9142, Month 8, Day 2
You travel into the next fief seeking the lineages of the ancient families. Broken Spear Ford is the next stop… you cut overland trying to shave some time off. The city, (Pop. 2000) is the ancient capital of the fief, though it now mostly lies in disrepair. Your sources have told you that the current family squeezes the populace for all they can, and has made the old steading at the village of Bluewhal into a fortified town. At the capital, there is still a town hall and a large populace, as all the trade routes still come through this town. Broken Spear Ford is the seat of municipal power for a loose collection of territories which include:
- Hamlet of Osmich
- Village of Dayool
- Manse Jonesh
The ruins of Oxbridge Tower at Broken-Spear Ford serve as the town hall and jail. The mayor’s office is there, and he directs the party to seek out Charles Quirellmyn, owner of White River Dairy on the southern edge of town.
Charles Quirellmyn – He is the cousin of Flaumen Quirellmyn , who rules from Bluewhal Keep. Charles is the family representative in the old capital. He puts on a good front, and tells the party the records are safe, but that they are sealed in the vaults of the famly tombs to the north, in the hills outside of Dartmith’s Point. Unsealing these is possible, but its a lot of pomp, a big affair, very costly. He could be persauded to talk to the family if the group would help him. He wants the group to steal cattle from county Faer! The initial reaction is none too friendly to that prospect. After several minutes of exchanging inuendo, he tells them that it will cost 5000 silvers for the right ceremonies and signs to be observed. There is a final way though… for 1000 silvers and no ‘whispers in the dark’, he could tell them of an old entrance known only to him and a few of the family – they could then sneak in and verify themselves. He does warn the party, there are a few restless spirits that may bar the way, but they are slow or dim-witted and most can simply be ran away from.
Hiring Karl Herzog and Scouting the Raid
9142, Month 8, Day 3
Karl: Local huntsman (hand axe/dagger) can lead the party to the old town where the crypts are. His tracking skills are easily twice Beedels, and Beedel asks to follow him in all things to learn to improve his own tracking skills. Karl negotiates an equal portion of loot for his role in where the party goes.
9142, Month 8, Day 4
Plan a raid: Karl says that there has not been a raid in 4 years when the party asks to help them scout a drive trail back from Faer. The party learns this is a “common” incident, though not as frequent in the last few decades. The track a place across the creek north of town and a path that leads another 15 miles, 9 of it into Faer, to a small valley where some 40+ head of cattle are grazing. On foot, the party makes its way back. As they are crossing into Horpan again, Horace and Beedel are pulling covering guard. Horace spots a cowboy on horse back apparently tracking the group… he ambushes the cowboy and takes him hostage. With little torture and a promise to return his gear and let him leave Faer and go north, the cowboy finally gives up the info. Theres a small camp with a cook, a teamster, and 4 more cowboys. Usually they go 2 in day, 2 in night and 1 at mid-day. There are 4 dogs as well – herders not much of fighters. Each cowboy has a self bow and hand axe. Horace has a plan that he will pose as the wounded cowboy, coming in at morning when 2 riders are out, take the camp by surprise and the rest of the group will use that distraction to deal with the others.
9142, Month 8, Day 5
Execute Cattle Raid: The plan goes off completely without a hitch, other than the cook attacked Ace and he was hit in his collarbone with a big frying pan. Only 1 cowboy was killed. All their horses were taken as the group came on foot to reduce the chance of being seen.
The non drovers manage to get over half the cattle heard back across the border. Arrangements are made with Sira Charles and he takes the extra head, paying out to the local tanner to purchase and fit a suit of boiled leather armor for Beedel.
Armor for Beedel + Follow-Up Plan: Fitted boiled leather is made for Beedel. Its pretty nice, but its expensive – over 800 due to availability issues out in the small towns. Sira Charles Quirrelmyn tells them of a secret passage that leads from under the old Shrine not Gaia in Tunwelsh to the lower catacombs of the family crypts. He makes the group promise not to disturb the dead! Swear on their honor! Once they are in, the path to follow is ‘right, then left, then right again’.
Belim goes to the town records with Grumwell and they research whats happened in the area. Tunwelsh was a simple site for a family shrine and crypts until a rock slide in the gulley leading to the crypts exposed a vein of silver. With the flood and drowning of the miners and subsequent deaths, few have been so bold. Twice legitimate companies have tried to claim and re-open the mine and superstition and bad luck has followed. Once some independent squatters tried to mine it. For a few weeks their luck held out, then they vanished and were never heard from again, Such is the fate of all adventurers, the last 17 years ago. Always seeking silver, hidden gold or temple treasure, or to wrest the dead of their buried treasure. None are ever heard of again.
Path to Tunwelsh
9142, Month 8, Day 7
Its only a few days – Horpan has some measure of roads left, but Karl is going slow, making sure he stops to talk to locals and get any important news as he goes.
Ambush at Gellards Pond: Where the Old North Fork road branches of at Gellards Pond is where an ambush awaits the group. Once all have passed, a hidden cultist of Elancil summons for a column of water and it attacks Horace from behind. Horse grabs his sadlle for dearlife and he is entangled. A few in the group are stunned, but Belim rides in and severs the limb holding Ace. After a few fruitless attacks on it, the group manages to get it to maul Ace’s horse while they try and figure out what weapons to use to harm it. Jiles and Beedel both spot movement amonst some scrub and wait for a few round before they confirm its a head and fire as it shoots up, Beedel nails the cultist of Elancil right through the head while Jiles’s goes wide. The column of stagnant pond water drops to the ground and the crew investigates. They discover the Holy Symbol and surmise that the cult of Elancil – once thought to be driven from the area, is back.
Haunted Ruins: Little was left of Tunwelsh. The group could find no evidence of trail use and watched nothing move for about an hour on the ouskirts of town. The old shrine was easily spotted once Jiles singled out the burned Beastwoord (though still standing) and the old foundation snext to it must be the shrine to Gaia. The thatch roof looked old and in disrepair, but as Beedel notes there should be no roof at all given the decay of the rest of the town. The party goes through the scrub (not town) to approach the shrine from behind. There is no back door but long overgrown trails reveal passage only a path back to the road between it and shrine – there must be other dwellers in the shrine, perhaps once again of Elancil. Beedel finds no way inside after sneaking around front. The gang assembles, Jiles and Beedel holding a trip rope and counting down for a rush – then they see 4 zombies shuffle from the ruins of the town and attack the party. Jiles coordinated the ranged weapons. Ace climbs up on the roof but cannot find purchase enough the shoot. After 2 volleys of various weapons, one zombie is killed. The group makes a defense on the edge of the burned Beastwood, and Ace joins the fight as they cut down the zombies with minimal lose to themselves.. in time to notice Timor, the priest of Elancil, adjuring something at them. The branches of the Beastwood animate and grab Jiles. The rest of the crew gets free and charges. Lightning splits the sky and rain begins to pour. The wrath of Elancil strike Jiles and Ace, an Onus hanging about them. The priest is quickly taken care of, though the wrath of Elancil is felt by those that strike him. Jiles suggests cutting his head off – which is done.
Shrine to Elancil: Grumwell find his family crest buried amidst symbolism on the altar and it slides aside, revealing a way down as Sira Quirrelmyn said. The group enters the cold, rough cut passage leading under the hill in which the gullet and crypt entrace is housed. It leads to a portcullis with the mechanism on their side. IT is raised, making a lot of noise in the proocess. Horace drops the body, feeling any need for it may have passed once in. Belim lights a favor candle to help them in the crypt.
Tunnel to Loer Catecombs
Follow directions: The group follows the directions explicitly, neither searching in other room sor even wondering. The group enters the offering room, as ecpected. Old relief sculpting, offering altars, a few sarcohagi and old tapestry remnants create a mouldering smell, and then the right wall a carved family tree into the wall of the crypt. Vraxen gets to work and takes a rubbing of the entire thing, not sure what is what. A half hour later they leave – touching nothing.
Ghoul encounter: As they reach the portcullis area, a ghoul is found munching on the headless priest’s corpse. The feral ghoul attacks, striking Vraxen and driving a few of the others catatonic in dread. The feral claws and bite inflict several wounds on the group, buts its attacks are random. Slowly it diminishes its physical presence to survive the constant blows raining down on it. When only Vraxen is fighting, Jiles takes a huge chance and attempts to use his gift of abeyance – calling upon the courage of Rstur. It works! The ghoul slinks off into the darkness… with Belim seeking a parting shot as the torn up thing.
Grumwell poisoned: It turns out that Grumwell caught a random swipe from the ghoul when he came down to check on the party after waiting in the church – though the ghoul got distracted and tore at the fresh dead body of the priest of Elancil. He is growing feverish by the time the group grabs him and returns to the shrine above. Jiles gets the wound under control, but cannot say for the infection. The group loots the church of valuables, totaling near 500 all together.
Trapped in the church: Ace looks out the peephole and asks Belim to come over. They are looking out the peep hole at a village washed clean by the rain – including the graveyard. Ten skeletons have animated at the will of Elancil to get revenge for her priest’s death. Belim slowly turns and tells the group “we may have a problem”…