airs and said I was a great wizard, I knew how you acted, James, so copied that, called myself Esmerelda Godwin. Unfortunately, they wanted me to prove myself by killing a couple of trolls that were bothering the townsfolk; the Sheriff was away at that time. So, there I was at the edge of town in the middle the night during a raging thunderstorm, with these two mean, ugly trolls barrelling toward me. I couldn’t even move, I was scared outta my pants! Praying like mad to as many gods I could remember. Then, all of a sudden, there was a huge flash of light and the loudest clap of thunder you ever heard, and when I could see again, there were the trolls: burnt to a crisp, not twenty feet from where I stood. Everybody loved me after that. When Mayor Durnish kicked the bucket last year, the town’s guilds chose me to take his place. And now, here I am, living the dream!”


Afterward, Marta and the party swap stories. She wants to know everything that James and the group have been up to and how pleased she is that they have already helped the locals. When there’s a lull in the conversation, Marta explains that the group is welcome to stay in Longreed for as long as they like. However, she has a problem that she’d like their help in resolving. As it turns out, Marta’s wife has gone missing:

“I know I never seemed like the marrying type, but then I met someone a traveling scholar who was passing through town on her way to…well, I forget where she was heading. Blonde and buxom pretty as an apple in summer, she was. Her name was Thalia. I fell for her like a dead hill giant off a cliff. We got hitched a few months back, and everything’s been pretty good since then or well, it had been. Over the winter, we received reports that some folks in town had succumbed to some sort of swamp fever about ten in all. I checked their bodies myself, and if it were fever, it weren’t no fever I ever seen. With all the blood they vomited up and the black welts on their bodies, I think they was poisoned.
Then, four weeks ago, things got really bad: I woke to the sound of Thalia screaming. I ran down the hall to her bedchamber I know, its weird sleeping apart like that, but Thalia’s old-fashioned that way and she was gone. Vanished. Window open, curtains blowing in the breeze, no signs of struggle or anything. The town guards have searched for her high and low, but nothing’s turned up. I’ve promised the townsfolk that I’m working up a big ol’ complicated spell to find Thalia and protect Longreed from plague, but I can’t keep up that lie much longer. I ain’t got no one to talk to about this because everyone thinks I’m some great wizard. You’ve got to help me out of this. Find Thalia, figure out what kind of disease has been killing people, and I’ll give you anything I can.”


Marta explains that in Thalia’s part of the world, many couples maintain separate beds. It’s an old custom, stemming from the days when food was scarce, and the population had to be kept low to prevent starvation. It doesn’t make much sense in Marta and Thalia’s case, but then, traditions aren’t known for being sensible.

 

Thorn asks about the dead and for their names and addresses, the mayor answers, ‘their addresses are the graveyard and I am sure we can get you their names’. This brings a light laugh from all but Thorn. James says anything for an old companion and so agrees that we will help her, the mayor says let me show you her bedroom. Like all the rooms in the mayor’s house, this one is decorated simply. The wooden ceiling, walls, and floors are unadorned, except for a large burgundy rug covering much of the floor. Matching heavy burgundy curtains flutter in the open window across from the door. A large bed is positioned beside the window, with a small table next to it. A wardrobe stands on left wall, and a vanity table and mirror sit to the right. You see a small tray of cosmetics atop the vanity table, and a small bookshelf attached to the wall nearby. Thalia’s bedroom contains little more than clothing and other common accoutrements.

 

We look at the books on the bookshelf first it contains 12 tomes on healing and herbalism. All are common and fairly basic, the kind of thing that magic-users have seen many, many times over. However, in one of the books ‘Tara’s Tome of Rustic Remedies’ there are two cards which what look like recipes glued inside the back cover. The language is not one any of us know so Gnoman casts Read Languages on them and reads them out to us. First he tells us that they are written in Abyssal he then reads out the list and instructions. One we think is for some sort of healing potion the other we have no real idea about what it is, but I think it might be some sort of poison. Thorn looked through the wardrobe and found clothes but he thinks there is a false bottom as well. Gnoman agrees and opens it. Inside we find a bolt of silky green fabric and an empty vial. Upon close inspection we see that the fabric has gotten wet and the colour has run in some places. Also, there are small bits of algae and twigs stuck to it. Arnost says these bits come from the swamp nearby. The clear glass vial seems to have a drop of liquid left in it.

 

Thorn also looks at the bedside table where there is another book a popular novel called The Clan of the Owlbear by Octavian Thrumsinger other than some bent pages there is no idea where Thalia has got to in reading it, Thorn flips through it but finds nothing hidden there. The vanity table holds some knickknacks and a light blue glass bottle of what we assume is perfume. Thorn casts detect magic on the area and the cloth and perfume bottle both resister as some sort of Charm magic.

 

While we are doing this I ask the mayor about the last mayor and the hags and she tells me this story, some of which I already knew. Over the last 100 years, Longreed had grown and early on, parents in Longreed frightened their children with stories of evil marsh-witches, but everyone assumed those were just fairy tales meant to keep young ones on the straight and narrow. As the children grew into adults, and as disappearances and other strange events continued to plague the region beyond the river, the stories became something more. Calls for action grew louder. Twenty years ago, the town council finally decided to act. On a fine fall morning, Mayor Durnish himself and a dozen hired adventurers strode out of the gates, hoisting their shiny swords to the cheering crowds and promising to make the countryside safe.

 

For three days, they searched the marsh, finding little more than fox paths through the underbrush, but on the fourth day, they discovered the ‘Cave’. Quietly inching past mounds of skeletons the
unfortunate victims of the hags’ labours Durnish and his team made their way into the lair, which glittered with the Hags ill-gotten gewgaws. There, the party surprised the hags as they feasted on the remains of a poor spice merchant who’d made the mistake of traveling the river alone. In the blink of a basilisk’s eye, one of the mercenaries fired three bolts from her repeating crossbow, leaving one hag dead on the ground. A second hag, vanquished several of Durnish’s do-gooders
with her sharp claws and fearsome death glare, but she soon fell, too. In the end, only Durnish and Aunt Lobelia were left alive, she told him her name as she taunted him. Both were battered and bruised, but Lobelia wasn’t as helpless as she let on. When the mayor stumbled toward her to deal a death blow, Lobelia unleashed a powerful spell. A short time later, Durnish awoke to a grim sight: Aunt Lobelia was gone, as were the bodies of his 12 companions and the two dead hags. All he could see were 14 severed heads, which had been arranged in a circle around him. Their eyes were
sewn open, as though they watched him while he slept. Durnish himself had been stripped naked
and was badly scarred. Far worse, he was paralyzed with dread of the magic Lobelia may have wrought.

Hours passed. Eventually cold, hunger, and thirst compelled Durnish to stand. He walked to the edge of the circle, uncertain what fate might befall him when he stepped beyond the gruesome border. He kicked a hags head with his foot and watched it roll to the side, knocking another head to the ground as it did. Durnish held his breath, waiting for the worst. When he could stand it no longer, he took another deep breath and held it again. Minutes slowly ticked by.

Nothing happened.

 

As Durnish stepped safely beyond the circle’s edge, he exhaled with relief, but something in the back of his mind made him worry that he’d gotten off too easily. The mayor found his gear along with that of his companions lying in the far recesses of the cave. Other than that, the lair had been entirely emptied out: none of the chests or vials or skeletons that he’d seen before the battle remained. Still wary, Durnish put on his armour and did the only thing he could do: he lifted the head of one hag in his left hand, took another in his right, and walked back to Longreed. The townsfolk hailed him as a hero. Attacks in the marshes immediately abated. They didn’t stop entirely, they could have been due to other causes, but they became infrequent enough that the townspeople slept soundly again.

 

I then ask how he died; Two decades after Durnish awoke in the cave a traveling soothsayer appeared in Longreed, promising to predict the future for a few copper coins. The mayor’s wife, Nedra, was among the many men and women who visited the mystic, happily handing over her money in exchange for a small cup of tea. Like the others, she drank it in one gulp, it was considered bad luck to linger over it, and the fortune teller read the leaves. Nedra glowed with joy
as the old woman promised her happiness to the end of her days. Within the day, she laid cold and dead and the soothsayer and her stack of clattering teacups had disappeared.   The following spring a year before your brave selves arrived he died from a broken heart having never recovered from his loss. It was not long after that I came along and dealt with the Trolls.

 

 

Many thoughts run around our minds but we cannot share them with Marta with us, from are the hags back? To is this a plot by Thale to get at Marta to is Marta a vampire and that is why she travels in a covered coach? Is Thalia the poisoner or something else? So many thoughts which we will share later.

Review of ‘M-Space’ Companion By C Redd


I have already reviewed M-Space and this companion adds to the rules particularly for character creation and the use of robotics and cybernetics.

This is a good edition to the main rules, it brings in a Traveller style character creation based on background and occupation. It allows rolls for events in ones back story and unfortunate accidents.  For example-

Bounty Hunter
66-75. Bring in a bounty. Gain 2000Cr and increase in one Career Professional skill.
76-85. Run into an ambush. Roll Perception. Success: Increase
to a Combat Style and gain an Enemy. Failure: Increase Evade,
gain the Passion Hate (Criminals) and lose a contact.

98-99. A bounty you bring in has some interesting loot. Gain
an advanced weapon or an implant of the GM’s choice.
00. You bring in a famous criminal and get to claim their starship. Gain a starship size 10 or less and gain an Enemy.

As you can see this will give some interesting options in character creation.

I love it and it would be nice to see it in the main Mythras rules as a extra option as well.

The Cybernetic and Robot rules are very good and allow just about any Character or NPC to be created with a few simple decisions.

I am glad to have bought this as it will increase the options I have in running M-Space games in the future.

A good job by Clarence

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 The Missing Part 6


The Missing

Part 6

Longreed

Earlier Chapters here

 As we leave Three Roads village Guido tells us more about Longreed, after all he and Arnost have lived there for a while and we hardly had time to look around before we were off on this rescue. Longreed is an un-walled fishing town in the duchy of Betheny, with the Sheriff’s walled manor at the centre of the town. The small Troutrun River enters the sea by the harbour. The harbour is a smallish affair within a tidal bay on the Sea of Dragons. Dues – all visitors need to pay1sp per day tax to the Sheriff.

Population: around 200 families; Aspects: Sleepy, Moderately wealthy;  Primary Economy: Fishing, Trading, Agriculture;  Common Building Materials: Wood long houses, recovered stone and wood fencing, reed and grass thatching, rough glass or horn windows with wood shutters

Governance: Sheriff Sir Viktor Haag with an advisory council of 7 guild masters; Farmers, Seaman’s; Merchant, Fishers, Holy, Mage, Fighter under the mayor Esmerelda Godwin chosen by the guilds as there spokeswoman.

All guilds require a yearly membership fee of 5-20gp to join plus 5% of wealth per year paid twice yearly.

Sir Haag also requires a 5% of wealth per year tithe paid twice yearly.

 

Wards: Manor; Harbour; Merchant; Odoriferous Crafts – messy & smelly; Basic Crafts; Market;
Town Watch
– There is a small town watch of 10 formed from the sheriff’s personal retinue, supported by guild militia help when needed. During the day there are three patrols of 2 around the town one normally by the main road in and the other by the sea harbour the last wanders around the streets. At night there are two patrols of 2 patrolling the harbour and main town area. The other ten of the retinue take turns to man the manor gate and walls 4 at a time.

 

Militia the town and countryside can provide up to 200 or so militia. The farmers supply 100 skirmishers, the Merchant’s supply 50 spear, the seaman and fishers supply 50 marines, while the fighters guild supply unit commanders with the holy and mage guilds supplying limited support functions.

 

Merchants all also have family land to farm.

Trimble’s  – Mr Trimble – sells basic household and farming goods

Smithy – Mr Iron Hand Smith – Makes and sell all basic iron goods

Crafts – Various tradesmen shops selling basic stuff. Cobblers; Furniture maker; Weavers; Leatherworkers; Rope makers; Launderer’s; Carvers; etc.

Sword & Mail  – Mr John Sharp–Weapons and armour seller/repairer

Diana’s Quiver – Volga – All types of arrow, bolts, Javelin and shot

Harbour storesMrs Salmon – can buy all boating and fishing needs as well as small boats for sell or hire.

Wanda’s Shop of Wonder – Miss Wanda Blue a seller of potions, oils, elixirs, Arcane and Divine scrolls.

Riverside Finery – Urg a male half-orc.

Farmers Markets – Food every day, Livestock weekly,

 

Temples:

One main temple, with a 4 story tower, to the Avillon Pantheon in Market ward with small shrines to all its gods.

Each ward has a small temple to the deity of the ward, with an Initiate of that deity working in it.

Manor ward ‘Aranu’

Harbour ‘Old Heakun’

Merchant ward ‘Hombel’

Craft wards ‘Yosa’.

 

Mage Guild – a tower house of 3 floors higher than all but the main temple and manor keep. This houses Ardal the Green an old Mage, Jo Alter a Journeyman and 4 Apprentices.

 

Fighter Guild – based in the manor under the sheriff’s master of arms Sir Alastair a one armed elderly human fighter. Membership cost is 20gp a year or two month’s work. Arnost and Guido are helping the guard as their two month work fee; this is just about done now. Arnost also works part time as a ceric for the sheriff.

 

Accommodation:

Based in the harbour ward you can find the one Inn in town, The River Bed, which has one common room for up to 20 people; five large rooms for up to 4 people, 5 double/single rooms and one royal suite for two plus servants.

Costs daily 1sp B&B for the common; 10sp for B&B for a large; 15 for a double and 30 for the Royal with food delivered to room up to two servants supplied if wanted.

Serves a 3 course Dinner at a cost of 2sp a person, wine at 2-4sp an evening can sit 50

 

Taverns – The Muddy Bottom Tavern is by the harbour; as well as The River Bed inn near the harbour and the Troutrun River. You can find more small taverns in the other non-manor wards where you can get simple food and drink.  Cost Food 0.5sp a meal Drink 0.5-2sp an evening and can doss down on the floor for nothing if drunk enough. These are small family run places in their homes.

 

Information: – Seaman, tell tales of attacks by strangely large octopus on full moon nights.

The town used to trade regularly with a small town out on the Crescent Islands, but nobody from their small settlement has visited this year; it is hoped that they’re not taking their trade over to Thale instead.

It’s a bad idea to stray off the paths in the Salt Marsh during the wet season when the marsh is full; the Marsh is very dangerous and there is a creature that lives there that will drag you down to drown and eat you.

The previous mayor killed off some hags who used to terrorise the swamp road, even though it cost a lot of local men to do so.

The main reason this valley is so peaceful is thanks to the mountains that frame it north-east and south-west. There’s only four ways to get into this valley in numbers: the two roads that lead south (one south through the mountain passes, and one south-west along the coast), by sea, and if you’re a dwarf – the great dwarven kingdoms have lots of mountain outposts up in the throat of this valley.

The coast road leads to Thale the neighbouring barony under Countess Margaretta, it isn’t the nicest place to live as she keeps the people under control by magical means.

Lord Alwin from Thale was killed by the person he hired to protect him some years or so back.

The Goblins in the hills raid for sheep and sliver every so often.

The wolves in the hills can get very big and get hungry in the winter so take a few sheep

If you need to replace a good tool, or get some fine cloth, at a decent price, you can trust Trimble, to have what you need. If you bring something valuable to trade with you, he’s not averse to barter, either.

This valley was part of the Duchy of Bethany’s war against the orc’s. In fact, a famous battle
was fought near a big Salt Marsh just the other side of the Spiny Mountains, and some say that the fallen haunt that Marsh to this day.

There is a local tale about dragons and their dragon men living in this area in the past.

The Esmerelda, before she was mayor, killed some raiding Trolls a year or so back all that was left was a few charred bones.

Greymoor is a long way away and the Baron is our only ruler even if he is loyal to the king unlike others around us.

Some local’s grandparents talk of the hill giants who live in the hills close to the mountains.

 

So there seems to be plenty for us to find out here and add to all of this is the strange deaths over the last year and the disappearance of the mayor’s wife to sort out so it seems we might have lots of investigating to do. Guido tells us that the local guards are getting fed up searching for Thalia Mayor Esmerelda’s wife around the town and environment as it’s more work than they normally have to do.

 

As we reach the town two guards standing by the road challenge us, as they see Arnost and Guido they welcome them and wave them in. However they say to us that it’s one silver coin a day tax for all visitors, James starts to argue but then flips back the other way and gives them a silver piece and receives a wooden token to show that he has paid this day. The guard winks at Guido and says ‘this is a neat way of keeping track Guido of who has paid or not’. Although I think he would rather not have the tax so well monitored. After receiving the token James gets a gold coin out and flips it to the guard who gives him another different token, ‘now I have paid for 11 days’ he says. ‘Right O!’ the guard replies. As James passes by the guards turn on Thorn, ‘ah a dwarf another group like elves who like to hold on to their gold and silver he can pay up as well.’ Thorn tries to explain that they are working for the sheriff but the guards do not care, ‘if you are then he will sort it out later, it’s not worth my job to let it pass.’ So thorn in a bit of a huff pays up his one sliver. Then then turn to me so I beat them to the dig and pay 3 gold and 3 silvers for me, Gnoman and Alice to enter for 11 days. We each have to say where we are staying as well, another of Guido’s ideas it turns out. James says he and Gnoman will be at the mages guild, Thorn says the temple, I say, ’the River Bed’ they all break out in laughter, ‘best place for a bard and his wolf’ they say. It appears the taverns name is a big joke to play on strangers here, with people always telling people to go to the river bed. Later I will find out that the Muddy Bottom is another joke to play on newcomers.

 

Guido and Arnsot tell the guards that they will escort the goblin prisoners to the Manor to see Sir Viktor Haag.  The two guards on the gatehouse welcome them and say ‘so not just prisoners but spare parts to show how many you dealt with! That is bureaucracy gone mad even by your standards Guido.’ We all laugh as we pass through into the courtyard where a one armed elderly Fighter is instructing the manor guards in a very load and stern voice, Guido introduces Sir Alastair, the master of arms and watch commander, who smiles at him and goes back to drilling the four men. We enter the manor house and led to the great hall. We arrive just as the Sherriff is about to have supper so he asks us to join him and tell him how the rescue went. He calls to his servants to bring benches and extra food and drink. We tell him the tale of the goblins and how we rescued Jonno even though the goblins tried to kill him while we tried to talk. ‘The prisoners are in the prison’, we tell him, ‘taken by Sir Alastair’s men’.

 

‘Well done a good job by you all’ Sir Viktor says, ‘I will mention you to the mayor, she might want you to help find her wife’. ‘I am sure she will contact you when and if she wants to’ he says. ‘Now it’s getting late and I need to retire as do you all, good night.’ Dismissed we leave the manor, except Guido who lives here and head to find beds for the night.

 

James takes Gnoman and heads to the big three story building that is the Mages guild here and knocks on the door. After a while a voice comes from the other side, ‘Yes’ James says that they are two Mages needing shelter in the guild building. The door opens and a young human female stands at the door, ‘I am Jo Alter, you are welcome to stay here we have some spare room, however only the first night is free after that we ask that you cover the cost of food etc. for the length of your stay’ she says. You can see that Joe is a Journeyman Mage, ‘I look after the place for Mage Ardal the Green who is old and shy. I also train as best I can the four apprentices who will serve your needs while you are here.’ James says that maybe he could help train them for her as well while he is here. ‘That would be very kind of you’ Jo says. However we have no space for a mule so you will have to put it elsewhere.’ James realised that he had forgotten that Gnoman was still leading his mule around, so after unloading it he heads to the River Bottom to put it there, as Jo say’s that is the only place which keeps animals.

 

Meanwhile Arnost has settled back into his room at the smithy knowing he will get a good home cooked breakfast in the morning and Thorn has found the temple of Hombel in the merchant ward and after being told by the Initiate Bob that food is taken at the main temple in the market ward and could Thorn lead the daily prayers as he is of higher standing he places all his gear down and heads to the Muddy Bottom. I have found the River Bed, and find that I can have a 4 person room which I pay 3gold for 3 nights for also Athena Falton the innkeeper, a female Halfling, says that she could put Alice up in the dog pens round the back as long as I sort out its food. Beside the stables is a area for dogs, the pens are a little small for Alice but by pulling a movable wall out she can have access to two pens which will be ok overnight.

 

Just as I am coming back to the main Inn James comes up, pushes the lead for the mule into my head and says ‘Gnoman says can you take care of Mule as nowhere at guild for it! Thanks’ then he turns and walks away. I call forcibly after him but he ignores me and walks into the dusk. So it costs me another 3 silver to but Mule up for 3 days, this time it comes with food and water. Fuming about James I head for bed as well.

 

Thorn finds the Muddy Bottom in the harbour and gets talking to the owner Old Coop, who turns out to be a former bard who lost a hand in battle years ago. Over a few drinks Thorn manages to get him to talk about the Major and her wife and the odd deaths. Saul a male Halfling drunk fisherman also joins in and also has things to share. Old Coop, is a lifelong resident of Longreed. He loves his hometown and the new mayor, but something about Thalia made him uncomfortable.  He is soon persuaded to discuss Thalia’s occasional visits to the Muddy Bottom, where he says she sang some very mysterious ditties that he’d never heard before. That’s a little unusual, seeing as how Old Coop was trained as a bard. He remembers a snippet of a song that went like this:

My wife is a handsome old lass,
She’s lusty and busty and crass.
But my mother wishes
The wife swam with the fishes,
And what she wishes comes true, alas!

 

He knows little about the deaths other than that they are strange in that most were healthy and in some cases whole families died and others only the odd one. When asked when the last one was he thinks and says ‘since just before Thalia disappeared I think.’ Saul swears that the night Thalia disappeared; he caught a fish so big it nearly broke his boat. It was over five feet long with giant eyes—the moon was bright that night, and he it saw plain as day.  Ultimately, the fish got away. Saul thinks the fish must’ve bitten through the net and swum off. After telling his story, Saul passes out in his ale. Thorn heads back to the temple and sleep knowing something more than the others do of the mysteries of this town.

 

Next morning we all awake in our different area’s Thorn goes to the main temple for breakfast while I eat at the Inn and the others with the manor troops or mage guild. We had agreed to meet up in the market area in the morning I talk with Falton and she like others seem to love the mayor. I see to Alice first thing then go to the market area to look for some scrolls and treats for Alice before I met with the others. Gnoman looks for the guild of thieves; he follows the various signs around town which lead him to Trimble’s. He enters and in thief chant asks if he is in the right place. Trimble welcomes him and they talk guild work and such. Trimble does order him to find out what has happened to his contact, Rudy the Red, with the offshore traders, smugglers. He gave Rudy a down payment for the next shipment but not heard from him for some days. They agree that Gnoman has to return Trimble’s goods and gold along with 15% of anything else he finds. He like Arnost, Guido and James also spend some time contemplating their adventure and learning from it.

 

Around midday we meet up and have lunch together, catching each other up with news. We see a two-horse carriage being driven along one of the larger streets. Its curtains are fully closed.
The carriage is small, meant to hold just one or two people. It’s fairly simple, too—much less ornate than carriages I’ve seen racing along the grand avenues of larger cities. Still, everyone in the street stops and bows as it moves by. Clearly, they know someone important is riding inside. Suddenly, the driver of the carriage brings his two horses to a stop. A few moments later, a gloved hand emerges from the curtain at the side of the carriage, holding a note. The driver hops down from his perch, takes the note, listens at the curtain for a moment, then walks over and hands the note to James, who has put his hand out. There’s a loud knock from inside the carriage. The driver climbs back to his seat, takes the reins, and continues down the street, out of sight. The crowd eyes you with a mix of emotions—suspicion? Jealousy? curiosity? then continue on their way. The mayor’s coach says Arnost and Guido.


The note reads

You are hereby summoned to dine

at the home of Mayor Godwin

this evening at eight o’clock,

Smart Casual attire.

Looks like we have time to prepare says James just make sure you look your best. I am going to look in the guilds library about walking octopi and then instruct the pupils. He finds nothing. Gnoman goes to ask questions about Rudy around the market. I join Gnoman and we notice that Guido is watching us. Has he seen what we are up to? Does he know we know he knows? Turns out that is yes to all. Rudy is known by many he was seen entering the town some days ago and leaving later the same day by the guards and a farmer saw him on the coast road a day or two back [This could be fun as Guido works for the law and Gnoman wants to help the local thief’s guild and the smugglers]

 

With some time to shop we continue to look around the town while Thorn goes off to lead mid-afternoon prayers to Hombel in the merchant ward.

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 The Missing Part 5


The Missing

Part 5

Blood and Gore

Earlier Chapters here

We spend the night in the cave or tower basement, and wake refreshed even if Arnost still has his serous wound to his abdomen, at least all the minor wounds are healing. After a breakfast meal of warm roast lamb we start discussing how we are going to get Jonno back, will Guido carry him; will we make a pouch to allow Guido to carry him; do we make some sort of stretcher for two of us to carry or drag behind the mule; or some other idea. Also as Arnost legs do not work well with his abdomen wound how do we get him home? James had hoped that Thorn would cast Cure Serous Wounds but he can only recover that spell mid-afternoon in worship to Hombel, so do we wait another day. If we leave before midday we should get to the farm by nightfall but if we wait till mid-afternoon it will be dark before we get there.

 

We also discuss the six captive goblins, what happens to them? Trail; strung up? Guido thinks they need to be taken back for a fair trial and then executed. Also in this conversation James remembers the dead goblins and suggests we chop them up for Alice de wolf as the new member of the party is being called.  They get me to do this and a grislily job it is too, lots of blood, body parts and intestines. I do not do a very good job, it’s not really my trade, but I do get 20 arms and 20 legs out of the gore. As I finish I am covered in blood and smells and the cave isn’t looking to good, so James casts Preserve on the meat and Cleanse on me and the floor. He then gets carried away and also casts a Permanente Light spell on Thorn’s lantern. He then gets Thorn to use the oil he has to burn up what’s left of the goblins outside. This sends a plume of cooking meat smells and smoke into the air.

 

As it’s around midday now, we have the last of the lamb and give Alice de wolf 2 arms and legs for his dinner. With time getting on we decide to let Thorn recover his healing spell so he can heal Alice and Arnost and then we will travel back to the farm tomorrow, camping here for another night. Mid-afternoon Thorn starts praying to Hombel and regains his spell he then Cures the serious wounds of Arnost and Alice and thanks Hombel for them. He then does a search of the tower to make sure there are no hidden doors, he finds nothing. With no more sheep left to eat we settle down in the cave for the night with Alice acting as door guard. Morning comes and we put the stretcher together for Jonno and after feeding Alice again get four Goblins to carry the stretcher while the others carry the 32 arms and legs.

 

We head off back to the farm, which we should reach mid-afternoon. It is slow going with the goblins carrying Jonno but with Thorn in front and me and Alice to one side and James to the other side we march on. As Thorn tops a hill can hear and see a disturbance about 100m ahead.

It seems we have come across a pack of Coyotes attacking a flock of Sheep one sheep is down with a Coyote nearby. The other sheep are running with the Coyotes in pursuit. Thorn calls back to us while he throws a sling shot at the dogs, getting close but not enough to scare the dog. James heads up preparing 2 magic Missiles while Gnoman runs up and summons a big Red Dragon which swoops in and breathes fire over the sheep and dogs roasting them all. It then soars up and away. It was one of his greater illusions of course and once the dragon is gone the dogs stagger to their feet and with a howl run, the sheep are slower to stand but do and continue to graze. A young Shepard boy comes out from hiding and says thanks.

 

A few hours later we reach the farm and the family rush out to meet us. They are pleased to see Jonno back but in obvious distress at the state he is in. ‘What have the goblins done to him?’ ‘Thank you for bringing him back.’ Timson gives Guido the 20gp he had offered for his rescue and says you are welcome to stay in the barn tonight and we will have a meal together.

 

Timson goes to the pig sty were they are two piglets and tries to catch one. Guido realises that he is going to kill it for the meal and also realises as its only just spring that if he does he will not have a breeding pair to give them more piglets for the year. So he and James both tell Timson that they will be happy with just a simple meal and to keep the pig. Timson is pleased with this and we can see the relief on his face. We live Alice in the barn guarding the goblins while we have a simple tea with the family.

 

I talk with the family and say we are sorry as they look sad at Jonno’s condition even though are glad we have come back with him. I decide to sing a song to lift the companies spirits, which I do and people start to join in as well. We spend the night in the barn and are woken with the small of fresh bread for breakfast. As we are preparing to leave James goes to look for Pengle to get back the piece of jade so he can repair the necklace. James offers a swap 20sp and a pebble with a permanent light spell cast on it. It takes some time but eventually Pengle agrees and gives James the jade, this makes him happy, he loves collecting old Elvin items. However he is annoyed with us for taking the 20gp but we didn’t know he was after the jade instead.

 

With all ready our party heads out with Pengle guiding as far as Tree Roads village and we will reach Longreed at last light if we make good time.

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 The Missing Part 4


The Missing

Part 4

Life and Death

Earlier Chapters here

Guido puts Jonno down by me and the mule, and looks at me and says he is dying. I have a mental battle, should I as a believer in balance allow nature to take its course or should I try to save Jonno for the party, I decide to try my healing skills and leave balance up to the gods. I get out my healing equipment and look at Jonno it is obvious that he needs surgery to seal the gash in his throat. This is not going to be easy but I set to and sow up the gash and apply healing herbs, I am successful and seals the gaping wound. Jonno is unlikely to die now although he is still very weak and his future is still in the hands of the gods. However he might never speak again due to the damage but that will not be known for months as it will take a long time for him to fully heal if he continues to get good care.

 

While Jonno is being saved James moves the tied up goblins into the cell Jonno was in and hobbles them there with some food and water, Thorn decides to try to save the dire wolf and pulls Guido’s spear from it and casts cure minor wounds on it to stop any further damage. James with the prisoners secure heads over to the mule and the lifesaving action going on there. They talk plans and how to keep Jonno warm, so James casts Warmth onto Jonno and carries him to the cave while keeping the spell up Guido and I come along with the mule.

 

Now we are all back at the base of the tower we settle Jonno by the fire in blankets and James drops the warmth spell. I heal Arnost’s right arm but can do nothing for the damage to his abdomen so for now he cannot walk anywhere. I then settle down to cast Animal Friendship on the Dire Wolf to make him a companion. While I do that the others decide to deal with the goblins in the roof and form up an assault party Thorn casts Barkskin of Guido who leads the march up the stairs with his shield if front of him and his death to goblins sword in hand.

 

As Guido reaches the top of the stairs in the roof, he sees two goblins ahead of him which he charges and two more off to his left which he hopes Thorn and James will deal with. Guido’s charge and swing takes a goblins head off. The remaining goblin moves away readying its dagger as it drops its sling the other two also ready their daggers.

The goblin moves back to Guido’s side while the other two move to attack Thorn at the top of the stairs.

The goblin attacks Guido but his dagger has no effect on all his armour reinforced by barkskin. One of the others attacks Thorn who parries the blow and counters with a stunning blow to its head.

 

The last two goblins soon fall to Guido, Thorn and James and the roof is secured. Guido and co come back down to the basement and set up a guard ready for some rest. Meanwhile I have finished my spell and now have an injured Dire Wolf as companion. I use my healing skills on my new friend and save its leg. I curl up by the wolf near the entrance as we settle down for rest.

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 The Missing Part 3


The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5

The Missing

Part 3

The Goblin Raiders

Earlier Chapters here

With Arnost still in combat and enraged our options are slim at the moment.

 

Thorn falls back outside of the cave while Arnost smashes another goblin into a smaller size. James decides that his paternal passion means he both needs to protect Jonno and Arnost which might be difficult. He calls on the goblin leader to call off his warriors as he starts to cast Magic Missile. The goblin chief says fine but you must call of your giant. As he can’t communicate with James and his men his men continue to defend themselves. The four slingers let lose two hit Arnost one hits a goblin and one misses, the dangers of firing into s fight.  The hit on the goblin has the most effect. Guido falls back outside the cave.

Thorn starts to cast Hold Person, Arnost splats another of the goblins leaving just one in the group he is fighting. James continues to cast and the goblin leader calls out ‘stop or else’. The last goblin in front of Arnost falls back while the slingers start to reload and the spears stand.

Guido advances back towards the goblin leader.

Thorn continues his casting and holds it, James also holds his spell while the goblin chief puts his knife into Jonno’s throat and shouts ‘your choice’.

 

Thorn advances back to the cave mouth alongside Guido. Arnost moves to engace the other block of 4 goblin spear. James who is still invisible has his line of sight blocked by Thorn and Guido. The goblin chief finishes the cut and slices Jonno’s throat open. The 4 slingers release at Arnost again with 2 hitting him in the right leg and right arm both areas being stunned by the blow. The four spear thrust at him and he takes impales to his right leg and right arm. Arnost now has 5 spears in him. Guido moves to engage the goblin chief.

Thorn casts his hold spell on the goblins holding one of them holding a spear. Arnost can do nothing with his arm and leg numb. James releases his magic missile at a slinger and spear taking down the spear. The goblin chief stabs at Guido with his dagger which is swatted away by Guido’s shield. The 2 goblins with spears in Arnost pull but fail to extract the spears while the other one stabs at him but fails to do anything. Guido uses his Delian blade for the first time in anger and hacks the goblin chief down.

Thorn starts to cast cure serious wound while James now visible activates his slider cloak and moves behind the goblin spear in a puff of grey smoke.  The goblins continue to attack Arnsot with yet another impale in to his right arm. Guido picks up Jonno and moves quickly to Thorn.

 

Thorn forces his cure spell as he fails at it’s casting to stop the boy Jonno bleeding out. However he is very weak and appears as good as dead. Arnost decides to throw his hammer left handed as his right is still out of action.  It misses the goblin in front of his and fly’s past James to clatter on the wall behind. James draws and readies his sword as the Goblins try to pull spears from Arnost failing while the other goblin stabs at him with his spear which Arnost tries to parry with his arm. Instead he ends up with the spear stuck in his left arm that is now 7 spears stuck into him. Two of the slingers turn to face James and draw their daggers. Guido starts to run back to the mule with Jonno.

 

Thorn readies his mace and Arnost readies a axe in his left hand. James hits a goblin chopping it’s leg off and prepares to counter any impale attempt with a damage weapon move. The last two spear goblins try again to pull their spears free and fail, the two slingers attack James with their daggers but James parries the only attack which gets close.

 

Arnost swings his axe at the goblin but with all the pain and spears in him make it very hard to continue fighting. James chops another goblin down while the two with daggers fail to hurt him as his armour is two tough. The other goblins manage at last to pull their spears free causing more injury to Arnost. James asks the goblins to surrender which the last six do.

 

With no enemies Arnost drops out of his rage and collapses to the ground with 5 spears in him. They are in his left arm, right arm, chest, right leg and head. James finds rope to tie up the goblins while Thorn uses his first aid to remove the spears in Arnost. After all the spears are removed and Arnsot’s wounds patched he has serious wounds in his right leg and right arm with minor wounds all over him. As Gnoman sees Guido running past he heads to the cave still invisible while I see Guido coming and await him.

 

James having finished tying up the goblins uses his pearl of power to recall and cast locate object focusing on the jade the children found, even though he does not have it with him. He senses that the rest is below a flagstone in a cell next to the one Jonno was in. He pulls up the flagstone and can see a worn old satchel, he draws his dagger and rips it open throwing up a cloud of dust and mould. As he does a bunch of coins roll out and he can see a mouldy cloth which seems to be wrapped around something. Again he uses his dagger to pull it slightly open releasing more spores into the air however he can see what looks like a necklace with jade fittings. James retrieves the necklace and then the coins, 30sp and 10gp of general type he thinks the necklace might be elven but is not sure so shows it to Gnoman who has dropped his invisibility. Gnoman has no real idea about the necklace.

 

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 The Missing Part 2


The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5

The Missing

Part 2

The missing Shepherd boy

Earlier Chapters here

Thorn, James, Errath and Gnoman are in Greymoor city having wintered here. With thoughts of a new year of adventure they buy items and a mule and think about what to do with spring coming. Were will adventure take them this year the last two have been eventful. Thorn receives a message in the Month of the Wave week four via the temple in Greymoor from Arnost their companion of old.

 

Message

To Thorrie Oakenleg Cleric of Hombel of the Hammer and Rose in Greymoor.

I am in Longreed in the Blue river valley, Duchy of Betheny.

It would be good if you could join me here I came north looking for adventure I will wait for you till the month of the Rose then I  will head further north.

The Blue River valley is kind of a hidden gem: the farming here is really good, and the trade in Whitesand is really good and Longreed, too. These valley-folk have it easy, but that doesn’t mean life is perfect – there’s plenty of strange happenings here, too, mostly down in that Great Marsh. There have been some strange deaths of late in the town. I am working with the sheriff and the local blacksmith at the moment.  Sir Poldark is also interested in seeing you.

Hope to see you soon Arnost.

Thorn is happy about going there as it might allow a side trip to see his family in Boskenland after visiting Sir Poldark in the Whitesand area where he can explain about Ron to his patron.  We can get a ship which will take a couple of weeks or walk which will take more than a month. We decide to take a ship cheaper and faster. We join a merchant ship going that way from Greymoor city @ a cost of 100gp sleeping in a common covered area with rations and drink served by a steward. We will also be expected to defend the ship if needed. The journey will take one to two weeks depending on wind and stop offs. We leave Greymoor by sea on Herday week 1 of the Satyr heading towards the Northern Borderlands to meet up with Arnost. The spring voyage is fast due to good winds and uneventful.

 

We arrive in Longreed midmorning on Bleday of week 3 of the Satyr and wonder where we will find Arnost. We unload our mule and gear onto the quayside and look around. Longreed seems to be an unwalled town although we can see a walled building near the centre of the town. The harbour area seems to be full of mainly small fishing boats with ours and another merchant ship docked.

 

James eventually asks around and hear that the sheriff and his men are to be found at the sheriffs weekly court as most locals will be there dealing with town business. So we head off to find the court and Arnost.

 

Thorn, James, Gnoman and Errath enter the sheriff’s court along with and older man and what looks like his son. They appear to be farmers. You recognise Arnost standing intimidatingly by the sheriffs chair, with another big human sat the other side keeping records. There are also a couple of other guards in the hall and two at the door checking people as they come in.

 

The Greybark’s, Timson Greybark and his eldest son Pengle, ask for a hearing before the lunch break and are given it. They report to the Sheriff and all assembled, that three days ago their son Jonno disappeared: he was out walking the extent of their grazing pastures, and did not come home. The family mounted a search, and did not find Jonno; what they did find was the head of one of their sheep on a stake at the edges of their farm. The Greybarks took this as a sign that Jonno had been made off with by raiders or bandits, and came immediately to personally request the assistance of the Sheriff in finding and returning his son. ‘ I am sorry’ the sheriff say’s ‘I just does not have the men to send so far from town on a wild sheep chase as they are busy looking for a missing person in the town.’ However he asks the assembled people if anyone will go and help the Greybark’s. There is a stunned silence as all heads turn to look at the Graybarks and the strangers, obviously adventurers as the four consist of two mages a cleric and a bard and two of them also seem to be members of the fighters guild,  stood near them.

 

With no one saying anything, the tall man by the sheriff stands and asks the sheriff to let him go as his honour requires him to help people against bandits. The Sheriff, Sir Viktor Haag, looks over at Arnost and says you had better go with Guido as well. Thorn says ‘what is the payment?’ as James says ‘the company of the Hammer and Rose will go as well.’ Timson Greybark offers you all the coin he has it comes to 20gp, ‘this all we have as a family I hope it will do?’ James says ‘only if we succeed will you have to pay’.

 

Timson says we will need to head back to Three Roads village and stop the night there and continue to his farm in the morning arriving around midmorning. The party of eight walk mainly in silence until Pengle gets close to me, next morning, and says he believes that Jonno may have disappeared around “the old tower”, a place where all local farmers forbid their children to go, because it’s an old ruin and thus dangerous. Pengle believes that Jonno may have done this because he saw Jonno hiding a treasure in his things: a piece of worked jade. Pengle has brought this with him as proof of Jonno’s activity, but has yet to reveal it because he’s afraid of how his father will react. He shows me the jade and it looks like such as might appear in a necklace, this one might even be elven. I tell the others and we continue on our journey.

 

We arrive at the farm and are welcomed and given hospitality by a worried but conscientious family, wife her parents and their daughter and 2 neighbours, a couple from nearby. They are all happy to have Timson and Pengle back home but, all the same, everyone’s attention is focussed on Jonno’s fate. The Greybark’s graze sheep and have around 200 and 2 sheepdogs on the moorland.

The farm is a walled enclosure with all the windows facing in towards the courtyard and only a double farm gate as access.  After a good midday meal Guido and I give 3sp to them to cover it. ‘You do not need to’ she says, Guido says ‘we want to’.

 

With the meal over Timson says I will show you where the sheep head is and he and a neighbour leads us onto the moors. It takes about an hour to reach the site of the gruesome marker. It is at the edge of the Greybark’s grazing land, in a nearly direct line between the farmstead, and a line of hills. The sheep is undeniably one of the Greybark flock – the left ear of the sheep is tattooed with a Greybark mark – while the stake is, in fact, a short, roughly made Dagger Spear. Guido recognises the dagger spear as a cheap goblin weapon a dagger tied onto a spear shaft. Gnoman and James look for tracks and find quite a lot I then help Arnost to id the tracks and we see where they lead. The tracks are of a bunch of Goblins and a human presumably Jonno the tracks lead towards the hills. I ask, without thinking, is this the way to the tower and Timson says, ‘Yes’. He tells us that In ages past, the tower lay at the top of a round hill, but sometime in the past (before the time of any local, or their memory) a seismic event tore a rent through the top of the hill, causing a ravine to appear along the part of the ridgeline that stretches down to the lower lands where the farmsteads are. A shallow creek bed now runs at the base of this ravine; the creek runs during and after heavy rains, but for the most part is intermittent or dry. The earthquake that split the hill top also caused the collapse of one side of the tower; a full third of the roof collapsed into the ravine, and a fifth of the first floor.

 

We follow the tracks in a line with Arnost and I in the middle following the tracks, leaving Timson to go back home. The tracks lead towards the hills, the ground is soft from spring snow melt and rain and so the tracks are easy to follow. We walk for about 4 hours always getting closer to the foothills of the mountains in the distance.  As we get closer to the hills the moorland changes to a more hilly terrain and the grass gets much longer about 2-3’ high there are also small groves of thick thorn trees with nasty barbs.  Eventually we can see the broken hill with the broken tower on it.

 

We can see smoke coming from the building, and we think we can see movement around the roof area. Gnoman casts invisibility on himself and says he will scout ahead and into the gully. We move up close to the gully mouth and he goes off, at first we can see him moving through the tall grass then he must enter the rocky gully and we can no longer follow his progress.

 

Gnoman moves up the stream bed and once level with the tower he can see a cave like hole in the gully wall. Keeping away from it he climbs the gully way and enters the ground floor of the tower.  He sees smoke coming from what he assumes is a chimney the smoke slowly curls up and out the roof. There is a stair case in the far corner leading up to the roof area; there are some high barred windows in here 2 each side. These are high being 5’ up, but let light into the interior. The ground floor has rubble from the roof and other rubbish, bones, bird nets ect, lying around. The front gates are iron bound and shut. Gnoman moves quietly across the floor to the stairs and slowly goes up them, as he pops his head over the top step he can see four goblins sheltering in the shadows with one popping its head out to see every so often.

 

Gnoman goes back to the ground floor and climbs back down the gully side, dislodging some stones as he goes. He then hears a low growling like from a wolf coming from near him. He casts an illusion of a rabbit and has it run past the hole which brings more growling and then a small voice says something and the growling stops. Carefully he returns to the group and throws 3 stones to announce his arrival.

 

He explains to us what he saw and heard we then start to plan what to do. This seems to take a while and suddenly four sling stones fall around Guido, not close but in his area. It seems he has been seen by the goblins in the roof. So with no more planning we have invisibility on all of us and James, Arnost, Guido, Thorn and Gnoman head off well I think they do as I can’t see what they do. I stay with the mule.

 

Gnoman stops at the beginning of the gully to cover the rear in case the goblins in the roof come down. Arnost, James, Thorn and Guido mange not to trip over each other getting to the cave entrance, not easy to move as a group when you can’t see each other. I will take the story on for each of them separately as they explained it to me later as they could not see each other enter until they became visible.

 

As they reached the cave Thorn, James, Guido and Arnost can see a fire with what looks like a sheep roasting but little more in the gloom of the cave.

Arnost went straight into the cave and the wolf growled as it scented him as the goblins started to scatter one with the wolf heads off to the side towards a cell. Arnost goes into a rage and although he would like to have charged them he goes slower due to the rubble on the floor and heads towards the main goblins in front of him.

 

Guido went in and seeing the goblin and very large wolf, looked where they were going an saw a child in a cell and assuming it was Jonno throw his spear at the wolf. The spear lodges into the wolfs left front leg smashing it and the wolf falls. He then starts to advance on the quickly organising goblins that are forming groups of four in front of him and Arnost. He does hear James cry and starts to back away.

 

Thorn stopped and cast Barkskin on himself but arrives in time to see the goblin entering the cage and attacks him with his mace. The goblin parries with his spear then strikes back but Thorn parries as well. Thorn then attacks again misses and the goblin parries and trips him down. The goblin then goes into the cage and holds his spear over the boy, calling in goblin stop or he dies. However none of those in the cave speak goblin. Thorn stands and sees the goblin with his dagger at the boy’s throat and backs off.

 

James reached the area of the cave and stopped to cast Shield on himself then enters the cave to see the goblins an injured wolf Arnost moving to engage 4 goblins and Guido also moving towards 4 goblins. He starts to cast Colour Spray but when he hears the goblin say stop or the boy dies, he knows goblin, and calls out to the others in common to back off he drops the spell. Her calls out 5 sheep for the boy and we will help your wolf.

 

Meanwhile Arnost and the four goblins in front of him exchange blows, he hits one a glancing blow with his mighty hammer which knocks it out however at the same time two of the goblins hit him with their spears. He parries one but takes the other in his head; the spear gets past his armour and catches in his cheek. The other two both thrust again getting a spear stuck in his right arm and abdomen. None of the blows are life threatening, mainly due to his raze, but he is in trouble with 3 spears impaled into him and another group of 4 spear armed goblins nearby along with 4 more nearly ready to release their sling shot at him.

 

End of session

Guido, Thorn and James are just inside the cave facing the goblin leader with the boy. Arnost deeper into the cave has 3 spears stuck into him with another four goblins with spears and 4 more with slings nearby while he is still in a rage.

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 The Missing Prequel


 

The Stories of Errath the Bard Chapter 5 

The Missing  Prequel

Earlier Chapters here

I was told this story by Arnost and Guido when we joined up with them.

Arnsot and Guido find themselves on the road between the town of Longreed and Thale Castle, during the month of the Wolf; acting as extra guards and customs inspector for a trade caravan, nobody expects any trouble on the five day journey through scattered farms and rocky hills but historically this has always been a risky route. Being as they were following the coast a lot the weather isn’t too bad for winter.

The first two days travel passes without note as we moved through the swamp lands. There isn’t much out in these lands. Early in the third day, while in the foothills again there is not much here but a few scattered elven ruins hint at a more prosperous age centuries past.  We noticed that the weather was changing.

 

Strangely warm winds carried a subtle scent from the west. A hazy orange light suggests sunset is near, but it’s not even midday as dark clouds twist over the hills. Thiago, the Caravan Master, orders all the wagon drivers to push on in the hope that shelter isn’t too far ahead. A cheer goes up from the lead wagon, and word soon spreads through the caravan that a stead-hold has been spotted.

A small cluster of buildings comes into view in the valley ahead. As the caravan approaches you can pick out a large barn, several two story houses, and some out buildings. Simple plank walls connect the buildings to create a large protected courtyard.

The caravan pulls up to the large gates at the front of the compound and a helmeted head peeks over the walls. You can’t quite make out what Thiago is saying to the person but his dramatic gestures toward the coming storm are unmistakable. After a few minutes of discussion the caravan lurches forward into the courtyard. Wagon drivers quickly get horses loose from their traces and into the barns or any sort of shelter they can find. The homesteaders are in the middle of their own preparations but they take a few minutes to direct the caravaners to the houses. Arnost and Guido, along with Thiago and the higher ranking merchants are ushered toward the largest house.

 

Inside, the furnishings are simple but well built. The family members are in worn but clean clothes. The man who seems to be in charge of the stead-hold approaches Thiago “We don’t have much, it’ll be a while before the spring crops come in so we’ve just got what’s left of our winter supplies, but we’ll try to keep your folks comfortable while the weather passes.” He says apologetically.

The stead-hold is home to two principle families, the Mabbetts and the Treharne. Elias Mabbett, elderly grandparent, is the patriarch of the stead-hold and his extended family lives in the largest of the houses. The Treharnes live in the other large house and are cousins to the Mabbetts. There are about 20 people who live and work on the stead-hold. They mostly grow food crops for themselves. Surplus beans and ale are cash crops and provide the stead-hold with its limited income. Elias Mabbett is the primary contact between the caravan and the farmers. He is reserved and protective, but has very little to offer.

 

They overhear Elias directing the younger family members to help prepare for the meal and to gather things their guests might need. The main farm house is well stocked with mundane farm items; baskets, rakes, tools. There is a sword and a mace crossed above the mantle; souvenirs of an ancestor who joined the army. They are of average quality and old in style.

 

Arnost and Guido begin to smell the food being prepared and the work of securing the caravan for the storm is going well. Everyone has started to gather back at the farmhouses for dinner when Maja, Elias’s eleven year old granddaughter bursts into the main room in a panic.

“They took Peter! Some monsters came and they took Peter!”

Everyone gathers around as Elias tries to calm Maja down and find out what happened. He’s able to learn that Maja and Peter went outside of walls to pick herbs for the visitor’s dinner. They were near the bee hives when some huge monsters jumped out and took Peter. Maja was a short distance from Peter when she heard him scream in surprise, and was able to run away. Although she describes them as ‘huge’, she eventually describes them as big, but not as big as a grown up. Maja doesn’t know what they were, but remembers pointy teeth and weapons. If pushed she says they look like the sword on the mantle. Elias quickly starts shouting for the young men of the stead-hold to gather torches and weapons.

 

As farmers assemble Caravan Guard Captain Water, Arnost and Guido join them as Elias and a few of the braver farmers, Dale, Zac and Fred lead the party out to the hives where Peter was taken. A rising wind whips over the fields and there’s a damp smell in the air. A misty sleety rain is falling as they approach the hives, which sit at the far end of the fields. Further on are hills with snow on and we could see the tops of dark trees in the distance. The basket that Peter was carrying lies on the ground near the hives. Matted grass shows that a struggle took place, and footprints show that whatever took Peter headed toward the woods.

 

It doesn’t take us long to work out that the tracks belong to Goblins and maybe a Bugbear as well. The trail enters the Boar Woods and winds through the trees. The soft group makes tracking the goblins easy. It starts to get late and the woods get dark. As the storm gets more intense and snow starts to fall we started to have a hard time making progress and we heard branches or maybe boars crashing in the forest. We decide pushing on to save the boy is more important than resting.

 

Eventually the trail we’ve been following leads to the remnants of an old road that runs north to south. The tracks clearly head north along the road and soon lead out of the Boar Woods into open rocky hills. We spot a ruin on a hill not far off. The tracks veer off the road and toward the ruins.

 

The evening is dark and gloomy. The only structure left standing in the ruin we can see is a small stone built dome with an entrance.  We notice two goblins about 50’ away walking around with crossbows in their tiny hands.

We discuss what to do, Arnost want to rage and charge the Captain isn’t sure about this and the archers would rather lose arrows at them.

 

Our load discussion comes to an end as a bolt wizzes past Arnost while the other one hits his left arm slicing across it. We charge.

 

Arnost reaches the first goblin but his frenzied charge means his hammer blow misses. He is followed by Guido and the Captain who also all miss as they charge into contact.  The goblins have drawn and readied their fails by now but fail to contact the attackers.

 

Arnost smashes the goblin in front of him with his big hammer, while Guido shield bashes the goblin in front of him stunning it.

 

With a captured Goblin, Arnost shakes off his rage before he kills it and they take a 15 minute break to recover and interrogate the goblin. Fred spends the time trying to summon his sheep dogs it takes him a while but he gets there in the end, maybe they were too far away and took a while to get here, 3 sheep dogs turn up. Zac heals Arnost’s arm or at least bandages it. The goblin eventually tells them that the child is to be sacrifice in the tomb and that there are more than his hands and feet inside. Arnsot thinks he is lying about the numbers. We also ask about the nature of the sacrifice but all the goblin knows is that the priest needs it.

 

We move other to the domed building the heavy stone doors to the tomb have been broken and shoved aside. The stink of sweat and filth wafts up with the dry air from inside the tomb. We enter and go down the steps, darkness awaits down the stairs into the ruins. Faded carved script, in elvish, is barely visible in the stone above the entrance. From below we hear the occasional sound of goblins talking to each other. We go down 10 steps then forward 5’ before the passage turns right, were we can see a slight glow and the sound of talking is loader, then 5’ then right again. Arnost is in the lead with Guido behind him and the rest following.

 

From further inside the area you hear chanting or goblin song?
Inside this Offering Room are two large copper bowls. The goblins are using one as a brazier for their campfire and the other as a toilet by the smell. The walls of this room are made of finely crafted pale grey stone. One wall is covered with carvings depicting Elven knights of the Delian Order of Brith fighting chaotic creatures including goblins and their kin.

There are 5 Goblins around the fire cooking and playing bones.

Fred responds and sends the dogs to harass them; Arnost moves in and engages a goblin while Guido moves to the side as he enters. The goblins draw their fails and ready them.

 

The dogs attack a goblin trying to bring it down; Arnost attacks with his hammer turning it to a bloody paste on the floor; Guido moves up to engage another goblin. The goblins attack Guido missing with his flailing fail Guido parries and knocks the flail 10’ away.

Arnost spats another goblin.

 

The dogs continue to harass while Arnost move up to the next goblin as does Guido. A goblin manages to hit a dog while another one attacks Arnost missing and Arnost’s parry forces it’s surrender.

The dogs manage to get on top of the goblin pinning it down and Guido stabs it with his spear killing it. The last goblin attacks Arnost again misses and his parry kills it.

 

Arnost is winded from this fight; he really needs to up his endurance.

 

The sounds of chanting are clear now. They filter through the ruins of a heavy stone door leading deeper into the ruins. The most perceptive characters in the party can also make out the sounds of a sobbing child. It is clear that the door was broken through recently and that it’s heavy stone construction would have required more strength than a human has to break.

 

The group led by Guido move past the shattered door and moves into the corridor. Guido steps on a floor slab which moves a little under his weight, this causes a large curved blade to scythe out and hit him full in the chest. Lucky for him he has heavy armour there and although the cut gets through and he starts to bleed it is not too bad. I could do with better perception if I am going to lead he thinks, and where is a scout when you need one.

 

The passage quickly turns and opens into another room. The walls of this room are made of finely crafted pale grey stone with 6 pillars down the sides. Small niches line the walls. At the far end of the room stands a beautifully crafted statue of an elf paladin in full plate armour but with no sword.
At the foot of the statue is a crude iron cage, which holds the sobbing child Peter. Near the statue at the far end of the room are 3 goblins and one goblin priest. They have their backs to us and are chanting and singing with the priest by the statue.

 

Arnost, Guido and the Captain move into the room and within 5’ of the goblins Arnost then takes a throwing axe and chucks it at the priest. However his aim is off and he hits one of the goblins in the way killing it dead. The captain moves behind another goblin while Zac lets loose an arrow and drops another goblin. Fred sends his dogs after the priest as Guido throws his spear at the priest ripping his arm off and killing him. The bugbear they have not seen in the corner strikes at Arnost, but not before Dale lets loose an arrow at it which bounces off its helm. The bugbears mace hits Arnost in the back and stuns him with the shock.

Arnsot turns to face the bugbear, even though he can’t attack due to shock. The captain finishes the last goblin with his spear. Fred moves back into the corridor to keep out of the way. Guido moves to attack the bugbear while drawing his sabre as the bugbear attacks Arnost again who manages a parry.

Guido attacks the bugbear catching its right leg and nicking a blood vessel and causing a bleeding wound.

 

Guido swings his sabre but the bugbear parries with his shield and counters with its mace which Guido blocks with his shield.

Guido now gets two hits on the bugbear without it responding taking off its right leg and killing it.

 

At the end of this combat Arnost is tired, Guido winded and Fred and Zac winded as well. Dale rushes over to free Peter and calm him down and after a short rest the check the room out. They see that a line of elvish text is carved into the dais that the statue stands on. It reads in each person’s tongue “To keep this, you must first give it to me.”

 

It takes a few minutes but Guido eventually works out he has to give his ‘Word’. Thinking about the history he knows he decides to say, ‘I will fight for and champion Law and Justice’.  As he does he feels a holy power gather around him, sinking through his skin and flesh and wraps itself around his bones. Guido feels a new obligation to champion Law and Justice in the world. [Passion to Law and Justice] As this happens a door behind the statue slides open and cool stale air spills out of a dark doorway.

 

Guido walks into the dark and enters a room light by a slight glow. A shining Longsword rests on a weapon stand in the centre of the room. Five stone sarcophagi are arranged around the room. The sarcophagi are ornately carved with scenes of the victories of the Delian Order. Guido recognizes this room as a holy place and understands that plundering the room is an act of desecration. He also understands that he is free to take the sword, but nothing else. Guido picks up the sword and feels it talk to him; he knows it is a Delian Edict Blade of Goblinoid Slaying. With this in his hand he leave the room and they all leave to escort Peter home.

 

As the party approaches the farm they see a large group gathered at the head of the path near the bee hives. Peter rushes ahead of the party into the arms of his family and a cheer goes up. The heroes are welcomed back with great fanfare and a feast is soon cooked up in their honour.

The Odyssey of BARYPOS of TEGEA Chapter 7


The Odyssey of BARYPOS of TEGEA

Chapter 7

Part 1

Alexandria

Earlier parts of the story can be found here 

Late Spring AG44 [268bc]

We head home with the 225dr each Zeno pays us and think upon what each of us will do next, reflect on what we have learnt and enjoy a rest.

Telamon heads to the temple of Hercules to sacrifice and spend time working for them.

I head to the temple of Dionysus to do the same, we both want to become acolytes and help the people in their worship.

Archi, heads to the Museum to learn.

Jason, makes use of many different places to learn, including the temple to Apollo.

 

AG47 [265bc]

Over the last 3 years we have each been doing different things, only meeting up at our joint home or at the gymnasium. Most of this activity has been supported by Prince Perseus, who has become a friend over time; Emenes is not happy and has become an enemy of ours at the same time.

I have been active with the cult of Dionysus working as a singer; I am in demand particularly with people knowing that I helped Prince Perseus out and I also occasionally entertain his quests.

Telamon works at the temple of Hercules also acting as an escort to various nobles. He is still trying to decide how or if he will do the geas upon him and if we can help him.

Archi is employed designing and making fancy things for nobles or working with Zeno and the prince.

Jason works with the temple of Apollo acting as a diviner and also joins the prince on hunting trips, he also entertaines using his lyre.

Our income is enough to pay for the joint house, food and essentials but leaves little over to save, however we do all live as rich freemen.

 

Early in AG47 we are called to the place to see the prince, we are welcomed in and offered nibbles and wine. The prince comes in to talk with us his friends. ‘Friends’ he says, ‘I hope we are that now? I have need of you and your expertise. As you may know our allies are at war, Athens, Sparta and other smaller cities have allied with each other and have, under the Stoic Chermonides attacked the Antigonid forces in Greece. Last year they did well for themselves and removed Antigonid forces from other cities bringing them into the coalition, these actions have been helped by a number of our ships working with them under Patroclus our admiral.  The main capture was of Corinth, which now supplies more ships to the fleet.

This year we want to help them take the war forward and although we cannot yet send military support other than some ships, as our military is not ready for a mayor war effort at this time. I did say to the pharaoh that I had some friends who would be a good forward scout force, able to help the coalition and feed us intelligence on the forces Antigonus is deploying in Greece.’

‘You are that force, or at least its commanders. I can offer you enough sliver to hire mercenaries to take with you, not a big force but enough to show our support and be of use in your role. Telamon will be the commander with the title of Hipparchus [commander of 500 cavalry]. I can give you enough sliver to hire around 100 infantrymen for 6 months, or less if you include some cavalry [Cavalry count as 2 foot for cost], after that you will have to get the coalition to pay or do it some other way. Six talents should do it with another 1/2 talent for the 4 of you, plus another 1 ½ talents for bribes and other expenses. You will also be the escort for the land transport of 30 talents of sliver for the coalition; you are to deliver it to Chermonides.  What do you think?’

‘You can travel with our fleet, of 20 ships, when it leaves, at the start of spring in a month or so, to go to Athens. Patroclus will liaise with you about your shipping needs. So you have around a month to organise your force and get ready yourselves. Good luck.’

 

Decisions to be made:-

  • Do we recruit here or in Greece?
  • Do we go for heavy foot, skirmishers or horse?
  • What do we need to bring with us?
  • What are our orders and how do we intent to execute them?