Monday, April 21, 2014

Westmist Session #69 - Dinner and a Dungeon

  • Kern, Rylee and Darnorth get invited to Lord Merdwyn's thanksgiving celebration at New Breven Keep. Henchmen not invited, but neither was Erijay. Humm ... wonder why?
  • Hob-nob with a 'who's who' of the County Palatine of New Breven. Kern puts faces to some of the voices from the previous nights break & enter:
    • Gwendel the Upper Baliff [women talking to herself about keep maintenance and magic].
    • Lord Marshal Lucerne of Woodsedge [startled man on stairs].
    • Fineous, the Count Palatine's Squire [half dressed boy who pilfered gold from chest].
  • Darnorth challenges Quid (of the Company of Good Cheer, Lord Merdwyn's tame adventurers)  to a drinking contest and wins. Rylee hits on Gwendel, and she rejects him.
  • Lord Marshal Lucerne tries to get Rylee to join him on an expedition to deal with some necromancers digging up bodies from the recent battles. Rylee is at first interested, but Lord Merwyn's offer (see below) takes precedence. 
  • Kern  waits for his contact, Rathgold the Scribe, to go for a bathroom break. Follows him and tells him to meet the merchant tomorrow at the Wasp Inn, andto  be discreet. 
  • Kern also pumps the two Wolf Tribe Barbarians present (Kicking Weasel [the Shaman], and Wrestles Bear on Full Moon [the Chief]) for information on the Blighted Woods and Goblin Market. Learns that the Goblin Market appears at random intervals in different locations, each of which is a crossroads with an iron post at the centre.
  • Kern, Rylee and Darnorth meet with Lord Merdwyn after feast, along with the Company of Good Cheer (Zana, Ikar, and Silco; Quid was still passed out from drinking). Lord Merdwyn asks them to investigate the grand chateau in the Blighted Woods on his behalf. They agree, but only after Lord Merdwyn puts up a 5000gp 'bounty' in case the trip is a bust for the party.As party leaves, Zana sidles up to Kern and whispers something about "there are no secrets in small towns".
  • Kern, disguised as the merchant Nero,  meets with Rathgold. Kern tells him that he will help the scribe get away with his wife when the time is right; Rathgold fears going back to Westmist as he knows Jax will read his mind and the scribe will then most likely be a dead man.  
  • Kern asks Rathgold to provide a letter or other document that lays out Jax's "affliction". Rathgold says he will try, but Lord Merdwyn never directly refers to it's nature. But he does tell Kern for certain that Jax is not human.
  • Party gathers Gurruk and Bjorn, and following Lord Merwyn's directions head for the chateau. It's a huge manor house, a shinning mass of glass and ornate stonework, set on a low rise. A central octagonal building topped with a glass dome, two wings to either side, and a cross shaped wing on the back. No signs of life, but the grass is neatly trimmed.
  • Windows and doors are obscured, so nothing can be seen on the inside.   Kern breaks a window; a grey mist drifts out, but view inside is still blocked. 
  • Open front door, party marches in, leaving horses outside. Bjorn summons air elemental to fly overhead cover. Find themselves on a wide path leading through an indoor forest. The glass dome can be seen soaring overhead, and the sound of tinkling water comes from deeper in the forest.
  • Following the path to a T-intersection, the party encounters a beautiful amber skinned women lying asleep on the ground. One of her arms lies over a unicorn sleeping with her, the other is thrown over a small chest. 
  • Darnorth wakes her, and questions her about the forest. Learns that she has lived here as long as she remembers, and has no desire to leave. And tells party they will never be able to leave. This is confirmed by Kern, who goes back to the door and finds out that the grey mist now encircles the mansion. And is poisonous.
  • Kern tried to bargain with her to get the chest, offers piles of gold bars. She's not interested. 
  • Party moves on, heading west along a winding path. Encounter 4 grizzly bears. Rylee casts speak with animals to talk to bears. The ursine group confirms much of the lady's story (and lets slip that she is actually a gold dragon!). When asked about who owns the chateau, the bears refer to the 'human meat' that calls themselves the "d'Ambervilles".
  • Leaving their beary friends, the party continues west until they reach an ornate door. Decide not to go through, but backtrack through the intersection again to explore to the east. Girl/dragon and unicorn are gone. 
  • Come to a long bridge over a meandering stream. A goat-headed humanoid stands at the near end, facing away from the party. It speaks saying "Please don't eat me Mr Troll. My brothers, who are right behind me, are much bigger and fatter than I am". A gruff voice from below the bridge says "All right, you may pass. I'll wait for your brothers". The goat-man skips across the bridge, but when the party tries the follow, a huge troll crawls up from below and blocks the way.
  • Party tries to bluff their way past, but troll attacks. It's claws and bite tear into Kern, leaving him bleeding heavily. In the meantime, "Mr. Windy" the air elemental, knocks a lot of the stuffing out of the troll, helped along by missile fire from Gurruk and Kern (once he gets out of the front line) plus sword blows from Darnorth. Troll goes down, and parry kindles a bonfire to burn the parts before they regenerate. 
  • Party crosses bridge and continues on path, coming to a clearing with a pool/fountain in the centre. The fountain is shaped like three interlinked gargoyles with water spraying from their mouths. At the base of the fountain, across the pool, is a chest.
  • Rather than risk wading the pool, Bjorn has Mr Windy fetch the chest. Kern tried to pick the lock. No luck. Rylee tries to smash it; no luck. Kern tries to smash it; no luck. Bjorn tries to smash it; no luck. Gurruk tries to smash it; no luck. Darnorth tries to smash it; no luck. Mr Windy tries to smash it; obliterates chest. This attracts another grizzly bear (which is calmed by Gurruk). Chest filled with gold and a large ornate silver key. Gurruk tosses one coin into the fountain to wish for luck.

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