Game Session 10: “Nice night for a walk” (quote taken from punks meeting the Terminator on the street)
After an evening of rest our heroic band descended upon Garwan’s Curiosities intent on unloading some of their spoils. The friendly dwarven shopkeeper happily traded with them, buying several items and selling them a few new items in return.
A visit to Lady Moonfire followed, with our heroes receiving their promised reward for restoring the weather to normality, before returning to the Green Tankard for further celebration. Thoradin, feeling a little worse for wear, decided to take a stroll in the hopes that the night air would help to clear his head. This proved to be a poor decision as he was accosted by a pair of thugs who surprised him in his inebriated state and bludgeoned him into unconsciousness. Unfortunately by the time a passing militia man found him, the thugs had relieved him of his cash and Thoradin had died from his wounds.
The rest of the party were still carousing in the Inn when Captain Harrowleaf entered, sombrely telling them of their companions demise and that his remains had been taken to the temple. There they met Brother Griffon, an Uthgardt foundling and priest of Silvanus. As none of them knew Thoradin’s wishes regardig burial, Brother Griffon performed a Speak With Dead ritual, discovering that the dwarf wished to be returned to Nature’s embrace and getting a description of his murderers.
The heroes took their fallen comrades possessions, leaving Brother Griffon to arrange a suitable burial, and the knowledge that those responsible wore the insignia of a hawk on a split field of red/purple. Enquiries with Curavaar and Captain Harrowleaf revealed possible links between merchant caravans and Sebren the Magistrate. And so they set out to enquire further of him in person.
As they walked up the street many of the townsfolk gasped in fear as a large shadow passed overhead. A large white dragon,surrounded by cloud of frosty air, alighted on the temple roof, its scaly talon punching through and, as the heroes watched, plucking the corpse of their fallen dwarven comrade from the interior.
In a rare emotional burst, Aetholric launched a magical assault at the beast, as Fargrim ran down the street towards it. In answer to the challenge the beast jumped down to street level and loosed a blast of its chilling breath at the paladin before facing the mighty goliath barbarian charging toward it. An epic battle ensued with the barbarian and paladin suffering as much from the intense cold radiating off the beast as from its actual attacks. Li the rogue took the opportunity to drag the dwarven corpse out of the melee as Garusk succumbed to his wounds and dropped heavily to the icy floor. As luck would have it a visiting priest emerged from the temples interior, waves of healing energy flowing towards the fallen goliath before striking the dragon with his holy ire, dazing the massive beast and forcing down the street away from the temple.
Fargrim the paladin took advantage of the beasts distracted state to charge it once more, his mighty craghammer leading the way. As if it barely noticed the beast took to wing, albeit briefly as it landed heavily once more upon the fallen druids body, its claws curling predatorily around its prize. Determined not to let their comrades remains be taken, Garusk, Fargrim and Li all charged forward to surround the terrible reptile. Its massive haunches tensed as it launched itself skyway, the dwarf clutched tightly in its talon, despite receiving solid hits from the assembled heroes, and flying off in the general direction of High Forest.
After thanking the priest for his timely intervention, he agreed to accompany them as they resolved to discover more of Thoradins murderers by confronting the Magistrate. Upon admittance to the Magistrates residence the arrogant man dismissed their achievements, even stating that the town had suffered more since their arrival than beforehand. This incensed the paladin, and he grabbed Sebren by the front of his robes. The sound of hidden crossbows being readied convinced the enraged dwarf that discretion would in this case be the better part of valour, and he released his hold.
The party grudgingly left, though once outside the goliath and dwarf began a grappling match, taking the interest of the door guards, as Li skulked around to the rear of the building. Climbing to an upper floor window she gained entrance to an unused guest room. Finding nothing of interest beyond the fact that there was movement on the foyer balcony beyond the chambers door, she decided to try another window. This room appeared similar in all respects to the first apart from a leather bound book closed with a clasp on the nightstand. Before Li could examine it further an Eye of Alarm triggered, shouting “Intruders, Intruders, Intruders”. Grabbing the book, Li dove out of the window, her training helping her to tumble safely to her feet as she hit the floor and running as if the very devils were after her. At the sound of the interior alarms the door guards lost interest in the wrestling party members and assumed a protective pose before the doors as the rest of the party took their cue to return to the Green Tankard.
Confident that she had made good her escape Li stopped in a secluded alley to examine the tome. Her training allowed her to detect some sort of magical trap within the book and she set about removing it, unfortunately it proved beyond her skill, exploding in an acidic burst. Li’s quick reflexes allowed her to escape it unscathed, the book however was not so lucky. She quickly tried to recover what she could of it, and was able to make out that the book had been some sort of ledger, detailing the sale of what appeared to be several of the missing persons from the surrounding area – though the part which would have shown their destination and buyer had been destroyed in the blast. As she returned to her companions she became aware of someone following her, someone well trained. As she entered the Green Tankard she could see no trace of her pursuer. Tossing the damaged volume to her friends she quickly exited from the rear entrance and climbed up to the roof in an attempt to spot her tail. She didnt have to look far. On the roof opposite the man calmly sat watching her and flashed a brief salute before disappearing behind the building and out of sight.
What does the dragon want with Thoradins corpse?
What link is there between Thoradins murderers and Li’s mysterious follower, if any?
What response will the Magistrate and his allies have to the party’s actions?
As our intrepid heroes continue their adventures, several reports come to light of cattle mutilations on some of the outlying farmsteads, and the sounds of howls in the woods at night.