BAND OF IRONS

The drinking game continues

A second adventuring party has come into the Inn…..

FIGHTER: The first person through the door is a handsome human male, he is broad chested wearing a shining breastplate over chain-mail, a long-sword at his belt, he speaks to no one, just kind of loudly announces his entry, “AH tis’ the typical charming tavern of the road! Inn of comfort and good food, a warm fire for the weary and a mug of ale”

THIEF He is followed by a beautiful elf slight, his leather armor dyed various shades of green is of magnificent build, you see at least a half dozen dagger hilts protruding from built in scabbards…he speaks softly but loud enough that those near the door hear, “Charming? Stinks of humans utter lack of taste, looks like a wood golumn took a shit and humans hacked a hovel into it….”

CLERIC: A stout dwarf chain armor is dirty, a heavy mace at his belt and the twin rings of the dwarven goddess Berronar on his breastplate who shouts, “Shut it yah’ damn elf! There’s ale here and a fire, the drinking will commence until all the dust of travel has washed from my parched throat”

WIZARD" Looking ancient at least 100 years old this withered human wears a deep blue robe covers in arcane symbols and carries a gnarled wooden staff, in a meek elderly voice "Now everyone settle down, we’ll have a good meal and a rest "

The dwarf cleric, sees the drinking game at the bar, Turok, Tiberious and Trez already half drunken with mugs of empty ale.

“Drinking Contest?!?! BARKEEP Deal me in!” Shouts the new Dwarf

Aldi: But they are 8 drinks in already

Dwarf "I SAID DEAL ME IN!

The bartendress starts filling up mugs of ale in front of the dwarf who gulps them down, quickly

The Dwarf pushes to the bar laying out coin to join your game, he throws back 8 mugs of ale in quick succession, ale dripping from his beard he wipes a backhand across his beard then pounds the table

“Have I caught up to you yet?”

Turok answers “you are in my little friend, the more the merrier in the game of drink”

The new dwarf says nothing as he gulps down ale…..

The knight that entered with him says “KRALIN, your penchant with alcohol must not interfere with our quest” to which to dwarf replies “Fuck off I’m drinking”

The elf heads over to the fireplace and converses with Konrus, the cardsharp that Vinny was gambling with earlier.

The wizard goes over to young wizard who came down a few minutes ago and begins conversing

The Knight pays the innkeeper and is escorted upstairs

Drink 9 10 11 12……..

The new dwarf (KRALIN) pounds down ale without faltering, rivulets of ale wetting his beard

Trez is now in much distress, he is wavering on his stool and having trouble swallowing his ale

Tiberious is also feeling the effects of drinking

Turok and his 18 CON are clearly winning at this point


BAM
Trez falls off his barstool, he attempts to stand and stammers “You don’t know me…..Is it HOT in here?” He begins taking off his leather armor

“Little fucker can’t hold your alcohol…..” says Kralin

Trez tries to swing a punch at the dwarf but staggers backward falling over tangled in his half removed armor

Ostetler the inn keep, yells “That’s enough of you, up to yor room or out you go!”
Trez looks to be out cold on the floor (Trez out)

Drink 13
Tiberious is faltering but sees that the Dwarf Kralin is also in trouble, glassy eyed wavering

Drink 14
Tiberious and Kralin are clinking their mugs together when both their brains shut off simultaniously They slowly lean over as their head clunk together.
The two look like lovers leaning over for a kiss, each sleeping dwarf precarioulsy holding up the other, heads clunked together

TUROK WINS !

Turok thinks it best to sleep it off, his competetors have been vanquished
Turok sweeps the coin winnings into his hands
Trez and Kralin are still sprawled in the bar

Turok drags Tiberious upstair to their shared room, the dwarf already snoring
Turok returns for one more mug of ale. Then returns to the room, locks the door, then slams down the ale and passes out as well

Turok and Tiberious wil get a long rest

View
A drinking game is proposed

To those still in the tavern Turok, Alynis, Tiberious, Helm

The Dwarf and the Barbarian have been challenged to a drinking contest by a patron. That will occur rolls when I get home tonight

Helm is going to leave for the Church of St Cuthbert, Alynis has decided to leave with him.

Another towns person comes into the tavern. You notice it is the older man (who looked like Helm) who greeted you as you walked into the village. There is something different about him though, he seemed older and vulnerable when you saw him first. He is walking more upright and no longer has the dirty cloak on, but pieces of studded leather armor worn loose and a longsword at his belt

“Renton!” the Innkeeper says to him and moves to shake his hand. Renton shakes hands and then looks the bar over. Seeing the drinking contest about to start he states, “Lets try to keep a clean game boys, no need to bust up a tavern just cause you’ve had a snootful”

Omiel (the drunk who is out of money) “Don’t worry father, I am not participating”

Renton: Drank yourself broke again did you boy?

Omiel (sheepishly) "yes sir "

Trez: (the guy who challenged you to the contest) We keep it civil sir,
Everyone feels Trez is a bit smarmy.

As the trio pay for their rooms and ante up for beers and potential cleanup the barkeep sets out the first rounds

Toruk (who can drink 6 beers before needing to throw a save) tells the others he will make quick work of them, no one out drinks a man of his size

Tiberious (who can drink 4 beers before needing to throw a save) states “Ah but I am a dwarf and no one can outdrink a dwarf”

Trez the challenger looks both of you up and down “gentlemen let the game commence” He takes out two small sand ‘minute’ timers. One minute to drink one minute to rest and let the alcohol get in yah"

Everyone is starting the game with 2 drinks already consumed
It is a “slam” a beer quick contest, gulp a beer down in a minute

BEERS 1-2 (no save needed)
The 3 drink down their first 2 beers without any difficulty. Tiberious is having the best time, forgetting a few cares and tossing back copious amounts of ale. Toruk a bit more serious, this is like any strength contest and he wants to win.

Trez is quiet and calculating. You get a ‘rogue’ vibe off him

The other patrons in the bar are aware of your game, most pay little attention

Renton the older man who came in gets ale and cheese and sits in a corner, he chuckles at your drinking prowess

Ostler the innkeeper eyes you nervously

Renton save “A gold on the Dwarf!”
Ostler says “I’ll take that bet I get the big guy….sorry Trez”

Beers 3 and 4 (no save from Turok, save with advantage Tiberious)
Tiberious barley makes his saves and both with advantage
DC 12 rolls a 12
DC 14 rolls a 15

Tiberious is to proud to admit those didn’t go down great, he is a dwarf and is gonna power through this….too weary from the road march he thinks

Turok is seriously drinking, these beers can’t hurt him

Trez chokes a bit on his 6th beer…could be he’s having some trouble

5-6
Drinks 5 and 6 do not phase Turok, on his 6th drink he feels BETTER (a natural 20) giving him advantage on next save (rolls were 18 and 27)

Tiberious is feeling fine, his earlier stumble of close saves is pushed aside including a couple good rolls (20 and 21)

Trez isn’t looking so hot, the alcohol is getting to him as Turoka dn Tiberious are now ignoring him a bit and just having a good time

7-8
Turok is surging ahead, smashing down ale and asking for more (another natural 20) rols of 22 adn 27

Tiberious hiccups and spits a little beer out his nose, he wipes it away and continues as if nothing happened (success on a 20 and fail on a 11)

Trez is bleary eyed and not quite straight ion his barstool

The patrons are now watchign and fully engrossed

The door to the tavern opens and one of the lads sticks his head in, “Ostler, more guests…” Ostler heads outside yelling to you guys "Intermission? I want to see how this finishes)

In just a few minutes the door opens Ostler is leading a group of 4 individuals into the bar,
Chainmail armored fighter type
Leather armored rogue type
Robed Mage
Chainmailed cleric type

Another adventuring party has come to Hommlett

You are 8 rounds into your drinking contest, 10 beers in each of you…..

View
Meanwhile back at the Inn

At the Inn

Ostler (innkeep) says “Roy how’d you sleep” everyone turns to see a skinny mage in flowing robes walking down the stairs. he/she is a beautiful elf, although with elves penchant for androgyny it is hard to tell that Roy is a boy or girl. His robes are clean and neat and he has a book and a small chest tucked under one arm

Roy yawns and shrugs, wandering to the bar, he/she orders wine then moves to a table.

He opens the book and chest and begins removing little apparatus from the chest. It looks like a chemistry set

“Roy remember,” Ostler hollers, “You damage it you pay for it”

“Yes yeas,” Roy replies meekly, “I’ll never accomplish anything if I worry about blowing stuff up.” he/she is mixing a green powder into a vial of liquid……

Helm’s got half an interest in talking to the local Cleric, Cleric-to-Cleric, as it were. See what he can tell us about the area, it’s history, any troubles, etc. He asks Ostler./..

Ostler says," That would be Calmer the priest at the temple of St Cuthbert. You can see it from the back window of the tavern on a hill overlooking the town about 500 feet away due north"

The church looks to be a 2 story stone structure with a small tower on on side

Ostler lets you know that after the Temple of Evil fell the territories of Veluna and Verbobonc became staunch allies. The Archcleric of Veluna erected the Church to thank the people for their service in destroying the moathouse outpost. “But if you ask me, they just felt there were too many druids around here and wanted to force their religion on them.” He smiles, “I ain’t got time for that worship shit, pardon my judgmental tone”

Calmert is the priest up there, but word is they are sending some higher up cleric who should arrive anyday now, to look over the area.

Calmert’s got what most of you religious types have….gold fever, so if you want to talk to him toss him something shiny, alms for the poor, and he’ll be nicer to you…

Helm and ALynis leave headed to the Church

View
Vinny scouts the town

We seem to be equally matched, Vinny smiles at Konrus, knowing she’s cheating loaded dice and marked cards (he was cheating as well)
She smiles back “seems so…” she reshuffles her deck

Vinny gets up and moves toward the front door checking on Tiberious and Turok who are conversiong with the two drunks Trez and Omiel
Trez is offering to play drinking games for money, which intrigues Vinny for a second then thinking better of it to be iniebriated this early in the day after a long march may not be the best idea. Let the dwarf and barbarian make bad descisions

He is followed out the door by Ostler the Innkeeper who as teh door shuts behind him says “Hey new guy, traveler can I ask a question?”

Vinny holds, turning slightly allowing the man to talk without saying anything

“Konrus, the pretty gambler you were talking to, shes been holed up here for 2 weeks now, seems to be just shaking down travelers for coin. I think she’s cheating and I don’t want my customers being hustled. You think she was cheating?”

Vinny shakes his head and turns away without speaking….

The road runs North and East as well as South which is the way you came
You can see
To the NORTH
A church, 500 feet away, that you have been told is St Cutrhbert, it sits on a hill overlooking town
To the EAST
A defensive tower 500 feet away, sitting on a low hill
Everywhere else is homes, pastures, trees obscuring your sight-line for more than a few hundred feet.

Directly across from the Inn

LEATHER WORKERS HOUSE
As you leave the courtyard of the Inn across the street there is a modest hose with a large front porch. There are numerous leather hides stretched out on the porch, curing, most likely the tanner/leather-workers house.

A large human male in dirty breeches is chasing a small child in the yard, for a second you are alarmed then hear both laughing…as the small child yells you can’t catch me!

Leather Worker
Vinny wanders to the first home, where the large man is chasing the child. The large man sees you and smiles, “Hi friend do you want to play” Vinny realizes he is a simpleton.
A man opens the front door, Vinny introduces himself and learns this is the leather worker boots, clothes, barding, and some armor, his stuff is decent. Vinny exchanges niceties and says he is a trader who will be back….

The road curves around to the Inn to the north
The trader is to the North

SMITHY?
You hear the unmistakable sound of hammering on a anvil to the north east, you smell a fire. A home with a large attached barn, its back is facing you. Vinny walks around to find an open barn structure with a dwarf hammering away at a hunk of metal. There is a large metal sculpture of oak leaves and acorns hanging above the barn and Vinny realizes he saw a similar motif on the first house in the village. The smith is friendly, for a dwarf, and introduces himself as “Clang” Vinny looks around his business and finds out he is just a basic smith, more adapt at shoeing horses that making armor. Vinny smiles and leaves

You walk due north 100 feet from the Inn

HALL
To your left (west) of the road is a large hall type structure 30×60 with a high peaked roof . It is recent wooden construction, maybe a church? or other gathering place
There are rows of windows with closed shutters on each side every 5 feet and large double doors. There is a wooden sign out front with a black background. Chalked on the balck background are the words
TOWN MEETING 7pm
(todays date)
MILITA TRAINING noon
Company A and C
(tomorrows date)
It is vacant as still smells of new wood. He peeks inside and sees benches and a table, ready for meetings. There is a green banner depicting two acorns above a bundle of wheat.

WEAVER
Across the road from the hall (your right/east) is a very nice 40×40 2 story dwelling
There is a sign out from with a surprised expression comical sheep whose wool is being pulled off by a loom
The shutters are open and you can see several young women working a loom in the mostly open lower level There is a “factory floor” with 4 young women working looms, an older woman are moving about giving pointers as acting as a foreman. The door opens and a middle aged human man says “Can I help you?” Vinny exchanges niceties and learns that this is a good shop for fine cloth. He speaks with the man about potential trade and then moves on.

Walking 100 more feet there are two more homes to your right and left

TAILOR
There is a small 20×20 home to your left (west)
Behind his home is an orchard, rows of trees stretch back 100 feet
Down one row of trees is a smallish civilian dressed man with a crossbow
He has a target set up and is plinking away at the target, looks to be practicing his crossbow. Vinny talks to him and learns that he wants to join the Militia, but they don’t want him due to his small stature. Although Vinny sees that he is an excellent shot with the crossbow. The tailor whose name is Jinneth is an excellent artisan, Vinny feels that the high quality cloth and skilled tailor could bring some nice coin from high end clothes

The road bends to the west, now headed North West directly to the church

FARM
A modest 20×40 single story farmhouse behind which is a large barn to your right (east)
There are two large men dressed in civilian farming attire out in the barn directing a dozen sheep about. Most likely the wool that is used at the weavers.

The stream, the crossing is not bridged, looks like you walk through the 20 foot wide shallow stream

A slow moving stream runs through town, there are a half dozen homes and the church prominent on the hill overlooking the town
Vinny also sees small industry on the stream
There is a mill with a water wheel 300 feet downstream to the east and some sort of group of structures 200 feet west, sitting atop a low rise, with a high smoke stack producing wisps of smoke

But close to the other side are two buildings of keen interest

To your left (west) is a rock building
BANK
The lower level is sturdy quarried stone, 40×60 with small windows protected by iron bars, with a covered wooden porch
There is a sculpture/sign out front 3 orbs copper/silver/gold which hangs from a covered porch
There is a man wearing chain-mail armor on the porch with a crossbow “Rhodesian Ready” The stock tucked into his armpit, right hand cradling the midstock, business end pointed down.
He also has a sword at his side, looks to be a fighter type with training
There are two large mastiff type dogs, unchained and sighted on you.
There is a 40×40 stone addition without windows on the back
The second story is stucco and wood, but the windows are also protected by iron bars

Vinny talks to the guard, who eyes him suspiciously but then relaxes when he tells the story about being a travelling trader. He is led inside and meets Nira a half elf who runs this shop as a money trader and purchaser of precious metal and stone as well as jewelry. The “bank” would be a tough nut to crack, as the guard seems very capable and the dogs never take their eyes off Vinny. Nira is likable and when Vinny produces gems to ask about pricing. Nira’s pricing is a little low on her offers, offering 8 gold for a gem Vinny knows is worth 10 and he’d sell for 11 or 12. Vinny stays on her good side with his charisma letting her know that he will enjoy doing business with her at some time in the future.

TRADER
To the right east a combined building
A 2 story 30×60 wooden store with a large porch sporting all kinds of goods, behind it a barn also 30×60 looks to have been combined together by building walls connecting the two
There are many windows on the store, but the barn and the connecting area are windowless except for a few high up on the barn for light.
The addition has a large barn door on it and there looks to be a simple crane for unloading heavy items
The addition door is open and someone is brushing a horse just inside.

Vinny heads to the trader last, the store is very organized with a lot of inventory on the shelves. Vinny is greeted by IVAD who looks like Vincent Price dressed like a dandy. Vinny notices a bear of a man watching him who he assumes is the other trader that the innkeeper said was an “asshole” The bear says nothing holding a stern expression while Ivad flits about the store trying to interest Vinny in items. His prices are high, but they offer to buy as well, that Vinny shoudl bring his wares by sometime and talk business.

There are all manor of common goods, clothing, shoes, belts, packs. A great deal of tools saws, hammers as well as dungeoneering equipment ropes, spikes. They have a weapon section with a lot of common items and some fancy daggers and arrows (nothing magical) as well as leather and padded armor. Out back there are animals for sale, horses and war dogs, but Vinny feels they are not in the best of shape, as wells as some small carts and wagons.

A little disheartened that this town is pretty Podunk, Vinny stares at the stream for a bit, wondering why Helm dragged the party here…..Vinny eventually sees Helm and Alynis wandering the road toward the church to the north

View
Kvothe scouts the town

Kvothe saw a young halfling girl looking forlorn at the Inn, he followed her outside

The girl flits quickley across the vilage square and toward the east on the main road which leads out of town. Kvothe must be quick to follow her and knows that his fast movement will lessen his ability to move stealthfully

He sees the imposing defensive tower straight ahead as he rushes past several buildings that look to be shops as well as homes

After rushing 500 feet he is at the base of the tower and sees a guard atop it look over at him, he rushes past barly keeping ht egirl in his sight. 400 more feet and he has passed the construction site of the tower and is at the edge of town

The girl darts into the woods, there is a small rough track that heads NE a 45 degree angle off the main road, it curves into the woods and he looses site of the girl, but there is only one path, a rutted and rarely travelled cart path mostly overgrown that wanders out of town, and into the woods….

You do not see the girl

The track heads NE
The pathway is a rarely used forest track (see pic attached) that winds through the woods.
300 feet Directly North of you is a large flat topped foothill. The thick forest runs right up to its base. The hill is only about 30 feet above the surrounding area, but about 250 feet across

It is early morning, birds are chirping and the forest seems peaceful After 500 feet the pathway gradually turns North, you hear a waterfall through the trees to the west

Another 100 feet and you see a stream. Most likely the same stream that runs through Hommlet and ran behind the Inn.
The stream is quick moving and 20 feet wide

There is the long ago felled remains of a bridge, looks to have been stone supports on either side of the river and most likely timbers laid between
Only the stone supports on each riverbank remain. It looks as though some previous travelers have just waded through the stream which looks to be 3 feet deep
There are also old wagon ruts that have forded the stream to one side

You can see a water fall due west, towards the village, on the stream about 40 feet

The girl is still no where in site, There would be some danger as the water would come to Kvothe’s neck unless he wants to consider other means of crossing. Kvothe produces the rope of climbing and commands it to snake across to a tree on the other side

Kvothe send the rope around a far tree, tells the rope to knot itself and gets ready to cross. This will ensure he will not be swept away and can not drown ans he will horizontally “climb” the rope

As he does this he hears a voice tiny but gruff “Hey Buddy…” he looks around the voice seems to come from near but he can’t see anyone’

“Big guy, down here,” says the voice, Kvothe looks down to see a very diminutive humanoid. Almost elf like in its appearance it is less than a foot tall. The creature looks aged, with a full white beard and is dressed in animal skins “Grizzly Adams the ancient tiny elf” He has a staff as tall as him

“This river be a bitch for me to cross, how bout you help a brother out and carry me across?” it asks Kvothe decides to take this “mini-elf” across. “What is your name small one?” Kvothes queries, “Names Palcacue (Pal-cuh-choo), I’m a withered old pixie whose wings fell off long ago, life is tough when you can’t fly…..of course you know that all ready, you can’t fly can you? What’s your name tall one?”

“Kvothe, is my name Hello Palcacue, I would be happy to give you passage across the river.”

The old Pixie climbs onto your shoulder as you wade into the stream. Kvothe struggles a bit against the current, but the rope of climbing is easy to get to the other side.

On the other side the Pixie thanks you and says “and now for your reward!” the pixie leaps from you shoulder, you see him briefly as he sprouts wings then turns invisible as he flys away

Kvothe’s right leg begins to shimmy, then his left, then his pelvis gyrates in dance, soon he is in full jitter, cavorting about like he’s at the best party ever.

He dances for about 30 seconds the only sound is the tiny pixies laughter echoing and receding somewhere in the forest.

In less than a minute it is over, Kvothe was under some sort of “dance” spell. He is a little shaken by not being able to control himself,
but at the same time his playful Halfling nature found it slightly satisfying.

He’s been in that horrid underdark, fighting undead creatures, and horrible dark elves…….maybe it was a reward being forced to dance?

View
Tobold Scouts town

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.

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Druid scouts town

Storm sees a man practicing crossbow in his backyard, a casual conversation about the town leads Storm to the “Grove of the town Druid” Storm heads to a densely wooded area near the towns center, he is confronted by a bear and a middle aged elf in flowing woodland attire.

He has a small copse of older growth oak trees maybe 150 feet deep and across.
He lives in a depression in the center, near a shrine to nature. You get there by way of a small winding path flanked by blue stones. The shrine is a semi circular rock wall, handing and perched on various stones are twigs, berries and flowers. There is a low roofed shack behind it, dug into the ground. The black bear looks to be a pet, originally sleeping behind the shack, it wanders out with the druid to great Storm.

Jaroo Ashstaff is the Druids name, he has similar beliefs, in old faiths of nature as Storm and seems to trust you.

After a bit of conversation about the area your conversation turns to the areas of interest

Nulb 10 miles away
The nearby village that you have heard Usnea the cambion is near.
It is a lawless evil small town accessible by river
Stream that runs away from Hommlet runs to Nulb and by the moathosue

Moathouse 3 miles away
Outpost for the Temple of Evil, once housed to launch raids. After Battle of Emridy it was sacked with help of the villagers
Jaroo feels that evil is again nearby

Temple of Evil (near Nulb not sure exact spot)
It seems to have roots in the old faith.
The elemental forms of Air, Earth, Fire and Water
But these elementals are chaotic and against man
The temple unleashed chaos to destroy order, stop man from controling them

He would be interested in venturing with you to the Moathouse as soon as the next day

Jaroo gives you a little background on what they believed
Fire, is the personification of chaos, destroying what order it can
Water is equally destructive, but superior in its size
Air and Earth combined form the blackness of the abyss

Jaroo chuckles, fools to believe they can control nature, or that nature has a “good” or “evil”

He tells you that the towns soul is being stretched between the Old faith of the druids and a recent incursion of St Cuthbertine’s who came after the Temple fell, building a church as reward for the towns help in defeating evil.

Jaroo explains the situation in town

This area has always been strong with the old faiths, but almost 1000 years ago it is said St Cuthbert swept through this area, converting some by crushing evil. One of his tenants is
Preach softly but carry a stout cudgel and if you couple that with one of his other sayings square corners can be pounded smooth you understand that his faith looks to wear you down until you believe.

Long ago there had been a simple anchient shrine to St Cuthbert atop the far rise where the chuch stands now. 10 years ago when the evil was defeated and soldiers from Veluna came to Hommlet they saw the shrine, soon there after the powers of good decided to gift us their religion (he sneers) They built the church. It has taken hundereds of years and now Cuthbart is spreading, our corners are being pounded smooth……

Don’t get me wrong, they are good people and their faith is honest and good, they just lack understanding of nature and natural progression. Winter must come, things must die, death brings forth life……

So we can now count upon only 11 households that stil hold the faith, while 7 are fully Cuthbertian

BUT the faithful are still the powerful in the town:
Village Elder Talos, and his large powerful family
The smith Clang
The brewer Zymur
And the Miller Mytch

The Cuthberts are mostly new to village, their congregation numbers a mere 25 adults plus the 3 preists at the church. There was a priestess, but she left a year ago of a sabbatical. They are supposed to get another high priest and he is set to arrive anyday now……

The grove allows you to keep an eye on the town

Kvothe is the first to leave the inn, he walks the road east toward the defensive tower

The gnome Tobold and the new halfling Welby leave about 15 minutes later, also travelling east. Tobold the ranger looks over the woods that you are in, moving thorugh the edge of it, but doesn’t investigate.
Another 10 minutes and a man yells down from a window on the upper floors of the Inn “His highness wants you up here to bring down his stuff”

The fighter goes back into the Inn

Minutes later the fighter and a skinny man in monk’s robes begin loading the cart with boxes . A portly trader is watchign them and yelling at them to work faster

15 minutes later Vinny leaves the Inn, he moves up the road to the north toward the Cuthbert church on the far hill. He stops and gets good look at the buildings he passes.

Helm, Alynis, Toruk and Tiberious are still at the Inn.

A tough looking fighter type comes out of the Inn and goes into the stable in a few minutes come out leading a strong looking dapple grey horse that he begins hitching to one of the two wagons parked in the yard.

Helm and Alynis leave the Tavern, they head North on the road toward the Church and in the direction Vinny went

You see the halfling trader Welby and the Gnome Tobold wandering back from the tower. They have more than likely “informed” on the happenings of the last few days

You read the gnome Tobold as a good guy hero type, looking to save the world from evil, while the halfling Welby as a simple trader but with some sort of arcane skill. He is either oblivious to his talent or hiding it like Alynis.

The two are nearing the Inn when another group rides into town.
1-A “knight” on a white charger leading the group, armor gleaming, sword at his belt,
2-Following the knight is a pretty looking elf in fitted leather armor on a very fast looking well groomed horse, then the weirdos
3-An armored dwarf on the biggest goat you’ve ever seen
4- Then a very large otter
5-an ancient human male dressed in mages robes, he sits cross legged on a translucent blue disk
6-a small wagon pulled by a pony, piloted by a Kobold

The group lets the stable boys take the wagon and their horses to the stable of the inn, and they begin to file inside.

The wizard does some hand motions and his disk disappears, he then bends down and the otter jumps into his arms. The Knight removes his helm, he is human and goes into the tavern followed by the elf and dwarf

The Wizard talks to the otter then lets it go, you see it scurry behind the tavern

The stable boys come running out of the stable being chased by the Kobold. The wizard and Kobold seem to argue, then the wizard does some hand motions and the Kobold “yips” and rushes back into the stable, the Wizard appears to pay the stable boys

The Wizard then walks into the tavern

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All Adventures start in the bar

Niceties are exchanged and the party spreads out in the dining hall. There is a small dog darting about peoples legs and the two ruffians at the bar are trying to convince Turok and Tiberious to drink with them.

Tables;
At a far table a middle aged man in dirty clothes and two young adults, possibly a couple, are eating quietly. They all have pale skin and dark hair

Table near the bar
A middle aged well dressed human with a pot belly is eating a turkey leg. He is flanked by a burley looking fighter type,in leather armor with a sword at his belt, and a thin human in monks robes. The fighter is sipping beer and eyeing you. THe monk appears to be sleeping

Table to right of front door
Sleeping older man near a flagon of beer

Right of fireplace
A thin well dressed woman is sitting at a small table. She has on ornate leather armor and a fur cloak. There are cards and dice on the table as well as a few silver pieces. She is looking at you and flipping a silver piece through his fingers. Vinny wanders back to the obvious cardsharp and introduces himself to her. Konruss is her name and the two gamblers sit down to a game of cards…..

A salesman/trader comes inside, he is dressed like a dandy and introduces himself as the proprietor of the local trade shop, offering discounts.
“Adventurers? HELL-OOOOH he says obviously buttering you up I am Ivad the trader, i run a shop in town. Just north of her, just across the river. Come now, I give 1% off everything in store.

“Get out Ivad!” says the innkeepers wife, “Let them wash the dust from their throats with ale before you try rip them off.” Ivad tries to save face
“2% off but only for the next 15 minutes!” Ivad looks at you then at the bar matron and sticks out his tongue, wheels about and begins to leave, he stops at the door turns back about and states “Be ye adventures, I pays top dollar for treasure! I sell AND buy, come see me.”

Ostler the bartender tells the adventurers of the lore of a huge black dog that prowls the surroundings, if anyone sees it they will die the next day. He tells the story of the druids that lived here before who were driven away by goblins. Later when humans resettled the area, they woudl wall up a live cat in every building which would keep the evil black dog away. He shows you a mummified cat that he says came out of the wall of this tavern when he did some remodeling.

A middle aged couple come in very friendly, Bierce (male) Morrin (female) say hi to everyone. Tell you ledgend of Black Schmuck a donkey sized black dog that if you see it, means ill will befall you, and if it follows you home you will die the next day.

Ostler the Innkeeper says his cat Fluffy protects the Inn. Points at the mumified cat

Tobold has a drink at the bar and then moves outside, he and Welby will scout the town, Welby looking for a place to sell his wares. They move outside and head toward the tower that looks to be the beginnings of a castle.

Tiberious and Turok get into a drinkng contest with one of the two bar denziens, the other already looking fairly drunk has run out of money.

Helm, Kvothe and Alynis look about the tavern. Alynis and Kvothe see a youngish girl looking forlorn, when Kvothe moves toward her she moves out the front door, Kvothe follows…..

Storm is still outside, he has moved up a stream-bed into the middle of the town, he sees a man practicing crossbow and moves to talk with him.

Vinny is having no luck gambling, a stalemate as his adversary is very talented. He decides to leave the bar, and look for the trader who came in the bar earlier.

Helm and Alynis decide to head toward the church (St Cuthbert) that is on the hill behind the town. They leave the bar.

Storm has been guided to the local druid who has a grove in the midst of town. He learns the town is divided between followers of St Cuthbert and druids of the old faith. Cuthbert is new having recently established the church after the battle of Emridy Meadows. Storm sees another adventuring party arrive. Paladin, Dwarf, Rogue and Wizard, they also have a Kobold with them who is driving a wagon full of stuff, it is parked in the stable. The 4 others go inside.

Tiberious and Turok plunk down some money to start the drinking game just as another band of adventurers comes in. Lead by a paladin in shining armor and consisting of a well dressed rogue and a grizzled wizard as well as a dwarven cleric who wants in on the drinking contest. Drink til you pass out winner take all is the game.

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Welcome to Hommlet

The Knon hills are to the right and the Gnarly forest to the left as the party heads due north on a well maintained road. Just after sunup they spy a sleepy little farm town, about 30 buildings surrounded by fields and some trees. There is a church on the far side hill, and a defensive tower to the east edge. What looks like a large inn at the towns center. A few people can be seen moving about as the day begins….

Storm moves to the edge of town and skirts cautiously, the rest of the party wanders in on the main road. Dogs bark and a large woman eyes you cautiously from a window on the first house. An older man with a sack over his back is walking toward you. Children are shearing a sheep, a man is leading a horse from a barn……Good day travelers’" says the old man now 10 feet from you.

Pleasantries are exchanged and the party is directed to the Welcome Wench Inn, just 200 feet up the packed earth road. Farmhouses close together dot each side with their fields or pastures behind them. The Inn is a 2 story structure, made mostly of timber and looking to have a large gathering place on the first floor with rooms above as many small windows dot the second floor. Itis surrounded by a small rock wall, there are two traders wagons in the courtyard and a stable behind.

As the party nears the Inn there are two teenage boys, taking turns, punching each other in the arm. A large balding man with a stained leather jerkin, moves from the barn aside the Inn, yells at the teenagers who snap to attention and then he turns and welcomes you

“Hello travelers, I am Ostler your host, The Wench Welcomes you.” You see a sign with a buxom smiling woman holding several flagons of beer……The wagon they have been guarding is unhitched from its horse, which is led into the stable. Welby its merchant, gathers his wares to bring inside.

Storm meanwhile has found a stream running through the center of town, he is moving in it under the cover of its banks into the midst of the town…..

The party moves indie a well worn, lodge. Animal heads on the wall, huge rock fireplace, many tables for customers. The room is 80 feet long with a 20 high ceiling hung with metal chandeliers
6 solid log columns hold up the roof
Stairs lead up far to your left flanked by two doors
There are 3 large picnic style tables down the near wall
2 large round tables in the near and far corner and 6 smaller tables scatted throughout.
A large fireplace dominates the far wall, the huge head of a stag mounted at its center
Two serving girls are moving about the dozen guests seated at tables
Two men are seated at the bar, one turns to you and eyes you up and down.

Straight ahead is a bar with a dozen stools surrounding it, a middle aged woman smiles at you from behind the bar
About a dozen people are scattered about, Most notably
>Two scoundrel looking drinkers at the bar, being admonished by the barmaid, one of them looking at you.
>A portly noble? guarded by a monk and fighter eating at a table near the front door
>A well dressed card sharp plying her trade far in the back
>A passed out man at one table to your right

Tiberious Turok and Tobold all run to the bar, Vinny moves back to engage the cardsharp and Alynis, Kvothe, and Helm settle in to a table for food.

Man loking at you, at bar has a few days growth of beard, his white shirt is stained with beer, he has a dagger in a scabbard at his waist “Adventurers?” he says “Come in have a drink the ale is fantastic” he waves a hand

Tobold is first to the bar as he and Tiberious race there, Kvothe follows

The three sits near him he wall ask them if they are adventures? He wants to adventure as he needs gold for ale. He knows a lot of this area and could be a good guide (hiccups)

The others head to a table at the rear of the Inn

He looks to be some kind of fighter as he has decent muscles

Names Omiel, my brother is a famous fighter, he’s away on quests. I wanna be a famous fighter too! (slugs beer)

Other man at bar speaks up
“Don’t let this drunk talk you into taking him with you, come Omile old boy how bought we bet on another drinking game?”
The other man is wearing leather armor, but it is worn loose and not combat ready, he also has a dagger at his belt.

“Oh you took all my money,” blurts the first man
“How about you, you in?” asks the man in leather armor to Turok?

Group declines drinking games for now

Bar matron is Ostler’s wife Adlitami says “Shut up you two let the newcomers have a minute and an ale before you start hassling them”

Can I get you fine people some food or drink ?

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Leaving at Midnight
Hommlet bound

The party has decided to try to look for Fraggart as he was last seen in the direction they are going anyway. They have taken on the job of guarding a travelling halfling named Welby, a tailor who is going to Homlett to sell his wares.

The group sets out from Sheernob just after midnight, feeling that their darkvison will be good enough on the road that they have been told is safe. The moon is out and the sky slightly overcast. The blackness of the mountains are on the left rising into the sky as is a dense forest to their right .

The party has gone about 8 miles when Tobold out front indicates that there is something on the road ahead. Stealthfully they creep to find several enormous man sized birds eating something on the road. 3 eat while one circles above. There is some discussion as to waiting until the birds finish and leave on their own, or to attack…attack wins out

The party attacks with surprise and fells two of the creatures right away, the other 2 burst into flame, alight they light up like beacons of the proverbial Phoenix and rush at the party who is well covered and makes quick work of them

There is a shrill horn sound and from the woods charge a dozen goblins two mounted on worgs! They quickly are within the party who fight back with magic and steel. The goblins attack is swift and fierce but the party turns it aside with only minor injuries.

Cleaning up after the battle the party finds little, one of those random encounters that threaten travellers. But there is some concern, this road was said to be safe, what is the goblin raiding party doing here? Vinny wants to track, but the group presses on to find where info on Fraggart was last seen.

The road forks northwest (left) and southeast (right).

The road to the SE looks to leave the Welkwood forest and enter the Gnarley Forrest. The road itself is rutted and only a dirt track. The trees increase in size, thicker trunks, more underbrush and less visibility. Many of the trees are darker colors, some wood appearing black.

The NW left continues to skirt the foothills of the mountains toward Hommlet. This is where they have been told where the ransom to Fraggart was left about a mile straight ahead at a ruined farmhouse The sky is starting to lighten with the upcoming dawn

There is a well maintained sign with arrows pointing in either direction
Arrow pointing NW
VERBOBONC 65
Hommlet 10
Cienga Vally 30

Arrow pointing SE
Narwell 100

This is where the gnomes said they went “straight” one mile to find the farmhouse and leave the ransom. The party ventures into the woods and eventually finds the farmhouse remains. Looking about there are no clues and tracks are lost in the underbrush and dark

Storm, Tobold and Tiberious perss ahead to the farmhouse while the others stay with the wagon which is hidden just off the road. Finding the farmhouse they find little further clues to Fraggart’s disappearance. Tobold attempts to track where they were told the bandits went, but it has been weeks and he loses the trail

They return to the road and head toward Hommlet, hoping to gather more info there

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