Tobold and Welby head East toward the defensive tower. They pass a blacksmith and a few other houses and farms before arriving at the tower,.
The tower is imposing now that you are near. There is a labor camp to the North of the road across from the tower. Tents are set up, cooking fires in front, a few dogs scurry about as well as children.
The laborers are busy workign on what will eventually be the castle that will surround the tower.
You see two wagons leaving town to the east, they are just leaving your sight aroudn a bend in the road 500 feet away
The gnome and the halfling climb the steps that lead to the tower, they are broad wide and deep enough that a large humanoid, or a horse could easily climb them.
Nearing the small drawbridge there is a guard who holds a hand up to you as you near, you are a flight of stairs below him, he is holding a crossbow and has an axe at his belt and a shiled on his back.
“Hail gnomes,” the soldier says “What are you seeking here? How can we assist you?”
You have been told by the innkeeper, that you should tell RUFUS about your run in with goblins
Tobold lowers his mask and hood. “Greetings from Sheernob. We bring news of a goblin horde as well as bandits in the area.”"Low friend, goblins you say," The guard turns around and yells into the tower “News of a nearby goblin attack lord!”
a voice comes from inside the tower “Invite them inside Crayfish….”
You are beckoned into the tower proper. Atop the entrance is a symbol of a crayfish, and as the guard turns around you see one emblazoned on the shield on his back
The entrance has two smallish towers alongside the main tower,(ears of mickey mouse) as you walk inside you see that this has murder holes and arrow slits covering the entrance. THis would be a dangerous tower to assault. The outline of the tower is that of “mickey mouse” a large circle with 2 “ears” attached
A curving flight of stone stairs leads to a drawbridge between the “ears”
A single guard is on duty on the drawbridge and there are catapults, ballistae and other guards on the towers parapets
The catapults sit 1 on each “ear” there is a further small turret with the ballistas on top
Behind the foot thick drawbridge is a open iron door, 6 feet wide and 10 feet tall (big enough for a horse to get through. With the drawbridge up there woudl be 2 layers of closed defense
You are in a small trapezoidal room, a Open portcullis, flanked by stone walls with more arrow slits leads into a large empty ground floor hall
The room fills the interior of the tower 35 feet across.
There is a civilian dressed worker with a wheelbarrow and shovel, cleaning up what looks like horse poop
There are ramps along the far wall, one going up one down
There are tapestries hung on the walls
1-Green cloth stiched with 2 acorns and a bundle of wheat
2-Grey cloth with a starburst tipped with red orbs with a mace at its center
3 Green and Brown cloth with a tree
The guard behind you says “head up that ramp”
Up the ramp leads to a banquet room,
There is a guard similarly dressed to the one who is following you in, but has a axe at the ready who eyes you at the top of the ramp.
Two men sit at a large banquet table, one a fighter the other a mage they look up and at you, the fighter saying “Low freinds, what news do you bring of goblins…..”
The fighter is dressed in studded leather armor dyed red, the mage in bright blue and yellow robes
There is a grizzled middle aged man in civilian clothes who seems to have just finished business with the two
As he walks out you realize it is the man you first said “hi” to upon entering the village who was walking on the road
They are both dressed meticulously
They are both standing leaning over the table
They have several maps and notes spread out around the table.
They look to be planning things
There are two fireplaces on the far wall away from you, a servant looks to be making a pot of stew
Burne is the mage
Rufus is the fighter
“Are you brothers?” Tobold asks….
Rufus: “Brothers? HA!” (slaps the table and spins on his heels)
Burne: “Brothers in arms, we be” (he stares at Rufus who smiles back)
Rufus: We forged our brotherhood in warfare, Emridy Meadows. (they continue talking to one another rather than you)
Burne: We were but whelps then, Young soldiers out to save the world
Rufus: And we DID! We did save the world, at least this small part of it
Burne: Yes Yes we did….(pause)
Burne: pardon me guests I am His most wonderful mage of Hommlet, Burne Bravura. You bring us a tale of goblins?
Tobld: “I come from Sheernob my lord, my name is Tobold Trufflehunter. I work with the Contraptioneers in protecting the Gnarley forest and hunting undead. While investigating reports of bandits, my group was ambushed by a group of goblins. We fought them off and followed both groups back trails to this area. I’ve been told to report this information to A man named Rufus in charge of this tower”
Rufus: HA! see Burne I am Lord of the tower
Burne: Yes of course Lord Rufus the Radiant
Rufus: Sheernob. our next door neighbor. Gnomes from your village fought valiantly at Emridy
Burne: Show us where you saw these goblins (pushes area map toward you)
Rufus: and their numbers
I assume you reply truthfully about 10 miles south and 15 in number
Burne: Troubling Mister Tobold, troubling
Rufus; Has been evil afoot of late, bandits, missing caravans, construction woes…and now goblins?
Burne: and now goblins
Rufus: I’m going to send a dispatch to the Viscount
Burne: Yes in haste (Rufus sits and begins penning a letter )
Tobold continues: “Err, my lords, we’ve heard stories of a hellhound terrorizing the villagers. Do you know anything of these superstitions? I specialize in hunting undead and have travelled around the region collecting stories and ways to kill them. My group is staying at the Welcoming Wench if you find anything. Also, may I have a tour of the tower? As an aspiring Gnarley Ranger I’m interested in military and fortifications. I’d also like to see the countryside from the top to be honest, the view must be incredible”
Burne: Hellhounds smellhounds (Rufus giggles) tis just a rumor of the village,
Rufus: we’ve been here almost 5 years and not a peep from any undead
Rufus finishes his letter and signs it with his signet ring with wax
Rufus: Crayfish (addressing the guard on the ramp) escort these two to the roof level
Burne: And good luck with that Ranger thing, Gnarleys only take Humans as Rangers
Tobold Has heard great stories about Gnarley Rangers from human and elf travelers, and Gnomes say they are very friendly with them
When he was younger 2 Gnarley rangers both human came through Sheernob and spent the night.
Tobold has spent little time in the Gnarley, the forest his village is located in called WELKWOOD FOREST
You notice that both guards were called the same thing “crayfish” and this soldier also has a shield emblazoned with a crayfish
Tobold asks about Fraggart the missing gnome, Bandits in the area, and the Temple of Evil
The two protectors of the village acknowledge your concerns
As to the missing Gnome Fraggart
Fraggart came to Hommlet before he went missing
He stayed at the Inn
He talked with Bierce who is an amateur historian archaeologist
He talked to Ivad the trader
He talked to Nira the money changer
Several weeks later
We got word of his capture by bandits and then the subsequent paying of the ransom
You gnomes should have consulted us, or requested aid, before paying the ransom
We sent a patrol there and investigated after he was not returned
But since they posses a note from him claiming he does not want to return, we have concluded:
Fraggart faked his own abduction in order to steal the ransom money
As to the Bandits
We do feel bandits are acting to the east of Hommlet
There is a town of scoundrels and pirates 10 miles east called Nulb
A recent shipment of supplies for this castle has gone missing, we feel it is them
The Forests and swamps to the east have lots of areas bandits can hide
If you adventure anywhere in that area please report your findings
As to the Temple
We both fought at Emridy and at the siege of the Temple but are unsure of its exact location, we were just lowley soldiers
That was a decade ago
What I do remember is (takes out a map of the local area, traces the following with finger)
We marched East-South East. from Emridy meadows
We marched straight through a valley or 5 or 6 miles before we encounter the High Road
We turned North marched the High Road to the outskirts of Nulb
We crossed Emridy’s Run (River)
We followed the far bank about 3 miles then turned East South east and climbed into the low hills to besiege the temple
So The Valley that we walked in pointed directly toward the temple
Tobold has a general idea where the temple is/was
Again if your party heads in that direction, please report back any of your findings
“Thank you very much Mister Tobold” says Burnye, “Gnomes fought gallantly at Emridy, I know several from your village. Gnomes from Sheernob will always be welcome in Hommlet.”
Rufus adds, “So your gonna be a Gnarley Ranger huh?” he pauses, " I tell you what, as you are undoubtedly not just mere travelers, but adventurers." he emphasizes the word adventurers
“We got us a little group here we call the crayfish, (Tobold has seen the guards shields emblazoned with the crayfish) crayfish warriors of this tower protecting this village. We could use a good ranger scout You do good by us, give us some Intel if you are scouting about,”
May not be a Gnarley Ranger, but Crayfish Ranger? I’m respected locally and it may be a title that will open some doors around here for you?"
The guard escorts you to the tower top
The third floor is accessed by a ramp as well.
Half the tower is open and has several cots and footlockers looking like a general barracks
The other half of the tower is separated by a wall with two doors on it.
Hanging between the two doors is a banner with a stylized crayfish on it
There are arrow firing positions in the walls, bows and quivers full of arrows stored besides them
2 men “fighter type” are resting on the cots
Another ramp leads up and outside, a large heavy door is thrown open when closed would form ceiling/floor
The top of the turret holds two catapults in the mickey mouse ears
2 guards are working on one of the catapults
There is a further smaller turret that extends another 15 feet above
looks to be a lookout atop that, and the large bolt most likely from a ballista can be seen
You are 50 feet above the surrounding area
You see a wagon leaving the Inn, headed south
You have a good look at the hills and mountains to the west and the expanse of forest east and south.
Tobold can see the Church of St Cuthbert across the town, he decides to head there. Welby will look for a place to sell wares while they travel. It is about 11am when they begin heading to the church.