5th day, 12th month (Dance’s End) of 526 AF (concluded)

The party routed the kobold ambush party, and discovered a tunnel leading out of the dungeon to an ancient dock on the banks of an underground river. There they discovered the kobold group who actually had the Egg, who were bickering amongst themselves as to whether to simply leave (or at least go back and find out what was delaying the other kobolds) or follow orders and stay put. Using a Spider Climb spell on Jack Scabbard to get the element of surprise, the party made short work of the kobolds and retrieved the Egg.

The party noted that the kobolds could not have transported the gunpowder barrels on their rickety raft – they also noted that whilst there was a human-made boat at the dock (and evidently quite a magical one, with a figurehead clutching an orb with Continual Light on it and a rope tying it in place in time as well as space to as keep it secured) there was no sign of anyone who might have piloted it. (More disturbingly, the figurehead was, on the surface at least, a depiction of the Burning Judge, but Vaclav noted certain inconsistencies which suggested it was actually a disguised depiction of the Tyrant.)

Returning with the Egg, the party were able to have it returned to the Archbishop of the Church of the Kindly Messenger, ensuring that the diplomatic negotiations with the Zetanians concluded successfully. Whilst waiting for the process to finish, the party had a chat with Professor Athjiari, Vaclav’s former tutor and magical advisor to the Barthory family, who had decided to oversee a thorough investigation of the dungeon areas beneath the palace. The Professor noted that there were indications of the worship of several deities of Evil in the dungeon, suggesting that it was home to a powerful cult of the Tyrant (since as the exemplar of pure Evil the Tyrant encourages its followers to cultivate and foster the other cults of Evil).

He had also used magical means of persuasion to speak to the kobold the party had captured, and learned that the kobold clan in question had turned away from the worship of the Burning Judge (who bestows a certain degree of protection on some humanoid monsters and allows them to live on the surface world in return for them living like surface worlders – having children, getting old and dying in their turn) and sworn the Tyrant’s Pact – a vile oath of fealty to the cults of pure Evil which allows monsters to, through the bloody sacrifice of all dependents in their tribe, create portals to the underworld that full-grown reinforcements may come through, so that the humanoids in question may undertake nigh-suicidal missions in the name of Evil. The kobold group in question apparently came from the wild lands north of Arcol, where society had collapsed entirely in the plague of some years ago and several monster groups operated freely. The Professor said the party was welcome to help with the exploration of the dungeons; their role would likely involve a lot of mapping, a lot of fighting dungeon inhabitants, and a lot of extracting ancient treasures from the depths.

Next, the party spoke to Countess Barthory, Vaclav’s mother, who congratulated them on their recovery of the Egg. She mentioned that the negotiations had concluded peacefully, the Zetanians agreeing to set aside the ruinous reparation payments that King Manfred had agreed to in return for Arcolian help in their own struggles against Evil plots which had been causing them some trouble.

Vana noted that when the Laughing Wolf stirs in the depths of the earth Evil tends to erupt everywhere; other party members wondered whether there was a closer connection. The Countess declared that she had very little way of knowing whether there was a connection, and that was part of the problem – it looked like the new post-royalist government of Arcol would be highly decentralised, with local nobles and rulers holding a lot of sway within their own territory. This concerned her because she felt that the central government needed to be proactively seeking out dangers to the realm, rather than waiting until parts of the Commonwealth were being actively eaten before swinging into high gear. She had convinced the Commonwealth Senate to allow her to conduct a Grand Survey of the realm; Surveyors would be charged with travelling around to document which settlements were still extant after the war, what state they were in, what resources they possessed and so on, and would also be authorised to deal with any problems or trouble as they saw fit. She was keen for Vaclav to take part in this, though she was willing to let him keep his own schedule since part of the job would entail prioritising what to investigate.

The Countess also mentioned that Athard, who had been guarding the Egg’s chamber with Jack, had gone missing – a serving boy thought he saw him sneaking out of the palace but otherwise there were few clues as to where he had gone. She rather wanted Athard found on the off-chance that he was involved with the plot to steal the Egg in some way.

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Filed under Roll20 group, Session summaries

One response to “5th day, 12th month (Dance’s End) of 526 AF (concluded)

  1. Dear Meg,

    This has been a right old day and no mistake. The gentry are still talking shop so there’s nowt for the likes of us to do bar strolling. But today there come a dozen kinds of commotion, and what’st tha think but someone had snuck in and took yon Egg as I told thee about it before? The guards were all killed and a mighty stink in the air, which master Scabbard said as how it were poison, but he said, we munt worry on that head. Happen they was took by surprise. Any road, we seen a crack int wall as were a secret door, and hied on after yon Egg. It were a long stair down, into a dusty place I shouldn’t say a soul had seen sin a hundred years back. Well a good thing we did, there were a deal of powder barrels stacked up and a fuse burning, which Master Scabbard snuffed out. There were a crowd of kobbers and it were touch and go for a while, but master Vaclav is right handy for a wizard, and put them to sleep quick as winking. Mistress Vana the dwarf which I mentioned can talk to kobbers and made one tell us which road to go which it did, although kobbers are allus treacherous and first it tried to hoodwink us.

    There were a whole mess of tunnels there and some of them right peculiar. One place were painted up wi wolves and the smart folks reckon as how it be a secret shrine to the Wolf from the old days of Mad Lorok. Which goes to show that where there’s brass there’s muck as tha might say, and there were things as baint fit for thy reading. There were more kobbers and a great weasel which they sen on us and near did mistress Vana a mischief but I fetcht it down and got a fine skin off it. I baint seen the like out East before. Tha can tell Allan Stronginthearm his spear is gradely and I’ll sing his praises to anyone as asks. We found the last on em by a river and master Vaclav played a marvellous trick where he made Scabbard like a nethercrop to walk on the ceiling and drop onto their chief while we come from the other side. Me and Jack were a mite scuffed as tha might say but nowt to worry over. We found the Egg as well as a magic boat with a knotted rope as weren’t right to look at and set my head to pounding, right sinister if tha asks me and master Vaclav said as it were old magic. They were fain to have yon Egg back. The scholars are for sending us back down to scout deeper so happen I’ll have more to write soon. The Countess also talkt to us, and plans a survey which she would like us to join in with, to go across the country tallying folks and generally nosing. That reeks of taxes to me and tha can guess my take, but I reckon master Vaclav is also not keen, he seemed as eager as me to bide a while here and look into the tunnels instead. He may be over mealy mouthed but he seems a right one any road, and fond of his brother, who the Countess counts for nowt on account of birthing the wrong side of the sheets, which is no fault of his. But the gentry are right stuffy about on such things. Which ain’t to say tha should be getting into any bother, young Meg. And master Vaclav had a deal of praise for all of us and is not a man to snatch the glory for hissel.

    Any road I must be off and look for a guard who was watching the Egg and has gone astray. Happen he was mixt up in this business but Jack thinks not, so who can tell. Mind thyself and hang a fir hoop for me come Slaking Night for I shan’t be back to mek one. And be sure that Alaric is keeping an eye on mistress Maud. I’ll send thee summat when the prize money comes.

    Oswyn

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