Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Belated Session Reports 20-21: Investigations in Fortinbras

When we last left our intrepid party -- consisting of Hazel (Ftr.-3 / MU-2), Innominus (Clr.-4), Uncle Junkal (Rodian Bard-3), Dak (Dwarf-3), Yor (Dwarf-3), and NPC Gorgo (Dwarf-3) -- they had exited the Stonehell Dungeon on Greystone Mountain and had trekked the three days back into the Minochian town of Fortinbras.  Besides selling off some miscellaneous loot and generally re-equipping themselves, the group mainly spent Session 20 fishing around for local/regional rumors and engaging in a most interesting investigation into the nature of Uncle Junkal's mysterious Death Cult mirror.

The mirror episode began with the PCs visiting the Temple of the Healers of Carcoon, the same group of clerics who Raised Uncle Junkal from the dead in a neighboring town some sessions back.  Innominus hired the Carcoonians to cast dispel magic and dispel evil on the sealed iron strongbox he'd been lugging around since he found it in the abandoned Chapel of Korath in Stonehell.  The former spell had no effect; the latter made the strongbox momentarily smoke and crackle with sparks, and reduced its evil emanations slightly.  But the Carcoonians' Dispel Evil spell could not negate the strong evil emanations coming from within the strange, hinge-less strongbox.  The mystery endures.

Next, the Death Frost Doom mirror.  Uncle Junkal brought out the odd mirror he had pilfered from the death cult's cabin, and the priests of Carcoon reacted quite strongly to it, calling it a "cursed abomination" and asking the party to immediately remove it from the premises.  The Carcoonians on hand said they had a holy man among them who specialized in studying necromantic lore; they would send that man, Brother Camus, to the party's inn at dusk to inspect the mirror and to offer what assessments he could.  But they forbade the party from bringing the mirror back onto the Temple grounds.

Meanwhile, the party's dwarves, Dak and Yor, partied at the local dwarven establishment, the King Hargon Inn.  Dak spent vast amounts of gold on booze and prostitutes, permanently endearing him to the King Hargon's clientele.  Yor also drank, but simultaneously kept his ear to the ground for local rumors.  He was particularly interested in discovering whatever he could about the mysterious wagons the party encountered traveling through Fortinbras several sessions back; and on his second day in town, after the evening's revelry, Yor visited the local farmer's market to make further inquiries.  There he learned that local farmers had indeed seen the weird wagons as well, mostly traveling at night, and one local advised Yor about a particular stretch of road where the wagons could be observed passing by each evening.

That evening at dusk, Brother Camus showed up at the Drunken Yeti, the tavern and inn where Innominus et. al. had rented the best suite.  Camus told them that Uncle Junkal's mirror, thought to function as a portal to the undead realms in proper hands, was indeed cursed.  He stated that any object removed from the death cult's property tended to bring dire effects down upon the persons who took it.  The party confessed that they had been especially harried by undead creatures since leaving the death cult's cabin and underground crypts -- recall the ghoul attack in Farn Junction, the mummies and wraiths coming after Uncle Junkal in various areas of Stonehell -- and Brother Camus confirmed that that would be par for the course so long as they kept the mirror.  He offered to act as a middle-man in brokering a deal with a collector of unique evil artifacts; he said he thought he could make the necessary arrangements by the following evening if the party wanted to sell it.  They did.

Later that night the party decided to lie in wait for one of the strange wagons, and after a brief skirmish with its hobgoblin driver and his attendants, determined that the hooded figures traveling with the wagons were enslaved morlocks; hobgoblins had captured them from the nearby mountains and now made them haul these wagons to and from Stonehell.  Innominus used his Speak with animals spell to question the horses about their route after the party killed the hobgoblin driver and caused the morlocks to flee.  The wagon the PCs ambushed, which was headed southbound toward Greystone Mountain, was filled with empty oil flasks of Kaladarian manufacture.  The PCs appropriated the wagon and sold the flasks off the next day.

Session 21 saw the party buying magic items from local Enchanters in Fortinbras and preparing for their meeting with Brother Camus and the cursed-mirror-buyer that night.  Dak and Yor learned while hanging out at the King Hargon Inn that a very popular local dwarf named Gark Steelsnout had recently ventured into Stonehell with a mixed-race group led by a human knight, Sir Boren of Achelon, but that that group had not returned from Stonehell in over two weeks.  Deciding then and there to mount an expedition to seek out and possibly rescue Gark & Co., Dak and Yor recruited two local dwarven brothers, Darvey and Garvey, to join their rescue mission as volunteers.  The rest of the PCs agreed to dedicate their planned return to Stonehell to the cause of locating Gark, and set about hiring a few extra hirelings besides Harvey, Garvey, and old hand Gorgo to accompany them.

That night -- their third night in Fortinbras -- the party was led by Brother Camus of the Carcoonians to a secluded vale south of town called Bandit's Knoll; there they met a cloaked and hooded rodian who bought the Death Frost Doom mirror from them for a tidy sum of 9,000gp.  Brother Camus and the party returned to Fortinbras as the mysterious rodian rode off into the night.  Brother Camus bid them good-night at the Drunken Yeti and headed back to his temple.  The party bedded down, planning to start early for Stonehell the next morning.

To Be Continued. . .

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