(Still 9th of Planting)
We decide to turn over the bandits to the men serving the Viscount, Rufus and Burne. We march the bandits to the tower and speak to the 2 guards at the entrance. We inform them that we have bandits that we captured and wish to turn them over to Rufus. The guards lower a drawbridge and we are granted permission to enter past the iron entry door. Inside, we meet a man in green robes and a muscular warrior in chain armor. Rufus and Burne greet us and we make introductions. The two halflings whisper back and forth while Fennec talks with the two lordlings. Burne the mage asks for proof that the men are indeed bandits. I speak up and inform Burne that the 9 men were captured at the ruined moathouse and that they attacked us. I tell him that I used magic to capture them and then to charm one of the men who has told us information about their banditry. I also tell them that they are serving a master at the moathouse.
Burne accepts my words and he agrees to take the prisoners. He says that he will take them to Verbobonc where they will face justice for their crimes. Rufus thanks us and we depart the tower. I decide that we should inform Jaroo of the news of the hidden master of the moathouse. We walk over to the grove. Speaking to the druid, we share the news and he encourages us to seek out the lower level of the complex and deal with the threat there. As an incentive the priest of Elahonna gives each a vial of holy water.
We decide to spend the remainder of the day resting, provisioning, and planning for our return to the moathouse. We return to the Welcome Wench and are greeted by Ostler. The taproom is somewhat full of folk. Most are the local farm folk and craftsmen stopping in for a quick meal or a pint of ale. Two of the men sitting alone stand out. One is a man in a dark gray outfit and the other is dressed in the robes and cloak often worn by the human mages of the land.
We discuss the opportunity of adding another blade to our fledgling band. Fennec seems dumbfounded by the talk, believing that we have enough swords already. I convince Dugal that another warrior would help to protect the halflings in battle. Once the paladin stops moping about our desire to live through battle, we discuss options. I mention Elmo. Everyone looks at me intrigued, but Fennec states he seems to drink too much. I tell him we should make some inquiries in the village to learn more about the hulking farmer turned man at arms.
I inquire with the innkeeper’s daughter about the man I saw earlier in robes. She tells me his name is Spugnoir and he is a traveler staying at the inn. I seek out the druid. I ask Jaroo about Elmo. The druid tells me that Elmo is strong, and was a soldier in the the Verbobonc Army for two years. He also shares that he is honest and has done caravan work in the region. I thank the priest and give him 10 silver coins as a donation before departing.
While I am gone Fennec speaks to Ostler Gundigoot. Ostler informs the holy warrior that Elmo Green is a good honest lad. Fennec asks about his skill at arms and is told that he doesn’t know much, but believes him to be a man to be reckoned with if he were in battle due to his size and strength.
After dinner, Elmo enters the Inn of the Welcome Wench. We call him over to our table and ask him to join us. Fennec asks the warrior about his skill at weapons and he informs him that he is trained in battleaxe, longsword, broadsword, and longbow. After a discussion about his skills and training, Fennec offers Elmo a place in our group. Terms of payment are discussed, and I suggest we pay him an equal split of wealth recovered during our foray into the moathouse. Elmo agrees to the deal and he shakes hands with everyone before we celebrate with some drinks. I have two glasses of wine before departing for bed in my private room.
Once there I take time to write a letter that I will give to Goodwife Gundigoot to send off with the next caravan traveling to Oakvein in the morning.
10th of Planting 579 CY
We eat our morning meal in the common room. I try not to watch Pinkertin and Merric as they devour their food like two starving wolves in winter. After the meal we meet with Elmo and let him know that our plan is to travel by highsun to the moathouse. I return to the inn and cast identifying magic on the arrows that are enchanted. Once done I share the information that the arrows are enchanted to fly true. The others give the 4 arrows to me since I use a bow.
We leave Hommlet before highsun. We hack and try to clear a better path to the ruins. With Elmo’s help, it is done. We arrive at the ruins before sundown. We decide to search the bandit’s tower for hidden passages, but we find none. After that, we agree that we should descend the flight of stairs off the ruined kitchen and search the lower level for any lurking dangers to the nearby community.
As Fennec and Dugal cross through the arch of the chamber at the bottom of the stairwell, they are attacked by green slime. With fire and several blades we dispatch the gross colonies of slime. The party loses several weapons to the corrosive effects of the green slimes. Once we are safe we check our surroundings. We find that the one side of the chamber is filled with broken crates, barrels, and furniture piled high almost to the ceiling along the one wall. Elmo and Pinkertin decide to dig through the trash here. With the big man’s help, the duo soon find two doors that were obscured by the filth.
Pinkertin discovers that the door is locked and that the mechanism is new. Intrigued he uses his picks to open the padlock. Behind the door we a storeroom of food and drink. The other locked door is also opened and we find a cache of arms and black cloaks bearing a flaming yellow eye. Both Merrec and Pinkertin take one of the cloaks. My knowledge of halfling culture seems to be very poor. From what I am learning from my two companions on this mission is that they love food and have a desire to possess strange things that they fall in love with, sometimes even if it belongs to another.
Pinkertin decides to scout the southern wing of the broken barrel room. As he slowly makes his way down the pillared chamber to check out a side passage two gaunt men shamble out from behind the pillar. Pinkertin scrambles back and shouts at Merric in halfling. The other halfling informs us of the intruders and we move to engage them.
Elmo, Dugal, and Fennec battle the undead men with blades while the two shortfellows and I hit them with missiles. Several more zombies lurch out a series of rooms along this hall and attack us. In the ensuing fight one of the rotting men smacks Dugal in the stomach and he falls down to the floor and does not move. Everyone else continues to stand toe to toe with the zombies, but more and more keep arriving and I yell for them to cover me as I make my way to the fallen dwarf. I grab the armored dwarf and hoist him over my shoulder as zombies grab and claw at me. Fennec covers my retreat as I am struck and almost fall to the dead as well. I manage to make to the stairwell and lay the dying dwarf down and get Merric to aid him. Elmo and Fennec do an admirable job fighting defensively from the archway. I fire numerous arrows and Pinkertin and Merric add their darts and daggers to the battle.
When all is done, all ten zombies are destroyed. The corpses are rotted and carry nothing of interest. Pinkertin and I search the small cells that the zombies came from. I discover a loose stone as I search for secret passages. Behind the stone is a small cloth sack. Inside the pouch is a sparkling gemstone. I take two bundles of flight arrows from the once secret storeroom to help replace some of my broken arrows. We also stock up on iron rations from the pantry next door. We help Dugal back to Hommlet but night has fallen by the time we limp back into town.
At the Wench, Ostler Gundigoot sees how battered we all are when we cross the threshold of his inn. Goodwife comes out from the kitchen with plenty of food and clucks like a mother hen because of our wounds. We eat our meal in relative silence tonight having faced our toughest challenge thus far. During our meal, two more travelers enter the inn for rooms. They are an odd pair, the one is a hulking warrior with a scowl and the other is a slight small bald man who wears dark clothing.
After the meal, I see the one called Spugnoir. I approach the man and ask if I may join him for a drink and conversation. The young bearded man nods and motions for me to join him at his table in the corner. I introduce myself and ask about him. I learn that he is a practitioner as I had suspected. He says that he arrived in Hommlet on the 28th of Coldeven. He did share that he came in with a caravan that passed through Sobanwych. Spugnoir shares that he is seeking to adventure out with others and would like to gain all scrolls as his share of any adventuring.
I speak to Fennec and the others and they feel that Spugnoir’s offer is too steep to offer him a position with our band. As events wind down in the common room of the inn, we all turn in for a night of rest.
11th of Planting 579 CY
In the morning the two halflings set out for some shopping in the village. Pinkertin buys five daggers from Brother Smythe at his forge. The two then visit the leatherworker’s shop. Here Pinkertin purchases sheaths for his new blades. Merric shows the leather worker, Yorth Bearspaw, the capes that they removed from the moathouse and asks him if he can alter the garment to fit him. Yorth freaks out and demands that the duo leave and not return.
Merric suggests that they seek out the village tailor. Merric speaks to Radist the Tailor a slight man who lives alone above his shop. The halflings ask the tailor if he will fit the capes to the duo to be used as cloaks. Radist agrees to fit them. Merric pays him and he promises the cloaks will be ready in two days.
The halflings return to the inn and shortly they are approached by Jaroo the druid. He asks Merric if they have recently visited the leatherworker Yorth. Merric affirms that he and Pinkertin were there. Jaroo asks the halfling priest about the capes. Jaroo tells them they should not wear the black capes as they are the symbol of evil men who were defeated at the Battle of Emridy Meadows years ago. Fennec tells the druid that the party found them at the moathouse.
I go to the trading post with Fennec and Dugal. I purchase a large bundle of torches and a quiver of sheaf arrows and ask them if they have a hand pulled cart. The traders Rannos and Gremag state they do have a cart, and it can be purchased for 900 gold coins. I examine their faces to see if they pranking me with a pretend price, but I can see that they are not. Fennec and Dugal inquire about plate armor. The men state they have none on hand for sale, but they could order suits for several thousand gold. I resist spitting inside the store but I walk out promising myself not to give these greedy merchants a single coin more for their insane prices.
I decide to visit the wheelwright. Borgan has a cart that he sells to me for 25 gold coins. I thank him for his cart and we return to the Inn of the Welcome Wench.
12th of Planting 579 CY
Rested and replenished, we set out again at dawn for the moathouse. We make the trek with the cart. We arrive at the ruins by midday. We stash the cart in an upstairs room and descend the stairs to the area we battled the zombies. Someone or something has removed all of the bodies from the bottom of the stairs! We cautiously check the area. Pinkertin checks a wooden door off of the entry room. The halfling rogue informs his friend that he heard a distant rattling coming from the other side of the door. He also notices that someone has recently greased the hinges of the door.
Fennec Shinyman opens the door and we search the room. We finds bits of trash on the floor but nothing else. Pinkertin checks the other exit and we learn that he hears grunting from that door. We prepare for a possible battle. Merric says a bless prayer while Dugal prays to his god to improve the paladin’s strength. Fennec opens the door and charges inside with Elmo and Dugal on his flanks. The trio intrude open an ugly horrid ogre. A deadly fight erupts as they all engage in battle. Merric. Pinkertin, and I launch volleys of missiles at the ogre. The creature despite several good blows upon the warriors is no match for our combined assault. The ogre topples and bleeds out in his bedchamber.
Pinkertin and Merric set out to search the area and recover his treasure in his chest. I concern myself with a door that is barred. We hear movement on the other side and then several pleas for help. The others are concerned that the calls are a trap, but I dismiss their theories and remove the bar from the door and open it. Inside the fetid cell we find a gnome and two bedraggled humans. I speak to them and learn that the trio were prisoners captured by bandits and turned over to the ogre as food. The humans are a husband and wife named Linden and Marga. They are linen merchants from Dyvers. Linden promises a reward if we will help he and his wife get away safely. The gnome is Bartles. He shares that he is from a small village in the Kron Hills. They tells us they have been captive for several weeks. Fennec and I give them food and water.
We decide to help the former prisoners escape and escort them and a barrel of brandy back to Hommlet.
Bartles gives Fennec an iron ring with gnomish scrollwork upon it and tells him to show it to other gnomes if he ever needs aid. Bartles then walks out of the village at night. The merchants speak to Ostler Gundigoot who aids them with food and room until they can arrange to leave with an upcoming caravan.
13th of Planting 579 CY
I discuss with Dugal and Merric that paying several gold each night for rooms at the Inn of the Welcome Wench is depleting our pouches quicker than expected. Everyone agrees. I proceed to offer a suggestion that we could consider building house somewhere in the village if we pool some of our wealth. Fennec asks if I have any thoughts of where to build. I mention that a hilltop opposite the mill would be a good location since the land is empty and could give a good view of the village and would offer some defense if needed.
The others like the idea. We ask Elmo if anyone owns the hilltop and he informs us that it belongs to the village elder, Virgen Lorgathan. Elmo offers to introduce us to him. Elmo leads us to the largest house in Hommlet. The manor house is surrounded with a stone wall. Outside several toddlers play outside in the grass under the close watch of servants. A male servant escorts us inside the home where I see several richly dressed young men and their wives eating a late morning meal.
An older man, dressed in a brocaded shirt of gold greets us and informs us that he is Elder Lorgathan. We introduce ourselves. The elder seems to be aware of us already. He informs us that Jaroo and Rufus have informed him of our purpose in Hommlet. He asks why we have come to speak to him. I speak up and inform the Elder that we desire to purchase some land in the village and we learned he is the owner of the hill across the stream above Mytch the Miller’s millpond.
I ask Elder Lorgathan how much it would cost to purchase the land so we might build a house. The human stares at us and I notice he rubs a gold coin in his right hand between his thumb and forefinger. Virgen Lorgathan flatly tells us that we cannot buy the property and he hints we would never be allowed to built any fortification in the village. I refute him and state that we only desire to build a house because continued residence at the Wench is costing each of us too much in coin.
Dugal asks the elder if he has any land that he would sell to us. The elder finally states that he owns a wooded lot on the Eastern edge of town that is empty. We ask about the price and we discuss the price amongst ourselves. We are prepared to buy the lot from the Elder when he hears us mention building a wooden house on the lot. Elder Lorgathan then states that he cannot sell us the lot for that price since we intend to build a house, which makes the property move valuable. He names a higher price now, and then tells us he can only agree to that price once we remove all potential threats to Hommlet that are in the moathouse ruins East of the village.
Elmo and Fennec restrain me as I begin to boil at the Elder’s greed. They drag me from the room as I mutter unkind words in elvish. The dwarf and halflings follow quickly behind as they are escorted out by the manservant. I tell the others I am done dealing with greedy men in Hommlet. We return to the inn for a meal and drinks. During our meal, Ostler’s daughter overhears our talk of land and corrupt thieves and she tells Fennec that her father owns land in the village. The paladin speaks to the innkeeper and the two men quickly strike a deal. Fennec reports back that he and Merric have purchased a small lot of land directly across from the farm owned by Elmo’s father. I ask how steep the price was, and Merric shares that it was only 65 gold coins.
Shocked at the low price, we all thank the innkeeper. Determined to get a home built, I travel to hire the town carpenters. Dugal, Pinkertin, and I. We speak to Rickvar and Samdar and hire the brothers to build nice cottage for 75 gold. The carpenters promise to have it finished in two weeks. After nailing down details for our new abode, we all agree that we should go ahead and slip off back to the moathouse even with darkness falling. We make the trek during the night and arrive at the former outpost of evil in the middle of the night.
We decide to make a camp inside on of the former barracks on the upper level. We set watches and try to get some rest until dawn. Several hours after our arrival, we are attacked by giant rats. We slay the enormous rodents and drag their corpses down the hall to the chamber that the giant lizard once lived.
14th of Planting 579 CY
After breakfast we return to the lower level and search out other passages. Fennec leads us to a torture room that is filled with disused instruments of pain. Pinkertin discovers a faint dried blood trail that travels across the floor right up to one of the pillars in the room. We search the column and I discover a hidden door that opens into a shaft inside the stone pillar. The shaft descends into darkness and is lined with rungs allowing us to climb down. The warriors lead us down the shaft into a burial crypt.
As we cautiously inspect the area we are assaulted by undead humans who scamper out hoping to feast on our flesh and bones. We defend ourselves from these unnatural beings who mock us as they attack us. One of the creatures claws Pinkertin and he falls to the floor bleeding. We destroy these five ghouls. Merrec binds his friend’s wounds and we retreat up the shaft and the other flight of stairs to camp and let the wounded rogue regain his strength. During the night, we are again beset by giant rats, not once but twice. We dispatch them without receiving a scratch.
15th of Planting 579 CY
We decide to return to the crypt and search the area now that Pinkertin is conscious. We find a nice collection of mixed coins and some vials of liquid, as well as a scroll case. Merric finds a rough tunnel broken out of the back of one of the tombs. We have him follow a trail of gold coins back through a maze of tunnels after hours of him trying to search and map these low rough passages it becomes clear that any further attempt will result in becoming completely lost and not finding a path back to the crypt again.
End of Session 2