Session 2 – 12/7/2014
The group returned to the Bog and Barrel to share information and decide what to do next. While they discussed this the town constable, Grover Ruskadell, arrive with Deputy Donovan, a well dressed man, and two teenagers.
The well dressed man was introduced as Benjin Wolf, councilman and owner of Bertram’s debts. After the travelers’ introductions were completed (with the exception of Hope, who linger back at the stairwell), Benjin informed them that he’d come to collect the Bog and Barrel and get it cleaned up and operational as soon as possible. To that end he asked that they might vacate the premises, saying that he’d already let the Dying Minotaur know they’d be needing rooms and lamenting the loss of the Golden Grain Inn to a recent fire.
Dr. Blackstone assured him that they were planning to head out to do just that and asked if councilman Wolf would care for a tour of the secret tunnels the cult had placed beneath the inn before they left.
Benjin looked askance at Grover; the constable had not mentioned this wrinkle to the councilman. Tobi then proceeded to show the councilman his new secret tunnels, as well and the hidden hallway in the walls of the private rooms of the inn.
Wizzleficks Sylvester Fenthwick Breakenbrack showed Bejin the maps he had made of the tunnels and offered to sell him a copy. Benjen did indeed want a copy, and a price of 5sp was agreed upon, with a 1sp down payment tendered and an expectation of delivery within a from the day.
The party headed over to the Dying Minotaur, ate a meal, set watches and then slept through the night without incident. Aparently Belba and Alwin, the inn’s proprietors, have a tradition of not kidnapping and brainwashing their guests.
The next morning the party prepared to attend services at the temple of Phyton to investigate the possibility that Wizzlefick’s friend, Arisel Detcharoen, was in fact the redhead priestess that Lord Goddard, Hope, and Milo had encountered on the previous day.
The day was not to go as planned.
As they left the inn a boy scream for help came running up the center of the street. Local onlookers ignored him, even going so far as to close shutters and leave the street.
Aurelio immediately approached the boy to learn what was the matter. It would seem there was something terrify going on down at the seashore, and Colin – for that was the boy’s name – was convinced to take the group to see it.
After some false starts they determined that the floating head off the shore was an undead creature, possibly a fresh zombie, tied to an anchor. While the party dealt with it Colin was sent to get the Father Abrams, in part because of the undead nature of the creature but primarily because Colin thought the creature looked like Fr. Abrams’ daughter, Laural.
After putting the creature back to rest the boy returned alone, saying he had been unable to speak to the priest. He was then able to confirm that the corpse appeared to have once been Laural Abrams. Colin was then sent to fetch the constable.
Constable Grover arrived with a steel encased Deputy Donovan in tow. He too identified the remains under Lio’s cloak as the Fr. Abrams’ daughter.
The constable said he’d take care of things from there, but that he needed us to do something for him. You see, the good constable was supposed to take Misha to see the mayor at noon, but Misha had magicked her way past Deputy Dillon and escaped.
After some back and forth Grover agreed to lend us his deputy, so that we’d be able to search with the constables authority.
The ground was still soft from the recent rain, and Lio was able to track Misha’s path from the local jail into the nearby countryside. The search ended abruptly when Lio slid into a well hidden pit trap, complete with an enormous poisonous snake.
As Theadric moved up to check on Aurelio the deputy attempted to kick the halfling into the pit. Fortunately, the duelist’s reactions we too quick for Dononvan’s betrayal, and Hope was able to send the clanking lawman over the edge instead on a wave of magical thunder.
A silence then descended on the adventures, with the exception of Lio, creating further confusion. Milo thought he saw some movement behind some nearby bushes and attempted to flush out the source of the mystical silence.
The others bombarded the snake and the deputy with spells and thrown weapons. Unfortunately, Lio, outnumbered, went down with the snake’s poison in his veins before the snake could be killed.
Donovan hurled his spear at Lord Goddard in retaliation for the magical fusillade, and wounded the half-elf.
Misha stepped out from behind the burning foliage and gloated at the party, mentioning a halfling the cult had taken. She then dropped the silence and attempted to ensorcel the weakened baron. However, Goddard’s will proved too strong for her to overcome.
After the spellcasters finished off the snake Tobi and Theadric dropped down into the pit to deal with the deputy and protect Lio. Donovan managed to get in one nasty cut on the good doctor before a fire bolt left the deputy’s head a smoking ruin.
Misha then went down under a hail of magic missiles. The party was then able to stabilize, bind, gag, and blindfold the priestess.
Lio’s unconscious form was pulled form was carefully raised out of the pit, and his wounds attended to. Donovan’s corpse was stripped of its armor and possessions and buried in a shallow grave. And after a brief rest they also learned that the spear Donovan had been wielding was magical. The impromptu bounty hunters then headed back to the jail, arriving a little late, at about half past noon.
After taking in the description of the ambush Constable Grover attempted to take custody of Misha. Aurelio, justifiably furious, made it clear to the constable that Misha interview with the mayor would include the him and that he would be acting as executioner immediately thereafter as punishment for her crimes. The cowed constable did not object.
Shortly thereafter they arrived at the mayor’s residence who seemed somewhat perplexed by the arrival of constable and his rather large entourage.
While Lio, Milo, Constable Grover, and Deputy Dillon remained outside with Misha the rest of the party entered the residence for a private conversation with Mayor Zacharias Ormond.
The mayor, it would seem, was living in fear of his own town. Long time friends had become strangers. He’d been harboring doubts about the constable and could no longer trust him. However, since he didn’t know who he could trust anymore he couldn’t do anything to replace him either. He offered to keep Misha in his own basement, or allow the party to retain custody of her.
Further he offered the group a lead as to the cause of Ravenport’s troubles, saying that numerous stories had arisen regarding activity at the abandoned mansion outside of town, near where the party had been ambushed.
The party members decided that they’d keep Misha as their prisoner, not wanting a third confrontation with the cultist and that they would investigate the mansion. The mayor then offered up his coach and horses to convey them there, which the party accepted.
The party camped at the ambush site that night, and then headed up to the mansion at dawn.
They made a circuit of the dilapidated building, stopping briefly to investigate the well, which had lost its rope and bucket. Milo caused a stone to glow with magical light and it was dropped to reveal the great depth of the well.
The travelers then entered through the kitchen, and while making a cursory examination of the room were attack by three enormous centipedes, which were quickly dispatched.
Next they entered the cellar door. On attempting to descend the moldering stairwell a feeling of intense dread swept through the party, causing several members to run out of the building in magic-induced fear.
Eventually those affected by the magical trap were convinced to attempt the stairwell again, and this time the group was able to enter the wine cellar without issue.
In the cellar they found racks full of broken wine bottles, bins of refuse, and a dead Knight of the Watch. It turned out that both the bins and the corpse were infested with what appeared to be rot grubs. Tobi was able to collect the dead knight’s broach and belt pouch, and was able to learn from the broach that this had once been Sir Abelard Secunforth.
While investigating the bins a rot grub managed to burrow into Theadric’s arm. Thinking quickly he drew a dagger and sliced it out before it could borrow deeper and then travel into his heart and kill him.
On further investigation of the cellar Goddard found a secret door in one of the walls. Entering summoned a quasit, which stabbed Theadric. It was promptly slain.
The secret door opened to reveal a sort of barracks, complete with several simple cot-like beds and dry food stores. Two doors lead off of the main room, one to a leaders private chamber, the other door – appropriately marked with the word “danger” – a room infested with skeletal undead.
The leader’s chamber boasted a small trapped chest with caused Hope’s hand to turn blue. Lio layed hands on her to remove any poison; this caused the tiny would left by the needle trap to close but did nothing for the discoloration. The box had been found beneath a loose stone under the room’s bed by Wizzleficks, and contained three potions. The bookshelf above the table in the room contained a few valuable books. The table boasted a hooded lantern.
Lio tasted the three potions in an attempt to discern their qualities. The best guess to their properties are a potion of healing (pale yellow), a potion of water breathing (pale blue), and a potion of either vigor or haste (green).
After ransacking the leader’s quarters the hooded lantern was aimed at the door marked “danger,” which the party preceded to carefully enter. Then, using the door as a choke point they fought and defeated a fair number of skeletal warriors.