Friday, April 12, 2024

Campaign Journal: Back To Neuforde, and Slight Detours

 The night's party:

  • Frederick
  • Rondel
  • Slick
  • Fulvus
  • Jax
And away we go! The party passed through a couple of towns, spending the night in Alaric, a town of about 250 people. The party laid up in the inn (The Brass Lord) with no issues, however, they found that one of their pack horses had been poisoned in the morning, requiring a replacement. Odd.

They continued south. While taking a break for lunch, hench Roderick wandered off to relieve himself and discovered a barrow by falling into it. Thankfully, Tim Shorts had put that barrow there. After rescuing and healing poor Roderick, the party squeezed into the cramped barrow to explore. Rondel determined that nothing alive was down there to harm them. They puzzled at the pair of clay crow statues in the corridors, one of which had a tapping/scratching noise. For the moment, they avoided them, and Fulvus squeezed by one to enter a tomb. He found himself whisked away to face this thing:

...who clearly wanted payment of some kind. Fulvus offered it some gold coin, which it rejected. About that time, Slick was invisibly whisked in, as well. In spite of his magic ring, the thing seemed to sense him, and was doubly disappointed that he didn't have the correct toll. So of course they fought. Thankfully, both of our 'heroes' were able to do the thing in, without any harm, finding themselves back in the original chamber. At least they found some jars with some odd coins, a bracelet, and a roll of parchment with fortification descriptions dating back to the prior wars in the area. 

Oh, let's look at that crow statue closer. Something seemed to be inside of it, and Fulvus attempted to smoke it out by lighting some oil in a hole he found in the body of the statue. He was successful, and several giant centipedes burst out, leading to some centipede-stabbing.

The other statue had a torch in its beak. Rondel removed it, but the party couldn't get it to light. Apparently, they now had a Magical Torch of Unlightability. Beyond, they found a sarcophagus containing the body of an apparent soldier and hero of past days. She was interred with some more of the odd coins, and a shelf in the chamber is lined with several small figurines depicting various monsters and other threats, likely victories won by the warrior. Of course, the party took them, and found out they now had Cursed Hummels(tm). Only Frederick and Slick failed their saves, but they'd better find a sufficient priest somewhere, as they were losing CON.

Back on the road, they passed more towns, and camped alongside the road with some pilgrims. Yes, Slick stole stuff. A copper chalice and a crossbow this time. No hats though.

Returning to the crossroad town of Birbuth, they came across the party of NPC adventurers they had previously sent to investigate Vansho Reliquary. The party had found the location and made contact with the undead guards. Although neither were relatives of the mage, it was concluded that they were contemporaries of his ancestor. The party had located and attempted to clear the Keep of Madruel, but were repulsed, losing their fighter. Time to rearm and hire some goons. Barring that, they party was considering returning to Vansho to hole up and secure the place for the winter.

Thankfully, the next town south, Mithlonde, had a priest of sufficient level to remove curses, and Frederick and Slick were relieved of their calamities, as well as a significant amount of coin.

Next on the road, Lany, a small town run by a retired mage. The party had spent time there before, so knew several of the locals. They had also hurried to return here, hearing that the town had been raided by Chaos forces. Sure enough, the town was rebuilding, and rapidly digging ditches and installing abatises. They had lost 15 folks, plus others in outlying area who had been abducted. Aldith, the mage, reported that they have been lucky to get a few troops from the Hougan city of Chirath, else things would have been worse. Soon after the party arrived, so did a couple of oxcarts carrying some beguines and their hired guards. Sister Isabel immediately offered aid, inquired on where they may stay, and set her guards to help in digging. It appeared that Lany was in good hands.

Back home to Neuforde. The wall and ditch were complete, along with a pair of blockhouse towers, one named "Bonk Tower" in honor of Bonk's generous gift to the town. There were more settlers expanding the town outside the walls, and the local temple was also nearing completion. Good news - Trurok the Ogre was still hanging around, enjoying his vocation as a ditch-digger. The party checked in with Victor Matui and his allies north of town, finding that they, too had made good progress on the keep, and had also attracted a few craftspeople to take up residence.

Enough for now. We'll see what random direction they want to head next time...

DM Notes:
Another on-the-road session, but with the aim to get back to home base. The barrow was a fun distraction, and the party hadn't messed around underground for a few sessions. It's a good mini-encounter area of about 4 rooms, and no real challenge for our party. It would be a good 1st level session. That said, it has a few interesting curiosities, and elements of Tim's Komor Forest campaign. I'll keep it in the quiver. I have another Deathbringer game coming up, and it could be a fun option. 

A lot was accounting of towns, and touching base with a few NPCs. I'd had the NPC party waiting in the wings until we could connect with them again. The main party has discussed recruiting other groups to help explore or secure areas, so having one built-in crew is good. I'll make up a few more.

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