Trouble in the MooT

Here a spy, there a spie ....

Hironeous Stock, the wealthy farmer was dead, his throat slit. His murderer had apparently escaped on horseback crossing the river at Flagg Ford. Strange how there was no pool of blood from the wound … unless he was killed elsewhere. The loss of yet another life in this town bothered them as they returned to town. Why had Ovilar killed Sty Lum and Hironeous Stock? What had they done? Who was the skeletal Halfling in the hidey hole? Why had Geddragg arranged their bodies at the table staring at each other???

As they approached town, the townsfolk gathered to see them. Most had never seen Kinstaag in his Dwarven chain shirt. None had seen Geddragg, Mitiliago or Gozbert in their newly acquired scale armor (from the Dwarf skeletons) Scale_Armor.jpg The people kept asking questions, the adventurers kept walking toward the constable’s office. Merrybell Potsen asked what was going on and Natina asked her to get the Council of Elders together. There should be a meeting to tell ALL the elders the news.

When they arrived, Tilivan Nok, the witch hunter, said that he must depart immediately for Averheim and Nuln to report the Necromancer that had been discovered … and escaped. Kinstaag Grimmhammer said that he too must inform his kin of the necromancer <spit>. and would be leaving on the morrow. Natina and Salvil walked to the Stock pipeweed farm to notify any kin of the death of Hironeous … and to possibly further investigate his death.

As Natina and Gozbert knocked at the farm door, a female Halfling answered the door, along with her two teenage boys. Natina said that there was some bad news, so Mrs. Stock sent the boys away and let Natina in to talk. Mrs. Stock was shocked at the news and it appeared to be honest sorrow, although just occasionally Natina thought the wife was a little relieved. Gozbert and one of the boys was going to look for a possible location of the murder when the boy said he had seen a pool of red … and led Gozbert to it. Yep, this was the spot.
Back at the house, the Widow Stock shouted to the boys to get the dog cart ready. She had to go into town and pick up something. Knowing the body of her husband was beneath the stone, Natina and Gozbert rushed back to town to arrange things.

The rest put the dead bandit in the back of Kinstaag’s wagon and headed to the cemetery to burry the bandit and get Mr. Stock out of the hole before his wife got there. It would do no good for the townfolk to know about the hole. After some crafty juggling and misdirecting of town folk that had followed, They got Hironeous out of the hole and ready to be picked up just as the wife and Natina arrived. Natina hated this town of lies and secrets and couldn’t wait to be out of there. The rest were ready to move on also. Maybe they could accompany Kinstaag in his trek down toward Black Fire Pass.
At the town meeting, the elders were told about all the goings on (but not about the two secret places) with Ovilar and the Necromancer and the connection to the bandits. They also said they would be leaving with Kinstaag in the morning to head “south”. The next day they were on the road again. (The second night they ran into a couple of mountain lions, but survived quite well.)

Meet Vorrik Foulhammer

Rheinhardt poured a healing draught down Kinstaag’s throat and Kinstaag’s eyes popped open with the fire of pure hate. He got up and charged across the cavern toward Vorrik Foulhammer, the Oathbreaker. Vorrik sent the two piles of ambling bones, which formerly were proud Dwarves, toward him. “What’s the matter nephew? Yes, I know who you are … and what you are.”, Vorrik cackled, “and like many before you, you’ll take it to your end.” Another skeleton arose from the stream running through the cavern, right next to Geddragg.

Old Man Rheinhardt, with a burst of speed, rushed Vorrik with a surprisingly fast attack while Kinstaag and Salvik held off two skeletons and Geddragg and Link battled the third. Gozbert rained magical missiles toward Vorrik and Natina aided and assisted where needed.

Vorrik blinded the Old Man, but not so much that he didn’t get in one lucky last swing before he stepped out of reach. It was obvious that Vorrik, unprepared as he was, had luck on his side. Things were not going well for him and he tried to silence Gozbert as another missile stung him. Another lucky swing from the Old man as one of the skeletons was decimated by Kinstaag …. Vorrik stepped into the water at the end of the cavern, deeper and deeper until only his head showed, chanting a spell. As his head disappeared beneath the the water the final skeleton collapsed. All bones were quickly dispersed and the skulls crushed.

The lake at the end of the cavern, collected the water from the stream that flowed through the caverns, but didn’t grow larger … there must be an underwater outlet, they surmised. Natina, anchored by a rope, swam down to check out the water below the surface of the lake. A narrow underwater tunnel with strong current flowed out of the cavern. The rope was not long enough to explore far, so Natina returned, nearly drowning in the process. Geddragg and Rheinhardt scattered the bones of the fallen Dwarves, smashing the skulls of each one and gathering what little they wore. Each had brigantine scale and a war hammer, one had a single bracer which Kinstaag identified as being that of a royal guard from Karak Varn, a Dwarven hold that had fallen to the Night Goblins several years before.

Natina and Salvik explored the shallow end of the lake. Salvik finding an un-natural drop off near one cavern wall with a weak current flowing down the drop off. Natina, again, swam down and through a carved tunnel and up into a room of worked stone. There was machinery here. Gears turning, levers moving, slowly turning, their silent purpose unknown. Above, she saw a ladder leading out of the water, a table, some shelves, possibly Vorrik’s study. She swam back to inform the rest.

Upon hearing of the room, they decided to go and investigate. Natina swam back with the rope and tied it off so the rest could pull themselves along rather than trying to swim it. Salvik, Geddragg and Gozbert followed, the rest remained behind in case Vorrik returned. A metal grate separated them from a large paddle wheel of an even larger machine and a ladder anchored above let them climb up to the room. The room was dimly lit by natural light finding its way down through a crack in the ceiling that must eventually lead to the surface. The room itself was only about 20 feet square, with 1/3 of it taken up by the machine and the underwater passage opening. in the remainder was a large work desk, chair and book case. This had obviously been a natural cave at one time that had been worked into a room with flat floors and walls.

The desk was covered with papers, scrolls, maps and diagrams. Geddragg quickly set about putting as many as he could into scroll cases to transport out. Gozbert went to the shelves of books and quickly took 3 large books (one was Vorrik’s spell book, which Gozbert did not tell anyone that he recognized) into his oilcloth ruck sack and wrapped it tightly for the swim back. Salvik jammed pieces of table and anything he could into the slowly rotating gears to jam and stop the great machine. Then he managed to break one of the paddles on the paddle wheel. Geddragg saw what Salvik was doing and joined in, wedging a dagger into an area between two gears. It was time to go. First Salvik, then Geddragg and Gozbert and finally Natina, who untied the rope and brought it with her.

Fairly secure in their feelings that Vorrik would not be returning. Geddragg pulled out the scroll cases to look at their contents and urged Gozbert to do the same. Gozbert hesitated saying, “don’t you think it better that we wait until we get back to town?” Geddragg didn’t wait. He pulled out and quickly sorted into piles, letters here, maps there, drawings of machines in another pile. The maps were of the Moot, south to Black Fire Pass and east to the Worlds Edge Mountains … including parts of Sylvania. The drawings included one of a dwarven war machine, some sort of a steam powered cannon, but the ink was smeared in places by water. Another was of the machine in the cavern room that might be a pump of some type. Yet another was …..

… <clink><clink-clank-clunk> … the sound of metal dropped on stone, most likely down a steep embankment … like the WATERFALL ROOM! The party quickly positioned themselves for a battle as a flickering light grew in the passage ahead.. “HALLOOOOO!” cried a voice. “CAN YOU HEAR ME? YOU WERE NOT HARD TO FOLLOW!” The voice sounded familiar, a high pitched voice of a Halfling ….. Tilivan, the witch hunter strode down the tunnel.

“You have come a long way since last we met.”, he said. Caravan guards to witch hunter to constable and deputies. Hmmmm, (he stares at Geddragg) what is that item in your pack there, Geddragg the Dwarf? You know, playing with the winds of magic will get you burned. I am not at task to ferret out Dwarven magic, but be well warned … all magic is evil. Now, what leads you to this foul smelling place?"

The party explains what has transpired, the documents they recovered and the books, as Gozbert is again urged to unearth his find, but when the secret room of a necromancer is mentioned, Tilivan says, “It must be destroyed!” and before they can stop him, he drops his pack, pistols and powder, grabs two sealed pottery containers from his pack (recognized as some sort of bomb) and jumps into the water.

Geddragg and Gozbert quickly gather up their scrolls and books and ready themselves for a hasty retreat as the room shudders with the sound of an explosion, just as Tillivan emerges from the water. “I think it may be more prudent to go over your finds back in town”, he said. “This place is evil!”. The group explained Vorrik’s escape and possible return and Tilivan said, “Not if I drop the ceiling in on that tunnel. You get started on out, I should be right behind you.”

The party retraced their path out of the cavern with no mishaps, as they proceeded, Geddragg noticed that there was less dripping and the stream seamed smaller than when they entered. When they reached the cavern door, the sound of an explosion rang through the cavern. The door was wide open and . Not ‘held open by a log’, but wide open. Nothing was trying to close it now. Geddragg figured out that the pump below must pump water up to this door to make it shut and lock automatically. About this time, Tilivan came running out of the cavern. They shut, “locked” and blocked the door before returning to town.

On their walk to town, they told the story of Sty Lum, The false priest, the stone and grave, After being told of the grave stone that read “I’m a spie for Dwarf”, Tilivan chuckled, glancing at a tiny mark exposed on Kinstaag’s shoulder, "Looks like this town is a veritable trove of spies!. Kinstaag adjusted his stance to cover the mark, but not before Gozbert and Geddragg noticed it also. (Secret signs for the win) On arrival at the constable’s office, Natina checked the prisoner, who appeared to be asleep. Thinking he was faking, she made a few comments to the group concerning him with no reaction. Geddragg got his jail cell key (remember, only HIS key works in this lock) and opened the cell door. The prisoner was dead with a dart in his neck, most likely thrown from the cell window above.

“You folk just aren’t very good at this, are you?”, Tilivan wryly asked. First you go after a witch, who escapes. Then you arrive here and my friend dies and you let his murderer escape. Then you find out about a necromancer, and you let HIM escape!", his voice becoming more agitated. While Link and Salvik checked outside for clues, Geddragg offered to throw the runestones and ask for guidance toward the killer. Tilivan excused himself from the casting and went outside muttering about Dwarven magic.

Geddragg tossed the runes and interpreted the reading as “Beneath the stone”. They all concluded it was the Headstone above hidden room that they had been led to by a similar phrase. They all, except Kinstaag who was too banged up, ran to the cemetery and the stone. Link saw fresh prints from a horse that had been tied there. Gozbert opened the stone and looked down. There were fresh muddy prints at the bottom. Link went to follow the horse tracks toward the forge while Gozbert went into the hidey hole. A torch was still lit from whoever was recently here and on the floor was not one, but two corpses. The original one, nearly a skeleton, and the corpse of the Halfling farmer that was part of the council of elders.

Thus ends PART I of Trouble in the MooT

Those that didn’t use RP to get advancements not offered by their profession SHOULD now have finished their first profession. NOW is the time to be looking for you next profession. It will take 200 RP to start your next profession and an appropriate amount of time. If you choose now, it can cut down on the in game time to learn your new profession while you earn those 200 RP. Let me know your choices (they don’t have to be public knowledge). Also remember a couple changes now that you are past your first profession.
1) Each advance is 200 RP now
2) No party RP from here forward. You only get RP when you attend a session.

It is great GM’ing for this great group. …. Vance

… be continued!

And the rock cried out ....

Old Man Rheinhardt slowly and carefully pushed open the rock face. It swung in comparatively easy considering it most likely weighed tons. As he continued to open it, he heard a CLICK. Pausing and stepping back, he noted that after a short wait, the door started to close by itself. It took a bit of effort to counter the closing force, but they managed to force the door fully open and block it open with a freshly cut log. Rheinhardt and Salvik entered first only to see, at their feet, three skeletal figures on the ground.
Backing out and telling the rest, Geddragg Bitterbrew calmly strode in and kicked one of the skeletal heads down the passage ahead … no it wasn’t like the ones they had encountered just days before. Better safe than sorry. The passage ahead varied in width from 6 to 12 feet and had no light. Rheinhardt led with Salvik close behind carrying a lantern above short Rhenihardt’s head. Around mid-group, Mitiliago advanced with a small flame in his palm and Geddragg brought up the rear carrying a torch. The cavern passage constantly dripped water from the roof making the floor wet and slightly slick.. Water started to gather into little rivulets along the edge of the passage. They were definitely progressing downhill.

Not 30 yards went by when Rheinhardt yelled “Bats incoming!”. Swarms of bats started to attack the first light source and the person holding it, Salvik! Salvik set down the lantern and flailed at the bats along with the rest, Mitiliago put out his flame and waited to see where he was most needed. Geddragg moved up and his torch attracted the attention of part of the swarms. At one point, the bats attacked the lantern, knocking it over and extinguishing it. Mitiliago quickly re-lit it with a short prayer. Luckily they still had Geddragg’s torch to see by in the interim. The experience quickly ended.

As they moved deeper into the cave, the dripping increased and the runoff gathered into a small stream. Soon the tunnel opened into a fairly large cavern, stalagmites, stalactites and columns covered the cavern’s floors and ceiling with the stream winding its way through the center. As Rheinhardt stopped near one of the columns, part of the column separated from the rest and a glob stretched out and slammed into him. Weapons that hit it seemed to sink in and pull out with little or no damage. Kinstaag Grimmhammer Shouted, “It’s a gorram mimic! Ya gotta kill it with FIRE!” There were at least three former victims lying in a pile below the column where the mimic had attached itself. A couple of our brave troupe nearly joined them were it not for the healing draught and bandages purchased in town prior. The mimic finally ended in a bubbling burning glob on the floor and the party continued.

After looking around for “treasure”, whatever that is, they ventured further into the winding cavern. More little streams joining the main one to make an ever wider stream. As the path ahead narrowed, the stream completely covered the tunnel floor, making it smooth and slick after years of wear. The constant dripping and the distraction of their wet clothing and boots almost disguised the sound of rushing and splashing water ahead. Rheinhardt thought it better to secure himself with a rope prior to proceeding. It was a good choice because soon after, he slipped on the slick stream bed and nearly was swept over the edge of a drop off. Kind of a combination waterfall and steep, rocky waterway leading into darkness. Being the shortest and lightest, his weight was easily checked and he recovered. Mitiliago noticed a very small ledge to the left of the stream as it entered the new cavern. He also noticed carved out hand holds about 4 feet higher. These could be used to inch sideways around the outcropping to discover a possibly route down. Rheinhardt was too short to reach the hand holds, so Natina went first. (Each participant did a Co-ordination and an Athletics Test to make it.) Natina acted as anchor for the rope and the rest worked their way across until just the two Dwarves were left. The largest of the crew.
Kinstaag went first, making it through the rushing water to the ledge, but critically failing his Athletics Test and falling to the rocks below. His body lay motionless. Unnerved, Geddragg Bitterbrew wrapped the rope around his waist and started across. Maybe the ledge had something against Dwarves because he also failed his Athletics Test and dropped off the ledge, slamming into the wall below the rest of the party. He was unconscious, but was quickly hauled up to join the rest. A long plateaued winding path followed the wall and slowly went to the new cavern’s floor. Salvik was lowered to Kinstaag with a Healing Draught but had to drop the last 5 feet. Kinstaag was alive, but gravely injured. Several broken ribs would hinder any thought of travel for a bit. The rest slowly worked their way down the winding path to join them.
The sound of the rushing water drowned out almost all noises in this cavern. Even normal conversation was difficult without raising your voice. The group slowly picked their way through the rocks and spray to the far end of the cavern where again it narrowed with the swift stream flowing on the right side and ultimately into a huge cavern with the large stream flowing across the center. The far half of the cavern appeared to be a lake. Maybe it was below the water level of the river now.
Ahead, somewhere in the cavern, came a giggling, mad laughter. Rheinhardt saw what appeared to be an ashen colored figure near the water’s edge. When Salvik and Mitiliago looked, they also saw two skeletal figures rising from the ground beside him.
Kinstaag coughed, “Vorrik …. he’s alive!” and collapsed, coughing blood.

Holy Imposter, Natina!
or what to do when you give away your secrets

After the skirmish (that’s what you call a short fight, right?), all the useful items were gathered in one of the oiled tarps used as a shelter and Geddragg dragged it while the unconscious bandit was placed in the small skiff and it was used as a travois. Back to the river, north to the ford and returning to the village of Grunhugel. As they got to the ford, the prisoner regained consciousness (with a little splash in the river) and was made to walk. Passing the shrine, Salvik stopped to look for signs of Ovilar while the rest marched the bandit to jail.
Salvik (great scrutinize roll) found a folded sheet of parchment under the corner of the bed that Ovilar must have dropped in his hasty departure. Then he continued on to join the rest.

Once at the constabulary, the prisoner was locked up (Geddragg had previously used “Robber’s Misery” on the lock to prevent picking) Salvik shared the Letter found in Shrine with everyone. Immediately, Geddragg set to deciphering the letter and Bookmark. (special reward of 1 Skill Level in Ciphers). Four got a couple pack mules and headed back to the bandit camp for the bodies and whatever else they could salvage. Natina and Mitiliago used their healing skills on the wounded.

The next morning, Salvik, Rheinhardt, Gozbert and Mitiliago went to check out the cemetery and tower while Natina and Link stayed back to question the prisoner. Geddragg was finishing up deciphering the notes.
The prisoner refused to answer questions, spitting on Link and Natina, either saying he didn’t know what they were talking about or writhing around in fits of anger trying to get free. Geddragg completed his deciphering and Natina left to join the party in the cemetery with the new information.

Meanwhile on Watch Hill, Gozbert checked the tower while the rest checked more in the cemetery. When Natina arrived with the new information, they discovered the Grave of Vorrik Foulhammer.alone on the hill. Salvik headed back to the jail to relay the information.
Just as Salvik was arriving, Geddragg had decided to scry with his newly acquired bag of runes. As Salvik was entering, the runes were tossed. Five runes lay in front of Geddragg, the last rolled out the door and into the road. Geddragg looked at the runes in front of him, grabbed them as he mumbled something and ran out the door to his stray rune. “DWARF”, he shouted, as he picked it up and broke into a dead run. Link told Salvik to follow and he would guard the prisoner.
Geddragg ran full speed to the only other Dwarf that he knew in town, Kinstaag Grimmhammer, the smith. Geddrag explaine about the runes, the ones inside foretold death or murder, the one that rolled outside meant “Dwarf”. He had the bad feeling one of them would be murdered! They shared an ale and Geddrag asked if he had any “properly sized armor” that he could purchase. Kinstaag looked around and found an old heavy smithing apron that could be quickly modified. A deal was struck and Kinstaag quickly donned an old (but very well taken care of) set of battle chain that he pulled from a chest. “Been years since I wore this”, he said with a grin. They headed back to the jail, just as Salvik arrived, passing him in the doorway. Changing directions, he huffed after them.

Up on Watch Hill, the Grave of Vorrik Foulhammer was being inspected, poked prodded and tested. Rheinhardt used Gozbert’s spade to dig where the grave should be. There was no sign of anything buried here. Mitiliago thought something looked “odd” about the stone, Natina looked closer and they all realized the cracks were actually well crafted carving made to look like cracks. Mitiliago discovered the three cracks that crossed the top of the stone disguised three notches cut into the stone to different depths. too thin for a dagger, but just right for a stilleto …. or the three silvered throwing knives found in the hidey hole under the other gravestone.

Back at the jail, Salvik finally caught up to the Dwarves. (If you hadn’t noticed, Salviks’s racial trait lowered his movement speed) He told them about the grave of Vorrik Foulhammer that they had found and the race was on again! Salvik and Link shutting the door to the constable’s office and following as quickly as possible.
The group at the stone had discovered that the three silvered throwing daggers fit well in the slots in the stone. Even more inspection noticed the identical little notches in the daggers and if you lined up your sight down those notches, it pointed to an obscure spot downhill toward the river. It was raining, so their vision was limited, but Natina took the previously discovered spyglass, lined it up with the notches and looked …. discovering a partially hidden rocky outcropping in an otherwise un-rocky area of the wood.
Just then, the Dwarves arrived, noting the name on the stone, foully spitting on the stone. In un-written Dwarven lore, Vorrik Foulhammer was a necromancer and dealt with the von Carsteins of Sylvania. No more would be said.
Everyone walked down to the rocky spot. There they discovered a “false” oucropping of rock which was most likely Dwarven stonework disguising some sort of door. Two holes were discovered behind loose “rocks” with latch mechanisms. Natina and Mitiliago reached in and turned the latch and a crack formed in the rock stonework with a soft thunk. A swarm of bats flew out through the crack.

Rumors (13th of Sigmarzeit, 2522)

Conclave of Light 
Karl Franz hosts a grand Conclave of Light at his capital of  Atldorf and invites heads of state from across the Old World to a conference where he explains the situation of Archaon’s invasion and asks for aid. Conclave lasts 30 days. In the 30th day the High Elves finally arrive with Teclis himself. The Dwarfs and High Elves pledge to assist the Empire in its time of need, as do many others, such as the Tzarina of Kislev. At this Conclave of Light, plans for the defence of the Empire are laid out, and ancient alliances are renewed.
There is huge fire in the Shantytown, Nuln. Part of the district is burned down. There are also rumours of mutants and cultist activity in Nuln.
Every pass through the Worlds Edge Mountains becomes a battlefield and every throng is mustered for war. Under the leadership of High King Thorgrim, the Dwarfs honour their alliance and defend their holds. High King commands king  Alric Ranulfsson to clear the Silver Road of Goblins and attack Mount Gunbad. Without the fighting power of the Orcs to oppose him, King Alrik settles many grudges with the Goblins and recovers many long-lost treasures (Dwarf year 5522/7045).

What's in the box
and who is Ovilar Bendt

The adventurers took their cart of bandits and books and box and first stopped at the shrine to bind and clean up any scratches they had. Ovilar stayed at the shrine while the rest continued to the inn. Natina, Salvik, and Old Man Rheinhardt continued on to Natina’s newly inherited office with the books to pour over their contents.

The book “Ciphers and codecs” seemed to be written in a foreign language (later found to be Strigoi, an old Stirland script), but even when the language was learned, the order of the words made no sense.
“History of the People of Averland and Stirland” was just that at first glance. History and maps of wars and border skirmishes fought in this region over the past 250 years.
“Houses of the Empire”, a who’s who of the Empire. Houses, their crests and sigils and where they hail from. One of these sigils looks kind of like 1/2 of the symbol on the coin and gravestone found in Aver March. House Zhent of Stirland.
“One Foot in the Grave”, grim stories of events concerning Sylvania.

By that time, the rest of the group had showed up to share the information and loot they had found. Geddragg managed to open the puzzle box and let gas escape in the room. Salvik must be particularly sensitive to it because he passed out again. The acid covered contents were dumped into the ashes in the fire to neutralize the acid as much as possible.

While that was going on, Gozbert found a journal of Sty Lum’s titled?
“Who’s Who of the Grand County of The Mootland”
a short history of The Moot
A Journal by Sty Lum, Constable of Grunhugel

The bookmark had lettering on it described as Dwarven Letters, but not Dwarven words.

This all took several hours and it was past sunset, Gozbert and Salvik heard a noise from in the back of the jail and went to discover a burning, smoking ball that had been dropped in through the barred window of the cell. As the crew reacted they discovered the front door barred from the outside. Quick wits and actions covered the fire with wet wool blankets and the side door was unbarricaded for an escape. A crowd was starting to assemble outside due to the black smoke coming out of the jail. The adventurers played the incident down. Most of the townsfolk returned to their homes, but Ovilar arrived from the shrine asking if any help was needed. The offer was declined and Ovilar went away.
Old man Rheinhardt thought he noticed something on Ovilar’s robes as he turned to stride away. A dark smear, possibly tar. He told Natina, who had become the groups “leader” (she was the Constable, and they were but deputies) to softly spread the word and slipped out the back to tail Ovilar. The others in the group, as they learned this new information, remembered minor unusual things about Ovilar. Someone remembered that he had only been in Grunhugel only about a month. One remembered, or rather DIDN’T remember, this Shallya Priest never actually was seen praying during all the healing of party members. Another noted that he always wanted to be with the party as they investigated Sty’s murder. It appears that Ovilar was a wolf in Priest’s clothing and “Old Man” was tailing a possible murderer.
Rheinhardt followed the Priest to the shrine where he was overheard whispering to another person. This person, a human, left the shrine and headed toward the river … Rheinhardt followed. At the river, the man was seen to pull a small boat out of some bushy overgrowth, and paddle downstream and out of sight. The Old Man returned with the news. All seven stayed at the Constable’s overnight, uncomfortable and on high alert for another attempt.
In the morning, everyone quickly ate and Link and Salvik went on ahead to the shrine to “have their injuries checked” and to see if Ovilar was still there. Nobody was in the shrine, though it appeared that all of Ovilar’s belongings were still there. The rest caught up a short while later and they all headed to the river to “track” the human. It was a dreary, rainy morning and Rheinhardt led the part down the river bank until he smelled the smoke of a campfire. He went ahead and sure enough, there was a camp with half dozen figures around a campfire and some temporary shelters.
To make it short, the rest of the party wasn’t quite so silent and a skirmish broke out … some bad wounds and 10 minutes later, the adventurers prevailed, one “bandit” bound, the rest dead.

… and this is where we leave our heroes …

Hidey hole
Secret, secret, who's got a secret

As it was getting dark, the new constable (Natina) and her deputies returned down the hill to the healer’s shrine and after shooing away some curious visitors entered the shrine to discuss the days events with Geddragg, Salvik and Ovilar. (Link and the Old Man were missing from the adventure tonight) After talking about everything that went on, including the Watch List they had found, they decided to investigate more thoroughly the next morning and returned to the Laughing Cow to get a good night’s sleep. Geddragg and Link stayed with the healer to recover.

The next morning, Salvik met Geddragg at the healer’s shrine and, along with Ovilar, went to the cemetery to find the stone (they hadn’t been there) A short time later constable Natina, Mitiliano and Gozbert followed from the inn. Arriving, Gozbert showed how to open the headstone. (4 keys inserted in 2 neighboring headstones deactivated wards that latched the stone shut) and Geddragg, Salvik and Ovilar went down (Ovilar slipped and fell half way) into the bunker where they searched. Parchment on the table was dry and brittle, but there was still ink in the stoppered inkwell. The skeletal corpse on the floor was most likely rat and insect eaten. The clothing tattered to shreds. The scrolls on the shelves were mostly crumbled, but the books and tomes were salvageable. There were four in good enough shape to save as they were loosely bound between covers of wood. They were titled:
History of the People of Averland and Stirland
Ciphers and codecs
Houses of the Empire
One Foot in the Grave

Geddragg had JUST discovered a loose stone behind one of the books when a shout came from above … “Bandits! We need your help up here!”
Four bandits had almost gotten the drop on the three standing guard by the stone. Constable Natina had an arrow cut her shoulder enough to start bleeding. Being small and frail, she had to bind her wound fast. The enemy was using grave markers to their advantage for cover.
Salvik, knowing he was slow (movement of only 2) let Geddragg up the ladder first. Geddragg hustled up the ladder and behind a monument where he cast a protection spell on himself. Salvik got to the top of the ladder but no further, Ovilar yelled impatiently from below Salvik.
The battle raged … well, it plunked. Natina managed to bind her wounds and make two archers drop their bows. Salvik made it out just before the wards on the stone reactivated and the stone closed leaving Ovilar cursing below. (The first group had already discovered that it closed on its own accord after a short time (about 10 minutes) but had not told Geddragg or Ovilar.) In the end, the bandits were killed, the bunker reopened and Ovilar tended to the wounded while Gozbert and Salvik looted the bandits. They must have recently robbed a caravan or something … they had a good amount of silver for common thugs. One even had a flintlock, though it was in poor condition.

Arrive at Grunhugel
Job opening, fast promotions, see Sty

Upon arriving in Grunhugel, our cast of adventurers dispersed in every direction to take care of their needs.Geddragg, and Salvik to the healer, Link to buy supplies, Mitiliago to find silvered darts,, Gozbert headed to the inn to drink. That left Natina more or less alone out walking around the village streets. That’s when she met Sty Lum, the constable of Grunhugel.

“Did you and your group just come from Mama’s? No need to answer, I saw you myself”. He was quick to answer himself. “I’m sorry, but I have to put you under arrest.”
That’s the way it started out anyway. By the end of the conversation, he had deputized Natina so she could help arrest the rest of the group, and the jail was too small for all of them, so he’d get rooms at the Laughing Cow Inn and they would only be under “house arrest”
Geddragg would have to stay at the shrine under the healer’s care to hasten his recovery. Mitiliago actually found some silvered darts at Potsen Pans, a mercantile run by Merrybell Potsen, and purchased 4 of the 6 she had. Merrybell mentioned how constable Lum enjoyed darts also and that he should seek him out for a game or two. Gozbert sat unobtrusively and watched as constable Lum led Natina in and arranged for rooms. ….. No, not that kind of rooms!
One by one, all except Geddragg found the inn. After all, it was the only inn in town. And one by one they were surprised to learn they were under arrest … and had rooms for the night. Ale and a good time were had by all.

Mama's coaching inn
And so it begins ... ding dong the witch is undead

Acting as "guards" for a tinker's caravan, run by Samil and Arthurfl Tinbender (two Gnome travelling tinkers and shippers), the characters arrive at Mama’s around evening, only to find a large pyre surrounded by a good sized croud. When asked what the excitement is about, they are informed that it is a witch burning. Mama, the mother of this witch and owner of the inn is also a witch and that a witch hunter is, even now, inside catching her.

No sooner said, flames and smoke are seen coming from the inn. Panic ensues as several figures run out of the inn and head northwest toward the woods shouting "She escaped!" and "Find her!"

The crowd, mostly made up of caravaners and staff, broke out of their daze. Some headed for the inn to put out the blaze, some to save their belongings. Others, like Gozbert (Halfling diabolist) thought it better to fade away and find a place not too close to a witch hunter. Sam and Art went to help put out the fire.

Times in the Grand County of the Mootland

The Moot, homeland to the Halflings, a generally peaceful folk, but the recent past has been less than peaceful.  With Black Fire Pass to the south, Nuln to the west and Sylvania to the east, it hasn't been easy living in the Moot.

It was just three years ago that greenskin hoards got past the Dwarves and through Black Fire Pass, crossing the Aver River and making it all the way to the Moot. They were defeated at the Battle of a Hundred Cannon just outside our fair county. What a ruccus!

Then, a year later, was another battle. This one did not get as close. I think it was called the Third Battle of Black Fire Pass. My Dwarven friends assure me that the Pass is well taken care of and Bugmann's Brewery was not in jepardy.

Two years of peace and quiet have been nice, but I have a bad feeling behind my eyeballs it won't last ……



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